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Commonwealth of Dunces

Updated about 1 month ago

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Commonwealth of Dunces is an interview series that presents fresh voices from around the Commonwealth of Nations. We consider the ongoing impact of colonialism by talking to people who live it. From the eccentric and to the extraordinary, the abject and the absurd, each episode J.D. Addy and Valancy Stirling host conversations on countries that once made up the British Empire.

Read more

Commonwealth of Dunces is an interview series that presents fresh voices from around the Commonwealth of Nations. We consider the ongoing impact of colonialism by talking to people who live it. From the eccentric and to the extraordinary, the abject and the absurd, each episode J.D. Addy and Valancy Stirling host conversations on countries that once made up the British Empire.

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Commonwealth of Dunces

Commonwealth of Dunces

Latest release on Sep 08, 2020

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

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This means that the episode rankings aren't working properly. Please revisit us at a later time to get the best episodes of this podcast!

Rank #1: 10 - Stranger Country (Australia)

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This week phone lines crackle across Oz as we speak with former Greenpeace cadre and Guardian journo, current author and activist, Monica Tan. And I say crackle because yes, there’s the occasional spot of poor connection quality, but more to the point, the topics we talk on are live: from a treaty with First Nations people to the mostly male nomads of the Outback. Plus, you’ll learn your ABCs beyond the alphabet and why the Northern Territory is THE PLACE TO BE for missionaries, mercenaries and misfits (that’s all our listeners, then).

Enjoy!

Also, enjoy Monica’s excellent Australian travelogue, Stranger Country, available online and in bookshops everywhere.

*****

Get To Know Top End Australia: A Further Reading List by Monica Tan 

> Indigenous Australia for Dummies by Larissa Behrendt

> Carpentaria by Alexis Wright

> Capricornia by Xavier Herbet

> We of the Never Never by Jeannie Gunn

> The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin

> Phil O’Brien’s website - thecampfiresinger.com

Sep 08 2020

44mins

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Rank #2: 9 - Mughal Food (Pakistan)

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If you don’t bring guns or bombs or bullshit, you are actually most welcome in Pakistan. So park the drones and put this country at the top of your post-COVID travel plans. Pakistani-Australian journo Ayesha Hasan gets into this, Urdu literature and a woman’s life in the ’Land of the Pure’ in Episode 9 of the Commonwealth of Dunces podcast.

Ayesha's written a whole heap of interesting pieces, a great place to start is with Love In The Time Of DronesYou can also listen to her on SBS Radio or, for the academically-minded, her latest research paper The cost of doing their job online - Harassment of women journalists.

Aug 20 2020

42mins

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Rank #3: 8 - Les Boys (Canada)

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French Canadians: strong on ice, weak on South American coups. Charles Antoine-Genest joins us to talk the best of Quebec.

Aug 12 2020

39mins

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Rank #4: 7 - Gold Thaali (Sri Lanka)

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Jump Daddy and Valancy set the sound to swoon with a side of sadness. Question: Why does such a strong Sri Lankan theme run through Australia’s TV manscape? Answer: Perhaps it’s spurred by the many who escaped the place once called Ceylon on account of a 26-year civil war. We delve into the reality of the matter and the matter of marriage with our guest and proud Sri Lankan-Tamil-Australian, Ramesh.

Aug 04 2020

38mins

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Rank #5: 6 - Posho (Uganda)

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June, 2020: Across Uganda, schools are closed, boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis) are quiet and children are staying sane with TikTok. This episode is a time capsule in the making as we learn what months of lockdown life has been like for Katreena and Nigel, two Ugandan kids growing up under corona. Also, is Valancy guilty of breaching social distancing directives? 

Produced by Saint Quentin's Audio Miracles, featuring music by @kiiryabeats.

Jun 17 2020

32mins

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Rank #6: 5 - Diaspora Bingo (Australia)

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Valancy and Jump Daddy ponder the soul of Sydney: Australia's colonial ground zero. For more insight, artist J.D. Reforma (https://instagram.com/jdreforma) joins the pod to talk growing up Philippino-Australian in what they once called Sin City, now Clean Streets x The Star™ Casino Pty. Ltd. MAGANDA?

Jun 06 2020

24mins

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Rank #7: 4 - Pilaf Marriage (Sri Lanka)

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J.D. from Australia talks with V.J. from Sri Lanka about an incubus from the underworld. Gharasarapa! The movie, the myth, the mother of all prisms to learn about what they once called Ceylon. Meanwhile, Valancy trawls Disney+ for "unusual content".

May 27 2020

30mins

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Rank #8: 3 - Freedom Hi (Hong Kong)

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This week we talk unrest in Hong Kong with actor Joy Chen. Expect protest memes, Canto-pop bangers and some dirty bouffon. With apologies to Tim & Eric, it's not Jackie Chan.

May 21 2020

52mins

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Rank #9: 2 - Ecuador! (ANZAC Day)

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With ANZAC Day just gone and Julian Assange back in the news, it’s time to reflect on Australians at war: how they're remembered and how that memory is defined. To get into the weeds (and the Ecuadorian Embassy), we welcome back friend of the pod, Dr. Tom Geue!

Oh, yeah - and Valancy can recommend this ANZAC bikkie recipe. Quick, simple, good. DO IT: https://bit.ly/3aINxZR

Apr 28 2020

1hr

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Rank #10: 1/Pilot - MarX & Spencer (United Kingdom)

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Dr. Tom Geue from the University of Saint Andrews joins the pod to talk elite UK institutions, colonialism in Scotland and the class consciousness behind Tesco.

Apr 20 2020

56mins

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