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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Harlan County – Episode 13 – The Oxford Comment

This week the IFC is playing Barbara Kopple’s Oscar winning film Harlan County USA, so we thought it would be a good time to share an interview with Alessandro Portelli, the oral historian who spent 25 years gathering the stories of the Appalachian community subject in Kopple’s film. The people of Harlan are mostly known for their history of intense labor battles.

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The Difficulty of Being Good

Gurcharan Das is the author of several books, including the much-acclaimed India Unbound (which has been translated into many languages and filmed by the BBC) and most recently The Difficulty of Being Good: On The Subtle Art of Dharma. He writes a regular column for six Indian newspapers, including the Times of India, and also contributes to Newsweek, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs.

In the two-part podcast below, Das talks with none other than the brilliant Kamla Bhatt.

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Jazz – Episode 10 – The Oxford Comment

Romance your date with a Monk-inspired duet, or have a private boogie-woogie party in honor of your singledom. This Valentine’s Day, The Oxford Commentpresents a crash course on the music that speaks all kinds of love, from one of the men that knows it best.

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Sixties British Pop in the Classroom

By Gordon Thompson

Baby boomers have not only fundamentally shaped our modern world, but also how their children (and grandchildren) perceive that world. The generation that gyrated with hula hoops and rock ‘n’ roll also embraced British pop music (among other things) and have bequeathed this aesthetic to today’s college students. On campuses across North America, students amble to classes with “Beatles” patches on their book bags while their college radio programs often include music by the Rolling Stones, the Who, and the Kinks. At Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York a few years ago, a Facebook survey identified the Beatles as the favorite campus musical artists, followed closely by Bob Dylan. Given the continuing importance of a band that dissolved in acrimony over forty years ago, a question arises: does this subject merit inclusion in the college curriculum? The answer is clearly, yes.

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