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Town Hall Seattle Arts & Culture Series
62 minutes | 2 days ago
133. Alan Mikhail with Resat Kasaba: Sultan Selim and the Making of the Modern World
Long neglected in world history, the Ottoman Empire was a hub of intellectual fervor, geopolitical power, and enlightened pluralistic rule. Yet, despite its towering influence and centrality to the rise of our modern world, the Ottoman Empire’s history has for centuries been distorted, misrepresented, and even suppressed in the West, historian Alan Mikhail believes—and he joined us to present a vitally needed recasting of Ottoman history. Mikhail was joined in conversation with history and politics professor Reşat Kasaba, to share insight from his book God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World. Drawing on previously unexamined sources from multiple languages, and with original maps and illustrations, Mikhail weaved a dramatic biography of Sultan Selim I. He challenged us to recalibrate our sense of history, adroitly using Selim’s life to upend prevailing jingoistic “rise of the West” theories, recasting Christopher Columbus’s voyages as a bumbling attempt to slay Muslims, and showing the Ottomans moves to elevate former slaves while other states were deep in the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. Don’t miss this game-changing presentation that radically reshapes our understanding of the importance of Selim’s Ottoman Empire in the history of the modern world. Alan Mikhail is a professor of history and chair of the Department of History at Yale University. As a leading historian of his generation, he has reforged our understandings of the past through his previous prize-winning books on the history of the Middle East: Nature and Empire in Ottomon Egypt: An Environmental History; Water on Sand: Environmental Histories of the Middle East and North Africa; The Animal in Ottoman Egypt; and Under Osman’s Tree: The Ottoman Empire, Egypt, and Environmental History. Reşat Kasaba, an expert in the history and politics of the Middle East, has taught undergraduate and graduate students at the Jackson School at UW for over 30 years. He served as the director of the Jackson School for 10 years, completing his tenure in June 2020. Kasaba has written and edited seven books and over 40 articles. Buy the Book: https://www.thirdplacebooks.com/book/9781631492396 Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To make a donation or become a member click here.
64 minutes | 4 days ago
132. Caty Borum Chattoo with Marcia Smith: How Documentaries Empower People and Inspire Social Change
Only a few years after the 2013 Sundance Film Festival premiere of Blackfish—an independent documentary film that critiqued the treatment of orcas in captivity—visits to SeaWorld declined, major corporate sponsors pulled their support, and performing acts cancelled appearances. And that was just the beginning of the impact of documentary films. Producer and scholar Caty Borum Chattoo joined us in conversation with producer Marcia Smith to examine the role of social-issue documentaries in civic imagination and social critique, with support from her book Story Movements: How Documentaries Empower People and Inspire Social Change. Today’s documentaries interrogate topics like sexual assault in the US military (The Invisible War), racial injustice (13th), government surveillance (Citizenfour), and more. Chattoo argued that artistic nonfiction films are changing public conversations, influencing media agendas, mobilizing communities, and capturing the attention of policymakers. In this exceedingly relevant discussion, she invited us to consider how documentaries can disrupt dominant cultural narratives through complex, creative, often investigative storytelling. Caty Borum Chattoo is Executive Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact and Assistant Professor at the American University School of Communication. She is an award-winning documentary producer, scholar, professor, and strategist working at the intersection of social change communication, documentary, and entertainment storytelling. She is also the co-author of A Comedian and An Activist Walk Into a Bar: The Serious Role of Comedy in Social Justice. Marcia Smith is president and co-founder of Firelight Media, which produces documentary films, provides artistic and financial support to emerging filmmakers of color, and builds impact campaigns to connect documentaries to audiences and social justice advocates. Under her leadership, Firelight Media was honored with a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Firelight Media’s flagship Documentary Lab program has supported more than 80 emerging filmmakers over the past decade, who have premiered at festivals such as Sundance, and gone on to earn numerous festival, Peabody, and Emmy Awards. Buy the Book: https://www.thirdplacebooks.com/book/9780190943417 Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation click here.
