Scene On Radio

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Scene On Radio

Scene on Radio is a two-time Peabody-nominated podcast that dares to ask big, hard questions about who we are—really—and how we got this way. Previous series include Seeing White (Season 2), looking at the roots and meaning of white supremacy; MEN (Season 3), on patriarchy and its history; The Land That Never Has Been Yet (Season 4), exploring democracy in the U.S. and why we don’t have more of it; The Repair (Season 5), on the cultural roots of the climate crisis; and Season 6, Echoes of a Coup, the story of the only successful coup d'etat in U.S. history, in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898. Produced and hosted by John Biewen and created at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Scene on Radio comes from the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. Season 7, Scene on Radio: Capitalism, is produced in partnership with Imperative 21. The show is distributed by PRX.

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S7 E4: Invisible Hand Guy?

6 days 21 hours ago

Economic change happens in a cultural context. We trace the tectonic shifts in the Western mind that made capitalism thinkable – in part through a look at two Enlightenment thinkers: Baruch Spinoza and Adam Smith. (The real Smith, not the one held up as the patron saint of unfettered capitalism.).

By John Biewen, with co-host Ellen McGirt. Interviews with Kate Rigby, Glory Liu, Steven Nadler, and Wendy Carlin. Story editor: Loretta Williams. Music by Michelle Osis, Lilli Haydn, Alex Symcox, and Goodnight, Lucas. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Art by Gergo Varga and Harper Biewen. "Capitalism” is a production of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, in partnership with Imperative 21. 

S7 E3: Ships, Swords, and Fences

1 week 6 days ago

From the voyages of Columbus and Vasco da Gama to colonial conquest and the Atlantic Slave Trade, to the privatization of land in western Europe: humanity’s turn toward the capitalist world we live in now.

By John Biewen, with co-host Ellen McGirt. Interviews with Jayati Ghosh, Jason Hickel, Jessica Moody, Charisse Burden-Stelly, Silvia Federici, and Eleanor Janega. Story editor: Loretta Williams. Music by Michelle Osis, Lilli Haydn, Alex Symcox, and Goodnight, Lucas. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Art by Gergo Varga and Harper Biewen. "Capitalism” is a production of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, in partnership with Imperative 21. 

S7 E2: BC: Before Capitalism

2 weeks 6 days ago

To fully grasp capitalism, it helps to understand the system it replaced – and the most meaningful differences between feudalism and capitalism. We visit the British Isles of the Middle Ages.  

By John Biewen, with co-host Ellen McGirt. Interviews with Karen Dempsey, Ben Jervis, and Eleanor Janega. Story editor: Loretta Williams. Music by Michelle Osis, Lilli Haydn, Alex Symcox, and Goodnight, Lucas. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Art by Gergo Varga and Harper Biewen. “Capitalism” is a production of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, in partnership with Imperative 21. 

S7 E1: Market Failure

2 weeks 6 days ago

Introduction to our 7th season: Capitalism. The world’s dominant economic system is on trial as it hasn’t been for at least half a century. Millions, young people especially, now see capitalism as the problem, not the solution. Others fear throwing out the baby with the bathwater. 

By John Biewen, with co-host Ellen McGirt. Interviews with John Fullerton, Cassandra Brooks and Charlene Brooks. Story editor: Loretta Williams. Music by Michelle Osis, Lilli Haydn, Alex Symcox, and Goodnight, Lucas. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music. Art by Gergo Varga and Harper Biewen. “Capitalism” is a production of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, in partnership with Imperative 21. 

 

Season 7 Trailer: Capitalism

1 month ago

Welcome to Season 7: Capitalism. The world's dominant economic system is on trial as it hasn't been for at least half a century. This season tells the story of capitalism -- how people with power built and shaped it over time. We'll also explore what to do now that many people see capitalism as the problem, not the solution. Produced by host/producer John Biewen with co-host Ellen McGirt and story editor Loretta Williams. From the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, in partnership with Imperative 21. 

Bonus: Long Shadow, In Guns We Trust

1 month 3 weeks ago

As we get ready to launch our Season 7, a bonus episode from another podcast we think our listeners will want to hear: Long Shadow. Episode 1 of its newest season, In Guns We Trust, with host Garrett Graff.

