Cover image of Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison

33 Podcast Episodes

Latest 18 Sep 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Episode artwork

S3 Ep7: On Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

Book Spider

In this episode, Chris, Hans, and I discuss the classic novel Invisible Man, which examines black identity, the sense of invisibility, and individuality in the fifties in the United States.

1hr 10mins

18 Jun 2021

Episode artwork

Episode 3: Seeing Ralph Ellison's INVISIBLE MAN Clearly

Great American Novel

On the eve of its seventieth birthday, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (1952) occupies a unique place in the American canon. On the one hand, it was instantly heralded as a Great American Novel---indeed, as Lawrence Buell notes in his study of GANs, it was the first novel by an African American to be universally admitted to the pantheon of important national fiction. At the same time, the book's subsequent reputation has ridden a rollercoaster of praise and complaint suggesting our uncertainty about what degree an epic novel about race relations should emphasize the political over the aesthetic. But while some critics find the novel a little too conservative in its insistence on the absolute autonomy of individuals to create their own identity in America, there is no doubt that Ellison's tense interrogation of the power institutions like the police and political groups exploit over minorities makes it absolutely relevant to the Black Lives Matter era.In this episode, we explore how Ellison fused European modernism with African American jazz to create the singular voice of his narrator, whose name we're never told. We examine how the plot's picaresque form differs from Bildungsroman many coming-of-age novelists were rewriting in the 1950s and delve deep into the use of symbolism, perhaps the most telltale trait at the time Ellison wrote of a GAN's "literariness." We ask why Ellison never published a second novel after Invisible Man even as he was able to produce some of the most enduring essays on race in literature and culture until his death in 1994. Most importantly, we ask what it means for people to be invisible in American society, and how Ellison's unique exploration of the issue results in a philosophically complex story that insists that the Self must first retreat from the world to forge itself before emerging to rewrite the cliches and stereotypes the culture imposes on it.  Music in order of appearance: “Old Ralley” by Lobo Loco; "Up in My Jam" by Kubbi; "Rap Dreams" by LOWERCASE_n; and “Inspector Invisible,” also by Lobo Loco. Clips of Ellison courtesy of (respectively) the Iowa State University Library; New York Public Library; and the Oklahoma Historical Society Film and Video Archives.

1hr 24mins

14 May 2021

Similar People

Episode artwork

324 Ralph Ellison | Blocked! (Top 10 Cases of Writer's Block)

The History of Literature

Ralph Waldo Ellison (1913-1994) began life as an infant in Oklahoma City and ended it as one of the most successful and celebrated novelists in the world. And this reputation was largely due to one book, the masterpiece Invisible Man (1952), which transcended the limitations that the American reading public placed on African American writers to become what Time magazine later called "the quintessential American picaresque of the twentieth century." Admired by critics and bought in large numbers by readers around the world, Invisible Man seemed to herald the beginning of a long and promising writing career for Ellison, but unfortunately, that was not to be: for the next forty years, he struggled to publish more fiction, chasing a perfection he could never manage to achieve.In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the life of Ralph Waldo Ellison, then is joined by Mike Palindrome, the president of the Literature Supporters Club, to discuss Ellison's plight and the top 10 cases of writers block.Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.New!!! Looking for an easy to way to buy Jacke a coffee? Now you can at paypal.me/jackewilson. Your generosity is much appreciated!The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature. ***This show is a part of the Podglomerate network, a company that produces, distributes, and monetizes podcasts. We encourage you to visit the website and sign up for our newsletter for more information about our shows, launches, and events. For more information on how The Podglomerate treats data, please see our Privacy Policy. Since you're listening to The History of Literature, we'd like to suggest you also try other Podglomerate shows surrounding literature, history, and storytelling like Storybound, Micheaux Mission, and The History of Standup. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 11mins

3 May 2021

Episode artwork

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The Drunk Guys Book Club Podcast

The Drunk Guys now have a Patreon! If you enjoy the show, send us beer money over at patreon.com/drunkguysbookclub! The Drunk Guys make some beers disappear this week when they discuss Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. For some reason, they can no longer find: Clearly Everybody Wants Some by Against

1hr 30mins

23 Feb 2021

Most Popular

Episode artwork

Get Lit Episode 73: Ralph Ellison

Get Lit Podcast

Jon takes over this week, bringing us his research on the oft overlooked and reputationally controversial author of essays, short stories, and novel (Invisible Man), Ralph Ellison! 


26 Aug 2020

Episode artwork

Episode Eleven: Part II of Righteous and Justified Anger as Seen in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

The Chills at Will Podcast

In this episode, Pete discusses Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, building on the ideas of righteous, historical, and justified anger felt by African-Americans over their oppression throughout American history. The book’s opening scene, the infamous “battle royal chapter” is the focus of the episode, as it is highly allegorical in symbolizing so many parts of the African-American male experience.


