Podcast Recommendations

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Below is a list an ongoing list of podcasts that I listen to regularly, or have listened to at least semi-regularly. The podcasts are divided up by country, but you can also find a description, general idea of the type of podcast and some episode recommendations. Podcasts with an asterisk are my (current) favorites.

Updates will be written in blue or another color than black.

USA

*#GoodMuslimBadMuslim (Race, Religion, Women’s Voices, Discussion, Comedy, Current Events)
-Taz and Zahra are two hilarious Muslim American women who are just on point. It’s a monthly podcast, all episodes are quite similar. The segments “awkward ask a Muslim” and “fatwas” are two highlights.
—List to the most recent episodes (and go back if you love it).

*2 Dope Queens (Comedy, Race, Women’s Voices, Gender)
-Jessica Williams (from the Daily Show) and Phoebe Robinson host a stand up show and they, along with their guests, are pretty hilarious. They’re also good about making sure there is a diverse group of voices.
—List to the most recent episodes (and go back if you love it).

91.5 KRCC’s Wish We Were Here (Stories, Investigative Reporting)
-Stories and investigations that are meant to challenge our preconceptions of the world.
—3: The Beginning of the End of Homelessness?

*99% Invisible (Stories)
-Stories technically based around architecture (very loosely defined) and look at aspects of society less seen.
—114-Ten Thousand Years (How to deal with nuclear waste and communicate to those who will deal with it in 10,000 years)
—243-Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle (History of the taser)
—246-Usonia (Frank Lloyd Wright and the Usonia houses he built)
—249-Church (Sanctuary, Part 1) (Beginning of sanctuary church movement)
—253-Manzanar (History of Japanese concentration camp in US)
—271-The Great Dismal Swamp (community that developed of escaped slaves)
—274-The Age of the Algorithm (how computer algorithms affect us on a daily basis)

*Another Round (Race, Women’s Voices, Discussion, Comedy, Current Events)
-A buzzfeed podcast with two Black American women, Heben and Tracy, who offer interesting and funny points about current events and being Black women in the US. They do drink during the podcast, making it extra amusing.
—76: Vinegar & Honey (with Susan Rice)
—77: 2017 Can’t Tell Us Shit
—86:Spicy Double Down (with Lizzo) (great interview with MN artist)
—89: Sister Girl Bonds (with Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw) (hilarious beginning with why bats are adorable, then interview with the women who coined the term intersectionality)
—92: Sliding in on a Shrimp Sandwich (with Marcus Samuelsson)

The Born Yesterday Podcast (History))
-Podcast of less commonly taught history lessons.
—17-The Secret History of Monopoly

Call Your Girlfriend (Women’s Voices, Feminism, Race, Current Events, Discussion)
-Two women, Anne Friedman and Aminatou Sow, who are “long distance besties,” discuss politics, pop culture, feminism and etc. in the US. The episode directly following the 2016 election was especially good and hard to listen to but important.
—68: Rage Phase (Post 2016 election discussion)
—88-Businesswoman Special (Behind the scenes about how the podcast was created and produced)
—101: She’s Running (Women running for office)

*Code Switch (Race, Current Events, Politics, Discussion, Interviews)
-Should be required listening for all! A super quick panel discusses race in the US and it’s a great combination of interviews, stories and other discussion. Fantastic NPR production.
—46 Stops: The Driving Life and Death of Philando Castile
—A Letter From Young Asian Americans, To Their Parents, About Black Lives Matter
—The Code Switch Guide to Handling Casual Racism
—Hold Up! Time for An Explanatory Comma
—A Chitlins Christmas: Bah Humbug!
—Obama’s Legacy Series
—Sanctuary Churches: Who Controls The Story?
—Master of None’s Alan Yang Unpacks Season 2
—The U.S. Census and Our Sense of the US
—An Advertising Revolution: “Black People Are Not Dark-Skinned White People”

