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Oklahoma Humanities

BrainBox

Oklahoma Humanities’ BrainBox podcast uses the humanities to discuss issues affecting American society and culture.

Join us as we interview some of Oklahoma’s most interesting and knowledgeable humanities scholars to explore how history, literature, ethics, philosophy, and other humanities fields inform our understanding of current events and the human experience.

Email comments, questions, and ideas for future episodes to brainbox@okhumanities.org

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Why Do We Have the Electoral College?

Why do we use this complicated 18th century invention to elect U.S. presidents? Where did the Electoral College come from, what problems and controversies has it caused, and what are its potential benefits for our election system? Our guests, Dr. Aaron Mason and Dr. Eric Schmaltz of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, discuss this hugely consequential quirk of our electoral system and how it has affected American democracy. 

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Using Philosophy in Everyday Life

How can philosophical and ethical concepts help us navigate the challenges of our current world? We speak with Dr. Guy Crain, a professor of philosophy at Rose State College, about ways of understanding and using philosophy in our everyday lives. Dr. Crain discusses his particular interest in the ethics of violence, and we discuss the deep importance of the humanities and the concept of "intellectual humility" in dealing with the anxieties and problems of life in 2020. Dr. Crain also recommends some excellent resources, including his own open sourcebook, for further exploration into the world of philosophy.

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Our homepage: okhumanities.org/brainbox

More information about this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep12

Let's chat. Share your thought about this topic here.

New Ways of Seeing the World: The Value of Fantasy Literature

“Fantasy literature makes you look at the world from a different perspective, it makes you look at humanity in a totally different light.”


We’re looking at the value and deeper meanings of fantasy literature in this episode, featuring Dr. Joshua Grasso of East Central University. We discuss why humans need fantasy, some common themes like exile and reluctant heroes, and key examples of cultural diversity seen in fantasy literature. Dr. Grasso also recommends some lesser known works of fantasy, and we talk about how to deal with the legacies of authors whose beliefs or personal lives can be troubling to 21st century readers. 

 

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Our homepage: okhumanities.org/brainbox

More Information about this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep11

Let's chat. Share your thought about this topic here.

From Lucy to Cersei: Portrayals of Women on Television

“When you have shows that are centered on women, you allow for stories that finally give a platform to issues that women have been trying to put a spotlight on for years, whether it’s health care or sexual harassment or equal pay. Television is a perfect platform.”  

We talk with Dr. Sunu Kodumthara, a professor of American History at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, about ways women have been portrayed on television and what those portrayals reveal about American society and culture. We discuss depictions of traditional #genderroles, programs that showed women in the workplace, representations of #womenofcolor, and finally some of the most significant female rebels on American television. For that last category, we are joined by Elizabeth Bass of the Oklahoma Historical Society for a free-flowing discussion of Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia – possibly the four most amazing (and golden) portrayals of women in the history of television. 

Facebook: @Ok.Humanities

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Our homepage: okhumanities.org/brainbox

 

More information on this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep10

Let's chat. Share your thought about this topic here.

The 1970s and American Memory

"Part of the story of the 1970s is the story of a decade that, at the time and for a couple of decades after, wasn't seen as being a very important decade. It is now seen as absolutely crucial." 
 
We talk with Dr. Ben Alpers, a Professor of American Intellectual and Cultural History at the University of Oklahoma Honors College, about the 1970s and some of its most interesting cultural touchstones. We discuss how 1970s movies like American Graffiti, hit TV shows like Happy Days and Roots, and musical movements like punk rock help us understand both that remarkable decade and our own life and culture in the 2020s.    
 
Facebook: @Ok.Humanities

Twitter: @Okhumanities

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Our homepage: okhumanities.org/brainbox

More information on this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep9

Let's chat. Share your thought about this topic here.

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