Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

A weekly exploration of all the things Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye, Gay of Thrones) is curious about. Come on a journey with Jonathan and experts in their respective fields as they get curious about anything and everything under the sun.

Episodes

May 18, 2022 55 min

What do Enlightenment-era paintings, 19th-century American fashion magazines, and Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” have in common? They’re all strong examples of what fatphobia has to do with race, class, and gender discrimination. This week, learn all about the origins of anti-fat bias, and how it persists today, with Professor Sabrina Strings. 

Sabrina Strings, Ph.D. is a Chancellor's Fellow and Associate Professor of Sociology...

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This fall, pro-union sentiment in the US rose to 68 percent—the highest it’s been since 1965. We’re living through a major moment for labor organizing, and we have so many questions! How did we get here? Who got us here? And what’s at stake for workers across the country today? Kim Kelly joins Jonathan to discuss the power of collective bargaining, worker solidarity, and her new book FIGHT LIKE HELL, an intersectional history of la...

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*A note from Jonathan and the Getting Curious team: We are covering the latest SCOTUS developments on Instagram and Twitter @CuriouswithJVN. Head there for insights from past guests, resources, and relevant episodes from our archive. We invite you to listen to this episode whenever feels right for you, and we hope that you’ll find comfort and energy from it.*


 

The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and we have a sprin...

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What was it like to trans gender if you were living in 18th or 19th century England or America? This week, Professor Jen Manion joins Jonathan to explore the world of “female husbands,” people who were raised as girls but lived as men. Listen in to learn about these resilient individuals’ lives; how they were treated by their partners and the press; and how they paved the way for queer and trans communities today. 

Jen Manion is a w...

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Sometimes, when we get real excited about an episode, we stick our hands under our armpits and SNIFF ’EM! And this week, we’re real excited, because we have none other than THE superstar Molly Shannon on the show. Listen in as she and Jonathan discuss her comedy career, her new book Hello, Molly!, and how they crossed paths long before Jonathan was cast on Queer Eye.

Molly Shannon is an Emmy-nominated and Independent Spirit Award-wi...

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Coral are teeny tiny animals just two layers thick, and yet they create the biggest structures made by any biological creatures on the planet—like, the size of Italy big. Literally HOW! This week, Dr. Juli Berwald and Jonathan dive deep on all things coral, from their mating behaviors to their “badass merger” with algae to coral reefs’ critical importance to life in the ocean and on land.

Juli Berwald received her PhD in ocean scien...

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This one’s for everyone who watched Bridgerton and wondered: could I get it in Georgian England?! Dr. Sally Holloway joins Jonathan to discuss the ins and outs of love and courtship in this era, including gifts and letters people would exchange, 18th century contraception, and the historical equivalents of ghosting and catfishing.


 

Dr. Sally Holloway is a historian of gender, emotions, and visual and material culture over the long 1...

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We love a reason to be extra, and Jonathan’s new book Love That Story: Observations from a Gorgeously Queer Life goes on sale next week, so we’re dropping an extra episode to celebrate! Listen in to hear Jonathan read a chapter from the Love That Story audiobook, all about overcoming body issues and learning to love themselves. 
 


 

Before you dive in, please note that in this chapter, Jonathan discusses their experiences with binge e...

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As we count down to this year’s Trans Day of Visibility, there’s a lot to be thankful for: trans creativity, resilience, community. There’s also a lot on the line for trans people and those who love them. Adri Pèrez and Chase Strangio of the ACLU join Jonathan to discuss the importance of protecting trans rights, what attacks on the trans community say about state power, and what a coordinated resistance could look like.

Adri Pèrez ...

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What comes to mind when you think of the Himalaya? For Jonathan, it’s a whole lot of questions! This week’s guest Dr. Mona Chettri gives us a glimpse at life in the eastern Himalaya, including how political borders have shaped the region; what’s changing amidst rapid development; and what the future might hold for young residents.

 

Mona Chettri is a Post-Doctoral Research fellow at the Australia-India Institute, University of Wester...

