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Podcast Profile: Ideas

podcast imageTwitter: @NahlahAyed
222 episodes
2023 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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List Updated: 2024-Feb-21 13:08 UTC. Episodes: 222. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2024-Feb-20 • 54 minutes
From Page to Stage: Exploring sex and gender in Shakespeare's work
In the thorny thickets of love and desire, how do Shakespeare’s characters talk to each other? And what’s changed in 400 years? From the Stratford Festival, IDEAS explores the challenges around issues of sex and gender in staging Shakespeare’s plays.
2024-Feb-19 • 54 minutes
What’s Up with The Birds?
Fears of technological overreach, environmental decline, and the violent rise of the irrational: our 21st-century anxieties were anticipated in an unlikely 20th-century horror metaphor. “The Birds” – a haunting 1953 short story by Daphne duMaurier, and the truly bizarre 1963 Alfred Hitchcock movie that it inspired. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 6, 2023.
2024-Feb-16 • 54 minutes
Smart Cities, Technology and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias
Nothing seems to make a city politician’s eyes light up like the promise of the smart city. In his book, Dream States, journalist John Lorinc questions whether smart technologies live up to the hype and whether ultimately smart cities serve the interests of city dwellers or big tech companies. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 19, 2023.
2024-Feb-15 • 54 minutes
For the Sake of the Common Good: Honouring Lois Wilson
Lois Wilson has lived many lives during her 96 years: a United Church Minister, a Senator, a human rights advocate and an inspiration to many — exhibiting a humility that can only be described as steadfast. For the Sake of the Common Good: Essays in Honour of Lois Wilson is a tribute to the life and work of a remarkable Canadian. 
2024-Feb-14 • 54 minutes
Obtaining Justice Without Demonizing Your Enemies: Martha Minow
In the age of growing polarization, how do you tackle injustice without demonizing your enemies? Former Harvard Law School dean Martha Minow tackles that question in her 2023 Horace E. Read Memorial Lecture.
2024-Feb-13 • 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. *This episode originally aired on March 7, 2023.
2024-Feb-12 • 54 minutes
5 Canadian Writers on Subverting Identity
Identity is a hot topic in our era, but also a complex reality. Five literary writers — all of them winners of 2023 Governor General’s Literary Awards — read from new poems, essays, and stories that consider the ways that seemingly solid identities can be altered, questioned, or entirely subverted.
2024-Feb-09 • 54 minutes
The Dark Side of Charisma: Molly Worthen
Charisma can be a dangerous thing in politics. Writer and scholar Molly Worthen examines how today’s breed of charismatic leaders presents themselves as having the power to transform lives, transfixing their followers into unquestioning fealty, in her 2023 Larkin-Stuart Lecture. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 3, 2023.
2024-Feb-08 • 54 minutes
Hands Up Who Loves Timmins
Timmins calls itself “the city with a heart of gold." And it offers a fast track to permanent residency for immigrants willing to move there. IDEAS producer Tom Howell finds out what this northern Ontario city has to offer a newcomer, and who’s ready to fall in love with Shania Twain’s hometown. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 11, 2023.
2024-Feb-07 • 54 minutes
Queer Diplomacy: Negotiating 2SLGBTQ+ Rights in a Fraught World
In the 1980s, Douglas Janoff marched outside the United Nations to promote 2SLGBTQ+ rights. Then, after several decades as an activist, he became a Canadian diplomat — and started pushing for change from within. He shares his experience through the complex and delicate world of queer diplomacy.
2024-Feb-06 • 54 minutes
Be Reasonable: Scholars Define Who Is and Who Is Not
From the interpersonal to the societal: what is reasonableness? And in a democracy, how reasonable can we reasonably demand that others be? Five Canadian thinkers try to define what “reasonableness” means, and what it is to behave and think reasonably.
2024-Feb-05 • 54 minutes
Puro Cubano: The Meaning of Tobacco in Cuba
For many people around the world, Cuban cigars are a luxury. But for Cubans, they’ve symbolized the country’s rich history and culture. Now as an economic crisis is gripping the country and people are leaving, the cigar is a bellwether of Cuba's uncertain future.
2024-Feb-02 • 54 minutes
Ulysses and the Art of Everyday Living
What does it mean to be a good person? Irish scholar and writer Declan Kiberd argues that Ulysses — James Joyce’s iconic novel — has lessons to teach us about the art of everyday living.
2024-Feb-01 • 54 minutes
Platforms, Power and Democracy: Understanding the Influence of Social Media
Research around social media was already hard to do. Now it’s even harder. Researchers describe how Big Tech and right-wing lawsuits block efforts to hold social media giants accountable.
2024-Jan-31 • 54 minutes
Our Bodies, Our Cells
Our bodies are a great paradox. We are made up of trillions of cells that are both independent and interconnected units of life. IDEAS travels into the microscopic complexity of the human body to explore sophisticated nanomachines — and probe the deep mysteries of a subatomic world.
2024-Jan-30 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 11, 2023.
2024-Jan-29 • 54 minutes
The Tree of Life Revisited: Chava Rosenfarb
Chava Rosenfarb, Holocaust survivor and Canadian Yiddish writer, was born 100 years ago in Łódź, Poland. In 2023, Łódź celebrated “The Year of Chava Rosenfarb." In this episode, producer Allison Dempster revisits a 2001 IDEAS documentary that profiles Rosenfarb’s legacy and the politics of Holocaust remembrance in Poland today.
2024-Jan-26 • 54 minutes
The Year 1989: Uprisings and Downfalls
Our series exploring five years in the 20th century that shaped the world ends with the year 1989. The Berlin Wall comes tumbling down. There are democratic uprisings in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary. A riot in Tiananmen Square in Beijing is met with a fierce crackdown.
2024-Jan-25 • 54 minutes
The Year 1973: The Dictators
In part four of our series exploring five years that shaped the world, IDEAS examines 1973. Augusto Pinochet comes to power in Chile, and dictators rule Portugal, Greece, Uganda and beyond. The OPEC oil embargo sets the world on a new path. The American Supreme Court legalizes abortion in Roe v. Wade, 50 years before it would be overturned.
2024-Jan-24 • 54 minutes
The Year 1963: Social Revolutions
Our series continues as we focus on the year 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr. leads a march on Washington, the Pan-African movement ushers in a new era for Africa, President Kennedy is assassinated, and the war in Vietnam heats up.
2024-Jan-23 • 54 minutes
The Year 1938: The Winds of War
On the eve of the Second World War, Hitler annexes Austria and escalates antisemitic persecution, Japan wages war on China, and the parallel collapse of democracy in both the East and West sets the stage for war. This is the second episode in our series exploring five years that have shaped the world.
2024-Jan-22 • 54 minutes
The Year 1919: Dividing the Spoils
After the First World War, the Western powers create new borders and carve out spheres of influence, leaders from the Global South fight for self-determination, and the League of Nations and the Communist International are formed. In this series recorded at the Stratford Festival, IDEAS explores five years in the 20th century that have shaped our world today.
