We all love podcasts– or at least, we all should. After receiving appreciative feedback for my previous post on podcasts to check out, and after exploring this wonderful world to acquire even more great listening material, I've decided to make an update. I'm keeping up with my theme of discussing podcasts that are not discussed nearly enough, despite being a fantastic listen.
Whether it's walking to class, sitting and writing (yes, I'm currently listening to a podcast!) or going on long drives, I almost always have a podcast playing. Here are five (more) great podcasts I've been listening to recently.
1. If you love unique stories and hearing perspectives you've never heard before: Strangers.
Strangers, hosted and produced by Lea Thau, is a podcast featuring some of the most interesting (true!) stories by some of the most interesting people I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. Perhaps most enjoyable about the podcast is the fact that these stories do not have a clear moral– yes, I usually find myself making some kind of value judgement about the person whose story it is, but Thau and the setup of the show leave the listener to determine their own thoughts on the story. From a family of refugees and the American family who hosted them, to a young man slowly losing his sight, Strangers helps you empathize with truly unique characters and situations.
2. If you want a podcast that addresses pop culture and religion– no stigma attached: #GoodMuslimBadMuslim.
#GoodMuslimBadMuslim is a hilarious, relevant, and eye-opening podcast by American Muslim writers/comedian duo Taz Ahmed and Zahra Noorkbakhsh, this podcast was borne of a Twitter conversation. Realizing that to be a good Muslim in the eyes of one’s religious peers is to be a bad Muslim in the eyes of Christian America, the hosts dismantle our preconceived notions of what it means to be a good / bad Muslim woman. This podcast is smart, hilarious, and informative.
3. If you like linguistics, especially it's socio-cultural aspects: The World in Words.
The World in Words is the most accessible linguistics-based podcast I’ve listened to so far. Covering diverse countries, languages, cultures, and groups, TWIW explains relevant linguistic phenomena via interviews with those affected, and clear, accurate descriptions. Themes range from the loss and (re-)finding of the Native Hawaiian language, the so-called “pop-punk accent”, the strengths and weaknesses of bilingualism, and more. Best of all, the podcast has been going strong since 2008, so there are many episodes to binge-listen to as you wait for the next to come out.
4. If you love food and are sick and tired of the mainstream, privileged foodie community: The Sporkful.
Addressing foodie culture with a critical eye, this podcast is a refreshing departure from the mainstream (white, middle class, abled, Western) voice of most popular food-bloggers. The Sporkful discusses marginalized identities and the way they interact with the food we eat and what we think of it, as well as eating as a whole– proving that dining is far from a single universal experience. My favorite series on the show was “Other Peoples’ Food”, which candidly discussed our own personal and often cultural biases surrounding food and those who eat it.
5. If you like brilliantly related personal stories that run the gamut of emotions, all performed live: Risk!
I’m going to end this list as I started it: with a story-sharing podcast. Risk! has episodes which are almost always over an hour long, features a handful of true stories, each told before a live audience by the people who experienced them. Each episode focuses on an abstract motif, interpreted in unique ways by those brave enough to share their personal experiences. Funny, moving, profound, and informative, Risk! challenges listeners to think outside our own experiences and empathize with others.
Do you like any of these podcasts, or have others you want to share? Did you try any of these out because of this article? Please, share your thoughts and suggestions with me!