60 minutes | 19 days ago
131. Stuart Getty with Max Delsohn: How to They/Them
Ever wondered what nonbinary and gender nonconforming really mean? Genderqueer writer Stuart Getty joined us with a charming guide that answers that question and many more. In this livestreamed presentation, Stuart Getty unpacks all your burning questions in a fun, visual way, in conversation with local comedian Max Delsohn. With clips from their short documentary, and insight from their book How to They/Them, Getty introduced a gender-friendly primer that emphasizes that it’s about more than just bathrooms and pronouns—it’s about gender expression and the freedom to choose how to identify. While the pronoun they might only be for some, Getty shared how that freedom to choose is for everyone. Don’t miss this friendly, gentle introduction to gender, which starts with they/them pronouns as an entry point but covers so much more. Stuart Getty is a genderqueer writer, speaker, and filmmaker who works at IDEO, a design and consulting firm. Their short film theyTHEM has toured at festivals, and they regularly give talks at SXSW, TEDx, CreativeMornings, and elsewhere. Max Delsohn is a comedian and writer from Seattle. Their comedy has been featured in 10,000 Laughs, Second City’s Break Out Comedy Festival, 208 Comedy Festival, Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Intersections Festival, and StandUp NBC. They have published writing in The Rumpus, CutBank, and The Sonora Review, amongst other places. They are currently an MFA candidate in creative non-fiction at The Ohio State University. Buy the Book: https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9781632173133 Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation click here or text TOWN HALL to 44321.
61 minutes | 25 days ago
130. Michael Ian Black with Mike Birbiglia: How To Be A Better Man
Comedian, actor, and father Michael Ian Black wants to get (mostly) serious about the trouble with masculinity. He shared a heartfelt letter to his college-bound son—which also happens to be his book A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son—to offer a poignant look at boyhood, reveal his own complicated relationship with his father, and explore the damage caused by the expectations placed on boys to “man up.” Black searches for the best way to help his son be part of the solution, not the problem, in a world in which the word “masculinity” now goes hand in hand with “toxic.” With humility and inspiration for us all, Black invites us to find the path forward together as we navigate the complex gender issues of our time. Michael Ian Black is an actor, comedian, and writer who started his career with the sketch comedy show The State on MTV. Black is the author of several books for children, including the award-winning I’m Bored, I’m Sad, and I’m Worried, and the parody A Child’s First Book of Trump. His books for adults include the memoirs You’re Not Doing It Right and Navel Gazing, and the essay collection My Custom Van. Buy the Book: https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9781616209117 Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To make a donation or become a member click here or text TOWN HALL to 44321.
94 minutes | a month ago
129. Alex Ross with Ann Powers: Wagnerism—Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music
For better or worse, Wagner is often considered the most widely influential figure in the history of music. Around 1900, the phenomenon known as Wagnerism saturated European and American culture. Anarchists, occultists, feminists, and gay rights pioneers saw him as a kindred spirit. Then Adolf Hitler incorporated Wagner into the soundtrack of Nazi Germany, and the composer came to be defined by his ferocious antisemitism. In this livestreamed conversation, music critics Alex Ross and Ann Powers took a nuanced look at Wagner, with reflections from Ross’s book, Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music. They discussed how the composer of such colossal creations as The Ring of the Nibelung, Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal came to have such a many-sided legacy. In a journey of passionate discovery, they invited us to consider how artistry can be undone by an ideology of hate—and urging us toward a more honest idea of how art acts on the world. Alex Ross has been the music critic for The New Yorker since 1996. His first book, the international bestseller The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won a National Book Critics Circle Award. His second book, the essay collection Listen to This, received an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2008 and a Guggeinheim Fellow in 2015. Ann Powers is NPR Music’s critic and correspondent. Her books include Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music, Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America, and (with the artist) Tori Amos: Piece By Piece. She is the co-editor, with Evelyn McDonnell, of Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Rap, and Pop, the first published anthology of women music writers. In 2017, she founded Turning the Tables, an ongoing NPR initiative re-centering the popular music canon on marginalized, underestimated, and forgotten voices. Buy the Book: https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9780374285937 Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Seattle Opera. To become a Town Hall member or make a donation click here or text TOWN HALL to 44321.