2024-Jan-19 • 54 minutes
IDEAS in the Hague: A Question of Genocide
Last week, South Africa and Israel were at the International Court of Justice with two starkly opposed versions of the conflict in Gaza: South Africa’s legal team argued Israel’s actions there violate the Genocide Convention. Israel’s lawyers argued it is acting in self-defence. The court must first decide whether to order emergency measures to stop the violence until it considers the bigger question. IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed was in the Hague. This episode features excerpts from the two-day hearings.
2024-Jan-18 • 54 minutes
Healing and the Healer: Dr. Jillian Horton
In her book, We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing, Dr. Jillian Horton shares her personal story of burnout and calls for developing a compassionate medical system, with a more balanced and humane understanding of what it means to heal and be healed.
2024-Jan-17 • 54 minutes
The Emancipation of Ahmet Altan
For nearly five years, Turkey imprisoned one of its most significant writers. Fifty-one Nobel laureates called for his release. Now free, the resilient Ahmet Altan reflects on the meaning of freedom, inside and out.
2024-Jan-15 • 54 minutes
Lisa LaFlamme: In Defence of Democracy
These are anxious times for journalism and democracy. As part of an event hosted by the Samara Centre for Democracy, former news anchor Lisa LaFlamme tells IDEAS what can and must be done to bolster journalism so it can better safeguard democracy.
2024-Jan-15 • 54 minutes
A Political Prisoner’s Odyssey: Writer Ahmet Altan, Pt 1
Celebrated Turkish writer Ahmet Altan spent almost five years in jail. He wrote his memoir which was smuggled out on bits of paper. This award-winning documentary aired in June 2020 while he was still imprisoned. Tomorrow IDEAS features a conversation with CBC producer Mary Lynk and the now-freed Ahmet Altan.
2024-Jan-12 • 54 minutes
Philosophy from the Pub, with Lewis Gordon
Lewis Gordon is an academic. But he argues that confining thinking to the academy has resulted in people forgetting that philosophy “has something important to say.” He helps remedy the situation with this warm, funny, vital talk, recorded in a historic pub in St. John’s, Newfoundland, by Memorial University.
2024-Jan-11 • 54 minutes
The Never-Ending Fall of Rome
Rome fell, because of... divorce. Or was it immigration? Maybe moral decay. IDEAS producer Matthew Lazin-Ryder explores the political history of 'the fall of Rome' — a hole in time where politicians, activists, and intellectuals can dump any modern anxiety they wish.
2024-Jan-10 • 54 minutes
Arctic/Amazon Art Exhibition: Secrets and Visions, Part Two
Indigenous artists from the Arctic and the Amazon regions came together for an art exhibition — a culmination of years of research and conversation. Despite coming from apparently disparate territories and traditions, they shared deeply on histories, present circumstances, and future worlds.
2024-Jan-09 • 54 minutes
The Passion of Émile Nelligan: Canada's Saddest Poet
Broken violins, cruel love, absent fathers, the thought that a fleeting glimpse of happiness is a mere worthless illusion. At the end of the 19th century, Émile Nelligan wrote hundreds of tragic, passionate, sonnets and rondels on these subjects and more. And yet, most English-speaking Canadians seem never to have heard of the Quebec poet.
2024-Jan-08 • 54 minutes
Murder, Madness and Marriage: The Sensational World of Wilkie Collins
Considered one of the first writers of mysteries and the father of detective fiction, Wilkie Collins used the genres to investigate the rapidly changing world around him. UBC Journalism professor Kamal Al-Solaylee explores his work and its enduring power to make us look twice at the world we think we know.
2024-Jan-05 • 54 minutes
Nine: A Number of Synchronicity
Going the whole nine yards, dressing to the nines, being on cloud nine. In pop culture, in ancient folklore, in music, even in sports the number nine is everywhere. In the last episode of our series, The Greatest Numbers of All Time, we explore nine and its uncanny connections. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 29, 2023.
2024-Jan-04 • 54 minutes
We Give You Five
Five: a simple, easy number with a diabolical side. As we continue our series, The Greatest Numbers of All Time, meet the Janus-faced figure of five and find out how the number has acquired its personality for people in the arts and sciences. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 28, 2023.
2024-Jan-03 • 54 minutes
The Magic of Three
Three is a magic number. From curses to charms to incantations and evocations, speaking thrice gives power — today, and in the ancient past. As our number series continues, we enter the powerful and spiritual realm of three. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 27, 2023.
2024-Jan-02 • 54 minutes
Echoes of an Empty Sound: The Story of Zero
It's the middle of the number line, and the likely end of the universe. It's nothing — and it's everywhere. Zero has confounded humanity for thousands of years. On IDEAS, we explore the infinite danger and promise of the void in a series called The Greatest Numbers of All Time. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 26, 2023.
2024-Jan-01 • 38 minutes
Join IDEAS for our annual New Year's Levee
As the calendar page turns, it's time for the annual New Year's Levee. IDEAS' producers and contributors preview what they're working on for the opening months of 2024. Topics run the gamut, from salmon to cells, and from the domestic state of marriage, to the neglected verse of a tragic teen poet.
2023-Dec-29 • 54 minutes
Entre Chien et Loup: How Dogs Began
Scientists agree that dogs evolved from wolves and were the first domesticated animals. But exactly how that happened is hotly contested. IDEAS contributor Neil Sandell examines the theories and the evolution of the relationship between dogs and humans. *This episode originally aired on March 1, 2021.
2023-Dec-28 • 54 minutes
Fireside & Icicles — Poems for Winter
A childhood full of Christmasses in Wales has left IDEAS producer Tom Howell pining for a certain kind of nostalgic poem this winter. So he turns to poets to put into words a strange feeling of homesickness, nostalgia, and yearning. *This episode originally aired on December 17, 2020.
2023-Dec-27 • 54 minutes
Why the 1976 novel Bear is still controversial — and relevant
At the surface, Bear is about a woman who develops a sexual relationship with a bear. And though the 1976 novel earned Marian Engel a Governor General's award, it's been largely forgotten. Contributor Melissa Gismondi explores its mystery, meaning and relevance today. *This episode originally aired on January 4, 2021.
2023-Dec-26 • 54 minutes
Christmas Philosophy 101
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.
2023-Dec-25 • 54 minutes
Horn of Plenty: The Saxophone and the Spirit
The 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.
2023-Dec-22 • 54 minutes
Ordinary Magic: The Musical Genius of Jerry Granelli
A profile of the legendary jazz drummer and composer Jerry Granelli who passed away in 2021. Over his career, he accompanied many of the greats: Mose Allison, Sly Stone and The Grateful Dead. Most famously, he was a member of the Vince Guaraldi Trio that recorded the iconic album: A Charlie Brown Christmas. *This episode originally aired on December 21, 2021.
2023-Dec-20 • 54 minutes
Exploring Inner City Winnipeg
The inner city isn’t just a place — it’s an idea. And in Winnipeg, it’s an idea whose meaning and future have been fiercely contested. Nahlah Ayed joins Owen Toews, author of Stolen City, for a walking tour of inner-city history — and speaks to Indigenous organizer and “inner-city builder” Kathy Mallett.