Criminal (Stories, History)
-Interesting stories about “criminals” or however that was defined at the time, and does in depth, less known stories.
—15: He’s Neutral (The unlikely story of a Buddha statue)
—53: Melinda and Judy (Adoption mystery)
—59: In Plain Sight (Story of William and Ellen Craft)
—70: The Procedure (Group who worked together to help women have abortions, including churches, doctors, etc.)
—73: Carry A. Nation (Woman with a hatchet on a mission to destroy bars)

*Death, Sex & Money (Relationships, Stories, Interviews)
-The premise of the show is to talk more about the things that we think about a lot but don’t talk about much. There seems to be a much larger emphasis on death and sex than money and they are incredibly engaging and touching stories.
—We’re Not Going To Have Karl Again (Family who lost young child)
—I Had Babies To Pay For My Baby
—Cut Loose: Your Breakup Stories
—A Prison Guard in Transition (Prison guard who transitioned to being a woman while working at a state prison)
—Our Student Loan Secrets Part 1 and 2, plus the question segments

Embedded (Investigative Reporting)
-In depth stories based on investigative reporting that are interesting and informative.
—The School
—Police Videos Serie

FiveThirtyEight Politics (Politics, Statistics, Polling, Discussion)
-Nerdy political discussion with lots of numbers/stats (and not!) about American politics. There’s rarely consensus in the discussion (thanks Nate Silver) so it’s an interesting discussion. They also have segments like “good use or bad use of polling” and it’s an interesting viewpoint of how professional statisticians see the use of real world polls, what not. Listen to most recent episodes.
—Sparks: Why Health Care Costs So Much: 4/8/17
—Does Hillary Clinton’s Book Get 2016 Right?

Freakonomics Radio (Economics, Social Science, Interviews)
-Stephen J. Dubner really makes social science research and findings accessible to the public and he discusses a lot of obscure and interesting topics (like the books!). If you’re a fan, also check out Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.
—Earth 2.0: Is Income Inequality Inevitable?
—Are the Rich Really Less Generous Than the Poor?
—How Big is My Penis? (And Other Things We Ask Google)
—No Hollywood Ending for the Visual-Effects Industry

Guys We F****d (Sex(uality), Rape (Culture), Feminism, Comedy)
-A great reminder of the sexual and gender diversity (as well as experiences) that exists around the world and that we don’t hear too often about. The two hosts Krystyna and Corinne are absolutely hilarious, insightful and provocative and interview a wide range of people.
—DO PEOPLE ASK IF YOU’RE CONFUSED? (with Sam Escobar)
—WHAT CAN WHITE WOMEN BE DOING BETTER?
—HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ME & STEPHEN HAVE SEX?

In The Dark (Investigative Reporting)
-Investigative reporting about the Jacob Wetterling case in Minnesota. The podcast started before a major turn in the case, when his killer was convicted in 2016 and he explained the location of Jacob’s body. This background story started before that and provides an interesting and detailed story of what happened and how the investigation was (ineptly, frankly) conducted.
—Start at the beginning

Invisibilia (Stories, Science)
-Incredibly engaging and interesting stories about the invisible forces in our lives.
—Fearless
—How to Become Batman*
-Flip the Script
-Emotions (Part 1 and 2)
-Reality
—The Culture Inside

Keepin’ it 1600 (see Pod Save America and Pod Save the World)
-Podcast hosted by men in the former Obama administration pre-2016 election. They’ve since created their own media company (Crooked Media) and host a number of podcasts (Pod Save America, Pod Save the World, Lovett or Leave It, With Friends Like These, Pod Save the People).