8 Jul 2020

Episode artwork

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Through the Pages

This week we read an American classic, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (published 1952) – a story of black identity and invisibility. A heavy, at times uncomfortable, but absolutely necessary read (“was published in 1952, could have been written last year”). We discuss themes of powerlessness, disillusionment and the fight for individuality. Let us know your thoughts and get in touch via our Instagram @throughthepagespod.


7 Jul 2020

Episode artwork

Ralph Ellison Walks into a Jazz Bar

W&L After Class, the Lifelong Learning Podcast

A Literary Chat with Marc ConnerThe university provost and Jo and James Ballengee Professor of English talks Ralph Ellison and the writer's views on America's complex history. Conner discusses Ellison scholarship at W&L, how he came to co-edit a book of his letters, and how Ellison's personality emerges in the thousands of his letters preserved in the Library of Congress.


19 Jun 2020

Episode artwork

Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison) - Mere Mortals Book Review

Mere Mortals

'Invisible Man' is a commentary of American society in the late 1940's as told from the perspective of an unnamed African American narrator. The book is fictional but contains similarities to real events experienced by Ralph Ellison during his lifetime. It changes between pure narration to lyrical prose, poetic drama and even fantastical dreamlike scenarios. The narrator experiences a loss of identity due to the societal insistence of viewing him solely as part of his racial group. He undergoes a journey from hopeful and naive to hardened and calloused, almost to the point of breaking. It is a sad, gloomy and at times, downright disgusting portrayal of American life (battle royal scene for example) as seen through the eyes of the narrator. Recommended for those looking for a perspective of American racism and willing to endure a long book (581 pages). As always, we hope you enjoy, Mere Mortals out!


7 Jun 2020

Episode artwork

Ralph Ellison: “Invisible Man”

La bulle littéraire

Dans ce nouvel épisode (un peu particulier) de La bulle littéraire, nous aborderons le célèbre roman d’apprentissage de Ralph Ellison “Invisible Man” (ou en français “Homme invisible, pour qui chantes-tu ?”) publié en 1952 aux éditions Random House. Le choix de cet épisode est directement porté vers l’actualité des États-Unis, de la France et finalement du monde suite à la mort de George Floyd, et de nombreuses autres personnes noires tuées pour seul motif d’une couleur de peau. Cet épisode est pour moi, ma manière de soutenir à ma petite échelle le #blacklivesmatter et de m’opposer à une société qui s’est basée sur l’oppression de certaines personnes et sur la suprématie blanche. Dans ce nouvel épisode, je reviens sur les grands thèmes de ce roman que je mets en parallèle avec les problématiques de notre société actuelle. N’oubliez pas: ce roman a été publié en 1952 et il est toujours d’actualité en 2020. J’aimerais alors que l’on réfléchisse à ce que nous voulons pour l’avenir. Continuer d’opprimer, de pointer du doigt des personnes qui ont juste eu la “”malchance”” de ne pas naître dans le “bon” corps et par conséquent, le malheur d’avoir une vie prédéfinie par des préjugés, d’avoir une vie dans l’ombre des personnes blanches qui passeront toujours devant elles ou au contraire, de décider de faire changer les choses une bonne fois pour toute, de faire que ces innocents ne soient pas mort en vain.La bulle littéraire se mobilise, mobilise-toi !Dans cet épisode, plusieurs références sont utilisées. En voici la liste présentée de manière chronologique de citation: Les poèmes de Langston Hughes (notamment “One-Way Ticket”, “The South” et “Marry Go Round”).Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Between the World and Me” (2015) (j’en parle aussi dans l’épisode “3 lectures qui ont changé ma vie”). Pour mieux comprendre la question du racisme aux États-Unis:« Black America: Une histoire des luttes pour l’égalité et la justice (XIXe-XXIe siècle) » de Caroline Rolland-Diamond (livre, 2016), « Du racisme d’hier, au mythes d’une société « post-raciale » d’aujourd’hui » (article Instagram disponible sur @curiosite.intellectuelle), « De la race en Amérique » (revue America, numéro 8) Pour mieux comprendre le contexte historique: “Harlem Renaissance” = mouvement de l’entre deux guerres où nous assistons à un renouveau de la culture afro-américaine dont le cœur se situe dans le quartier de Harlem à New York.“Jim Crow laws” = série de “lois” ségrégationnistes mises en place de 1875 à 1965 dans les états du Sud des États-Unis. Elles ont été abolies grâce au “Civil Right Act” de 1964 ainsi que le “Voting Right Act” de 1965. Compte Instagram du podcast: labullelitteraire.Compte Instagram personnel: @juhmoriiJe vous retrouve très prochainement pour un nouvel épisode. Jusqu’ici, bonne écoute et à très vite dans notre bulle littéraire.


7 Jun 2020