Created with Sketch.
The Harper’s Podcast
51 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
Prayer for a Just War
What if we conceived of the fight against climate change as a “just war”—as both the biggest fight in human history and a global search for meaning? As fires rage, oceans rise, and pandemics ravage, the demands for international solidarity and world-scale deployments of resources are readily apparent. But in the face of ideological divisions wrought by centuries of capitalist and colonial destruction, it’s not always easy to envision what solidarity really is, or what it needs to be. In “Prayer for a Just War,” published in the June issue of Harper’s Magazine, Greg Jackson urges us to see the “first comprehensive global challenge” as an opportunity to define our global character by our collective grit, humility, and trust. In addition to outlining the many counterattacks we must mount on political and technological fronts, Jackson imbues the mythic concept of the “existential threat” with historical and spiritual meaning. In this episode, Jackson delves into those ideas with web editor Violet Lucca, then gestures toward ways we might help each other step out of the deadly (and dull) alienation we all seem to share. Read Jackson’s article: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/06/prayer-for-a-just-war-finding-meaning-in-the-climate-fight/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins.
51 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Stages of Grief
For those who make, or might once have made, a living as artists, the pandemic and the economic depression that followed it took away two vital sources of revenue: in-person events and day jobs that sustained creative endeavors. Yet, as William Deresiewicz describes in the June issue of Harper’s Magazine, all sectors of the arts economy were already vulnerable for collapse: years of declining public arts funding and education, as well as the rise of “free content,” had fundamentally destabilized the ability for expression. The ways in which COVID-19 sharpened and highlighted existing social failures harkens back to another global health crisis: the AIDS epidemic. Writer, activist, and historian Sarah Schulman’s newest book, Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993, tells the story of activists who waged some of the most effective political campaigns of the century to force politicians, the populace, and drug companies into acknowledging and addressing AIDS. An excerpt of Let the Record Show also appears in the June issue. In this episode of the podcast, web editor Violet Lucca moderates a conversation between Sarah Schulman and William Deresiewicz, author of The Death of the Artist, exploring links between the two crises. Among other topics, they discuss the aesthetic and societal costs of confining art making to the margins of the workday, the new challenges of organizing against Big Tech, and the value of artists to social movements. Read Deresiewicz’s article: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/06/stages-of-grief-what-the-pandemic-has-done-to-the-arts/ Read the excerpt of Schulman’s book: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/06/blood-ties-sarah-schulman-let-the-record-show/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins.
64 minutes | May 24, 2021
The Anxiety of Influencers
According to Hollywood legend, director Mervyn LeRoy “discovered” Lana Turner when she was sixteen, at the soda counter of Schwab’s Pharmacy in Los Angeles. While the tale is apocryphal, the notion that anyone could be a star motivated untold hordes of youths to go west for decades afterward. (Let’s be honest: most of them turned out like the “grotesques” of Nathanael West’s The Day of the Locust.) So is it so surprising that, according to a 2019 poll, 54 percent of Americans between the ages of thirteen and thirty-eight say they would become social-media influencers if given the chance? For the June issue of Harper’s Magazine, Barrett Swanson spent five days at a TikTok collab house: a plush Los Angeles mansion, funded by two Silicon Valley investors, where a group of conventionally beautiful, college-aged influencers lived rent-free, tasked only with posting videos of themselves for their millions of followers. Yet, as sultry as this sounds, Swanson found that these young men struggled with anxiety, depression, and an inability to think critically about the forces driving them to generate content. The pressure to please, gain followers, and get good ratings is creeping into all of our lives, regardless of industry. (Even doctors get star ratings now.) In this episode, Swanson joins Harper’s web editor Violet Lucca to discuss the alternately surreal and sad reality of life inside of the collab house; the pressures of the “passion economy”; algorithms; and the critical thinking and digital literacy that everyone—not just the young—are sorely lacking. Read Swanson’s piece: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/06/tiktok-house-collab-house-the-anxiety-of-influencers/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins.