Mass shootings have plagued the U.S. for generations. But in 1999, when shots rang out in a suburban Denver school, it was different. What changed? Everything.

S6 E5: A Way Forward

5 months 1 week ago

What would it take, and what would it even mean, to heal from a wound like the Wilmington massacre and coup of 1898 — or from centuries of white supremacist violence, disenfranchisement, and theft? An exploration of that question with community members in Wilmington, and experts on restorative justice and reparations.

By Michael A. Betts, II and John Biewen. Interviews with Bertha Boykin Todd, Cedric Harrison, Christopher Everett, Kim Cook, William Sturkey, Inez Campbell-Eason, Sonya Bennetonne-Patrick, Candice Robinson, Paul Jervay,Kieran Haile, Larry Reni Thomas, William “Sandy” Darity, and Michelle Lanier. Story editor: Loretta Williams. Voice actor: Mike Wiley. Music by Kieran Haile, Blue Dot Sessions, Okaya, and Lucas Biewen. Art by Zaire McPhearson. “Echoes of a Coup” is an initiative of America’s Hallowed Ground, a project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

S6 E4: The Forgetting

5 months 2 weeks ago

After the massacre and coup of November 10, 1898, white supremacists in North Carolina soon finished the job of disenfranchising Black citizens and instituting Jim Crow segregation. They also took control of the narrative. A new propaganda campaign, the one after the fact, succeeded for a century – even as several Black writers tried to tell the truth about 1898 and left breadcrumbs for future historians to find.

By Michael A. Betts, II and John Biewen. Interviews with LeRae Umfleet, Gareth Evans, David Cecelski, William Sturkey, Chenjerai Kumanyika, Doug Jones, and Adriane Lentz-Smith. Story editor: Loretta Williams. Voice actor: Mike Wiley. Music by Kieran Haile, Blue Dot Sessions, Okaya, Jameson Nathan Jones, and Lucas Biewen. Art by Zaire McPhearson. “Echoes of a Coup” is an initiative of America’s Hallowed Ground, a project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

S6 E3: A Day of Blood

5 months 3 weeks ago

On November 1898, North Carolina Democrats won a sweeping victory at the polls – confirming the success of their campaign based on white supremacy, intimidation, and fraud. But in Wilmington, the state’s largest city, white supremacist leaders were not satisfied. This episode tells what happened on November 10, 1898, in Wilmington: a massacre of Black men, and the only successful coup d'etat in U.S. history.

By John Biewen and Michael A. Betts, II. Interviews with LeRae Umfleet, Bertha Todd, William Sturkey, Cedric Harrison, and Milo Manly. Story editor: Loretta Williams. Voice actor: Mike Wiley. Music by Kieran Haile, Blue Dot Sessions, Okaya, Jameson Nathan Jones, Kevin McLeod, and Lucas Biewen. Art by Zaire McPhearson. “Echoes of a Coup” is an initiative of America’s Hallowed Ground, a project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

S6 E2: Crying "Negro Rule"

5 months 4 weeks ago

By 1898, two decades after the end of Reconstruction, white elites, backed by violent terror groups, have installed Jim Crow across most of the South. North Carolina, led by its largest city, Wilmington, is different. A Fusion coalition, made up of mostly-Black Republicans and mostly-White members of the Populist Party, controls the city and state governments. White supremacist Democrats are frustrated and plot to gain power by any means necessary. ​​

By Michael A. Betts, II, and John Biewen. Interviews with LeRae Umfleet, David Cecelski, and Cedric Harrison. The series story editor is Loretta Williams. Music in this episode by Kieran Haile, Blue Dot Sessions, Okaya, Jameson Nathan Jones, and Lucas Biewen. Art by Zaire McPhearson. “Echoes of a Coup” is an initiative of America’s Hallowed Ground, a project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

S6 E1: What Was Lost

6 months ago

This series tells the story of the only successful coup d’etat in U.S. history, and the white supremacist massacre that went with it. It happened in Wilmington, North Carolina in November 1898. But before we get to that story, we explore the surprising world of Wilmington in the 19th century – the world that the massacre and coup violently destroyed.

