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The Sociologist's Dojo Podcast

Dec 18, 2022

This month on The Sociologist's Dojo Podcast, we are celebrating the season with our first annual Holiday Episode. To that end, every year we will be talking Winter Holiday content. This year, Dr. Liz Faber, Assistant Professor of English and Communication at Dean College and Recipiant of the Emily Toth Award for best Best Single Work in Women's Studies for their first book: The Computer's Voice From Star Trek to Siri, graciously comes back on the pod to kick off this anaugral yultide swaray with an analysis of the 1984 Christmas/Horror Classic: Gremlins. Get ready for a onversation that spans a variety of subjects: alegorical childhood, cauthionary tales, What makes a Christmas Movie?, Dark 80's Children's stories, and of course: bright lights, water, and midnight snacks. Enjoy!  

Production Notes:

Intro: 0:00-2:59

  • Value of a Vest 

Dr. Faber's Research Update: (3:00-22:30)

  • Dr. Faber's Upcoming Second book: Robot Suicide (2023) 
  • Dr. Faber's Upcoming Third book: Under the Misiletoe: Holiday Romance and Pop Culture (2024)
  • Holiday Movie Plot similarities 
  • Dr. Faber's Chapter on Christmas Horror Tropes 
  • Criteria for Christmas Films vs. Films Set at Christmas 
  • Dr. Fber's Holiday Film Rankings 

Basics of Gremlins: (1984) (22:31-42:39)

  • Plot Summary
  • Trivia from IMDB
  • General Themes 
  • Bagging on Gremlins 2 

Historical Context: (42:40-65:08)

  • Biographical History with the Film 
  • "Dark" 80's Children's Films 
  • Gremlins as a manifestation of 1950's Xenophobic Anxieties 
  • Racist orientalism and Assimilation Narratives 
  • The Film's mixed messages on Capitalism 
  • The "Spielbergization" of Nostalgia 

Social Analysis: (65:09-98:43)

  • Gremlins as an allegory for Childhood Part 1
  • The Gender Politics of Gremlins
  • Gremlins as an allegory for Childhood Part II
  • Learning From Pop Culture 
  • Predictions for Gremlins 3
  • Attacks on Representation 
  • Racist Orientalism Part II
  • "We are all Gremlins,"

Outtro  (98:44-103:39)

  • Plugs
  • Socials 

Stick Around For:


All Audio Clips were used under Faire Use for Comment and Criticism