82 minutes | a month ago
128. Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton: One Left, A Novel
During the Pacific War, more than 200,000 Korean girls were forced into sexual servitude for Japanese soldiers. Barely 10 percent survived to return to Korea, where they lived as social outcasts. Since then, self-declared comfort women have come forward only to have their testimonies and calls for compensation largely denied by the Japanese government. In One Left, author Kim Soom tells a fictionalized story of a comfort woman, kidnapped at the age of thirteen to live a life of horror, who embarks on a painful journey to connect with the last known comfort woman to assure her she’s not alone. Constructed from extensive research and the testimonies of dozens of comfort women, this essential and emotional novel—the first Korean novel devoted to this subject—would be inaccessible for English-speaking readers without the work of translators Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton. The married couple have made it their life’s work to translate Korean literature, especially after realizing they made an “ideal translation team”—Bruce is a native speaker of English who knows Korean, and Ju-Chan is a native speaker of Korean who knows English. They joined us for a livestreamed short reading and discussion of their most recent translation, One Left, and the vital importance of translated works in the literature landscape. Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton are the translators of numerous volumes of modern Korean fiction, most recently the novels Mina by Kim Sagwa and The Catcher in the Loft by Ch’ŏn Un-yŏng. Their translations of Korean short fiction appear in journals such as The Massachusetts Review, Granta, and Asymptote. Among their awards and fellowships are two U.S. National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships and the first residency at the Banff International Literary Translation Centre awarded to translators from any Asian language. Bruce Fulton is the inaugural holder of the Young-Bin Min Chair in Korean Literature and Literary Translation, Department of Asian Studies. Buy the Book: https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9780295747668 Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Korean American Historical Society. To become a Town Hall member or make a donation click here or text TOWN HALL to 44321.
76 minutes | 2 months ago
127. Hailey Tayathy: Indigenous Land Acknowledgement Art Presentation
Every year, Town Hall selects exceptional local artists and scholars for paid residencies. This fall, Town Hall’s Artist in Residence Hailey Tayathy designed a new piece which will serve as a visual installation of Town Hall’s land acknowledgement, written by the elders and youth of UNEA Clear Sky Native Youth Council. In this special presentation, Tayathy will be reflecting on the art they have created during their residency, on the process of creation and collaboration with other Coast Salish youth, and on how their work might impact future audience members and Town Hall supporters once it is installed in the Forum entry. Hailey Tayathy is a member of the Quileute Nation, a visual artist, and Seattle’s premier Native American drag queen. They use their queer Native experiences to inform their unique brand of drag. They aim to bring healing to Indigenous communities and to show everyone that Indigiqueers are still here and are stronger and more beautiful than colonized minds can imagine. Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Urban Native Education Alliance. To support Town Hall or become a member click here or text TOWN HALL to 44321.