55 minutes | May 14, 2021
The Lightning Farm
Shortly before he left office, Donald Trump reactivated the federal death penalty—putting an end to a seventeen-year hiatus and executing an unprecedented thirteen people in less than a year. While the brutality of this killing spree is well-documented, the byzantine legal process through which it was authorized has received little attention. For the May issue of Harper’s Magazine, Caroline Lester traveled to the federal execution chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana, for the execution of Dustin Higgs, illuminating the brutishness of state power. As an appeals lawyer put it: “I’ve never been more afraid of the government than I was after those seven months.” The story she tells of Higgs’s attempts to negotiate with a government bent on killing its citizens implicates the entire legal system, from the Supreme Court to Obama’s attorney general. In this episode, Lester joins Harper’s web editor Violet Lucca to discuss her harrowing reporting process, the long and bipartisan history of state violence, and the inequity of the death penalty.
35 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Birds of a Feather
Whether or not you remember anything from high school biology, the word “species” seems fairly self-explanatory: a kitten isn’t the same thing as a crab. Yet what distinguishes a particular species from its subspecies is a far trickier determination to make than “cat ≠ crustacean.” The act of taxonomic classification has befuddled biologists regardless of specialization or era. “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given for the sake of convenience,” wrote Charles Darwin. In the May issue of Harper’s Magazine, Zach St. George tracks the saga of the California gnatcatcher, a gray bird that sits at the center of a dispute between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which decides which species merit Endangered Species Act protection, and the Pacific Legal Foundation, a libertarian law firm arguing that the bird is functionally indistinct from any number of other gnatcatchers. Even if Pacific Legal’s motives are less than purely scientific, its case highlights legitimate criticisms—echoed by many biologists—about the imprecise way the Endangered Species Act codifies what counts as a species. St. George explains how this argument has led to further questions about the bill, such as how it might be changed to better suit an era in which the environment is deteriorating faster than ever. In this episode of the podcast, Harper’s web editor Violet Lucca talks with St. George about the ESA, the philosophical and scientific questions prompted by the practice of taxonomy, and the more proactive ways we might approach the likely irreversible damage of climate change. Read St. George’s piece here: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/05/birds-of-a-feather-endangered-species-list-revision/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins
40 minutes | Apr 23, 2021
Lost in Thought
As work subsumes leisure time, worldwide anxieties mount, and a pandemic reshapes comfort and togetherness, meditation has been touted as a panacea. People who are stressed out (are there any other kind?) can take a meditation course, read an article, go on a retreat, or use an app; the hope is to gain from meditation peace, health, productivity, focus, or a good night’s sleep. It comes almost universally recommended and has precious few public detractors. David Kortava’s article “Lost in Thought,” from the April issue of Harper’s Magazine, is an investigation into the possible negative side effects of meditation. Kortava reports on a practitioner’s bout with psychosis during an extended stay at a vipassana meditation center that had her wishing for death. Kortava presents evidence of meditation’s potential to distress and harm. In this episode of the podcast, Harper’s web editor Violet Lucca speaks with Kortava about the experiential gap filled by meditation, the perils of a one-size-fits-all approach, and the gulf between the origins of meditative practice and its modern-day deployment. Read Kortava’s article: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/04/lost-in-thought-psychological-risks-of-meditation/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins.
67 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
Town of C
The photographer Richard Rothman spent more than a decade taking pictures in a small town along the Front Range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The resulting monograph, Town of C, was published by Stanley/Barker, and a selection of the photographs appears in the March issue of Harper’s Magazine. The book’s scope is comprehensive, documenting the grandeur and the despoliation of the region’s geography and the lives and spaces of its poorest—and richest—residents. “Through portraits and landscapes,” the critic and curator Lyle Rexer writes in his introduction, “Rothman presents the paradox of expansiveness and confinement, of possibility and crushing limitation.” In this episode of the podcast, Violet Lucca brings Richard Rothman and Lyle Rexer together for a conversation about Rothman’s new work and the current state of art photography. They discuss how the focus and narrative structure of Town of C changed over time, the role of art photography in a culture oversaturated with images, and the hundreds of minute decisions that go into composing a photograph. Look at photographs from Town of C and read Rexer’s introduction: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/03/town-of-c-richard-rothman/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins.
