February 10, 2016

The New Anthropology of Love

Valentine's Day 2016

Love and desire are deeply personal, right? And when we fall in love with someone, it's because there's something unique and innate in them that matches with something unique and innate in us, right? Actually, neither of these things are as true as you think, according to Dredge Byung'chu Kang, a cultural anthropologist and a post-doctoral fellow in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He discusses some national and global relationship trends, including data from online dating sites, that reveal how society and political economy shape what we consider intimate. He also shares one case in Thailand where love breaks the rule.

February 3, 2016

Your Brain on Movies, Pt. 1

The Human Brain: Episode #1

Ever find yourself crying at a cheesy movie that you don't even like very much? Or catch yourself ducking and flinching during an action flick, even though you're perfectly safe in a movie theater, munching popcorn? Jeffrey Zacks, professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, shares some of the reasons why. Zacks is author of Flicker: Your Brain on Movies.

January 20, 2016

How to Control Your Emotions

New Year 2016

Are you a "think on the bright side" person, who always has a positive outlook? Or do you sometimes find it hard to control what you feel and how you express those feelings? Tammy English, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences and director of the Emotion and Relationships Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis, studies emotion regulation. Here she discusses some common successful strategies for managing emotions and working toward long-term happiness.


January 13, 2016

How to Strengthen Your Willpower

New Year 2016

It's mid-January, that time of year when a person's zeal to start fresh in the new year might be starting to fade. But don't give up on your resolutions quite yet! Psychologist Tim Bono has some research-proven tips for how to successfully build willpower. Bono, an assistant dean in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, teaches the popular course Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness.


February 3, 2016

Black History Month's Featured Episodes

A collection of podcasts that highlight African-American history

Black History Month is a time to reflect upon and commemorate the people and events that make up African-American history. Below are several episodes that highlight black history and culture in the United States.

To learn about more research in this area, visit African and African-American Studies at Washington University.

In Confronting the Middle Passage, Sowande' Mustakeem shares the story of an enslaved woman and discusses why it is important for people to confront this foundational, brutal chapter of American history.

In Who Should Sing 'Ol' Man River?' Todd Decker reveals how the famous African-American singer Paul Robeson transformed a Broadway showtune into a song of protest.

In Stripes and Scars, Iver Bernstein shares the story of James Pennington, a prominent African-American minister who in 1863 saw his neighborhood destroyed in an episode now known as the New York draft riots.

In FB Eyes, William J. Maxwell discusses the little-known history of how, under longtime director J. Edgar Hoover, FBI ghostwriters (and "ghostreaders") obsessively analyzed and imitated African-American literature.

In How Americans Make Race, Clarissa Rile Haward describes how racial identities are formed through stories, institutions, and spaces.

In Notes from No Man's Land, Eula Biss argues that even telephone poles are marked by the country's history of slavery and colonization.