12 episodes

Second Nature explores issues related to culture, identity, artifice, habit, ideology, and everyday life. It is produced by George Mason University's Cultural Studies PhD Program and highlights key works and topics in the field, student and faculty research, special guest interviews, and other discussions of cultural studies.

Second Nature Cultural Studies GMU

    • Society & Culture

Second Nature explores issues related to culture, identity, artifice, habit, ideology, and everyday life. It is produced by George Mason University's Cultural Studies PhD Program and highlights key works and topics in the field, student and faculty research, special guest interviews, and other discussions of cultural studies.

    Episode 12: Spring 2022 Colloquium Series w/ Dr. Chris Nealon

    Episode 12: Spring 2022 Colloquium Series w/ Dr. Chris Nealon

    As part of GMU's Cultural Studies colloquium series in Spring 2022, a recent Cultural Studies graduate, Dr. Richard Todd Stafford, interviews John Dewey Professor at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Christopher Nealon. Dr. Nealon's research focuses on the relation between literary and economic understandings of value, and their implications for academic antihumanism. He is the author of The Matter of Capital: Poetry and Crisis in The American Century, and Foundlings: Lesbian and Gay Historical Emotion before Stonewall, as well as four books of poems, The Joyous Age, Plummet, Heteronomy, and The Shore. He currently serves as Senior Editor of ELH for Johns Hopkins University.

    • 29 min
    Episode 11: Spring 2022 Colloquium Series w/ Dr. Katherine Hite

    Episode 11: Spring 2022 Colloquium Series w/ Dr. Katherine Hite

    As part of GMU's Cultural Studies colloquium series in Spring 2022, PhD candidate Eric Ross interviews Professor of Political Science on the Frederick Thompson Chair and Faculty Director of Research Development at Vassar College, Dr. Katherine Hite. Her recent work focuses on the politics of memory, as well as issues in higher education, access and equity. Her research has been supported by the Fulbright Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Ford Foundation. Her teaching interests include the politics of the Americas, social movements, the politics of memory, and the legacies of violence for states and societies around the globe. She is also a co-founder of Celebrating the African Spirit, a Poughkeepsie-based community organization.

    • 41 min
    Episode 10: Spring 2022 Colloquium Series w/ Dr. Amaka Okechukwu

    Episode 10: Spring 2022 Colloquium Series w/ Dr. Amaka Okechukwu

    As part of GMU's Cultural Studies colloquium series in Spring 2022, second-year PhD student Carl Leak interviews Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at George Mason University., Dr. Amaka Okechukwu. Dr. Okechukwu’s research agenda concerns the intersection of collective action and racial justice, as well as urban spatial politics. In this interview, Dr. Okechukwu talks about her work surrounding the historiography of Freddy "Fab Five Freddy" Brathwaite, an American visual artist, filmmaker, and hip hop pioneer, and what tracing his genealogy reveals about Black urban life in the twentieth century. 

    • 32 min
    Episode 9: Faculty Spotlight w/ Dr. Hatim El-Hibri

    Episode 9: Faculty Spotlight w/ Dr. Hatim El-Hibri

    In another Faculty Spotlight on Second Nature, we speak with Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies, Hatim El-Hibri, about his 2021 book, Visions of Beirut: The Urban Life of Media Infrastructure. In this interview, Dr. El-Hibri discusses the themes of his book, his research process, the idea of concealment and how it relates to visual culture and politics, and what he hopes his book inspires other scholars to investigate within their own fields. 

    • 30 min
    Episode 8: Spring 2022 Colloquium Series w/ Dr. Julietta Singh

    Episode 8: Spring 2022 Colloquium Series w/ Dr. Julietta Singh

    As part of GMU's Cultural Studies colloquium series in Spring 2022, first-year PhD student Aparna Shastri interviews Associate Professor of English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Dr. Julietta Singh. Her first academic book, Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements has emerged as a vital theoretical touchstone for global scholars and artists grappling with the politics of mastery that drive our professional, political, and personal pursuits. Her second book, No Archive Will Restore You turns theory into creative praxis through an experimental meditation on the body as a plural and porous archive. In her newest work, The Breaks, Dr. Singh pens a long letter to her young daughter about race, inheritance, and queer mothering at the end of the world. In this interview, Dr. Singh talks about her work and its important contextualization in decolonial studies. 

    • 29 min
    Episode 7: Faculty Spotlight w/ Dr. Paul Smith

    Episode 7: Faculty Spotlight w/ Dr. Paul Smith

    In the first of our Faculty Spotlights on Second Nature, we speak with Cultural Studies Professor Paul Smith about his upcoming book on vaccines. He is the author of Pound Revised, Discerning the Subject, Clint Eastwood: A Cultural Production, Millennial Dreams: Culture and Capital in the North, and Primitive America: The Ideology of Capitalist Democracy. In this interview, we discuss Dr. Smith's unique approach to the discussion of vaccines across society and popular culture, particularly through a cultural studies lens. 

    • 18 min

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