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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February 19, 2018 | NPR · Gabriella Papadakis left the rink on the verge of tears after her costume came undone and her breast was briefly exposed. But the dancer and her partner still have a shot at the gold.
 

Getty Images
February 19, 2018 | NPR · Several years ago, sociologist Brooke Harrington decided to explore the secret lives of billionaires. What she found, she said, shocked her.
 

AP
February 19, 2018 | NPR · Four Chicago Blackhawks fans were ejected from their home arena for racially taunting a black player from the visiting Washington Capitals.
 

Arts & Life

February 19, 2018 | NPR · NPR’s Audie Cornish talks to Greta Gerwig, the Oscar-nominated director of the film Lady Bird about teenage friendship and complex, sometimes messy, female characters.
 

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February 19, 2018 | FA · Doug Jones has made a career out of playing strange, otherworldly creatures. “I find the heart and soul of a character before I find his elbows and his hands,” he says.
 

AP
February 19, 2018 | FA · Fred Rogers debuted on national public television in 1968 and quickly became known for his deliberate manner of relating to children. “Every one of us longs to be in touch with honesty,” he once said.
 

Music

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February 19, 2018 | WXPN-FM · Its roots are in the all-ages punk scene, but the band has evolved into one of the city’s most musically compelling and lyrically insightful ensembles.
 

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February 19, 2018 | NPR · The groundbreaking Irish rapper discusses his debut album Dear Annie, finding his identity through music and what it’s like to create out of your comfort zone.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 19, 2018 | NPR · Turnstile leans into its psychedelic tendencies, turning the turnt-up hardcore band into a lush studio experiment.
 

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