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All Things Grinnell discusses issues of political, social, cultural, and economic importance from the campus of Grinnell College. We talk with students, professors, staff, alumni, community members, and visiting speakers, and tell stories of Grinnell

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Podcast Episode's:
Grinnell Farewells
<p>On this episode, the season finale, we say goodbye to <strong>Mike Latham</strong>, outgoing vice president of academic affairs and dean of the College, and talk about his time here in Grinnell and the importance of global education, before he becomes the president of Punahou High School in Hawai’i. Then we get global ourselves and talk to the language assistants from this past year, <strong>Mélanie Izrael</strong>, <strong>Maria Kustova</strong>, and <strong>Carla Wagner</strong> from Argentina, Russia, and Germany. We’ll also hear from <strong>Ania Chamberlin ‘19</strong>, who put on quite the art exhibit in Smith Gallery before graduating this spring. To round out the show we recap this year’s Summerfest event at the College.</p>
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Amy Tan: Commencement 2019
<p>Amy Tan, bestselling author of <em>The Joy Luck Club </em>and many other novels, aspiring nature journalist, and musical dominatrix for the literary band The Rock Bottom Remainders, gave the 2019 Commencement address. She sat down to talk about the values she shares with Grinnell and how she found her own path to a meaningful career after a traumatic childhood. She discusses how writing has influenced her life and helped her to understand who she is and connect with her family, as well as millions of readers around the world.</p>
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It's Lit(erary)! Shakespeare, the Afterlife, and Reconciliation
<p>What happens after death? On this episode, we wrestle with that age-old question alongside Shakespeare and our very own <strong>John Garrison</strong>, associate professor of English. His recently published book, Shakespeare and the Afterlife, reckons with how the Bard grappled with some of the biggest questions of life and death during his time. Then, we turn to a seemingly more uplifting topic, reconciliation, with <strong>Jan Frans Van Dijkhuizen</strong>, associate professor of English literature at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Dijkhuizen, paints a bleak picture of the literary history of reconciliation, but his conclusions bear strongly on our present moment, especially the polarized political landscape that surrounds us. We also hear from our music correspondent, <strong>Gabriel Shubert ’20</strong>, who spoke with the drummer from Camp Cope, an Australian independent alternative punk band that performed in Grinnell on April 19.</p>
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Podcast Extra: S-Town with Gina Caison
<p>On this podcast extra, we talk with <strong>Gina Caison</strong>, assistant professor of English at Georgia State University, about the famous podcast, S-Town, from the producers of Serial and This American Life. We discuss the tropes of southern literature present in S-Town, the relative shitty-ness of Woodstock, Alabama, and the complexity of characters in the show. Is S-Town just a recycled Faulknerian tragedy, or something deeper and more revealing?</p>
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<p>We talk with scholars of Native studies about important issues facing Indigenous people throughout the United States, from the effect of oil booms on people and land to misrepresentation in literature. <strong>Sebastian Braun</strong>, director of the American Indian studies program at Iowa State University, discusses the Bakken oil boom and the impact it’s had on Native and non-Native people and the environment based on his time at the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. <strong>Gina Caison</strong>, assistant professor of English at Georgia State University, talks with Ben about the often overlooked role of indigenous people in the South and how focusing on that history impacts contemporary Native peoples. There’s also a short story on <strong>Noura Mint Seymali, </strong>the Mauritanian musical emissary who performed in Grinnell's Herrick Chapel on April 3.</p>
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Squirrel Flower
<p>We talk with <strong>Ella Williams ’18</strong>, who graduated from Grinnell in December with big plans for her music career. Since graduating, she went on tour in Europe with Adrianne Lenker, playing to sold out crowds all over the place as her musical persona, Squirrel Flower. By the time she got to Grinnell, Ella had already released her first album, but she chose not to study music academically at Grinnell. Williams continued to play music, though, and her songs show the influence of her time in Grinnell. On the show, Williams reflects on her music and time in Grinnell, which was coming to an end when we talked back in the fall. We also have a preview of Will Bennett and the Tells' new album, "All Your Favorite Songs." <strong>Bennett '13</strong> grew up in Grinnell and his music focuses heavily on his rural Iowa roots and navigating life since Grinnell.</p>
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Reckoning with the Faulconer Gallery
<p><span style="font-weight:400;">The history of racial violence in this country is long and ugly, and the trauma is ever-present for many people. But can art help us reckon with that history? On this episode, we talk to the people behind the current exhibitions on display at the College’s Faulconer Gallery. </span><span style="font-weight:400;">First, we discuss </span><em><span style="font-weight:400;">Reckoning with the Incident: John Wilson’s Studies for a Lynching Mural</span></em><span style="font-weight:400;">, which brings together the preparatory studies and sketches of John Wilson’s 1952 mural, </span><em><span style="font-weight:400;">The Incident</span></em><span style="font-weight:400;">, which depicts the scene of a racial terror lynching at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan while a young African-American family looks on. Then we take a look at </span><em><span style="font-weight:400;">Dread and Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World, </span></em><span style="font-weight:400;">curated by </span><strong>Emily Stamey ‘01</strong><span style="font-weight:400;">, who brought together the work of 19 artists whose work grapples with and reinvigorates early-modern European fairy tales. If you think you know fairy tales, think again. Finally, we end with a story about the alumni care packages sent to students before spring break. </span></p>
