The other day I was changing channels on Sirius XM and landed on BYU Radio, which I had no idea even existed. I was getting ready to change the channel when I realized the conversation was on Moby Dick, and I ended up listening to the remainder of the show. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and when I got home I found a list of shows and listened to another episode. The description of the program on their website is
BYUradio's "This'll Take a While" brings you engaging and often digressive conversations about film, books, geography, culture, art, hockey, and pretty much everything else. Join Professor Dean Duncan of the BYU Film Department for expansive and captivating conversation.Judging by what I heard, I'll second both the 'engaging' and 'digressive' parts of the conversations. I'll list some of the episodes that pertain to literature, at least generally (through early February 2018) with their description in case others are interested in listening to them. There are several ways to listen and/or download episodes, but I'll limit my links to the show's website. It looks like the show recycles through older episodes in between the newer ones, so check their schedule and listen in if you're a satellite radio subscriber. And if you find other shows as engaging as this one, please let me know!
BYU Radio is currently channel 143 on Sirius XM. "This'll Take A While" comes on at 1pm Pacific time.
Exploring the Nature of Evil, in Literature (original air date Feb 5, 2018)
The BYU English department's Dennis Cutchins joins Dean to discuss the benefits of reading challenging, difficult material. They also consider those occasions when a reader might just decide to get himself out of there!
Moby Dick (Jan 22, 2018)
BYU English professor Stephen Tuttle joins Dean to enthuse at considerable and joyful length about Herman Melville's inexhaustibly great 1851 novel.
Two Anxious American Authors (Jan 8, 2018)
Carl Sederholm is a professor and administrator at BYU's department of comparative literature. He is also a connoisseur of the weird, which is why we have invited him to illuminate the wild and continuingly resonant work of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.
Stephen King, mostly (Nov 27, 2017)
The University of Vermont's Tony Magistrale and BYU's own Carl Sederholm visit the show to assess, analyze and celebrate this undeniable American literary and cultural phenomenon. Have you ever wondered where to start reading this guy, or if you want to start at all? We've got you covered!
On Swedish Literature, Mostly (Feb 27, 2017)
BYU Comp. Lit's Chip Oscarson discusses some of the chronologies, key motifs and powerful practitioners that have helped overachieving Sweden so repeatedly catch the world's attention and imagination. And as usual, Denmark and Norway keep trying to butt in.
Are Myths True? (Aug 8, 2016)
BYU classicist Seth Jeppesen visits Dean to explore the deep roots and continued relevance of Greek and Roman mythology.
A Short History of Comic Strips, Comic Books, Graphic Novels (Jul 11, 2016)
American Studies scholar Dr Kerry Soper joins the program to draw out some of the surprising and productive family resemblances that exist between these popular and so-very-present art forms.
Classical Foundations (May 30, 2016)
Dean welcomes BYU classicist Roger MacFarlane for a conversation about how present in and important to contemporary life those old Greeks and Romans really are.
Walter Scott and the Evolution of the Novel (May 29, 2016)
Dean welcomes literary scholar Paul Westover to discuss the numerous innovations and vast influence of this great and too often underappreciated Scottish man of letters.
Your Autobiography (Apr 25, 2016)
BYU English department chair Phil Snyder joins Dean to open up some of the whys and ways of examining your own life, and writing your own history.
Don Quixote (Apr 11, 2016)
Spanish scholar Dale Pratt joins Dean for a celebration of Miguel de Cervantes' incalculably important, inexhaustibly enjoyable literary milestone.
Commedia dell'Arte (Aug 9, 2015)
Commedia dell'arte is a type of Italian theater that revolutionized the stage. Dean's conversation today starts with Janine's own theater history in Utah, taking courses in Italian and history at BYU, and her heavy involvement in Dramaturgy as well. Anyone interested in stage productions today can learn more about a branch of theatrical history during this episode.
Brush up Your Shakespeare (Feb 24, 2015)
Elizabethan scholar Rick Duerden joins Dean to discuss some of the surface challenges and endless benefits of studying the world's greatest writer.
The American Short Story, Pt. 2 (Feb 6, 2015)
Dennis Cutchins returns to talk about ten short stories that will change your life. Inhospitably, Dean waxes skeptical about the impulse to make lists.
The American Short Story, Pt. 1 (Jan 28, 2015)
Dean and BYU English’s Dennis Cutchins use Bill Murray’s "The Man Who Knew Too Little" as an entrée into their discussion about American short fiction. Listener beware!
Translated (Feb 27, 2014)
Daryl Hague, a translation professor in BYU’s Department of Spanish and Portugeuse, talks about the letter and the spirit of language and its translation.
Chris Crowe II (Oct 1, 2014)
Chris returns to our program to discuss the need for tough topics and tough talk in teen literature. He and Dean also get grumpy about all those lucrative fantasy franchises for young readers.
Reading (Jan 23, 2014)
Bruce and Margaret Young get beyond books in a discussion about the innumerable texts that moderns need to decode, and the expansion that attends their successfully doing so.
Teens, Reading (Dec 23, 2013)
We’ve got a glut here! Navigational tips from Chris Crowe, a distinguished scholar and writer in the field of adolescent literature.
Writing Books is Hard, Pt. 2 (Nov 20, 2013)
One would think the work would be done upon completion of writing a book. In reality, there's an entirely new battle to fight after you finish. Veteran author Ignacio Garcia discusses the details with Dean.
Writing Books is Hard, Pt. 1 (Nov 13, 2013)
Do you think reading academic books is a long and tedious task? You should try writing one! Fellow-scholars Daryl Lee and Megan Sanborn Jones join Dean to talk about the travails of academic authorship.
Learning to Read (Jul 6, 2012)
Dean talks with Bruce and Margaret Young about reading, how we learn it, how we may have to re-learn it, and some of what we get out of the whole arrangement.
Why I Read Long Books (Jun 1, 2012)
Some people won’t read a book that exceeds a certain number of pages, but BYU Humanities professor Joe Parry is not one of those people. Join Joe as he talks with Dean about the reason he ventures into books that some people would only use to keep their boat trailer from rolling.
Harry Potter (Jul 12, 2011)
Dean delivers a radio essay about JK Rowling’s beloved franchise. He discusses narrative trajectory, filmic adaptation, and the benevolent place that popular culture so often plays in our private lives.