Celebrating 300 Episodes of The Authority File: Writing and Literature Across Genres

These 11 episodes feature STEM and HSS authors chatting about their research interests, findings, and latest titles

To celebrate The Authority File reaching 300 episodes, the Choice team put together several lists highlighting key episodes and topics. This collection features interviews with authors deep-diving into their research and latest works. Guests range from the STEM fields of environmental studies and space technology to those studying philosophy, literature, and religion. Enjoy!

Episode 158: Purposeful or Indulgent?: How We Define Free Time

With work, family duties, household chores, who has free time? And when we do, should we zone out to Netflix and a quickly-depleting box of Cheez-Its? Or is free time better used on altruistic efforts in our own communities? How do we make our free time not only restorative, but meaningful? Read more and listen here.

Episode 178: ‘Membering Austin Clarke: The Personality and Culture Behind the Writer

Austin Clarke, a Black Canadian writer of novels, short stories, and poetry didn’t fit into the typical CanLit narrative. As Paul Barrett, editor of ‘Membering Austin Clarke explains, Clarke’s writing depicted migration and anti-Black racism—”he’s not writing about … old farmers staring wistfully into snowbanks, and, you know, having lives of quiet desperation.” So where does that leave his writing and his legacy? Read more and listen here.

'Membering Austin Clarke book cover. Black background. On the left, a film strip of photos of Austin Clarke. Book title written in white, handwritten text.

Autobiography as Indigenous Intellectual Tradition book cover

Episode 265: Cultivating Indigenous Studies: Background and Program Creation

During her undergraduate years, Deanna Reder, Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies and English at Simon Fraser University, struggled to find a wide range of scholarship on Indigenous literary works. However, by the time she returned for her PhD in the early 2000s, an explosion of Indigenous scholars had entered the academic scene. Read more and listen here.

Episode 74: Discussing Empathy: Its function, role in alturism, and evolutionary history

Dr. Randolph Cornelius, professor of psychological science at Vassar College, gets Dr. Heidi Maibom, professor of philosophy at the University of Cincinnati, to discuss the role of empathy in altruism, the function of empathy, and the way in which the possible evolutionary history of empathy illustrates the deep ties that bind humans to the natural world. Read more and listen here.

Tiff book cover. Black and white/blue tinted photo of Tiff. Book title in white on the bottom.

Episode 166: Timothy Findley’s Life and Impact: The People Who Shape Us

It’s the question routinely posed to artists, writers, and poets: who are your major influences? We expect famous names—Plath, Wallace, Morrison—but what about the people close to the creator who affect their character and, consequently, general oeuvre? Read more and listen here.

Episode 110: Stepping Outside for Field Research: “What Am I Actually Doing? What Is This Career?”

For David Danelo, the road to defining his job title was a long one. A Naval Academy graduate and US Marine Corps infantry officer, he knew after serving that he wanted to be paid to travel and write—a good place to start, but how to find a steady foothold within the freelance journalism world? The answer, he discovered, was in front of him all along: field research. Read more and listen here.

The Field Researcher's Handbook book cover. POV photo of the photographer's feet, looking down. Includes their legs from the knees down in dark jeans, yellow shoes, and the ground. Book title and author in white above the shoes.

Prison Life Writing Conversion and the Literary Roots of the U.S. Prison System book cover. Orange background. "Prison Life Writing" in large black and white text. In the middle, a contraption that includes a hairbrush, pen, and battery taped together.

Episode 203: Prison Life Writing: Defining the Genre

The autobiographical genre of life writing takes many forms: personal essays, memoirs, diary entries, letters—all forms that the currently and formerly incarcerated write in. But what are the characteristics and complexities of prison life writing? How does it mirror the history of incarceration? What’s its relationship with resistance literature? Read more and listen here.

Episode 212: Emerging Space Markets: Privatizing the Business Model

In recent decades, which has experienced the most significant change: space technology or its business model? Dr. Stella Tkatchova, a project manager in the European Space Industry and author of Emerging Space Markets, has observed a striking shift in space commerce. Read more and listen here.

Emerging Space Markets book cover. Against gradient blue background, book title and author name in white. In the top right corner is a photograph of Earth.

DisPlace book cover. Against a black background, the top half has the book title and author/editor names in green and white. In the bottom half of the cover is a drawing with three columns. Within each column is a figure. The first column's figure is shaded in black with red buttons and a blue Mickey Mouse outline head. The second column's figure is shaded in white with a mask for the head. The third column's figure has orange squiggles and a green Mickey Mouse head. Behind each figure are smaller drawings in black and red at the bottom.

Episode 225: The Making of DisPlace: Contextualizing “World Literature”

What differentiates literature from world literature? How do western conceptions of literary works categorize or diminish contributions from those outside the West? In today’s age of connectivity, migration, and growing diasporas, is there really a need for this distinction? Was there ever? Read more and listen here.

Episode 245: Michelle Porter and the Métis Way: Ancestry and Arts-Based Research

Flexibility isn’t exactly a defining trait of academia. Though scholarship has grown to embrace new areas of research and interdisciplinary subjects, historically, academics have stayed within their disciplines and employed traditional forms of study and evaluation. But is there another way? Read more and listen here.

Scratching River book cover. Abstract drawing of green river bank and white/blue river. Book title in white near the top over the green bank. Author title at the bottom in white.

Practical Sustainability: A Guide to a More Sustainable Life book cover. Beige background with yellow, blue, and green images of recyclable containers and the reduce, reuse, recycle sign.

Episode 256: Practical Sustainability: Unpacking Earth Sciences and the “Natural” World

Human activity has undoubtedly impacted our planet’s systems. With deforestation, air pollution, and plastic waste, can we still call the natural sciences “natural”? Or have humans changed the planet so much that the “natural” and “human” worlds are now indistinguishable? Could seeing ourselves as part of the earth’s systems help bring more urgency to the climate crisis? Read more and listen here.

Keep up with the rest of the Celebrating 300 Episodes of The Authority File posts on Choice’s blog, Open Stacks.

You can find more Authority File episodes on our websiteSpotifyStitcherApple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

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