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Scene on Radio

Storytelling Podcasts

Scene on Radio asks, How’s it going out there? And leaves the studio to find out. It tells stories that explore human experience and American society. Produced and hosted by John Biewen, Scene on Radio comes from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS).

Scene on Radio asks, How’s it going out there? And leaves the studio to find out. It tells stories that explore human experience and American society. Produced and hosted by John Biewen, Scene on Radio comes from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS).

Location:

United States

Description:

Scene on Radio asks, How’s it going out there? And leaves the studio to find out. It tells stories that explore human experience and American society. Produced and hosted by John Biewen, Scene on Radio comes from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS).

Language:

English


Episodes

S4 E4: The Second Revolution

2/19/2020
After the Civil War, a surprising coalition tried to remake the United States into a real multiracial democracy for the first time. Reconstruction, as the effort was called, brought dramatic change to America. For a while. Reported and produced by John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. The series script editor is Loretta Williams. Interviews with Victoria Smalls, Brent Morris, Eric Foner, Kidada Williams, Bobby Donaldson, and Edward Baptist. Music by Algiers, John Erik...

Duration:00:54:51

S4E3: The Cotton Empire

2/5/2020
In the decades after America’s founding and the establishment of the Constitution, did the nation get better, more just, more democratic? Or did it double down on violent conquest and exploitation? Reported, produced, written, and mixed by John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. The series editor is Loretta Williams. Interviews with Robin Alario, Edward Baptist, Kidada Williams, and Keri Leigh Merritt. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen....

Duration:00:41:46

S4 E2: "The Excess of Democracy"

1/22/2020
In the summer of 1787, fifty-five men got together in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution for the United States, replacing the new nation’s original blueprint, the Articles of Confederation. But why, exactly? What problems were the framers trying to solve? Was the Constitution designed to advance democracy, or to rein it in? By producer/host John Biewen with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Woody Holton, Dan Bullen, and Price Thomas. The series editor is Loretta...

Duration:00:46:58

S4 E1: Rich Man's Revolt

1/8/2020
In the American Revolution, the men who revolted were among the wealthiest and most comfortable people in the colonies. What kind of revolution was it, anyway? Was it about a desire to establish democracy—or something else? By producer/host John Biewen with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Davy Arch, Barbara Duncan, Rob Shenk, and Woody Holton. Edited by Loretta Williams. Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and...

Duration:00:45:02

Season 4 Trailer: The Land That Never Has Been Yet

12/18/2019
Our season-long series will touch on concerns like authoritarianism, voter suppression and gerrymandering, foreign intervention, and the role of money in politics, but we’ll go much deeper, effectively retelling the story of the United States from its beginnings up to the present. Through field recordings and interviews with leading thinkers, we’ll tell under-told stories and explore critical questions like—How democratic was the U.S. ever meant to be, anyway? American democracy is clearly...

Duration:00:03:33

Transformation (Seeing White, Part 14) Rebroadcast

7/17/2019
The concluding episode in our series, Seeing White. An exploration of solutions and responses to America’s deep history of white supremacy by host John Biewen, with Chenjerai Kumanyika, Robin DiAngelo, and William “Sandy” Darity, Jr.

Duration:00:44:54

White Affirmative Action (Seeing White, Part 13) Rebroadcast

7/3/2019
When it comes to U.S. government programs and support earmarked for the benefit of particular racial groups, history is clear. White folks have received most of the goodies. By John Biewen, with Deena Hayes-Greene of the Racial Equity Institute and recurring series partner Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Duration:00:48:42

My White Friends (Seeing White, Part 12) Rebroadcast

6/19/2019
For years, Myra Greene had explored blackness through her photography, often in self-portraits. She wondered, what would it mean to take pictures of whiteness? For her friends, what was it like to be photographedbecause you’re white? With another conversation between host John Biewen and series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Duration:00:41:01

Danger (Seeing White, Part 11) Rebroadcast

6/5/2019
For hundreds of years, the white-dominated American culture has raised the specter of the dangerous, violent black man. Host John Biewen tells the story of a confrontation with an African American teenager. Then he and recurring guest Chenjerai Kumanyika discuss that longstanding image – and its neglected flipside: white-on-black violence.

