Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

The Oxford Comment Archive

What’s The Oxford Comment?

In Spring 2010, Lauren and Michelle decided it was time Oxford University Press got a podcast, and by September, The Oxford Comment was born. Reporting at special events, live on the street, and from the “studio,” each episode features commentary from Oxford authors and friends of the Press.

“The Oxford Comment has been a great learning experience. Among other things, we now know how to hold coffee mugs in serious ways, and smile at blank computer screens.” -Lauren (left), Michelle (right)

How can I hear more of that super groovy background music?

Most of the music you hear is by The Ben Daniels Band. You can check them out here.

How can I get ya’ll on my iPod, or Zune, or whatever?

Pretty easy, just subscribe on iTunes.

The Oxford Comment podcastography

Quickcast: AMERICA WALKS INTO A BAR

June 27, 2011
Who drinks better – America or Canada?

-“Ruby Tuesday and Framboise Beer” – Over lunch at The Ginger Man in New York City, cocktail columnist Christine Sismondo discusses American bars, control states, and why prohibition doesn’t actually increase drinking.

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Quickcast: ISRAEL

June 20, 2011
Are Israel and the U.S. still a dynamic duo?

-“Tough Support” – Daniel Byman, professor at Georgetown University and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, says that despite polarizing counterterrorism measures, the U.S. is still “pro-Israel.”

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Ep. 10: WORDS

May 23, 2011
From puzzles to the printing press.

-“The Breakfast Test” – Michelle takes a crossword construction class with Caleb Madison,  the youngest person to publish a crossword puzzle in the New York Times (at the age of 15).
-“OUP Archive” – Lauren gets a private tour of the OUP museum in Oxford with Archivist Martin Maw.

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Ep. 9: WE <3 MATTY G

April 18, 2011
How to write a smash first novel.

-“Embrace the Zany” -Author (and OUP Law Editor) Matthew Gallaway comes to Oxford book club to discuss his book The Metropolis Case. Topics include: Pittsburgh, advice for writers…and what’s up with the incest scene?

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Ep. 8: ALTERNATIVE MEDIA

April 4, 2011
Are we living in the “anti-60s”?

-“Bieber vs. Beatles” – Gordon Thompson skypes in to discuss 60s rock ’n’ roll and the alternative voice in music.
-“Hush Puppies Hysteria!” – John McMillian and Jesse Kornbluth on the underground press and the state of media today. From the Strand Book Store in NYC.

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Quickcast: HARLAN COUNTY

March 14, 2011
The real story of the infamous Harlan County.

-“Survival is not a Metaphor” -The people of Harlan County, KY are mostly known for their history of intense labor battles (and thanks to Malcolm Gladwell, short temperament), but leading oral historian Alessandro Portelli says they are most remarkable for their incredible will to survive.

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Quickcast: OSAMA BIN LADEN

March 9, 2011
What does he really want from us?

-“The Enemy that Doesn’t Exist” – Former CIA agent Michael Scheuer on how Americans have been greatly misinformed about bin Laden’s motivations.

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Quickcast – BADA-BING!

February 23, 2011
Words coined from film!

-“Was it Flower?” – Super star OED Editors Matt Kohl and Katherine Martin discuss some of their favorite words and phrases given to us by Hollywood. Twitterpated! Party on! And the false Latin plural (Winklevii)!

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Episode 7: JAZZ

February 14, 2011
An introduction in less than 20 minutes!

-“Her Name was Iola” – Kevin Whitehead, the long-time jazz critic for National Public Radio’s Fresh Air, goes over some pivotal moments in jazz across the decades: Armstrong! Fake record skipping! Secret allusions! Banjos! Monk! And more!

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Episode 6: BEAUTY

February 3, 2011
What IS beauty anyway?

- “The Icon” – Duane Roller discusses the ongoing influence of Cleopatra’s beauty (although we don’t really know what she looked like!)
- “The Beauty Bias” – Deborah Rhode discusses the pervasiveness of appearance discrimination.
- “The Fat-o-sphere” – Margitte Kristjansson and Jessica Jarchow talk body politics, “headless fatties,” s-heroes, and Glee!
- “The Safety Pin” – Fashionistas at FIT discuss whether or not clothing makes you beautiful.

