Twitter: @NahlahAyed (followed by 21 philosophers)
2022 to present
Average episode: 54 minutes
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Categories: Broadcast Radio Programs • Philosophy+/Philosophyish/Ideas/Etc. • Story/Narrative-Style
Podcaster's summary: IDEAS is a deep-dive into contemporary thought and intellectual history. No topic is off-limits. In the age of clickbait and superficial headlines, it's for people who like to think.
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|2023-Mar-23 • 54 minutes|
BBC Reith Lectures #1: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The BBC Reith Lectures return and this year’s theme is The Four Freedoms. In the first lecture, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi-Aidichie analyzes the state of free speech today, including the phenomenon some call “cancel culture.” She argues that moral courage is required to resist threats to freedom of speech, be they political, legal or social.
|2023-Mar-22 • 54 minutes|
Thucydides, Part 1: The First Journalist
About 2,500 years ago, Thucydides travelled ancient Greece, gathering stories about a brutal war that plunged the ancient world into chaos. He set high standards for accuracy, objectivity and thoroughness in his reporting. IDEAS producer Nicola Luksic explains why his account of the Peloponnesian War is relevant today. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 7, 2011.
|2023-Mar-21 • 54 minutes|
The Librarian Who Won’t Stay Quiet
Libraries are under literal attack in Ukraine, and ideological attack amid North America’s culture wars. Oxford librarian and author Richard Ovenden is not about to stay quiet about it. He argues that libraries defend our democratic freedoms, and deserve our defence in return.
|2023-Mar-20 • 54 minutes|
Indigenous Sexuality and Gender
When Europeans colonized North America, they brought very specific ideas about gender and sexuality. Following the 2022 CBC Massey Lectures, Tomson Highway joined panellists to discuss Indigenous sexuality in the aftermath of colonialism — from Cree mythology to the Vancouver dating scene. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 21, 2022.
|2023-Mar-17 • 54 minutes|
2022 CBC Massey Lectures | # 5: On Death
Tomson Highway's final Massey lecture is an uplifting and joyous conclusion to his series — a message that the worldview of Indigenous people suggests ways of seeing and believing that make our journey on Earth joyous, hilariously funny and rich in diversity. *This episode aired on Nov. 18, 2022.
|2023-Mar-16 • 54 minutes|
2022 CBC Massey Lectures | # 4: On Sex and Gender
In his fourth Massey lecture, Tomson Highway explores some of the limits monotheism imposes our understanding of the human body and gender. In the world of Indigenous peoples, Highway writes, "the circle of pantheism has space for any number of genders" — an idea with fresh relevance for understanding our own times. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 17, 2022.
|2023-Mar-15 • 54 minutes|
2022 CBC Massey Lectures | # 3: On Humour
In his third CBC Massey lecture, Tomson Highway invites us into the Cree world of scatological, wild laughter. He invokes the Trickster — a central figure to mythologies of many Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. The audience is invited to experience the world through joy and laughter. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 16, 2022.
|2023-Mar-14 • 54 minutes|
2022 CBC Massey Lectures | # 2: On Creation
In his second CBC Massey lecture, Tomson Highway questions how the universe came to be. He explores ancient Greek and Christian beliefs and suggests the Indigenous worldview offers something else: "Those who lived in ages before us... who have died, our loved ones — they live here with us, still, today, in the very air we breathe." *This episode originally aired on Nov. 15, 2022.
|2023-Mar-13 • 54 minutes|
2022 CBC Massey Lectures | # 1: On Language
In his 2022 CBC Massey Lectures, acclaimed Cree writer Tomson Highway explores fundamental questions of human existence through the lens of Indigenous mythologies, and contrasts them with the ideas from ancient Greece and Christianity. In the first lecture, Highway argues that language shapes the way we see the world. Without language, we are lost creatures in a meaningless existence — which is why we tell stories. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 14, 2022.
|2023-Mar-10 • 54 minutes|
Of Dogs and Derrida
Dogs are lauded as 'man's best friend.' But PhD student Molly Labenski argues that, in America, the real picture is of a dysfunctional, toxic 'friendship' between the human and canine species. She points to a revealing source of cultural attitudes — the use of fictional dogs by authors of 20th-century literature. An episode from our series, IDEAS from the Trenches. *This episode originally aired on April 5, 2022.
|2023-Mar-09 • 54 minutes|
Picturing the Past: History Movies
History films get the most awards at the Oscars. But they’re more than just entertainment. They colour our understanding of the past, and sometimes discolour it. Film scholar Kim Nelson explores the complex power of how history films shape our sense of who we are.
|2023-Mar-08 • 54 minutes|
Négritude: The birth of Black humanism
Négritude was a Francophone movement to rethink what it meant to be Black and African. Scholar Merve Fejzula explores the dynamic debates happening in the early-to mid-20th century among Négritude thinkers, how they disseminated their ideas, and how all this changed what it meant to be part of a public.
|2023-Mar-07 • 54 minutes|
Seduced by story: the dangers of narrative
Humans are storytelling creatures. But literary scholar Peter Brooks argues that stories have become far too dominant as the way we understand ourselves and the world. IDEAS examines the dangers of seeing everything as a story.
|2023-Mar-06 • 54 minutes|
George McCullagh — Canada's first media mogul you've never heard of
The Globe and Mail's founder George McCullagh once had the ear of the entire nation —but despite his remarkable rise to power, few know his name. Historian Mark Bourrie traces his legacy in the book Big Men Fear Me. *Please be advised, this episode contains discussion of suicide.
|2023-Mar-03 • 54 minutes|
The Democratic Republic of China
China is a true superpower, with influence far beyond its borders. But the world is changing. Could China possibly become a democracy? University of Toronto professor Joseph Wong thinks so. He explores this theory and explains how China got to where it is today.
|2023-Mar-02 • 54 minutes|
The Real Actor: Method Acting
Intense and controversial, the approach to acting known as the Method gave performers a new way into character psychology. It also gave audiences a more authentic view of being human. Author Isaac Butler describes its evolution and influence — from the Russian stage to Hollywood movies and beyond. *This episode originally aired on March 2, 2022.
|2023-Mar-01 • 54 minutes|
Black Myths on Screen: Hollywood and a Century of Race, Part Three
Since its beginnings, Hollywood has portrayed African Americans in a variety of ways: as primitive beings in Birth of a Nation, as happy former slaves in Gone With the Wind, and as hypersexual heroes during the 1970s "blaxploitation" era. In this three-part series, IDEAS explores a century of racial politics in Hollywood. *This episode originally aired on March 19, 2021.
|2023-Feb-28 • 54 minutes|
Black Myths on Screen: Hollywood and a Century of Race, Part Two
Since its beginnings, Hollywood has portrayed African Americans in a variety of ways: as primitive beings in Birth of a Nation, as happy former slaves in Gone With the Wind, and as hypersexual heroes during the 1970s "blaxploitation" era. In this three-part series, IDEAS explores a century of racial politics in Hollywood. *This episode originally aired on March 18, 2021.
|2023-Feb-27 • 54 minutes|
Black Myths on Screen: Hollywood and a Century of Race, Part One
Since its beginnings, Hollywood has portrayed African Americans in a variety of ways: as primitive beings in Birth of a Nation, as happy former slaves in Gone With the Wind, and as hypersexual heroes during the 1970s "blaxploitation" era. In this three-part series, IDEAS explores a century of racial politics in Hollywood. *This episode originally aired on March 17, 2021.
|2023-Feb-24 • 54 minutes|
Words Fall Apart: Ukrainian poet Lyuba Yakimchuk
Poet Lyuba Yakimchuk grew up in the contested Donbas region of Ukraine. After pro-Russian separatists took control of the area in 2014, her family had to flee. And now, it's been a year since the whole country has been invaded. Lyuba Yakimchuk reflects on poetry, war, and the burden of a motherland. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 25, 2022.
|2023-Feb-23 • 54 minutes|
Love and Consequences: George Eliot's Middlemarch, Part Two
Middlemarch by George Eliot is a book full of characters, navigating everything from love, to family, to morality — in the end asking the question: is it a good thing to live a life of duty or is it ridiculous? This is the final episode of a two-part series. *This episode originally aired on April 7, 2022.
|2023-Feb-22 • 54 minutes|
Love and Consequences: George Eliot's Middlemarch, Part One
Virginia Woolf called George Eliot's novel, Middlemarch 'one of the few English books written for grownups.' It's a book that excavates happiness and unhappiness and is perhaps more relevant now than ever. This is part one of a two-part series. *This episode originally aired on April 6, 2022.
|2023-Feb-21 • 54 minutes|
War and Medicine: Hawkeye's Army
We think nothing today of calling healthcare workers “front line workers,” engaged in a “battle” against disease. But the roots of the war metaphor in medicine go a long way back — entrenched by pop culture icons like the TV show M*A*S*H and Hawkeye’s army. Dr. Jillian Horton explores a less heroic but healthier way forward for doctors and health professionals.
|2023-Feb-20 • 54 minutes|
Cundill History Prize: Tiya Miles
A cotton sack from the time of slavery bears the first names of a mother and her daughter, who was sold at the age of nine. Harvard historian Tiya Miles scours the historical documentary record to discover who these women were and reveals their story of love in her book, All That She Carried — winner of the 2022 Cundill History Prize.
|2023-Feb-18 • 53 minutes|
IDEAS recommends The Africas VS. America
In 1985, at the height of the Black Power era, police dropped a bomb in a Philadelphia neighbourhood. Their target? A family of Black radicals known as ‘MOVE,’ who found themselves ensnared in a city — and nation’s — domestic war on Black Liberation. Over seven episodes, host Matthew Amha investigates the events that culminated in the MOVE bombing, and the long afterlife of a forgotten American tragedy. Hear more episodes where you get your podcasts or here: https://link.chtbl.com/aHtJxR6f
|2023-Feb-17 • 54 minutes|
Neuroscientist Iain McGilchrist on the Divided Brain
In The Divided Brain, neuroscientist Iain McGilchrist argues that Western society has become too dominated by the left hemisphere of our brains — obsessed with data and sorting things into categories. Meanwhile, the right hemisphere of our brains which understand relationships and context has been sidelined. *A TV documentary adapted for IDEAS. This episode originally aired on October 22, 2021.
