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7 minutes | 7 days ago
75: Playwright Philip Kan Gotanda on growing up in California after World War II
Philip Kan Gotanda is a professor in UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies and one of the most prolific playwrights of Asian American-themed work in the United States. In the first episode of a three-part series, Gotanda talks about growing up in Stockton, California, after World War II and the anti-Japanese racism that he couldn’t name as a child, but that he’d go on to write about as an adult.Listen to the episode, read a transcript and see photos on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15 minutes | 24 days ago
74: Berkeley MFA student Fred DeWitt: George Floyd never wanted to be in my art
Fred DeWitt is a Master of Fine Arts student and the first artist-in-residence in the Department of Art Practice at UC Berkeley. DeWitt, 61, shares in his own words what the Black Panthers meant to him as a young boy growing up in the Bay Area, how Barack Obama’s election as president inspired him to go back to school to study art, and the complicated nature of honoring the lives of people who never wanted to be remembered for their deaths. His MFA show will be at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) in June.Listen to the episode, read a transcript and see photos of DeWitt's artwork on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12 minutes | a month ago
73: The uncertainty of the Chauvin trial outcome
Berkeley News writer Ed Lempinen talks about why Berkeley Law professor Jonathan Simon thinks an acquittal of former police officer Derek Chauvin, on trial for the death of George Floyd, is more likely than not.Listen to the episode and read a transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12 minutes | a month ago
72: Power corrupts even the best of us. But there’s an antidote.
Humans are a super-collective species that succeeds through cooperation and community, says Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. But power and privilege, she says, can corrupt anyone — even the best, most morally guided people. “Social hierarchy is an interesting moderator of our empathic, nurturing, compassionate tendencies,” she says. The good news? There’s an antidote.(A podcast episode featuring this interview with Simon-Thomas was originally published on Berkeley News in 2017. This is a new version that has been rewritten and remixed.)Listen to the episode and read the transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10 minutes | 2 months ago
It's not about if Jay-Z cheated on Beyoncé. It's about what it says about us.
"By gossiping about celebrities and by talking about what they've done that isn't so great, it allows us to establish our values as a community and also for me, as an individual, to advertise my values to the people I'm speaking with," says Julia Fawcett, a professor who teaches a course called The History of Celebrity in the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. Celebrities, one theory goes, act to unite imagined communities in a modern nation. When people used to know everyone in their villages, now we use celebrities to come together in a new kind of group. "I’m a fan of Beyoncé, and you’re a fan of Beyoncé, so now we’re a part of this imagined community," says Fawcett.Listen to the episode and read a transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
2 minutes | 2 months ago
After Thoughts: ‘I’m American, regardless of how my ancestors got here’
Rose Wilkerson, a sociolinguist and lecturer in the Department of African American Studies at Berkeley, shares how it feels to her to live in the U.S. as an African American. After Thoughts is a series that highlights moments from Fiat Vox interviews that didn’t make it into the final episode. This excerpt is from an interview with Wilkerson featured in Fiat Vox episode #69: “Language is more than how we speak — it's home.”Listen and read the transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12 minutes | 2 months ago
70: What crocodile mummies can tell us about everyday life in ancient Egypt
When archeologists, funded by University of California benefactor Phoebe A. Hearst, found hundreds of crocodile mummies on an expedition to Northern Egypt in 1899, they were annoyed. They were searching for human mummies and artifacts, fueled by Egyptomania — the Western obsession with all things Egyptian. When they found papyri — paper's earliest ancestor — stuffed inside of the mummies with text written on it by Egyptians thousands of years before, they were suddenly interested. But instead of collecting the mummies, they began to break them open, remove the papyri and discard the crocodiles.Now, more than 100 years later, 19 mummified crocodiles are part of the Egyptian collection at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. These mummies, along with a collection of papyri held by the Center for the Tebtunis Papyri at the Bancroft Library, give us clues about how everyday ancient Egyptians lived and how far they went to appease crocodiles, hoping their devotion would win them some good will toward humankind.Listen to the episode, read a transcript and see photos on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
2 minutes | 3 months ago
After Thoughts: Dacher Keltner on the science of awe and psychedelics
Dacher Keltner, faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center and a psychology professor at UC Berkeley, discusses how our sense of self goes silent while experiencing awe and while using psychedelics. Listen and read a transcript on Berkeley News.After Thoughts is a series that highlights moments from Fiat Vox interviews that didn’t make it into the final episode. This excerpt is from an interview with Keltner featured in Fiat Vox episode #68: “Building community one person at a time.” See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14 minutes | 3 months ago
