Turkey. Egypt. Israel/Palestine. North Africa & Balkans.
In the Fall of 2015, I was the teaching assistant for a course called "Magic, Science, and the Occult from Antiquity to Post-Modernity". The course traced the "magical perspective" from its earliest examples in Egyptian priestcraft to the post-modern cults of Aleister Crowley and the writing of H.P. Lovecraft. You can hear part of an interview I conducted in 2014 with the professor of the course, Kyle Fraser.
Below are some papers I'm actually 100% proud of, even after four and a half years of writing them. As you can see, all focus on the historical intersection of politics and religion.
Locke And American Protestantism
Were America's founding fathers Dominionists? I try and prove Americans always loved greed by comparing the work of early American theologian Jonathan Edwards and Carolina's founding father, John Locke.
The Anglican Burke
I read Burke's Reflections on the French Revolution and look for High Church Anglicanism or even *gasp* crypto-Catholicism.
Ishraqi and Azari Illuminationism in 'Abu-L Fazl's Akbaranama
A 17th century Mughal emperor starts an imperial cult meant to absorb all religions, and I go looking for the Zoroastrian bit.
Joseph Tracy's History of the American Missions to the Heathen and the Changing Historiography of Missions
I begin by reading 60 years of 19th century American missionary records, and then read another 30 more. The missionaries' chief propagandists can't help speaking from their time, and I use my decoder ring to find out what they're hiding.
The Western Response to the Emergence of the crypto-Christian Phenomenon in the Mid- To Late 19th century
I return to American missionary archives to translate obscure Turkish towns into their original Armenian names as Russian, Yazidi and Ottoman armies storm back and forth across Turkey's east. In a longstanding Ottoman tradition, Christians have been pretending to be Muslim, and I go looking for missionaries' response to the hot new trend. (Ed.-- This one was especially painful.)
Podcasting has taken over my life.
It all started with a man named Melvyn. With an urgent "hello", his aristocratic voice issued forth from Radio 4's flagship discussion programme, In Our Time, introducing me to a scattershot array of concepts from history, philosophy, and culture. The quiet confidence and easy humour of radio voices like Melvyn Bragg, Paul Kennedy, Simon Mayo, and countless others reinvigorated a nascent love for spoken word, inspired by a childhood immersed in the sounds of public broadcasting.
As radio and television seek to compete in a new world of mobile, transnational audiences, podcasting has encouraged listener engagement, extended the reach of radio, and ushered in a golden age for audio storytelling. Good reportage and intelligent discussion have never been more accessible nor more translatable to audiences. Additionally, podcasting has provided another avenue for young and tenacious interviewers, reporters, and documentarians to hone and present their craft.
In this exciting environment, I have explored personal fascinations and academic interests to produce podcast series of my own.
DISCUSS. THE FYP PODCAST
In the academic year of 2014-15, I partnered with CKDU Radio, The Watch Magazine, and the University of King's College to produce Discuss. The FYP Podcast, a 30- to 45-minute weekly podcast series featuring interviews with academics on a variety of topics, from philosophy, religion, and literature. Each episode offered a unique opportunity to explore an aspect of Western thought in new directions from the university's curriculum offerings. You can listen to a sampling of these podcasts here.
Canada, Who Cares?
For Canada's 42nd federal election, I joined the production team of a political podcast, Canada, Who Cares? Each episode featured interviews with prominent Canadians on abuses by the Canadian government. I produced the series' six final episodes, introducing deeper research and narrative elements. These podcasts are available here.
PODCASTS I LISTEN TO
Here Be Monsters, Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo's Film Reviews, Tape, Love & Radio, Revisionist History, On The Media, The Pub, CBC The House, Reveal, Radiolab, 99% Invisible, TAL, Canadaland, DecodeDC, Science VS, Reply All, Football Weekly, The Anthill, The Urbanist, Death Sex & Money, My Dad Wrote A Porno, Whistlestop, CBC Backstory, Crimetown, Sleep With Me, In Our Time, Invisible City, Gastropod, Freakonomics Radio, Heart & Soul, No Such Thing As A Fish, Wolf Den, Planet Money, Embedded, Beyond Belief, Tapestry, CBC Ideas, Fresh Air, Here's The Thing, The Adventures of Momento Mori, Marketplace, Reverberations Radio, The Guardian UK Politics Weekly, NPR Politics, The Football Ramble & others...