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Unseen Academicals: A Discworld and Terry Pratchett Podcast Cover
Unseen Academicals: A Discworld and Terry Pratchett Podcast Profile

Unseen Academicals: A Discworld and Terry Pratchett Podcast

English, Literature, 1 season, 51 episodes, 2 days, 22 hours, 21 minutes
About
A monthly examination of Terry Pratchett's Discworld book series from an academic perspective, hosted by literature scholars Joshua Bulleid and Alice Capstick. Episode Transcripts and Bibliographies: https://monash.academia.edu/JoshuaBulleid/Podcasts  Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/doctorprometheuspod  Contact: [email protected]  A Doctor Prometheus podcast. 
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15A - Small Gods, Part 1: Consider the Tortoise

The first episode on Terry Pratchett's thirteenth (and best) Discworld novel Small Gods (1992), looking at religious and folkloric depictions of tortoises, the idea that gods need belief to survive as a trope of fantasy literature through influential works like those of Fritz Leiber and the Epic of Gilgamesh, as well as the early Dungeons and Dragons handbooks, the use of explicitly religious language in fantasy, comparisons to Philip Pulman's His Dark Materials series and, finally, an examination of religious animal ethics.
5/26/20242 hours, 17 minutes, 5 seconds
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14C – Pyramids, Part 2b: Egyptian Representations

The third and final episode tangentially related to Terry Pratchett's 1989 Discworld novel Pyramids, providing a crash course in Egyptian fantasy and science fiction—as in written by Egyptians, rather than simply about them. We go all the way back to the beginning, talking about traditional fantasy precursors and the origins of the modern Egyptian science fiction tradition, talking about its development throughout the later part of the twentieth century and providing some (overly) close analysis of Mustafā Mahmūd's The Spider (1965) and Nihād Sharīf's The Conqueror of Time (1972), before jumping forward to the allegedly more "authentic" post-2011 Egyptian Revolution era and the currently available English translations by Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, Mohammad Rabie and Ahmed Naji, among others. Contact: [email protected]
4/4/20241 hour, 45 minutes, 26 seconds
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14B – Pyramids, Part 2a: Mummy Madness

Tangential mini(ish) episode, inspired by Pyramids (1989), examining mummy fiction and Western representations of Egypt from their nineteenth-century literary origins through twentieth-century film renditions and ultimate assimilation by stupid sexy vampires.
3/7/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 52 seconds
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14A – Pyramids, Part 1: Progress and Prejudice

We push the pop-filter to the limit this week, ptalking about Pterry Pratchett's seventh, unaffiliated, Discworld novel, Pyramids (1989), discussing the novel's critical reception along with its portrayals of plumbing, progress, pupils, personal identity, pyramids and polders, among other pthings.
2/17/20241 hour, 25 minutes, 42 seconds
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Worst Books in 2023

Josh counts down the worst books he read for the first time in 2023.
1/11/202446 minutes, 13 seconds
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Best Books in 2023

Josh counts down the best books he read for the first time in 2023.
1/11/20241 hour, 3 minutes, 48 seconds
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Best Albums of 2023

Josh, Eden and Karlo from Heavy Blog is Heavy count down their favourite albums of 2023.
1/11/20242 hours, 23 minutes, 25 seconds
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13C – Good Omens, Part 3: Faithful Adaptations

A somewhat off-the-cuff conclusion to our Good Omens coverage, loosely discussing canonicity, adaptation theory and adaptations themselves, including the 2014 BBC radio adaptation and 2019 adaptation of Good Omens, along with its recent second season continuation.
1/2/20241 hour, 45 minutes, 34 seconds
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13B – Good Omens, Part 2: Apocalyptic Revelations

Apologies for the delay, I would have recorded a shorter podcast, but I didn't have time... The second episode about Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's 1990 novel Good Omens, wherein Josh spends a lot of time talking about academic definitions of things like the apocalypse, apocalyptic literature, post-apocalyptic literature, anti-apocalyptic literature, catastrophe, eucatastrophe, fantasy, science fiction, utopia, eutopia, dystopia, anti-utopia and what things like comedy and free will have to do with it all. Contact: [email protected] Read my book/order it into your library: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-38347-2
12/13/20233 hours, 9 minutes, 18 seconds
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Arthur C. Clarke and Vegetarian Space Exploration