|2023-Feb-16 • 54 minutes|
The Alchemy Lecture: Borders, Human Itineraries and All Our Relation
Language. Labour. Migration. Four international scholars gathered at York University to deliver the inaugural Alchemy Lecture: Borders, Human Itineraries and All Our Relation. Together they envision a world without borders, a world that confronts the global injustices of labour, of forced migration, and life in the Black diaspora.
|2023-Feb-15 • 54 minutes|
The Indigenous Renaissance in Newfoundland & Labrador
Newfoundland has a vibrant history of Indigenous writing that’s been obscured over the years, but is now being rediscovered and celebrated. As part of the George Story Distinguished Lecture series at Memorial University, professor Kristina Bidwell shares the rich and complex world of Newfoundland’s Indigenous literature and points to the collaborations taking place right now.
|2023-Feb-14 • 54 minutes|
Words of Love: A Guided Tour of the Song of Songs
The Song of Songs is about two lovers whose passion for one another transcends place and time. Or is it about the relationship between God and humanity? Is it about language as love? Or is it actually an ode to many kinds of love, in many walks of life? The answer is: all of the above, and more.
|2023-Feb-13 • 54 minutes|
The Coffee Chronicles
An ordinary cup of Joe just won’t do anymore. It’s now gourmet, fair trade and organic. Whether the method is pour over, French press, or vacuum pumps, coffee is now described with terms like “mouthfeel," just as fine wines are. IDEAS examines the cultural history behind the world's most popular drink. *Originally published on June 19, 2019.
|2023-Feb-10 • 54 minutes|
Award-winning writers on finding ways to heal
How do you heal emotional wounds? Novelist Jen Ferguson recommends anger and “a good scream.” Playwright Dorothy Dittrich suggests art and conversation can draw a person out of grief. Artist Nahid Kazemi agrees with the poet Rumi: “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” The three are winners of 2022 Governor General’s Literary Awards.
|2023-Feb-09 • 54 minutes|
The New Masters: 2022 Sobey Art Award
How did the iconic Taj Mahal get turned into a bouncy castle? Artist and winner of the 2022 Sobey Art Award, Divya Mehra explains the meaning behind her art installation and joins the four finalists in a conversation that celebrates where new art is taking us.
|2023-Feb-08 • 54 minutes|
Shape: Hidden Geometry
In his latest book, Shape, mathematician Jordan Ellenberg reveals the geometry lurking beneath history, democracy, biology, and everything else. He argues geometry is a way of thinking, a method of reasoning and argument, and a system for making sense of the world. *This episode originally aired on May 11, 2022.
|2023-Feb-07 • 54 minutes|
Atlantis and the Apocalypse: The World of Fringe Archaeology
A Netflix series called Ancient Apocalypse claims that a thriving civilization was wiped out during the Ice Age by comets and floods, but left humanity with science and technology. Experts call this "pseudo-archaeology." IDEAS unearths how pseudo-archaeology has been used to advance political and cultural ideas, and where it crosses over from pseudo-science to religious myth-making.
|2023-Feb-06 • 54 minutes|
Andean Philosophy: The Huarochirí Manuscript
The Huarochirí Manuscript is one of the few surviving records of Quechua worldviews in the early modern era. It was once used by the Catholic Church to identify and eradicate “idolatries.” But today, for philosophy professor Jorge Sanchez-Perez, the manuscript is a tool for reconstructing and revitalizing Andean metaphysics.
|2023-Feb-03 • 54 minutes|
Unsound: The Legacy of Alexander Graham Bell
You hear the name ‘Alexander Graham Bell,’ and you think ‘inventor of the telephone.’ But he devoted much of his life to the ‘education’ of deaf people. Bell’s fraught legacy with the deaf community is explored in Veronica Simmonds' documentary, Unsound: The Legacy of Alexander Graham Bell. *This episode originally aired on May 10, 2021.
|2023-Feb-02 • 54 minutes|
Mystified by Money
Money is a pervasive force in life, as anyone feeling the pinch from inflation knows all too well. It’s also unpredictable, unstable, unnatural, abstract, and deeply invested with emotion, trust and politics. IDEAS explores the strange history of money and how it confounds attempts to understand and control it.
|2023-Feb-01 • 54 minutes|
[Hunting] Ghost Particles
The mysterious ‘neutrino’ has a nickname: the ‘ghost particle.’ Benjamin Tam is finishing his PhD in Particle Astrophysics at Queen’s University. He takes us two kilometres to a laboratory deep below the earth’s surface where he and fellow scientists hope to watch neutrinos finally explain the universe’s existence.
|2023-Jan-31 • 54 minutes|
Neurodiversity and the Myth of Normal, Part 2
Brain variations which were once advantages are now seen as burdens and disorders that beg for remedies. In this two-part series, IDEAS traces the social and cultural response to brain variation and whether there's a way back to seeing them as advantages. *This episode originally aired on May 9, 2022.
|2023-Jan-30 • 54 minutes|
Neurodiversity and the Myth of Normal, Part 1
Brain variations which were once advantages are now seen as burdens and disorders that beg for remedies. In this two-part series, IDEAS traces the social and cultural response to brain variation and whether there's a way back to seeing them as advantages. *This episode originally aired on April 29, 2022.
|2023-Jan-27 • 54 minutes|
The Old Stone Age in the Western Hemisphere
The dominant story in archaeology has long been that humans came to North America around 12,000 years ago. But Indigenous archaeologist Paulette Steeves points to mounting evidence suggesting it was more like 130,000 years ago. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 13, 2022.
|2023-Jan-26 • 54 minutes|
What Money Can't Buy: Michael Sandel
Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel fears that we’ve turned from a market economy into a market society, where just about everything is for sale. His book, What Money Can’t Buy, was a big success 10 years ago. He joins Astra Taylor and Michael Ignatieff to discuss why his book is even more relevant today.
|2023-Jan-25 • 54 minutes|
Muhammad Iqbal: one of the greatest South Asian thinkers of the 20th century
Muhammad Iqbal was popularly known as the intellectual founder of Pakistan, but his greater fame is for his philosophical works in English and his poetry, both in Urdu and Persian. IDEAS looks at the life and work of one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century.
|2023-Jan-24 • 54 minutes|
Geography of Hope: Wallace Stegner and the Disappearing West
American writer Wallace Stegner fought hard to protect the land and resources in the Wild West. But he had crucial blind spots about the history of Indigenous people. IDEAS goes to Eastend, Saskatchewan in search of what Stegner's writings on conservation mean today, in a place where the grasslands are still under threat.
|2023-Jan-23 • 54 minutes|
Transforming Justice, Part 2: Angela Davis, Fania Davis and Margaret Burnham
We continue our series with a rare glimpse into seven decades dedicated to rebuilding society. Three titans of the civil rights movement, Angela Davis, her sister Fania Davis and Margaret Burnham, come together to discuss transforming racial justice, as part of an event organized by the Restorative Lab at Dalhousie University's Schulich School of Law and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia.
|2023-Jan-20 • 54 minutes|
Eugenic thinking has never gone away
Eugenics is seen as a 19th-century idea put into horrific 20th-century practice. But the attraction to breeding “better” humans has a long and persistent history, says Adam Rutherford. The geneticist and science podcaster explains, in conversation with host Nahlah Ayed.
|2023-Jan-19 • 61 minutes|
Skin Hunger: Exploring Disembodied Touch in Healthcare Practitioners
The pandemic upended much of our normal way of interacting with others. Intuitive activities like hugging loved ones and bonding over shared meals had to stop because of distancing protocols. Contributor Johnny Spence explores the emotional and neurological impact of touch deprivation, especially as it pertains to healthcare practitioners. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 14, 2022.
|2023-Jan-18 • 54 minutes|
An Ode to Failure
Failure. It's the worst. Or is it? In the last decade, efforts to reframe failure have pushed it to the surface of popular culture. People like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Oprah Winfrey are all hawking failure as the secret to 21st-century success. Was Samuel Beckett right: fail again, fail better? *This episode originally aired on Dec. 15, 2021.
|2023-Jan-17 • 54 minutes|
Return of the Guillotine
Mock guillotines regularly show up at protests, from both the political right and left. This documentary by Matthew Lazin-Ryder traces the history of the guillotine as a symbol, from its bloody history during the darkest days of the French Revolution to its reinvention as an emblem of equality. *This episode originally aired on November 2, 2021.
|2023-Jan-16 • 54 minutes|
Transforming Justice, Part 1: Angela Davis, Fania Davis and Margaret Burnham
IDEAS offers a rare glimpse into seven decades dedicated to rebuilding society. Three titans of the civil rights movement, Angela Davis, her sister Fania Davis and Margaret Burnham, come together to discuss transforming racial justice, as part of an event organized by the Restorative Lab at Dalhousie University's Schulich School of Law and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia.
|2023-Jan-13 • 54 minutes|
Religious and mythological visions of the end of the world may be common, but the scientific concept of human extinction has a more urgent history. IDEAS explores the link between imagining extinction and acting to avert it — from Mary Shelley's pandemic novel, The Last Man (1826), to visions of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War, to cli-fi (climate fiction) of today. *This episode originally aired on March 4, 2021
|2023-Jan-12 • 54 minutes|
Engaging with a World in Turmoil: Bob Rae
The UN was created partly to prevent war yet war's the one thing it hasn’t been able to prevent. Still despite its flaws, Canada’s ambassador to the UN, Bob Rae says it's a good place to start. Rae makes an impassioned plea for engaging with a world in turmoil.
|2023-Jan-11 • 54 minutes|
The Meaning of Ice: Arctic research embracing traditional knowledge
Climate change has transformed the Arctic faster than most places on the planet. Inuit know this better than anyone. But as Arctic ice researcher Dr. Shari Fox argues a colonialist approach to Arctic research by academia has largely disrespected and sidelined traditional knowledge. She's working to change that.
