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

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December 6, 2016 | NPR · It’s the “Mexico City policy,” which blocked federal funds for international family planning charities if they were to “promote” abortion.
 

Simon & Schuster
December 6, 2016 | NPR · In her new book, Sarah Lohman says that even though America is culturally and ethnically diverse, its food is united by a handful of tastes that have permeated our nation’s cuisine for centuries.
 

Courtesy of Yoshi Sudarso
December 6, 2016 | NPR · The new short web film “It’s Asian Men!” aims to tackle a big issue: Why Asian-American men are rarely cast on TV or in movies as the romantic or sexy lead. No Long Duk Dong here.
 

Arts & Life

NPR
December 6, 2016 | NPR · The Book Concierge is back and bigger than ever! Explore more than 300 standout titles picked by NPR staff and critics.
 

NPR
December 6, 2016 | NPR · NPR’s annual, sortable book guide is here. And to mark the occasion, correspondent Lynn Neary talks about the year in fiction and shares a couple of her favorite new titles.
 

HBO
December 5, 2016 | FA · Nicole Maines and Kylar Broadus are both featured in the new HBO documentary. “We all come out publicly,” Broadus says. “There is no hidden way to come out as a trans person.”
 

Music

WXPN
December 6, 2016 | WXPN · Watch the 20-year-old guitarist, whose new album was produced by Warren Haynes, play “Virginia” live in Philadelphia.
 

December 5, 2016 | FA · Lambert’s new release features 24 songs on 2 CDs. Critic Ken Tucker calls The Weight of These Wings a collection that “keeps on giving the deeper you get into it.”
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 5, 2016 | NPR · This week’s two-hour mix from KCRW’s Jason Bentley begins with a track by Anderson .Paak, KCRW’s pick for best new artist of 2016.
 

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