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Produced in observance of and solidarity with the Worldwide Teach-In On Climate & Justice taking place on many campuses today, including Elmira College, we host discussion of a CliFi novel by Kim Stanley Robinson which helps us get "Beyond Climate Despair." For more about this episode, include a complete bibliography, please visit
Is is possible to imagine a world without work? Or, at least, a world in which work is not romanticized, is not treated as defining element of social and individual achievement? James Livingston has predicted that we need to prepare for a postwork world, and David Graeber has challenged us to imagine alternatives to organization by bureaucracy, credit, and corporations. This episode features Livingston talking to Matt Seybold and Corey McCall about Graeber's posthumous book (The Dawn of Everything), the Great Resignation, QuitToks, Risk Shifts, and much more. For more about this episode, including a complete bibliography, please visit
Wes Anderson's acclaimed new movie, The French Dispatch, draws inspiration from the Golden Age of The New Yorker magazine, a period from roughly the early 1940s to the mid 1970s. This episode features two scholars researching that period in the publication's history. They are uniquely situated to consider the selections from the magazine's back catalog which make Anderson's cut, as well as what he chooses to leave out. For more about this episode, including a bibliography, please visit
How do we explain the Great Resignation? Or, for that matter, other mysteries of the contemporary economy, like the high price of culture work and the low wages of culture workers? Two scholars of Post45 literature and culture discuss the work of art and the art of work. For more about this episode, visit
A conversation about the personal essay boom, iterations of the memoir in other literary genres, the constructive use of social media, the style of "too late capitalism," and other means of self-indulgence with two decorated literary critics and theorists. For more about this episode, visit
A ranging conversation with two scholars - Heather Berg (Porn Work: Sex, Labor, & Late Capitalism) and Michelle Chihara ("Radical Flexibility: Driving for Lyft & The Future of Work in The Platform Economy") - about platform capitalism from the perspective of gigworkers. For more about this episode, including a bibliography, please visit
"The World's Work" begins with a discussion of student debt, faculty deskilling, outsourcing, adjunctification, EdTech, and the financialization of U.S. higher education. Special theme music: "Work Song" by Dan Reeder For more information, visit
The season finale of Billions aired exactly 17 months after the season premiere. This was not by design. In this episode, scholars of finance and popular culture discuss the popular Showtime series and how its handling of the pandemic disruption is represented in both content and form. For more about this episode, please visit
A discussion of the Antiracism project sponsored by University of Maryland's Center For Literary & Comparative Studies with three faculty members heavily involved in the project, as well as their insights into the Netflix original series, The Chair, which dramatizes a contemporary university English department.
In her recent PMLA essay, "The Shush," Kyla Wazana Tompkins writes, "The future of the English department cannot be the same as its past." The recent Netflix original series, "The Chair," offers one vision of that past and thus serves to generate conversation about "The Shush," the state of literary studies, and higher education. To learn more, including an episode bibliography, visit
The new Netflix original series, The Chair, focus on the first woman of color to Chair the English Department at fictional Pembroke University. Dr. Karen Tongson (University of Southern California) can empathize with this character, played by Sandra Oh, but she is also an exceptional media critic. She talks with Matt Seybold about the reception of The Chair, its representation of literary studies, and where it fits in the history of the U.S. sitcom. For more about this episode, visit
On a special Emancipation Week episode, three scholars with both personal and professional ties to the Southern Tier of New York, discuss the recently-reconstructed speech by Frederick Douglass which was part of the Emancipation Day celebration which took place in Elmira in August of 1880. For more information about this episode, visit To read Frederick Douglass's "Lessons of Emancipation To The New Generation" & other Emancipation Week materials, visit
With a series of recent events indicating bipartisan interest in antitrust reform from Congress and the Supreme Court, host Matt Seybold speaks with Law Professor, Sanjukta Paul, and economist, Marshall Steinbaum, about the history of antitrust movements in the United States from Mark Twain's Gilded Age to the New Gilded Age, as well as why they advocate for antitrust as a mechanism for improving worker welfare, reducing inequality, and protecting democracy. For more about this episode, including a complete bibliography, please visit
The coordinators of the 2021 Summer Teachers Institute sponsored by the Center For Mark Twain Studies converse about the upcoming event, the state of U.S. education, the resonance of Mark Twain for contemporary students, and much more. For more about the Institute, please visit
The co-editors of a new collection on "Race, Resistance, & Reality in The Classroom" discuss the "flash point" of 2008 for American education, the recent Critical Race Theory panic, pedagogical strategies for teaching with tension, and Mark Twain's 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.' For more information about this episode, visit To Register for the 2021 Summer Teachers Institute, visit
The authors of Genus Americanus (2020) join host Matt Seybold to discuss their 2011 road trip. Inspired by Mark Twain, they went looking for American identity through interviews with other journalists, scholars, immigrants, and nomads. What did the find? And how has it shaped their understanding of the decade which followed? For more information, please visit
The recent HBO documentary series, directed by Raoul Peck, offers a grand narrative of European colonialism and American imperialism which is broadly sympathetic with the works of Mark Twain from the final decade of his life. In this episode, a diverse group of scholars discuss Peck's film, as well as where it fits in global cinema, the U.S. media ecosystem, and postcolonial scholarship.
A beloved member of the Mark Twain Studies community, author, and St. Louis University Professor, Hal Bush, recently suffered a traumatic brain injury which has put him into a coma. In this episode, friends and fellow scholars read to him from a series of his favorite works, mostly by Mark Twain. To learn more about how you can help, please visit Special Thanks to St. Louis University for providing theme music for this episode, a composition by Roberto Murguia and Róisín Malone.
Following on the heels of the grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal last month, Matt Seybold speaks with Dr. Laleh Khalili, whose 2020 book, Sinew of War & Trade: Shipping & Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula, covers the history, present, & potential futures of maritime transport. For a bibliography of this episode, visit
This episode brings together three scholars who have been researching and writing about Mark Twain's musical tastes and the role of music education and performance in the Clemens family household. For more information about the guests and a bibliography of works discussed during this episode, please visit
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