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

Shenandoah Brettell
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Many Americans are not scared to reuse old clothes for new Halloween costumes.
 

AP
October 24, 2014 | NPR · The National Institutes of Health in Maryland announced that the 26-year-old who was infected while caring for a Liberian patient, has no detectable virus in her blood.
 

AP
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Within hours of a government announcement last week that a truce had been signed and the release of more than 200 schoolgirls secured, another 25 were kidnapped by Boko Haram extremists.
 

Arts & Life

Bill Franzen
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Earning honors for fiction, nonfiction and young children’s literature, respectively, the writers are the first to win the award. Also: The Bronx’s bookstore returns, while the U.K. shows off doodles.
 

Other Press
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Reporter Giuseppe di Piazza’s debut novel, The Four Corners of Palermo, follows an unnamed young reporter during the brutal early days of the mafia’s conflict with the Italian government in the 1980s.
 

Thomas Dunne Books
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Historian Peter Ackroyd’s new book surveys the history of England from the end of the Tudor era to the Glorious Revolution of 1688 — almost a century of war, debate and transformation.
 

Music

Tinnitus Photography
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Our recurring puzzler for careful listeners, this week featuring a selection of handpicked fills from Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss. Hear the drum fill (or intro) and match it to the song.
 

Courtesy of the artist
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Recorded with Liz Harris’ voice, a piano and not much else, Ruins achieves striking intimacy, its emotional heft commanding attention throughout.
 

October 24, 2014 | NPR · NPR TV critic Eric Deggans looks at the new documentary, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, featuring rare and never-before-seen footage. The film premieres on HBO Monday.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab