All posts by livesofthemind

Welcome to the site!



This new website has been a long time coming. When Ethan Conley-Keck and I got together to plan the future of Lives of the Mind (LoM) after Dr. Zargar’s departure and the podcast’s separation from the honors program, we hoped to someday create a website as a centralized place for all things LoM. There were a lot of hoops to jump through–the student organization formation process, recruiting new members and a faculty adviser, securing a budget, getting an email address, etc. Things really started to gain traction once we contacted WVIK, Quad Cities NPR, for help. Jared Johnson‘s assistance has been invaluable, and episode production quality has soared with access to the Doris and Victor Day Broadcast Center’s studios.

The future of LoM

As we near the end of the 2018-19 school year, Lives of the Mind will go on a summer hiatus making the close of our first “season,” which ran (irregularly) through the structural/bureaucratic chaos of 2017-19. This fall we plan to start releasing episodes bi-monthly. Season 2 will run from September of 2019 to May of 2020. We already have a number of great interviews recorded and can’t wait to share them with our listeners! I’m so excited for what’s to come, especially taking on the role of managing this new website and leaving behind the old one. Look out not only for new podcast episodes, but also blog posts and other content made possible by the freedom of this new site!


Also make sure to check out this month’s episode released today, a fantastic interview I recorded recently with Dame Frances Cairncross, a prolific British journalist!

The fine print

We’ve switched podcast hosts from SoundCloud to Blubrry Podcasting, which means we have a new RSS feed. To continue getting the latest content, you’ll need to re-subscribe to the podcast in whatever way works for you. We’re on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and (soon) Spotify and TuneIn. Head over to the Subscribe page for details on how to stay up to date.

Thanks for listening!

-Christian Elliott, LoM Production Manager


The Future of the Free Press – Dame Frances Cairncross



Dame Frances Cairncross, former columnist for The Guardian, senior editor at The Economist, and head of Exeter College at Oxford University, discusses her long career and the recent review of high quality journalism she produced for the British government in February of 2019, the Cairncross Report.


Digging Deeper in Butte, Montana – Dr. Brian Leech



Dr. Leech is an environmental historian who has lately shifted his focus towards mining history. In Butte, Montana a particularly interesting vein of mining history is uncovered. Maria Wood and Charles Nawara interview Dr. Leech about his work on the effects of open pit mining in the community of Butte, as well as the repercussions of safety magazines issue by the Anaconda Mining Company to its workers.


Leisure and Death – Dr. Adam Kaul



Dr. Adam Kaul, an associate Professor of Anthropology at Augustana College, delves into the collaborative work on his newest publication: Leisure and Death. Exploring the way dark tourism has evolved, specifically in Ireland at the cliffs of Moher, Kaul analyzes how the intersection of leisure activities and death has shaped the surrounding area and even his own ideas about dying.


Armwrestling With Giants – Dr. Ian Davis



Does the media portray biased information? Dr. Ian Davis dives into the ideas behind modern news and media in the United States. His disappointment in the way news was covered in the early 2000s lit the flame that would shape his career and start his political activism.

“Lives of the Mind” explores the passions and pursuits of liberal arts professors. It is sponsored by Augustana’s Austin E. Knowlton Honors Program, which aims to enhance the college’s mission as a liberal arts institution through an interdisciplinary course of study as well as by cultivating intellectual curiosity and encouraging lifelong learning.


Visualizing the Unseen – Kelvin Mason



Kelvin Mason explores what influences him in creating art to help visualize matter that we can not see with the naked eye.

“Lives of the Mind” explores the passions and pursuits of liberal arts professors. It is sponsored by Augustana’s Austin E. Knowlton Honors Program, which aims to enhance the college’s mission as a liberal arts institution through an interdisciplinary course of study as well as by cultivating intellectual curiosity and encouraging lifelong learning.


The Beauty of Insects – Dr. Tierney Brosius



Dr. Tierney Brosius discusses tenacity, insect ecology, and conservation biology. Can an insect’s perceived beauty or ugliness affect our willingness to allow it to go extinct?

“Lives of the Mind” explores the passions and pursuits of liberal arts professors. It is sponsored by Augustana’s Austin E. Knowlton Honors Program, which aims to enhance the college’s mission as a liberal arts institution through an interdisciplinary course of study as well as by cultivating intellectual curiosity and encouraging lifelong learning.