|2023-Jan-10 • 54 minutes|
The Odyssey of Saturn the Alligator: Hitler's 'Favourite'
Saturn, an alligator that was supposedly Hitler’s favourite animal was 'liberated' from the Berlin zoo when the Red Army invaded Germany at the end of the Second World War. The reptile was relocated to Moscow where it died in 2020. But with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Saturn’s story has become once again a symbol wartime geopolitics.
|2023-Jan-09 • 54 minutes|
Canada's School Trains
They were known as school cars and schools on wheels. Trains that brought the classroom to children in the most isolated communities of Northern Ontario. IDEAS contributor Alisa Siegel explores remote education, homeschooling and nation-building.
|2023-Jan-06 • 54 minutes|
The Idea of Home: Song of Home
IDEAS takes a journey to Afghanistan with members of the Afghan diaspora, who find their way "home" through their music. We ask: how is the idea of home embedded in music and how have decades of conflict reshaped Afghan music? This is the final episode in our series, The Idea of Home, which aired on June 17, 2022.
|2023-Jan-05 • 54 minutes|
The Idea of Home: The Architecture of War and Peace
“Urbicide” — the intentional killing of a city — is a brutal tactic of war, designed to destroy people’s sense of home and belonging to a larger collective. But even in peacetime, architecture and urban planning can become part of a more subtle kind of war over who gets to call a city home. This is the fourth episode in our series, The Idea of Home, which originally aired on June 16, 2022.
|2023-Jan-04 • 54 minutes|
The Idea of Home: The Hospitable Hospital
Hospitality — and hospitals. Two words that share a root, but whose meanings often seem at odds with each other. IDEAS traces the tension between hospitality and discipline that has defined hospitals throughout their history, and what it means to create a hospitable hospital in the 21st century. The third episode in our series, The Idea of Home, which originally aired on June 15, 2022.
|2023-Jan-03 • 54 minutes|
The Idea of Home: The Stranger at the Door
In ancient Greece, hospitality (or xenia) was seen as a sacred moral imperative. Today, the word xenia has largely fallen out of use, but its opposite, xenophobia, has been a driving factor in contemporary politics for years. IDEAS explores ancient traditions of hospitality in this second episode of our five-part series, The Idea of Home. *This episode originally aired on June 14, 2022.
|2023-Jan-02 • 54 minutes|
The Idea of Home: Return
Can you ever truly go home again? At a time when more people have been forcibly displaced from their homes than at any other time in history, IDEAS explores what it means to return years — or decades — later. *This is the first episode in our five-part series, The Idea of Home, which originally aired on June 13, 2022.
|2022-Dec-29 • 54 minutes|
The First Good Poem in English
Several English-language literary works survive from the first millennium A.D. and it's still uncertain which is the oldest. However, a short elegy called The Wanderer stands out as English's oldest-surviving good poem, according to IDEAS producer Tom Howell. Experts in Old English help explain the appeal and the complexity of this ancient yet strangely accessible work. *This episode originally aired on March 15, 2021.
|2022-Dec-28 • 54 minutes|
Building a Better Gym Class
Some of us avoid exercise: why? PhysEd researcher Brian Culp says a more inclusive, less sports-oriented high school education can help. Historian Jürgen Martschukat argues that the pressure to keep fit at all comes less from us, and more from political and economic forces. *This episode originally aired on June 23, 2021.
|2022-Dec-27 • 54 minutes|
Don't Look Back: The Myth of Orpheus
The myth of Orpheus is the oldest love story, from ancient Greece — it's the story of the power of art, a story told through opera and film, and poetry. Two thousand five hundred years later, IDEAS contributor Tom Jokinen explores why the myth of Orpheus still has such a hold on us. *Originally aired on October 14, 2021.
|2022-Dec-26 • 54 minutes|
The Dandy Rebel
Over the last two centuries, the figure of the Dandy has been a provocateur, someone who pushes against the boundaries of culture, masculinity and politics. From Beau Brummell to Oscar Wilde to contemporary Black activists, IDEAS contributor Pedro Mendes tracks the subversive role the Dandy plays in challenging the status quo. *This episode originally aired on April 15, 2021.
|2022-Dec-23 • 54 minutes|
Christmas Philosophy 101
Heat the cocoa, stoke the fire, and settle in for some good ol' fashioned philosophy. Christmas is a minefield of deep philosophical quandaries, like — is it ethically correct to lie to children? Who does a gift really benefit the giver, or receiver? How do we really know Santa exists, or doesn't? Join us on a dramatic journey through the philosophy of Christmas. *This episode originally aired on December 23, 2020.
|2022-Dec-22 • 54 minutes|
Ordinary Magic: The Musical Genius of Jerry Granelli
*Warning: Profanity | A profile of the legendary jazz drummer and composer Jerry Granelli, on the eve of turning 80. He has accompanied many of the greats, including: Mose Allison, Sly Stone and The Grateful Dead. And most famously, he is the last surviving member of the Vince Guaraldi Trio that recorded the iconic album: A Charlie Brown Christmas. *This episode originally aired on December 21, 2020.
|2022-Dec-21 • 54 minutes|
The winter solstice is the longest night of the year. And that’s what makes it the perfect time to slow down, move inwards, and reflect. CBC Music's In Concert host, Paolo Pietropaolo joins Nahlah Ayed to showcase music he feels captures the spirit of the winter solstice.
|2022-Dec-20 • 54 minutes|
Insomnia: A Cultural History
Scholar Katie Hunt ties together lines of Romantic era poetry with scientific research on sleep... to reveal how our concept of insomnia evolved, and how the poems still have the power to open our minds.
|2022-Dec-19 • 54 minutes|
Nowhere Left to Run: Climate Reparations
At the most recent COP27 global meeting, vulnerable countries counted a win — sort of — with the creation of a fund to pay for loss and damage brought on by climate change. All they need now is for rich nations to pay up. But will they take on moral responsibility? And if not, how can climate justice be achieved?
|2022-Dec-16 • 54 minutes|
A Clearer Universe: Astrophysicist Louise Edwards
In 2024, our view of the universe is going to change drastically. When the Vera C. Rubin Observatory is complete, it will be possible to produce images of the night sky that are both sharper and more wide-ranging than ever before — revolutionizing our knowledge of galaxies, according to astrophysicist Louise Edwards.
|2022-Dec-15 • 54 minutes|
Peter Stursberg Lecture: Giancarlo Fiorella of Bellingcat_
In a world that’s increasingly hostile to journalists, Bellingcat has become an internationally respected organization uncovering the truth about wrongdoing. Giancarlo Fiorella, a senior investigator with Bellingcat delivered the 2022 Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondent Lecture in an event moderated by IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed.
|2022-Dec-14 • 54 minutes|
A Demon Attack in Old Quebec
A demonic possession, a do-it-yourself exorcism, and the execution of an accused witch — welcome to daily life in Quebec City, circa 1660. Historian Mairi Cowan shares the story of Canada’s earliest reported ‘demon possession caused by witchcraft’ case.
|2022-Dec-13 • 54 minutes|
Inherited Memories of Partition: Aanchal Malhotra
It’s been 75 years since the Partition of India — a rupture that still shapes the lives of those born in its wake. Oral historian Aanchal Malhotra speaks with Nahlah Ayed about how the inherited memory of Partition continues to shape people’s politics, identities, curiosities and fears.
|2022-Dec-12 • 54 minutes|
Return to North: The Soundscapes of Glenn Gould
In 1967, pianist Glenn Gould made a radio documentary for CBC about the Canadian North. He applied the technique of contrapuntal music to documentary-making, with the result sounding like a Bach fugue made of stories. This 2017 documentary explores Gould's life and his revolutionary ideas about music and radio.
|2022-Dec-09 • 54 minutes|
In Defence of Democracy: Naheed Nenshi
Democratic backsliding is speeding up. Is there a way to revive civic engagement and resilience and push back against public apathy? IDEAS host, Nahlah Ayed talks to former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi about the possibility of renewing civic purpose in Canada, as part of a public lecture hosted by the Samara Centre.
|2022-Dec-08 • 54 minutes|
'Passaggio' is a documentary by Pamela Post about the transition of her transgender son, Asher, a serious performer of vocal music. The story captures the pain and joy as Asher confronts medical procedures and the prospect of losing both his musical career and his partner. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 20, 2021.
|2022-Dec-07 • 54 minutes|
Thomas Halliday: History of Extinct Ecosystems
British paleontologist Thomas Halliday reveals how extinction is intimately linked to evolution in his book, Otherlands. He chronicles 16 extinct ecosystems over the past 520 million years to show how everything living today is the descendant of survivor species.
|2022-Dec-06 • 54 minutes|
Rape and Romance In Medieval England
PhD student Mariah Cooper dusted off 800-year-old court documents from medieval England to find that convictions for sexual assault from that period are on par with convictions for sexual assault today. Her thesis demonstrates remarkably consistent representations of survivors of sexual assault dating from the Middle Ages right to the 21st century. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 6, 2021.
|2022-Dec-05 • 54 minutes|
Coyotes are everywhere, from the deepest woods to urban backyards. Who is this “song dog” and why do they fascinate and unnerve humans? IDEAS explores some answers in a 2001 documentary that looks at coyotes, in reality and story.
|2022-Dec-02 • 54 minutes|
Myths on Screen: Hollywood at War, Part Three
Warning: Explicit Content | As the Twin Towers lay in rubble after Sept. 11, former U.S. president George W. Bush's administration leveraged the influence of Hollywood celebrities to sway the public to rally around the flag. *This episode originally aired on May 25, 2020.
|2022-Dec-01 • 54 minutes|
Myths on Screen: Hollywood at War, Part Two
Warning: Explicit Content | America's losing the Vietnam War shattered the 'heroic myth' that Hollywood had spent decades creating, according to historians and researchers. What followed was an era of films attempting to recapture past glories. *This episode originally aired on May 18, 2020.