69: Language is more than how we speak — it's home
When Natalyn Daniels transferred to UC Berkeley as an undergraduate student in 2009, she felt like an outsider. "A lot of the communication approaches I was exposed to — they're not ... necessarily accepted or tolerated in a lot of professional and academic settings," she says.How we speak, says sociolinguist and Berkeley lecturer Rose Wilkerson, represents who we are— our culture, our family and our sense of place in the world. So, when a person is criticized for how they speak, she says, it cuts to the heart. Listen to the episode, see photos and read a transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11 minutes | 3 months ago
68: Building community one person at a time
In a time when our nation is more ideologically divided than ever, it's crucial that we find ways to come together across differences and find common ground, says UC Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner. But how do we do this?For staffer Tyrone Wise, it starts with asking tough questions and then listening — really listening — to the answer. "When we take time to understand what people are saying to us,” he says, “then we can better understand who they are as people."Wise says that including a range of perspectives when making decisions creates a stronger community — something that he's working to build at Berkeley.And a sense of community, says Keltner, which has been lost in our individualistic society, is essential to our survival. By searching for shared values, honoring differences and knowing when to use "tough compassion," he says, we can begin to build bridges and heal as a nation.Listen and read a transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
7 minutes | 6 months ago
67: How state courts use disability to remove Native children from their homes
This is the second part of the two-part series about how disability has been and continues to be used as a way to control and profit from Native populations. Last week, we heard from UC Berkeley's Ella Callow about how the U.S. government built a psychiatric institution in the early 1900s to imprison Native Americans. Today, Callow discusses how Native communities are still forced to exist in societal systems that use disability to justify taking Native children away from their families, and to ultimately control, and make money from, their lives.Listen to the episode and read the transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10 minutes | 6 months ago
66: How the U.S. government created an ‘insane asylum’ to imprison Native Americans
In the late 1800s, two South Dakota congressmen were looking for ways to build an economy in their newly minted state — one that was carved out of Indigenous homelands. They decided on a mental institution for Native Americans. It would become the Hiawatha Insane Asylum for Indians — a place where Native people from across the country would be forcibly committed and imprisoned, often for reasons that had nothing to do with mental illness. From its opening in 1903 to 1933, when it was closed after a short, but brutal, existence, more than 350 Native people had been held, and at least 121 people had died, in the facility.This is the first part of a two-part series about how disability has been and continues to be used as a way to control and profit from Native populations. In the next episode, we'll learn about how state courts today use disability as a reason to justify removing Native children from their parents' custody and cultural environment to place them in non-Native homes.Listen to the episode and read a transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16 minutes | 8 months ago
65: Savala Trepczynski on Breonna Taylor and the elusive nature of racial justice
When Savala Trepczynski, the director of the social justice center at UC Berkeley, first heard the decision in the Breonna Taylor case — that only one of three police officers involved in Taylor's killing in March was indicted on charges of reckless endangerment — a familiar feeling sunk in."The fact of the charge is upsetting, disappointing, angering — all of those things," said Trepczynski. "And so, I felt the exhaustion of forbearance and abiding and feeling again and again that even when you get justice, it’s kind of a half step. It’s a measure of justice. It’s not the whole thing."And she was reminded of a murder so similar to Taylor's that happened in her own family — to her great-great-grandmother.Read the story and see photos on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10 minutes | a year ago
64: The Montgomery bus boycott and the women who made it possible
"People know about Rosa Parks. People know about Martin Luther King Jr. — and they should. And they know that it was the Montgomery bus boycott that ignited a certain kind of Southern civil rights movement," says Ula Taylor, a professor in the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. But, what they might not know, she says, is that it was actually the behind-the-scenes organizing effort by the Women's Political Council, led by Jo Ann Robinson, that made the boycott successful."Even though these women were not in the limelight, they were engaging in a form of leadership," says Taylor. "But because we live in a country in a culture where we oftentimes identify leadership as a talking head, we don’t understand all of the thinking that goes behind a lot of the ideas that the talking head is even articulating."Read the story and see photos on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
