A Very Square Peg: A Podcast Series about Polymath Robert Eisler. Episode 1: Man into Wolf


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In this episode, we discuss how I discovered Robert Eisler’s Man into Wolf: An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism, and Lycanthropy and unpack the book’s argument that modern humans are descended from primates who imitated the hunting practices and pack hierarchies of wolves during the scarcity of the ice age. We also hear from a crime novelist and a sociologist who were inspired by Man into Wolf in their own work and examine Eisler’s take on evolution. This episode contains brief descriptions of sexual violence.

Voice of Robert Eisler: Logan Crum.

Additional voices: Julie Ciotola and Logan Marshall.

Editing and engineering: Logan Marshall.

Music: “Shibbolet Baseda,” recorded by Elyakum Shapirra and his Israeli Orchestra.

Guests: David Dawson, H.C. Greisman, Marcello de Martino, Kristy Montee, Myrna Sheldon, Kristen Tobey, Steven Wasserstrom.

Funding provided by Ohio University Humanities Research Fund and Ohio University Honors Tutorial College Internship Program.

Special thanks to the Warburg Institute.

Bibliography and further reading:

Eisler, Robert. Man into Wolf: An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism, and Lycanthropy. Santa Barbara, CA: Ross-Erickson, Inc. Publishers, 1978 [1951].

Greisman, H. C. “Social Structure, Psychoanalysis, and Collective Aggression.” History of European Ideas Vol. 2, No. 1 (1981), pp. 35-48.

I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Dir, Gene Fowler, Jr. 1957.

Parrish, P. J. Island of Bones (Louis Kincaid Mysteries). Traverse City, MI: Our Noir Press, 2018 [2006].

Associate Professor Brian Collins is the Drs. Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair in Indian Religion and Philosophy at Ohio University. He can be reached at collinb1@ohio,edu.

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