Josh reads a section about Arthur C. Clarke from his book Vegetarianism and Science Fiction: A History of Utopian Animal Ethics, which is finally out as part of Palgrave Macmillan's Animals and Literature Series. Topics covered include: alternative/synthetic meats, space exploration, environmentalism, Buddhism, the Space Odyssey Series, evolutionary theories and the Hunting Hypothesis.
11/2/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 41 seconds
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13A – Good Omens, Part 1: Antichrist Phenomenon

The first episode on Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's 1990 novel Good Omens, looking at its creation and reception, along with its portrayal of previously examined Pratchett staples, including Death, time and naming, as well the William Brown stories that inspired it and where it fits in among literary and cultural depictions of the antichrist.
9/17/20232 hours, 23 minutes, 37 seconds
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VV4 – Interview with the Vampre, Series 1

"Vegetarian Vampire" expert Sophie Dungan joins Josh to talk about the first season of AMC's Interview with the Vampire television series from 2022. Sophie's book: ⁠Reading the Vegetarian Vampire (2022)⁠
7/26/20231 hour, 48 minutes, 46 seconds
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VV3 – Vegetarian Vampires After Discworld

"Vegetarian Vampire" expert Sophie Dungan joins Josh to talk about the development of human-blood-abstinent vampires in literature and other media from the year 2000 to the present day. Sophie's book: ⁠Reading the Vegetarian Vampire (2022)⁠
7/26/20231 hour, 54 minutes, 16 seconds
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VV2 – Vegetarian Vampires in Discworld

"Vegetarian Vampire" expert Sophie Dungan joins Josh to talk about the development of human-blood-abstinent vampires in the Discworld series. Sophie's book: ⁠Reading the Vegetarian Vampire (2022)⁠
7/26/20232 hours, 2 minutes, 22 seconds
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VV1 – Vegetarian Vampires Before Discworld

"Vegetarian Vampire" expert Sophie Dungan joins Josh to talk about the development of human-blood-abstinent vampires in literature and other media from the early-1900s to the early-1990s. Sophie's book: Reading the Vegetarian Vampire (2022)
7/26/20232 hours, 15 minutes, 25 seconds
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I Still Ate'nt Dead!

TL;DL: I'm officially shutting down the Patron page at the end of the month. All bonus content and future episodes will be moved over/put out on the public feed, beginning with the bonus vegetarian vampires episodes and then moving onto Good Omens in about a month or so, or whenever it's ready.
7/23/202313 minutes, 10 seconds
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12C – Thief of Time, Part 3: About Time

The long-awaited final episode on Thief of Time (2001), discussing Aristotle's conception(s) of humanity, religious and scientific conceptions of time, identity theory, the history of time-keeping, notions of historical and technological progress, their implications for science fiction and utopian literature, human sense-making, the "End of History", 9/11, The Book of Revelation, Susan’s character development and existential despair.
7/2/20231 hour, 30 minutes, 37 seconds
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12B - Thief of Time, Part 2: Literary Links

An impromptu, stop-gap episode discussing some literary connection to Thief of Time, including works by Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, C. S. Lewis, Michael Moorcock and Ursula K. Le Guin. Contat: [email protected]
6/24/202344 minutes, 39 seconds
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⁠12A – Thief of Time, Part 1: What's in a Name?⁠

The first of two episodes on Thief of Time (2001), exploring Susan's character development and statistical showings, as well as the role of naming in determining the characters of Lady LeJean, Lu-Tze, Ronnie Soak and Jeremy Clockson and Lobsang Ludd, and far too much about Pratchett's awards history.* *No bonus points for pointing out which sections were recorded in a COVID haze or the one I recorded without my microphone actually being plugged in. I am well aware!
4/19/20231 hour, 55 minutes, 19 seconds
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Thief of Time, Part 1 (Preview)

Preview for the first episode on Thief of Time (2001).
4/10/202333 minutes, 9 seconds
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The Amazing Maurice (film review)

Josh gives his thoughts on the new animated film adaptation of The Amazing Maurice (2022/23).
2/5/202330 minutes, 52 seconds
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Worst Books in 2022

Live from Josh's bathtub, it's a countdown of the worst books he read for the first time in 2022! Access the (much better sounding) Best Books episode at: patreon.com/unseenacademicals Contact: [email protected]
1/2/202354 minutes, 22 seconds
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Best Books in 2022

Josh is back on dry land, counting down the best books he read in 2022.
1/2/202354 minutes, 30 seconds
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11B – Hogfather, Part 2: Happy Hogswatch!

