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Play Are Graphic Novels... Novels?

In the past few decades, literature has expanded to not only mean the “novel” but “graphic novels” as well. Today we are gonna break down how the graphic novel went from the comic book store to the classroom.

Play The (Stephen) King of Horror

Few writers have had the sheer staying power, popularity, and prolific output as Stephen King. From insatiably flesh-hungry clowns and sentient cars to telekinetic teenagers and mystical gunslingers. But it’s not just his monsters that have lasting power—it’s also the very human and very psychological elements in his work that linger.

Play The Fiery History of Banned Books

When we talk about book bannings today, we are usually discussing a specific choice made by individual schools, school districts, and libraries made in response to the moralistic outrage of some group. This is still nothing in comparison to the ways books have been removed, censored, and destroyed in the past. Let's explore how the seemingly innocuous book has survived centuries of the ban hammer.

Play The It’s Lit! Musical Episode

Some say that theater is dead, and that’s probably because most playhouses the world over are closed at the moment owing to a worldwide pandemic. And yet the musical lives on… on Disney plus -- as the nation has been rapt with a filmed version of the Broadway smash hit, Hamilton. This had us come to the realization that a lot of the bread and butter of musical theater is built off of books!

Play War and Peace and Everything Else

According to Tolstoy himself, War and Peace was "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle." And in this day and age of publishing, where word count, “readability”, and topical relevance are the lifeline of getting a novel to print, we look at books like War & Peace as something of a relic.

Play The Constructed Languages of JRR Tolkien

Tolkien is widely regarded as the most influential author on the fantasy genre...period. A less-discussed aspect of Tolkien is the way he used constructed language. Nowadays authors are constantly making up words and languages for the worlds they build, but Tolkien was unique in that he constructed languages first, and then created worlds so his fictional languages would have somewhere to live.

Play The Byronic Hero: Isn’t it Byronic?

Edward Cullen. Han Solo. Killmonger. Lestat. What do all these characters have in common besides being heartthrobs? They share a common ancestor: the Byronic Hero. Brooding, sensual, violent, intelligent, and single-minded, the Byronic hero has been a staple in literature dating back to the 19th century, but the archetype is all over film, TV and even video games.

Play Why We Still Love Little Women, 150 Years Later

Before women were asking “Am I a Carrie or a Samantha?”, they were asking “Am I a Jo or an Amy?” Before there was Edward vs Jacob, there was Laurie vs Professor Bhaer. And over the more than 150 years since Little Women was originally published, there have been (deep breath) dozens of adaptations, feature films, television adaptations, plays, ballets, operas and at least two animes based on it.

Play How Fictional Pandemics Reflect the Real Thing

Although we are currently living through a pandemic that has disrupted our lives and will shape the course of humanity, pandemics have been around since the dawn of civilization, as have stories about fictional pandemics. So now seems like as good a time as any to explore how fictional pandemics have evolved over time, and what they say about their own time.

Play Afrofuturism: From Books to Blockbusters

With the success of Black Panther, the term Afro-Futurism got pushed into the mainstream. But what is Afro-Futurism and what is its place in Black storytelling? In this episode we give you the starter pack on answering that question.

Play The Case for Fan Fiction

For years writers of fan fiction were shamed, the butt of jokes, and even subject to copyright litigation. However, in the past few years, with the fan fiction writers of today becoming the published mainstream authors of today the past time is a celebrated benchmark of one’s climb to publication.

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