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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October 23, 2016 | NPR · A new survey shows that white evangelicals are much more willing now than they were a few years ago to vote for politicians whose personal behavior has been “immoral.”

October 23, 2016 | NPR · The Cubs put an end to a 71-year drought Saturday, winning 5-0 to advance to the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs last took the World Series title in 1908.

October 22, 2016 | NPR · Comedian and Ohio native Mike Polk Jr. talks about the feelings of a Cleveland sports fan on the possibility of the city’s second major sports championship following a 52-year title drought.

Arts & Life

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October 22, 2016 | NPR · Ernest Hemingway’s masterful first novel came out 90 years ago today; the story of aimless American expatriates drinking, fighting and falling in and out of love is regarded as one of his best works.

October 22, 2016 | NPR · We recorded the show in Rochester, N.Y., this week, which is home to the Garth Fagan Dance company. We’ll ask acclaimed choreographer Garth Fagan three questions about really deceitful people.

October 22, 2016 | NPR · Anne Carson’s book of poems come in a clear plastic box where they ‘float,’ which is also the title of her new collection. NPR’s Scott Simon talks with the poet about her work.


John Heyn
October 22, 2016 | NPR · Shot outside an arena in suburban Maryland hosting a Judas Priest and Dokken double bill, the short documentary captured something vital about its moment in music history.

October 22, 2016 | NPR · After suffering a stroke three years ago, Randy Travis had to learn to walk and talk again. This week he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, where he stood onstage and sang.

Courtesy of the artist
October 22, 2016 | NPR · The last surviving Bee Gee has released his first album in more than 30 years. In The Now is colored by the loss of Gibb’s mother and brothers, but he says it’s also about “the idea of having fun.”

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