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The Road to Now

In 2006, Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) & Dr. Benjamin Sawyer (MTSU History) sat down to talk history in a Detroit coffee shop. Their discussion lasted a couple hours, but the conversation kept going. Join them as they trace the road between past and present with the help of great thinkers from the academy, the media, politics, entertainment and more.
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Now displaying: April, 2020
Apr 27, 2020

The Kinks are one of the great rock bands of the 20th century, and like all artists, they reflect the times and places they’ve inhabited. In this episode, we speak with Mark Doyle about his excellent new book The Kinks: Songs of the Semi-Detached (Reaktion Books, 2020) and how the band, their origins, and Ray Davies’ lyrics can teach us a lot about both the real and imagined spaces of mid-20th Century England.

Dr. Mark Doyle is Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University, where he specializes in the history of the British Empire. His research and teaching have won him numerous awards including the Stansky Book Prize (co-winner, 2017) and MTSU’s Outstanding Teacher Award (2014-15). Ben once described him as “the Patton Oswalt of academic twitter,” so we recommend you follow him there at @DrMarkDoyle.  

The Road to Now is part of the Osiris Podcast Network. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Apr 20, 2020

This is a rebroadcast of an episode that originally aired on March 20, 2017

Note: Given that we are relying more than ever on technology to communicate and work during this epidemic, we thought it was a good time to share our interview w/ Nicholas Carr.

The internet has revolutionized the human experience in the 21st century. Our ability to communicate with others, find locations in unfamiliar places, and access information from across the globe has never been easier, and new media like blogs and podcasts have connected voices with audiences in ways that were not possible just a few decades ago. Yet, despite all these incredible benefits, many of us are beginning to sense that all this connectivity is affecting the way we think and interact with one another. How is the internet affecting our brains, and should we be concerned about it? How is the internet different from other media technologies such as print, radio and television? And is google making us stupid? In this episode of the Road to Now, we get the answer from New York Times Best Selling Author Nicholas Carr.

A special thank you to Middle Tennessee State University and Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk for arranging this interview as part of MTSU's Scholars' Week Talk. 

For more on this or other episodes of The Road to Now, please visit our website: www.TheRoadToNow.com.

This episode of the Road to Now is a re-air of episode #149 The History of Technology w/ Nicholas Carr. You can get the other episodes in our history of energy series by supporting us on Patreon.

Apr 13, 2020

As people try to make sense of the Coronavirus epidemic, some have unfortunately turned to conspiracy theories linking Covid-19 to the installation of 5G networks. In this episode, Bob and Ben speak with Stacy Wood about her research on conspiracy theories, the past conspiracy theories that have converged in the 5G theory, and the reasons some people are willing to accept these explanations of the world in spite of strong evidence to the contrary.

 

Dr. Stacy Wood is Assistant Professor at the School of Computing and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a critical scholar of archives, information policy and information studies who engages with the legal and cultural aspects of records and technology. You can find out more about her at her personal website, StacyEWood.com and follow her on twitter at @StacyEWood. You can also hear Stacy in RTN episodes #12 and #146.

The Road to Now is part of the Osiris Podcast Network. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Apr 6, 2020

When we think of epidemics, we often imagine the central struggle as between microbe and epidemiologist. But as the coronavirus outbreak has reminded us, our individual actions can compound in ways that have a very real implications for any epidemic. The narrative we adopt to understand these events- ie the story we tell ourselves about who is responsible, who can save us, and what power we have in that struggle- shapes our decisions, and therefore shapes the outcome of these tragic moments. In this episode we speak with Dr. Priscilla Wald about her research on what she calls the “outbreak narrative” and how understanding it might help us respond better in the present.

Dr. Priscilla Wald is R. Florence Brinkley Distinguished Professor of English at Duke University and the author of Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative, (Duke University Press, 2008).

The Road to Now is part of the Osiris Podcast Network. This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

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