The Very Short Introductions Podcast

The Very Short Introductions Podcast

A concise and original introduction to a wide range of subjects — from Business to Sociology, Politics to Classics, and Literary Theory to History – by the expert authors of the Very Short Introductions series. For wherever your curiosity may take you.

Episodes

May 12, 2022 13 min

In this episode, Catherine Wilson introduces Epicureanism, a school of thought based on the teachings of Epicurus, that promotes modest pleasure and a simple life—ideals that still hold relevance today.

Learn more about “Epicureanism: A Very Short Introduction” here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/epicureanism-a-very-short-introduction-9780199688326

Catherine Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at York University an...

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In this episode, Philip Dwyer introduces the difficult but important topic of violence and addresses the truth behind the claims that society is becoming less violent.

Learn more about “Violence: A Very Short Introduction” here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/violence-a-very-short-introduction-9780198831730

Philip Dwyer is Professor of History and the founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Violence at the Univers...

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In this episode, Charlotte Gordon introduces Mary Shelley, an author known for the seminal Frankenstein but whose body of work extends beyond one novel.

Learn more about “Mary Shelley: A Very Short Introduction” here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/mary-shelley-a-very-short-introduction-9780198869191

Charlotte Gordon is the Distinguished Professor of English at Endicott College. An award-winning author, her work has appear...

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In this episode, Rana Mitter introduces modern China, a country full of contradictions that continues to make global headlines as it balances its past with its future.

Learn more about “Modern China: A Very Short Introduction” here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/modern-china-a-very-short-introduction-9780198753704

Rana Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China and Director of the University China Cen...

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In this episode, Patricia Aufderheide introduces documentary film, a diverse genre that encompasses films from March of the Penguins to Fahrenheit 9/11 but is always rooted in the desire to represent reality.

Learn more about “Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction” here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/documentary-film-a-very-short-introduction-9780195182705

Patricia Aufderheide is a professor in the School of Communi...

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In this episode, Nancy A. Pachana introduces ageing, an activity with which we are familiar from childhood, and the lifelong dynamic changes in biological, psychological, and social functioning associated with it.

Learn more about “Ageing: A Very Short Introduction” here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/ageing-a-very-short-introduction-9780198725329

Nancy A. Pachana is a Professor of Geropsychology at the University of Quee...

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In this episode, Pippa Virdee introduces Pakistan, one of the two nation-states of the Indian sub-continent that emerged in 1947 but has a deep past covering 4,000 years.

Learn more about “Pakistan: A Very Short Introduction” here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/pakistan-a-very-short-introduction-9780198847076

Pippa Virdee is a reader in Modern South Asian History at De Montfort University. Virdee is the author of From the...

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In this episode, Susan Mizruchi introduces American author Henry James, who created a unique body of fiction that includes Daisy Miller, The Portrait of a Lady, and The Turn of the Screw.

Learn more about “Henry James: A Very Short Introduction” here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/henry-james-a-very-short-introduction-9780190944384

Susan L. Mizruchi is William Arrowsmith Professor in the Humanities, Boston University and ...

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In this episode, Andrew Copson introduces secularism, an increasingly hot topic in public, political, and religious debate across the globe that is more complex than simply ‘state versus religion.’

Learn more about “Secularism: A Very Short Introduction” here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/secularism-a-very-short-introduction-9780198747222

Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association, where he ...

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In this episode, Sarah Harper introduces demography, the study of people, which addresses the size, distribution, composition, and density of populations, and considers the impact certain factors will have on both individual lives and the changing structure of human populations.

Learn more about “Demography: A Very Short Introduction” here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/demography-a-very-short-introduction-9780198725732

S...

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In this episode, Essi Viding introduces psychopathy, a personality disorder that has long captured the public imagination. Despite the public fascination with psychopathy, there is often a very limited understanding of the condition, and several myths about psychopathy abound.

Learn more about “Psychopathy: A Very Short Introduction” here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/psychopathy-a-very-short-introduction-9780198802266

E...

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In this episode, Kirsten Shepherd-Barr introduce modern drama, the tale of which is a story of extremes, testing both audiences and actors to their limits through hostility and contrarianism.

Learn more about “Modern Drama: A Very Short Introduction” here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/modern-drama-a-very-short-introduction-9780199658770

Kirsten E. Shepherd-Barr is Professor of English and Theatre Studies at the Universit...

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In this episode, Jonathon Green introduces slang. Slang has been recorded since at least 1500 AD, and today’s vocabulary, taken from every major English-speaking country, runs to over 125,000 slang words and phrases.

Please note that this episode contains a few instances of explicit language. Listener discretion is advised.

Learn more about “Slang: A Very Short Introduction” here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/slang-a-ver...

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In this episode, Vlad Glăveanu introduces creativity, a term that emerged in the 19th century but only became popular around the mid-20th century despite creative expression existing for thousands of years.

Learn more about “Creativity: A Very Short Introduction” here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/creativity-a-very-short-introduction-9780198842996

Vlad Glăveanu is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Psychol...

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In this episode, Walter A. Friedman introduces American business history and its evolution since the early 20th century when the United States was first described as a ‘business civilization’.

Learn more about “American Business History: A Very Short Introduction” here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/american-business-history-a-very-short-introduction-9780190622473

Walter A. Friedman is a historian and lecturer at Harvard ...

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In this episode, Peter Holland introduces the animal kingdom and explains how our understanding of the animal world has been vastly enhanced by analysis of DNA and the study of evolution and development in recent years.

Learn more about The Animal Kingdom: A Very Short Introduction here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/american-business-history-a-very-short-introduction-9780190622473

Peter Holland is Linacre Professor of Zo...

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In this episode Nick Groom introduces the Gothic, a wildly diverse term which has a far-reaching influence across culture and society, from ecclesiastical architecture to cult horror films and political theorists to contemporary fashion.

Learn more about The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-gothic-a-very-short-introduction-9780199586790

Nick Groom is Professor of English Literature...

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In this episode, Michael Wert introduces samurai, whose influence in society and presence during watershed moments in Japanese history are often overlooked by modern audiences.

Learn more about Samurai: A Very Short Introduction here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/samurai-a-very-short-introduction-9780190685072

Michael Wert is Associate Professor of East Asian History at Marquette University. Specializing in early modern ...

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In this episode, Susan Blackmore introduces the last ‘great mystery for science’ – consciousness and the questions it poses for free will, personal experience, and the link between our mind and body.

Learn more about Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/consciousness-a-very-short-introduction-9780198794738
Learn more about consciousness with Susan here: https://www.youtube.com/watch...

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In this episode, David Gerber introduces immigration, one of the most contentious issues in the United States today which has shaped contemporary American life and fuels strong, divisive debate.

Learn more about American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction here:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/american-immigration-a-very-short-introduction-9780195331783

David A. Gerber is Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at th...

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