In this episode, Danny is joined by Dr. Angelo Letizia to discuss the usefulness of Batman's mythology for teaching civics in American classrooms. Letizia advocates for creative approaches to teaching civics and one of his assignments is having students adapt an image from Batman's oeuvre to a current political event or controversy. At stake in Letizia's approach is an ideological question of whether civic education should be a) about making responsible citizens, b) empowering citizens to participate, or c) created justice-oriented citizens. Comics, for Letizia, becomes a great medium to tap into this justice-centered goal, and Batman provides plenty of fertile soil for the political imagination.
Angelo Letizia on Twitter (Academic Comics)
Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class, Christopher Newfield
"Cultural Acupuncture:" Fan Activism and the Harry Potter Alliance, Henry Jenkins
Popular Culture is obsessed with apocalypse. Avengers: Endgame is the most recent pop drama that explores variations on eschatology, but it is by no means unique in doing so. Joining the show today to discuss this theological concern in pop culture is Joshua Wise, scholar, writer, and podcaster who has two books coming out that explore this very subject: No Avatars Allowed, and Eschatology and Pop Culture. Danny and Josh discuss such topics as Mad Max, the Fallout video game, Zombie Films, Kingdom Come, and much more.
No Avatars Allowed pre-order page
No Avatars Allowed podcast
Theology and Pop Culture Series (Eschatology and Pop Culture forthcoming)
All Ports Open Network
Joshua Wise on Twitter
Based on box office figures, everyone has seen Endgame by now. As required by law, every podcast must have an episode about it. Here is the Sectarian Review take. Our in-house pop culture theologians join the show to discuss the finale to the Infinity Saga. Nathan Gilmour of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Matthew Brake of Pop Culture and Theology help Danny discuss: how the the film completes its character arcs; theological analyses of the film's employment of sacrifice; and how the film's treatment of time travel poses potential ethical quandaries going forward. All this and much much more.
In this very special episode, Danny Anderson interviews John Warner (of Inside Higher Ed's "Just Visiting" blog) about his important new books Why They Can't Write and The Writer's Practice. Why They Can't Write dissects the underlying causes of why so much writing instruction fails in the American system and it provides tested, practical solutions for doing better. The book is more than a how-to-teach guide, however. It diagnoses several important structural problems in American education, including standardized testing, the allure of educational fads, the abuses of technology-driven solutions, and cruel working conditions for teachers. Warner discusses this and a lot more in this interview, which anyone interested in education will want to listen to.
Why They Can't Write
The Writer's Practice
John Warner's work on Inside Higher Ed
As it prepares to enter its fourth season, here's a look at the hilarious and profound NBC comedy, The Good Place. The show, created by Michael Schur, follows four hapless souls who try to navigate the afterlife. Along the way, there are a lot of in depth philosophy classes, debating the merits of utilitarianism among many other things. And the show also explores the question of redemption as flawed characters learn to be better people, and even an demon (played brilliantly by Ted Danson) finds redemption in seeking the well-being of others. Joining the show to discuss is CHRN media liaison Kristen Filipic and Mount Aloysius College Theater professor Nathan Magee.