Posts tagged #gender

S3E3 - International Activism

Want to go out and change the world? Great! WE NEED IT. But how to avoid doing more harm than good, especially when working for people from other contexts and cultures? We dig into this tricky question with Dr. Ryan Richard Thoreson: human rights lawyer, LGBTIQ activist, and one of our personal faves. Along the way we encounter white savior Barbie, grapple with the notion of cultural relativism, and each reveal some of our most facepalm-worthy moments abroad. Ryan also catches us up on the state of international LGBTIQ rights and activism, and we share some real talk about the colonialist legacy of the Rhodes Scholarships that Ryan, Noorain, and Maria all held. Theory helped shape how we approach making positive change, so join us for this ep and then get out there and make a difference where you can!

Links to Stuff We Talk About


Jack Donnelly, “Cultural Relativism and Universal Human Rights,” Human Rights Quarterly 6.4 (Nov. 1984): 400-419.

Ryan Richard Thoreson, Transnational LGBT Activism: Working for Sexual Rights Worldwide (University Of Minnesota Press, 2014)


Teju Cole, “The White-Savior Industrial Complex,” The Atlantic. March 22, 2012.

Nadia Khomami. "Oxford scholars reject hypocrisy claims amid row over Cecil Rhodes statue." The Guardian. January 13, 2016.

Courtney Martin, "The Reductive Seduction of Other People’s Problems," Medium. January 11, 2016.

Sarah Schulman, “Israel and ‘Pinkwashing,’” The New York Times. November 22, 2011.


Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor, Cross-Cultural Filmmaking: A Handbook for Making Documentary and Ethnographic Films and Videos (University of California Press, 1997) 

Zeba Blay, "'White Savior Barbie’ Hilariously Parodies Volunteer Selfies In Africa," The Huffington Post. April 18, 2016. and Barbie Savior Instagram account: 

"Government and Philanthropic Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Communities," 2013/2014 Global Resources Report. June 2016.


Rudyard Kipling, “The White Man’s Burden”:

Maria's documentary Momentum: Math and Science Teachers in Zambia (2006) on YouTube:
Part 1:
Part 2:

Statement from the Rhodes Trust on Cecil Rhodes’ legacy

Guest Speaker BIO! Ryan Richard Thoreson is the author of the book Transnational LGBT Activism: Working for Sexual Rights Worldwide, and has worked with a number of sexual rights groups including OutRight Action International and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association. He completed his doctorate in Anthropology at the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and holds a JD from Yale Law School. He is currently completing a two-year fellowship researching and writing about LGBT children’s rights at Human Rights Watch.  

Music this time by the Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, and MJ

Posted on November 24, 2016 .

S2E7 - Do-It-Yourself Theory and the Crafting Comeback

From craft brewing to knitting, when did acting like we’re home on the range get so cool? And why is it so satisfying to can your own jar of jam, hand-build a table, or make a quilt? This week we take on the history, culture, and politics of hipster crafting and DIY. With the help of our trusty friend Marx and a theory of "new domesticity," we dig into what modern-day maker throwbacks can tell us about our work lives and gender identities. Sociologist and beer whisperer Dr. Allison McKim helps us unpack the homebrewing explosion and its gender-troubled history, PLUS we get into Maria's love of Renaissance Faires, Noorain's once-but-no-more work alienation, and high-concept housekeeping. Pour yourself a beer (or a cold brewed coffee if you're Noorain) and come talk crafting! If you can make it, we will talk about it!

Links to Stuff We Talk About


Karl Marx, “Estranged Labour,” in Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. (Marx's theory of alienation explained in everyday language here and here

Rachel Lee Rubin, Well Met:  Renaissance Faires and the American Counterculture (NYU Press, 2012)

Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) (on division of labor and the rise of capitalism


Krystal Baugher, “Women and Beer: A 4,500-Year History Is Coming Full Circle,” The Atlantic. November 11, 2013. 

Emily Matchar, “The New Domesticity: Fun, Empowering or a Step Back for American Women?” The Washington Post. November 25, 2011.

