Host Trish Kerle’ welcomes comedian W. Kamau Bell, whose work openly challenges racism, sexism, homophobia, and more. The New Y0rk Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.” Face Full of Flour, his standup comedy album, was named one of the Top 10 Best Comedy Albums of 2010 by iTunes and Punchline Magazine. His comedy series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, premiered in August 2012 and became a critically acclaimed, though short-lived, television show executive produced by Chris Rock. W. Kamau Bell has just launched his first major comedy tour and he will be performing at the Comedy Attic here in Bloomington, Indiana on March 12, 2014.
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Host Doug Storm talks with Ted Striphas, an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication & Culture at Indiana University and the author of the 2009 title The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control, about the ways that book technology has evolved and the ways in which humans evolved with it.
In discussing the digitization of “the word” we look at Amazon.com’s Kindle: not only at the ways we read Kindles (and how they mimic the form of the book) but also how Kindles read us by sending information about our very marginalia back into the Cloud of knowing.
We also discuss the ways in which a digital information age bears a striking resemblance to what Hannah Arendt called a society where “there is nobody left with whom one could argue, to whom one could present grievances…in which everybody is deprived of political freedom, of the power to act; for the rule by Nobody is not no-rule, and where all are equally powerless we have a tyranny without a tyrant.”
Do you think Darwin’s Origin of Species undermines a belief in the veracity of the creation as told in Genesis? If you think so, what does that say about your worldview? Will your politics be revealed? Does your belief in Yahweh or any other god, or lack of belief in such constructs, really matter in the larger picture of how we live and breathe and survive together?
Host Doug Storm talks with Carl Weinberg, an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of history at Indiana University, who is working on a book with the working title Red Dynamite: Creationism and Anti-Communism in Modern America.
Tonight on Interchange host Doug Storm is joined by Jason Baird Jackson, Director of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at Indiana University and Eric Sandweiss a professor in the Department of History at Indiana University to try to answer the question “What are museums for?” by examining the ways these institutions work to create and define the culture they are said to represent. The program also looks at the way a museum works by leaving space for personal self-discovery while also undermining common stereotypes and common ideologies. The museum, not just a book on a wall.
This week on Interchange, Saving Place: Passion, Politics and Sustainability in Historic Preservation. Host Trish Kerle’ speaks with Bloomington city council member and small business owner, Chris Sturbaum, and Duncan Campbell, historic preservation consultant, retired associate professor of Architecture and director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at Ball State University about current preservation challenges in Bloomington. Also discussed are issues of conservation and sustainability such as “greening” the built environmental (“the greenest home is the one that’s already been built”).
In this episode of Interchange, host Doug Storm goes in search of No Place, or what Thomas More, the 16th century lawyer and statesman, and originator of the term (if not the literary genre), called Utopia. Providing map and compass (moral and otherwise) are Constance Furey, associate professor in the department of Religious Studies and a scholar of the Renaissance and Reformation Christianity, and Shelby Everett, a junior at Indiana University working towards a degree in Religious Studies who is currently interning with Fair Trade Bloomington.
Interview highlight: Constance Furey on utopian thinking as “educating desire”
“Though it’s often talked about as a kind of blueprint, and that’s one of the reasons that Plato’s Republic is invoked as a precedent also for a seemingly totalitarian vision of society, I think it’s actually helpful to imagine utopia more as a way of thinking about how to educate desire….Those desires are not in fact consistent or uniform across cultures, across time, between people, and so there’s a sense that what we do is going to be shaped by what it is we think we want and that’s where the ideal comes in and I think utopia is one of these ways of saying, and confronting us, ‘What do you want? What looks good to you?’…and therefore the implicit question potentially becomes explicit, ‘Why does that look good to you?’ And that’s a way of shaping or influencing desire…”
Works and authors discussed in this podcast:
Thomas More (1478 – 6 July 1535), Utopia
Plato, The Republic
Christine de Pizan (1364 – c. 1430), The Book of the City of Ladies
Emilia Laneir (1569-1645), Salve Deus Rex Iudæorum(containing “Eve’s Apology”)
Nathan Schneider, Thank You, Anarchy
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860 – 1935): “Yellow Wallpaper”; Herland
Indiana University Economics Professor Martin Spechler and Purdue University American Studies Professor Bill Mullen debate the recent boycott of Israeli universities by the American Studies Association. Mullen is one of eight Indiana professors who signed an editorial supporting the boycott. Spechler has publicly stated his opposition to the boycott in a letter to the editor published in the Herald-Times. Spechler and Mullen discuss the use of boycott as a tool, the implications of an academic organization taking a political stand, and what the issue means for academic freedom. WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford moderates the conversation.
Tonight on Interchange host Doug Storm talks with three faculty members of Indiana University who were active in Occupy Bloomington, one of many occupations of public spaces in US cities that appeared as a response to the Occupy Wall Street Movement that originated in New York City in September of 2011.
Ben Robinson, associate professor of Germanic Studies.
Micol Seigel, associate professor in the American Studies and History Departments and co-founder of Decarcerate Monroe County.
Joe Varga, assistant professor of labor studies and an organizer in the all-volunteer chapter of South Central Indiana Jobs with Justice.
We look at out how Occupy began back in September of 2011 and attempted to define some of the issues surrounding Occupy Wall Street, and we’ve looked at how Occupy Bloomington was born. We also examine the Legacy of OWS-what did OWS encourage, what effects, if any, both positive and negative have come out of this popular protest movement.
Photo courtesy of Joe Varga