Episode 025, Pleasantville

Show Notes


My name is Destiny Bland, and I am a Junior Psychology Pre-med major from Monmouth County, NJ. I hope to pursue a career as a medical psychologist or in psychiatry. I’ve always been an advocate for mental health awareness and the reduction of the stigma surrounding it in the African American community. This XCOR course has been one of the most unique ones I’ve taken so far during my time here at XULA. Learning about dystopias and how connected they are to the real-world has been interesting. Real issues, when ignored can lead to a dystopian society, even those like the high stigmatization of mental health to overpopulation to global warming. This course has revealed to me that the criteria for a dystopia comes in the shape of ill-acts and feelings that are present in today’s society: fascism, oppression in the form of violence, powerlessness, marginalization, imperialism, and exploitation, along with problems that align with the idea of the Hobbesian Jungle. This class has given me a new perspective on dystopian societies and how they could relate to my future profession or the future of the world in general.

My name is Devin Macklin-Jackson; I am a junior chemistry pre-med major from St. Louis, Missouri. I aspire to be a cardiology, anesthesia, or neurology physician. I also have several other hobbies/ interests that keep me busy, such as Photography, stock trading, and music creation. I like to consider myself an open-minded person because I am never shy about trying new things, no matter how daunting they seem. There are a lot of o things that seem nice on the surface, but when you dive deeper into what they are, they aren’t as polished. This course has made me look at society and examine whether things are as they appear or not. This is essential for life because you have to see things for what they are and not just how they appear. It made me look at government systems throughout history and analyze if they are dystopian or not. It also gives the ability to look at them currently and see if they have moved away from a dystopian worldview.

My name is Mya Thompkins. I am a second year Sophomore at Xavier University of Louisiana. I am a Biology major with a minor in Chemistry. I am a very quiet, shy, and introverted person so my interests would include things that do not require me to be in big crowds or around a lot of people in general. I’m into things that usually involve me just being to myself and around calm, relaxing energy. I love listening to music and I have been singing since I was a baby. I do not really have hobbies outside of school but outside of school I love to go to the gym and just hang out with my friends. My overall thoughts on this course would be that it was very informational in numerous ways. I learned more about myself by taking this class than I thought. I was able to break my habit of procrastination and begin setting time aside for all of my classes equally. I also learned the most important thing, that we are currently living in a dystopia. With knowing the five faces of oppression I can relate these more and more to real life. It also has been very informative with providing us with proper knowledge on how to produce a Podcast. This class has been an eye-opener and has allowed me to expand my knowledge on this unique topic. I am glad I was able to take this course even though I had my doubts in the beginning but overall it has been a great semester and I would not change a thing.

Cede Onyango is a senior Biology major from Chicago, Illinois. He enjoys reading about philosophy, anything science and doing math problems. This dystopian course has allowed him to fully explore a subtle interest he’s had about dystopian societies. He plans on pursuing a degree in biostatistics and plans on one day attending medical school.