9 minutes | a year ago
63: Oral history project reveals '20 shades of Jerry Brown'
UC Berkeley's Oral History Center and KQED teamed up to record the longest interview that Jerry Brown has ever done — one that offers a first-person account of his nearly five decades in California politics. For 20 sessions, they sat at Brown’s dining room table at his ranch in Colusa County and asked him about everything from what it is was like having a father in politics to dating singer Linda Ronstadt to his views on politics today.See photos and read the transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16 minutes | a year ago
62: After Parkland shooting, student fights for mental health resources in schools
Feb. 14, 2018, began like any other day for Kai Koerber. He was running late for his early morning AP English class at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. When he got there, he was handed the class's biggest assignment of the year and groaned. "At the time, I was like, 'Man, this is going to be the worst part of my day,'" says Koerber, now a first-year computer science major at UC Berkeley.After English, he had honors chemistry, followed by pre-calculus, then guitar class in the band room. At 2:18 p.m., he asked to use the restroom, but another classmate was out, so his teacher told Kai to wait. Two minutes later, the fire alarm went off. And what followed was a tragedy that his school would become known for — one that Kai would decide to speak out about, changing the narrative about the impact of gun violence on youth in the United States.At Berkeley, in between classes and studying, Kai works to promote his nonprofit and mental health curriculum — something that he's become passionate about since he survived one of the deadliest school shootings in the country.Read the transcript and see photos on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
8 minutes | a year ago
61: What does it mean to be a Native artist today?
After student Drew Woodson took a playwriting course with Philip Gotanda, a professor in the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies at Berkeley, he realized he had a story to tell. Two years later, that story would become his first play, Your Friend, Jay Silverheels. “The original idea for this play came out of this frustration I was having as an actor of not being able to find monologues that really fit and felt true to who I am as a Native person,” says Woodson. “I knew I had to write this story, to get it down on paper — not only for myself as an actor, but for other Native actors who maybe felt the same way as me.”On Dec. 5, Woodson is staging a reading of Your Friend, Jay Silverheels in Durham Studio Theater in Dwinelle Hall on campus.Listen, see photos and read a transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
9 minutes | a year ago
60: Fighting injustice with poetry
Saida Dahir grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. At first, she thought she was like everyone else. But by sixth grade, she realized she was different. Her family was from Somalia — she was born in a refugee camp in Kenya after her family fled the civil war. The more she tried to fit in, the worse she felt. But in eighth grade, when she met Mr. Brandy, a journalism and English teacher, she began to realize her own power and started writing poetry. By her senior year, she was performing her poetry at protests and rallies across the country, proudly commenting on the injustices she saw all around her.Listen, see photos and read a transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
5 minutes | 2 years ago
59: Teeter totters as activism: How the border wall became a playground
When UC Berkeley architect Ronald Rael took his bright pink teeter totters to the U.S.-Mexico border wall, he didn't know that what he and his team did next would go viral. He just wanted to create a moment where people on both sides of the wall felt connected to each other. “Women and children completely disempowered this wall for a moment, for 40 minutes," says Rael. "There was a kind of sanctuary hovering over this event."Read the story and see photos on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13 minutes | 2 years ago
58: The military isn't out to 'crush anybody who’s different'
"I grew up just super dirt poor ... about as poor as you can be in this country," says first-year Berkeley Law student, Blake Danser. School was where Danser felt safe, where he thrived. "And then puberty hit, and I felt weird in a way that I couldn't really identify," he says. At the time, Blake was actually Amanda — a 14-year-old self-described tomboy. After seeing a transgender character in a TV show, Danser thought that maybe that's why he felt different — because he was transgender. But a friend convinced him that he wasn't, and Danser forgot about it until years later.After high school, Danser realized he couldn't afford college, so he joined the Air Force. "In the military, everything is very divided into male and female," says Blake. "It just very much sank in that this was not right for me. I was not female." For the next three years, he transitioned from female to male — an experience he says was awkward at times, but supported by the military. He also took online courses throughout his active service, and received his bachelor's degree in history. Now, at Berkeley Law, Danser says he wants to help low-income communities, like the one he grew up in. And he wants to share his experience of what it’s like to be transgender and a veteran.Read the story and see photos on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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