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More Recent Episodes

December 1, 2023


Detail from the cover of Parapraxis Magazine Issue 1

Thinking with Freud

Parapraxis is a new magazine that examines the psychic mechanisms of our social lives. This week, a conversation with its founding editor, Hannah Zeavin, about the magazine, gender panics, fears of discussing whiteness in a psychoanalytic context, and more.


November 24, 2023


Monique Verdin and Tracing Our Mississippi in Columbus, Indiana

Two Rivers, One Watershed

Indiana doesn’t touch the Mississippi River, but it’s still bound up with it. This week, we talk with Monique Verdin, Liz Brownlee, and others, about those connections.


November 17, 2023


Marabai Rose

Doubting Her Paralysis

When Marabai Rose was 38, a mysterious paralysis came over her. The challenges of getting diagnosed – and treated – in this episode, based on her book, Holding Hope.


November 10, 2023


Sycamore Leaves

Jack, Seigen, and a Federal Execution

Jack was studying vocal performance when he met Seigen at the local Zen center. They became good friends. They took walks, stopping to look at every tree. Then Seigen asked Jack to drive him to an execution.


November 3, 2023


Susan Neiman

The Left, The Enlightenment, and Being Woke

Philosopher Susan Neiman on why the left should be wary of wokeness, how Germany’s reckoning with its past has become more complicated, and why the differences between two European philosophers - Immanuel Kant and Michel Foucault – matter for politics today.


October 27, 2023


A display of 4 panels with photos of community remembrance projects

20th-Century Memory Work

Two stories about people using art to remember the past and, ideally, change something in the present.


October 20, 2023


Andrea Sterling emceeing the Bloomington Poetry Slam

The Teens Are Accomplished and Splendid. The Poets Bring the Slam.

A report from the Bloomington Poetry Slam, and a visit to the teen space at the local public library, where the teens are accomplished, splendid, and wise.

October 13, 2023


Welcome to Night Vale

Comedy and Conspiracy on Welcome to Night Vale…and Other Panics

Welcome to Night Vale co-creator Jeffrey Cranor on making of one of the most popular fiction podcasts ever. A group of high schoolers panic in France. And the guilty pleasure of a dating podcast for the rich and famous. Or rich, at least.

October 6, 2023


Hector Ortiz Sanchez at the Dillman Wastewater Treatment Plant

Hector Loves Water Treatment

Hector wants to run the best wastewater treatment plant in the country. He seems to be inspiring the people he works with in that direction, too. Then, whether we should feel guilty about guilty pleasures.

September 29, 2023


Micol Seigel

Family Policing with Micol Seigel

We think of the foster care system as being about care. Micol Seigel says within the system people do care for each other. But it’s primarily about policing.

September 22, 2023


Eric Deggans

NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans and Comedian Sara Schaefer Say What Needs to Be Said

Critic Eric Deggans says TV offers him a wide canvas for engaging with culture, and comedian Sara Schaefer decides Twitter isn’t the best place to address sexism in comedy. So she makes video sketches instead.

September 15, 2023


Ross Gay in a pink shirt

Ross Gay on the Transformation that Thinking Makes Happen

Ross Gay and I talk about his new book (more delights!), how writing a sentence helps us see how we change, and protecting the sanctity of one’s interiority.

September 8, 2023


Todd Burkhardt Mask Inside Outside

Vets Do Art

Todd Burkhardt is a veteran, and he’s started asking other veterans to do needle felting with him. And drawing. And making masks. This week, what happens when vets do art.

September 3, 2023


Cassette tape

Mixtape (fixed)

It’s a mixtape! Five songs (okay, stories), by five different producers. Three are about being behind the scenes. One’s about your dad retiring. And an investigation into love.

September 1, 2023


Cassette tape


It’s a mixtape! Five songs (okay, stories), by five different producers. Three are about being behind the scenes. One’s about your dad retiring. And an investigation into love.

August 25, 2023


Artist Honey Hodges

If My Hands Could Look Like Hers

First, a conversation with artist Honey Hodges about collages, immigrating to the U.S., and the opportunity to care for someone who has always taken care of you. Then, naturalist Jim Eagleman reminds us why we should go outside in the winter, and at night.

August 18, 2023


Inside the Bybee Stone Mill

Joyce Jeffries and the Cutters

Limestone work used to be quite dangerous. Joyce Jeffries remembers workers, including her grandfather, dying or getting injured. It’s gotten safer though. This week, Joyce, and others, on limestone.

August 11, 2023


Rita the cat relaxing in a spinal twist

Comedy Isn’t Therapy, Therapy Is. And the Missing Cat Story Concludes.

Comedian Mohanad Elshieky says stand-up comedy and therapy are not the same thing, but regardless, he really loves his cats. Then (speaking of cats) Chapter 4 of our missing cat story: Rita’s Village.

August 4, 2023


Author Tess Gunty

Why Set Your Novel in Indiana, then an Invitation to Exhume a Dead Cat

Tess Gunty about why she set her National Book Award winning novel in Indiana. Austin Davis reflects on houselessness in his poetry. And Chapter 3 of our missing cat saga.

July 28, 2023


EJ Masicampo

A Good Divorce, and a Kitten Comes Back as a Cat

Comedian EJ Masicampo on divorce and approaching comedy as a psychologist. Rebel girl poems from Rachel Ronquillo Gray. And chapter 2 of our missing cat story.

July 21, 2023


Mia Beach, Renae Lesser and Gabriel Piser

The Funny Times Keep Coming, and a Cat Disappears

Why does a print newspaper full of funnies still have tens of thousands of subscribers? When my friend lost her cat, why did so many strangers decide to help? This week: The Funny Times, and Chapter 1 of our lost cat saga.

July 14, 2023


Comic Books and Billboard Charts

Malcolm Mobutu Smith on comic books, collecting, and the exhibit he just put together based on that collection. Then, Bill Carroll uses the quantitative skills he developed as a chemist to analyze the billboard charts of the 1960s and 70s.

July 7, 2023


Puppets of Bart Everson and Christy Paxson

Oscar Wilde on trial, then two puppets get married

Two performances: the trials of Oscar Wilde on stage, and a puppet wedding. And more.

June 30, 2023


Ross Gay

Ross Gay on Joy and the Ends of the Earth

Ross Gay and I talk about his new book, Inciting Joy, about masculinity and grief, teaching and survival, and how joy and sorrow are completely, inevitably, intertwined.

June 23, 2023


Ross Gay

Don't Go Pro

Diana Hong practiced for 13 years to become a professional golfer. But at the last minute, she became a stand-up comedian instead. This week, stories about people who almost achieve their dreams, and then hook left.

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