Love + Radio (Relationships, Sex, Stories)
-Personal stories about love and sex.
—Secrets
—The Living Room*

The Moth (Storytelling)
-Stories selected from The Moth, a forum that has continued since 1997, where people tell true stories about their lives without notes.
—The Freedom Riders and Me: Barbara Collins Bowie
—Nate Charles & Adam Gopnik

The Mythology Podcast (History, Folklore)
-The purpose of the podcast is to share stories from throughout human history
—027: Haitian Vodou
—029: Legends of Lycanthropy

Nancy (LGBT)
-Show that started in 2017 as one of the first LGBT podcasts. First episode touches on Asian American woman (host) who had a difficult time coming out to her mother.
—#1: Hello, hello

NPR Politics Podcast (Politics, Discussion)
-Panel discusses most recent political events.
—Listen to most recent episode

On The Media (Journalism, Current Events, Discussion, Interviews)
-Two journalists talk discuss current events, and especially how media plays a role in them.
—Race to the Bottom
—Seeing Is Believing (Trump’s Muslim Ban, EPA/Environment)
—Mind the Gap

*Planet Money (Economics)
-Podcast about economics, and looks at a combination of main stream questions and obscure/random/interesting stories.
—#577: The Kansas Experiment
—#752: Eagles vs. Chickens
—#756: The Bees Go To California
—#766: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part One (about how Georgetown University sold Black slaves to keep the university afloat and what to do about the descendants of these people; Part Two also good)
—#769: Speed Dating For Economists
—#779: Shrimp Fight Club
—#792: The Random Problem

Pod Save America (Politics, Current Events, Discussion, Interviews)
-Former Keepin’ it 1600 members (former Obama staff members) discuss current events in the US.
—“When you open the canister, snakes pop out.” (Interesting Q&A)
—“The odorless gas of misogyny” (Interesting discussion about what Democratic Party should work on for 2018 election)

Pod Save the World (Politics, Current Events, Interviews)
-Interviews with people intimate with current events abroad.
—North Korean Nukes with Mark Lippert
—The worst humanitarian crisis since WWII
—Crisis in Venezuela

*Politically Re-Active with W. Kamau Bell & Hari Kondabolu (Comedy, Politics, Race, Discussion, Interviews)
-Two hilarious comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu talk about current events in the US, especially politics and race, and both hilarious and provocative. Their interviews are great and thoughtful, intros are hilarious and on point.
—YouTube’s Akilah Hughes on #BlackWomenAtWork & Feeding The Buzz
—Michael Skolnik on Being a White Woke
—Aasif Mandvi on the Gaslighting Presidency
—Rashad Robinson & Color of Change Cancels Bill O’Reilly
—Street Heat w/ Congresswoman Barbara Lee & Linda Sarsour

The Racist Sandwich Podcast (Food, Race/Racism)
-Podcast that looks at the intersection of food and politics (especially race). Serves to offer perspectives on food and peoples’ experiences with it that are less commonly heard.
—E17: Hari Kondabolu Eats Beef
—E22: Traveling Better with Bani Amor
—E25: Do What You Wanna (w/ Ruby Tandoh)
—E26: Coffee level Over 9000 (w/ Nick Cho)
—Bonus Episode: The Pushback against White Supremacy in Portland

Radio Diaries (Stories, History)
-First person stories and “hidden chapter of history.”
—18: Strange Fruit-Voices of a Lynching

Radiolab (Science, Stories)
-A podcast about science (loosely defined).
—The Rhino Hunter
—Alpha Gal
—Shots fired: Parts 1 and 2 (about a network of women who lost family members to police violence)
—Henrietta Lacks
—The Gondolier
—The Ceremony (About launch of new currency)

*Radiolab Presents: More Perfect (Supreme Court, Politics, History)
-Super interesting podcast about the Supreme Court. Some of the podcasts look at the history of it, others look at specific cases.
—The Imperfect Plaintiffs
—Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl

Reply All
-Loosely about the internet, but more specifically stories about our modern life.
—Shipped to Timbuktu
—The Cathedral (Story about a son with cancer and his revelation)

Reveal (Investigative Reporting)
-An investigative reporting podcast that focusing on the themes of accountability, inequality and sustainability, as well as other topics.
—Russia’s new scapegoats
—Voting rights-and wrongs
—The rise of the new German right

*Revisionist History (History, Stories)
-Podcast hosted my Malcolm Gladwell that looks at the way certain things have been presented and how we might question them.
—Hallelujah
—Blame Game
—The Satire Paradox
—McDonald’s Broke My Heart
—The Basement Tapes

