Zombies have taken a special place in our cultural imaginary—appearing in countless cult classics, B-grade horror movies, best selling literary novels (and retellings of best-selling literary novels), record breaking television shows, and are the inspiration for themed parades and pub crawls around the globe. In this episode, Jennifer Rutherford, sociologist, literary scholar, and Deputy Director of the Hawke Research Institute at the University of Southern Australia, helps us understand what can be learned from the cultural obsession. We discuss the power of the zombie as metaphor, the unrestrained drive of the undead, and the allure of becoming zombie at gatherings and celebrations.
In this episode, we have a conversation with William Alexander. He is slightly different type of social theorist than we normally have on the podcast. Will teaches in the English Department at the Minnesota College of Arts and Design and last November he won the prestigious national book award for his first novel Goblin Secrets and the Earphones Award for narrating his book. Today Will is joining us to discuss the powers and politics of fantasy, and the relationship between fiction and the social world.
This week we talk with Shadd Maruna and Fergus McNeill about their documentary project, The Road From Crime. This documentary was produced as part of the larger Discovering Desistance Project, which aims to share knowledge and improve understanding of why people desist from crime. First, we hear a clip from the opening sequence of the film, then we talk with Shadd and Fergus themselves as they describe the process of producing this project.