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Episode Archive

Date Title Duration
May 15, 2023 12:35 The Fifth Wave
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May 10, 2023 21:30 The Matrix
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May 10, 2023 21:28 The Lobster
In which Amber considers the textual nature of love and freedom in the film The Lobster.
May 10, 2023 20:54 Land of the Blind
In which Jada discusses the satirical film Land of the Blind.
May 10, 2023 20:52 The Congress
In which Lamiya discusses the metafictional film The Congress.
May 10, 2023 20:51 The Purge, the Series
In which Shamya discusses the series The Purge.
May 10, 2023 20:49 The Giver
In which Aaliyah discusses Lois Lowry's classic novel The Giver.
May 10, 2023 20:47 Black Mirror: White Christmas
In which Brooke discusses the not very festive White Christmas episode of Black Mirror.
May 10, 2023 20:46 The Darkest Minds
In which Kawena discusses the movie adaptation of the young adult novel The Darkest Minds.
May 10, 2023 20:43 The Thinning
In which Shane considers the ethics of overpopulation in the movie The Thinning.
May 10, 2023 20:41 The One Hundred
In which Jamiah discusses the series The One Hundred.
May 10, 2023 17:06 Cyberpunk 2077
In which Trevonne discusses the video game Cyberpunk 2077.
May 10, 2023 17:04 The Handmaid's Tale (1990)
In which Asiah discusses the 1990 movie version of Margaret Atwood's classic novel The Handmaid's Tale.
May 10, 2023 17:02 Black Mirror: Striking Vipers
In which Drew discusses one of the most revealing episodes of Black Mirror: Striking Vipers.
May 10, 2023 16:59 Black Mirror: San Junipero
In which Allison discusses one of the least depressing episodes of Black Mirror: San Junipero.
May 10, 2023 16:54 Fahrenheit 451
In which Melissa discusses Ray Bradbury's classic novel Fahrenheit 451.
May 10, 2023 16:53 Attack on Titan
In which Andriae and Brooke discuss the animated series Attack on Titan.
May 10, 2023 16:50 The Twilight Zone, Time Enough at Last
In which Nyla discusses her favorite episode of the original Twilight Zone series.
February 12, 2023 00:52 FREUD WAS…
April 17, 2022 20:34 Gattaca
In which Kayla, Kaelyn, Kaulana, and Destiny discuss the film Gattaca.
April 17, 2022 19:41 I, Robot
In which Christina, Zaria, and Chinyere discuss I, Robot, the film adaptation of Isaac Asimov's short stories.
April 17, 2022 19:34 The 100
In which Armani, Tahj, and Siniyaa discuss the first season of the hit show The 100.
April 17, 2022 19:27 The Giver
In which Jada, Minh, and Naya discuss the film adaptation of Lois Lowry's classic novel The Giver.
April 17, 2022 19:00 Birdbox
In which Vincent, T'Aaliyah, Jordan, and De'Hasia discuss the post-apocalyptic film Birdbox.
April 17, 2022 18:34 Coraline
In which Lewis, Jeanna, and Ashley discuss the animated film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline.
April 17, 2022 18:27 Pleasantville
In which Destiny, Devin, Mya, and Cede discuss the false nostalgia of Pleasantville.
April 16, 2022 21:16 The LEGO Movie
In which Ayanah, Shaundessy, and Arianna discuss The LEGO Movie.
April 16, 2022 21:05 The Walking Dead
In which Helana, Jalen, Sabirah, and Tiyana discuss the various dystopias that have been portrayed in the AMC series The Walking Dead.
April 16, 2022 20:48 The Maze Runner
In which Sydney, Amiya, Alexis, and Kai discuss the film The Maze Runner.
April 12, 2022 11:33 Black Mirror: Nosedive
In which Becky, Victoria, Naejea, and Larrione discuss "Nosedive," Episode 1 from Season 3 of the hit show Black Mirror.
April 12, 2022 11:31 Black Mirror: Fifteen Million Merits
In which Nikole, Audrey, Kaylen, and Nicholaus discuss "Fifteen Million Merits," Episode 2 from Season 1 of the hit show Black Mirror.
April 12, 2022 11:29 Black Mirror: The Entire History of You
In which Penni, Derrien, Imani, and Jordan discuss "The Entire History of You," Episode 3 from Season 1 of the hit show Black Mirror.
April 12, 2022 11:27 The Handmaid's Tale
In which Jalon, Danya, Jemini, and Rashid discuss Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale.
April 12, 2022 11:24 Divergent
In which Aidan, Kaylyn, Gabrielle, and Hannah discuss the novel Divergent and its movie adaptation.
April 11, 2022 21:12 Battle Royale
In which Mega, Ranyia, Angel, and Alexia discuss Battle Royale, the Japanese film that inspired the Hunger Games series.
April 11, 2022 21:05 The Purge
In which Nyah, Samarah, Daylan, and Van discuss the cult classic film The Purge.
April 11, 2022 21:01 Snowpiercer
In which Damose, Ayo, Valerie, and Amaris discuss Bong Joon-ho's post-apocalyptic action film Snowpiercer.
April 11, 2022 20:56 Planet of the Apes
In which Robert, Janelle, Katerra, and Madison discuss the classic 1968 film Planet of the Apes.
April 11, 2022 20:48 The Lottery
In which Jaylan, Chelsea, Diana, and Zakia discuss Shirley Jackson's classic short story "The Lottery".
April 24, 2020 10:43 The Hunger Games
In this episode, Alina, Joelle, and Reggionna do battle with the film of The Hunger Games.
April 24, 2020 10:35 The Incredibles
In this episode, Katie, Sonjay, and Sukana battle with the animated film series The Incredibles.
April 24, 2020 09:59 We Ate the Children Last
In this episode, Ashley, Carmen, and Denise dive into the films We Ate the Children Last, Us, and Elysium.
April 24, 2020 09:30 Equilibrium
In this episode, Danielle, Edward, and Sinai offer a balanced analysis of the film Equilibrium.
April 23, 2020 19:58 Ready Player One
In this episode, Heather, Kyrah, and Samirah play around with the dystopian elements of the film Ready Player One.
April 23, 2020 19:46 In Time
In this episode, Bria, Jeremy, and Sydney offer a timely analysis of the film In Time.
April 23, 2020 19:25 The Stepford Wives
In this episode, Armani, Kade, Taryn, and Victorian offer a gendered critique of The Stepford Wives.
April 23, 2020 18:08 What Happened to Monday?
In this episode, Ashley, De'Ashia, Keila, and Shakira discuss the film What Happened to Monday?
April 23, 2020 17:46 Introductions
In this episode, Dr. Todd welcomes listeners to the podcast.

About Jason S. Todd

Jason S. Todd studied writing with Frederick and Steven Barthelme and Mary Robison at the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. His fiction has appeared in journals such as Southern California Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Fiction Weekly, and 971 Magazine. Since 2007, he has been a member of Department of English at Xavier, where he teaches American Literature, Freshman Composition, Modern English Grammars, and The Graphic Novel and Social Justice. In 2015, he became the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development's first Associate Director for Programming, as which he assists in providing high-quality, relevant, evidence-based programming in support of CAT+FD's mission to serve faculty across all career stages and areas of professional responsibility.
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