S-Town (Investigative Reporting Series)
-By the same people who did Serial, this starts as an investigation of a crime, and turns into a rather personal story of a man in a small town.
—Start at beginning

Science Vs (Science, Environment)
-Hosted by an Australian American woman, this podcast looks at scientific arguments for and against different things we can’t seem to agree on.
—Flossing (really funny episode because of guest appearance)
—Immigration (unpacks arguments for and against immigration and what science says about it)

Serial (Investigative Reporting Series)
-Season one about the murder of Hae Min Lee (Adnan Syed was later convicted for it, but it’s unclear whether it was him). Season two is about Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Both seasons are interesting because they are in depth and go through Sarah Koenig’s thought process during the investigative work.
—Start at beginning

Slate’s Double X Gabfest (Women’s Issues, Politics, Discussion, Current Events)
-The premise of the show is that it’s founded by women but not just for women. Hosted by very interesting and smart women (ex. Invisibilia’s Hanna Rosin, New York Magazine’s Noreen Malone, Slate’s June Thomas and Christina Cauterucci, etc.).
—Listen to most recent episode

*Slate’s Political Gabfest (Politics, Discussion, Current Events)
-Political discussion between Atlas Obscura’s David Plotz, NYT Magazine’s Emily Bazelon and Face the Nation’s John Dickerson. The three are so quick and clever and it’s super interesting. Each episode ends with “cocktail chatter” (things you would talk about at a cocktail party, random cool things).
—Listen to most recent episode

Snap Judgment (Storytelling)
-Interesting stories. Similar to This American Life in the sense that each episode will have stories based on a common theme.
—#731 Mettle
—#506: The Mercenary

*Sooo Many White Guys (Comedy, Race, Women’s Voices, Gender, Interviews)
-One of the hosts of 2 Dope Queens, Phoebe Robinson, hosts this second podcast, produced by Broadcity’s Ilana Glazer! The episodes are similarly funny to 2 Dope Queens during the beginning and ending segments (especially discussions between Ilana Glazer and Phoebe Robinson), but her interviews tend to be more serious. Each season interviews one “white guy,” but otherwise tries to interview a diverse range of people (however the second season ended up having two “white guys” because Tom Hanks offered to be interviewed, so it’s not a hard and fast rule).
—#1 Phoebe and Lizzo Get Lit
—#4 Phoebe and Hari Kondabolu Reach Peak Confidence
—#7 Phoebe and Hasan Minhaj Talk Turkey
—#8 Phoebe and Roxane Gay Toast to the GooD Life
—#14 Phoebe and Margaret Cho Hope They Die Alone
—They’re all good…

*The Sporkful (Food, Society, Race, Culture, Family)
-Podcast about the intersection of food and society and the people around it. Dan Pashman, the host, is pretty hilarious, down to earth, and easy to listen to, so they’re fun, short episodes.
—Who Was This Restaurant Made For Series* (about the ways in which restaurants can be inclusive or exclusive, who might feel welcome where or not and why)
—The Great Office Coffee Election
—Is Sandwich Sexism Real?
—Comic Maeve Higgins Is On The Michael Fassbender Diet
—Searching For Rosa Parks’ Pancakes
—Patti LaBell Brings Her Frying Pans On Tour
—How to Be Fat (with Lindy West)
—Your Mom’s Food Series (stories of how food plays a role in our lives, from everything from how parents of adopted children try to balance what food to make to couples deciding how to balance this as well
—Modern Family’s Ty Burrell Cases Hollywood Parties For Free Food

State of the Re:Union (Storytelling, Politics, Community)
-Telling the story of America, one community at a time, in an attempt to bring people closer.
—Bayard Rustin-Who Is This Man? (Answer: major civil rights activist you never heard about because his sexuality was used against him)
—Twin Cities: World Within Two Cities