|2022-Nov-30 • 54 minutes|
Myths on Screen: Hollywood at War, Part One
The U.S. military had some little-known help in spinning public perception about it over the last seventy years: Hollywood. This series shows how movies functioned as the unofficial — but massively influential — propaganda arm of America's war efforts. *This episode originally aired on May 11, 2020.
|2022-Nov-29 • 54 minutes|
Flow: when the impossible becomes possible
Flow. Athletes know it: the state of mind and body when every move made is the right one. But flow presents a paradox, as a state in which you lose yourself, yet become yourself. Writer and triathlete, Suzanne Zelazo, delves into the mystery at the heart of flow. *This episode originally aired on June 25, 2021.
|2022-Nov-28 • 54 minutes|
Fate Is the Hunter: Ernest K. Gann
IDEAS takes a deep dive into Fate Is the Hunter, Ernest K. Gann's celebrated memoir of flying and the capricious hand of fortune. The book is a nail-biting account of his early days in aviation. Gann wonders: why did I survive when so many other pilots perished?
|2022-Nov-25 • 54 minutes|
Transhumance: An ancient practice at risk
For millennia, human beings along with their domesticated animals have travelled to bring sheep, goats, cattle, and other animals to better grazing areas. The ancient practice, known as transhumance, has been dismissed as an outdated mode of animal husbandry. Yet the practice holds promise for a sustainable future.
|2022-Nov-24 • 54 minutes|
Love, Beauty and Salvation: The Poetry of Michelangelo
*Warning: profanity | Michelangelo was dubbed the ‘divine Michelangelo’ in his day for his stunning works of art. But his poetry reveals a deeply troubled and dissatisfied soul — he never felt his work was good enough, and was plagued by feelings of guilt for his earthly desires. *This episode originally aired on June 3, 2021.
|2022-Nov-23 • 54 minutes|
Getting Past Polarization: Anand Giridharadas
The extremes are extreme in U.S. politics. But Anand Giridharadas and some other progressives are convinced that there are uncompromising approaches that can move up to 60 per cent of voters to value democracy and human rights. The author of The Persuaders describes the methods proven effective in shifting views.
|2022-Nov-22 • 54 minutes|
Flop Sweat: Why We Choke When It Matters Most
The World Cup of Soccer promises some of the most dramatic moments in sports. And when the stakes are high, some people choke. IDEAS contributor Peter Brown looks at why our skills desert us when we're under pressure, and what can be done to avoid the dreaded choke.
|2022-Nov-11 • 54 minutes|
Artist, Witness, Woman: Mary Riter Hamilton
In 1919, Canadian artist Mary Riter Hamilton embarked on a solo mission to paint the World War One battlefields of France and Belgium. A century later, documentary maker Alisa Siegel speaks to the artist's biographer, historians, and art historians to resuscitate Mary Riter Hamilton's art, life, and legacy. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 11, 2021.
|2022-Nov-10 • 54 minutes|
Iran: Bänoo Zan, a War Correspondent in Verse
Leaving Iran in 2010 was the first time translator and poet Bänoo Zan was able to fully inhabit a self-described role as "war correspondent in verse." In this conversation with host Nahlah Ayed, the writer in residence at the University of Alberta explores the role of poetry in such moments of upheaval in her home country.
|2022-Nov-09 • 54 minutes|
Maria Ressa: ‘Last two minutes of Democracy'
Nobel laureate and renowned journalist Maria Ressa warns that we’re in the "last two minutes of democracy." She delivered the 2022 Beatty Lecture at McGill University and then joined IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed to discuss what can be done to change the course against disinformation.
|2022-Nov-08 • 54 minutes|
IDEAS presents Scene on Radio's The Land That Never Has Been Yet, Part Two
The American Revolution of 1776 may have been a revolt of the powerful rich, but the United States had a second chance at crafting a democracy after the Civil War. In part two, this podcast series revisits the Reconstruction era, where an unlikely coalition of leaders tried to make the U.S. into a true multiracial democracy. And it worked, for a while.
|2022-Nov-07 • 54 minutes|
IDEAS presents Scene on Radio's The Land That Never Has Been Yet, Part One
The American Revolution is often depicted as a struggle between the common man and the callous elite. Yet most of the famous American figures of the revolution were powerful landowners, with vast wealth and ownership over other human beings. A Duke University podcast from the Centre for Documentary Studies revisits how contested ideas of "democracy" reverberate in American politics today.
|2022-Nov-04 • 54 minutes|
The Shock of the New | The Year 1947: Fractures and Tectonic Shifts
The Partition of India creates the largest mass migration in human history. The newly-created United Nations votes to partition British Palestine. The Cold War divides the world into opposing camps, and empires collapse and retreat. This is the final episode in our series, The Shock of the New, exploring how change happens.
|2022-Nov-03 • 54 minutes|
The Shock of the New | The Year 1913: The World on the Brink
The Ottoman Empire is at war in the Balkans. There's a revolution in Mexico and a coup in Istanbul. Women worldwide agitate for suffrage. Modernism bursts onto the artistic stage, and Rabindranath Tagore becomes the first non-western writer to win the Nobel Prize. Part four in our series, The Shock of the New, exploring how change happens.
|2022-Nov-02 • 54 minutes|
The Shock of the New | The Year 1833: Evolution and Entrenchment
Britain abolishes slavery — but consolidates and expands its empire, especially in Africa and the Caribbean. Industrialization transforms the nature of work, communication and travel. The inventors of the computer meet for the first time, and Charles Darwin has a revelation that will revolutionize science and challenge religions. Part three in our series exploring “hinge moments” in history.
|2022-Nov-01 • 54 minutes|
The Shock of the New | The Year 1789: More Than One Revolution
A revolution in France heralds a change in political order everywhere. The revolution upends ideas about everyday life, gender, time and more. New definitions of freedom and equality emerge — and are fiercely contested. As empires expand, enslaved people and anticolonial leaders push back. Part two in a series about what Salman Rushdie calls “hinge moments” in history, exploring how change happens.
|2022-Oct-31 • 54 minutes|
The Shock of the New | The Year 1600: The Birth of the Modern?
Empires are expanding, the British East India Company is born, and the silver trade between South America and China begins to stitch the world into a global economy. Shakespeare is writing Hamlet and Julius Caesar, and Giordano Bruno is burned at the stake for his scientific discoveries. Part one in a series about what Salman Rushdie calls “hinge moments” in history, exploring how change happens.
|2022-Oct-28 • 54 minutes|
Killam Prize Winner: Carl E. James
Carl E. James is the winner of the 2022 Killam Prize for Social Science. Professor James is Canada's leading expert on schools and universities, especially as viewed through the lives of racialized students. He insists we must notice the processes behind what can appear to be flaws in society.
|2022-Oct-27 • 54 minutes|
Reimagining the Northwest Passage
When Sir John Franklin set out to find the Northwest Passage in 1845, he never returned. From that mystery, began the stories. But why do we keep coming back to these Franklin stories? What do they say about us? And what does it mean today to seek a Northwest Passage? *This episode originally aired on April 19, 2022.
|2022-Oct-26 • 54 minutes|
A Harem of Computers: The History of the Feminized Machine
Digital assistants, in your home or on your phone, are usually presented as women. In this documentary, IDEAS traces the history of the feminized, non-threatening machine, from Siri and Alexa to the "women computers" of the 19th century.
|2022-Oct-25 • 54 minutes|
Haunted: Imagining Ghosts Out of Loss
Sometimes, ghosts 'appear' for very human reasons. Loss, change, and grief can alter our perceptions of reality. In this episode, the reasons why ghosts are seen everywhere from new high-rises in Mumbai, to urban food courts, to a gay gym in San Francisco.
|2022-Oct-24 • 54 minutes|
The Authoritarian Personality
A groundbreaking study conducted in the wake of the Second World War by a group of scholars rocked the academic world when it was published in 1950 — but fell out of favour. Now a new generation of scholars is reviving the lessons of The Authoritarian Personality to understand the politics of our time. *This episode originally aired on April 4, 2022.
|2022-Oct-21 • 54 minutes|
The End of Everything: Katie Mack
The scientific consensus is that the universe was probably born in The Big Bang — the beginning of time and space. It's far less certain how the universe will end. Theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack outlines the possible fates of the universe in her book, The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking).
|2022-Oct-20 • 54 minutes|
The Poetics of Space
For more than 60 years, French thinker Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space has inspired poets, artists, architects, philosophers — and daydreamers. Millions of us around the world have spent two years sequestered in our homes, so what does his book about daydreaming and the imagination offer us now? *This episode originally aired on March 7, 2022.
|2022-Oct-19 • 54 minutes|
Freedom, Part Two: Annelien de Dijn
Today, the concept of freedom is often associated with limited government and freedom from state inference. But historian Annelien de Dijn argues that’s actually a relatively new idea in the longer history of thinking about freedom — one that emerged from an anti-democratic backlash to the Age of Revolutions. *This episode originally aired on March 17, 2022.
|2022-Oct-18 • 54 minutes|
Freedom, Part One: Lea Ypi
As a child in Stalinist Albania, Lea Ypi grew up believing she lived in a free state. When the system collapsed in 1990, she lived through a radical redefinition of “freedom.” She speaks with Nahlah Ayed about the contested meaning of freedom today and her memoir Free: A Child and a Country at the End of History. *This episode originally aired on March 8, 2022.
|2022-Oct-17 • 54 minutes|
The Marrow of Nature: A Case for Wetlands
Our relationship with wetlands is nothing if not troubled; swamps, bogs, and marshes have long been cast as wastelands, paved over to make way for agriculture and human development. But with wetlands proving crucial for life, artists, ecologists and activists say we need to rewrite this squelchy story.
|2022-Oct-14 • 54 minutes|
Turn the Other Cheek
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the greatest gifts of scripture to humanity; just ask Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Leo Tolstoy. But who's making any use of it today? In a time when an eye for an eye still seems to hold sway, IDEAS producer Sean Foley explores the logic of Christian non-violence, beginning with Jesus' counsel to 'turn the other cheek.'
