A new culture-based talk show is headed to Lancer Radio as a result of a collaboration between two anthropology professors.
The Super O Show, hosted by Alexis Altounian and Mark Gordon transforms the broad, highly academic topic of culture into entertaining discussion. Even the show’s name was derived from the academic work of the famous anthropologist Alfred Kroeber.
Kroeber taught at UC Berkeley, where he wrote numerous books and articles on culture.
“One of [Kroeber’s] most famous articles outlines the concept of the superorganic,” said Altounian. “He’s talking about how culture is so important that it is actually above the organic…like the basic things, food, water, shelter, but the culture is so much more than that.”
“It’s everything that we share, from language to traditions, customs, to things that are so hard for us to describe, but they’re all part of this superorganic,” Altounian added.
While the history behind the show’s name sounds complex, listeners should not fear the content. The show brings education and entertainment together to examine aspects of culture that might surprise listeners.
“I don’t know what’s more entertaining that the wacky and exotic things that people do,” stated Gordon. “We wanted to create almost like a ‘best of’ so it’s not exactly the way we would teach our courses, but we take the traditional topics in anthropology and we’ll…throw in some of our favorite subjects.”
Finding culture in everything and everywhere is one of the major purposes of the show according to Altounian. As a result, potential episode discussions include dating, comedy and magic along with special guests.
“All of the things that already interest people, it really is anthropology whether or not they put that name to it,” said Gordon.
Both Altounian and Gordon hope the show generates interest among students to “whet their appetite” to explore anthropology. Additionally, Gordon hopes listeners find the show’s discussions relateable despite sounding heavily rooted in academics on the surface.
“I think our personalities jive to make that happen,” he said.
In their first episode, Altounian and Gordon will discuss culture generally, Kroeber’s contributions, and how they both got into the field of anthropology.
The Super O Show debuts on Oct. 27 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Lancer Radio, which will be available in podcast format after the airing of the show.