Duration:00:46:52

Citizen Thind (Seeing White, Part 10) Rebroadcast

5/22/2019
The story of Bhagat Singh Thind, and also of Takao Ozawa – Asian immigrants who, in the 1920s, sought to convince the U.S. Supreme Court that they were white in order to gain American citizenship. Thind’s “bargain with white supremacy,” and the deeply revealing results.

Duration:00:38:14

A Racial Cleansing in America (Seeing White Part 9) Rebroadcast

5/8/2019
In 1919, a white mob forced the entire black population of Corbin, Kentucky, to leave, at gunpoint. It was one of many racial expulsions in the United States. What happened, and how such racial cleansings became “America’s family secret.”

Duration:00:29:58

Skulls and Skin (Seeing White, Part 8) Rebroadcast

4/24/2019
Scientists weren’t the first to divide humanity along racial – and racist – lines. But for hundreds of years, racial scientists claimed to provide proof for those racist hierarchies – and some still do.

Duration:00:47:13

Chenjerai's Challenge (Seeing White, Part 7) Rebroadcast

4/10/2019
“How attached are you to the idea of being white?” Chenjerai Kumanyika puts that question to host John Biewen, as they revisit an unfinished conversation from a previous episode. Part 7 of our series, Seeing White.

Duration:00:15:10

That's Not Us, So We're Clean (Seeing White, Part 6) Rebroadcast

3/27/2019
When it comes to America’s racial sins, past and present, a lot of us see people in one region of the country as guiltier than the rest. Host John Biewen spoke with some white Southern friends about that tendency. Part Six of our ongoing series, Seeing White. With recurring guest, Chenjerai Kumanyika. Shannon Sullivan’s books, Revealing Whiteness and Good White People. Thanks to Chris Julin, whose 1991 NPR report on the Wisconsin fishing rights dispute we featured.

Duration:00:40:32

Little War on the Prairie (Seeing White, Part 5) Rebroadcast

3/13/2019
Growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, John Biewen heard next to nothing about the town’s most important historical event. In 1862, Mankato was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history – the hanging of 38 Dakota warriors – following one of the major wars between Plains Indians and settlers. In this documentary, originally produced for This American Life, John goes back to Minnesota to explore what happened, and why Minnesotans didn’t talk about it afterwards. Key sources for this...

Duration:01:04:17

On Crazy We Built a Nation (Seeing White, Part 4) Rebroadcast

2/27/2019
“All men are created equal.” Those words, from the Declaration of Independence, are central to the story that Americans tell about ourselves and our history. But what did those words mean to the man who actually wrote them? By John Biewen, with guest Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Duration:00:37:12

Made in America (Seeing White, Part 3) Rebroadcast

2/13/2019
Chattel slavery in the United States, with its distinctive – and strikingly cruel – laws and structures, took shape over many decades in colonial America. The innovations that built American slavery are inseparable from the construction of Whiteness as we know it today. By John Biewen, with guest Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Duration:00:34:23

How Race Was Made (Seeing White, Part 2) Rebroadcast

1/30/2019
For much of human history, people viewed themselves as members of tribes or nations but had no notion of “race.” Today, science deems race biologically meaningless. Who invented race as we know it, and why? By John Biewen, with guest Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Duration:00:29:19

Turning the Lens (Seeing White, Part 1) Rebroadcast

1/16/2019
During Scene On Radio's hiatus between seasons—as we get to work on Season Four—we’re re-posting our Season Two series from 2017, Seeing White. If you’ve already listened, you can always listen again, or just tell several friends about it. As always, thanks for listening. In this episode, an introduction to our series exploring what it means to be White. By John Biewen, with special guest Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Duration:00:17:16

The End of Male Supremacy? (MEN, Part 12)

12/12/2018
In our Season Three finale, co-hosts Celeste Headlee and John Biewen talk about where American culture goes from here, sexism-wise. And we hear from scholar Melvin Konner, who argues that we are in fact witnessing—and bringing about—“the end of male supremacy.” Music by Alex Weston, and by Evgueni and Sacha Galperine. Music and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.

Duration:00:31:52