Invasion of the Pod People
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Since July 2011, fortnightly podcast The Rereaders has been giving local and international culture a second reading: one that's smart, detailed and convivial.
Hosted by Mel Campbell and Dion Kagan, with a rotating roster of guest hosts, the Rereaders' cultural diet is rich and varied – though not always nutritious – covering a satisfying mix of subjects from books to architecture to TV to fashion and consumer trends. Whether they're discussing Pokémon Go, Brett Whiteley or the work of Frank Moorhouse, the Rereaders offer fresh, funny and informed commentary and plenty of recommendations.
To celebrate their 100th episode, they'll record a bumper episode live at the Wheeler Centre. Join Campbell and Kagan and special guests, including critic Sonia Nair and editor Adolfo Aranjuez, as they grapple, quarrel and crack wise.
Mel Campbell is a freelance journalist and critic who co-hosts the fortnightly literature and culture podcast The Rereaders. She is a columnist on writing at Overland magazine, and a university lecturer and writer-for-hire on film, TV and media. Her first book was the nonfiction investigation Out of Shape: Debunking Myths about Fashion and Fit (2013), and she’s currently co-writing a second romantic comedy novel with Anthony Morris; their first was The Hot Guy (2017).
Dion Kagan is a writer, editor and researcher. His writing has appeared in the Sydney Review of Books, Australian Book Review, LitHub, Metro, Kill Your Darlings, The Big Issue, The Conversation, Archer and more. He is a regular columnist for The Lifted Brow and a co-host on fortnightly culture podcast The Rereaders. His book, Positive Images, came out with I.B. Tauris in 2018. Dion has a PhD from the University of Melbourne where he lectured in gender and cultural studies. He is now a books editor at Black Inc.
Sonia Nair is General Manager at human rights media organisation Right Now, as well as a writer and critic whose literary criticism and social commentary have been published by the Wheeler Centre, Kill Your Darlings, the Big Issue, Eureka Street and the Lifted Brow, among others.
Adolfo Aranjuez is editor of Metro, Australia’s oldest film and media periodical, and editor-in-chief of sexuality and gender magazine Archer. He is also a freelance writer, speaker and dancer. Adolfo’s nonfiction and poetry have appeared in Right Now, Overland, Meanjin, the Manila Review and Peril, among others.
In the last few years, podcasts have matured into the storytelling format du jour – with a little help from a certain sensationally popular true crime serial (ahem). Yet the surge of interest and excitement around audio features and podcasts has been gaining momentum for even longer, propelled by a diversity of formats.
Take the narrative artisanship of This American Life or the sonic vivacity of Radiolab; the topical deep dives of Slate’s Culture Gabfest or Phillip Adams’s Late Night Live; the animated storytelling of The Moth or Sum of All Parts; or the intimate conversations found in Death, Sex and Money or WTF with Marc Maron. The influence of these and countless other shows can be felt in today’s most interesting podcasts (insert shameless plug for the Wheeler Centre’s own successful forays into richly-produced feature-making, including Andrew Denton’s Better Off Dead, and The Messenger, here).
Beloved for their sense of proximity, their active listenership, portability and in some cases, ambitiously-crafted audio, podcasts have a unique ability to keep listeners in the company of their own choosing – and to render mundane tasks bearable. And since design show 99% Invisible’s record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns – podcasts have also shown promise in otherwise dim times for media businesses. What’s next for podcasting – and how could it be done better?
In celebration of all things audible, we’re bringing you some of podcasting’s best and brightest to share their thoughts and insights on the art (and business) of listening.