Episode 1: Introductions

Show Notes

Transcript

Hello and welcome to the first season of Dispatches from Room 101, a podcast that explores the realities of dystopian literature and film. My name is Jason Todd, and I am an Associate Professor of English and the Associate Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development at Xavier University of Louisiana. This podcast is produced by the students in my Engaging the Mission course called Dystopias, Real and Imagined.

The idea behind this class is that if we look closely enough, we can recognize some of the elements that make the worlds in books and movies dystopian in our own world. These analogues, as we called them, are specific instances of dystopian fiction climbing off the page and into our world. Each episode of this podcast features a group of students discussing a fictional dystopia and then revealing the analogues they see in the real world.

This first season is the result of some great work by my students during the Spring 2020 semester. Not only was this the first time this class was ever taught, but it was also the first time I’ve ever assigned a podcast as a project. Despite all that newness, the students embraced the challenge and put together some great episodes. If that weren’t enough, as everyone listening knows, this semester was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Confronted with the challenges of having to move off campus — and for some, across the country, of having to adapt to remote learning, of losing loved one to the virus or contracting it themselves, my students didn’t just muddle through — they produced really great work, even though the groups they had formed early in the semester often had thousands of miles in between them. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, we spent a good deal of time during the second half of this semester discussing whether the reactions by the different governments around the world to the COVID-19 crisis could be considered dystopian or could possibly become dystopian if taken allowed to continue beyond the initial crisis. Although it doesn’t appear in every episode, it has continued to loom heavily over the class and all the work we’ve done in recent weeks.

I hope you enjoy learning from my co-hosts about these imaginary and real dystopias. Thanks for listening. If you like what you hear, please give us a five-star review in your preferred podcast app.

Thanks.

Music Credits

Saddler, Joseph. “The Message (feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee).” The Message, written by Melvin Glover & Edward G. Fletcher, Sugar Hill Records, 1982, 7. YouTube Music, music.youtube.com/watch?v=PobrSpMwKk4.