136 minutes | 2 months ago
126. The Deep End Friends Podcast: Black Healing
The Deep End Friends podcast is an exploration of liberation, healing, hope, joy, and wholeness. What does it mean to be free? What are Black people doing to heal themselves and the world? Hear from incredible people from all walks of life about their journeys, what they are doing to thrive and how they are contributing to broader movements of empowerment and liberation. Co-hosts Reagan Jackson and Anastacia-Renee joined us via livestream to record a live episode of Deep End Friends featuring a wide range of unique perspectives about Black healing, including anthropology student Mary Hall-Williams; movement artist TAQUEET$; Victoria Santos, the Co-Executive Director of Young Women Empowered; and Rocky Lester, founder of One Race One Humanity. Listen in as they dive deep with these incredible guests on the healings they bring to the community and the world, and the importance of Black healing in this particular moment of our evolution as a country. Reagan Jackson is a writer, artist, international educator, prayer practitioner, and seeker of truth. She is currently a Program Director for Young Women Empowered and a columnist for the Seattle Globalist. She is an award-winning journalist who contributes regularly to the Seattle Globalist and South Seattle Emerald. Her self-published works include two children’s books, Coco LaSwish: A Fish from a Different Rainbow and Coco LaSwish: When Rainbows Go Blue, and three collections of poetry God, Hair, Love, and America; Love and Guatemala; and Summoning Unicorns. Anastacia-Renee is a multi-genre writer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. She is the recipient of the 2018, James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award for Washington artists (Artist Trust), and has served as the Seattle Civic Poet from 2017-2019, and the 2015-2017 Poet-in-Residence at Hugo House. She is the author of five books: Forget It, (v.), 26, Kiss Me Doll Face, and Answer(Me). Mary Hall-Williams is a student in the University of Washington’s Anthropology department. She is conducting honors research on automatic and intentional coping mechanisms in response to Viral Black Death and racism. She is also a co-founder of Blackout Healing. In the past, Mary has worked as a youth pastor at Damascus Missionary Baptist Church, in partnership with African American Reach and Teach Health Ministry (AARTH), with youth-led homeless outreach and gardening and sustainability efforts, and most recently with Working Washington on initiatives for domestic workers rights. Victoria Santos is the Co-Executive Director of Young Women Empowered. She is a leader who works for social justice and racial equality with institutions, schools, and community organizations in the US and internationally. Victoria is a Spanish-fluent Afro-Latina immigrant born in the Dominican Republic. Her commitment to social justice and service has expressed itself in many forms over the past 30 years, including designing programs, community advocacy, facilitating groups, and community development in the US and internationally. Victoria emphasizes intersectional awareness, individual and collective healing, and commitment to compassionate action. Rocky Lester is a gifted mystic and healer, a spiritual leader, and founder of One Race One Humanity. He has studied cross-cultural and spiritual modalities from across the world alongside his mentors and teachers, seeking first his own healing and then using the lessons learned to aid in the healing of others. Rocky’s belief in the healing of the human spirit through conversation led him to work with the Washington State Corrections Hero’s Journey Project. He sat on the board of LGBTQ Allyship and widened his vision in the creation of One Race One Humanity in 2018. One Race One Humanity is a platform for healing cross-culturally with the intention to establish a coalition in standing for all people’s basic human rights. Born and raised in Seattle, TAQUEET$ is a movement artist with a style all her own. Her tagline “The Physical Representation of Sound” helps to describe what can be seen from a TAQUEET$ performance piece. From a childhood studying dance with Spectrum Dance, Danec Chance, and T.T.A.A.P.P. Central, as she got older, she began to explore less classical styles of dance. In 2015, she became a resident performer at The Pink Door, performing well over 50 freestyles.This summer, TAQUEET$ is leading a group of teens from Coyote Central in creating a long-form performance piece. Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation click here or text TOWN HALL to 44321.
67 minutes | 2 months ago
125. Dr. Madeline Levine: Preparing Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain World
Dr. Madeline Levine contends that the role of parent has evolved into an unhealthy relationship with achievement and stress. The COVID-19 epidemic is throwing many into dual roles as both parent and full-time teacher, leaving many to wonder how to best serve our children—and what the long-term effects will be on their education. Levine joined us for this livestream event with insight from her book Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World, offering some relief by tearing down the myth that good grades, high test scores, and college acceptances should define the parenting endgame. She showed how these parenting practices, combined with a desperate need to shelter children from discomfort and anxiety, are setting future generations up to fail spectacularly. Drawing on fields from neuroscience to epigenetics, as well as extensive research gleaned from captains of industry, entrepreneurs, military leaders, scientists, academics, and futurists, Levine identified the skills that children need to succeed in a tumultuous future: adaptability, mental agility, curiosity, collaboration, tolerance for failure, resilience, and optimism. Listen in as Levine offers us day-to-day solutions for raising kids who are prepared, enthusiastic, and ready to face an unknown future with confidence and optimism. Dr. Madeline Levine, PhD, is a clinician, consultant, educator and speaker, and the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Price of Privilege and Teach Your Children Well. She is a cofounder of Challenge Success, a project of the Stanford Graduate School of Education that provides families and schools with the practical, research-based tools they need to create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for kids. Buy the Book: https://www.thirdplacebooks.com/book/9780062657756 Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation click here or text TOWN HALL to 44321.
