A new podcast launched in November by the Pennoni Honors College called “Pop, the Question” brings an academic lens to the beloved but critically overlooked products of pop culture. Episode Two, for example, explored the deep intellectual layers of the 1988 classic movie “Die Hard.”
“We were looking for a way to have a little bit more fun within academia,” says Melinda Lewis, Pennoni’s associate director of marketing and media. “We’re human beings who aren’t just defined by our work.”
Lewis hopes the podcast can be a place where normally conservative researchers can unwind by bridging their interests and fields of study with popular movies, music, TV and celebrity culture.
Inspired partly by popular podcasts “Reply All” and “You Must Remember This,” the show is supposed to be more like a conversation than an interview, Lewis says. She does background research and brings questions to the show, but doesn’t try to stick too closely to a script.
“There’s meaning in the stuff that we watch…[and] in the stuff that we listen to,” Lewis says. “It’s important to see how these works define us and impress upon us and what they say about the larger culture that we live in.”