An audio book club. Our geeks read and discuss new and classic works in the policy field – fictional and non. Social justice, tech, politics, policy … we cover it all and more. Let's think about what is at the heart of being a citizen in America. This book club helps us get at the heart of what it means to be a citizen in a democracy.
Sponsored by the USC Bedrosian Center
Recorded at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
The 1619 Project: Book Club Discussion from USC
This is the last episode of the Bedrosian Bookclub in this incarnation, it's been a blast.
We discuss the importance of The 1619 Project, the book, the project, and it's impact on our political discourse. Why should we pay attention to history, how does the historical narrative of a country affect the way we face the future?
Aubrey Hicks is joined by Yesenia Hunter, LaVonna Lewis, Jen Bravo, and David Sloane in a conversation on the meaning and joy in the The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.
Follow Aubrey on Twitter @AubreyHi for a new book club announcement soon! Catch up on past episodes in the meantime!
Thanks to all the listeners, to all our guests (past and present), and to all the authors who help us think about the world we find ourselves awed by every day.
Eat the Mouth that Feeds You
Three votes for Carribean Fragoza’s Eat the Mouth that Feeds You to be something every high school senior is exposed to. This debut collection of short stories is genius, this is late 20th early 21st century Southern California. This is Chicanx, this is Latinx, this is SoCal, this is women, this is body horror, magic realism all in 120 pages.
Ten stories about place and placemaking, about community and how we lift each other up, or tear each other apart. A must read!
“This collection of visceral, often bone-chilling stories centers the liminal world of Latinos in Southern California while fraying reality at its edges. Full of horror and wonder.”—Kirkus Reviews
Covered With Night
Now, in the tail end of 2021, discourse about restorative justice and public safety lack imagination. We tend to “do what we’ve always done.”
NYU Historian Nicole Eustace brings us the story of the search for justice following the 1722 murder of a Native American man at the hands of two White men. Covered With Night is a detailed history of how the Pennyslvania colony leaders had to learn to restore the peace – or face war – with the Five Nations. in particular, we bear witness to how the colonists never truly understood the peoples of the Haudenosaunee Confederation.
In this month’s book club, we read a deep history of the fallout of a murder in the Penn colony. In this history, we learn that our laws have been around shorter than we care to remember and see alternative ways of coming to justice that have existed and thrived. A powerful tail of how we, as peoples, can live together with more equity and justice – how restorative justice has worked in the world, how it could again. If only we can listen and learn.
House of Leaves
Ostensibly, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, is about a young man who finds a manuscript in a dead man’s apartment. This experimental novel, released in 2000, takes a cinematic approach to the novel – creating a novel experience in time and space.
The dead man, Zampano, was an elderly blind man writing an academic critique of The Navidson Record; a documentary about a family moving into a home in Virginia, which happens to be bigger on the inside. At the center of Danielewski’s work is the question, “What is real?”
How do humans interact with the space they inhabit? How do they interact with the stories around them?
Featuring: Zenya Prowell, Stacy Patterson, Lisa Schweitzer, and Jen Bravo
Not a Nation of Immigrants
In Not a Nation of Immigrants, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz strives to look at the ever morphing population of the United States, to uncover the why and how of the mythology that pervades political discourse on American history.
In part, Dunbar-Ortiz recognizes that the looming problems of climate change, polarization, and authoritarianism cannot be fought while sweeping the parts of our history we don't like under the rug. What does our history mean about who we are?
Some of us are immigrants, some of us are descendants of colonizers, some of us are descendants of indigenous peoples, some of us are arrivants brought here through violence - either refugees or descendants of enslaved peoples. Compound these complex ancestries with the fact that many immigrants conform to the values of White Supremacy (become settlers) in order to assimilate.
What can we learn from facing our complex history as told through the vast perspectives that make up our people?
Unconventional Combat (Author Interview)
An interview with author of Unconventional Combat, Michael A. Messner.
Messner's latest book is an intimate look at 6 historically excluded veterans and their post military careers as activists in intersectional peace movements.
Explore the ways these veterans are taking their situated knowledge to create a better future.
White Fragility Episode
Thank you for the courage to bring this topic to your show. I especially appreciate your willingness to be uncomfortable and speak truth about something that deeply affects people of color. I think your suggestion to bring Robin D’Angelo to your show would help deepen the impact. Chris, I rarely hear from White men on this topic, so your contributions will help me to better understand and navigate conversations I have with White men in the future. Because you have the heart to improve, I have some feedback for you that I hope you will receive in the spirit that it is given. I will email you personally. Thanks to all of you! Listening to you was eye-opening!
Very thoughtful, complex, and engaging literary discussions. It is so enlightening to listen to such intelligent and present hosts who have warm and inviting voices. Big fan of Olivia O., too! Give her a raise!
White Fragility Episode Needs Trigger Warning
Chris (the White man) is so problematic and triggering - this was super upsetting for me to listen to and should be removed. He dominated the air time, interrupts the female guests, actually says “no” in response to their discussing their own feelings of gender safety, and time and time again displays textbook white fragility and defensiveness. Sure, the book is not perfect but he is unqualified to be critical of it because his sexism and white supremacy is so dangerously unchecked. I am disgusted and hurt. This episode needs a trigger warning.