It’s a Halloween Bonus! On this episode of the STEM Read Podcast, we’ll explore America’s deep-seated literary tradition of rationalism as it has played out in more than 150 years of pop culture, from the Dime Novels of the 1870s to Scooby-Doo to the horror novels of today. STEM Read Director Gillian King-Cargile (@gkingcargile) talks with authors and experts who explore, update, and upend our traditions of fake ghosts and meddling kids.
Our guests are archivist and Dime Novel Expert Sata Prescott; author of Daphne and Velma: The Dark Deception Morgan Baden (@MorganBaden); and author of Meddling Kids Edgar Cantero (@punkahoy). Gillian is joined on the episode by Melanie Koss (@melaniekoss), associate professor of literacy at NIU’s College of Education. Embrace your inner Velma and geek out with us about the spooky problems science can (and sometimes can’t) solve.
Northern Illinois University’s STEM Read is part of the NIU STEAM family of programs that explore science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. Find more great books, lesson plans, and resources at stemread.com.
The STEM Read Podcast is produced in collaboration with WNIJ.
- Sata Prescott is NIU Libraries’ Albert Johannsen Project Director for Nickels and Dimes. You can reach out with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sata Prescott also appears in “Future Telling - Fear of First Contact: How Science and Fiction Inform Our Search for Alien Life” with cosmologist Clarence Chang and authors Daniel Kraus and Patrick S. Tomlinson. Find all episodes of Future Telling on the Future Telling Playlist on NIU STEAM’s YouTube Channel and learn more at go.niu.edu/futuretelling.
- Want to learn more about Dime Novels? Register for Papers for the People: Dime Novel Symposium on November 4 & 5! This free virtual event is hosted by NIU, in coordination with Villanova University.
- Make your own fake ghost with SCIENCE! Create a Holo Pyramid Image.
- The book Sata Prescott references is Feeling Like a Kid: Childhood and Children’s Literature by Jerry Griswold. Read Griswold’s interview in The Atlantic.
- Check out Extra Credits’ Overview of Heinlein’s work and the archetype of “The Competent Man” in Robert Heinlein - Rise - Extra Sci Fi - #1
- The Specter Riders or The Fort Mystery!
- The Spiritualist Movement and Secularism
- How do theaters create fake ghosts? Watch NIU STEAM’s STEM Café Presentation: “The Science Behind Haunted Houses.”
- Morgan Baden
- The Hive by Morgan Baden and Barry Lyga
- Scooby-Doo meets Veronica Mars is the vibe for the new Daphne and Velma YA series from Scholastic. Book 1: The Vanishing Girl was written by Josephine Ruby and Book 2: The Dark Deception was written by Morgan Baden.
- The Lost Colony of Roanoke
- The Hex Girls
- The Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine is a gateway to supernatural stories for children. Slappy 4-eva!
- Dana Scully is an American hero. The Scully Effect is real!
- Edgar Cantero is the author of The Supernatural Enhancements, Meddling Kids, and This Body’s Not Big Enough for the Both of Us.
- H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos
- Enid Blyton is the author of the Famous Five Series originally published in the UK between 1942 and 1963.
- What is hypercapnia?
- Some of the most spectacular hauntings can be explained by science. Check out Sci-Show’s episode “3 Times Science Debunked the Paranormal.” Other times, things are just SCARY! Check out the Spooked Podcast for some seriously chilling first-hand encounters with the unknown.
- For more great talks about using spooky stories and horror as a gateway to learning, check out Gillian’s talk and all the great panels available at the Horror Writers’ Association’s Librarians’ Day. It’s virtual and free throughout November, 2020!