pulled up short logo: illustration of a jenga stack

Season One Episode Directory



Pulled Up Short Trailer

Stanton Wortham

March 15, 2021

Are you interested in piquing your curiosity and reimagining the world anew… in only 35 minutes? Tune into “Pulled Up Short" where we aim to create experiences of surprise by encountering an idea, text, or experience that challenges our ways of thinking and deeply held assumptions about the world.

If you’re ready to be pulled up short, tune in for the launch of our first episode on Monday, March 22! Then, subscribe to the podcast so that you don't miss out on our newest episodes (hint! It’s a Monday morning surprise).

jenga tower with one piece pulled out


Should 6-year-olds get to vote?

Gabrielle Oliveira with Samantha Ha DiMuzio

March 22, 2021

In this episode, Gabi Oliveira asks us to let kids have a seat at the adults’ table, or rather, take a seat at the child’s table when it comes to decision-making that will affect youth’s lives. Drawing on her own ethnographic research, she explores the possibilities when young children are taken seriously as political participants.

illustration: people holding signs by a ballot box


Is faith as reasonable as reason?

Thomas Groome with Belle Liang

March 29, 2021

In this episode, Thomas Groome troubles the stereotypical divide between faith and science using examples from his own experience, including a chat with his bee-keeper neighbor. Tune in to consider the many ways in which atheism and theism are on level ground—by way of reason.

a series of religious buildings


Is it your responsibility to end world poverty?

Scott Seider with Melissa Fitzpatrick

April 5, 2021

World poverty is a humanitarian issue that is nearly unanimous in stance -- you don’t find many people who would want global poverty and hunger to persist. However, what if there was something tangible you could do to address this problem? In this episode, Scott Seider considers Peter Singer’s Solution to world poverty and what it asks of everyday people.

illustration: scales with gold coins on each side


Do witches exist?

Stanton Wortham with Usha Tummala-Narra

April 12, 2021

In this episode, Stanton Wortham draws on anthropological research to illustrate why a belief in witchcraft is rational. His definition of witchcraft—not defined by pointy hats or Halloween—might challenge you to consider not only whether witches exist, but whether you could be a witch as well.

illustration: symbols associated with the occult


Are we all in arranged marriages?

Usha Tummala-Narra with Rebecca Lowenhaupt

April 19, 2021

Drawing from the widespread fascination with Netflix’s show, Indian Matchmaking, Usha Tummala-Narra addresses the ways in which South Asian arranged marriage practices might be more common in Eurocentric relationships and conceptions than we might think.

two sets of hands holding each other


Is Adam Smith a friend of social justice?

Ryan Hanley with Greg Kalscheur

April 26, 2021

The central figure in this episode is Adam Smith, an economist and philosopher most notorious for being the “Father of Capitalism.” Ryan Hanley draws from his own research to demonstrate how Smith’s focus on markets is compatible with commitments to social justice and to providing for the poor.

illustration: hands controlling a city with puppet strings


How can education be about acquiring nothing?

René Arcilla with Chris Higgins

May 3, 2021

Like most people, René Arcilla thought that the purpose of education was to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to address pressing social problems. This episode highlights what he discovered instead—a purpose of education that isn’t focused on acquisition, but has more to do with attraction, beauty, and mystery.

pencils and books on a desk in front of a chalkboard


Did school children learn more during the pandemic?

Rebecca Lowenhaupt with Vincent Cho

May 10, 2021

As COVID-19 rages on, there is increasing conversation and controversy about the impact of the pandemic on education and school children. Many have characterized this school year as one of disruption and learning loss. In this episode, Becca Lowenhaupt proposes a flip in script: What if we see this year as one of increased learning for children? As a year of learning gained?

illustration: people sitting in front of a pile of books in a field


Does neuroscience mean that humans have no free will?

Greg Fried with Liane Young

May 17, 2021

Though it has become a commonsense assumption that humans indeed have control over their decision-making, Greg Fried offers a neurological insight in this episode that raises questions about whether or not humans really have free will.

illustration of a brain


Have we lost touch with our most important sense?

Richard Kearney with Colleen Griffith

May 24, 2021

In our current era of the pandemic and of social distancing, we are confronted with the challenges of prolonged periods without contact. In this episode, Richard Kearney claims that the basic human need for touch has never been so prevalent as it is today. Tune in to consider the reasons why touch is arguably our most important and most neglected human sense.

illustration: two hands touching at the fingertips