2023-Dec-19 • 54 minutes
ARC Ensemble: The Forgotten Music of Exiled Composers
For the last 20 years, members of ARC Ensemble have dedicated themselves to recovering the forgotten works of exiled composers. Recently, the ensemble revived the works of Frederick Block — music that hasn't been performed publicly in nearly a century.
2023-Dec-18 • 54 minutes
The Value of Group Therapy
Is group therapy underused in treating mental health? Psychiatrist Molyn Leszcz calls it an “incredibly powerful” approach, where patients heal each other and themselves through support and, sometimes, challenge. Scholar Jess Cotton agrees, tracing the radical roots of an idea that she thinks could hold a greater place today.
2023-Dec-15 • 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. This 2017 documentary explores Gould's life and his revolutionary ideas about music and radio.
2023-Dec-14 • 54 minutes
How to do Diplomacy with Autocrats
Autocratic governments, like democratic ones, have a sphere of influence and a logic of diplomacy. In a time of crisis, is it possible to have honest and pragmatic engagements when the diplomatic temperature is set to a default slow?
2023-Dec-13 • 54 minutes
Enemies and Angels: Opposing Soldiers Who Saved Each Other
An Iraqi soldier crawls off to die in a bunker. But he’s saved by an Iranian medic. Nearly 20 years later, and halfway around the world, they meet again in a breathtaking coincidence for another life-saving encounter. *This episode originally aired on December 23, 2014.
2023-Dec-12 • 54 minutes
Disgust: The Good and Evil
Take a look at the motivations behind homophobia and racial prejudice, and you’ll find a shared emotion: disgust. At a time of increasing social divides, theorists say we need to reckon with an emotion that keeps us safe — and can make the world more dangerous.
2023-Dec-11 • 54 minutes
Inventing Peace
In times of bitter conflict, what does it take to make peace? An experienced mediator and two former heads of state who helped to end some of the world’s most intractable conflicts discuss how to get warring sides beyond the dehumanization and rage.
2023-Dec-08 • 54 minutes
The Rise of H.P. Lovecraft
American short story writer H.P. Lovecraft died in 1937. Now he's more popular than he was in his lifetime. IDEAS examines why his brand of “cosmic horror” resonates in the 21st century, and how new writers are dealing with his racist legacy. *This episode originally aired on January 22, 2021.
2023-Dec-07 • 54 minutes
From Grit to Glory: Canada’s first Black woman publisher
In 1853, Mary Ann Shadd Cary became the first Black woman publisher in Canada with her newspaper, The Provincial Freeman. As a lawyer, publisher, and educator, she laid the groundwork for Black liberation in Canada. Descendants and other guests share her remarkable story.
2023-Dec-06 • 54 minutes
Bring Back Grumpy George: The Forgotten Message of George Grant
Canadian philosopher George Grant was known for his pessimism, and is best known for his book Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism. PhD student Bryan Heystee makes the case to revive Grantian philosophy and make it work for the 21st century.
2023-Dec-05 • 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.
2023-Dec-04 • 54 minutes
Is artificial intelligence intended to serve human welfare or Big Tech?
There’s a lot of hope, hype and fear around artificial intelligence. That it’ll solve the climate crisis, or turn us all into paper clips. IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed speaks to two tech experts about the promise and perils of AI, as part of the Provocation Ideas Festival.
2023-Dec-01 • 54 minutes
Mercury’s In Retrograde: The Rise of Astrology
Belief in astrology is on the upswing, especially among younger people. But since it has no predictive value, what meanings can be gleaned from a belief that the stars reveal all about us? This documentary examines the rise of popular astrology in the 1930s and how it fits into the consumer capitalism world we now inhabit. *This episode originally aired on March 29, 2023.
2023-Nov-30 • 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.
2023-Nov-29 • 54 minutes
Food Security: Root Causes and Pathways to Change
The cost of food is on the rise, and more Canadians are having a hard time knowing if they can afford their next meal. IDEAS hears from four leading experts in the field of food insecurity to explore the root causes and how our food systems can evolve to support us all.
2023-Nov-28 • 54 minutes
Swinging and Singing: The Violin
For musician and radio producer, David Schulman, the violin can swing and sing like nothing else. Schulman recently travelled to the north of Italy to try and discover the original trees from which Antonio Stradivari made his masterpieces. It’s a journey of surprise and delight.
2023-Nov-27 • 54 minutes
CBC Massey Lectures: Audience Q&A with Astra Taylor
Insecurity has become a "defining feature of our time," says 2023 CBC Massey lecturer Astra Taylor. The Winnipeg-born writer and filmmaker explores how rising inequality, declining mental health, the climate crisis, and the threat of authoritarianism originate from a social order built on insecurity. In this episode, Astra Taylor answers audience questions about insecurity from the cross-Canada tour.
2023-Nov-20 • 60 minutes
CBC Massey Lectures | #1: Cura’s Gift
Insecurity has become a "defining feature of our time," says 2023 CBC Massey Lecturer Astra Taylor. The Winnipeg-born writer and filmmaker explores how rising inequality, declining mental health, the climate crisis, and the threat of authoritarianism originate from a social order built on insecurity. In her first lecture, she explores the existential insecurity we can’t escape — and the manufactured insecurity imposed on us from above.
2023-Nov-20 • 59 minutes
CBC Massey Lectures | #2: Barons or Commoners?
In the 2023 CBC Massey Lectures, Astra Taylor argues our social order runs on insecurity. But we’re also guaranteed the right to “security of the person.” The wealthy barons of the past and present have defined what security means for themselves — but the rest of us, ordinary commoners, have fought for something else instead.
2023-Nov-20 • 64 minutes
CBC Massey Lectures | #3: Consumed by Curiosity
It’s a paradox — we live in the most prosperous era in human history, but it’s also an era of profound insecurity. In the third 2023 CBC Massey Lecture, Astra Taylor suggests that history shows that increased material security helps people be more open-minded, tolerant, and curious. But rising insecurity does the reverse — it drives us apart.
2023-Nov-20 • 64 minutes
CBC Massey Lectures | #4: Beyond Human Security
The burning of fossil fuels causes the past, present and future to collide in destructive ways. In the fourth 2023 CBC Massey Lecture, Astra Taylor tells us that as the climate alters, evolved biological clocks erratically speed up or slow down, causing plants and animals to fall out of sync. In a world this out of joint, how could we possibly feel secure? But there is a path forward.
2023-Nov-20 • 62 minutes
CBC Massey Lectures | #5: Escaping the Burrow
Human beings will never be totally secure, especially not on a planet that has been destabilized. In the final 2023 CBC Massey Lecture, Astra Taylor offers some hope and solutions. She suggests cultivating an ethic of insecurity — one that embraces our existential insecurity. The experience of insecurity, she says, can offer us a path to wisdom — a wisdom that can guide not only our personal lives but also our collective endeavours.
2023-Nov-17 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 7, 2023.
2023-Nov-16 • 54 minutes
“Sometimes I think this city is trying to kill me…”
“Sometimes I think this city is trying to kill me…” That’s what a man on the margins once told Robin Mazumder who left his healthcare career behind to become an environmental neuroscientist. He now measures stress, to advocate for wider well-being in better-designed cities.
