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#69: Coltan Scrivner on First-Gen to Fame

Coltan Scrivner: you may not know the name, but you will. Coltan is a first-gen college student, and one of the most impressive PhD students I've come across. His family is from Slaughterville, Oklahoma, and did his undergrad and masters in Oklahoma before beginning his PhD at the University of Chicago's Department of Comparative Human Development. He's carved out for himself a fascinating area of specialization: morbid curiosity. It's really cool to see him conceive of an academic niche and to position himself as the unequivocal world expert. He's under contract for Penguin Random House to write a trade book on morbid curiosity, which is how I found him originally. But what I didn't know before our interview is that he also has a TV series in the works. As a PhD student. Wow. In this conversation, I talked to him about his story of developing his interests and expertise, how he was able to be so productive so early in his career, and what his research has uncovered about why we're fascinated with death, horror, and violence. Coltan is definitely going places. Also, I watched The Autopsy of Jane Doe later that night on Coltan's recommendation. Let's just say... it lives up to Coltan's billing.

His website:

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