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Episode 4.5: RELIGION (Part 2)

January 13, 2011
Part 2 of this series looks at the ongoing debate between science and religion.

- “Why are Unicorns Hollow?” – Steve Paulson, Executive Producer of NPR’s To the Best of Our Knowledge, shares clips of interviews with famed atheist Richard Dawkins and chimpanzee advocate Jane Goodall.

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Episode 5: CAB CALLOWAY

December 21, 2010
Happy Birthday to the jazz legend who would be turning 103 this December 25th.

- “Hi-De-Ho” – BBC Producer Alyn Shipton on the pioneering ways of Cab Calloway.
- “Trickeration” – Vince Giordano plays the bandleader at Babette’s nightclub on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Michelle pays a visit to the real nightclub where Giordano keeps the music of the Jazz Age alive.

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Episode 4: RELIGION (PART 1)

December 8, 2010
A look at some of the most controversial issues in religion this past year.

- “Is Islam Peace?” – Coverage of the 92nd Street Y debate between Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan. Includes exclusive interviews with participants as well as moderator and New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein.
- “Mask of the Revolution” – Oxford employee Nick Mafi discusses why his family left Iran and what it was like growing up in the Ohio burbs post 9/11.
- “3 Myths” – Historian David Sehat argues that Americans don’t actually have religious freedom.

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Quickcast: REFUDIATE

November 16, 2010
What do you get when you mix refute and repudiate? Word of the Year!

- “Palin’s Word Blend” – Senior Lexicographer Christine Lindberg explains why some words stick and others just aren’t meant to be.
- “Onward to the Iconic McDonald’s!” – Michelle and Lauren search the streets for a person who knows what “refudiate” means.

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Quickcast: COMPLEXITY

November 10, 2010
Complexity science – learn it, live it, love it.

- “Hey, that Computer’s Driving my Car!” – Melanie Mitchell, winner of the 2010 ΦBK Science Book Award, says complexity science can help solve the world’s problems.

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Episode 3: DRAMA

October 19, 2010
Secrets of the theater world revealed!

- “Robot Skin” –  The Toy Box Theatre Company adapts Woyzeck, Georg Buchner’s unfinished masterpiece.
- “Hamlet in Ohio” – Once upon a time musical theater was “too commercial” for academia, but now the discipline is on the rise says Associate Editor Norm Hirschy.
- “Carefully Taught” – Author James Lovensheimer on how Rodgers and Hammerstein fought racial intolerance while writing a hit Broadway show.
- “Waterfalls” – On the eve of Broadway’s opening of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Musical Director and cast member Justine Levine talks emo punk rock, taxidermy in the orchestra pit and much more! Plus the cast’s “secret” warm up drill.

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Quickcast: COMIC CON

October 11, 2010
Superheros, sci-fi speed dating, and the sweet, sweet sound of light sabers.

- “Nerf Gun” – A tour of the New York Comic Con & Anime Festival including interviews with: Dr. Travis Langley, Batman extraordinaire and director of The ERIICA Project; Matthew Silva and John Strangeway of Penny Dreadful Productions; Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars…and many more!

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Episode 2: GEEKS

September 24, 2010
They have evolved.

- “Circus Geek” – Jesse Sheidlower, Editor-at-Large (North America) of the Oxford English Dictionary and author of The F-Word, on the etymology of the word “geek.
- “Jam that Buzzer” – Matt Caporaletti on the perks of winning Jeopardy.
- “She Used the Word Obtunded” – Husband and wife co-authors David Barash and Judith Lipton on how they seduced each other with their brains.
- “Rise of the Underdog” – From Sherlock Holmes to War Games and now Susan Boyle, sociologists Scott Allison and Al Goethels say we have a place in our hearts for “lovable losers.”
- “What Kind are You?” – At the Gelf Magazine “Geeking Out” series on urban planning, guest speakers Benjamin Kabak, Sharon Zukin and Charles Komonoff reveal what type of geeks they are.

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Episode 1: BOOZE!

September 7, 2010
Where would we be without it?

- “Don’t be a Teetotaler” – Historian Benjamin Carp on the revolutionary lubricant of the Founding Fathers.
- “Baby in a Brewery” – A tour of the Brooklyn Brewery with Brewmaster Garret Oliver.

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