002 Science Fiction

In this episode I have a conversation with my Furman Religion department colleague and friend, Roger Sneed, a scholar who specializes in African American Religious History, Black Liberation Theology, and Religion and Science Fiction. He is currently writing about "Afrofuturism," a topic at the intersection of theology, race, politics, and culture.


Here's the thing about Roger: he's the biggest sci-fi nerd that I know. We dive into all kinds of advanced geek topics, but the episode is structured as an introduction to the things that Roger cares deeply about. You will enjoy his thoughts regardless of how much you follow science fiction.

In the show, Roger begins with a detailed discussion of Star Trek and gives me suggestions about which TV episodes and movies I should watch (spoiler: nothing from JJ Abrams). We also talk about topics such as the place of hard science in science fiction; the relative qualities of Star Trek vs. Star Wars; religious themes in Superman (especially the death and resurrection of Christ figures); and Roger tells us about Janelle Monáe and his other favorite musical artists.

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001 How Scholars Disagree

In this episode I talk with philosophy professor Aaron Simmons about the practices and ethics of academic discourse, especially the questions of how and why scholars disagree with each other.


We begin with the recent controversy stirred up by Rebecca Tuvel's essay in the feminist philosophy journal Hypatia, titled "In Defense of Transracialism." Along the way, we discuss questions such as "why do scholars disagree so strongly with each other?" "What is the relative epistemological value of reason and experience?"  "Is anger a legitimate rebuttal of an academic argument?" "How should scholars use social media in this climate?"

And we finish with the perennial question, "What are you listening to," as Aaron takes us through some of his favorite hip-hop and metal bands. 


Theme music: Cynicism, "Purveyor of Chaos," Creative Commons 3.0. 

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