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May 19, 2022

Why has darkness descended upon the university? We talk about the dark academia aesthetic, from Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" to the show "Dear White People." What defines this aesthetic, and how does it shed light on current traumas within the academy? Also -- why is it so gay? Academic Ana Quiring joins us...

May 12, 2022

With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark court case that made abortion legal in this country, our future is looking very different. In this encore episode, we talk about the future of reproductive rights -- our hopes and our fears.

Show notes:

May 5, 2022

Nothing is ever permanent in pop culture: people die and come back to life all the time, huge changes get retconned, and Spider-Man is always a young guy who's just starting out. Why are we stuck with the "illusion of change," and what happens when this goes on for several decades? And how do we find a way to move forward?

Apr 21, 2022

Paranoia’s back, baby. We talk about two Cold War obsessions — space combat and brainwashing — and how they’ve returned in a big way. Cold War tropes are haunting our science fiction and dominating political discourse in the United States. Why now?

Apr 7, 2022

Princesses used to be helpless damsels, but these days they're more likely to pick up a sword than wait to be rescued. Why do we love princesses who fight back? Does it have something to do with our hang-ups about femininity? Plus we talk about Charlie Jane's new book Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak!