18-02 Segment 1: Diversity in Sci-Fi

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For decades, science fiction was a genre written almost exclusively by white males. Now, the genre is flourishing with diverse voices, thanks in part to the trailblazing writer Octavia E. Butler. Historian Gerry Canavan discusses the obstacles Butler faced and her legacy on one of the most popular genres in American literature.

Guest:

  • Gerry Canavan, professor at Marquette University and author, Octavia E. Butler

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18-02 Segment 2: Finding Inspiration in Our Communities

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The news typically shows us stories about the national government being stuck in a gridlock on most of the big, important issues. Sarah Van Gelder, co-founder of Yes! Magazine, went on a trip across America to see how change is being made at the local level and found inspirational stories and examples of community involvement solving big problems while paving the way for a better future.

Guest:

  • Sarah van Gelder, author, The Revolution Where You Live

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Culture Crash 18-02: Looking Forward to the Films of 2018

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

It’s a new year, which means there is plenty to look forward to on the entertainment horizon. 2017 may not be completely behind us quite yet-the oscars are forthcoming, but the film calendar of 2018 is already filling up.

In the more immediate future, the new movie from Alex Garland, the man behind the movie Ex Machina, is coming in February. Annihilation, based on the best-selling Jeff Vandermeer book of the same name, stars Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Oscar Isaac.

Also coming in February is the hotly anticipated, Black Panther, which will finally allow a black superhero to take the reins and carry his own film. Then in May, Black Panther will join up with The Avengers, The Guardians of the Galaxy, and all of your Marvel cinematic favorites in Infinity War.

This year will also see the release of several high-profile biopics. Adam McKay, who directed the Big Short is making Backseat, a biographical drama starring Christian Bale as former Vice President Dick Cheney. 2018 will also see Ryan Gosling star as Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle’s film, First Man. And rounding out the biopics, Saoirse Ronan will play the title character in Mary, Queen of Scots.

In November, Warner Brothers will release the next installment of the Harry Potter wizarding world with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald, starring Jude Law as a young Dumbledore and controversially, Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindewald.

Of course, countless other films will be coming this year including the next Jurassic World movie, Fallen Kingdom, Ava Duvernay’s A Wrinkle in Time adaptation, The Incredibles 2, Aquaman, and a reimagining of the Oceans franchise starring a cast of diverse women led by Sandra Bullock called Ocean’s 8.

Thankfully, the list just goes on and on. As with any year, some of the best movies of the year will be titles we’ve never heard of made by people we don’t know about yet.

2017 was a fantastic year at the movies, here’s to hoping 2018 can find a way to top it.

I’m Evan Rook.