Pod Academy

An International podcast combining pop culture and academics

Developed from a funerary human sacrifice, gladiator gaming became a massive form of entertainment, intimidation and execution in the late republic and early Roman empire. With up to ten per cent of the empire's inhabitants being enslaved, training some of them to become deadly killers became a liability and gladiator uprisings started happening. In this episode, we discuss the historical context of these events and the political and religious perspectives behind the adoption of gladiator uprisings in propaganda up till this day. Gil and Rutger review the classics Spartacus (1960) and Ben-Hur (1959), the epic Gladiator (2000), and several surprise bonus movies. More visual content with this episode at: https://www.ourpodacademy.com/post/gladiators-rising

Sisters in Movies

How do movies portray relationships between sisters? Especially sisters that have no brothers? Dr. Noga Ariel Galor and Lireza Elezaj join Gil to discuss. Visit our website https://www.ourpodacademy.com/

Greek Heroes have been a staple of western culture for millenias, and are still relevant in contemporary moviemaking. Special guest and expert paleontologist Charalampos Kevrekidis joins us to break down Hercules (1997), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Troy (2004) and the two Wonder Woman movies (2017 and 2020).


There aren't a lot of movies and shows depicting female solidarity, but those who do shed important light on storytelling from a female perspective. Musician, architect and feminist Lireza Elezaj joins Gil once more on the podcast.

Coming this month to the Dutch and Israeli nations near new: elections that could change their history forever. Or do nothing.

Strong artificial intelligence is the term for machines that have generalized intelligence similar to humans, such that they might be able to fool people into believing that the machines are people too. The hypothetical test for distinguishing strong AI from humans is the Turing Test, and in this episode, we look at the application of such tests in sci-fi movies. Gil and Rutger discuss Blade Runner (1982), A.I. (2001) and Ex Machina (2014). Check the website for more episode content at ourpodacademy.com/post/strong-ai-and-the-turing-test

In our third installment of Ancient Rome in movies - we move from the centers of power to the most distant province - Britannia, annexed in the year 47 CE. It is a fabled and mysterious land full of Celtic-type peoples who do their best to stop the Roman advance - and fail. Until 400 years later they cut and run when other so-called barbarians are encroaching on the Roman mainland.

We bring in a special guest to talk about Morocco, its internal politics, its geopolitical game, its history and the many Moroccan communities that live outside the country. Special guest: longtime patron Younes Al Alami!

Gil has a new podcast with his former partner in Got Academy, looking at the stories of the bible from the perspective of the people who wrote and listened to it. It's an engaging journey! Check out the website https://podcastofbiblicalproportions.com/

There have been worse riots in The Netherlands in January than the country has seen in 40 years. The government is reinforcing the lockdown and tries to appear tough, while not offering any solution to the problems at hand. Elections are due in March, but it doesn't look like much will change.

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