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WFHB Archivist

Current person in role: Jar Turner (2015-present)

The Custom House – Episode 5: Hark! Who Goes There? Locating the Self in the Stories We Tell

We enlist the aid of noted scholar of autobiography, John Eakin, as we seek to answer Andrew Bird’s question: where exactly does the self reside, in your head or between your sides, and who, exactly, will decide its true location? In this episode of The Custom House we try to locate our mysterious “me” within the commonplace act of telling …

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The Custom House – Writing on Pictures (Extended Conversation w/Jeffrey Wolin)

This week we’ll be talking with photographer Jeffrey Wolin about how he integrates the written word into his portraits to make stories that are both deeply personal and broadly cultural. This extended cut includes a deeper discussion of Wolin’s Vietnam book as well as his companion project in which he pursued stories and portraits “from the other side of the …

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The Custom House – Episode 4: Writing on Pictures

This week we’ll be talking with photographer Jeffrey Wolin about how he integrates the written word into his portraits to make stories that are both deeply personal and broadly cultural. Jeffrey Wolin mixes the word with the image to produce portraits that seem to stand as much as social and cultural commentary as they do Art and appear to turn …

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The Custom House – Theocracy and Dystopia (Extended Conversation w/Purnima Bose)

This week Purnima Bose discusses how Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale demonstrates how easily modern America might become a truly repressive theocracy. The extended cut includes a review of the plot of the novel as well as a discussion of the cultural milieu in which Atwood composed the narrative. There is also a brief discussion of how the …

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The Custom House – Episode 3: Theocracy and Dystopia

America is a land founded on commercial ventures intended to gather in the riches of a virgin land but also upon the Puritan plan to set up a theocratic state. In this episode of The Custom House Purnima Bose, a professor in the International Studies Department of Indiana University, discusses how Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale demonstrates how easily modern …

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The Custom House – Agassiz, Inc. (Extended Conversation w/Christoph Irmscher)

This week, Doug speaks with biographer Christoph Irmscher about the legacy of Louis Agassiz, one of the most influential men in the development of the practice of science in America. This extended cut includes more biographical details as well as a deeper look at Agassiz’s involvement in the so-called Emancipation Commission as epistolary adviser to one its appointed leaders, Samuel …

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The Custom House – Episode 2: Agassiz, Inc.

This week, Doug speaks with biographer Christoph Irmscher about the legacy of Louis Agassiz, one of the most influential men in the development of the practice of science in America. Louis Agassiz, a co-discoverer of the Ice Age, is often portrayed as a racist proponent of miscegenation and a failure as a theorist of human development–as the scientist who refused …

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The Custom House – Episode 1: Babo’s Razor

This week: Jonathan Elmer, director of Indiana University’s College Arts and Humanities Institute discusses Herman Melville’s novella, Benito Cereno, a masterful exposure of 19th century cultural presumptions in the American slave nation. This week on The Custom House, Doug looks at how we use our reading experiences as tools for thinking in a conversation with Jonathan Elmer, the Director of …

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