2023-Nov-15 • 54 minutes
Dehumanization and War
How does the act of dehumanization pave the way for exploitation, humiliation and ultimately killing? In this episode, experts and survivors discuss dehumanization during war and whether there's a way back when the killing is done.
2023-Nov-14 • 54 minutes
Perimeter Institute Public Lectures: The Physics of Jazz | Dark Matter Night
Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander muses about the interplay of jazz, physics, and math. And cosmologist Katie Mack unpacks the latest thinking about the mysteries of dark matter, as part of the Perimeter Institute Public Lecture series.
2023-Nov-13 • 54 minutes
A Guide to Hope, Learning and Shakespeare: Scholar Shannon Murray
Feeling the weight of a world? A lecture on hope might be a much needed balm. Scholar Shannon Murray shares lesson in hope, patience, empathy and 'freudenfreude,' and how Shakespeare’s words have become the narrative soundtrack of her life.
2023-Nov-10 • 54 minutes
Man Up! The Masculinity Crisis, Part Three
In the final episode of the three-part series, Man Up: Masculinity in Crisis, IDEAS explores how far-right men's groups are reasserting traditional masculinity online, and why some experts see a positive way forward for men through fatherhood. *This episode originally aired on June 15, 2023.
2023-Nov-09 • 54 minutes
A Walk of Remembrance: Honouring Canadian soldiers who helped liberate the Netherlands
In a powerful act of remembrance, a group of Canadians participated in a pilgrimage to the Netherlands to commemorate their fathers, grandfathers and uncles who helped to liberate the country from the Nazis. IDEAS contributor Alisa Seigel shares their journey in her documentary, A Walk of Remembrance. *This episode originally aired on May 1, 2023.
2023-Nov-08 • 54 minutes
Trust Talks: The Future of Journalism in a Digital World
Three Canadian media bosses face explain why their institutions are losing people's trust. Toronto Star vice-president Irene Gentle, the CBC's Brodie Fenlon, and Global News' Sonia Verma joined moderator IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed to discuss how media outlets can regain the trust of the audience.
2023-Nov-07 • 54 minutes
Alanis Obomsawin: The Art of Listening
Indigenous filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin has witnessed nearly a century of change. At 91 years old she continues to produce documentaries featuring Indigenous stories and voices. The Abenaki artist delivered the 2023 Beatty Lecture at McGill University.
2023-Nov-06 • 54 minutes
13 Ways of Looking at a Cormorant
Who will speak for the cormorant? This unusual water bird gets culled by humans for overfishing and killing trees. But maybe it is humans and their cultural assumptions that are the source of the problem, say defenders of the cormorant. *This episode originally aired on October 6, 2021.
2023-Nov-03 • 54 minutes
Man Up! The Masculinity Crisis, Part Two
IDEAS continues to explore the state of manhood in part two of the three-part series, Man Up!: Masculinity in Crisis. This episode examines rejuvenation therapy, how the McCarthy era and the Boy Scouts played a role in shaping masculinity, testing homosexuality in boys and the creation of the mythopoetic movement. *This episode originally aired on June 1, 2023.
2023-Nov-02 • 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.
2023-Nov-01 • 54 minutes
Mexico's Gothic Turn
A PhD student argues that a new literary genre has emerged — the ‘Mexican Gothic’ style, featuring the creepy castles and haunting figures of traditional Gothic novels mixed up with drug cartel kingpins and colonialism, set in contemporary Mexico. *This episode is part of our ongoing series, IDEAS from the Trenches, about outstanding PhD scholars across the country. It originally aired on June 5, 2023.
2023-Oct-31 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 25, 2022.
2023-Oct-30 • 54 minutes
Is Human Intelligence Overrated?
Our brains tell us human intelligence is unique in understanding this complicated world — that our intellects make us superior to animals. But after years of studying dolphins and other marine creatures, Justin Gregg has come to the conclusion that the human brain isn’t as great as it thinks it is. *This episode originally aired on June 22, 2023.
2023-Oct-27 • 54 minutes
Man Up! The Masculinity Crisis, Part One
In recent decades, social scientists have noticed a trend: men are dropping out of the workforce. And their addiction rates are climbing. Men are also three times more likely to commit suicide than women. IDEAS explores the state of manhood in a three-part series, Man Up!: The Masculinity Crisis. Part One traces the history of masculinity. *This episode originally aired on May 18, 2023.
2023-Oct-26 • 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 as part of our series The New World Disorder. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 2, 2023.
2023-Oct-25 • 54 minutes
The Nature of Nonfiction: Robert Macfarlane
Robert Macfarlane says his writing is about the relationship between the landscape and the human heart. He's a modern-day re-interpreter of the sublime — whether he's writing about following ancient foot trails or descending into the mysterious world beneath the Earth's surface. He spoke at a special event at the Royal Ontario Museum, where he accepted the inaugural Weston International Award, presented by the Writers' Trust of Canada to recognize excellence in nonfiction.
2023-Oct-24 • 54 minutes
The Beauty of Chance: Astrophysicist Hubert Reeves, Part Two
Astrophysicist Hubert Reeves is one of the world's leading experts on the Big Bang theory. He was also a riveting storyteller. Reeves died this month at the age of 91. IDEAS producer Mary Lynk spoke to the acclaimed astrophysicist in 2019 at his country home in Burgundy. This is the second episode in a two-part series.
2023-Oct-23 • 54 minutes
Arctic Amazon Art Project: The Mural, Part One
The Arctic and the Amazon may be far apart geographically, but art connects them intimately. As part of a public art project bringing Indigenous artists from both regions together, Inuk artist Niap and the Shipibo artist Olinda Silvano worked on a mural that now graces the campus of Toronto Metropolitan University. They share their inspirations and their collaboration.
2023-Oct-20 • 54 minutes
Camera Lucida | How photographs help us understand our place in the world
The camera may not lie, but it can produce very convincing fiction. The wedding photograph and the headshot are just some of the ways our everyday world gets defined through the frozen image. Award-winning playwright Guillermo Verdecchia presents a sound portrait of a very "visual" medium in this 2001 IDEAS episode.
2023-Oct-19 • 54 minutes
Widowhood, Wisdom and Words: The Irrepressible Donna Morrissey
What was supposed to be an on-stage interview about Donna Morrissey's latest novel, Rage The Night, expanded to a conversation about Nietzsche, Carl Jung, and sudden grief after her husband died from a stroke. The Newfoundland author was in conversation with IDEAS producer Mary Lynk in Halifax.
2023-Oct-18 • 54 minutes
The Boyer Lectures, Pt 2: Australia's struggle with its past
Indigenous scholar Noel Pearson concludes his series of lectures on Australia's history and current relationship with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal peoples. In these later talks, Pearson views that relationship through the lens of the economy, schools, and cultural identity. He draws attention to the commonalities between Australians of all backgrounds.
2023-Oct-17 • 54 minutes
The Origins of Us: Astrophysicist Hubert Reeves, Part One
Hubert Reeves is one of the world's foremost experts on the Big Bang and the origins of time. In Quebec, where he was born, he's called their Einstein. Reeves died this month at the age of 91. IDEAS producer Mary Lynk spoke to the acclaimed astrophysicist in 2019 at his country home in Burgundy, as part of a two-part series.