Josh is back to talk some more about Hogfather (1996) and its connections to Christmas traditions, covering the history of the Tooth Fairy and Hogswatch, the relationship between Father Christmas and Father Time, and the relationship between Christmas and the modern fantasy tradition, paying particular attention to works by Charles Dickens, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, as well as films like The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Miracle on 34th Street (1947).
12/24/20221 hour, 37 minutes, 59 seconds
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11A – Hogfather, Part 1: The Power of Belief

Dr Nadav Prawer joins Josh for the first part on 1996's Hogfather, examining Susan's character development, her contrasts to Teatime, the nature of justice, the power of belief, falling angels, rising apes, Kierkegaardian existentialism, lies to children and the possible psychological (and legal!) ramifications of believing in the tooth fairy.* *All jingling bell sounds in the background are indicative of cats, not the encroachment of any Verruca Gnomes. I hope...  Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
12/11/20221 hour, 49 minutes, 14 seconds
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10C – Soul Music, Part 3: Simply Susan

Part three of our exploration of Soul Music (1994), examining Susan's side of the story and her engagement with heroic palimpsests, heroes' journeys, the "Sensible Susan" archetype, orphans, inheritance, education, Romanticism, quantum literature and more! Contact: [email protected]  Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals 
11/7/20221 hour, 30 minutes, 40 seconds
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A Life With Footnotes, by Rob Wilkins

Josh shares some initial thoughts about Rob Wilkins' official biography, Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes (2022). Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
10/18/202222 minutes, 46 seconds
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Chronicles of Narnia Countdown

Josh ranks C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia Books from worst to least terrible.
9/27/202225 minutes, 34 seconds
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10A – Soul Music, Part 1: Magical Music

Heavy Blog is Heavy Editor in Chief, Eden Kupermitz joins Josh to talk about 1994's Soul Music, focusing on the book's engagement with the literary tradition of "magical music" and how it is foundational to the fantasy genre (and perhaps even the universe itself!) through its depiction in the myths of Orpheus, Genesis, H. P. Lovecraft, J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, among others, as well as music's unmediated connection with spirituality and memory.*  *May also contain copious amounts of Whitesnake.  Follow Eden and Josh's music writing at heavyblogisheavy.com  Eden's other literature podcasts: Death // Sentence Anarchy SF   Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
8/21/20221 hour, 40 minutes, 25 seconds
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Wotcher' Been Readin? August, 2022

Wotcher' Been Readin? August, 2022
8/1/20227 minutes, 58 seconds
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Heavy Blog Review Pod

May 2022 – Review Are We Headliners: Ibaraki, Kendrick Lamar, Cave In. Special Guests: Evergrey, SepticFlesh, Moon Tooth, Tómarúm, Malevolence. Supports: Def Leppard, Puppy, Katharos, Entgeist, Unprocessed, Hollow Front, Morgue Supplier. Uncool People: Mark Tremonti and Udo Dirkschneider sing Sinatra. Cool People: Blut Aus Nord, Ufomammut, Arcade Fire. Subscribe to Podcast: https://feeds.sounder.fm/20336/rss.xml  Further reading: heavyblogisheavy.com
7/23/20221 hour, 48 minutes, 18 seconds
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9B – Reaper Man - Part 2

Part two on Reaper Man (1991), exploring prologues, disability studies, "vegetarian" vampires, bereavement, Alzheimer's, euthanasia/assisted dying and more! Listener Liz's essay that inspired this episode: https://somelizthoughtsondiscworld.blogspot.com/2022/06/reaper-man-death-or-death.html Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
7/6/20221 hour, 31 minutes, 29 seconds
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9A – Reaper Man - Part 1

