English Professor Tom Connolly comments on the national pop culture scene as a weekly guest on WGBH radio's Callie Crossley Show.

“If it’s something making headlines, chances are we'll be talking about it,” said Connolly, who appears on a Friday segment called “Ragtime” with Rachel Rubin, a professor in the Department of American Studies at UMass-Boston. “We look at different trends, connecting highbrow, lowbrow and anything in between.”

Award-winning journalist Callie Crossley hosts the local radio show, broadcast daily from 1-2 p.m. on WGBH-FM 89.7.

During his first guest appearance in early January, Connolly and his peers discussed the popularity of the movie Avatar, the battle between television personalities Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno, Simon Cowell leaving American Idol, and Kate Gosselin’s $7,000 hairdo.

Before each show, Connolly, Crossley and Rubin each compile a list of hot topics. They then mix and match their choices, and Crossley makes the final decision based on her perception of audience interest.

“This is a fun platform and I really enjoy it,” said Connolly, who also has a background as a drama and movie critic. “We're able to talk about seemingly frivolous topics and put them in a greater social and cultural context.”

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