The Office Hour, Chapter 17: The New Yorker

This week on the podcast, Toby and I talk about The New Yorker magazine––which I happen to be teaching an English 1102 course about this semester. Along the way, Toby shares a cartoon by Tom Toro and reads from “Sadness Lamp F.A.Q.” by Sarah Hutto (both of which can be found in the March 13,… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 16: “Poetry”

This week, Toby and I read and discuss some of our favorite poems: William Wordsworth’s “We Are Seven,” Frank O’Hara’s “Having a Coke with You,” Lucille Clifton’s “shapeshifter poems,” and George Saunder’s “Trump l’oeil.” Plus: an inordinately long intro about the Oscars and parenthood. The podcast can be played using the embedded player above or… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 15: “Public School”

On the occasion of Betsy DeVos’s confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Education, Toby takes over the microphone to school me on the history of public education. The podcast can be played using the embedded player above or downloaded as an mp3 file. Music: “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,”… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 14: “Hobby-Horse”

This week, we begin with a discussion of Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, which ultimately reveals itself as a sly attempt by Toby to get me to talk about my career moonlighting as a musician––and more specifically, as the frontman of the band Shouts & Murmurs… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 13: “Protest”

This week we talk to Brittain Fellow Ruthie Yow about a topic on the mind of many Americans at the moment: protesting. Ruthie’s book, Students of the Dream: Race and Inequality in the Resegregating South is forthcoming from Harvard University Press. The podcast can be played using the embedded player above or downloaded… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 12: “Refusing to Read”

In our first episode of 2017, Toby and I debate Amy Hungerford’s Chronicle of Higher Education editorial, “On Not Reading.” Along the way, Toby shares some of his expertise about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and I divulge my inexpertise about J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Special thanks to the panelists in the Modern Language Association 2017 session,… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 11: “What We’re Reading”

In our final episode of 2016, Toby and I discuss the books we’re currently obsessed with, which include (but are definitely not limited to): James Gleick’s Time Travel: A History and The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood; Daniel Clowes’s Patience; Norman Ohler’s Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany; Christopher Isherwood’s The Berlin Stories; and… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 9: “One Week Out”

On this week’s podcast, Toby and I are joined by Brittain Fellows Anna Ioanes and Jennifer Forsthoefel to discuss our experiences, realizations, thoughts, and fears as teachers and scholars in the week since Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States. We begin by discussing Daveena Tauber’s “Post-Election… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 8: “Seasonal Allegories (A Post-Halloween Special)”

We had to take a week off last week due to some technical difficulties, but Toby and I are back with a Halloween special in which we discuss our spookiest academic fears. These include Northrop Frye’s theory of archetypes, the ongoing adjunctification of higher education, Donald Trump, and other nightmarish… Continue reading