2023-Oct-16 • 54 minutes
Herodotus: The Power and Peril of Story
Herodotus was committed to understanding the human causes of conflict and war. He gathered stories — some believable, others not — to show how different cultures understand themselves. Readings for this documentary by writer Michael Ondaatje.
2023-Oct-13 • 54 minutes
Honouring a radio revolutionary, Chris Brookes
Chris Brookes was a documentary producer who influenced generations of radio makers worldwide. In April 2023, he died in a tragic accident. IDEAS honours the spirit of this master craftsman of sound with a documentary made by his longtime friend and colleague, David Mairowitz.
2023-Oct-12 • 54 minutes
Notes on an Invasion: Masha Gessen and Andrey Kurkov on Russia’s war in Ukraine
Andrey Kurkov (Grey Bees) is Ukraine’s leading novelist. Masha Gessen is a dissident Russian-American journalist. Each chronicles Ukraine’s fight for independence on the ground, and critique what we outsiders know, for the 2023 PEN Canada/Graeme Gibson Talk.
2023-Oct-11 • 54 minutes
The Boyer Lectures, Pt 1: The story behind Australia’s Voice referendum
On Saturday, October 14th, Australia votes on whether to create a new representative body: the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Indigenous lawyer and academic Noel Pearson lays out the backstory, and his view of what’s to come, in his Boyer Lectures.
2023-Oct-10 • 54 minutes
Injustice For All, Part Two
Our justice system was developed under the assumption that both parties in a dispute would each have a lawyer. But most Canadians can’t afford a lawyer — which means that our justice system is tilted in favour of those who can. In a two-part series, IDEAS contributor Mitchell Stuart asks: is a system like that still capable of administering justice? *This episode originally aired on April 26, 2023.
2023-Oct-09 • 54 minutes
Injustice For All, Part One
Our justice system was developed under the assumption that both parties in a dispute would each have a lawyer. But most Canadians can’t afford a lawyer — which means that our justice system is tilted in favour of those who can. In a two-part series, IDEAS contributor Mitchell Stuart asks: is a system like that still capable of administering justice? *This episode originally aired on April 19, 2023.
2023-Oct-06 • 54 minutes
A Tale of Two Metlakatlas: My Matriarchs, the Missionaries and Me
Just over 130 years ago, over 800 Ts'msyen people left their village of Metlakatla, B.C. to found "New" Metlakatla in Alaska. IDEAS contributor Pamela Post follows her own family history, and how it was shaped by those events. *This episode originally aired on May 29, 2023.
2023-Oct-05 • 54 minutes
Nine minutes that changed the world
In 1876, the poet Stéphane Mallarmé published a poem entitled "The Afternoon of a Faun." He doubted anyone could set it to music successfully. But composer Claude Debussy did exactly that. The music runs only about nine minutes long, but it helped give birth to the modern era as we know it.
2023-Oct-04 • 54 minutes
The Chile Experiment
In 1973, a military junta overthrew Chile’s socialist government in a bloody coup. This is well known. But what is less well known: the military then installed a radical pro-market program, inspired in part by neo-liberalist Milton Friedman. Fifty years later, this neo-liberal experiment could soon be ending.
2023-Oct-02 • 54 minutes
Shape: Hidden Geometry
In his 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-Sep-25 • 54 minutes
The Great Reset
The Great Reset — it came down from the mountains of Davos, Switzerland. To conspiracy theorists, it's a plot by global elites at the World Economic Forum to control our lives. To its supporters, it represents a gentler, more humane form of capitalism. IDEAS contributor Ira Basen investigates what exactly is the Great Reset and why it's so controversial. *This episode originally aired on May 23, 2023.
2023-Sep-22 • 54 minutes
The Bird Man: Adventures with Bill Montevecchi
*Be advised there is some strong language in this episode | Seabird biologist Bill Montevecchi has been ranked in the world’s top two per cent of scientists. IDEAS producer Mary Lynk follows him on a heart-pounding overnight rescue mission of young storm petrels along Newfoundland’s coastline. This episode originally aired on March 31, 2023.
2023-Sep-21 • 54 minutes
How to Flourish in a Broken World
The world is full of problems — our broken healthcare, out-of-reach housing, a democracy in shambles and a dying planet. Is it actually possible to fix this mess? IDEAS hears from people working to fix our most intractable problems at a time when it can feel easier to just give up.
2023-Sep-20 • 54 minutes
The Many Afterlives of the Queen of Sheba
The Queen of Sheba is a holy figure to some; a demon in disguise to others. Author and journalist Kamal Al-Solaylee explores the many afterlives of the Queen of Sheba — and how ideas about gender and power have shifted in each retelling of her life. *This episode originally aired on May 9, 2023.
2023-Sep-18 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 21, 2023.
2023-Sep-15 • 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. *This episode originally aired on January 9, 2023.
2023-Sep-14 • 54 minutes
The Enslaved Teen Who Cracked Vanilla’s Secret
Vanilla may well be the world’s most popular flavour. Its history is intertwined with the institution of slavery, scientific discovery, geopolitics and one individual’s breathtaking resilience. Scholar Eric Jennings shares the troubled, yet inspiring, history of vanilla, in his June 2023 lecture for the Jackman Humanities Institute.
2023-Sep-13 • 54 minutes
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. *This episode originally aired on February 1, 2023.
2023-Sep-12 • 54 minutes
The North Star: Canada and the Civil War Plots Against Lincoln by Julian Sher
Montreal was a hotbed of spies and conspirators during the U.S. Civil War. IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed and investigative journalist Julian Sher, author of The North Star: Canada and the Civil War Plots Against Lincoln, tour Montreal’s past and present, tracing the city’s hidden Confederate past.
2023-Sep-08 • 54 minutes
What Good Is Philosophy?
"What is good?" is at the heart of philosophy. Asking the question helps us move toward answers about inclusivity, equality, and who gets a voice at the table. Earlier this year, The Munk School at the University of Toronto hosted philosophers and writers and put philosophy to the test. When it comes to the good, they asked, what good is philosophy?
2023-Sep-07 • 54 minutes
Astra Taylor: The Hidden Truth of the World
Writer and political organizer Astra Taylor is the 2023 CBC Massey Lecturer. She speaks with Nahlah Ayed about key moments in her intellectual coming-of-age, from her early life in the “unschooling” movement to her involvement with Occupy Wall Street.
2023-Sep-05 • 54 minutes
What are universities for?
What are universities for? Where have they gone wrong? What are they doing right? And what do they owe the public? Those were just some of the questions put to university educators and renowned scholars at a public discussion hosted by the University of Regina. You'll also hear voices from students past, present and possibly future on what the purpose of a university means to them.
2023-Sep-04 • 54 minutes
World on Fire
The Labour Day long weekend is the unofficial end to our Canadian summer but it won't be the end of the smoke or the fires. This unprecedented wildfire season has burned further, faster and is predicted to last longer than even some of the climate experts could have imagined. CBC reporter Adrienne Lamb explores what this could mean for all of us.
