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

AFP/Getty Images
July 28, 2017 | NPR · Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s third term in power comes to a dramatic end after a corruption scandal linked to his family’s financial dealings.
 

NPR
July 28, 2017 | WHYY · In a world of fake news and junk science, how do science teachers help their students distinguish fact from fiction?
 

AP
July 28, 2017 | NPR · The unrest in the Motor City a half-century ago this summer left 43 dead. It was one of the most devastating episodes of civil conflict in the 20th century. But was it a riot or a rebellion?
 

Arts & Life

STX Entertainment
July 28, 2017 | NPR · We discuss Luc Besson’s big-budget, bonkers-bananapants would-be blockbuster Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which looks unlikely to bust any blocks.
 

Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
July 27, 2017 | NPR · For 38 years the Pulitzer Prize winner was one of the most influential voices in the world of books. During her tenure, she lauded — or lambasted — just about all of this generation’s great writers.
 

Paramount Pictures
July 27, 2017 | NPR · In 2006, Al Gore issued a forceful warning about the threat of climate change in An Inconvenient Truth. He’s followed it up with a sequel that shows how far we’ve come — but with plenty of caveats.
 

Music

YouTube screen shot
July 28, 2017 | NPR · Sylvan Esso perform “Radio” with a big band of friends in the duo’s final installment of the Echo Mountain Sessions.
 

NPR
July 27, 2017 | NPR · AltLatino’s annual cruise of summer music festivals dedicated to Latin Alternative music, arts and culture. Three cities, four festivals!
 

Sygma via Getty Images
July 27, 2017 | NPR · Jones charged the estate with “disguising” royalties and breaking the terms of his contracts with the King of Pop.
 

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