Bonnie Rochman, “Handmade in America: Crafting's Comeback,” Parade. October 19, 2013. 


“2012 State of the Craft Industry” Craft & Hobby Association Presentation. 2012.

“Indie Craft Inspiration.” Craft & Hobby Association’s Portfolio Magazine. Winter 2009.

Shannon Hayes,  Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture. Left to Write Press. February 1, 2010.


Beer whisperer Allison McKim is also an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Bard College; more on her here

Music this week from Billy Currington, Jewel, Lila Downs, The Cardigans, and Erykah Badu

Posted on May 25, 2016 .

S2E6 - Season 2 Gab: Bold Transformations & Cozy Routines

Here in our mid-season grab-bag of chilled out convo, we take a break from theory to gab: we reflect on some of the amazing experiences we had as teenagers that made us into the people we are today. From socially conscious scouting to international underwear adventures, we take it back to '90s and let you in on some dorky-but-excellent truths about our formative years. PLUS we each describe our perfect Saturday and get enthusiastic about go-to takeout and gas station jalapeño poppers. Don't judge!! Come relax your brain with us (you need troughs to have peaks!) as we gear up for the last few episodes of Season 2.

Links to Stuff We Talk About

Formative Experiences (Transformations)

OK, we didn't talk about this explicitly, but doesn't Noorain's amazing rad Girl Scout program sound like the Pawnee Goddesses from S4 E4 of Parks and Rec, in the best way possible?! We played a little audio from that in our episode - Feministing agrees that they are the best! (Noorain dreams of being the Leslie Knope of West Michigan IRL!)

Maria's life-changing semester in Norway went down at Bergen Katedralskole (est. 1153 because Europe) in the city of Bergen. Thinking about a trip to Scandinavia? You should totally go to Bergen, it's the jam:

Lazy Saturday (Routines)

Lichee Nut, your new go-to Chinese takeout/delivery in Brooklyn. Pairs perfectly with 8 hours of TV binging.

The (possible?) origins of mozzarella sticks, even though we've never met anyone who actually makes them at home. Frying cheese does not a mozzarella stick make, Thrillist. But also pics and (possible) backstories for other great deep fried icons of lazy Saturdays across our great nation:

Music this week by Madonna, Marc Anthony (salsa version), Arcade Fire, the Kinks, and just a tad of Queen Bey.


Posted on May 12, 2016 .

S2E5 - Aging: Like Wine or Milk?

Virginia McLaurin

Hi In Theoryites—we’re back and talking about getting older! Especially as women who've crossed into the brave new world of being thirtysomethings. That means we’ve got on point theory for you related to andro-centrisim + biological determinism, and how they're part of calculating what Amy Schumer calls your last f*ckable day. Kidding! We hope. We’re also going to take on cultural difference and eldercare, mentorship, and poetry about wearing purple. Like for real. No need for anti-aging cream here, we LOVE getting older!

Links to Stuff We Talk About


Linda R. Gannon, Women and Aging: Transcending the Myths (London: Routledge, 1999). Feminist approach to the female body as it ages. 

Context "Talking With Your Parents About Independent Living: Starting the conversation about their options"

Eric Kleinenberg, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (Penguin, 2012). (thanks Allison McKim for the suggestion!)

Jenny Joseph, “Warning” poem (1961) 

Inside Amy Schumer: "Last F**able Day' feat. Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Patricia Arquette," 2015.


Kyle Buchanan. “Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, and Scarlett Johansson Have an Older-Man Problem.” New York Magazine. June 1, 2015. 

Kyle Buchanan. “Leading Men Age, But Their Love Interests Don’t.” New York Magazine. April 18, 2013. 

MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society. “Facts and Fictions About an Aging America.” Contexts Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 16–21. Fall 2009.

Tanzina Vega.  “As Parents Age, Asian-Americans Struggle to Obey a Cultural Code.” The New York Times. January 14, 2014. 


We dig 106 year old White House visitor Virginia McLaurin, the “Parents” episode of Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, and the Red Hat Society.  

This week’s music from Jay Z (2014), Gene Autry (1931) & The Beatles (1967).

