Why does our culture place value in that which is deemed authentic or original? What happens when we find out that the thing we have enshrined as authentic is determined to be nothing more than a copy? How does our relationship to the ideas of authenticity and originality impact the decisions we make from what dungarees to buy to which presidential candidate we vote for?

In this Episode…

orvell

Miles Orvell, Professor of English and American Studies at Temple University discusses the rise of authenticity in American culture at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Orvell is the author of The Real Thing: Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture, 1880-1940 (University of North Carolina Press), which deals with literature, photography, and material culture.

Bart-Ehrman

Bart D. Ehrman, James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Biblical scholar, and author of numerous bestselling books–including Forged, Misquoting Jesus, and God’s Problem–explains how 2000 years of transcription, translation, and interpretation have made it virtually impossible to talk about an “authentic” version of the New Testament.

6a00e54ed725f48833017eea2417f5970d-320wi

Murray Ross, artistic director of Theatre Works, speaks to questions of authorship with respect to the Shakespearean oeuvre.  Was there really a single man called Shakespeare? Did he really write all the plays that we attribute to him? Was he stealing from his contemporaries? Does it matter?

photo

Ryan Banagale, musicology professor at Colorado College, tells the story of the song, “You Are My Sunshine,” and how it came to be the ubiquitous tune it is today. Even the the most familiar folk songs have a history, but whether they have a definitive origin is a different question altogether.

TomFrank_fixed

Thomas Frank, founding editor of The Baffler magazine, columnist for Harper’s magazine, and author of many books–including The Conquest of Cool, and most recently, Pity the Billionaire–discusses the surprisingly symbiotic relationship between “authentic” countercultures and the corporate interests that supposedly co-opt them.

 

Comments are closed.

News

NPR
April 17, 2015 | NPR · Golf is a sport that’s been enjoyed by both Democrats and Republicans through the decades, but bipartisan golf outings may be disappearing like a shanked tee shot into a water hazard.
 

April 17, 2015 | NPR · A New Orleans federal appeals court case may determine whether the President can implement his immigration plan before his term is up.
 

April 17, 2015 | NPR · Critics of the system that ushers food products to market say it is rife with conflicts of interest. When scientists depend on food companies for work, they may be less likely to contest food safety.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films
April 17, 2015 | NPR · NPR’s Bob Mondello reviews Tangerines, an unconventional war drama that was this year’s Estonian nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.
 

Clear Skies Nevada LLC/IFC Films
April 17, 2015 | NPR · The new film Good Kill is a little too blunt in its treatment of drone warfare, but strong work from Ethan Hawke as a troubled pilot helps it along.
 

April 17, 2015 | NPR · In 2001, Michael Finkel was fired for making up a story. Then he learns that a suspected murderer is posing as him, so he gets to know him. The best word for the drama is “dumb,” says David Edelstein.
 

Music

Courtesy of Acoustic Sounds
April 17, 2015 | NPR · What’s getting in the way of the much touted resurgence of vinyl albums? There are very few functioning record presses, and nobody’s making new ones.
 

April 17, 2015 | NPR · NPR’s Audie Cornish speaks with Terry Lickona, executive producer of Austin City Limits, about the life and legacy of the show’s founder, Bill Arhos. Arhos died Saturday at 80.
 

Mountain Stage
April 17, 2015 | NPR · Hear the singer blend folk, rockabilly, pop, rock and blues live onstage in West Virginia.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab