By GALEN HAWES
ADA – Keep your ears open, because you may hear the voices of East Central University when and where you least expect it.
Dr. Joshua Grasso, a professor of English and Languages at ECU, recently contributed to an episode of “BrainBox” – the Oklahoma Humanities Council’s official podcast. Grasso featured in the one-hour episode “New Ways of Seeing the World: The Value of Fantasy Literature” for the podcast’s third season.
“[BrainBox host] Chris Carroll is an expert interviewer and he allowed me to have a real conversation with the material, much like I would in class with my students,” Grasso said. “The best interviews and classes lead to unexpected places and by the end of both you hopefully leave knowing more than you did at the beginning.”
The BrainBox podcast interviews scholars, writers and other artists on a range of cultural and literary topics. Grasso used the forum to discuss the importance of fantasy literature and its focus on common themes such as exile, reluctant heroes and cultural diversity.
Grasso’s appearance on the popular podcast grew from an article he published a few months earlier in Oklahoma Humanities, the council’s official magazine. He also previously delivered a talk on the subject at the council’s 2019 Curiosity Fest.
“That’s why I love reading, writing and teaching,” Grasso said. “Each one makes you see yourself in a different light. They bring out ideas and emotions that are often submerged deep down, but which surface right before your eyes. It’s an exciting and always thrilling experience.”
Grasso, who holds a Ph.D. from Miami University, teaches literature and writing courses at ECU. His fantasy and science fiction stories have appeared in Speculative North, Mythic, Red Planet and the anthology Welcome to the Alpacalypse. In addition to publishing a few independent novels, Grasso maintains an active literary blog titled The Virtual Astrolabe.
To listen to his podcast, please visit www.okhumanities.org/programs/brainbox.