*Strangers (Stories, interviews)
-Lea Thau does a great job of interviewing people and getting their stories in a way that connects the listeners to other strangers and their stories
—Love Hurts Series
—Lex (Warning: violent episode)
—Eleven Up
—Franky Carrillo: Life (and Life Now)
—Jack Be Nimble (Parts 1 and 2) (Warning: story of abuse)
—A Filipino-Albino-Gay-Straight-Boy-Girl-Poor-Privileged-Immigrant-American Life

*This American Life (Storytelling, Interviews)
-Potentially the most well-known podcast (up there with Serial!). Hosted by Ira Glass, each week, the team picks a theme and finds stories linked to that theme.
—#585: In Defense of Ignorance (Chinese American family story, amazing)
—#607: Didn’t We Solve This One? (Refugees)
—#621: Fear and Loathing in Homer and Rockville (Undocumented immigration debated)
—#625: Essay B

The Uncertain Hour (Economics, Welfare System)
-Podcast documentary series that looks at the US welfare system 20 years after reform.
—Start at the beginning

Undisclosed (Crimes, Courts)
-Podcast that looks at some major cases in depth, made up in series.
—The State v. Adnan Syed Series
—The Killing of Freddie Gray Series

The UnMute Podcast (Philosophy, Race, Ethnicity, Teaching)
-Podcast about philosophy with a focus on young contemporary philosophers and focuses quite a bit on issues of race
—017: Tom Digby on Masculinity
—024: Larry Blum on Teaching Race (how to teach race at high school and university level)
—027: Lori Gruen on Prisons
—028: David Livingstone on Dehumanization

Up First (News)
-NPR’s (short; approx. 10 minutes) morning news podcast with news highlights for the day
—Listen to most recent episode (released daily Monday-Friday)

Vox’s the Weeds (Politics, Discussion, Interviews)
-Podcast about current events and politics, discussion between Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff, and Matthew Yglesias.
—Sara and Ezra Interview Obama About Obamacare
—Weeds in the Wild: Postville (Example of immigration’s affect on local American communities)

Wait Wait.. Don’t Tell Me! (News/recent events, Comedy, Talk Show)
-An NPR news show that keeps you up with the news through humor.
—Listen to most recent episode (especially episodes with Paula Poundstone)

With Friends Like These (Discussion/interviews)
-The premise of the show is to have “awkward” and open discussions about important topics. Podcast under the same umbrella as Pod Save America, Pod Save the World, etc.
—”The Help Is Coming From Inside the House” (Discussion about suicide and depression)
—”Nothing messier than sex” with Kim Cavill
—”Too Tired to be Angry” w/ Rembert Browne

*What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law (Law, Current Events, Politics)
-Law professor Elizabeth Joh co-hosts this podcast with 99% Invisible’s Roman Mars, where she uses examples from Trump’s Presidency to explain Constitutional Law. They’re short, sweet and delicious episodes.
—Start at the beginning and listen to them all (they’re short)

What’s the Point (Statistics)
-One of FiveThirtyEight’s Podcasts that looks how how data changes our lives.
-Listen to most recent episode

(Plus a really cool series where people visualized their podcasts here.)

Denmark

DIIS Podcast (Social Science, Current Events, Politics)
-Podcast that analyzes current events or particular topics in depth (almost exclusively in Danish but not entirely).
—NATO-Europas muligheder i en usikker fremtid
—Yemen-den glemte krig
—Kurderne i Irak holder kontroversiel afstemning om selvstændighed

Eksistens (Philosophy)
-Philosophy podcast that looks at different societal questions (in Danish).
—Sort, hvid, rød, gul, brun* (Looks at issues of race and racism in Denmark)

Mads & Monopolet
-Mads and a panel discuss dilemmas that listeners send in (in Danish).
—Listen to the most recent episode

Min Lille Hassan (Discussions, Masculinity)
-Discussion based podcast based around men talking about things they are not generally accustomed to or “supposed” to talk about (especially feelings; in Danish).
—Far
—Martin Østergaard
—Martin Lyngbo

