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 […]

Continue Reading

There are times in our lives when we have no choice but to perform. The stakes are high, the pressure is on, the price of failure immense. It seems natural that most of us would try to minimize the amount of time that we spend in such anxiety-inducing situations. But what of those people who […]

Continue Reading

In a certain sense, childhood is most acutely experienced in retrospect. As a child, it’s simply life as you know it. But, as an adult, childhood (both one’s own and the developmental category in general) takes on a kind of mythic significance and, perhaps, nostalgic appeal. In this episode of Off Topic we look at […]

Continue Reading

This week on Off Topic, we take a close and critical look at the institution of marriage. Why do we do it? What do we hope it will be? What is it really? How has it changed?

In this episode:

Professor Stillman battles a pesky woodpecker, and in so doing, comes face to […]

Continue Reading

The figure of the Genius looms large in our contemporary thinking about art and creativity. Art is a gift given to the masses by those fortunate few who are capable of creating something from nothing, of inventing forms and sounds that the rest of us simply couldn’t imagine. Well, maybe that’s overstating it […]

Continue Reading

Stream or download this episode in its entirety below.

In this episode of Off Topic:

Professor Stillman confronts the ambiguities inherent in the snake’s side of the story.
Canadian novelist Peter Behrens discusses how the Irish established the template for what it means to be an immigrant in North America.
Duke […]

Continue Reading

In case you missed the premiere episode of Off Topic on Friday night at 7pm, we’ve posted it here for you to enjoy at your leisure.

Continue Reading

News

AP
June 19, 2018 | NPR · This is Kim’s third visit to China, and comes just one week after his summit with President Trump in Singapore.
 

AP
June 18, 2018 | NPR · In the latest move in a nascent trade war, the president announced he wanted to impose a 10 percent tariff on more Chinese products, in addition to the $50 billion announced Friday.
 

Getty Images/Blend Images
June 18, 2018 | NPR · As many as 40 percent of students who intend to go to college don’t show up in the fall. Education researchers call this phenomenon “summer melt,” and it has long been a puzzling problem.
 

Arts & Life

NPR
June 18, 2018 | FA · Critic Maureen Corrigan says Tommy Orange’s novel, which centers on a cast of native and mixed-race characters whose lives intersect at a powwow, features “a literary authority rare in a debut.”
 

Getty Images
June 18, 2018 | NPR · Mary Shelley’s timeless novel gave us not only an enduring trope — the misunderstood monster — but an equally enduring way to talk about what happens when human knowledge outpaces responsibility.
 

Getty Images
June 18, 2018 | NPR · In his new book Planet Funny: How Comedy Took Over Our Culture, Ken Jennings takes humor seriously, tracing how comedy infiltrated every aspect of our lives — and what it’s doing to us.
 

Music

Justin James Agoncillo
June 18, 2018 | NPR · The Floridian first gained attention in 2016, when his SoundCloud single “Look At Me” went viral. He released two popular albums after, but was awaiting trial on charges brought by an ex-girlfriend.
 

Getty Images
June 18, 2018 | NPR · A season full of high-profile hip-hop releases just got hotter. NPR Music’s Ann Powers and Rodney Carmichael break down the surprise release of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s collaborative album.
 

Getty Images
June 18, 2018 | NPR · With work spanning much of the Soviet era, the conductor served as an important and prominent conduit between Russia and the West. He died Saturday at age 87.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab