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Where Game of Thrones Began

Larissa Tracy (Longwood University)

As the premiere of Game of Thrones approaches, we trace the medieval roots of the hit TV show, discussing the influence of Tolkien and medieval literature. Our guest makes predictions about what’s to come in Westeros and Essos.

12 mins

Shakespeare in Bollywood

Imtiaz Habib (Old Dominion University) and Maya Mathur (University of Mary Washington)

Can a play written more than 400 years ago have something to say about Muslim-Americans? Some Shakespeare experts think so. In advance of Old Dominion University’s Shakespeare 400 Years After event, we explore what Shakespeare’s plays can reveal about life today.

5 mins

The Trickster

Gretchen Martin (UVA-Wise)

It’s hard to find a nuanced black character written by 19th century white authors. But our guest says she’s found trickster characters (think Br’er Rabbit) in some 19th century classics.

11 mins

Brow Anxiety

Brooks Hefner (James Madison University)

During the 1910s and 1920s, the question of whether one was “highbrow” or “lowbrow” became a concern in the minds of modernist Americans. Our guest says this “brow anxiety” dominated the career of Willard Huntington Wright, who fancied himself an intellectual aristocrat while secretly writing a series of wildly popular detective stories under the pseudonym S.S. Van Dine.

13 mins

Ghostwriting the Hardy Boys

Christopher McGee (Longwood University)

When our guest first discovered the Hardy Boys books as a child, he had no idea the author, Franklin W. Dixon, was fictitious and that the books were written by ghostwriters. McGee, who now teaches children’s mystery, tells the story of this popular series’ creation and changes through the years.

11 mins

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