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Scene on Radio

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Scene on Radio

Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

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Scene on Radio is a two-time Peabody-nominated podcast that dares to ask big, hard questions about who we are—really—and how we got this way. Previous series include Seeing White (Season 2), looking at the roots and meaning of white supremacy; MEN (Season 3), on patriarchy and its history; The Land That Never Has Been Yet (Season 4), exploring the not-so-accidental failings of democracy in the U.S.; and The Repair (Season 5), on the climate crisis: Where did we go so wrong in our relationshi ...
 
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In the summer of 1787, fifty-five men got together in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution for the United States, replacing the new nation’s original blueprint, the Articles of Confederation. But why, exactly? What problems were the framers trying to solve? Was the Constitution designed to advance democracy, or to rein it in? And how can the an…
 
The next in our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts: For Eddie Wise, owning a hog farm was a lifelong dream. In middle age, he and his wife, Dorothy, finally got a farm of their own. But they say that over the next twenty-five years, the U.S. government discriminated against them because they were Black, and finally drove them off the land. Their st…
 
In this bonus episode we share a recent installment from Hot Take, the climate podcast co-hosted by Amy Westervelt (co-host/reporter for our Season 5 series on climate, The Repair) and writer Mary Annaïse Heglar. They talk with their guest, author and New York Times writer David Wallace-Wells, about the lessons we can learn from Covid-19, the paral…
 
Several years after Janey was sexually assaulted by her former boyfriend, Mathew, she told some of her closest friends, and her mother, what Mathew had done. Janey was so troubled by her loved ones’ responses that she went back to them years later to record conversations about it all. In this episode: Janey’s story, and philosopher Kate Manne, who …
 
How to grieve when the deaths come so quickly? How, as a Black mother in America, to protect your child’s innocence and hope? An audio essay by Stacia Brown. The first in a summer mini-season of rebroadcasts. Editing by Shea Shackelford and host John Biewen. Music by Prince, Eme Dm, One World One Nation, Blu & Exile, Otwin, and goodnight Lucas.…
 
In our Season 5 finale: What’s the cultural transformation we need to make — in the West, and the U.S. in particular — to live in good health with the rest of the natural world and with each other? Episode 11 of The Repair, our series on the climate emergency. Researched and produced by John Biewen, with co-host Amy Westervelt. Script editor, Chery…
 
The first of two concluding episodes in Season 5, in which we focus on solutions. In Part 10 of The Repair, we look at the actions and policies that people need to push for —now — to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Reported by Amy Westervelt. Script editor, Cheryl Devall. Production and mix by John Biewen. Interviews with Kat…
 
In several countries around the world, including Ecuador, New Zealand, and the U.S., some people are trying to protect the planet using a legal concept called “rights of nature” – infusing the law with Indigenous understandings of Mother Earth. Part 9 of The Repair, our series on the climate emergency. Reported by Amy Westervelt and Polyglot Barber…
 
Among the wealthy, industrialized Western countries that created the climate crisis, Scotland is one of the leaders in pivoting away from fossil fuels – or promising to. Just how quickly will Scots be willing to cut off the flow – of oil, and money? Part 8 of The Repair, our series on the climate emergency. Reported and written by Victoria McArthur…
 
The climate crisis is not new to Bangladesh. For decades, global warming has exacerbated storms and flooding and turned many thousands of people into refugees in their own country. Yet, even though Bangladeshis did almost nothing to create the crisis, some are trying to be part of the solution. Reported by Tareq Ahmed, with recording and production…
 
Earth’s changing climate is already displacing millions of people, worsening tension and conflict, and sometimes violence – for example, between farmers and traditional nomadic herders in Nigeria. Part 6 of The Repair, our series on the climate emergency. Reported by Ugochi Anyaka-Oluigbo, with reporting and production assistance from Nchetachi Chu…
 
Co-hosts John Biewen and Amy Westervelt discuss the U.S. Congress’s effort to pass its first major climate bill ever, and Senator Joe Manchin’s move to block a key measure seemingly on behalf of the fossil fuel industry. And an episode of Drilled, Amy Westervelt’s true crime podcast about the climate crisis.…
 
Southeast Asia is especially vulnerable to storms, rising oceans, and other climate effects—though countries in the region did very little to create the crisis. In Indonesia, among other climate-related challenges, the capital city is sinking into the sea. Part 5 of our series, The Repair, on the climate emergency. Reported by Nita Roshita, with re…
 
Why has the United States played such an outsized role in the creation of the climate crisis? As a settler nation, the U.S. emerged from the colonizing, capitalist West, but what did America and its cultural peculiarities bring to the party? Part 4 of our series, The Repair, on the climate emergency. Researched and written by this season’s co-host,…
 
If the Enlightenment was so great, why was it not a course correction? In fact, did cultural values that took hold in the West in this period speed up our race toward ecological suicide? Part 3 of our series, The Repair, on the climate crisis. By season co-host Amy Westervelt, with host and producer John Biewen. Interviews with Devin Vartija, Darre…
 
How western Europe really broke bad in its understanding of humanity’s place in the natural world, from the Crusades to capitalism. Part 2 of our series, The Repair, on the climate crisis. By host and producer John Biewen, with co-host Amy Westervelt. Interviews with Charisse Burden-Stelly, Kate Rigby, Enrique Salmón, and David Pecusa. The series e…
 
Part 1 of our series on the climate emergency. How did we drive ourselves into the ecological ditch? And, crucially, who is this ‘we’? Our story starts with … Genesis. By host and producer John Biewen, with co-host Amy Westervelt. Interviews with David Pecusa, Bina Nir, and Kate Rigby. The series editor is Cheryl Devall. Music by Lili Haydn, Kim Ca…
 
This season will explore the cultural roots of our current ecological emergency, and the deep changes Western society will need to make to save the Earth and our species. Through interviews with historians and other experts, The Repair will trace the evolution of the West’s colonizing, extractive culture, and how we in the rich Global North drove h…
 
This special re-broadcast of a Season 4 episode is in response to the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters. A look at the right-wing counterrevolution in the face of expanding democracy in America: It started long before Donald Trump. By host and producer John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Nancy Mac…
 
What does the 2020 election in the United States tell us, or remind us, about the state of democracy in America? A follow-up to our Season 4 series on democracy, The Land That Never Has Been Yet. Host and producer John Biewen talks with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Editor, Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewe…
 
The word “Hiroshima” may bring to mind a black-and-white image of a mushroom cloud. It’s easy to forget that it’s an actual city with a million people and a popular baseball team. In 1995, John Biewen visited the city to speak with survivors and to ask: What did the world’s first atomic bombing mean in the place where it happened? Hearing Hiroshima…
 
What will it take to make the United States a more fully-functioning democracy, and how can we, as citizens, bring about that change? By host and producer John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Michael Waldman, Jennifer Cohn, and Sanford Levinson. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, John Erik…
 
How well do the news media serve us as citizens, and what role does the notion of “objective,” or “neutral,” journalism play in the failings of American democracy? Story reported by Lewis Raven Wallace, with host/producer John Biewen and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with David Mindich, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Kevin Young. The serie…
 
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