|2022-Oct-13 • 54 minutes|
'Quiet Resistance': The 19th-Century Journals of Iranian Women
As mass demonstrations continue to erupt across Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini, journals of Iranian women from the 19th century reveal a 'hidden resistance' to authority. Safaneh Mohaghegh Neyshabouri studied these journals and observed how small acts of resistance can give root to massive social upheaval. This episode is part of our ongoing series, IDEAS from the Trenches.
|2022-Oct-12 • 54 minutes|
Games and the Good Life: From Baseball to Business
Deciding what counts as a game and what doesn’t can be tough. Philosopher Thomas Hurka, from the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto, examines what makes a game a game — and how getting the definition right can help us understand what makes for a life well spent.
|2022-Oct-11 • 54 minutes|
The Wretched of the Earth: Frantz Fanon, Part Two
One of the heroes of the Algerian war for independence from France was a young psychiatrist from Martinique. Frantz Fanon treated both Algerian victims of French brutality and torture, as well as French colonial officers and authorities responsible for it. This is the final episode in David Austin's 2006 series about the life and work of Frantz Fanon.
|2022-Oct-10 • 54 minutes|
The Wretched of the Earth: Frantz Fanon, Part One
The psychiatrist and political philosopher Frantz Fanon was one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. This episode examines Fanon's early life under French colonial rule in Martinique, his involvement as a young man in WWII, and the influence of Jean-Paul Sartre on Fanon's thinking. A deep dive into the life of this remarkable thinker by Montreal writer David Austin.
|2022-Oct-07 • 54 minutes|
How jeans became one of the most polluting garments in the world
Blue jeans evolved from being the uniform of cowboys to a symbol of rebellion, and are now the most popular — and possibly the most polluting — garment in the world. Fashion expert Pedro Mendes explores the 150-year history of jeans and the 'authenticity' they are supposed to represent. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 13, 2019.
|2022-Oct-06 • 54 minutes|
They've remained a minority among humans since the dawn of our species, coping with systems and tools arranged for right-handers, and sometimes thriving as a result of their difference. IDEAS explores the history — and latest mysteries — of the 'sinister 10 per cent' to find out what makes a left-hander special. *This episode originally aired on May 2, 2022.
|2022-Oct-05 • 54 minutes|
The Stolen Revolution: Iranian Women of 1979
The Iranian women demanding their rights today are part of a long history of resistance — and they’re continuing a struggle that began 43 years ago. IDEAS contributor Donya Ziaee shares the story of the women who took to the streets to oppose mandatory veiling just after the 1979 revolution. *This episode originally aired on March 8, 2019.
|2022-Oct-04 • 54 minutes|
Dinner on Mars: How to grow food when humans colonize the red planet
Two food security experts imagine what it would take to feed a human colony on Mars in the year 2080 if we colonized the red planet. From greenhouse technologies to nanotechnologies, they figure we could have a well-balanced diet on Mars, and argue there are lessons on how to improve our own battered food systems here on Earth.
|2022-Oct-03 • 54 minutes|
Music on Mars
If you thought space was silent, think again. Thanks to NASA's latest Mars rover, anyone can hear the sound of the Martian wind. IDEAS tunes in to the sounds of space and the people working to make music from the beauty of the cosmos in this award-winning documentary by Matthew Lazin-Ryder. *This episode originally aired on May 17, 2021.
|2022-Sep-30 • 54 minutes|
Exposing the Truth: Journalism's Role in Reconciliation
Award-winning investigative journalist Connie Walker delivered the seventh annual Indigenous Speakers Series Lecture at Vancouver Island University called Exposing the Truth: Journalism's Role in Reconciliation. She shares her observations and experiences, both professional and personal, on the evolution of journalistic coverage of Indigenous stories. *This episode originally aired January 7, 2022.
|2022-Sep-29 • 54 minutes|
The New World Disorder | The Rise of the Strongman
Democracy is shrivelling and illiberalism is on the rise. We've been watching this unfold for more than three decades but the sense of urgency has, perhaps, never been so great. IDEAS hears from people on the frontline of the fight against rising authoritarianism — how they understand the struggle and what they're doing to survive it. *This episode is part of our series, The New World Disorder.
|2022-Sep-28 • 54 minutes|
The New World Disorder | The End of America
The U.S. is at a turning point and experts say the country hasn't been this divided since the Civil War. Some are predicting the end of American democracy, while others claim the potential for political violence looms. IDEAS contributor Melissa Gismondi explores where the country might be headed and what — if anything — can save it. *This episode is part of our series, The New World Disorder.
|2022-Sep-27 • 54 minutes|
The New World Disorder | The Nature of Nationalism
Today’s nationalist leaders employ an exclusionary nationalism that can stoke fear, insularity, and hate. Yet political scientists Maya Tudor and Harris Mylonas argue it's important to understand nationalism as a powerful ideology that can be harnessed for national and global good. *This episode is part of our series, The New World Disorder.
|2022-Sep-26 • 54 minutes|
The New World Disorder | The Future of Democracy
What hope does democracy have when geopolitical instability is mounting, and public discourse is drowning in a sea of misinformation and disinformation? There is hope — according to two former Massey Lecturers Ron Deibert and Jennifer Welsh. *This episode is part of our series, The New World Disorder.
|2022-Sep-23 • 54 minutes|
Laurie Anderson: Spending the War Without You, Part Two
Musician, poet and multimedia artist Laurie Anderson addresses technology, fame and Yoko Ono’s one-minute scream in the second episode featuring excerpts from her Harvard University Norton Lectures. *This episode originally aired on June 3, 2022.
|2022-Sep-22 • 54 minutes|
Laurie Anderson: Spending the War Without You, Part One
Through excerpts from her Norton lectures, legendary avant-garde multimedia artist Laurie Anderson takes us on a curious journey exploring questions of politics, love, technology and fame. Episode One touches on angels, code-cracking and modern dance. *This episode originally aired on June 2, 2022.
|2022-Sep-21 • 54 minutes|
IDEAS from the Trenches: The Conspiracy Practice
Growing up, PhD student Sarah believed in the literal interpretation of the Bible. Born into a devout evangelical Christian community, she draws on her religious past to understand the visceral belief people acquire in conspiracy theories — from PizzaGate to the 'stolen' 2020 U.S. election.
|2022-Sep-20 • 54 minutes|
Women and War: Stories from the other front
Never before have we had such a close up, real-time picture of war. IDEAS hears from several women who know war: They're neither fighters, nor victims, yet at times of conflict they are wholehearted participants. They discuss the challenges, stereotypes, and dangers for civilian women working in the fog of war. *This episode originally aired on May 5, 2022.
|2022-Sep-19 • 54 minutes|
Worst Marriage Ever: The Story of Jason and Medea
The ancient Greek story of Jason and the Argonauts is that of a quest — and one of the first ever told: a man, a ship and a team of sailors, all in search of a miracle. Jason's turbulent relationship with Medea is at the centre of this documentary by contributor Tom Jokinen, Worst Marriage Ever: The Story of Jason and Medea.
|2022-Sep-16 • 54 minutes|
Lloyd Percival: Canada's Sports Prophet, Part Two
Lloyd Percival was arguably Canada's most successful coach. He helped revolutionize the way hockey was played around the world but was rejected by the NHL establishment. This two-part series examines the life and legacy of Percival the man, the coach — and the legend he helped build around himself. *This episode originally aired on January 19, 2022.
|2022-Sep-15 • 54 minutes|
Lloyd Percival: Canada's Sports Prophet, Part One
Lloyd Percival was arguably Canada's most successful coach. He helped revolutionize the way hockey was played around the world but was rejected by the NHL establishment. This two-part series examines the life and legacy of Percival the man, the coach — and the legend he helped build around himself. *This episode originally aired on January 18, 2022.
|2022-Sep-14 • 54 minutes|
Around the World in 80 Plays: Death and the King's Horseman
What happens when sacred rituals that are integral to Yoruba society are interrupted by a colonial power? Does life go on? Or will this spiritual wrong be righted? Nobel laureate and playwright Wole Soyinka answers these questions in his 1975 play Death and the King's Horseman. This episode is in collaboration with Soulpepper Theatre Company's Around the World in 80 Plays series. It originally aired on June 9, 2021.
|2022-Sep-13 • 54 minutes|
Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka on fighting a new set of 'internal colonialists'
Wole Soyinka has gone from political prisoner to Nobel Laureate in Literature. His writing, brimming with wit and rage, bears witness to the tragedy and triumphs of his native Nigeria. He spoke with Nahlah Ayed about power, the corruption of language, and his first novel in almost 50 years.
|2022-Sep-12 • 54 minutes|
O Canada: Joyce Wieland and the Art of Nationhood
In the 1960s and 70s, Joyce Wieland painted, sculpted and stitched the Canadian flag and our sense of national identity. Her art called on the need to preserve its distinctness from the United States. Now, a quarter century after her death, Canadians are wrestling with questions of who and what we are as a nation.
|2022-Sep-09 • 54 minutes|
We Make the Road by Walking: Ruth Wilson Gilmore
Geographer Ruth Wilson Gilmore pioneered the study of how mass incarceration has shaped the American landscape. In this wide-ranging interview with IDEAS, Gilmore talks about her latest book, Abolition Geography, in which she brings together more than three decades of essays and lectures about how America — and Americans — have come to be.
|2022-Sep-08 • 54 minutes|
Resurgent History: Mohawk Ironworkers
Indigenous scholar Allan Downey tells the story of Indigenous ironworkers from the Haudenosaunee community of Kahnawake in Quebec and how they helped build New York’s skyline — and a community in Brooklyn. Downey calls it a resurgent history, aimed at reviving Indigenous culture, traditions and governance.