58 minutes | 3 months ago
124. Erica Barnett with Claire Dederer—Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recover
Award-winning reporter Erica Barnett her first sip of alcohol when she was thirteen. By her late twenties, her addiction became inescapable. By the time she was in her late thirties, she had run the gauntlet of alcoholism, and volatile relationships, blackouts, and unsuccessful stints in detox defined Barnett’s life. Barnett joins us via livestream, drawing from her book Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery to share moments of her life along with essential new insights into addiction and treatment. In conversation with author Claire Dederer, Barnett expands on her personal story to confront the dire state of addiction in America. She tackles the rise of alcoholism in American women over the last century, and highlights the lack of rehabilitation options available to addicts. With startling frankness, she questions the efficacy of mottos touted by Alcoholics Anonymous and long-standing treatment ideas like “rock bottom,” arguing that you can always go lower than your lowest point. These words and programs did not reflect her experience and indeed she found them detrimental—an experience that made her wonder if the same was true for others who are struggling with addiction. Barnett considers whether these programs do enough to discover the root causes of addiction in the course of providing treatments. In a brave example of vulnerability, Barnett invites us to an intimate recollection of her own struggles with alcoholism, and offers a hopeful story of a hard-fought path to sobriety. Erica C. Barnett is an award-winning political reporter. She started her career at the Texas Observer, the venerable progressive magazine cofounded by Molly Ivins, and went on to work as a reporter and news editor for the Austin Chronicle, Seattle Weekly, and The Stranger. She now covers addiction, housing, poverty, and drug policy at her blog, The C Is for Crank. She has written for a variety of local and national publications, including The Huffington Post, Seattle Magazine, and Grist. Claire Dederer is a Seattle native and the author of two critically acclaimed memoirs, and a forthcoming nonfiction book investigating good art made by bad people. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, and many other publications. She is also an educator, having taught at Hugo House, the University of Washington, Pacific University, and other universities across the country. Buy the Book: https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9780525522324 Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To make a donation online click here, or text TOWN HALL to 44321.
51 minutes | 8 months ago
123. Joanne Bagshaw with Kirsten Harris-Talley: How to Resist Sexism and Dismantle the Patriarchy
From reproductive rights and the wage gap to #MeToo and #TimesUp—gender inequality permeates nearly every aspect of our culture. According to award-winning psychology professor Joanne Bagshaw, the message that our society sends to women and girls is clear: you’re not enough. In conversation with Washington at-large City Councilmember Kirsten Harris-Talley, Bagshaw offered tools for women everywhere to navigate sexist institutionalized power structures, attitudes, and events that are outside of our control. With advice from her book The Feminist Handbook: Practical Tools to Resist Sexism and Dismantle the Patriarchy, Bagshaw helped us confront negative messages that have been deeply internalized by our society, combat the effects of gender and race discrimination, and create lasting change through activism and community. Join Bagshaw and Harris-Talley as they untangle the role that sexism and discrimination plays in our lives, our mental health, and our overall sense of well-being. Joanne L. Bagshaw, PhD, is an award-winning professor of psychology and women’s studies at Montgomery College. She is also an ASSECT-certified sex therapist with a private practice in Maryland, where she lives with her husband and daughter. Joanne writes the popular feminist blog, The Third Wave for Psychology Today. Kirsten Harris-Talley is a community educator, policy strategist, and activist for reproductive justice and police accountability. Harris-Talley is the interim Executive Director of NARAL Pro-choice Washington and in 2017 served city-wide as a Councilmember of the Seattle City Council. Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on March 3, 2020.
