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

Reuters
June 30, 2016 | NPR · Months after he was granted a new hearing because of new evidence, Adnan Syed, whose 2000 murder conviction was a key focus of the Serial podcast, has been granted a new trial, his attorneys say.
 

Gloria Hillard for NPR
June 30, 2016 | NPR · There are now 47,000 homeless people in and around Los Angeles. The number of homeless women living on the streets has increased dramatically, and many are at risk of violence and sexual assault.
 

AFP/Getty Images
June 30, 2016 | NPR · A father trying to save his son from the Islamic State. A brother working to support his sisters’ education. A customs guard who shot one of the attackers. Three sisters, celebrating an engagement.
 

Arts & Life

DreamWorks II Distribution Co.
June 30, 2016 | NPR · Steven Spielberg directs an adaptation of the Roald Dahl book that goes long on sentiment and on … well, length, but finds charm in its deployment of Mark Rylance as the CGI giant’s voice.
 

Music Box Films
June 30, 2016 | NPR · Inspired by real events, The Innocents visits a convent in 1945 where a doctor finds herself unexpectedly treating pregnant nuns.
 

Roadside Attractions
June 30, 2016 | NPR · A professor (Ewan McGregor) gets drawn into a seedy and violent world of criminal intrigue by a boisterous Mafioso (Stellan Skarsgard).
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
June 30, 2016 | NPR · The band’s new video captures the feel of Sea Cliff, N.Y., in all of its comforts and kindness.
 

Courtesy of the artist
June 30, 2016 | WXPN · Reporter Catalina Maria Johnson recently traveled to the far end of Cuba in search of a new sound.
 

NPR
June 30, 2016 | NPR · Performing at the NPR Music offices, Adia Victoria’s voice is powerful and direct, with no artifice. Here, she performs “Heathen,” plus two songs from her debut album, Beyond The Bloodhounds.
 

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