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."

Weird Studies on social media

Episodes and Blog Entries

  • Episode 24: The Charlatan and the Magus, with Lionel Snell

    Episode  |  August 28th, 2018  |  58 mins 23 secs
    lionel snell, magic, ramsey dukes, trickery

    Phil and JF discuss magic with occult thinker and practicing magician Lionel Snell, also known as Ramsey Dukes.

  • Episode 23: On Presence

    Episode  |  August 15th, 2018  |  1 hr 43 mins
    event, presence, virtuality

    Phil and JF meet in person to discuss the mysteries of presence and event.

  • Episode 22: Divining the World with Joshua Ramey

    Episode  |  August 1st, 2018  |  1 hr 9 mins
    joshua ramey

    Phil and JF talk with American philosopher Joshua Ramey about his work on chance, contingency, and divination.

  • Episode 21: The Trash Stratum - Part 2

    Episode  |  July 13th, 2018  |  1 hr 5 mins
    art, camp, cinema, irony

    Phil and JF continue to muse on Philip K. Dick's line, "the symbols of the divine initially show up at the trash stratum."

  • Episode 20: The Trash Stratum - Part 1

    Episode  |  July 4th, 2018  |  1 hr 15 mins

    Phil and JF muse on Philip K. Dick's line, "the symbols of the divine initially show up at the trash stratum."

  • Episode 19: Intermezzo

    Episode  |  June 20th, 2018  |  1 hr 8 mins
    art, ontology, phenomenology, religion

    A discussion on the past and future of the podcast, and the nature of the conversation unfolding therein.

  • Episode 18: Does 'Consciousness' Exist? - Part Two

    Episode  |  June 13th, 2018  |  1 hr 1 min
    consciousness, pansychism, philosophy, william james

    Phil and JF continue (begin?) their discussion of William James's essay "Does Consciousness Exist"?

  • Episode 17: Does 'Consciousness' Exist? - Part One

    Episode  |  June 6th, 2018  |  47 mins 35 secs
    consciousness, idealism, materialism, william james

    JF and Phil do everything in their power to delay the moment where they will actually discuss William James' essay, "Does 'Consciousness' Exist?".

  • Episode 16: On Dogen Zenji's 'Genjokoan'

    Episode  |  May 30th, 2018  |  1 hr 11 mins
    dogen, genjokoan, metaphysics, religion, zen buddhism

    Phil and JF discuss a classic work of Zen metaphysics.

  • Episode 15: On Tarkovsky's 'Stalker' - Part Two

    Episode  |  May 23rd, 2018  |  1 hr 4 mins
    chernobyl, liminality, samuel delany, stalker, tarkovsky

    The second part of Phil and JF's conversation about Andrei Tarkovsky's masterpiece, "Stalker."

  • Episode 14: On Tarkovsky's 'Stalker' - Part One

    Episode  |  May 15th, 2018  |  41 mins 3 secs
    cinema, genre, stalker, tarkovsky, zone

    The first part of JF and Phil's conversation on Tarkovsky's 1979 masterpiece, "Stalker."

  • Episode 13: The Obscure: On the Philosophy of Heraclitus

    Episode  |  May 9th, 2018  |  1 hr 21 mins
    death, dreams, greek philosophy, heraclitus, sleep, soul

    Phil and JF riff on randomly generated fragments from the work of a truly weird philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus.

  • Episode 12: The Dark Eye: On the Films of Rodney Ascher

    Episode  |  May 2nd, 2018  |  1 hr 28 mins
    documentary, horror films, rodney ascher, sleep paralysis, the shining

    Phil and JF discuss the work of American filmmaker Rodney Ascher, contemporary master of the weird documentary.

  • Episode 11: Art is a Haunting Spirit

    Episode  |  April 25th, 2018  |  1 hr 15 mins
    aesthetics, mezzotint, mr james, walter benjamin

    A discussion of M. R. James' ghost story "The Mezzotint" turns into a disquisition on the nature of art in the modern age.

  • Weird Stories: M. R. James' "The Mezzotint"

    Episode  |  April 23rd, 2018  |  27 mins 34 secs
    mezzotint, mr james, story readings, weird fiction

    An unabridged reading of M. R. James' classic ghost story, "The Mezzotint," read by Weird Studies co-host, Phil Ford.

  • Episode 10: Philip K. Dick: Adrift in the Multiverse

    Episode  |  April 18th, 2018  |  1 hr 23 mins
    multiverse, parallel universes, philip k dick, time

    JF and Phil discuss Philip K. Dick's seminal essay, "If You Find this World Bad, You Should See Some of the Others."