39 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
The Crow Whisperer
“Sous les pavés, la plage!” (“Beneath the pavement, the beach!”) was the rallying cry of the May 1968 protests in France. As demonstrators tore up paving stones in order to build barricades or to hurl at the police, they discovered that there was sand beneath the streets. Though this was a typical building practice, it reinforced the protesters’ belief that everyday life wasn’t quite what it appeared to be, but was rather an illusion manufactured by modernity, capitalism, and consumerism. During the early months of the pandemic, we were all confronted with the same truth. The levels of noise, garbage, and greenhouse-gas emissions pumped into the environment were drastically reduced because so many schools, workplaces, and restaurants were shuttered. Just as people abruptly changed where and how they spent their days, all sorts of wildlife began venturing into public places they’d previously avoided: deer roamed the streets of Paris while coyotes wandered around San Francisco. But these incursions weren’t really incursions at all: the natural world had been there all along. It became clear that animals, rather than living apart from human society, had always been living alongside us—our belief in absolute anthropocentric control was an illusion. In “The Crow Whisperer,” which appeared in the April issue of Harper’s Magazine, Lauren Markham writes about the ways we might rethink our relationship with the environment. Following an incident involving some friends, their dog, and a murder of dive-bombing crows, Markham delves into the world of animal whisperers—specialists who serve as translators, negotiators, or arbiters between members of different species. In this episode of the podcast, Harper’s web editor Violet Lucca talks with Markham about the complexity of animal psychology, epigenetics, climate change, and a crow’s talent for nursing a grudge. Read Markham’s article: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/04/the-crow-whisperer-animal-communicators/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins.
64 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
This month will see the release of Blake Bailey’s Philip Roth: The Biography—the authorized biography of the famous novelist, who died in 2018. Roth himself selected Bailey to write his life story. In addition to many long conversations, Roth granted Bailey complete access to his personal archives and helped set up interviews with many of his friends, lovers, and colleagues. In the March issue of Harper’s Magazine, the novelist and Harper’s contributing editor Joshua Cohen imagines how Bailey’s book might be received by Roth himself. From the comfort of his writing studio beyond the grave, Cohen’s Roth ruminates on the strange, perhaps self-destructive decision to commission his own biography, and proceeds to lament the result, which, he argues, downplays the literary production that made up most of his days (“MY BIOGRAPHER HAS NO INTEREST IN MY WRITING!!!!”) in favor of “interminable chapters and decades of reputation management, alternating with, if not relieved by, sexual transgressions.” Cohen’s ventriloquism of Roth is a gambit one has to think the author would have admired. As Cohen points out in this interview, Roth, too, had a penchant for throwing his voice. In this episode of the podcast, Violet Lucca talks with Cohen about Philip Roth’s long career and his unclear legacy. Among other things, they discuss Roth’s late decree that “the book can’t compete with the screen”; his often unacknowledged influence on today’s American immigrant writers, as well as writers of autofiction; and an afterlife—or do we find ourselves there now?—in which everything will be as it is, just a little different. Read Cohen’s review: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/03/the-possessed-philip-roth-the-biography-blake-bailey/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins.
40 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
Pafko at the Wall
“Sometime in late 1991,” Don DeLillo told a Paris Review interviewer in 1993, “I started writing something new and didn’t know what it would be—a novel, a short story, a long story. It was simply a piece of writing, and it gave me more pleasure than any other writing I’ve done.” The result was the novella “Pafko at the Wall,” first published as a Folio in the October 1992 issue of Harper’s Magazine, making up a third of the issue’s length. “Wherein the Giants clinch the pennant, Bruegel descends, a bomb explodes, Sinatra sulks, and a Harlem boy plays his own game,” read that month’s cover. A slightly revised version would later become the prologue to Underworld, a novel often described as DeLillo’s masterpiece. The story takes place during the National League playoff game of October 3, 1951, when Bobby Thomson of the New York Giants hit a pennant-winning home run over the head of Brooklyn Dodgers left fielder Andy Pafko—an event known to baseball fans as the “Shot Heard ’Round the World.” Here, though, the famous game serves mostly as background, its action serving to repeatedly bounce the reader’s attention back into the stands. DeLillo, a writer who has always been fascinated by the mechanics of spectacle, wants us to watch the watchers—some of whom, such as Frank Sinatra, the radio announcer Russ Hodges, and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, are spectacle makers (and manipulators) themselves. Hovering over the proceedings, meanwhile, are suggestions of darker energy: the secret knowledge, possessed by only the paranoid Hoover, that the Soviets have just performed a successful nuclear-weapons test, and racial tensions, briefly transcended by fandom, that are unloosed in the scramble over a suddenly famous ball. In this episode of the podcast, we bring you excerpts of “Pafko at the Wall,” which was performed live at the 92nd Street Y by Billy Crudup, Zachary Levi, and Tony Shalhoub, interspersed with commentary by the novelist Jennifer Egan and the poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips. The full recording of the performance will be released on March 30 by Simon & Schuster Audio. A video of the performance will be available for two days at 92y.org/pafko beginning on Sunday, March 28, in anticipation of the audiobook’s release. This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins.
39 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
In 2002, a new crop of Dead Sea Scroll fragments that were said to have come from the Swiss vault of the late antiquities dealer Khalil Iskander Shahin went up for sale. These fragments were bought by a number of evangelical institutions, including the Museum of the Bible, which was founded by the family that owns the Hobby Lobby chain of arts-and-crafts stores. In the March issue of Harper’s Magazine, Madeleine Schwartz describes the odd provenance of the fragments and evaluates whether they could be forgeries. In this episode, Schwartz and Harper’s web editor Violet Lucca discuss the tendency for self-delusion in the antiquities market, as well as the slow process by which counterfeit goods can be distinguished from genuine artifacts. They also consider the complex issue of ownership, given the colonial violence that has historically allowed Western countries to acquire relics. “[Knowing where objects came from] is hugely important for the ethical implications,” Schwartz says. “It’s also really important for the financial implications, because, in general, no one wants to think that what they own is either fake or going to lead them to having to deal with a lawsuit.” Read Schwartz’s annotation: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/03/false-prophets-forged-dead-sea-scrolls/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins
56 minutes | Jan 14, 2021
Mike Pence is a pedophile who has been replaced by a clone. But Mike Pence also had the power to reject Electoral College votes and overturn the 2020 presidential election results. In April 2020, the U.S. military liberated 35,000 sexually abused children from hidden tunnels beneath Central Park. There’s a video of Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton ritually killing a child for its adrenochrome. The pandemic isn’t real, and Bill Gates has created a vaccine that will change your DNA and control your mind. This is just a sample of QAnon supporters’ many beliefs, some of which openly contradict each other. As Hari Kunzru observes in the January issue of Harper’s Magazine, QAnon is less concerned with finding the root cause of society’s purported ills than it is with laying out, in ever more intricate terms and with ever more involved symbols, how entrenched those ills are. If the guesswork and speculation surrounding the Kennedy assassination provides a benchmark of popular American suspicion, then Q has “the feel of something new, a blob of unreason against which the Kennedy narrative seems quaint, almost genteel,” Kunzru writes. Various preconditions figure into the rise of Q at this historical moment—the aesthetics of contemporary political theater, the accelerant nature of the internet—but beneath them all is a human yearning for simplicity, for an incomprehensible world to make sense according to our preferred terms. In this episode, Violet Lucca talks with Kunzru, a novelist and Harper’s new Easy Chair columnist, about the antecedents and present-day mechanics of QAnon. They discuss the myths of its origins, its fraught internal logic, and its “impoverished understanding of how power actually works.” Read Kunzru’s column here: https://harpers.org/archive/2021/01/complexity-qanon-conspiracy-theories/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins
40 minutes | Dec 22, 2020
“If Only I Could Begin Again!”