The first of two episodes on 1991's Reaper Man, exploring further representations of Death, dances Macabre and Morris, existentialism, pastoral romanticism and animal ethics. Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
6/13/20221 hour, 38 minutes, 23 seconds
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8 – Mort

We kick off our examination of the Death series with 1987's Mort, exploring evolving representations of Death, fantastical and comedic bildungsromen, Dickensian parody and subverted heroes' journeys. Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
5/7/20222 hours, 10 minutes, 20 seconds
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Wotcher' Been Readin? May, 2022

Wotcher' Been Readin? May, 2022
5/1/202218 minutes, 36 seconds
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Wotcher' Been Readin? April, 2022

Another episode of our bonus pre-show Wotcher' Been Reading? wherein we discuss: The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk The Mortal Instruments seriesby Cassandra Clare The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman And then an extended bonus section about all the crazy shit that happens in Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
4/25/202225 minutes, 24 seconds
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We Ate'nt Dead!

A quick update about the podcast schedule. Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
4/3/20225 minutes, 20 seconds
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7B – Carpe Jugulum - Part 2

Our long-awaited second episode on Carpe Jugulum, covering the literary development of the vampire from the early-nineteenth century through to the publication of Carpe Jugulum almost two hundred years later in 1998 and beyond! We discuss Lord Byron (a lot) and his influence on the early vampire characterisation and his influence on other nineteenth-century vampire texts, including the unjustly overlooked Varney the Vampire as well as the more influential Carmilla and Dracula. (After moving house and catching COVID,) we then turn to the twentieth-century, discussing early cinematic iterations on Dracula and the shift toward sympathetic and overly Byronic representations via TV series like Dark Shadows and books like Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, ending up in the 1990s and the wild experimentation that was going on around Pratchett when he wrote his final Witches book. Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
2/20/20222 hours, 20 minutes, 40 seconds
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Wotcher' Been Readin? January, 2022

Preview episdoe for our Patreon bonus show Wotcher' Been Reading? where Alice and I discuss the non-Discworld things we've been reading recently. Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
2/12/20226 minutes, 56 seconds
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7A – Carpe Jugulum - Part 1

Episode 7A of Unseen Academicals, discussing Carpe Jugulum and exploring Pratchett's subversion of the triple goddess, magpie rhymes, Gothic landscapes, modernisation, notions of progress, "quilted" signifiers and more! Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
11/20/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 31 seconds
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Of the Devil's Party – Manfred, by Lord Byron

Did you know Alice does another podcast called Of the Devil's Party, where they and their friend Rowan do a deep dive into dark hero archetypes?  It's really good. You should listen to it! ...It also might help explain what all this "Byronic" stuff we keep talking about is. On this bonus/preview episode Alice and Rowan begin their discussion of Gothic villains by examining Byron’s 1817 closet drama Manfred and its debt to the Gothic tradition. The pair discuss Byron’s life, work,  and experimentation with dark hero archetypes, and whether there is  actually such as thing as a Byronic Hero. They consider the way Byron  experiments with Dark Heroism by combining existing heroic archetypes  and traditions such as The Wandering Jew, the Child of Nature, The Hero  of Sensibility, Prometheus, Satan, the Gothic Villain and Faustus. Subscribe to Of the Devil's Party: https://ofthedevilsparty.sounder.fm/ Support Unseen Academicals on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/doctorprometheuspod Contact: [email protected] A Doctor Prometheus podcast.
10/24/202133 minutes, 44 seconds
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6 – Maskerade

We discuss Maskerade, exploring the origins triple goddess, the many guises of The Phantom of the Opera,distinctions between high and low culture, the gentrification of opera, masks, physical appearances, the archetype of the Gothic Villain and its theatrical transformation into a Romantic Hero of Sensibility and more! Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
10/9/20212 hours, 23 minutes, 58 seconds
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A Midsummer Night's Dream by Neil Gaiman (Preview)