Posted on April 28, 2016 .

S2E1 - Periods: Surfing the Crimson Wave

Hey you! In Theory's back for Season 2 and we're taking on menstruation! Ever wondered why we have periods? (No really - WHYYYYY??? <cramping pain>) We've got answers for you! Turns out that menstruation is full of theory to be unpacked. This week we discuss menstrual taboos across cultures, how creative tactics can help people survive oppressive systems, Maria's dream mechanical womb, and gab about the First Moon Party you never had. This isn't just for ladies--come one, come all and surf the crimson wave with us! 

Links to Stuff We Talk About


Thomas Buckley & Alma Gottlieb. Blood Magic:  The Anthropology of Menstruation (1988).

Michel de Certeau. The Practice of Everyday Life (1984).


Natalie Angier. "Radical New View of Role of Menstruation." The New York Times. September 21, 1993.


Lauren McGuire. "The Pill and the invention of the monthly cycle." Sociological Images. December 4, 2015.

Shreya Dasgupta. "Why do women have periods when most animals don't?" BBC News. April 20, 2015.  


last year's amazing #happytobleed campaign in India :: the First Moon Party you never had ::  new products that are leveraging a body positive view of periods in their marketing:  Helloflo / Thinx / DearKate / Lola

Classic period tunes this week courtesy of Ani DiFranco and the great Dolly Parton.

Posted on March 2, 2016 .

Mini-Ep: Have an Unnecessarily Sexy Halloween!


BOO! Need help picking out what to wear for Halloween? We're interrupting our own hiatus to dish on the wide range of awesomely horrific ways companies have sexed up women's and girls' Halloween costumes, from sexy pumpkins to sexy pizza rat (yes that happened). The internet has started cataloging this creepy trend every year now, but WHY is it happening? In this special between-season mini-episode, we get into the pornification of femininity and talk over Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth to understand why constraints on women's appearances don't appear to be going anywhere. Cady and the Mean Girls gang make it into this Halloween gabfest  - don't miss out! 

Links to Stuff We Talk About

Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth (HarperCollins, 1991).

And while we're at it, check out:
Costumes from Legally Blonde and Mean Girls // Maria and Noorain's picks for most absurd sexy Halloween Costumes include pumpkinsSEXY pizza rat (of Pizza Rat fame), and Donald Trump  // Sociological Images does a great annual "Sexy What?!" roundup every year; here's 2015! // other juicy commentary on sexy costumes here (is it slut shaming?), here (sexy doesn't have to be sexist!), and here (anti-pornification of femininity) 

Music from Shakira (Awooooo!).

Posted on October 27, 2015 .

Episode 9: Our Country Music Obsession Confession

Country Music Obsession Confession

Feels so right, feels so wrong, now we're crying, now we're running back for more… Tale of a bad ex? Nope! It's our flat-out love affair with country music. Join us in the last episode of Season 1 as we reveal all our feels about this much-abused genre, with a special focus on its fabulous storytelling and the time-honored tradition of lady revenge songs. We'll share some of our favorite tunes and talk about Lauren Berlant's infinitely useful theory of "the female complaint." Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and the Dixie Chicks dust off their boots (and shotguns) to help us unpack the intimate public of women's culture, which connects ladies through shared stories of suffering, broken dreams, and hellfire-n-vengeance when things get to be a little too much. C'mon down, y'all!

Links to Stuff We Talk About


Lauren Berlant, The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture (Duke University Press, 2008).


"Walk the Blurred Lines:  Country Music’s Cross-Over Popularity." October 30, 2014. Nielsen.