2023-Sep-01 • 54 minutes
BBC Reith Lecture # 4: Fiona Hill
The final BBC Reith Lecture on the theme of Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms features intelligence specialist Fiona Hill, who served under three U.S. Presidents — Bush, Obama, and Trump. In her lecture, she argues that fear is a weapon of war, and the best way to fight back is through education. *This episode originally aired on April 13, 2023.
2023-Aug-31 • 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. *This episode originally aired on January 20, 2023.
2023-Aug-30 • 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? *This episode originally aired on Dec. 12, 2022.
2023-Aug-29 • 54 minutes
Suzuki's Survival Guide | Air and Atmosphere
Air of course is all around us. We move through it without noticing it. This episode from 2010 is called The Last Breath. We follow a single breath in its journey around the world, explore how an ice-free Arctic will change life on Earth, and David Suzuki sits down with Margaret Atwood for an entertaining chat conversation about breath, life, and death.
2023-Aug-28 • 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. *This episode originally aired on March 21, 2023.
2023-Aug-25 • 54 minutes
BBC Reith Lecture #3: Darren McGarvey
Scottish journalist and musician Darren McGarvey gives the third of four BBC Reith Lectures on the theme of 'Freedom from Want.' He says it's incumbent upon people to challenge and confront what inequality means. McGarvey argues that expecting compassion from the government is unreasonable — as governments have become hard-wired to avoid compassion. *This episode originally aired on April 6, 2023.
2023-Aug-24 • 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. *This episode originally aired on January 25, 2023.
2023-Aug-23 • 54 minutes
On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe
Starting in 1493, tens of thousands of Indigenous people began arriving in Europe. British historian Caroline Dodds Pennock pieces together the evidence of their lives and experiences there in her book, On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe. *This episode originally aired on April 5, 2023.
2023-Aug-22 • 54 minutes
Suzuki's Survival Guide | Life and Death
Death is a part of life…and as such, it is all around us. In this episode of Suzuki's Survival Guide: A Retrospective from 2010, David Suzuki takes an unflinching look at death and decomposition, at the way cells die to make way for new life within us, and at what happens to a carrot after we harvest it and eat it. All to unlock the cycle in which the things we are made of are never wasted.
2023-Aug-21 • 54 minutes
Left Is Not Woke: Susan Neiman
In recent years, the word "woke" has evolved from a catchphrase into a political ideology — and a catch-all pejorative, routinely wielded on the right against its left-leaning adherents. But in her new book, Left Is Not Woke, moral philosopher Susan Neiman argues that the "woke" ideology represents a fundamental break from traditional leftist ideals. *This episode originally aired on April 12, 2023.
2023-Aug-18 • 54 minutes
BBC Reith Lecture #2: Rowan Williams
The BBC Reith Lectures return and this year’s theme is The Four Freedoms. Rowan Williams, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, delivers the second BBC Reith Lecture. He argues that the West has forgotten what freedom of religion really means. *This episode originally aired on March 30, 2023.
2023-Aug-17 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 9, 2022.
2023-Aug-16 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 28, 2022.
2023-Aug-15 • 54 minutes
David Suzuki's Survival Guide | Wonders of Water
Water is essential for our survival; it's an integral part of our bodies. It is also at the heart of some of the most profound mysteries of existence. How deep is the ocean, and what is it really like in the darkest reaches? What are whales doing when they sing? And why do we have so much trouble taking care of this precious and crucial resource?
2023-Aug-14 • 54 minutes
Exploring 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-Aug-11 • 54 minutes
BBC Reith Lectures #1: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The BBC Reith Lectures return and the 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. *This episode originally aired on March 23, 2023.
2023-Aug-10 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 23, 2022.
2023-Aug-09 • 54 minutes
The Canterbury Tales: Wife of Bath
A group of pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales tell stories to each other. One of them — the bawdy, smart, confident Wife of Bath — tells us exactly what she thinks about marriage — and men. She’s been called the first fully-formed woman in English literature, and 700 years later, the Wife of Bath remains an inspiration to writers today. *This episode originally aired on April 3, 2023.
2023-Aug-08 • 54 minutes
Suzuki's Survival Guide | The 'Love' Economy
The field of economics is limited by how it measures success. It doesn't take into account the things that sustain life that can't clearly be measured. The earth and its atmosphere provide infinite services free of charge — the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil that sustains countless lifeforms on earth. It also doesn't include the impact of community bonds, relationships, and love. This episode explores new ways to think of growth and society's holistic well-being.
2023-Aug-07 • 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-Aug-04 • 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. It originally aired on Sept. 29, 2022.
2023-Aug-03 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 4, 2022.
2023-Aug-02 • 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 in wartime geopolitics. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 10, 2023.
2023-Aug-01 • 54 minutes
Suzuki's Survival Guide | Naked Ape to Superspecies
Never before in the four billion-year history of life on Earth has a single species been able to alter the geological, biological and physical features of the planet. As David Suzuki puts it, "We have evolved from naked ape to superspecies." This first episode from his 1999 IDEAS series, The Naked Ape, explores the impact of human culture on the natural world.
2023-Jul-31 • 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-Jul-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. It originally aired on Sept 28, 2022.
2023-Jul-27 • 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, 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. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 3, 2022.
2023-Jul-26 • 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. It originally aired on March 6, 2023.
2023-Jul-25 • 54 minutes
Suzuki's Survival Guide | Eco-nomics
"Growth is what we've come to live for. It has been the inspiration for our political and economic systems," says David Suzuki in his 1989 series, It's a Matter of Survival. In this episode, Suzuki explores the clash between ecological and economic objectives and how it came to pass that the environment is seen as an infinite sinkhole as the quest for profit and growth dominates political and business interests.
2023-Jul-24 • 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-Jul-21 • 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. It originally aired on Sept. 27, 2022.
2023-Jul-20 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 2, 2022.
2023-Jul-19 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 9, 2023.
2023-Jul-18 • 54 minutes
Suzuki's Survival Guide | How we got to this point
"If we don't move now, it will be a disaster," said Lucien Bouchard in 1989 when he was the Conservative Environment Minister under Brian Mulroney. He was addressing the need to cut back on fossil fuels in the face of climate change, saying the survival of our species is at stake. In an attempt to understand the conditions that created the climate emergency, David Suzuki talks to Bouchard and others, including Stephen Lewis, Ralph Nader and historian Graeme Decarie.
2023-Jul-17 • 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-Jul-14 • 54 minutes
French Evolution: The History of France in 9 Songs
The history of France is intimately connected with its music. Where there's revolution, resistance or riots, there are chansons, ballads, and marches. Roxanne Panchasi, a historian of French culture, spins records with songs that reveal tensions, myths, and memories of France through the 20th and 21st centuries. *This episode originally aired on May 4, 2023.
2023-Jul-13 • 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. 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. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 1, 2022.
2023-Jul-12 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 13, 2022.
2023-Jul-11 • 54 minutes
Suzuki’s Survival Guide | A Warning
In his 1989 CBC Radio series, It's a Matter of Survival, David Suzuki and other scientists look ahead 50 years into the future to paint a picture of what the world could be like if nothing is done to curb the human impact on climate change. The series galvanized the environmental movement in Canada, with more than 14,000 listeners writing letters of support.