Edmund Gosse. Thomas De Quincey. James Baldwin. For Vivian Gornick, what connects these writer’s disparate oeuvres is that although each pursued other genres—poetry, journalism, novels, or plays—their “significant work turns out to reside in a memoir” (or personal essays, in Baldwin’s case). In an essay in the December issue of Harper’s Magazine, Gornick nominates to this list Storm Jameson, a prolific English novelist whose autobiography, Journey from the North, is a prime example of a writer finding her voice—all the more striking in Jameson’s case because she made the discovery near the end of a long and, in Gornick’s estimation, otherwise middling career. In the immediacy of self-disclosure, something clicked for Jameson—but why? Gornick, who struggled at novel writing herself before hitting her stride in memoirs such as Fierce Attachments and The Odd Woman and the City, has “something of a vested interest in this mysterious matter of a writer’s natural métier.… I was well into my thirties,” she writes, “before I understood that I was born for the memoir.” In this episode of the podcast, Gornick begins with a reading from the arresting first pages of Journey from the North. In the conversation that follows, she and Harper’s web editor Violet Lucca discuss Jameson’s life and legacy; the perennial excuse of “writing down” to make ends meet; the questionable value of the “autofiction” label; and Gornick’s reading (and rereading) habits during the pandemic. Read Gornick’s essay here: https://harpers.org/archive/2020/12/storm-jameson-if-only-i-could-begin-again/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins
44 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
Skin in the Game
When Dusan Simien, a San Francisco native with a knack for technology, enrolled in a two-year coding program at the for-profit Holberton School, he financed it with an income share agreement: a contract in which he agreed to pay the school 17 percent of his income for a set period after graduation. But before long, Simien found himself struggling with Holberton’s instructorless education model and its cheaply designed curriculum. And when he was expelled on a dubious charge of plagiarism, he found himself owing the school a percentage of his paycheck from the same job he’d had when he enrolled. Simien’s case typifies a growing trend. As Avi Asher-Schapiro documents in the December issue, income share agreements (ISAs) have taken off in the past few years as a means of financing education, and they’ve caught the attention of policymakers—and investors—across the political spectrum. To their proponents, ISAs are an answer to traditional financing options that have left many poor Americans, especially African-American students like Simien, unable to attend college without taking on exorbitant debt. These financial tools could theoretically make institutions more accountable, by tying institutional profits to alumni success. To their detractors, ISAs can be predatory loans in disguise, ripe for exploitation by unscrupulous institutions such as Holberton. By tying contract terms to projected earnings, they also increase the pressure on students to seek careers that are likely to be financially lucrative. In this episode of the Harper’s Podcast, Violet Lucca talks with Asher-Schapiro, who covers technology and human rights issues at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, about these and other hopes and concerns for the growing ISA market. They discuss the origination of the ISA idea by Milton Friedman, parallels between ISAs and the charter school movement, and the potential ramifications of “treating students like startups.”
54 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
State of Exception
Today, more than 270 million people live outside their country of origin. Many of them are forced to live in legal limbo, protected neither by citizenship nor by official refugee status. Lebanon, which has the highest per-capita refugee population, exemplifies this no-policy policy. The influx of refugees from Syria—three for every ten Lebanese citizens—have been referred to euphemistically as “displaced,” as “guests,” and, increasingly, as “enemies.” Although they are granted some rights by the Lebanese government, refugees are permitted to work only in construction, agriculture, and sanitation, and are consigned to live in makeshift camps. There, they are at the mercy of shawishes, who broker their most basic needs. In this episode, web editor Violet Lucca is joined by journalist Alexander Dziadosz to discuss his piece “State of Exception” from the November 2020 issue of the magazine; the two cover the shawish system, Lebanese politics, the impact of climate change on mass migration, and the future of the Syrian refugee crisis. Read Dziadosz’s article: https://harpers.org/archive/2020/11/state-of-exception-lebanon-refugee-crisis/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins.
