Next Season’s Fun

Summer is a busy time for me – I’m usually involved in our local library’s Summer Reading Program, and many of the extended educational services at some of the nearby school districts have me come in and talk to the kids during the summer months – which means the website and podcast tend to get put “on hold” during that time. I do apologize, but rest assured that I’m lining some things up for the next season of the podcast that are going to be very interesting:

  • The author of the book Monty Python & Philosophy (Open Court Books) will be joining us to talk about what we can learn about the “philosophy” of chivalry from Spamalot and The Holy Grail;
  • We’ll be going to Maryland to talk with practitioners of that state’s official sport – jousting! – and learn how the culture of chivalry came to American shores;
  • Prof. Richard Scott Nokes will be with us to talk about villains, dragons and monsters in the legends of King Arthur – and how we can learn about the ideals of chivalry by studying “the bad guys”;
  • We’ll visit Camlann medieval village in Washington state, where the 14th century and the ideals of chivalry come to life;
  • We’ll have a conversation with Prof. LJ Swain, editor of The Heroic Age journal, to explore the early developments in culture and literature that led to the Code of Chivalry;

Plus – some other topics on the table include falconry and modern birds-of-prey conservation efforts, knightly table manners (no, they didn’t throw bones around the dining room), Gothic warrior women, X-treme sports and the ideals of Don Quixote, and King Arthur’s knights at the Opera! And maybe – maybe! – we’ll even score an interview with none other than Frank Miller, creator of Sin City, The Spirit and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. (Who, in a recent interview in Maxim magazine, had some very insightful and powerful things to say about heroes and chivalry. This is a guy who takes the image of knighthood very, very seriously!)

Can you tell I’m a little excited about all of this? (I get to interview world-renowned experts and scholars about cutting-edge investigations into the ideals of chivalry … This is the greatest job in the world!) If you haven’t subscribed through Apple’s iTunes or one of the other “podcatching” services, be sure to do so – and tell your friends, co-workers and teachers about it too. Episode 23 will be available the first week in September!

By the way – just so you don’t think I’m being completely negligent, we will have a few podcast offerings during the summer. We recently replayed my conversation with Prof. Susan Aronstein, author of “Hollywood Knights,” in conjunction with the opening of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” and we’ll revisit my interview with Prof. Will Brooker about the chivalric ideals of Batman just in time for the opening of The Dark Knight later this month. Be sure to check your iPod!

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