Weird Studies

A filmmaker and a professor talk art and philosophy at the limits of the thinkable

About the show

Professor Phil Ford and writer/filmmaker J. F. Martel host a series of conversations on art and philosophy, dwelling on ideas that are hard to think and art that opens up rifts in what we are pleased to call "reality."

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Episodes and Blog Entries

  • Episode 52: On Beauty

    Episode  |  July 31st, 2019  |  1 hr 15 mins
    aesthetics, art, morality

    JF and Phil discuss the nature and power of beauty.

  • Episode 51: Blind Seers: On Flannery O'Connor's 'Wise Blood'

    Episode  |  July 17th, 2019  |  1 hr 35 mins
    christianity, literature, morality, nihilism

    Phil and JF discuss Flannery O'Connor first novel, interpreting it as an investigation into the implications of the modern.

  • Episode 50: Demogorgon: On 'Stranger Things'

    Episode  |  July 3rd, 2019  |  1 hr 36 mins
    criticism, metaphysics, stranger things

    JF and Phil discuss the eldritch metaphysics of the Netflix series 'Stranger Things.'

  • Episode 49: Out of Time: Nietzsche on History

    Episode  |  June 19th, 2019  |  1 hr 22 mins
    friedrich nietzsche, history, philosophy

    Phil and JF discuss Nietzsche's seminal essay, "On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life," from Untimely Meditations.

  • Episode 48: Walking the Tightrope with Erik Davis

    Episode  |  June 5th, 2019  |  1 hr 24 mins
    erik davis, interviews, literature, metaphysics

    JF and Phil sit down with Erik Davis to discuss his new book, "High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies."

  • Episode 47: Machines of Loving Grace: Technology and the Unabomber

    Episode  |  May 22nd, 2019  |  1 hr 7 mins
    cybernetics, technology, utopia

    A wide-ranging conversation on technology, utopia, and the ethics of cybernetics.

  • Episode 46: Thomas Ligotti's Angel

    Episode  |  May 8th, 2019  |  1 hr 29 mins
    metaphysics, theology, thomas ligotti, weird fiction

    An in-depth discussion of horror writer Thomas Ligotti's short story, "Mrs. Rinaldi's Angel."

  • Episode 45: Jeffrey J. Kripal on 'Flipping' Out of Materialism

    Episode  |  April 24th, 2019  |  1 hr 9 mins
    idealism, interviews, jeffrey kripal, materialism

    JF and Phil talk to Jeffrey Kripal about his new book, "The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge"

  • Episode 44: Doomed to Enchantment: The Psychical Research of William James

    Episode  |  April 9th, 2019  |  1 hr 33 mins
    parapsychology, pluralism, william james

    Phil and JF discuss two articles by William James on the early years of psychical research in Britain and the US.

  • Episode 43: On Shirley Jackson

    Episode  |  March 27th, 2019  |  1 hr 15 mins
    evil, shirley jackson, virtuality, weird fiction

    JF and Phil discuss two weird masterworks, "The Lottery" and "The Summer People" by the American horror luminary, Shirley Jackson.

  • Episode 42: On Pauline Oliveros, with Kerry O'Brien

    Episode  |  March 13th, 2019  |  1 hr 3 mins
    composers, interviews, meditation, music

    Music scholar Kerry O'Brien join Phil and JF for a conversation on the work of American composer Pauline Oliveros.

  • Episode 41: On Speculative Fiction, with Matt Cardin

    Episode  |  February 27th, 2019  |  59 mins 52 secs
    fantasy, horror, interviews

    JF and Phil talk fantasy and horror with writer and editor Matt Cardin.

  • Episode 40: On Jonathan Glazer's 'Under the Skin'

    Episode  |  February 13th, 2019  |  1 hr 17 mins
    cinema, film scores, horror, science fiction, synchronicity

    Phil and JF discuss the recent masterwork of weird cinema starring Scarlett Johansson.

  • Episode 39: The Challenge of the Paranormal, with Jeffrey J. Kripal

    Episode  |  January 30th, 2019  |  1 hr 2 mins
    interviews, jeffrey kripal, paranormal

    JF and Phil discuss the paranormal with the esteemed professor and philosophy and religious thought, Jeffrey J. Kripal.

  • Episode 38: Style as Analysis

    Episode  |  January 16th, 2019  |  1 hr 10 mins
    music, writing

    Phil and JF discuss a recently published article of Phil's authorship on how to write about music.

  • Episode 37: Entities, with Stuart Davis

    Episode  |  January 2nd, 2019  |  1 hr 14 mins
    interviews, mysticism, paranormal, stuart davis

    JF and Phil discuss nonhuman beings in an aesthetic universe with filmmaker, musician and mystic Stuart Evan Davis.