I’ve been expanding my podcast listening. I still listen to a mix of tech-related stuff and pop culture. I’ve also begun to listen to the very helpful Radio 4 Extra Podcast Radio Hour. I don’t always get on with the contents, sometimes fast-forward but blimey does it give you an intro to a much bigger range of podcasts!
Anyway, one of the podcasts that I turned to from that show was Unpopped (via Geoff Lloyd). It’s a podcast hosted by Hayley Campbell in which she gets a panel together to talk about a particular subject/aspect of pop culture. The most recent (at the time of writing) was an excellent discussion about the roots of Grime and representation. Other episodes I have really enjoyed include one about Paris Hilton and the nature of celebrity. The only other podcast experience I have had that is analogous was a great OUP podcast episode about Rihanna and representations of black women.
I am starting to think, after listening to around five episodes, that you could almost build a module from the podcast. The discussions are (mostly) brilliant – insightful, politically astute and often funny. In many ways this is the cultural studies of Stuart Hall, Paul du Gay and others alive and kicking in a medium they may have studied.
Rather than over-coding the descriptive and analytical detail with “big” theory (in the ways of which social & cultural geographers are, I fear, terribly guilty) —it’s not always reducible to affect, neoliberalism and subjectivity 😉 — most episodes of unpopped offer specific and nuanced discussions of a particular phenomenon/subject/topic.
I recommend listening to it…