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“Blah,” said Toad. “I feel down in the dumps.” 

 

“Why?” asked Frog. 

 

“I’m thinking about how there’s never been an episode of Getting Curious about us.”

 

Frog opened up his podcast feed.

 

Toad peered over his shoulder.

 

“Toad, there it is! An episode of Getting Curious with herpetologist Kelly Zamudio! All about where we live, how we interact, and why we’re so important to biodiversity.”

 

They pressed play—and now, they invite you to do...

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Old MacDonald had a farm—and on that farm he had rich terrain for an episode of Getting Curious. Join Professor Gabe Rosenberg and Jonathan as they explore what agricultural history has to do with our modern understandings of sex, gender, and sexuality. They cover the concept of “animal husbandry,” 4-H clubs, the story of a pig looking for love, and so much more.


 

Gabriel N. Rosenberg is Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality and ...

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This episode’s dedicated to our main squeeze: olive oil. Professor Selina Wang joins Jonathan to discuss olive oil varieties, processing, and fraud—yes, fraud! Plus, Jonathan gets clarity on why they can’t bear to eat an olive but can’t get enough of olive oil.

Prof. Selina Wang is an Associate Professor of Cooperative Extension at the Department of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis. Her mission-oriented research and teaching ...

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What do you get when a biological anthropologist studying hair and a hairstylist compare notes? A stunning new episode of Getting Curious. Join Dr. Tina Lasisi and Jonathan as they explore the evolutionary history of human hair, measuring hair variation, and the twists and turns of Jonathan’s hair school textbook.

Tina Lasisi is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Biological Anthropology. Her research is on the evolution and genetics of hu...

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This week on Getting Curious, Jonathan’s in the guest seat! You submitted your questions for Jonathan on social media—and we have answers. We’re talking Getting Curious the podcast and Netflix series, self-care, gymnastics, gardening, and so much more. And for those of you who wondered when Jonathan’s husband Mark would make his podcast debut? We’ve got an answer for that, too.

Join in on the conversation, and find out what former g...

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Have you ever read a headline that seems just plausible enough—when you realize it’s fake? This week, Dr. Nadia Brashier joins Jonathan to discuss how our brains process misinformation, why even one exposure to a falsehood can increase our odds of believing it, and what we can do to debunk fake news.

Dr. Nadia Brashier is an Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. She studies why people fall for fake news...

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It’s Prue Week on Getting Curious! On the Great British Baking Show (aka the Great British Bake Off), it’s clear that Prue Leith has excellent taste. But what’s Prue up to when she’s not judging crème pat, frangipane, and the occasional soggy bottom? This week, Prue and Jonathan dish on how Prue developed her palette, their shared love of gardening, and what’s on their creative plates this year. 

 

Dame Prue Leith, DBE, DL is a busin...

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Since 1997, Jonathan has been haunted by a question: could a volcano erupt a la Dante’s Peak and turn a local creek into a river of hot acid? This week, Professor Chris Jackson answers all of Jonathan’s burning questions about how volcanoes are formed, what happens when they erupt, and how Pierce Brosnan’s character in Dante’s Peak would have fared against a real pyroclastic flow.

Chris Jackson is Chair in Sustainable Geoscience at ...

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Indigenous peoples represent about five percent of the world’s population—and sustain nearly 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity. This week, Dr. Jessica Hernandez joins Jonathan to discuss the principles of Indigenous science, Indigenous land stewardship, and what it will take to heal Indigenous landscapes. 

Dr. Jessica Hernandez (Maya Ch’orti’ & Binnizá) is a transnational Indigenous scholar, scientist, and community advocat...

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What happens when you add JVN to E = mc²? You get an episode of Getting Curious all about physics, explored through one of Jonathan’s favorite topics: figure skating! This week, Dr. Deborah King joins Jonathan to break down the biomechanics behind skating techniques, the cutting edge technology she’s using to research ice sports, and how we can watch the winter Olympics like scientists.

Dr. Deborah King is a professor of biomech...

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