70 minutes | 8 months ago
122. Pacific Flyway: Waterbird Migration from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego
Celebrate the magnificence of waterbird migration along the Pacific Flyway—the 10,000-mile migratory corridor from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego. Join the authors of the book Pacific Flyway, along with wildlife photographer Gerrit Vyn, and discover the vast network of saltwater and freshwater habitats linked by millions of waterbirds who migrate between their breeding and overwintering grounds. Through stunning photography, migration sounds, and amazing video footage, explore the extraordinary stories of these remarkable birds that convert food, air, and water into a mileage plan that has few equals in the animal world. Delve into the daunting array of survival challenges these birds face—widespread habitat loss and degradation resulting from global climate change and unparalleled human disturbance—and learn about research and conservation efforts by biologists, wildlife photographers, and citizen activists striving to combat these conditions. Traverse the Pacific Flyway and engage with the lives of waterbirds that exemplify the connectedness, complexity, and wonder of the natural world. Audrey DeLella Benedict is a biologist, writer, and naturalist. She is the founder and director of Cloud Ridge Naturalists, a nonprofit natural history education and conservation publishing program now in its 40th year. Dr. Robert Butler is an ornithologist, author, filmmaker, artist, and adjunct professor of biological sciences at Simon Fraser University. He has watched, listened to, and lived among birds for 40 years in a variety of environments. Dr. Geoffrey Hammerson retired after 32 years as a research zoologist for The Nature Conservancy and NatureServe. He has taught university courses focusing on bird biology for 40 years. Gerrit Vyn is a wildlife and conservation photographer and cinematographer best known for his work documenting endangered birds and covering conservation stories around the world for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He is a Senior Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers. Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on February 19, 2020.
63 minutes | 8 months ago
121. Leah Plunkett: Why We Should Be Cautious With Our Kids’ Data
Our children’s first digital footprints are made before they can walk—even before they are born. More and more parents are using fertility apps to aid conception, posting ultrasound images to social media, installing baby monitors with built-in AI, and storing terabytes of baby pictures in the cloud. Educator Leah Plunkett arrived at Town Hall to examine the implications of this phenomenon, which she calls “sharenthood”—adults’ excessive digital sharing of children’s data. Drawing from her book Sharenthood: Why We Should Think before We Talk about Our Kids Online, Plunkett cautioned parents, teachers, and other trusted adults against unwittingly compiling digital dossiers for children that could be available to everyone—friends, employers, law enforcement—forever. She outlined the mistakes adults make with kids’ private information, the risks that result, and the legal system that enables “sharenting.” Plunkett unpacked the faulty assumptions made by our legal system about children, parents, and privacy. Join Plunkett for a discussion of why we should think before we share our kids’ data—the internet, she says, needs to forget. Leah Plunkett is Associate Dean for Administration, Associate Professor of Legal Skills, and Director of Academic Success at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She is Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on February 18, 2020.
85 minutes | 9 months ago
120. Raphaël Liogier: Heart of Maleness
Recent years have witnessed significant progress toward gender equality—from the ousting of prominent men accused of sexual misconduct to the unprecedented popularity of the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Following the shocking, infuriating accounts shared as part of the #MeToo movement, sociologist and philosopher Raphaël Liogier felt compelled to reassess toxic masculinity as the deepest root of gender inequality and its many manifestations. Liogier took Town Hall’s stage to share reflections from his essay Heart of Maleness, mapping out the crucial work still to be done, first and foremost addressing the core male fantasy about women’s bodies and minds. Liogier contended that the archetypal Prince Charming and a monstrous predator such as Harvey Weinstein are two sides of the same coin. He asserted they are the products of a worldview that not only places a man’s desires above a woman’s but also doubts whether women are fundamentally capable of knowing what they want. He unpacked the influence of society’s deep-seated fantasy of male dominance—from the brazenness of Donald Trump, who brags about groping women, to the hypocrisy of outspoken progressives whose private behavior belies their so-called feminist ideals. Join Liogier's examination of the underlying causes of gender inequality and how we can fight against it. Raphaël Liogier is a French sociologist and a philosopher. He is a professor at Sciences Po Aix-en-Provence and also teaches in Paris at the International College of Philosophy, founded by Jacques Derrida, and is a visiting scholar at Columbia University, at the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life. Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Great Hall on February 18, 2020.
