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.
Clint Smith on Cultures of Remembrance in the U.S. & Germany
“Physically putting your body in a place where history happened gives you a different sense of intimacy, a different sense of proximity to that history.” In the final episode of our podcast, author, poet, and scholar Clint Smith speaks about the importance of collectively reckoning with history, the legacy of slavery in U.S.-American identity, and cultures of remembrance in the U.S. and Germany. He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, and the best-selling poetry collection Above Ground, as well as the award-winning poetry collection Counting Descent. Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic.
Marina Weisband on What Gets us Through the Crisis
“Going through a crisis and having a positive vision of the future are not the same thing. You need to have a positive vision of the future to get through the crisis.” Our hosts, Aida Baghernejad and Tom Zoellner, interview politician and publicist Marina Weisband for this special episode, recorded live at the international literatur festival berlin. After an introduction by political scientist and Thomas Mann Fellow Christine Landfried, they discuss the digital revolution and the ongoing war in Ukraine, among other things. Marina Weisband is a politician, psychologist, and participation educator. Together with Frido Mann, she is the co-author of the book Was uns durch die Krise trägt. Ein Generationengespräch (2023).
Lynne Thompson on the Role of Poetry in Democracies
“There is an understanding that between humans we have this one thing called language and it brings us - or can bring us - together.” Writer and poet Lynne Thompson talks with hosts Aida Baghernejad and Tom Zoellner about her journey to becoming a poet, the role of “truth“ in poetry and its meaning for democracy. Lynne Thompson is the 2021-2022 Poet Laureate for the City of Los Angeles, and her poetry collections include Beg No Pardon (2007), Start With A Small Guitar (2013), and Fretwork (2019). Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry, Poem-A-Day (Academy of American Poets), New England Review, Colorado Review, Best American Poetry, to name a few.
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.
I've been really liking the variety of speakers they have on. I like that the two hosts have very different styles too. Would definitely recommend!
Love the podcast‘s theme and fascinating guests! Entertaining, educational and inspiring!