Professors’ favorite podcasts: Learn something new in 2023

By: - December 29, 2022 6:00 am
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Sticking to New Year’s resolutions is hard, but listening to podcasts is easy. If you’d like a breezy way to improve yourself in 2023, check out these podcasts recommended by Louisiana college professors to learn about their area of expertise. 

Water? I barely know ‘er! 

Clint Wilson, director of the LSU Center for Water Studies, recommends “Waterloop: The Solutions Podcast” to learn about a variety of water-related subjects. The podcast is hosted by Travis Loop, a former reporter and Environmental Protection Agency communications director. 

Travis’ podcasts cover a wide range of water-related topics, and he does a great job of asking questions in a way that makes the topic extremely accessible and interesting,” Wilson said. 

Learning from the past 

Drew McKevitt, a history professor at Louisiana Tech, said he gets ideas for his classes listening to “Now & Then” during his commute from Shreveport to Ruston. The podcast, hosted by historians Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman, discusses a range of topics in American history and how they relate to current events. 

What I like so much about the podcast is that every episode takes some contemporary political or social controversy today and puts it in a longer historical context, with lots of examples from the 18th and 19th centuries to help make sense of the present,” McKevitt said. “It’s precisely the kind of thing I try to do for my students – to make connections between the present and the past, to use the past to make sense of the present.” 

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Lit-erally 

Richmond Eustis, a literature professor at Nicholls State, prefers podcasts unrelated to his specialty, but he had a few recommendations for literature-adjacent shows, starting with “The New Yorker’s Poetry Podcast,” hosted by Kevin Young. 

“He is incredibly smart and insightful and keeps me informed about contemporary poetry, which is absolutely not my field,” Eustis said. 

Also recommended was the “Bad Book Reviews Podcast” hosted by Alexis DeWeese, a lighthearted show where authors laugh off bad reviews and discuss learning from critiques of their work. 

As the recipient of some searing assessments on an article or two I’ve submitted, I can sympathize in a small way,” Eustis said. 

Eustis also recommended “If Books Could Kill,” hosted by Michael Hobbes and Peter Shamshiri. The podcast teases the bad lessons imparted by “airport books.” 

“It’s very smart, very funny, and much more entertaining than it might sound,” Eustis said. 

Speaking of killing… 

Edward Shihadeh, a criminology professor at LSU, is not a big podcast guy but recommended the Sunday Times’ “Inside America’s murder capital: How police lost control of a city.” The 2022 documentary, which delves into New Orleans’ crime rates, is available for free on YouTube. 

Shihadeh highly recommended the documentary, simply saying that it was “great.”

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Piper Hutchinson
Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.

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