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 12, 2016 | NPR · Clinton and Sanders sparred on Wall Street’s influence on politics, on which candidate is more loyal to President Obama and the record of Henry Kissinger as secretary of state.
 

AP
February 11, 2016 | NPR · The country’s prime minister intends to channel policies and plans to achieve a happier society.
 

AP
February 11, 2016 | NPR · The Nevada rancher’s arrest is a setback for his self-styled militia supporters and their anti-federal lands fight. The charges stem from a standoff with federal agents at his ranch in 2014.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of 21st Century Fox
February 11, 2016 | NPR · NPR film critic Bob Mondello says Deadpool goes in deep on its R rating — and has plenty of fun doing it.
 

Roadside Attractions
February 11, 2016 | NPR · The drama stars Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby as artists hospitalized with bipolar disorder and struggles in its exploration of the link, if one exists, between their work and their illness.
 

Courtesy of Kino Lorber
February 11, 2016 | NPR · Chinese writer-director Jia Zhangke follows his characters from 1999 all the way forward to 2025, where a sun-bleached tomorrowland threatens alienation from tradition.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
February 11, 2016 | NPR · A year ago, the 10-piece band was working day jobs and gigging on weekends. Ari Shapiro talks with members Kam Franklin and Adam Castaneda about making the leap that landed them on a national stage.
 

NPR
February 11, 2016 | WBGO+JAZZ.org · Pianist Eric Lewis did a turn in the crossover celebrity spotlight with his “rockjazz” method. But he pledges allegiance to “the jazz republic” in a new trio with Reginald Veal and Jeff Watts.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 11, 2016 | WXPN · The Delta Spirit singer rocks solo in a special episode, recorded live in Austin, Texas.
 

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