54 minutes | 9 months ago
119. Dennis Baron: Exploring The History Of Our Pronouns
Like trigger warnings and gender-neutral bathrooms, pronouns are sparking a national debate. They’re prompting new policies in schools, workplaces, and even prisons. Pioneering linguist Dennis Baron joined us with insight into our pronoun patterns, drawing from his book What’s Your Pronoun: Beyond He and She. Baron lent us essential insight into understanding how twenty-first-century culture has evolved based on past pronoun use—and how our modern day usage is nothing new. He highlighted how Shakespeare used singular-they; women invoked the generic use of he to assert the right to vote (while those opposed to women’s rights invoked the same word to assert that he did not include she); and people have been coining new gender pronouns, not just hir and zie, for centuries. Join Baron for an illuminating look at the role pronouns have played—and continue to play—in establishing our rights and our identities. Dennis Baron professor emeritus of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois, has long been a national commentator on language issues, from the Washington Post to NPR and CNN. Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on February 16, 2020.
84 minutes | 9 months ago
118. Julie Blacklow with Pepper Schwartz: Diary of a Badass Reporter
Even as a teenager, Julie Blacklow displayed qualities that marked her as a natural for reporting—courage, tenacity, and a willingness to get in anyone’s face if it served her mission to help people. On the other side of her forty-year career, Blacklow arrived at Town Hall with a retrospective on her time spent as one of the first women in television news in America. In conversation with famed intimacy and sexuality researcher Pepper Schwartz, Blacklow drew from her book Fearless—Diary of a Badass Reporter to reflect on her decades in the television news business, where she met thousands of people and learned along the way how to ask questions in the worst—and best—moments of their lives. Blacklow presented an unforgettable memoir spanning her dramatic television career, cancer, and dozens more extreme highs and lows. Julie Blacklow is an Emmy Award-winning journalist for KING-TV with more than forty years in the television news business. Among the first generation of women in television news in the United States, she encountered the entire spectrum of humanity from movie stars to murderers and regular people overcoming everyday obstacles. Pepper Schwartz is an acclaimed author and researcher who has devoted her life to furthering the fields of intimacy and sexuality. Schwartz serves as AARP’s first Love & Relationship Expert & Ambassador and teaches at the University of Washington in Seattle, and has authored many articles and 25 books on love, sexuality, and commitment. Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on February 15, 2020.
79 minutes | 9 months ago
117. Humanities WA Think and Drink: Is the Internet Making Us Miserable?
“Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” asked a cover story in The Atlantic, citing skyrocketing rates of anxiety and suicide among young smartphone users. But what does the research actually say about how tech use affects our happiness? Is the modern “techlash” too pessimistic? Gather for a Think & Drink with Humanities WA to examine whether the rise of technology is just the latest punching bag for age-old issues like addiction and depression. Listen in as a panel of experts explore key questions about the impact of rising tech use on our health and well-being. Are smartphones changing the way we focus, socialize, and experience emotion? Can phones actually help us lead happier, more meaningful lives? Join us for a discussion of how the little devices in our pockets could be having a big effect on our minds. Featuring University of Washington professors at the iSchool, David Levy and Alexis Hiniker, and Seattle University professor, Joshua Johnston. Moderated by University of Washington professor, Paul Franco. Presented by Town Hall Seattle, Humanities WA, & iSchool at the University of Washington. Recorded live in The Forum on February 12, 2020.