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Breaking the Fourth Wall: Neo-Futurism and Twelfth Night
<p>We rupture the infamous "fourth wall" of theatre, going behind the scenes with Rob Neill '91, founding member of the <a href="http://www.nyneofuturists.org/">New York Neo Futurists</a>, to discuss their unique brand of performance, which lies somewhere between improv, sketch comedy, and avant-garde theatre. We also talk with Ellen Mease about the more traditional theatrical world of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, which Mease directed this semester. She shares what Grinnell's theatre has meant to her, 40 years after she first directed her first production of the show.</p>
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See It Feelingly
<p>On this episode, we talk with <strong>Ralph Savarese</strong>, professor of English at Grinnell, about his new book, "See It Feelingly: Classic Novels, Autistic Readers, and the Schooling of a No-Good English Professor." <span style="font-weight:400;">Over the course of many years, he read novels with autistic people, including his son, DJ. This book compiles those experiences and challenges commonly accepted notions about autism, and encouraged us to reconsider how we think about literature and the world around us.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight:400;">We also feature music from Seth Hanson '17, whose new album, "Not Too Deep," wrestles with the tension of remembering and saying goodbye to a special place. </span></p>
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Digging Deep: Iowa Agriculture
<p>On this episode, we take a look at how <strong>Jordan Scheibel '10</strong> became enthralled with local agriculture and decided to plant his roots here in Grinnell after graduating. Scheibel now runs <a href="https://www.middlewayfarm.com/the-farm">Middle Way Farm</a>, an organic farm on the outskirts of Grinnell. His time at Grinnell as a student helped shape his interests in local food, as he worked in the Grinnell College Garden garden and helped found the Community Garden at Miller Park in Grinnell. </p> <p>We also talk with <strong>Jack Mutti</strong>, emeritus professor of economics, about the impact of tariffs and trade disputes on the economy, with a particular emphasis on Iowa agriculture. Escalating trade disputes have hit hard for many farmers, as foreign countries have targeted agriculture and livestock exports with recent tariffs.</p>
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Sustainability in Action
<p>On this episode of All Things Grinnell, we dig into the Grinnell College Garden, talking with some of the workers and volunteers who've contributed to the garden's improved production the past two years. Then we talk with Heather Swan, <span style="font-weight:400;">beekeeper, poet, and lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about her book, Where Honeybees Thrive, which creatively explores efforts to ensure a sustainable future for honeybees – and ourselves.</span></p>
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An Abundance of Katherines
<p>On this episode of All Things Grinnell, we talk with two of the speakers from this fall’s Scholars’ Convocation Series. First, we talk with Kathryn Lofton, professor of religious studies at Yale University, about pop culture and what religious studies can tell us about the music, tv, and products we consume. Then we talk with Kathy Cramer, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about the politics of resentment among rural voters in Wisconsin.</p>
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Off the Field Part 2
<p>On this episode of All Things Grinnell, we continue to explore the theme of this year's Rosenfield Symposium: the inextricable relationship of sports and politics, economics and society. First we talk with Sarah Fields, professor of communication at the University of Colorado in Denver, about the intersection of law, gender, and sports. Then we talk with Nola Agha, associate professor of sport management at the University of San Francisco, about the impact of public stadium subsidies.</p>
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Off the Field Part 1
<p>On this episode of All Things Grinnell, we explore the inextricable relationship of sports and politics, economics, and society. We talk with Juliet Macur, the Sports of the Times columnist for the New York Times, about her experience covering stories that transcend the field of sports. Then, we talk with Louis Moore, associate professor of history at Grand Valley State University, about athlete activism – past, present and future.</p>
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Saints Rest
<p>On this episode of All Things Grinnell, it’s a Saints Rest Special! We talk with <strong>Noga Ashkenazi ’09</strong>, who directed the movie Saints Rest, filmed and set in the iconic Grinnell coffee house, about how she fell in love with Grinnell and the challenges and joys of making the movie. Then, we talk with Saints Rests’ former owner <strong>Jeff Phelps '71</strong>, and the current owner, Sam Cox, about the origins of Saints, how the coffee shop has become a home for so many in the Grinnell community.</p>
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Around the Country in 79 Days
<p>On this inaugural episode of All Things Grinnell, we talk with <strong><a href="https://pioneers.grinnell.edu/coaches.aspx?rc=401">Will Freeman</a></strong>, Grinnell Track and Field Coach and professor of physical education, about his summer road trip across all 48 contiguous states at the helm of a Morgan Three-Wheeler. We also talk with <strong>Mithila Iyer ’19</strong>, who explored minority theatre productions across the country over the past year.</p>
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