480 episodes

Vox Conversations brings you discussions between the brightest minds and the deepest thinkers; conversations that will cause you to question old assumptions and think about the world and our role in it in a new light. Join Sean Illing, Jamil Smith, and their colleagues across the Vox newsroom for new episodes every Monday and Thursday.

Vox Conversations Vox

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 9.5K Ratings

Vox Conversations brings you discussions between the brightest minds and the deepest thinkers; conversations that will cause you to question old assumptions and think about the world and our role in it in a new light. Join Sean Illing, Jamil Smith, and their colleagues across the Vox newsroom for new episodes every Monday and Thursday.

    Imagine a future with no police

    Imagine a future with no police

    Vox's Fabiola Cineas talks with author, lawyer, and organizer Derecka Purnell about her recent book Becoming Abolitionists. They discuss Derecka's journey to defending the idea of police abolition, and what that position really entails. They explore questions about the historical and social role of policing in society, how to imagine a future where we radically rethink our system of criminal justice, and how we can acknowledge and incorporate current data about crime—while still rethinking our inherited assumptions about police.
    Host: Fabiola Cineas (@FabiolaCineas), reporter, Vox
    Guests: Derecka Purnell (@dereckapurnell), author
    References: 


    Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom by Derecka Purnell (Astra House; 2021)


    The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by C.L.R. James (Vintage; 1989)


    Black Reconstruction in America 1860–1880 by W.E.B. Du Bois (1935)


    "One American city's model of policing reform means building 'social currency'" by Nathan Layne (June 12, 2020; Reuters)


    "The Camden Police Department is Not a Model for Policing in the Post-George Floyd Era" by Brendan McQuade (June 12, 2020; The Appeal)


    "Murder Rose by Almost 30% in 2020. It's Rising at a Slower Rate in 2021" by Jeff Asher (Sept. 22, 2021; New York Times)


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    Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts
    This episode was made by: 


    Producer: Erikk Geannikis


    Editor: Amy Drozdowska


    Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey


    Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall


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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Novelist Lauren Groff on the other Matrix

    Novelist Lauren Groff on the other Matrix

    Vox's Constance Grady talks with novelist Lauren Groff about her latest book, the National Book Award finalist Matrix, before a virtual audience for the Vox Book Club. They discuss the enigmatic historical figure at the center of the novel, the politics of women-led power structures, and the pros and cons of writing a good sex scene.
    Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox
    Guests: Lauren Groff (@legroff), author
    References: 


    Matrix by Lauren Groff (2021; Riverhead)


    "In Lauren Groff's Matrix, medieval nuns build a feminist utopia" by Constance Grady (Oct. 15, 2021; Vox)


    Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (2016; Riverhead)


    The Lays of Marie de France (tr. Eugene Mason)


    Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman (2019; Norton)


    Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore (2014; Vintage)


    Arcadia by Lauren Groff (2012; Voice)


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    Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts
    This episode was made by: 


    Producer: Erikk Geannikis


    Editor: Amy Drozdowska


    Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey


    Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall


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    • 47 min
    Are we living in a simulation?

    Are we living in a simulation?

    Sean Illing talks with philosopher David Chalmers about virtual worlds and the nature of reality, and other topics that stem from Chalmers's new book Reality+. In this far-reaching discussion, Sean and Prof. Chalmers get into the makeup of human consciousness, the question of whether we're living in a computer simulation, and — of course — The Matrix. Are digital worlds genuine realities, or will their proliferation lead to a troublesome turning away from the physical world?
    Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox
    Guest: David Chalmers, University Professor of Philosophy and Neural Science, NYU; co-director, Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness
    References: 


    Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy by David J. Chalmers (Norton; 2022)


    Meditations on First Philosophy by René Descartes (1641)


    "Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?" by Nick Bostrom (Philosophical Quarterly vol. 53 (211); 2003)


    The Matrix (1999), dir. by The Wachowskis; The Matrix Resurrections (2021), dir. by Lana Wachowski


    Free Guy (2021), dir. by Shawn Levy


    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992)


    Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick (1974)


    Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts.
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    This episode was made by: 


    Producer: Erikk Geannikis


    Editor: Amy Drozdowska


    Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey


    Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall


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    • 1 hr 8 min
    Rep. Jamie Raskin on living through the unthinkable, twice

    Rep. Jamie Raskin on living through the unthinkable, twice

    Vox's Dylan Matthews talks with Congressman Jamie Raskin about the tragic loss of his son Tommy, who was twenty-five years old when he died at the end of 2020. Rep. Raskin also speaks about the insurrection on January 6th, 2021, and his role as floor manager for Trump's second impeachment trial. They discuss the passions that Tommy cultivated and shared with the world, the experience of being in the Capitol as it was stormed by rioters, and the ongoing work of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.
    Host: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), Senior Correspondent, Vox
    Guest: Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin), U.S. Representative (D-MD, 8th District); author
    References: 


    Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy by Jamie Raskin (Harper; 2022)

    “Politics as a Vocation,” Max Weber (1919)


    Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts.
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    Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts
    This episode was made by: 


    Producer: Erikk Geannikis


    Editor: Amy Drozdowska


    Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey


    Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall


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    • 57 min
    Best of: Why fascism in America isn't going away

    Best of: Why fascism in America isn't going away

    Vox's Sean Illing talks to Yale professor and author Jason Stanley about why American democracy provides such fertile soil for fascism, how Donald Trump demonstrated how easy it was for our country to flirt with a fascist future and what we can do about it.
    Correction (2/1/21): Professor Stanley suggested in this conversation that West Virginia declined to expand the Medicaid option in 2013. In fact, the state did expand the program and has gradually added enrollment since 2013.
    Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox
    Guest: Jason Stanley (@jasonintrator), Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy, Yale University; author
    References: 


    How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them by Jason Stanley (Random House; 2018)


    How Propaganda Works by Jason Stanley (Princeton; 2015)


    Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts.
    Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app.
    Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts
    This episode was made by: 


    Producer: Erikk Geannikis


    Editor: Amy Drozdowska


    Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall


    Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez


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    • 49 min
    Best of: Clint Smith III on confronting the legacy of slavery

    Best of: Clint Smith III on confronting the legacy of slavery

    Vox's Jamil Smith talks with author Clint Smith III about his book How the Word Is Passed, which documents the writer's personal journey visiting sites that embody the legacy of American slavery. They discuss the power of this re-confrontation, how to bridge the gaps in education and awareness of America's past, and the experience of Black writers in a nation that is "a web of contradictions."
    Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox
    Guest: Clint Smith III (@ClintSmithIII), Staff writer, The Atlantic
    References: 


    How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith (Little, Brown; 2021)


    "Why Confederate Lies Live On" by Clint Smith (The Atlantic; May 10)


    "The lost neighborhood under New York's Central Park" by Ranjani Chakraborty (Vox; Jan. 20, 2020)


    "The Statue of Liberty was created to celebrate freed slaves, not immigrants, its new museum recounts" by Gillian Brockell (Washington Post; May 23, 2019)


    "No, the Civil War didn't erase slavery's harm" by W. Caleb McDaniel (Houston Chronicle; July 12, 2019)


    Nikole Hannah-Jones Issues Statement on Decision to Decline Tenure Offer at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and to Accept Knight Chair Appointment at Howard University (NAACP Legal Defense Fund; July 6)


    Crash Course: Black American History, hosted by Clint Smith


    Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts.
    Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app.
    Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts
    This episode was made by: 


    Producer: Erikk Geannikis


    Editor: Amy Drozdowska


    Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey


    Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez


    Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
9.5K Ratings

9.5K Ratings

Grape today, grape tomorrow ,

Honestly has only gotten better with two new hosts

Stay fantastic y’all

lprevost ,

Disappointed - too much assumed anti-semitism

I lean right so I wanted to get a left of center view of George Soros so I can understand him and his intentions.

The podcast “who is George Soros?“ started out strong as Zack and Emily were both well read and informed. In the first third, I learned a lot about Soros as a teenager in Hungary avoiding Nazi oppression and later as a young finance genius.

But after the first break, Zack and Emily’s worldviews and opinions took over. I was hoping to learn why Soros backs urban DAs who seem to want to destroy society.

But unfortunately Zack and Emily spent the middle third making unprovable accusations by discrediting his enemies as “obviously antisemitic.” Their rant was based on their incredible ability to see into others hearts and understand their intent. They rolled out all the liberal tropes including bigotry, dog whistlery, and other unprovable views. It became opinion without fact and they lost me.

This is unfortunate because I’m not Jewish and I can’t possibly understand the world that very well may be anti-Semitic. Similar to the left’s default label of racism, they lost me while trying to understand because they resorted to calling their enemies names without educating me. Their world view may even be correct but their approach was ineffective.

Crystalash ,

Not as good as before but still listening

I thought with multiple hosts this show would be even more polymathic. Kinda disappointed about the trajectory of most of the interviews though, which hardly ever goes beyond the immediate impression of each episode, often leaving me unsatisfied. Whereas with Ezra Klein, there was always some new perspective and/or argument that I’d never or wouldn’t have thought.
Decent topics that need more breath and depth.

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