85 minutes | 9 months ago
116. Anna Wiener with Kristi Coulter: Uncanny Valley
In her mid-twenties, at the height of tech industry idealism, New Yorker writer Anna Wiener left a job in book publishing for the promise of the new digital economy. She landed at a big-data startup in the heart of the Silicon Valley bubble—a world of surreal extravagance, dubious success, and fresh-faced entrepreneurs hell-bent on domination, glory, and (of course) progress. Drawing from her book Uncanny Valley, Wiener deftly charted the tech industry’s shift from self-appointed world savior to democracy-endangering liability, alongside a personal narrative of aspiration, ambivalence, and disillusionment. In conversation with author and journalist Kristi Coulter, Wiener recalled her arrival to Silicon Valley amidst a massive cultural shift as the tech industry rapidly transformed into a locus of wealth and power rivaling Wall Street. She mused on the company ski vacations and in-office speakeasies, boyish camaraderie and ride-or-die corporate fealty which revealed a new image of Silicon Valley—one of a region in far over its head, enriching itself at the expense of the idyllic future it claimed to be building. Wiener brought us a rare first-person glimpse into high-flying, reckless startup culture at a time of unchecked ambition, unregulated surveillance, wild fortune, and accelerating political power. Listen in as Wiener and Coulter presented a cautionary tale and a revelatory interrogation of a world reckoning with consequences its unwitting designers are only beginning to understand. Anna Wiener is a contributing writer to The New Yorker, covering Silicon Valley, startup culture, and technology. Her writing has appeared in n+1, The Atlantic, Wired, The New Republic, New York, Harper’s, and the Times Magazine. Kristi Coulter is the author of the memoir-in-essays Nothing Good Can Come from This. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, New York Magazine/The Cut, The Awl, Glamour, Vox and other publications. Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on February 1, 2020.
69 minutes | 10 months ago
115. Lyric World: Conversations with Contemporary Poets—Poetry And Wonder
How can poetry expand our understanding of civic life? Poet and former Town Hall Artist-In-Residence Shin Yu Pai invited us to the first of her Lyric World discussions, exploring the role of poetry as it stokes our curiosity and gives voice and attention to the human experience. Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma is a poet, magician, and musician who brings together many diverse practices in his creative expression. Pruiksma touched upon the similarities between poetry, magic, and music to explore the boundaries and edges of what’s visible and to gaze more deeply into the nature of wonder. Joined in conversation with Seattle-based poet Melanie Noel, Pruiksma illuminated the ways that different languages alternately obscure or reveal truth. Together they asked us to suspend our judgement and embrace the not-knowing that defines these art forms. Throughout their discussion, experience a performance by kora player and griot-trained jeli Ibrahim Arsalan. In West African society, the jeli preserved ancient stories and traditions through song, throughout the generations. They are believed to have deep connections to spiritual, social, and political powers. Presented by Town Hall Seattle and KUOW. Lyric World: Conversations with Contemporary Poets is fiscally sponsored by Shunpike and supported by The Windrose Fund and the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture.
88 minutes | 10 months ago
114: Indigenous Reparation and Recognition in Seattle: South Seattle Emerald + Bitterroot Magazine Panel
Seattle is one of the wealthiest and fastest-growing cities in the nation, but that growth has come often at the expense of the Indigenous people who first lived here. In a forthcoming piece in Bitterroot and the South Seattle Emerald, writer Marcus Harrison Green examined how Native citizens in Seattle are pushing for greater representation, and how non-Native Seattle residents and officials can improve the relationship with Indigenous residents of this traditional Coast Salish territory. Green joined along with Fern Renville and Russell Brooks for a panel discussion moderated by Bitterroot editor Maggie Mertens, exploring ways the city can best recognize its Indigenous roots and residents, and whether reparations should be a component of that process. Russell Brooks (Southern Cheyenne) is the executive director of Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre in Seattle. Marcus Harrison Green is the publisher of the South Seattle Emerald. Rachel Heaton (Muckleshoot) is the co-founder of Mazaska Talks, a tool that supports community divestment from banks that finance fossil fuel development. Maggie Mertens is the managing editor of Bitterroot magazine. Fern Renville (Dakota) is the CEO of SNAG Productions. Robin Little Wing Sigo is the director of the Suquamish Research & Strategic Development Department and a member of the Suquamish Tribal Council. Presented by Town Hall Seattle, South Seattle Emerald, and Bitterroot.
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