September 6, 2017

Moms at Work: Policies and Perspectives in Europe and the US

Sociologist Caitlyn Collins frequently remembers a familiar phrase from her childhood. Collins’ mom, a successful sales director, often said with a sigh: “If we were in Europe, this would be so much easier!” So, was Collins’ mom correct? Are the lives of working mothers that much easier in Europe? Collins now investigates how public policies affect family life in both Europe and the US. She shares some of her findings on the laws and cultural attitudes that shape women's careers and lives.

February 8, 2017

Love Music Across Time

Valentine's Day 2017

From today's top 100 Billboard songs to ancient Sumerian scripts, human beings have always sung about love. So how have love songs changed across the ages? Have they evolved to reflect society's understandings of love? Or have we been singing about basically the same things for millenia? Today, we'll look at one batch of love songs called the Loire Valley Chansonniers, made up of five songbooks from fifteenth-century France. Clare Bokulich, an assistant professor of musicology at Washington University in St. Louis, explains why these books are so special and breaks down the rare insight they give into not only historical understandings of love, but music itself. 

July 27, 2016

The Non-sense of Art

Craft Lit: Episode #6

For a while now, David Schuman, a fiction writer and the director of the Creative Writing MFA program at Washington University in St. Louis, has been interested in--what he calls--"the Void." The Void can also be thought of as the ineffable quality of art, the thing too great to be expressed in words, or as a musical score, or even with paint or clay, but that is felt nonetheless. Call it what you will, David wrestles with the unnamable and calls upon other writers and artists who have shared his fascination with the Void. 

July 13, 2016

Grief and Memoir: Writing about the Tough Stuff

Craft Lit: Episode #4

Today, we consider the memoir. Kathleen Finneran, a writer in residence at Washington University in St. Louis, talks about her memoir The Tender Land: A Family Love Story, which focuses on her family and how their lives were altered by the suicide of her younger brother. She considers how writing the book affected her grieving process and chronicles her family's surprising reaction to the book.

June 22, 2016

Poetic Elements

Craft Lit: Episode #1

How do you make a poem? Renowned poet Carl Phillips finds inspiration for his work in even the every day moments of his life. In this re-release of a 2013 interview, Phillips shares his writing process, discusses his (then) latest poetry collection Silverchest, and imparts his personal antidote to poetry. 

March 30, 2016

Religion and Comic Books: A Tangled Web

Comic Con 2016

Most people don't normally associate comic books and superheroes with religion. However, Roshan Abraham, a comics studies scholar and assistant professor of religious studies and classics, reveals how religion is actually in the DNA of comics. He traces the many ways religion influences, shapes, and appears in comics, and how scholars in both religious and comics studies face very similar problems. 

April 16, 2015

Graduate Students Ask: Why Does Innovation Take So Long?

Where's My Jetpack?: Episode #1

Ever wonder why innovations in areas like health care and energy always seem just over the horizon, instead of already here? You're not alone. At Washington University in St. Louis, graduate students wrestling with this question created the "Where's My Jetpack?" speaker series to shed light on barriers to innovation. Rebecca Lowdon, cofounder of the graduate student group ProSPER, and Kimberly Curtis, assistant dean for graduate student affairs, discuss the creation of ProSPER, the "Where's My Jetpack?" series, and the importance of graduate student leadership.


The Future of Energy

As the human race continues to flourish, where will our energy come from? Hold That Thought talks to three scientists who think that algae hold an important answer to this question, as well as an economist who helps us navigate the numbers. Listen to their thoughts in this hour-long podcast.

By Tim Lloyd, with Robert Blankenship, Ursula Goodenough, Joseph Cullen and Himadri Pakrasi. Thanks to Jefferey Matthews for voice work.