Preview for our first ever bonus episode of Unseen Academicals, covering issue 19 of Neil Gaiman's comic series The Sandman: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1991). We compare Gaiman's treatment of Shakespeare's titular play to that of Pratchett's Lords and Ladies (1992), while examining the history of Shakespeare in comics and fairy illustration, the Faerie connections to the underworld, Faustian bargains, the history of Puck and his "reverse Pandora," Tolkien's opinions on fantasy and drama, as well as the origins of drag and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and more! Unock the full episode at: https://www.patreon.com/doctorprometheuspod  Episode Transcripts and Bibliographies: https://monash.academia.edu/JoshuaBulleid/Podcasts   Contact: [email protected]   Alice's other podcast, Of the Devil's Party: https://ofthedevilsparty.sounder.fm/ A Doctor Prometheus podcast. 
9/11/202131 minutes, 13 seconds
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5B – Lords and Ladies - Part 2

Our second part on Lords and Ladies, exploring evolving literary and cultural representations of elves and fairies through the works of William Shakespeare, J. R. R. Tolkien, T. H. White, Lord Dunsany, Rudyard Kipling and more! Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
8/28/20211 hour, 28 minutes, 42 seconds
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5A – Lords and Ladies - Part 1

The first of two episodes on Lords and Ladies (1992), covering quantum continuities, simulacra warrior queens, performative dressing, glamour, the ethics of borrowing, vegetarianism, pagan landmarks, horny gods and more! Contact: [email protected] Support: patreon.com/unseenacademicals
7/31/20211 hour, 26 minutes, 39 seconds
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4C – Witches Abroad - Part 3

We wrap up our extended coverage of witches abroad with an examination of mirrors in feminist literature and fairytale revisions, the origins of Lilith, the history of farts, Granny's cultural chauvinism, Mrs Gogol, carnival and the power of parody in combating postmodern pastiche.
7/3/20211 hour, 29 minutes, 35 seconds
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4B – Witches Abroad - Part 2

The Oggisms continue as we explore the cultural impact and implications of fairy tales featured in the Genua section of Witches Abroad, including Cinderella, Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Rumpelstiltskin and Disney itself. We also figure out what simulacras are all about and whether Nala stands a chance in a Disney Princess Deathbattle.
6/12/20211 hour, 26 minutes, 51 seconds
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4A – Witches Abroad - Part 1

Episode 4A of Unseen Academicals, discussing the third book in the Witches Series, Witches Abroad (1991), and using it to explore the characterisation of Magrat and her tension with Granny Weatherwax, crises of identity, homoerotic familiars, fairy godmothers, how fairytales shape culture, way too much about Sleeping Beuaty and The Wizard of Oz, a bit of Shrek, and, uh... dildos. Lot's of dildos. Nanny Ogg would be proud (we hope!). The sound on this one is actually pretty good! There's an intermittent thumping sound that shows up now and then, I've done my best to minimise it and I've found speeding up the podcast to 1.2x or 1.5x speed smooths it out a lot. Support at patreon.com/doctorprometheuspod
5/29/20211 hour, 48 minutes, 55 seconds
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3 – Wyrd Sisters

Episode 3 of Unseen Academicals, examining the second book in the Witches Series, Wyrd Sisters (1988), and using it to explore theories of humour, the power of words, Shakespeare, the history of Macbeth, evolving depictions of witches, broomsticks, Black Aliss, vegetarian ghosts, and more!
5/1/20211 hour, 47 minutes, 5 seconds
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2 – Equal Rites

Episode 2 of Unseen Academicals, discussing the first book in the Witches Series, Equal Rites (1986) and using it to explore definitions and history of magic, magical gender roles, education, the power of words, Ursula K. le Guin's Earthsea series, female wizards, male witches, seventh sons of seventh sons, H. P. Lovecraft, parallel worlds and more!
4/4/20211 hour, 41 minutes, 29 seconds
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1 – Unseen Academicals

Episode 1 of Unseen Academicals, discussing our titular Discworld novel, Unseen Academicals (2009), and using it to discuss Terry Pratchett's critical and academic reception, football/soccer, Academics, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Eddie McGuire, fashion, gender expression, RuPaul's Drag Race, the racial implications of orcs and their origins in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons, creation, corruption and definitely not psychoanalysis!
4/4/20212 hours, 11 minutes, 4 seconds