Richard A. Peterson, Creating Country Music (University of Chicago Press, 1997)


Songs we shoutout and/or play in this episode: 

On storytelling
Brad Paisley / “Waitin’ on a Woman”
Reba McEntire / “The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia”
Deanna Carter / “Strawberry Wine”
Dolly Parton / “Jolene”

On revenge
The Dixie Chicks’ / “Goodbye Earl”
Carrie Underwood / “Before He Cheats”
Miranda Lambert  / “Gunpowder and Lead”

And some others we don't get to on the show, but that you'll not want to miss:

Carrie Underwood “Two Black Cadillacs” 
Carrie Underwood  “Blown Away” 
Miranda Lambert “Kerosene”
Reba McIntire / “Fancy” 
Patsy Cline / "Crazy" 

Bonus:  What’s a tomato in country music? Find out here ;)

Alright diamonds, we're out until Season 2 in January. But keep track of us on Twitter and on Facebook and if you've got ideas for what theories we should take up, email us at Thanks for the memories!

X Maria & Noorain

Posted on October 1, 2015 .

Episode 8: Our Quantified / Cyborg Selves


Is your Fitbit turning you into a cyborg? In this week's podcast we explore the Quantified Self Movement, which encourages gathering data about ourselves in the quest for self-improvement. We get into what this means for our culture of maximization and productivity, how new technologies have helped us to think of ourselves as machines, and how the singularity movement envisions our cyborg future. On the way we talk about Donna Haraway's feminist Cyborg Manifesto, how long Ray Kurzweil thinks it will take for us to live forever, and what it means to be human. You know, the small stuff. Come "process" it all with us…resistance is futile! 

Links to Stuff We Talk About


Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto,” in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (Routledge, 1991) 

Reader-friendly introduction to Haraway’s cyborg manifesto in Wired

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964).


Documentary about Ray Kurzweil:


John Berman. “Futurist Ray Kurzweil Says He Can Bring His Dead Father Back to Life Through a Computer Avatar.” August 9, 2011.

Gary Wold. “The Data-Driven Life.” The New York Times Magazine. April 28, 2010.  

“Ray Kurzweil: Humans will be hybrids by 2030.” CNN Money. June 4, 2015. 


And if you’re interested, check out choice photos of White Men Wearing Google GlassM.T. Anderson’s amazing novel FEED, and the mysterious replacing-ship-parts question Maria threw out there: Ship of Theseus

Music this week from our fav electric lady Janelle Monae, Kanye, the STNG soundtrack composers, AND Styx. 

Posted on September 16, 2015 .

Episode 7: A Crash Course in Apocalyptic Prophecy

From the folks on the street distributing pamphlets about Armageddon to the rise of survivalists and doomsday preppers, the apocalypse seems to be everywhere. In this episode we get a crash course in the end of the world as we know it from Dr. Anbara Khalidi of Wadham College, Oxford. We find out what the Christian apocalypse is supposed to look like, why people get so passionate about it, and how Foucault's theories of discourses can help us make sense of it all. Dexter, exorcisms, and rains of frogs all make their get prepped ya'll, In Theory's doing the Apocalypse--now! 

Links to Stuff We Talk About


On discourses:
Michel Foucault, The Archeology of Knowledge & the Discourse on Language. Vintage, 1982. Helpful overview here.

On global-scale paranoia:
Emily Apter, “On Oneworldedness: Or Paranoia as a World System,” American Literary History 18.2 (2006) 365-389.  

On Muslim apocalyptic literature:
David Cook, Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic Literature. Syracuse University Press, 2008. 



The website Rapture Ready has an index of the signs and portents of the coming apocalypse.

The apocalypse is described in the final book of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation

Left Behind is one apocalyptic book and film series that Anbara works on--it's not small beans, over 65 million copies of the books have been sold to date!



Tara Brady. “Fill the pool with fish and stockpile the guns: Up to THREE MILLION 'Preppers' in the U.S. are prepared for for the end of the world.” The Daily Mail Online. February 11, 2012.  

Anbara Khalidi. “Exorcism, Male Power, and the Murder of E'Dena Hines.” August 18, 2015.  

Chris Michaud. “One in seven thinks end of world is coming: poll.”  Reuters Online. May 1, 2012.

Stephanie Pappas. “The Draw of Doomsday: Why People Look Forward to the End.” Live Science. May 16, 2011.

Matt Ridley. “Apocalypse Not: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry About End Times.” Wired Magazine Online. August 17, 2012.



