How can democracy be renewed and defended today?
A collaboration of the Thomas Mann House, the Goethe Institute, Wunderbar Together, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Bill Wiggins on African-American History & Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Host Tom Zoellner sat down with professor William Wiggins to discuss the ongoing importance of African-American history within the larger context of US history. Professor Wiggins has written on numerous subjects dealing with revolutionary figures and movements in U.S. history. He has taught at the University of Connecticut, St. Olaf and Allegheny Colleges, Hampton University and Columbia University, where he also served as an Assistant Dean.
Teresa Bücker on Time as a Political Resource
“Time is a political resource. How time is distributed is a question of structures we find within a society. It’s structured by the economic system we have; it’s structured by gender, by race,” states journalist and author Teresa Bücker. In this conversation, Bücker describes her vision for a feminist and just approach to time. Her book on the topic, "Alle_Zeit. Eine Frage von Macht und Freiheit" was published in German in 2022. Bücker has been a regular contributor to Süddeutsche Zeitung, and is a sought after voice in conversations on politics, gender, and social change in Germany.
Roberto Lovato on the Tenderness that Survives the Terror
“I’ve been through war. I’ve witnessed the workings of genocide. I have gone to mass graves across the entire continent (…) We have to un-forget to get past the present fear.” In this episode, writer and journalist Roberto Lovato speaks about overcoming personal and collective trauma. Lovato's work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, Der Spiegel, and other national and international media outlets. In 2020, he published his first book, Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs and Revolutions in the Americas. Lovato is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
Antonia Juhasz on the Impact of Fossil Fuels on Democracy
“Part of what has led the movement against fossil fuels is the increased number of people being confronted with the effects of oil drilling and fracking,” argues energy analyst and investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz. The Senior Researcher in the Environment and Human Rights Division at Human Rights Watch talks about how our dependency on fossil fuels impacts the environment, politics, social justice and human rights worldwide. What can be done to bring about a just transition to renewable energy more quickly? Juhasz regularly writes for outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian and National Geographic, and is the author of Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill (2011), among others.
Raul Krauthausen on Inclusion and Accessibility
“I realized that everything I learned in terms of communication, creativity, strategy and planning at university can also be used for good...for the rights of people with disabilities,” states Raul Krauthausen. The inclusion activist and podcaster compares inclusion and accessibility laws in the US and Germany, and explains how Germany's reckoning with its fascist past still affects institutional structures today. Raul Krauthausen is the founder of a series of initiatives focusing on diversity and inclusion, among them SOZIALHELD*INNEN (Social heroes), which advises individuals and businesses on considering people with disabilities as a target group for their products and services. He is also the host of several podcasts.
Sarah Jaffe on Working Conditions & Labor Movements
“Until we start thinking about what people’s lives are really like and not just shame them for how they vote, we’re not going to have a healthy democracy,” argues Sarah Jaffe. The labor journalist talks about working people's disillusionment with politics, and why seemingly incoherent protest movements shouldn't be disregarded. Does today’s labor shortage give workers bargaining power? Sarah Jaffe's book Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted and Alone was published in 2020 to wide acclaim.
On Merkel Legacy
You might want to comment on the fact that Merkel promised to pay 2% of GDP to NATO but refused to actually do it. You might also mention that Merkel did not do anything recognizable before 2015 against the drowning refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. Your guest claims that because of Merkel having 50% of chancelor top staff to be female, Germany did well in the Corona pandemic by listening to the experts, but is that true? What experts? What did (not-female) secretary of health Spahn do, especially in the first few weeks and months? Did she do anything about drawbacks of federalism in the health system except for talking in state prime minister rounds? You might want to discuss with your guests a little more critical …