35 minutes | Oct 30, 2020
When Garth Greenwell was growing up in Kentucky, the LGBTQ section of his local bookstore was a lifesaver: a refuge, even in the pre-internet era. But the implications of that categorization—keeping LGBTQ authors’ books separate from the rest—suggested that the experiences of queer people and other traditionally marginalized groups were somehow inaccessible to the general public, that they failed to speak to any “universal” truths of human life. Years later, Greenwell would have his work described by a professor as “a sociological report on the practices of a subculture,” as though his choice to focus on queer subjects was a hindrance to artistic resonance. Since then, of course, the cultural pendulum has swung the other way, and stories featuring white, male, cisgender protagonists are increasingly derided as irrelevant and shopworn. In the November issue of Harper’s Magazine, Greenwell questions the meaning of “relevance” and its place in our cultural discourse, disputing the idea that art must be “relevant” to be resonant, and even that “relevance” is a fruitful ground for analysis in the first place. In this episode of the podcast, Greenwell, author of the novels What Belongs to You and Cleanness, reflects on his essay and discusses with host Violet Lucca the concept of universality, the high speed of Twitter discourse, the way dating apps are anathema to the true nature of desire, the future of art in our current political climate, and the LGBTQ section of a bookstore near you. Read Greenwell’s essay here: https://harpers.org/archive/2020/11/making-meaning-garth-greenwell/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins.
18 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
Time to Destination
The first chapter of Don DeLillo’s new novel, THE SILENCE, performed aloud. Audio excerpt courtesy of Simon & Schuster Audio from THE SILENCE by Don DeLillo, read by Laurie Anderson, Jeremy Bobb, Marin Ireland, Robin Miles, Jay O. Sanders, and Michael Stuhlbarg. Copyright © 2020 by Don DeLillo. Used by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
39 minutes | Sep 25, 2020
Last year, 43 of the 50 most-watched television broadcasts in America were football games—despite the fact that the NFL season lasts a mere six months. For decades, entrepreneurs have been trying and failing to fill that off-season void with professional football leagues that start play after the Super Bowl. The most recent—and perhaps most successful—attempt was made by Vince McMahon, the CEO of WWE and founder of the XFL. McMahon’s league, which aspired to the theatricality of professional wrestling, debuted and then folded in 2001. In 2018, McMahon revived the XFL in a less-goofy iteration that focused on fast, enjoyable games and actively encouraged fans (and announcers) to wager on them. Alas, the new league’s first season began this February. Across the country, football fans gathered ironically or earnestly to consume the sport—but their numbers dwindled each week. Undone by COVID-19 and low ratings, the league folded, but the XFL has promise of returning once again: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a former WWE wrestler, purchased it for a mere $15 million. In this episode of the podcast, web editor Violet Lucca is joined by the essayist Kent Russell to discuss his article “America’s Game,” from the October issue of Harper’s Magazine. The two discuss ironic nostalgia, McMahon’s business acumen and entertainment aesthetics, the spiritual mysteries of American football, and the Holy Grail that is six more months of professional play each year.