This week we're listening to R.E.M., Britney, and Whitney (RIP girl). And one of the best episodes of High Maintenance happened to be about a survivalist, so Noorain watched Season 2's Geiger. 

Posted on September 3, 2015 .

Season 1 Gab: SHORTS! on Celebrities, Noorain's Wedding, News, & Vacations

Listen to segments separately:

It's summer, and In Theory brings you shorts we've recorded over the past few months that are just a little bit shorter and little bit sweeter. Perfect for between quick dips in the water at the beach! This week’s shorts are on celeb culture, Noorain's wedding, how we get the news, and our summer vacations. Come on in, the water's fine!

Links to Stuff We Talk About:

CELEBRITIES (and why they matter)

This one is on celebrity culture: why we love to talk about celebrities and how celeb gossip can be meaningful in our lives (even if we never meet Snooki or the Hemsworths ourselves).

On moral dilemmas in reality TV:  

Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture, Ch. 2: “Buying into American Idol: How We are Being Sold on Reality TV.” New York University Press, 2006. Print.

 Hollywood scandals and why celebrity gossip matters:

Anne Helen Peterson, Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema. Plume, 2014.

Allie Merriam. Let an Academic Explain Why Your Celebrity Obsession Is Perfectly Normal. Buzzfeed. 27 Oct. 2014. 

MOAR Anne Helen Peterson:

Anne Helen Peterson. “Jennifer Lawrence and the History of Cool Girls.” Buzzfeed. 28 Feb. 2014. 

Gossip, or “Rumor” (“compared with whom no other is as swift”!) in Classical literature:  

Virgil, The Aeneid, Book IV:


NOORAIN’S WEDDING (reflections 2 years on)

Following up on Episode 5’s discussion of the Wedding Industrial Complex, Noorain talks us through some of the pressures she felt and decisions she made when planning her own South Asian-American wedding.

Abha Bhattarai. Lavish Indian weddings help D.C.-area hotels turn handsome profitThe Washington Post. 13 Feb. 15. 

Shalene Gupta. Big fat Indian weddings get bigger and fatterFortune. 8 Aug. 2014. 

And if you're curious about commentary on the class issues associated with weddings in Pakistan, check out this and this


NEWS (how N&M get theirs)

Maria and Noorain share how they keep up on the news every day: their favorite sources, apps, and thoughts on social media’s role in informing us today.

Noorain’s sources of choice:


NY Magazine:

Maria’s morning news routine:

Hourly News App:

The Skimm:

NPR App:

Getting news from social media: 

Pew Study, “How Social Media is Rehaping News”



Noorain and Maria bring each other up to speed on their summer travels, with detours to talk about amusement parks old and new, the importance of taking (and planning!) vacations, and unlimited soda.

“Happiness is ... looking forward to your vacation.“ Science Daily. 19 Feb 2010.

Tanya Mohn. “U.S. The Only Advanced Economy That Does Not Require Employers To Provide Paid Vacation Time, Report Says.” 13 August 2013.

On the West's imagination of the East as an exotic destination:

 Edward Said, Orientalism. Vintage, 1978.

Tivoli GardensDisneyland! Lake Compounce! Be a pro like Noorain and get through Disneyland lines faster with MouseWait.

Posted on August 19, 2015 .

Episode 6: Paleoworld

Banksy Caveman

What is it about our paleolithic ancestors that makes us (and celebs from Miley Cyrus to Matthew McConaughey) want to adopt their hunter-gatherer ways? This week, we take on the Paleo Diet and explore the notion that getting back to our Stone Age roots can help us lead healthier, happier lives. That gets us deep into evolutionary theory, from Darwin’s concept of survival of the fittest to the science in Jurassic Park to our personal gut bacteria...and even a bogus explanation of why ladies love pink. Sharpen your sticks, friends: we’re going to hunt down some answers.

Links to Stuff We Talk About


Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species. 1859. 

M. Zuk, Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet,
and How We Live
. New York:  W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.


Michael Moss. Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2014.  (quickie NYTimes Magazine version here)


Jef Akst, "Gut bacteria are what we eat." The Scientist. April 7, 2010. 