2023-Jul-10 • 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-Jul-07 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 26, 2022.
2023-Jul-06 • 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. Part one in a series about what Salman Rushdie calls “hinge moments” in history, exploring how change happens. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 31, 2022.
2023-Jul-05 • 54 minutes
IDEAS recommends 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. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 8, 2022.
2023-Jul-04 • 54 minutes
IDEAS recommends 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. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 7, 2022.
2023-Jul-03 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 6, 2023.
2023-Jun-30 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 12, 2022.
2023-Jun-29 • 54 minutes
Another Country: The Film
Bobby Kenuajuak was a promising filmmaker with a grand ambition: to change the narrative about his people. A quarter century later, Bobby’s remembered as a pioneer, whose tragic end confounds a hopeful beginning. *This is the final episode in our four-part series, Another Country: Change and Resilience in Nunavik.
2023-Jun-28 • 54 minutes
Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk: What We Do With Words
When Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk wrote Sanaaq, the first novel written in Inuktitut in Canada, that was just the beginning. Over the course of her extraordinary life, she wrote more than 20 books, many of them aimed at young Inuit readers. She was also a teacher, an artist and a thinker with profound ideas about justice and community. *This is the third episode in our four-part series called Another Country: Change and Resilience in Nunavik.
2023-Jun-27 • 54 minutes
Sanaaq: The First Novel Written in Inuktitut
In the early 1950s, 22-year-old Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk began compiling Inuktitut phrases as a language guide for missionaries. Then she created fictional characters and began imagining their lives, loves and encounters during a period of profound change. Those stories would eventually become Sanaaq — the first novel written in Inuktitut syllabics in Canada. *This is the second episode in our series, Another Country: Change and Resilience in Nunavik.
2023-Jun-26 • 54 minutes
The People of Puvirnituq, Working Together for Themselves
Outside the co-op store in Puvirnituq, an Inuit community on the north eastern shore of Hudson Bay, there’s a sign that reads “Puvirnitumiut Katujjuiyut Immiguutut”: the people of Puvirnituq, working together for themselves. This spring, IDEAS visited Puvirnituq to learn how its residents have fought to shape their own future in a rapidly changing world. *This is the first episode in our four-part series, Another Country: Change and Resilience in Nunavik.
2023-Jun-26 • 7 minutes
Bonus | Introducing the 2023 CBC Massey Lecturer: Astra Taylor
We're thrilled to announce that this year’s Massey lecturer is Astra Taylor, a filmmaker, writer and political organizer who was born in Winnipeg and currently lives in the United States. She speaks with Nahlah Ayed for a sneak preview of her lecture series, "The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart." You can find more information on our website,
2023-Jun-23 • 54 minutes
Meet the 2023 Killam Prize Winners
Five Canadian minds changing the world with their contributions to science and scholarship have won the 2023 Killam Prize, a $100,000 award handed out by the National Research Council of Canada. Each scholar has significantly impacted their respective fields of engineering, health sciences, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.
2023-Jun-21 • 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-Jun-19 • 54 minutes
Cundill History Prize Winner, Tiya Miles: All That She Carried
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. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 20, 2023.
2023-Jun-16 • 54 minutes
When We Kill History
There's a growing culture war over history with efforts throughout western nations to revert to "virtuous origin" stories. IDEAS explores what happens when we sanitize history and remove criticism and doubt from the myth. If we kill history, how can we look to the future?
2023-Jun-14 • 54 minutes
Pot, Policy and Pandemics: André Picard’s reflections on 40 years of Health Journalism
Acclaimed columnist and author André Picard reflects on 40 years of health journalism, from how health care has changed over the decades, and where he believes it’s headed. Picard delivered the 2023 Dalton Camp Lecture in Journalism, at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick.
2023-Jun-13 • 54 minutes
Learning to Look in the Sistine Chapel: Jeannie Marshall
Canadian writer and Rome resident Jeannie Marshall probes the power of art to move us and to transcend the historical and religious contexts that shaped it in her book, All Things Move: Learning to Look in the Sistine Chapel. She speaks with CBC's Rome correspondent Megan Williams.
2023-Jun-12 • 54 minutes
Is Overpopulation Killing the Planet?
In the fall of 2022, humanity entered unprecedented territory when, according to the United Nations, the world’s population reached eight billion people. Journalist Bruce Livesey explores the complex issues around population growth — from its connection to energy sources, to the often racist reactions to the subject.
2023-Jun-09 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 14, 2022.
2023-Jun-08 • 54 minutes
David Suzuki Has Something To Say
David Suzuki hosted CBC's The Nature of Things for 44 years, exploring the beauty of the natural world, while underlining the moral responsibility that comes with being alive. The award-winning scientist and environmentalist shares his life lessons as a proud elder.
2023-Jun-07 • 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.
2023-Jun-06 • 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? *This episode originally aired on Nov. 28, 2022.
2023-Jun-02 • 54 minutes
Jay Pitter: The Future of Culture Is ...
Social equity and public spaces may seem worlds apart, but that’s where Jay Pitter enters. She’s an award-winning placemaker who works at the crossroads of urban design. She delivered a public talk for the Ontario Heritage Trust called “The Future of Culture Is …” on how we define heritage, whose heritage is protected and how to confront the complexity of colonial heritage symbols.
2023-May-31 • 54 minutes
If Science is to Save Us: Sir Martin Rees
One of Britain’s most influential scientists, Sir Martin Rees argues that science could save humanity or destroy it, so it’s more essential than ever to have closer engagement and a mutual understanding between science and the public sphere.
2023-May-30 • 54 minutes
Extracting Justice: The Human Rights Impact of Canadian Mining
About 60 per cent of the world’s mining companies are Canadian, operating around the world, including countries where mining activities have been linked to human rights violations. International human rights lawyer James Yap is working on making offending companies accountable.
2023-May-25 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 7, 2022.
2023-May-24 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 25, 2022.
2023-May-22 • 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 IDEAS contributor Tom Jokinen, Worst Marriage Ever: The Story of Jason and Medea. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 19, 2022.
2023-May-19 • 54 minutes
English: Friend or Frenemy?
English may have a reputation for being a "linguistic imperialist," pushing local languages into obscurity but linguist Mario Saraceni argues English should be viewed as a global language with multiple versions existing on equal footing.
2023-May-17 • 54 minutes
Judge Rosie
The first Jewish woman on the Supreme Court of Canada, Rosalie Abella (or Judge Rosie as many people call her) has left a celebrated legacy as a tireless fighter for equity and human rights. She is in conversation with an old friend, psychiatrist and mental health advocate David Goldbloom, at the Stratford Festival.
2023-May-16 • 54 minutes
Voices of Internment
It’s a hidden chapter of Canadian history that’s slowly emerging. Thousands of Ukrainians labelled ‘aliens of enemy origin’ were interned in labour camps during the First World War. Descendants of those imprisoned in the camps share their stories.
2023-May-15 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 26, 2022.
