Coming soon to this channel, will be a new series of ‘academics talk about…:
Season one, which you’ll find by scrolling down in this feed, was ‘Academics talk about The Chair’ - the excellent Netflix series about a small liberal arts college starring the wonderful Sandra Oh.
Academics talk about the chair was a Covid lockdown project that kept me, my sister Anitra, and our two academic friends Narelle and Megan, sane during the insane year. Since 2021 I’ve since kept this podcast feed going as a place for my special projects, most recently, 'Your brain on writing'.
People have been asking for a new recap series ever since we finished Academics talk about the chair, but it wasn’t until Severance came along that we felt moved to do a second season.
Severance is a dystopian sci-fi series on Apple TV set in an alternative ‘now’ - where workers can opt to have their work self and their home self psychologically split. The severed workers have two selves: an ‘innie’, who is always at work, and an ‘outie’, who is always at home. The innie and the outie occupy a single body, but live in very different worlds.
The company who Severs its workers is Lumon, a global corporation with a history of having its fingers in many profitable pies. Severance is, perhaps, their attempt to create the perfect worker. But honestly, we’re not quite sure what Lumon actually does. Severance is a TV show with a lot to say about the contemporary workplace, modern slavery and the impossibility of worklife balance.
I’m joined, again, in this new series by my Twin Sister: Anitra Nottingham. Both of us are obsessed with Severance, and this pod is a chance to share ALL our thoughts and feelpinions about it…
We’re identical twins who sound eerily alike. We decided one of us is the Innie and the other is the Outie (but you’ve have to tune in to find out who is who!). To make the same sounding voice thing a bit weird, and to make the whole series more fun, we’ve invited a current or former workmate along for each episode.
Ironically, in Severance, a show about work, we are never quite sure what the workers are doing as they stare at numbers on their 1970s style monitors, under the glare of fluorescent lights. We’ll talk other forms of work we see being done - emotional work, invisible work, articulation work, managing up, down and sideways.
We’ll zoom in on the office politics in Severance and connect it to our own histories of workplace dramas. We’ll try to sympathise with management, and see if we can name employee of the week, or rat out the union organisers.
And, because we are obsessed with the only academic character in the show, Ricken, we have a section called Ricken Watch, where we report on his doings for that episode. Finally we wallow in the beauty of the show, singling out our favourite architectural, fashion and sound design moments.
If you haven’t watched Severance yet, pop it on your playlist. There are heaps of spoilers coming up! Academic workers talk about Severance will be dropping s
Our office door is always open so please leave your comments in the suggestion box (well, the review section of whatever platform you are on right now).
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or record a speak pipe message at www.speakpipe.com/thesiswhisperer. You might want to tell us about this episode, your theories about what is actually being done at Lumon or speculate on plot points for season two. We'll read them all out in the last show!
For more information about us, visit the (Academic) Workers talk about Severance website.
You can find Anitra on BlueSky and Mastodon as @anitranot
You can find Inger on all the social channels as @thesiswhisperer