79 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Folklore about their New Books
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New Books in Folklore Marshall Poe

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Folklore about their New Books
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    Brian Collins on Indian Mythology

    Brian Collins on Indian Mythology

    What insights on the human experience can we find in ancient Indian mythology? Join us as we speak to Dr. Brian Collins (Associate Professor, Chair Department of Classics and Religious Studies, Ohio University) about his work on Paraśu-Rāma, the brahmin who decapitates his own mother and annihilates 21 generations of the warriors.
    You can also listen to Brian on the NBN here. 
    Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.
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    • 57 min
    Tae-Yeoun Keum, "Plato and the Mythic Tradition in Political Thought" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    Tae-Yeoun Keum, "Plato and the Mythic Tradition in Political Thought" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    Plato and the Mythic Tradition in Political Thought (Harvard UP, 2020) is an ambitious reinterpretation and defense of Plato’s basic enterprise and influence, arguing that the power of his myths was central to the founding of philosophical rationalism.
    Plato’s use of myths—the Myth of Metals, the Myth of Er—sits uneasily with his canonical reputation as the inventor of rational philosophy. Since the Enlightenment, interpreters like Hegel have sought to resolve this tension by treating Plato’s myths as mere regrettable embellishments, irrelevant to his main enterprise. Others, such as Karl Popper, have railed against the deceptive power of myth, concluding that a tradition built on Platonic foundations can be neither rational nor desirable.
    Tae-Yeoun Keum challenges the premise underlying both of these positions. She argues that myth is neither irrelevant nor inimical to the ideal of rational progress. She tracks the influence of Plato’s dialogues through the early modern period and on to the twentieth century, showing how pivotal figures in the history of political thought—More, Bacon, Leibniz, the German Idealists, Cassirer, and others—have been inspired by Plato’s mythmaking. She finds that Plato’s followers perennially raised the possibility that there is a vital role for myth in rational political thinking.
    Tejas Parasher is Junior Research Fellow in Political Thought and Intellectual History at King’s College, University of Cambridge.
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    • 54 min
    Chitgopekar Nilima, "The Reluctant Family Man: Shiva in Everyday Life" (Penguin, 2019)

    Chitgopekar Nilima, "The Reluctant Family Man: Shiva in Everyday Life" (Penguin, 2019)

    He's the destroyer of evil, the pervasive one in whom all things lie. He is brilliant, terrifying, wild and beneficent. He is both an ascetic and a householder, both a yogi and a guru. He encompasses the masculine and the feminine, the powerful and the graceful, the Tandava and the Laasya, the darkness and the light, the divine and the human. What can we learn from this bundle of contradictions, this dreadlocked yogi? How does he manage the devotions and duties of father, husband and man of the house, and the demands and supplications of a clamorous cosmos? In The Reluctant Family Man (Penguin, 2019), Nilima Chitgopekar uses the life and personality of Shiva-his self-awareness, his marriage, his balance, his detachment, his contentment-to derive lessons that readers can practically apply to their own lives. With chapters broken down into distinct frames of analysis, she defines concepts of Shaivism and interprets their application in everyday life.
    Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.
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    • 37 min
    Martin Shaw, "Smoke Hole: Looking to the Wild in the Time of the Spyglass" (Chelsea Green, 2021)

    Martin Shaw, "Smoke Hole: Looking to the Wild in the Time of the Spyglass" (Chelsea Green, 2021)

    At a time when we are all confronted by not one, but many crossroads in our modern lives—identity, technology, trust, politics, and a global pandemic—celebrated mythologist and wilderness guide Martin Shaw delivers Smoke Hole: Looking to the Wild in the Time of the Spyglass (Chelsea Green, 2021): three metaphors to help us understand our world, one that is assailed by the seductive promises of social media and shadowed by a health crisis that has brought loneliness and isolation to an all-time high.
    Smoke Hole is a passionate call to arms and an invitation to use these stories to face the complexities of contemporary life, from fake news, parenthood, climate crises, addictive technology and more. Shaw urges us to reclaim our imagination and untangle ourselves from modern menace, letting these tales be our guide.
    Dr Martin Shaw is a writer and one of the most widely regarded teachers of the mythic imagination. He is the author of the award winning A Branch From The Lightning Tree, Snowy Tower, and Scatterlings: Getting Claimed in the Age of Amnesia (2016). He also directs the Westcountry School of Myth in the UK, and he devised and led the Oral Tradition course at Stanford University. And he has been published in Orion Magazine, Poetry International, Kenyon Review, Poetry Magazine, and Mississippi Review.
    Susan Grelock Yusem, PhD, is an independent researcher trained in depth psychology, with an emphasis on community, liberation, and eco-psychologies. Her work centers around interconnection and encompasses regenerative food systems, the arts and conservation.
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    • 58 min
    Margaret Magat, "Balut: Fertilized Eggs and the Making of Culinary Capital in the Filipino Diaspora" (Bloomsbury, 2019)

    Margaret Magat, "Balut: Fertilized Eggs and the Making of Culinary Capital in the Filipino Diaspora" (Bloomsbury, 2019)

    Balut is a fertilized chicken or duck egg that is boiled at the seventeenth day and sold as a common street snack in the Philippines. While it is widely eaten in the Filipino community, balut is frequently used in eating “challenges” on American reality TV shows. At seventeen days, the balut egg already contains a partially developed embryo, and this aspect is sensationalized with exaggerated “performances of disgust” during these challenges.
    In her book Balut: Fertilized Eggs and the Making of Culinary Capital in the Filipino Diaspora (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019), Dr. Margaret Magat explores balut as a site of culinary nationalism and identity-making, and its rise in the American consciousness. First, Dr. Magat describes how to eat balut and sip the warm broth inside the egg. In the Philippines, balut vendors sell them in the evening or early morning as snacks at malls, transportation hubs, markets, and just about everywhere. However, Americans were primarily introduced to balut via reality tv shows where contestants were “challenged” to eat it. Dr. Magat explains that like many foods of Asian immigrants, balut was decontextualized and framed through a lens of disgust in these eating “challenges.” But in response, Filipino communities sponsored balut-eating contests that promoted balut with more cultural context and pride in Filipino heritage and identity. More recently, balut has become culinary capital for foodies and celebrity chefs to gain recognition and status as someone with broad tastes. Lastly, we raise the issue of authenticity and its dangers in calling balut an authentic food of the Philippines but as also having an “authenticating” ability to signify membership of a group.
    Dr. Margaret Magat an Asian American folklorist based in Sacramento, CA. Her research focuses on the folk practices of the Filipino diaspora.
    Nancy Yan received her PhD in folklore from The Ohio State University and taught First Year Writing, Comparative Studies, and Asian American studies for several years before returning to organizing work.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Michael D. Nichols, "Religion and Myth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe" (McFarland, 2021)

    Michael D. Nichols, "Religion and Myth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe" (McFarland, 2021)

    Breaking box office records, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has achieved an unparalleled level of success with fans across the world, raising the films to a higher level of narrative: myth. Michael D. Nichols's Religion and Myth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (McFarland, 2021) is first book to analyze the Marvel output as modern myth, comparing it to epics, symbols, rituals, and stories from world religious traditions.
    Nichols places the exploits of Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, and the other stars of the Marvel films alongside the legends of Achilles, Gilgamesh, Arjuna, the Buddha, and many others. It examines their origin stories and rites of passage, the monsters, shadow-selves, and familial conflicts they contend with, and the symbols of death and the battle against it that stalk them at every turn. The films deal with timeless human dilemmas and questions, evoking an enduring sense of adventure and wonder common across world mythic traditions.
    Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.
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    • 45 min

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