By Michael A. Betts, II, and John Biewen. Interviews with LeRae Umfleet, Cedric Harrison, David Cecelski, and William Sturkey. The series story editor is Loretta Williams. Music in this episode by Kieran Haile, Blue Dot Sessions, Lucas Biewen, Kevin MacLeod, Jameson Nathan Jones, Alon Peretz, and Florian. Art by Zaire McPhearson. “Echoes of a Coup” is an initiative of America’s Hallowed Ground, a project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Season 6 Trailer: Echoes of a Coup

6 months 1 week ago

Introduction to Season 6, a series co-produced by Michael A. Betts II and Scene on Radio producer and host John Biewen, with story editor Loretta Williams. Music by Kevin MacLeod, Okaya, and Lucas Biewen. Echoes of a Coup is a project of America’s Hallowed Ground and Scene on Radio, from the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Update: Scene on Radio status report

1 year 1 month ago

Scene on Radio is on an extended hiatus, but is on its way back. Host and producer John Biewen explains that the show has found a new home: the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

"The Excess of Democracy": Rebroadcast

1 year 11 months ago

In the summer of 1787, fifty-five men got together in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution for the United States, replacing the new nation’s original blueprint, the Articles of Confederation. But why, exactly? What problems were the framers trying to solve? Was the Constitution designed to advance democracy, or to rein it in? And how can the answers to those questions inform our crises of democracy today?

By producer/host John Biewen with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Woody Holton, Dan Bullen, and Price Thomas. The series editor is Loretta Williams.

White Affirmative Action: Rebroadcast

1 year 11 months ago

When it comes to U.S. government programs and support designed to benefit particular racial groups, history is clear. White folks have received most of the handouts. Part of our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts.

By John Biewen, with Deena Hayes-Greene of the Racial Equity Institute and Season 2 series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Losing Ground: Rebroadcast

2 years ago

The next in our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts: For Eddie Wise, owning a hog farm was a lifelong dream. In middle age, he and his wife, Dorothy, finally got a farm of their own. But they say that over the next twenty-five years, the U.S. government discriminated against them because they were Black, and finally drove them off the land. Their story, by John Biewen, was produced in collaboration with Reveal, the podcast and radio show from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Bonus: Introducing Hot Take

2 years ago

In this bonus episode we share a recent installment from Hot Take, the climate podcast co-hosted by Amy Westervelt (co-host/reporter for our Season 5 series on climate, The Repair) and writer Mary Annaïse Heglar. They talk with their guest, author and New York Times writer David Wallace-Wells, about the lessons we can learn from Covid-19, the parallels between pandemic response and climate response, and how Russia’s war in Ukraine sits at the intersection of the two.

Himpathy: Rebroadcast

2 years ago

Several years after Janey was sexually assaulted by her former boyfriend, Mathew, she told some of her closest friends, and her mother, what Mathew had done. Janey was so troubled by her loved ones’ responses that she went back to them years later to record conversations about it all. In this episode: Janey’s story, and philosopher Kate Manne, who coined the term “himpathy” in her 2017 book, “Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny.” With co-hosts John Biewen and Celeste Headlee. Part of our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts.

To hear more of Janey Williams’ story and the conversations she had with friends, check out her podcast, "This Happened", available on most podcast apps and at thishappenedpodcast.com.

Things I'm Afraid to Say: Rebroadcast

2 years 1 month ago

A refugee from war in Eastern Europe. An NYC-born survivor who grew up poor, Black, Muslim, and gay. And how one, and her music, saved the other. By Aleks Basic, featuring Laila Nur. Part of our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts. Editing by Shea Shackelford and host John Biewen.

Prince and Philando and Futures Untold: Rebroadcast

2 years 1 month ago

How to grieve when the deaths come so quickly? How, as a Black mother in America, to protect your child’s innocence and hope? An audio essay by Stacia Brown. The first in a summer mini-season of rebroadcasts. Editing by Shea Shackelford and host John Biewen. Music by Prince, Eme Dm, One World One Nation, Blu & Exile, Otwin, and goodnight Lucas.