Listen to me babble

19May09

Just a quick pointer to a podcast: I had the pleasure of recording a podcast with Tim Anderson for his series The Lion’s Share. The series is a great project, opening up the hood on media scholars’ processes of writing, teaching, and thinking about media. Tim & I talked about the impact of the economy on higher ed, my course on The Wire, and my research on TV narrative. I haven’t listened to it yet, in part due to time constraints and also just because listening to my own voice for an hour is a bit icky. But hopefully you, dear reader, will find it interesting and less icky.

There’s no transcript, but see the tags below for a preview of what content might be covered. And since a podcast doesn’t allow comments (yet), feel free to post responses, questions, accusations and the like in this thread. Enjoy!



One Response to “Listen to me babble”

  1. 1 Myles

    I don’t have any accusations, although I did really enjoy listening to it as I took a break from writing my thesis.

    I do, though, have some comments based on what I’m actually currently writing about: you note that it may be tough to look back and argue that sitcoms as generic (if engaging) as Everybody Loves Raymond has some sort of role as a cultural text (or something to that effect), and I can understand the reasoning. Generally speaking, it owes so much to the sitcoms which came before it, and hews so close to traditional family values, that outside of performances or writing there wasn’t anything inherent to the series which made it stand out as a text of note other than a “here’s another example of the influence of the sitcom on American culture.”

    However, I’m currently doing research on the role of the sitcom in regards to the depiction of the small town within Canadian television, and it’s amazing to see how a country that is more protectionist with its culture can take even the most pedestrian of sitcoms and turn them into cultural texts. We have infinitely less successful ones than the American market, which is part of why they stand out, but there is something fascinating about how the distillation of national identity into the most base of sitcom archetypes is actually the closest the country may come to an acceptable representation of national identity within popular culture.

    Really enjoyed the discussion overall, but there’s my one little comment. Other than that, I have to say I loved the story of the post-“Sergeant Carver” shock while teaching The Wire – it’s scenes like that which make me one of those annoying people who, when I know someone is watching the show, will be over their shoulders and hounding them regularly to see how they react to the series’ most powerful scenes.


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