A podcast about bridging art, activism, and academia to build more just futures. On each episode, host Cathy Hannabach interviews the scholars, dancers, authors, artists, and filmmakers imagining collective freedom and creating it through culture.
Anima Adjepong on Interdisciplinary Intuition
The massive changes we’ve collectively experienced over the past two years of a global pandemic have caused many of us to ask some big questions about who we are and what we want to be doing.
It’s also pushed us to embrace our embodied capacity and make conscious changes to nourish our spirit as well as our creative, professional, and communal goals for the future.
It seems only fitting that we close out 2021 with an episode about intuition, or how we learn to listen for and heed that internal voice, that internal sensation, that tells us what we really need.
In episode 144 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews Anima Adjepong. Anima is the author of Afropolitan Projects: Redefining Blackness, Sexualities, and Culture from Houston to Accra and their wide-ranging activist and scholarly work focuses on identity, culture, and social change.
In their conversation, Anima and Cathy chat about letting go of a scarcity mindset to make a big career leap before knowing how it will all play out.
Anima also shares how to use intuition to identify the book you really want to write rather than the one that feels more disciplinarily safe.
Finally, we wrap up the episode with a discussion of how we can embrace intellectual promiscuity to build a world in which community means being together in our differences.
Transcript and show notes: https://ideasonfire.net/144-anima-adjepong
Nitasha Tamar Sharma on Recalibration and Balance
We’re reaching that time of year when the days shorten and we start to wonder if we’ll get everything done we wanted to this year. In this season, many of us yearn for more balance in our daily routines and the second year of an ongoing global pandemic has made that feeling even more intense.
What does balance even mean in this context and how can we cultivate it in ways that feed our collective desires for justice?
In episode 143 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews Nitasha Tamar Sharma, whose scholarly, pedagogical, and creative work demonstrates the worldmaking possibilities that live at the intersections of movements for racial, gender, and sexual justice.
In their conversation, Nitasha and Cathy chat about what balance means during a pandemic as well as across the course of interdisciplinary careers.
Nitasha shares how she has learned to recalibrate her work and life to better align with the impact she wants to have on the world, including privileging holistic mentoring and collective care in how she approaches publishing and book promotion.
Finally, they close out the episode with Nitasha’s vision for forging solidarities that can extend beyond the present and into more just futures.
Transcript and show notes: https://ideasonfire.net/143-nitasha-tamar-sharma
Catherine Knight Steele on Black Feminist Extensions of Grace
Host Cathy Hannabach interviews digital studies scholar and professor Catherine Knight Steele, whose work reveals the central role Black women and Black feminists have played in developing, challenging, and transforming our digital technologies.
Approaching Black digital studies holistically, Catherine shows how marginalized groups build lasting community through online, in-person, and hybrid practices, including sustainable models for mentorship and mutual support.
In their conversation, Catherine and Cathy chat about why extensions of grace and collaboration are so crucial to building the future of Black digital studies as well as a supportive world more broadly.
They also explore the nonlinear paths that bring us to our areas of research and how learning to value that nonlinerarity can often be the key to writing a book or creating a project that feeds your soul, not just professional requirements.
Finally, they close out the episode with Catherine’s techniques for redefining the history and future of technology in ways that place Black women at the very center.
Transcript and show notes: https://ideasonfire.net/142-catherine-knight-steele
Christopher Ali on Building a More Connected World
Even before the global COVID-19 pandemic, access to reliable, high-performance broadband internet was a necessity for many of us to be able to meaningfully participate in our workplaces, schools, and communities. The pandemic has made this even more apparent.
The digital divide separating those with access from those without is hardly a new issue but what is less often discussed is how that digital divide looks different in rural versus urban spaces.
In episode 141 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews Christopher Ali, who argues that rural broadband access and connectivity is a crucial social justice concern—one with implications for everything from education and healthcare to the food available for us to eat.
In the conversation, Chris and Cathy chat about why federal policy has so consistency failed to bring broadband to rural communities and what a rural broadband plan would look like that put the needs of local populations first.
Chris highlights the community groups that are connecting themselves and offering creative infrastructure models in the process.
They also discuss Chris’s unique interdisciplinary research methodology that involved a 3,600-mile road trip with his adorable hound dog Tuna.
Finally, they close out the episode with a vision for a more connected world and what it would take to get there.
Transcript and show notes: https://ideasonfire.net/141-christopher-ali
Sandra Ristovska on Seeing Human Rights
Host Cathy Hannabach interviews filmmaker and media studies scholar Sandra Ristovska about the complex ethical, political, and legal relationship between imagery and human rights.
They discuss the role of video evidence in simultaneously exposing and reproducing injustice, the often life-and-death stakes of critical visual interpretation, and what it means to turn the act of seeing each other into a practice of human rights.
Transcript and show notes: https://ideasonfire.net/140-sandra-ristovska
Jessica Bissett Perea on Indigenous Transformations in Academic Publishing
Publishing plays a central role in higher education, primarily through the hiring, tenure, and promotion process. Because of this, transforming academic publishing means transforming how scholarly knowledge itself is produced, circulated, and applied.
The research process, writing process, and publishing process are all deeply intertwined and all offer opportunities to build the kinds of worlds we want to inhabit.
To explore how this process works and the worldmaking possibilities it opens up, in episode 139 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews Dena’ina musician-scholar Jessica Bissett Perea.
Jessica is the founder of the Indigeneity Collaboratory, an Indigenous-led and Indigeneity-centered research collective that advances relational ways of being, knowing, and doing. She’s also an associate professor in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis.
In the conversation, Jessica shares various entry points for decolonial intervention that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, editors, and publishers can explore.
First up, Cathy and Jessica chat about Jessica’s experience switching research topics early in her career. She shares practical tips on how to find the research topics that inspire you and give back to the communities you care about as well as how to think critically about your specific positionality in relation to your research.
They also tackle the writing process. As they discuss, everything from stylistic choices like capitalization and italicization to the citation politics of bibliographies offer opportunities to remake how intellectual labor is exchanged and valued.
Finally, Jessica and Cathy turn to academic publishing itself. This is a field that has seen some encouraging progress lately but still has a long way to go toward equity and inclusion. They chat about what faculty journal editors, professional copyeditors, and authors can do to build a more justice-focused publishing world.
Transcript and show notes: https://ideasonfire.net/139-jessica-bissett-perea