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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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News

AP
February 23, 2017 | NPR · The court ruled that a Fayetteville, Ark., law protecting LGBT people violated a state law barring cities from protecting people from discrimination who are not already covered at the state level.
 

Getty Images
February 23, 2017 | NPR · President Trump’s education secretary didn’t hold back before conservative activists outside Washington, except when it came to the Trump administration’s guidance on schools and transgender rights.
 

CCTV /Screenshot by NPR
February 23, 2017 | NPR · Sure they might be chubby — to put it charitably — but they’re still tigers. And when Chinese zookeepers mobilized a drone to get them some exercise, the big cats had little trouble bringing it down.
 

Arts & Life

Netflix
February 23, 2017 | FA · After the abrupt ending of Chappelle’s Show, Neal Brennan turned to stand-up. “I needed to be more self-determining, and the most self-determining thing you can do in comedy is stand-up,” he says.
 

NPR
February 23, 2017 | NPR · David Grossman’s unsettling new novel takes place over the course of a two-hour comedy set, as what seems like just a bad performance evolves into something truly strange, painful and urgent.
 

Bravo
February 23, 2017 | NPR · If you need a lift and a bit of diversion, it’s not too late to enjoy the last two episodes of an awfully satisfying season of Top Chef.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
February 23, 2017 | NPR · The video is a film, on film — STRFKR’s “In The End” honors John Waters in the best possible way.
 

KCRW
February 23, 2017 | KCRW · One of the most promising artists of 2017 plays a song off his latest album, Jardín.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 23, 2017 | NPR · Beneath this bright song, filled with beat and bass, lies a rich message of empowerment for survivors of sexual violence.
 

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