2023-May-13 • 36 minutes
IDEAS recommends Let's Not Be Kidding with Gavin Crawford
If laughter really was the best medicine, comedian Gavin Crawford would have cured his mother of Alzheimer’s disease. In a seven-part series, he tells the story of losing his mother — his best friend and the inspiration for a lot of his comedy — to a disease that can be as hilarious as it is heartbreaking. This is the first episode of Let's Not Be Kidding, listen to more episodes at:
2023-May-12 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 17, 2022.
2023-May-11 • 54 minutes
Exposing the Truth: Connie Walker on Journalism's Role in Reconciliation
This week, Connie Walker and the team at Gimlet won the Pulitzer Prize and a Peabody Award for the podcast, Stolen: Surviving St. Michael's. We're celebrating Connie's achievement on IDEAS with the Indigenous Speakers Series Lecture she gave at Vancouver Island University. Connie 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.
2023-May-10 • 54 minutes
Disinformation and Democracy: A Conversation with Maria Ressa and Ron Deibert
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Maria Ressa believes online disinformation could pose an existential threat to democracy — and she's not alone. Ressa joins Citizen Lab founder Ron Deibert for a conversation about how online impunity is eroding civil society and how we can fight back.
2023-May-08 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 4, 2022.
2023-May-05 • 54 minutes
Reclaiming Shame
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. *This episode originally aired on April 21, 2022.
2023-May-03 • 54 minutes
The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time: The Enduring Wisdom of Walter Borden
“We travel a tightrope,” writes poet and actor Walter Borden, “which we all must cross in order to embrace the fact that, in spite of everything, ‘we done made it over.” IDEAS celebrates the delightful wisdom of Walter Borden and a revised version of his one-man play, The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time.
2023-May-02 • 54 minutes
Citizenship: A Right or a Privilege?
Under international law, each person has the right to a nationality including not being arbitrarily deprived of it. Yet citizenship stripping is on the rise, sometimes even leading to statelessness. Could western societies see the return of exile as punishment? IDEAS explores the question: is citizenship a right or a privilege?
2023-Apr-28 • 54 minutes
Resurrection? Jordan Bitove's Toronto Star
The future of the newspaper business doesn't look bright. According to Jordan Bitove, publisher and owner of the Toronto Star, the industry requires government help in creating an "ethical media supply chain." He outlines his plan for the newspaper, and why he won't let it fail.
2023-Apr-27 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 21, 2022.
2023-Apr-25 • 54 minutes
A Dictionary of War
Ukrainian poet Ostap Slyvynsky has been at the Lviv railway station helping refugees on their way west, escaping the horrors of war. They tell him stories of what they have left, what they have seen and experienced. He has created a sort of A to Z of all these stories — a compendium of all the things that people say about war.
2023-Apr-24 • 54 minutes
The Great Acceleration
We’ve heard of the Anthropocene: how human activity has altered the planet. But the Great Acceleration? It’s that period from 1950 onwards, when the same human activities revved up even more, and are still accelerating. IDEAS contributor David Kattenburg examines the crucial, and sometimes contested, meanings of this age of Great Acceleration.
2023-Apr-22 • 28 minutes
IDEAS recommends White Coat, Black Art with Dr. Brian Goldman
Jordyn and Anne had family members with breast cancer. They each got genetic testing and found out they too carried genes that gave them very high odds of getting cancer too. Both of these women decided to deal with the risk preemptively by having surgery. This is part one of 'The Previvor Dilemma.' Subscribe to the White Coat, Black Art podcast to download the second part of the series, and explore the show’s vast archive.
2023-Apr-21 • 54 minutes
Perimeter Institute Conversations About Science and Identity
Identity and historical and social context shape what we know and how we know it, even in the most mind-bending science. Quantum physicist Shohini Ghose discusses the interplay between quantum principles and Mi'kmaq astrophysicist Hilding Neilson talks about how Indigenous traditions of astronomy can enrich and broaden our views of the cosmos.
2023-Apr-20 • 54 minutes
Taken In: Exploring Credulity
Two experts who got financially scammed. Two ex-Fundamentalist Christians who researched the psychology of conspiracy belief. Each describes their experience, and explains why credulity is a universal and persistent human tendency.
2023-Apr-18 • 54 minutes
Quest for a Better World: The life and work of Hina Jilani
Hina Jilani is one of the world’s leading human rights lawyers. She has played several prominent roles for the UN, including eight years as the Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders. Despite attempts on her life, nothing will stop her from fighting injustice to help make a better world.
2023-Apr-17 • 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. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 5, 2022.
2023-Apr-14 • 54 minutes
Hark! Remembering Chris Brookes
Chris Brookes was a masterful radio storyteller from St. John’s, Newfoundland who helped change the way we make, and listen, to radio. He died from an accidental fall on Monday, April 10, 2023. In tribute of his audio legacy, IDEAS revisits a 2009 documentary, Hark!, about an audio exploration of what Elizabethan England may have sounded like.
2023-Apr-11 • 54 minutes
After 25 Years of Peace, an Old Irish Border is Visible Again
The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have been divided by a largely invisible border since 1998. Now after 25 years of relative quiet, while the return of the border is less likely than ever, the fear of that old familiar sectarian rancour is back. This episode is part two in our series, Walking the Border: Walls That Divide Us. *Originally aired on September 9, 2019.
2023-Apr-10 • 54 minutes
The peace walls of Belfast: Do they still help keep the peace?
It was 25 years ago today that the Good Friday peace agreement was signed, yet the so-called peace walls remain in Northern Ireland. Host Nahlah Ayed went to Belfast to find out if the walls are helping or hindering community reconciliation between Catholic and Protestant, Republican and Unionist. *This episode originally aired on September 2, 2019.
2023-Apr-07 • 54 minutes
Messiah Revealed: The hidden treasures of this celebrated piece
Handel's Messiah is possibly the most famous and popular piece of classical music of all time. Yet it's full of secrets and surprises. The founding director of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir Ivars Taurins, and veteran CBC Radio producer Robert Harris, reveal the hidden treasures of this celebrated piece. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 8, 2015.
2023-Apr-04 • 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. *This episode originally aired on May 24, 2022.
2023-Mar-28 • 54 minutes
Thucydides, Part 2: Lessons from the plague of Athens
The plague of Athens struck in 430 BC, violently killing up to half of the Greek city's population. The chronicler Thucydides documented the grim symptoms, as well as the social and psychological fallout. His vivid account holds enduring lessons for us today. *This episode originally aired on June 23, 2020.
2023-Mar-27 • 54 minutes
To Know Evil: Philosophy in Wartime
What good is philosophy in times of war? Ukrainian scholar Mychailo Wynnyckyj and Yale philosopher Jason Stanley share their thoughts on how philosophy can illuminate the Ukrainian crisis — and inform our response to the war.
2023-Mar-24 • 54 minutes
Alphabet Odyssey: The Middle English Dictionary
The Middle English Dictionary was 71 years in the making. Eventually published by the University of Michigan in 2001, it featured 15,000 pages, 55,000 definitions, and had 900,000 examples of usage gleaned from 400 years of medieval texts. Join IDEAS on a romp through the Middle English Dictionary. *This episode was originally broadcast in 2004.
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-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-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.