The Podcast for Social Research

In episode 57 of the Podcast for Social Research, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Rebecca Ariel Porte, Danielle Drori, Mark DeLucas, Lauren K. Wolfe, and Michael Stevenson look back at their 2022 in cultural experiences, from high-brow to middle- to low-: visiting NYC landmarks (for the first time), the New York Philharmonic (and David Geffen Hall's questionable acoustics), the Upanishads, diary-keeping (and destroying), Sybille Bedford (vs. Henry James), Lucy Ives's Life is Everywhere, the Xenoblade Chronicles (an allegory for communism?), Pink Floyd, "low-powered" cultural objects, Station 11, Bernadette Mayer, Stockholm's Vasa Museum (a museum dedicated to failure), Chester the dog,  Annie Ernaux, and autofictionagain, and again, and again. 

Direct download: At_Years_End_with_the_Angel_of_History_2022_Year_in_Review.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16am EDT

In episode three of (Pop) Cultural Marxism, Ajay and Isi welcome fellow faculty and videogame connoisseur Joseph Earl Thomas to talk about Elden Ring, the acclaimed 2022 RPG videogame, directed and created by Hidetaka Miyazaki and Japan's FromSoftware studio (alongside some "worldbuilding" by Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin.) After a few preliminaries (a revisit to Andor and discussions of the recent Sight and Sound "best movies" poll, Pokemon, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 as communist allegory, and more), the talk turns to Elden Ring's "endless purgatorio," its "nihilistic" setting, its "open-world" structure (just how "open" are open worlds?), the meaning and limits of agency in videogame play, taking pleasure in difficulty, "affective difficulty," why videogame playing might be like dancing (with reference to BISR's late Jeffrey Escoffier), affect theory (and feeling bad about killing), gender, playing dress-up, and much more besides.

Direct download: PCM3_Elden_Ring.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:32pm EDT