|2022-Sep-07 • 54 minutes|
Cymbeline in the Anthropocene
At first glance, Shakespeare’s play Cymbeline doesn’t seem like an obvious choice for confronting the climate crisis. But seven theatre companies around the world, from Argentina to Australia, have adapted Cymbeline to respond to the climate crisis in their local communities.
|2022-Sep-06 • 54 minutes|
Killam Prize Winner: Bioethicist Françoise Baylis
Slowing down science, negotiating the self, and making ‘virtues’ cool again. IDEAS speaks to world-leading bioethicist Françoise Baylis, a recent winner of the 2022 Canada Council Killam Prize for her influential work.
|2022-Sep-05 • 54 minutes|
Keeping Kayfabe: The Philosophy of Pro Wrestling
Is there beauty in a Reverse Frankensteiner? Truth in a Crossface Chickenwing? Meaning in a Turnbuckle Thrust? These are questions for professional wrestlers, and professional philosophers. This episode brings both groups together, for a rough 'n tumble cage match of philosophical inquiry.
|2022-Sep-02 • 54 minutes|
CBC Massey Lectures | # 6: Asia and the Art of Storytelling
In her final Massey Lecture, Esi Edugyan speaks to how China and Japan created their ideas of Blackness from imported stories of pre-twentieth-century Africa, "shaping cultural expectations and in turn shaping the Black history and experience in Asia." For Esi Edugyan going to Asia served as a lesson in the power of storytelling and also the dangers of Othering. *This episode originally aired on January 31, 2022.
|2022-Sep-01 • 54 minutes|
Flâneuse: Women Walk the City
The flâneur is the quintessentially masculine figure of privilege and leisure who strides the capitals of the world with abandon. But it is the flâneuse that captures the imagination of cultural critic Lauren Elkin. IDEAS takes you on a walk through the streets of Paris with the author. *This episode originally aired on April 22, 2022.
|2022-Aug-31 • 54 minutes|
A Post-Pandemic Future: Sir Mark Walport
The Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research recognizes distinguished leadership, vision and innovation. The 2021 lecture was delivered by internationally acclaimed Professor Sir Mark Walport, known globally for his innovative work in health research. The topic of his talk is Medical Research and Innovation: Post-Pandemic Priorities. *This episode originally aired on April 8, 2022.
|2022-Aug-30 • 54 minutes|
Lynne Viola and the Window of Ukraine
An intricate portrait of secret Soviet operations in Ukraine during Joseph Stalin’s rule, from Canadian historian Lynne Viola. She speaks to Nahlah Ayed about the legacy of Stalin’s “Great Terror,” Russian suppression of Ukrainian nationalist sentiment, Vladimir Putin’s new war on history, and that time when the KGB came knocking on her door... and asked her out on a date. *This episode originally aired on April 13, 2022.
|2022-Aug-29 • 54 minutes|
Polyphony: Jewish and Palestinian musicians aim to 'bridge the divide' through music
In musical terms, ‘polyphony’ is a musical texture that combines two or more tones or melodic lines. But what can music do to truly advance peace and understanding? IDEAS explores this question with Nabeel Abboud Ashkar, co-founder of Polyphony — a music education organization, followed by a panel discussion. *This episode originally aired on May 3, 2022.
|2022-Aug-26 • 54 minutes|
CBC Massey Lectures | # 5: Africa and the Art of the Future
Esi Edugyan argues we are constrained by a largely white, Eurocentric idea of progress when it comes to the history of the future. African thinkers and artists suggest other realities: the Zambian Space Program, the film Black Panther, and Nnedi Okorafor's novel Lagoon, are all possible parables of the future. *This episode originally aired on January 28, 2022.
|2022-Aug-25 • 54 minutes|
The Trouble with Things: Lucy Ellmann
Things Are Against Us is a collection of satirical essays by Booker Prize-shortlisted writer, Lucy Ellmann. Satire aims to correct excess and Lucy Ellmann takes aim at a lot: male ego, eco-tourism, crime fiction, all the irritations that chip away at our pandemic-weakened sanity and dead-centre in her crosshairs: Big Industry. *This episode originally aired on March 24, 2022.
|2022-Aug-24 • 54 minutes|
Alan Lightman: Probable Impossibilities
As a theoretical physicist, Alan Lightman writes about the wonders of the universe with the soul of a philosopher. As science makes more fantastical discoveries and the cosmos becomes yet more mysterious, Lightman probes the biggest, most difficult questions to answer — is there a purpose to life and the universe? Where did we come from? What is the self? Why is there something rather than nothing? *This episode originally aired on March 15, 2022.
|2022-Aug-23 • 54 minutes|
Africa and Modernity: Howard W. French
Not the history we learned in school: the Western world has its roots in African trade and resources, and was built on the lost lives and liberty of African people. So argues senior journalist and history author Howard W. French in this Carleton University School of Journalism lecture, based on his latest book, Born in Blackness. *This episode originally aired on March 23, 2022.
|2022-Aug-19 • 54 minutes|
CBC Massey Lectures | # 4: America and the Art of Empathy — The Post-Racial Society
"To talk of transracialism instead of racial passing is, I think, to shear off its past of darkness, of illicitness," argues Esi Edugyan. Transracialism implies that we've gone beyond the limiting values of racial passing, allowing us to define for ourselves what our race is. So where do our rights to define ourselves begin and end? *This episode originally aired on January 27, 2022.
|2022-Aug-18 • 54 minutes|
The Bias List: Investigating the field of 'bias studies'
All of us are biased. We have individual biases, momentary biases, morning biases and evening biases. Our institutions are biased. Our constitutions are biased. So what to do about it? IDEAS producer Tom Howell continues his investigation into what the field of ‘bias studies’ has to offer us. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 3, 2022.
|2022-Aug-17 • 54 minutes|
Writers' Trust Balsillie Prize for Public Policy
University of Toronto Professor Dan Breznitz says Canada has an innovation problem, and it’s time we did something about it. In 2021 Breznitz won the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s inaugural Balsillie Prize for Public Policy for his book, Innovation in Real Places. In this episode, Nahalah Ayed speaks with Breznitz and the three other finalists for the prize. *This episode originally aired on March 10, 2022.
|2022-Aug-16 • 54 minutes|
Margaret Atwood and Omar El Akkad: Beyond Dystopia
Dystopian versus utopian. Description versus prescription. Ideology versus art. As geopolitical and climate crises deepen, what role should writers play? A conversation with novelists Margaret Atwood and Omar El Akkad as part of the first annual PEN Graeme Gibson Talk. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 13, 2021.
|2022-Aug-12 • 54 minutes|
CBC Massey Lectures | # 3: America and the Art of Empathy — What it Means to 'Pass'
"We all construct our own identities," Esi Edugyan says in her third Massey Lecture, "but we all understand, sooner or later, the limits of doing so — that there are ways in which our practical, economic, and physical realities are fixed." She explores how people who “pass” as Black complicate our understanding of identity. *This episode originally aired on January 26, 2022.
|2022-Aug-11 • 54 minutes|
B is for Bias
Inspired by a recent and significant update to the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of ‘bias,’ documentary producer Tom Howell embarks on a quest to draw up a complete list of personal biases, with the aim of assessing which ones to combat, and which to indulge. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 7, 2021.
|2022-Aug-10 • 54 minutes|
Global War on Terror, Pt 3: A Return to the New
Since the explicit withdrawal of the U.S. from Afghanistan, the broader media and political discourse is that the so-called War on Terror is over. But the war lives on through drone warfare and mass surveillance of Muslim citizens. In this era of increasing anti-Muslim violence, how are Muslims imagining and creating a better world for themselves and others? *This episode originally aired on Dec. 17, 2021.
|2022-Aug-09 • 54 minutes|
Rescuing History: Father Columba Stewart
Minnesota-based Father Columba Stewart has spent nearly two decades working with religious leaders, government authorities, and archivists around the globe to preserve religious manuscripts. He tells IDEAS about where this all started, and why it matters so much. *This episode originally aired on May 6, 2022.
|2022-Aug-08 • 54 minutes|
In a Liminal Space
Early in the pandemic, an online community of photographers, artists and editors started creating and sharing pictures of what they described as “liminal spaces”: empty, dark hallways, old arcades and decrepit stairways, which echoed a sense of timelessness and eeriness that resonated in today's world. *This episode originally aired on March 1, 2022.
|2022-Aug-05 • 54 minutes|
CBC Massey Lectures | # 2: Canada and the Art of Ghosts
"The stories we tell about the dead act as clarifying narratives to explain what has shaped us, and what continues to make us who we are," argues Esi Edugyan in her second Massey Lecture. However, she asks: who is being forgotten and why? When some histories are forgotten, we all lose. Recovering our ghosts is a way of redressing the narrative. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 25, 2022.
|2022-Aug-04 • 54 minutes|
ABC Boyer Lectures, Part Two: John Bell
The CBC has its Massey Lectures. The BBC has its Reith Lectures. And ABC Australia has its Boyer Lectures. The 2021 Boyer Lectures were delivered by actor and theatre director, John Bell. He illustrates how Shakespeare's life and works have profound relevance to issues we're facing today: political self-interest, gender inequality and the growing need for good governance. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 9, 2021.
|2022-Aug-03 • 54 minutes|
Global War on Terror, Pt 2: Eyes on Us
In the years since 9/11, the surveillance state has shifted from crudely trawling vast amounts of data to predictive surveillance where authorities try to identify crime before it happens. What this often means for Muslims is their everyday behaviour is seen through the lens of counter-extremism strategies. This is the second episode in our series Global War on Terror. It originally aired on Dec. 10, 2021.
|2022-Aug-02 • 54 minutes|
Searching for Solace: Michael Ignatieff
In the face of death, disappointment or fear we look for meaning, a sense of order, and consolation to help us carry on. Michael Ignatieff, in a public forum with Nahlah Ayed for the Toronto Public Library, discusses his book, On Consolation: Finding Solace in Dark Times. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 7, 2022.
|2022-Aug-01 • 54 minutes|
On China: Detention, Surveillance — and Profit
Anthropologist Darren Byler sees a confluence in Xinjiang province in China of constant surveillance, state data harvesting and private companies driven by profit. How does this apply to the global race for supremacy in artificial intelligence? *This episode originally aired on Feb. 16, 2022.