Orientering Weekend (News, Current Events)
-Weekly podcast with highlights from that weeks news, giving the topics a more in depth analysis. A good combination of Danish and international news (in Danish).
—Listen to the most recent episode

*P1 Dokumentar (Documentary Series)
-Danish documentary series that looks at stories primarily from within Denmark that are often less known (in Danish).
—Livet på tålt ophold (About the experience of those who cannot leave Denmark but were not granted residency, leaving them in a limbo)
—Bag om dokumentarismen (Discussion about new documentary about sex with open and honest discussions)
—Et usikkert liv på arbejdsmarked
—Unge grønlændere ofre for dansk sprogkaos
—I østtysk propagandatjeneste
—Byen der ikke ville forlades (Aleppo)
—De glemte børn
—Operation Bøllebank-kampen om sandheden (New information about the Danish operation in Bosnia in the 1990s)

Poplaboratoriet (Music)
-Music podcast that recommends new artists and songs both inside and outside of Denmark (and actually seem to have a bit of a Swedish obsession; in Danish).
—Listen to the most recent episode

Rushys Roulette (Politics, Race, Immigration/Integration, Society)
-Rushy Rashid Højbjerg hosts a weekly discussion-based podcast that looks at certain societal issues, particularly related to issues of immigration, discrimination, etc. The panels are diverse in opinion (in Danish).
—Asyl efter dokumentar
—Vi har altid migreret
—Diskrimination af unge med minoritetsbaggrund i nattelivet
—Skuddene i København
—”Hvorfor hader han dig, mor?”
—Det norske valg, kvoteflygtninge og en kinesisk-dansk kærlighedshistorie fra dengang mennesker blev udstillet i Tivoli

Sproglaboratoriet (Language, Denmark/Scandinavia)
-Podcast about language. The podcast has ended now, but the episodes often looked at topics within Danish language, but some of the most interesting episodes are those that compare nuances in Danish with Swedish and Norwegian (in Danish but occasional other languages as well).
—At miste mælet. I et fremmed land* (includes an interview with me here)
—Nordiske venner og falske venner
—Kebabnorsk, Rinkebysvensk og gadedansk
—’Skamdinavisk’

*Third Ear x Politiken (Stories, Investigative Reporting)
-The podcast tells interesting stories, some of which are told from others, some of which are told by the hosts of the podcast through their investigation of the story (in Danish).
—I Et Forhold Med* (Engaging relationship story)
—Farfars To Liv (Learning about their grandfather’s “two lives” after his death)
—Kvinden Med Den Tunge Kuffert Series (Series that follows the story of a con artist who traveled around Denmark and Norway)

Australia

Human/Ordinary (Storytelling)
-Non-fiction stories exploring what it means to be human (particularly in Australia).
—Headstone: Breath and Bone (Warning: story of a baby who died and the experience of the parents)

Late Night Live (News, Discussion)
-Podcast that looks at current political issues and news both inside and outside of Australia
—Listen to most recent episode

The Minefield (Philosophy, Discussion)
-Philosophy podcast that looks at societal questions through a philosophical lens)
—Good food? The ethics of what we eat
—Penalty rates: Why should Sunday stay special? (Penalty rates are like overtime rates in the US)

*Not By Accident (Story, LGBT, Motherhood)
-Podcast about an Australian woman who moved to Denmark and her story through dating, realizing she was lesbian, wanting to become a mother and choosing to do it while single. Super interesting and candid story.
—Start from the beginning

Sweden

P3 Dokumentär (Documentary Series)
-Podcast documentaries about events in and outside of Sweden (in Swedish).
—Tvångssteriliseringarna av transpersoner
—Black metal-morden
—Annika Österberg och polismordet i Lakeport

United Kingdom

The Guardian UK: Politics Weekly (Politics, UK, EU, Discussion)
-Interesting summary and discussion of current events and politics in the United Kingdom (with a particular focus on the recent election and Brexit negotiations and progressions).
—Listen to the most recent podcast