Ferris Jabr, "How to Really Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer: Why the Paleo Diet Is Half-Baked." Scientific American. June 3, 2013. 

Tim Spector, "The Paleo diet is absurd, science says." June 25, 2015. 


To read up on the original, trademarked Paleo Diet, visit Loren Cordain's website here.

Back in the day corn used to look different, check out just how different here

On this episode, we shared some facepalm-worthy examples of evolutionary psychology absurdities, check them (and some others) out here, here and here. (But don't get too down, this will make you feel better about evolutionary psychology!) 

This episode, our tunes are provided by Cher Lloyd (luv her), the original Jurassic Park movie, and our fav prehistoric fam,The Flintstones. YABADABADOO!


Posted on August 5, 2015 .

Episode 5: Wedding industrial complex bells are ringing

Going to the chapel of love? Time to talk about the billion-dollar wedding industry! We take you through the stats and checklists of wedding planning, and give the low-down on the capitalist origins of some major Big Day traditions. Get ready to rethink white dresses, diamond engagement rings, celebrity weddings, and where taste comes from. Appearances by Disney princess culture, Scottish kilts, promposals, Eliza Dolittle, and more!

Links to Stuff We Talk About


Pierre Bourdeiu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, translated by Richard Nice (Harvard University Press, 1984) 

Eric J. Hobsbawm, and Terence O. Ranger, eds. The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge U Press, 2010).


Vicki Howard, Brides, Inc.: American Weddings and the Business of Tradition (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). 

Rebecca Mead, One Perfect Day the Selling of the American Wedding (New York: Penguin Press, 2007). 

The Knot, The #1 Wedding Site, Releases 2014 Real Weddings Study Statistics.” PR Newswire. March 12, 2015.  

Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist.”


Maria Sachiko Cecire, “Reality Remixed: Neomedieval Princess Culture in Disney's Enchanted,” in The Disney Middle Ages: A Fairy-Tale and Fantasy Past, ed. Susan Aronstein and Tison Pugh. Palgrave MacMillan, 2012. 

Edward Jay Epstein, “Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?The Atlantic Magazine. February 1982. Archived online. 

Uri Friedman, “How an Ad Campaign Invented the Diamond Engagement Ring.” The Atlantic Magazine. February 13, 2015.  

Hannah Wallace, “The Marriage Industrial Complex.” May 21, 2007. 


Watch Eliza Dolittle get some linguistic cultural capital in My Fair Lady (1964) and Cher decide to share some of her cool in Clueless (1995). Now go get some of your own modern-day elite taste-making from Gwenyth Paltrow's Goop newsletter! Or just check out Lauren Conrad's Paper Crown bridesmaid dresses, as worn by her real-life bridesmaids. Also: promposals.

This episode, our tunes are interested in going to the chapel, getting to the church on time, and making sure the ladies remember that diamonds are a girl's best friend. Courtesy of the Shirelles, Ol' Blue Eyes, and Nicole Kidman.

Posted on July 22, 2015 .

Episode 3: Cultural Appropriation!

This time we talk about cultural appropriation: What is it? How can you know? Is eating a taco cultural appropriation? We get into the roles of context, history, and power disparities in answering these more on tattoo fails, pop music, some of Urban Outfitters' most facepalm-worthy designs, and the dangers of "strategic anti-essentialism".  

Links to Stuff We Talk About


On strategic anti-essentialism. George Lipsitz, Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism and the Poetics of Place (Verso, 1994).


Cheyenne Evans. "CULTURAL APPROPRIATION: A BRIEF DISCUSSION AND OVERVIEW." Anthropology Rocks! February 25, 2014.

Katie J.M. Baker. "A MUCH NEEDED PRIMER ON CULTURAL APPROPRIATION." Jezebel. November 13, 2012.


Abby Phillip. "Urban Outfitters sells tapestry ‘eerily reminiscent’ of Holocaust garb." The Washington Post. February 10, 2015.

Ellie Hall and Kevin Tang. "34 Ridiculous Chinese Character Tattoos Translated." Buzzfeed. August 2, 2013.

