PODCAST

Meeting Street

Cogut Institute for the Humanities

Host Amanda Anderson explores topics of vital societal interest through conversations with scholars and writers whose voices have helped define issues and shape debates. Special focus on the forms of knowledge that characterize the humanities. Produced by the Cogut Institute for the Humanities at Brown University.

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Christopher Newfield on Building a More Democratic University
Mar 18 2022
Christopher Newfield on Building a More Democratic University
How do inequities in working conditions and resources across academic departments jeopardize the central project of higher education? And how might the humanities serve as a model for thinking about university reform and ensuring the democracy of our institutions? In this episode of Meeting Street, Christopher Newfield, director of research at the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) and 2022 president of the Modern Language Association (MLA), joins host Amanda Anderson for a conversation on the current state of higher education. Taking the field of critical university studies as a starting point, they consider how economic choices have led universities to prioritize departments, pitting STEM fields against the humanities and qualitative social sciences, and how this negatively impacts the general conditions and outcomes of both teaching and learning. The conversation also explores the nature of the humanities and its value to the contemporary world, particularly given present day struggles for equal access and social justice. (Transcript)
Christopher Newfield on Building a More Democratic University
Mar 18 2022
Christopher Newfield on Building a More Democratic University
How do inequities in working conditions and resources across academic departments jeopardize the central project of higher education? And how might the humanities serve as a model for thinking about university reform and ensuring the democracy of our institutions? In this episode of Meeting Street, Christopher Newfield, director of research at the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) and 2022 president of the Modern Language Association (MLA), joins host Amanda Anderson for a conversation on the current state of higher education. Taking the field of critical university studies as a starting point, they consider how economic choices have led universities to prioritize departments, pitting STEM fields against the humanities and qualitative social sciences, and how this negatively impacts the general conditions and outcomes of both teaching and learning. The conversation also explores the nature of the humanities and its value to the contemporary world, particularly given present day struggles for equal access and social justice. (Transcript)
Happiness in Psychology and Philosophy
Dec 10 2021
Happiness in Psychology and Philosophy
Is pleasure the measure of happiness? Does happiness make life meaningful? How does it factor in economic and political life?  The boom of contemporary research on happiness has been driven by psychologists, though historically philosophy has long examined the subject. What happens when philosophy and psychology enter into conversation? While happiness may be found through a walk in the woods with a friend, happiness research also illuminates social and public issues ranging from social media to authoritarianism. In this episode of Meeting Street, psychologist Joachim Krueger and philosopher Bernard Reginster explore with host Amanda Anderson the factors that contribute to or impact happiness and the ways in which happiness and meaningfulness can diverge. They talk about the benefits of conducting and teaching happiness research together and discuss how collaboration could shed light on related topics like social status. (Transcript)
Black Aliveness
Nov 5 2021
Black Aliveness
A wide-ranging and revelatory conversation with scholar and writer Kevin Quashie about his new book Black Aliveness, which emphasizes the experience of Black life through readings of poetry and first-person essays. We discuss the notion of aliveness in the context of Afropessimism and anti-Black violence, critique and post-critique, and the fields of aesthetics and cultural studies. In the course of our conversation, Quashie also offers a philosophical analysis of pronouns, an account of study as an ethical act, and a beautiful reading of “Reply” by Lucille Clifton. (Transcript)
On Catastrophe and Planetary Realism
Oct 1 2021
On Catastrophe and Planetary Realism
How do the humanities help us respond to what feels like a new era of planetary catastrophe? Join Meeting Street host Amanda Anderson as she speaks with literary scholar and humanities institute director Debjani Ganguly about how humanities scholars and contemporary novelists have conceptualized large-scale transformations affecting our planet and our societies. Topics include the climate emergency, artificial intelligence, drone wars, viral threats such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and new novelistic forms of “planetary realism.” (Transcript)
Historical Racism and the Politics of Loss
May 21 2021
Historical Racism and the Politics of Loss
How do we understand experiences of loss politically? And what role have accounts of loss played historically, from slavery through the Movement for Black Lives and the pandemic? Meeting Street host Amanda Anderson speaks with political scientist Juliet Hooker and historian Emily Owens about their teaching project across the humanities and social sciences. We discuss quantitative vs. qualitative frameworks; the significance of public feelings of grief, rage, and exhaustion; and the powerful role that both numbers and art can play in political movements. (Transcript)
Feminist Criticism After Trump
Apr 16 2021
Feminist Criticism After Trump
What does feminism teach us about the Trump years and democratic life today? In this episode of Meeting Street, Amanda Anderson talks with political theorist and cultural critic Bonnie Honig about a form of politics in which misogyny is a central feature, the use of gaslighting and other gendered forms of shock politics in public life, and the politics of refusal. (Transcript)
Why We Need the Environmental Humanities
Mar 5 2021
Why We Need the Environmental Humanities
Humanities scholars are at the forefront of the response to climate change. In this show Amanda Anderson talks with two influential and innovative scholars in the field of the environmental humanities: Bathsheba Demuth, an environmental historian who studies the Arctic North, and Macarena Gómez-Barris, a cultural critic whose work focuses on the Global South. Topics include the environmental justice movement, extractivism, ecotourism, and the nature-culture divide. (Transcript)
Uncovering the Humanities in Data Science
Jan 29 2021
Uncovering the Humanities in Data Science
What ideas and assumptions about human social life underlie data science and new media? How might scholars in and beyond the humanities work together to diagnose and respond to the algorithmic frameworks of digital culture, especially those that reinscribe or reinforce forms of division and discrimination? In this episode, host Amanda Anderson talks with media scholar Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, founding director of the innovative Digital Democracies Institute at Simon Fraser University. (Transcript)
The History and Science of Virtual Reality
Dec 4 2020
The History and Science of Virtual Reality
Virtual reality may seem like a new technology, but forms of immersive experience have a long history during which scientific and imaginative aspects often developed hand in hand. Host Amanda Anderson talks with a humanities scholar (Massimo Riva) and a cognitive scientist (Fulvio Domini) about their collaborative teaching project on the history and science of virtual reality, part of a larger initiative at Brown University in the collaborative humanities. (Transcript) | (Spring 2020 Student Projects Vide) (o)
The Humanities in the Time of Covid-19
Oct 23 2020
The Humanities in the Time of Covid-19
Amanda Anderson in conversation with Jonathan Kramnick (Yale University) on the challenges facing the humanities during Covid-19. We discuss the job market crisis for doctoral students, the role of the humanities in and beyond the pandemic, and the broader landscape of knowledge production across the disciplines of the modern university. (Transcript)
Disability Studies and the Pandemic
Oct 2 2020
Disability Studies and the Pandemic
A conversation with two scholars in disability studies, Janet Lyon (literary studies) and Ashley Shew (science and technology studies). We explore how disability studies has influenced academic research and participated in larger communities of activism, with special emphasis on the challenges of the pandemic. (Transcript)