33 minutes | Sep 18, 2020
The Big Tech Extortion Racket
In 2018, an Irish technologist by the name of Dylan Curran downloaded all the data Google had collected about him—the equivalent of more than three million Word documents—and sifted through it, revealing the extent to which Google had surveilled his online activity over the course of a decade. All of his Google searches, emails, YouTube views, website visits, and more were preserved in 5.5 gigabytes’ worth of detail—part of the tech giant’s massive effort to turn individuals’ data into advertising revenue. Criticism of companies like Google has only mounted in recent years, including a series of antitrust hearings this past summer that saw Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon defending themselves before Congress. In this episode of the podcast, web editor Violet Lucca is joined by Barry C. Lynn, the executive director of the Open Markets Institute and author of “The Big Tech Extortion Racket,” an article in the September issue of Harper’s Magazine that was adapted from his forthcoming book Liberty from All Masters: The New American Autocracy vs. the Will of the People. They discuss the ways in which tech companies have circumvented and rewritten the laws that govern our markets. In his description of how tech companies enact discriminatory pricing, Lynn reflects on the principles behind common carrier rules, the end of net neutrality, the rise of tech monopolization, and the future of our democracy under these troubled circumstances. Read Lynn’s article here: https://harpers.org/archive/2020/09/the-big-tech-extortion-racket/ This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins
41 minutes | Sep 11, 2020
A Litany for Survival
In February, Naomi Jackson entered Mount Sinai Hospital to give birth to her son. But when the baby finally came, at her side were only her doula and her sister; the ob-gyn hadn’t believed Jackson when, twenty minutes earlier, she had assured the doctor that the baby was coming soon. This was not the first time that Jackson’s wishes and intuitions had been ignored during her pregnancy, or even during her labor. Only hours earlier, a nurse had upped her dosage of Pitocin shortly after Jackson had asked her to stop. But Jackson is not alone in experiencing such dismissiveness. Such treatment is typical of the care black mothers receive. They experience maternal complications and adverse outcomes at a shockingly high rate. Black babies today are substantially more likely to suffer infant mortality than white babies; the rate surpasses that recorded during slavery. And the dearth of black female medical professionals means that black women struggle to secure culturally responsive care, with its accompanying better outcomes. Black mothers—Jackson included—carry this heavy burden with them into labor. In this episode of the podcast, Naomi Jackson—an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University–Newark and the author of The Star Side of Bird Hill—reflects on her narrative essay in Harper’s Magazine’s September issue, “A Litany for Survival.” Jackson and host Violet Lucca discuss her reasons for sharing her birth story, the all too often dire experiences that black women have in the birthing room, and the multifarious sociocultural factors that prevent black women from receiving proper care even as awareness of these experiences grows. Resources for black mothers that were mentioned in the episode or are recommended by Jackson: Bronx Rebirth & Progress Collective - https://www.bxrebirth.org/ Black Mamas Matter Alliance - https://blackmamasmatter.org/ National Black Midwives Alliance - https://blackmidwivesalliance.org/ Jamaa Birth Village - https://jamaabirthvillage.org/ Ancient Song Doula Services - https://www.ancientsongdoulaservices.com/ Dr. Sara Whetstone, University of California, San Francisco - https://meded.ucsf.edu/people/sara-whetstone Dr. Deirdre Cooper-Owens, University of Lincoln, Nebraska & author of Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and The Origins of American Gynecology - https://history.unl.edu/deirdre-cooper-owens Nubia Martin, midwife & founder of Birth from the Earth - https://birthfromtheearth.vpweb.com/ Nicole Jean-Baptiste, Sese Doula Services - https://www.sesedoulaservices.com/ Linda Villarosa, journalist & contributing writer to New York Times magazine https://www.lindavillarosa.com/ Dr. Dana-Ain Davis, CUNY Graduate Center and author of Reproductive Justice: Racism, Pregnancy & Premature Birth - http://qcurban.org/faculty/dana-ain-davis/ Dr. Pooja K. Mehta, Women’s Health Lead, CityBlock Health - https://www.linkedin.com/in/pooja-mehta-1b891689/ Dr. Toyin Ajayi, Chief Health Officer & Co-Founder, CityBlock Health - https://www.linkedin.com/in/toyin-ajayi-ba57b078/ Chanel Porchia-Albert, founder of Ancient Song - https://www.chanelporchianyc.com/about-me Malaika Maitland, doula, artist & yoga teacher in Grenada - http://malaikamaitland.com/birth Andrea Jordan, midwife, cofounder of Better Birthing in Bim and The Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Foundation - https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrea-jordan-4832b3127/ Dani McClain, journalist and author of We Live for the: The Political Power of Black Motherhood - https://danimcclain.com/bio Dr. Lynn Roberts, CUNY School of Public Health - https://sph.cuny.edu/people/lynnroberts/ Dorothy Roberts, University of Pennsylvania, author of Killing the Black Body - https://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/roberts1/ Efe Osaren, doula & midwifery student, https://www.linkedin.com/in/efe-osaren-959824113/
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021