In this episode, we used music clips that represent cultural appropriation in various ways (including music that appropriates from other cultures). Read up on our music selections below. 

"Hello Kitty" by Avril Lavigne
{more on the controversy prompted by this song/video here, here and here}

"Khusara Khusara" by Egyptian musician Hassam Ramzy
{used in Jay-Z's 1999 hit "Big Pimpin'", resulting in this controversy}

"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" from the album Graceland by Paul Simon
{more on the controversy prompted by this album here}

"Thoda Resham Lagta Hai" from the 1981 Hindi movie Jyoti
{music used in Truth Hurts' 2002 hit "Addictive"}

Posted on June 25, 2015 .

Episode 2: Why are people so nasty to women on the Internet?

In this episode we take a look at the dark sexist underbelly of the Internet. We discuss examples in blogging (like the unreasonably explosive reactions to a gluten-free woman food blogger), gaming, and social media. In the process, we take up the patriarchy, gender-based violence, and the concept of “emotion work.”

Links to Stuff We Talk About


On the patriarchy:

On emotion work:
Arlie Russell Hochschild. The Managed Heart. University of California Press. 2012. Print.  


Feminist Frequency:


Shauna James Ahern. “WARM BROWN RICE AND GRILLED VEGETABLE SALAD.” Gluten Free Girl blog.  August 30, 2011.

Maeve Duggan. "Online Harassment." Pew Research Center. October 22, 2014. Pew Study:

"Ending Violence Against Women and Girls." UN Briefing Paper. (noting Wold Bank data cited indicating women more at risk of sexual threats than cancer, accidents, etc.)

Jay Hathaway. "What Is Gamergate, and Why? An Explainer for Non-Geeks." Gawker. October 10, 2014.

Amanda Hess. “Why Women Aren't Welcome on the Internet.” Pactific Standard. January 26. 2014.

Phelan, J. E., C. A. Moss-Racusin and L. A. Rudman (2008), COMPETENT YET OUT IN THE COLD: SHIFTING CRITERIA FOR HIRING REFLECT BACKLASH TOWARD AGENTIC WOMEN. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32: 406–413. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2008.00454.x.

Adam Serwer and Katie J.M. Baker. “How Men’s Rights Leader Paul Elam Turned Being A Deadbeat Dad Into A Moneymaking Movement.” Buzzfeed. February 5, 2015. (ugh)

Lindy West. "Ask Not For Whom The Bell Trolls; It Trolls for Thee" from episode 545 "If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS." January 23, 2015. This American Life


Posted on June 14, 2015 .

Episode 1: Yup, there's a Military-Entertainment Complex...

We kick off In Theory by diving into the Military-Entertainment Complex. In this episode, we figure out how ISIS co-opted one of the most successful video games of all time and that gets us to Top Gun, Katniss Everdeen, and theories of nationhood...

Links to stuff we talk about


Stephen Stockwell and Adam Muir, “The Military-Entertainment Complex: A New Facet of Information Warfare” The Fibreculture Journal, Vol. 1 (2003). Web. URL:

Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture. New York University Press, 2006. Print.

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Verso, 2006.

Articles (selection)

On ISIS’s use of gaming in its recruitment video:

Paul Tassi, “ISIS Uses 'GTA 5' In New Teen Recruitment Video,” September 20, 2014. Web. URL:

Jay Caspian Kang, “ISIS’ Call of Duty,” The New Yorker Online. September 18, 2014. Web. URL:

Ted Thornhill, “Isis use top video game Grand Theft Auto 5 to recruit children and radicalise the vulnerable,” Daily Mail Online. 22 September 2014. Web. URL:

On Hunger Games Advertising & Responses:

Brooks Barnes, “How ‘Hunger Games’ Built Up Must-See Fever,” NY Times Online. March 18, 2012. Web. URL:

Jess Denham, "Mockingjay Part 1 pulled from Thai cinemas after students flash three-finger Hunger Games salute at country's prime minister," The Independent Online. November 20, 2014. Web. URL:  

Posted on May 29, 2015 .