|2022-Jul-29 • 54 minutes|
CBC Massey Lectures | # 1: Europe and the Art of Seeing
Black subjects in European art are generally marginal figures, but even as such, they tell a rich tale about cultural assumptions. "To look at a portrait is to be forced to build a human life out of our own imaginations," says Massey lecturer Esi Edugyan. Art can both freeze a narrative and remove ambiguity, but it can also suggest layers of perhaps unintended meaning. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 24, 2022.
|2022-Jul-28 • 54 minutes|
ABC Boyer Lectures, Part One: John Bell
The CBC has its Massey Lectures. The BBC has its Reith Lectures. And ABC Australia has its Boyer Lectures. The 2021 Boyer Lectures were delivered by actor and theatre director, John Bell. He illustrates how Shakespeare's life and works have profound relevance to issues we're facing today: political self-interest, gender inequality and the growing need for good governance. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 8, 2021.
|2022-Jul-26 • 54 minutes|
Connections: 2021 Governor General's Literary Award winners
How do we connect with each other, even in challenging circumstances? Four writers, all winners of 2021 Governor General’s Literary Awards, reflect on the bonds that stay strong — despite inadequate technology, physical absence, or even death. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 21, 2021.
|2022-Jul-22 • 54 minutes|
LRB’s Encounters with Medieval Women
IDEAS presents a sample from a London Review of Books podcast miniseries called Encounters with Medieval Women. In their debut episode, co-hosts and medieval scholars Irina Dumitrescu and Mary Wellesley take on Mary of Egypt, a “fallen woman” turned saint, whose wild story courts comparisons to Pretty Woman, Fleabag, and Sex and the City. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 29, 2021.
|2022-Jul-21 • 54 minutes|
Shakespeare in Translation
Translation is a form of “resurrection,” argues Canadian scholar Irena Makaryk. And in the 400 years since Shakespeare shuffled off this mortal coil, he has been resurrected too many times to count. In the final episode of IDEAS at Stratford, we consider what’s lost in translation, what’s found, and how translation can shine a new light on the ideas in a familiar story. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 3, 2021.
|2022-Jul-20 • 54 minutes|
Dante: Poet of the Impossible, Part Three
Dante Alighieri died 700 years ago this year. His enemies had him exiled, hoping he'd disappear from history. But instead he wrote a masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, making himself the hero of his own epic poem — and in so doing, attained literary immortality. This is the final episode in a three-part series that originally aired in May of 2002.
|2022-Jul-19 • 54 minutes|
Cundill History Prize 2021: Marjoleine Kars
The Cundill History Prize is the most prestigious of its kind. Marjoleine Kars won the award of $75,000 USD in 2021 for her book Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast. The author speaks with host Nahlah Ayed about uncovering a forgotten slave rebellion. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 2, 2021.
|2022-Jul-18 • 54 minutes|
Growing up in the Ice Age: April Nowell
Ice Age communities were crawling with kids. Researchers estimate that anywhere from 40 to 65 per cent of prehistoric societies were made up of children. Archaeologist April Nowell has been researching the lives of Paleolithic children for decades. She argues that prehistoric children played a critical part in the cultural evolution of humans. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 10, 2022.
|2022-Jul-15 • 54 minutes|
War and the Modern World: Margaret MacMillan
Award-winning historian Margaret MacMillan delivers a lecture entitled, War and the Modern World, examining the relationship between conflict and modern society. The virtual talk was part of the International Issues Discussion (IID) series, a student-led forum at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 26, 2021.
|2022-Jul-14 • 54 minutes|
Shakespeare's Novels: The Tempest
As part of our series on contemporary novels inspired by Shakespeare plays, and produced in collaboration with the Stratford Festival, IDEAS explores what The Tempest has to say to us today about colonialism, reparations and forgiveness. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 19, 2021.
|2022-Jul-13 • 54 minutes|
Dante: Poet of the Impossible, Part Two
Dante Alighieri died 700 years ago. His enemies had him exiled, hoping he'd disappear from history. But instead he wrote a masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, making himself the hero of his own epic poem — and in so doing, attained literary immortality. This is the second episode in a three-part series that originally aired in May of 2002.
|2022-Jul-12 • 54 minutes|
Nima Elbagir delivers the 2021 Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondents Lecture
CNN's Senior International Correspondent Nima Elbagir delivers the 2021 Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondents Lecture. The award-winning journalist has reported from the frontlines of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and in Chibok, the Nigerian village from which over 250 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram. Her talk is entitled Humanity and the Foreign Correspondent. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 25, 2021.
|2022-Jul-11 • 54 minutes|
Song of Zong!: M. NourbeSe Philip's epic poem gives voice to slave ship victims
In November 1721, a massacre began on the Zong slave ship. The tragedy inspired the Canadian poem Zong! by M. NourbeSe Philip. She reflects on the mass murder, the bizarre court case, and the work of art still rising from its depths. *This episode originally aired on November 29, 2021.
|2022-Jul-11 • 53 minutes|
Ideas Introduces: The Kill List
When human rights activist Karima Baloch is found drowned off the shores of Toronto, an investigation into her mysterious death leads all the way back to Pakistan, the country she had recently fled. In this six-part series, host Mary Lynk explores the rampant abductions and killings of dissidents in Pakistan, the dangers that follow those who flee to the West, and a terrifying intelligence agency with tentacles around the globe. How did Karima die? And would Pakistan really carry out an assassination far be...
|2022-Jul-08 • 54 minutes|
Killiam Prizes 2021
Each year, the Canada Council’s Killam Prizes celebrate the best scholars in the country, in all the major disciplines of research. Host Nahlah Ayed talks to two of the five winners to find out about their major contributions in their respective fields. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 25, 2021.
|2022-Jul-07 • 54 minutes|
Shakespeare's Novels: King Lear
The familiar plot of Shakespeare’s King Lear is also the plot of many novels written for our own times. Nahlah Ayed speaks to novelists Preti Taneja and Jane Smiley who have reworked the Lear story. She’s also joined by Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino to explore what King Lear has to say to us today about gender, power, loyalty and inheritance. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 13, 2021.
|2022-Jul-06 • 54 minutes|
Dante: Poet of the Impossible, Part One
Dante Alighieri died 700 years ago this year. His enemies had him exiled, hoping he'd disappear from history. But instead he wrote a masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, making himself the hero of his own epic poem — and in so doing, attained literary immortality. This is the first part of a three-part series that originally aired in May of 2002.
|2022-Jul-05 • 54 minutes|
Salman Rushdie: Languages of Truth
Salman Rushdie argues that “the breakdown in the old agreements about reality is now the most significant reality.” He speaks with Nahlah Ayed about how the old consensus about reality fell apart — and whether it’s possible to build a new one. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 4, 2021.
|2022-Jul-04 • 54 minutes|
A Good Enough Life
Life is imperfect, and most quests for high achievement are destined to fail. Those truths have led some to advocate for a "good enough" future, prioritizing greater decency and sufficiency for the majority, rather than a select few. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 12, 2022.
|2022-Jul-01 • 54 minutes|
The Cult Movie Canon
They’re weird. They break the rules. They’re kinda bad. They are cult movies. Dive into the stories of films from ‘Troll 2’ to ‘The Last Dragon’ to the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ to learn what drives people to watch these oddball films again and again. Producer Matthew Lazin-Ryder looks at the history, future, and function of cult movies. *Originally aired on May 19, 2020.
|2022-Jun-30 • 54 minutes|
The Origins of Celebrity
Celebrity culture existed long before the stage, screen, and social media. Famous people, who elicited Kardashian-level feelings of love and hate in the public, were present centuries ago... though they share qualities with stars today, say scholars Irina Dumitrescu and Sharon Marcus.
|2022-Jun-29 • 54 minutes|
Dante's Indiana: Randy Boyagoda
Central to Dante's Divine Comedy is the idea of contrapasso: the appropriate afterlife punishment that matches the transgressions committed during one's earthly existence. Novelist Randy Boyagoda applies this notion to create Dante's Indiana, a tragi-comic epic that descends deep into the recesses of modern American life.
|2022-Jun-28 • 54 minutes|
Crime, Punishment, and Alternative Forms of Justice
The demographics of Canada’s prison population are far out of line with the rest of Canada. As part of the Provocation Ideas Festival and the Toronto International Festival of Authors, Nahlah Ayed hosts a panel discussion on challenges facing the legal system, and how to build a better court.
|2022-Jun-18 • 25 minutes|
Ideas Introduces: Nothing is Foreign
World news, local voices. Nothing is Foreign is a weekly trip to where the story is unfolding. Hosted by Tamara Khandaker. This episode takes you inside the culture and class wars of Egypt and explores what the banning of popular music says about the African country's image and its future. More episodes are available at: http://hyperurl.co/nothingisforeign
|2022-Jun-11 • 33 minutes|
Ideas Introduces: Kuper Island
Kuper Island is an 8-part series that tells the stories of four students: three who survived and one who didn’t. They attended one of Canada’s most notorious residential schools – where unsolved deaths, abuse, and lies haunt the community and the survivors to this day. Hosted by Duncan McCue. More episodes are available at hyperurl.co/kuperisland
|2022-Jun-10 • 54 minutes|
The COVID Generation, Part Two
Over the past two years, millions of teenagers have missed out on the rites of passage that generations before them experienced as a matter of course. Add to that their increased levels of anxiety and isolation, and it quickly becomes apparent why the COVID generation stands apart as a uniquely marked one.
|2022-Jun-09 • 54 minutes|
The Laws of War
A Russian soldier has been sentenced to life in prison for committing war crimes in Ukraine. But what are the rules of a war crime and how can they be enforced? IDEAS speaks to three experts to examine how international law deals with war crimes.
