podcast

Ep. 17: Freud’s On Transience

Jeff, Lise, and Brian discuss Freud’s On Transience, in which Freud ruminates on the transitory nature life and beautiful things in life. The piece prompts a conversation about a variety of topics Freud raises, from death to libido to war.

Ep. 16: Interview with Anne Kniggendorf

Brian interviews St. John’s College alum and U.S. Navy veteran Anne Kniggendorf. They have an engaging discussion about the relationship between liberal arts and the military.

Check out Anne’s website (https://annekniggendorf.com/) and Anne’s article, mentioned in the pod (https://electricliterature.com/gracie-allen-and-john-denver-in-boot-camp-c45ee066e561).

Ep. 15: Shelley’s Frankenstein

“I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created.”

Why did Victor Frankenstein create his monster? What role did beauty, love, science, and education play in his endeavor? Join Lise, Brian, and Jeff in a discussion of this classic, widely known novel.

As a follow up, listen to Jeff’s lecture on the book here (http://digitalarchives.sjc.edu/items/show/3733)

Ep. 14: Chekhov’s “Rothschild’s Violin”

How should human life be valued? Is death something to suffer, or something that provides relief? Jeff, Lise and Brian discuss these questions and more in examining Anton Chekhov’s short story “Rothschild’s Violin” or “Rothschild’s Fiddle.”

Ep. 13: Plato’s Phaedo

Should we fear death? Jeff, Lise, and Brian discuss Plato’s Phaedo, in which Socrates is joined by his friends to discuss that and other questions while awaiting the time for Socrates’ execution later the same day.

Ep. 12: Sophocles’ Philoktetes

What role do lying and deception play in achieving strategic objectives? Jeff, Lise and Brian discuss that and other questions as raised by Sophocles in Philoktetes, in which a soldier (Philoktetes) is recovered from an island where he was left after being wounded. His significance arises from his possession is the famed bow of Heracles, which the characters Odysseus and Neoptolemus believe is necessary to win the Trojan war.

Ep. 11: Rousseau’s “First Discourse on the Arts and Sciences”

Jeff, Lise, and Brian are joined by the distinguished Dylan Casey and Wes Alwan for this crossover episode with the Partially Examined Life. They discuss the First Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, in which Rousseau argues that the arts and sciences tend to lead to “moral corruption”. What is “moral corruption”? What does it mean for a human being to be “whole”? How can a society be structured to allow individual humans to achieve wholeness? What role do the arts and sciences play in that endeavor? Join the group for a lively discussion of those questions and more!

Ep. 10: Anton Chekhov’s “The Student”

In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss “The Student,” a (very) short story by Anton Chekhov. The central character is Ivan, a student, or disciple, whose depression is transformed into elation during the course of his conversation with a peasant mother and daughter about the suffering of Peter as he realizes his betrayal of Jesus.

Ep. 9: Joseph Conrad’s “Typhoon”

Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss another work by Joseph Conrad, a rip-roaring, seafaring tale! In his novella Typhoon, Conrad tells the story of Captain McWhirr, his crew, and his ship’s brawling passengers as they sail through a typhoon. The work raises questions about leadership in the face of human conflict and natural disasters.

Ep. 8: Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Sharer”

In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss Joseph Conrad’s short story “The Secret Sharer,” which features a psychological drama between an young, unnamed captain who is uncertain of his ability to lead his ship and a mysterious man named Leggatt who swims up to the side of the ship, naked and adrift.