Podcast Faves of 2017

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Okay, so firstly, I survived the holiday period and the rather painfully busy first week back to “normal life.”

Unfortunately between catching up on thesis writing, some babysitter cancelations, cucumbers that needed to be transplanted and my research job… I didn’t get a chance to write an essay style piece. But in place of my own thoughtful thoughts, I thought I would thoughtfully present you with some of the finest thinking thinkers I have encountered on the interwebs – namely, my favourite podcasters.

For those of you as yet unfamiliar with PodCasts, they are essentially radio shows that are available through iTunes and various other platforms. There are PodCasts on hundreds of topics and you can even make your own! The way I listen to Podcasts is through iTunes and you will find all of these by searching. I have also included the links here to the websites of the individual podcasts, where in some cases you can play them from there.

So these are my faves – according to category. I figure if you are reading this, there must be some shared tastes between us.

PARENTING AND HOMELIFE

So this one is easy. Exploring Unschooling with Pam Larichia. Not only does Pam have a lovely voice to listen to, but she brings a fascinating range of guests to discuss all things relating to Unschooling. If you are interested in natural parenting and generally fighting the man and you also happen to have a kid or two, this may be worth checking out.

I also like Cohesive Home which is this interesting discussion between two homeschooling moms about life, minimalism and priorities. They partially inspired me to start this blog.

HISTORY

History of the Crusades. TOO MUCH FUN. Okay, so I listened to this while my son was between the ages of maybe 8 and 10 months sliding around the floor while I basically listened to this and hoped my research proposal would write itself… I mean, worked on my research proposal. I have so many wonderful memories of that time. There were more than a hundred episodes in the original series dealing with the Crusades in the Middle East so the fact that they got snapped up in the course of two months should astound you. I would literally listen to this stuff all day as I nursed, cooked, carried the baby whilst imagining myself riding into battle brandishing a… wait… I mean, did I say that out loud? Spoiler alert, I literally cried when Saladin died. Sharyn Eastaugh the presenter does an amazing job presenting a mixture of sources and narration. It really gets addictive and has a great adventure story feel to it. The fact she has an Aussie accent is a bonus 🙂 She has since continued into a series on the Crusade against the Cathars in Europe and the Inquisition, which I found a little too depressing and gorey for my tastes. There was also a decided lack of Saladin.

LEFTY-ACADEMIC-STUFF

I enjoy listening to The Always Already Podcast mostly because they make a bunch of basically hilarious in-jokes that only someone working in the very narrow field of critical theory would get – for example, their “phallic” microphone is called Lacan. I like keeping up to date with the way the presenters discuss issues, it helps me keep my English academic lexicon robust, even as I spend most of my time on my current campus speaking a mishmash of Hebrew and Hebrew-ified English. They talk about current books from their various perspectives, which range from curious, interesting to downright insightful.

TORAH/JEWISH/SPIRITUALITY

I am going to initially recommend the Women in Depth Podcast which discusses all kinds of interesting topics – like really all kinds, from why women stay in unhappy marriages, to birth trauma, to emotional neglect. The presentation is definitely touchy feely, which wont be everyone’s style, but I find the willingness to discuss such a broad range of issues from a woman’s perspective very interesting.

On Being with Krista Tippett tries to ask the big questions about the meaning of life and the universe in dialogue with a whole spectrum of religious leaders. This is one of the ones where I find myself composing my debate lines in my head while I listen. It’s been a while since I got into it, but it’s great for thoughtful, kinda heavy times where small talk just wont cut it. It also has the benefit of being super professional and well made. It listens like a real radio show.

My favourite Torah podcasts are found through Pardes and they have a whole range. They come from a wide variety of perspectives, Pardes institutionally, I believe is not affiliated with any one denomination, so not everything comes from an Orthodox perspective, but I find the insights and especially the Parsha commentary fun and suitably bite sized. I also find the “offensive statement to overall content” ratio of these shiurim extraordinarily low.

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