|2022-Jun-08 • 54 minutes|
Beyond the Pale (Part 3 of Bias series)
Calling something ‘beyond the pale’ puts it outside of civil society. (The word ‘pale’ actually means a ‘fence’.) So is there a fair way to build and maintain that fence in today’s political climate? IDEAS producer Tom Howell finds out how people are placing their private ‘pales’ these days — and what agreement remains on the existence of a public one.
|2022-Jun-07 • 54 minutes|
On Decline: Revisiting Andrew Potter’s Prognosis
In September 2021, Andrew Potter spoke with IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed about his book, On Decline. He argues that our entire civilization is in a slow, grinding descent into diminished prospects for a better world. We asked the author to return this month to assess how the past nine months have affected his grim prognosis.
|2022-Jun-06 • 54 minutes|
Madame Blavatsky: Intellectual, Adventurer, Occultist... Fraud
IDEAS delves into one of the great enigmatic figures of the late 19th century: Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Known as the godmother of the New Age movement, she led the Theosophical Society — a group determined to seek 'no religion higher than the truth.'
|2022-Jun-01 • 54 minutes|
Orwell's Roses: Rebecca Solnit
In her latest book, Orwell’s Roses, Rebecca Solnit uncovers a George Orwell who sought simple pleasures and beauty and was besotted with the natural world — something that was core to his being and that was essential to a worldview that abhorred totalitarianism, lies and abuses of language.
|2022-May-31 • 54 minutes|
How Sand Shapes Our World
"Sand is the material that matters most to what it means for us to be human," says researcher Nehal El-Hadi. She explores how sand shapes everything from our cities to our understanding of time — and what it means that the global supply of sand is dwindling, in her lecture, Poetics, Politics, and Paradoxes of Sand.
|2022-May-30 • 54 minutes|
'Mr. Dynamo': Remembering Ronnie Hawkins
The passing of Ronnie Hawkins at age 87 is the inspiration for this special episode of IDEAS in which producer Philip Coulter retools a show he did for Inside the Music. It plumbs the CBC Radio's extensive archives featuring The Hawk and captures the bottomless charisma, warmth and energy that defined his legendary career.
|2022-May-26 • 54 minutes|
Britt Wray on Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis
Science writer and scholar Britt Wray specializes in the mental health impacts of the ecological crisis. Her new book, Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis, shares productive ways to cope, think, and act while facing an anxious ecological present and uncertain future.
|2022-May-25 • 54 minutes|
The Rise and Fall and Rise of Richard Wright
Richard Wright was the biggest name in Black American literature in the 1940s. He fell out of favour, in part the result of critiques by James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison. But a recent publication of a Wright manuscript has led to a re-evaluation of his legacy and enduring relevance.
|2022-May-24 • 54 minutes|
Artemisia Gentileschi: What a Woman Can Do
*Please note that this episode features descriptions of a sexual assault that some listeners may find disturbing.* 17-century artist Artemisia Gentileschi upended traditional depictions of women in her paintings by creating gutsy, strong female figures. With her paintbrush as in her life, she fought gender inequality and helped to reimagine womanhood and what it could mean to be a female artist.
|2022-May-20 • 54 minutes|
Ed Yong: The Art of Science Journalism
Early on in his coverage of COVID, journalist Ed Yong realized it was more than just a science story — it was an omni-crisis. His journalism focuses on exposing the cracks in society exacerbated by the pandemic. He delivered this lecture as part of the Lind Initiative Future of the Media series at the University of British Columbia in April 2022.
|2022-May-19 • 54 minutes|
Body Language | Olivia Laing: Visions of the Free Body
Writer Olivia Laing reflects on the fight for bodily freedom, through polarizing figures such as psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich and feminist Andrea Dworkin, in this conversation based on her book, Everybody. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 23, 2021 as part of our series, Body Language.
|2022-May-18 • 54 minutes|
Body Language | The Problem of Too Much Body
Fat acceptance — the idea that bodies come in all sizes and all bodies have equal value and deserve equal treatment. But socially, we remain deeply invested in diet and weight loss culture. Is it possible to get to a place where body size no longer matters? *This episode originally aired on Sept. 22, 2021 and is part of our Body Language series.
|2022-May-17 • 54 minutes|
Body Language | Beyond Ugly: A documentary
For thousands of years, disability, disfigurement, or ugliness have been connected to evil. From the ancient world to modern time this unsettling concept has survived the cultural narrative. As part of our series Body Language, this documentary explores the root of ugliness and unpacks the legacy that harms people today. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 21, 2021.
|2022-May-16 • 54 minutes|
Body Language | Face to Face in an Uncertain World
Philosopher Emmanuel Levinas believed the face-to-face encounter was the beginning of our ethical obligation to each other. In our series Body Language, IDEAS considers the changing meaning of the face during COVID and imagines new ethical relationships for an uncertain time. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 6, 2021.
|2022-May-13 • 54 minutes|
Perfectionism: A Medieval and Modern Malady
The quest for perfection has become a modern malady, correlating to increased rates of depression and anxiety. But according to scholar Irina Dumitrescu, there's a connection between medieval ideas and contemporary experiences, whether motherhood, body image or social status.
|2022-May-12 • 54 minutes|
Aspen Ideas Festival: The Genius of Various Animals
Animals — what on earth are they thinking? A panel of scientists explore the notion of animal cognition from what your dog means when it wags its tail, to the incredible problem-solving skills of crows, as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival. *This episode originally aired on November 5, 2021.
|2022-Apr-28 • 54 minutes|
Ideas from the Trenches: The Endless Rebellion
Retired army captain Cheng Xu left his 10-year military career to seek answers to a vexing question: how is it that some insurgencies turn violent and spiral into seemingly chaotic and unending horror, while others achieve their objectives and resolve with relative peace and speed? *This episode originally aired on October 1, 2021.
|2022-Apr-27 • 54 minutes|
Moment of Encounter: Maaza Mengiste
In her lecture for the Global Centre for Pluralism, writer and Booker Prize nominee Maaza Mengiste turns to photographs from the war between Ethiopia and Italy in the 1930s to explore how historical narratives are constructed, what they overlook, and the murky realities in between. *This episode originally aired on May 20, 2021.
|2022-Apr-26 • 54 minutes|
Since Ludwig van Beethoven's death, he’s been used as a symbol of big ideas, from liberalism to nationalism to manliness. This documentary examines the shifting image of Beethoven, and his malleability as a symbol. *This episode originally aired on September 21, 2020.
|2022-Apr-25 • 54 minutes|
Beyond Fate: Margaret Visser's 2002 Massey Lectures
Freedom, democracy, human rights... These are some of the most important pillars of modern society. But recently, our relationship to these ideals has shifted drastically. IDEAS revisits writer and broadcaster Margaret Visser's 2002 Massey Lectures which examines these concepts — their strengths and their limitations.
|2022-Apr-21 • 54 minutes|
Can shame be positive? Some philosophers see it as an emotion that can improve social relationships, and cultivate a better self. Philosophers Owen Flanagan gives context based on his book, How to Do Things with Emotions, and Bongrae Seok explains the shame in the longstanding Confucian tradition.
|2022-Apr-20 • 54 minutes|
Stealing History: The Looting of Antiquities
For centuries, the looting of cultural artifacts has been a fraught discussion in the art world, and for government institutions. Many of these artifacts were taken from their places of origin during wars and conquests. Some never make their way back, and end up on the black market. But what's the real consequence of these lootings?
|2022-Apr-18 • 54 minutes|
Reconciliation, Part Two: No Way Home
In Bosnia, there are facts about the genocide but little acceptance of their truth by Serb aggressors. For Bosniaks, genocide denial means they are stuck in a violent past with little prospect for release. This is part two of a three-part series on genocide, truth, and reconciliation.
|2022-Apr-15 • 54 minutes|
Horn of Plenty: The Saxophone and the Spirit
The shiny, handsome and undeniably cool saxophone has been a staple of jazz music and popular culture for nearly a century. But some music historians say that what’s often been overlooked are its deep roots in spiritual beliefs and religious ritual. *This episode originally aired on March 3, 2020.
|2022-Apr-14 • 54 minutes|
Will the Real Martin Luther Please Stand Up?
Five hundred years ago, when Martin Luther translated the New Testament so that ordinary Germans could understand it, he sparked a theological, social and political revolution that we’re still living in. But who exactly was he? A life-risking fighter for freedom of conscience? Many still see him that way. But his infamous anti-semitism was embraced by the Nazis. So who exactly was Martin Luther?
|2022-Apr-11 • 54 minutes|
The University Crisis
Universities in the 21st century face a host of challenges, from bloated budgets to overworked contract faculty. And in a competitive economy, many students are wondering if a B.A. is still worth the time and money. IDEAS considers the idea of universities in crisis, what can be done to make them better and whether the system — as we know it — is worth saving. *This episode originally aired on October 12, 2021.
|2022-Apr-01 • 54 minutes|
Around the World in 80 Plays: The Seagull
The playwright Anton Chekhov wrote to a friend that he was writing a play with "a great deal of conversation about literature, little actions, tons of love." The Seagull is not unlike our own lives, where there isn't a ready-made plot with a neat ending. This episode is a collaboration between IDEAS and Soulpepper Theatre Company's audio drama series Around the World in 80 Plays. It originally aired on May 12, 2021.
|2022-Mar-31 • 54 minutes|
The Travels of Mirza Saleh Shirazi
In the 18th and 19th centuries, a series of Persian travellers from Iran and India to visit cities all over the world. They wrote popular travelogues describing the cultures and ideas they encountered and asked the questions fundamental to all of us: who am I? What is our relationship to each other, and to the world? * Originally broadcast on March 9, 2020.
|2022-Mar-28 • 54 minutes|
Against Nature: Lorraine Daston
Throughout the centuries, politicians, theologians and philosophers have pointed to nature as a way to guide our actions and beliefs. The equivalence between "unnatural" and "bad" seems to be as durable as ever. But philosophical anthropologist Lorraine Daston doesn't think using "nature" as a guide is necessarily all bad. *Originally aired on Dec. 5, 2019.