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Episode Archive

Date Title Duration
17 April 2024 10:33 City of Lost Children
Podcast about City of Lost Children
00:00:00.000:00:00:00.000:00:00:00.000
11 April 2024 20:34 "USS Callister"
In which Zoe Cordova discusses the creepily plausible realm of USS Callister
00:00:00.000:00:00:00.000:00:00:00.000
15 May 2023 12:35 The Fifth Wave
In which Dri and Zaria discuss the film version of Rick Yancey's novel "The Fifth Wave".
0:18:16
10 May 2023 21:30 The Matrix
In which Tahmi discusses the groundbreaking and mindbending film The Matrix.
0:14:11
10 May 2023 21:28 The Lobster
In which Amber considers the textual nature of love and freedom in the film The Lobster.
0:15:29
10 May 2023 20:54 Land of the Blind
In which Jada discusses the satirical film Land of the Blind.
0:11:28
10 May 2023 20:52 The Congress
In which Lamiya discusses the metafictional film The Congress.
0:14:44
10 May 2023 20:51 The Purge, the Series
In which Shamya discusses the series The Purge.
0:17:35
10 May 2023 20:49 The Giver
In which Aaliyah discusses Lois Lowry's classic novel The Giver.
0:04:58
10 May 2023 20:47 Black Mirror: White Christmas
In which Brooke discusses the not very festive White Christmas episode of Black Mirror.
0:15:35
10 May 2023 20:46 The Darkest Minds
In which Kawena discusses the movie adaptation of the young adult novel The Darkest Minds.
0:19:59
10 May 2023 20:43 The Thinning
In which Shane considers the ethics of overpopulation in the movie The Thinning.
0:15:55
10 May 2023 20:41 The One Hundred
In which Jamiah discusses the series The One Hundred.
0:15:14
10 May 2023 17:06 Cyberpunk 2077
In which Trevonne discusses the video game Cyberpunk 2077.
0:10:50
10 May 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.
0:16:14
10 May 2023 17:02 Black Mirror: Striking Vipers
In which Drew discusses one of the most revealing episodes of Black Mirror: Striking Vipers.
0:15:09
10 May 2023 16:59 Black Mirror: San Junipero
In which Allison discusses one of the least depressing episodes of Black Mirror: San Junipero.
0:18:39
10 May 2023 16:54 Fahrenheit 451
In which Melissa discusses Ray Bradbury's classic novel Fahrenheit 451.
0:15:38
10 May 2023 16:53 Attack on Titan
In which Andriae and Brooke discuss the animated series Attack on Titan.
0:19:53
10 May 2023 16:50 The Twilight Zone, Time Enough at Last
In which Nyla discusses her favorite episode of the original Twilight Zone series.
00:00:00.000:00:00:00.000:00:00:00.000
12 February 2023 00:52 FREUD WAS…
00:00:00.000:00:00:00.000:00:00:00.000
17 April 2022 20:34 Gattaca
In which Kayla, Kaelyn, Kaulana, and Destiny discuss the film Gattaca.
0:16:31
17 April 2022 19:41 I, Robot
In which Christina, Zaria, and Chinyere discuss I, Robot, the film adaptation of Isaac Asimov's short stories.
0:13:09
17 April 2022 19:34 The 100
In which Armani, Tahj, and Siniyaa discuss the first season of the hit show The 100.
0:42:38
17 April 2022 19:27 The Giver
In which Jada, Minh, and Naya discuss the film adaptation of Lois Lowry's classic novel The Giver.
0:08:23
17 April 2022 19:00 Birdbox
In which Vincent, T'Aaliyah, Jordan, and De'Hasia discuss the post-apocalyptic film Birdbox.
0:21:10
17 April 2022 18:34 Coraline
In which Lewis, Jeanna, and Ashley discuss the animated film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline.
0:12:15
17 April 2022 18:27 Pleasantville
In which Destiny, Devin, Mya, and Cede discuss the false nostalgia of Pleasantville.
0:17:28
16 April 2022 21:16 The LEGO Movie
In which Ayanah, Shaundessy, and Arianna discuss The LEGO Movie.
0:13:06
16 April 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.
0:27:31
16 April 2022 20:48 The Maze Runner
In which Sydney, Amiya, Alexis, and Kai discuss the film The Maze Runner.
0:15:44
12 April 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.
0:30:23
12 April 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.
0:21:16
12 April 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.
0:18:58
12 April 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.
0:22:08
12 April 2022 11:24 Divergent
In which Aidan, Kaylyn, Gabrielle, and Hannah discuss the novel Divergent and its movie adaptation.
0:35:13
11 April 2022 21:12 Battle Royale
In which Mega, Ranyia, Angel, and Alexia discuss Battle Royale, the Japanese film that inspired the Hunger Games series.
0:11:10
11 April 2022 21:05 The Purge
In which Nyah, Samarah, Daylan, and Van discuss the cult classic film The Purge.
0:17:18
11 April 2022 21:01 Snowpiercer
In which Damose, Ayo, Valerie, and Amaris discuss Bong Joon-ho's post-apocalyptic action film Snowpiercer.
0:22:14
11 April 2022 20:56 Planet of the Apes
In which Robert, Janelle, Katerra, and Madison discuss the classic 1968 film Planet of the Apes.
0:15:03
11 April 2022 20:48 The Lottery
In which Jaylan, Chelsea, Diana, and Zakia discuss Shirley Jackson's classic short story "The Lottery".
0:15:34
24 April 2020 10:43 The Hunger Games
In this episode, Alina, Joelle, and Reggionna do battle with the film of The Hunger Games.
0:15:34
24 April 2020 10:35 The Incredibles
In this episode, Katie, Sonjay, and Sukana battle with the animated film series The Incredibles.
0:09:15
24 April 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.
0:20:00
24 April 2020 09:30 Equilibrium
In this episode, Danielle, Edward, and Sinai offer a balanced analysis of the film Equilibrium.
0:18:28
23 April 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.
0:21:17
23 April 2020 19:46 In Time
In this episode, Bria, Jeremy, and Sydney offer a timely analysis of the film In Time.
0:15:01
23 April 2020 19:25 The Stepford Wives
In this episode, Armani, Kade, Taryn, and Victorian offer a gendered critique of The Stepford Wives.
0:15:16
23 April 2020 18:08 What Happened to Monday?
In this episode, Ashley, De'Ashia, Keila, and Shakira discuss the film What Happened to Monday?
0:31:48
23 April 2020 17:46 Introductions
In this episode, Dr. Todd welcomes listeners to the podcast.
0:02:20

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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