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The gas from la terrasse

A French café terrasse is the best place in the world to read, think, talk with friends and watch the world go by.Consider this podcast your open invitation to pull up a chair, order your favourite drink and spend a few minutes thinking about life, culture, and French philosophy.Hosted by Dr Christopher Watkin: author, researcher and university lecturer in modern and contemporary French philosophy and culture. More info at christopherwatkin.com

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Warning: This podcast has few episodes.

This means there isn't enough episodes to provide the most popular episodes. Here's the rankings of the current episodes anyway, we recommend you to revisit when there's more episodes!

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Do we live in the age of the crisis of liberty?

This one-off episode of the podcast is the audio version of a video presentation I prepared for the 'Ends of Autonomy' Colloquium, held over Zoom on the 7-9 July 2020 (UK dates).  The original video version is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uflmg4NTz6A The Enlightenment value of autonomy is facing unprecedented tensions today: my freedom to drive, fly, eat meat and have a large family are perceived as existential threats to others and as endangering the planet; my "autonomous" desires are curated, packaged and sold to me by a sophisticated market economic and increasingly algorithmic machinery; terrorist and extremist threats have normalised the state of exception; not to mention the centrality of freedoms of speech, association and conscience in the unfolding situations around COVID-19, Black Lives Matter and the relation of Hong Kong to mainland China.  This short presentation introduces the stakes of autonomy today and stands as an invitation to further reflection. Videos of individual colloquium presentations will be posted at https://bit.ly/theendsofautonomy 

11mins

9 Jul 2020

Rank #1

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Vodcast: Samuel Beckett, Krapp's Last Tape Lecture 2020

This one-off episode of the podcast is the audio version of a video lecture I gave on Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape last week. The original video version is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1-Fbtna5PU There is talk in university circles these days of the lecture format being dead. I think that's a naive view, like saying radio is dead because of the invention of television. So in addition to helping my students understand Beckett, I wanted to see what I could do with a 50 minute "lecture" slot under lockdown. I gave myself an afternoon and an evening to produce the finished product (which encoded overnight and was uploaded the next morning) from notes I had written in a previous year. After receiving feedback from students who watched the "lecture", I'm more convinced than ever that "young people" today are more than capable of sitting for 50 minutes and consuming information, providing it is presented with some thoughtfulness.

46mins

7 Jun 2020

Rank #2

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Vodcast: Camus, The Plague, and the value of literature in a time of pandemic

This is the audio version of a video I prepared for the "Camus, Christ and COVID-19" event organised by Christian Heritage Cambridge on 20 May 2020. The original video is available at https://youtu.be/ub0pmZHBuvg In this episode I discuss the importance and value of literature in a time of crisis, some common misunderstandings about Camus' The Plague, and what we can gain from reading the novel in our current pandemic situation.

19mins

21 May 2020

Rank #3

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An Easter meditation on the very idea of having something to say about COVID-19. Let's read Camus' The Plague #6

This episode is an audio version of a blog post I wrote on 11 April 2020, the sixth in a series of reflections about the COVID-19 pandemic in the light of Albert Camus's The Plague.  I hope you enjoy it!  You can find more content related to my research, writing and blogging at christopherwatkin.com.

11mins

11 May 2020

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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Pandemics, the phenomenology of statistics, and the numerical sublime. Let’s read Camus’ The Plague #5

This episode is an audio version of a blog post I wrote on 9 April 2020, the fifth in a series of reflections about the COVID-19 pandemic in the light of Albert Camus's The Plague.  I hope you enjoy it!  You can find more content related to my research, writing and blogging at christopherwatkin.com.

15mins

6 May 2020

Rank #5

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Pandemic temporality. The strange times of COVID-19--Let's read Camus' The Plague #4

This episode is an audio version of a blog post I wrote on 22 March 2020, the fourth in a series of reflections about the COVID-19 pandemic in the light of Albert Camus's The Plague. I hope you enjoy it!You can find more content related to my research, writing and blogging at christopherwatkin.com.

17mins

4 May 2020

Rank #6

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Bonkers is the new normal--escalating paradigm shifts in the progress of a pandemic. Let's read Camus's The Plague #3

This episode is an audio version of a blog post I wrote on 20 March 2020, the third in a series of reflections about the COVID-19 pandemic in the light of Albert Camus's The Plague. I hope you enjoy it! You can find more content related to my research, writing and blogging at christopherwatkin.com.

11mins

20 Apr 2020

Rank #7

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The inkling of a different reality. Let's read Camus's The Plague #2

This episode is an audio version of a blog post I wrote on 20 February 2020, the second in a series of reflections about the COVID-19 pandemic in the light of Albert Camus's The Plague. I hope you enjoy it! You can find more content related to my research, writing and blogging at christopherwatkin.com.

4mins

18 Apr 2020

Rank #8

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Epidemics are apocalyptic, but not in the way we might think. Let's read Camus's The Plague #1

This episode is an audio version of a blog post I wrote on March 18 2020, the first in a series of reflections about the current COVID-19 epidemic in the light of Albert Camus's The Plague, which I have been re-reading over the past weeks. I hope you enjoy it! You can find more content related to my research, writing and blogging at christopherwatkin.com.

5mins

18 Apr 2020

Rank #9