Host Amanda Anderson explores topics of vital societal interest through conversations with scholars and writers whose voices have helped define issues and shape debates. Special focus on the forms of knowledge that characterize the humanities. Produced by the Cogut Institute for the Humanities at Brown University.
AI and the Humanities
At a time when headlines repeatedly underscore the dangers of artificial intelligence to human endeavors of all sorts, what role can the humanities play in assessing the uses and limitations of new AI tools such as ChatGPT? What do developments in AI teach us about academic inquiry and humanistic questions in particular?
In this episode of “Meeting Street,” Hollis Robbins, scholar of African American literature and Dean of Humanities at the University of Utah, joins host Amanda Anderson for a wide-ranging conversation on the institutional and disciplinary condition of the humanities at the present time. Through concrete examples, they explore the complex and fast-moving world of artificial intelligence, emphasizing the importance of human interaction, judgment, and expertise to scholarly practice and knowledge advancement.
Disability Narratives and Research-Creation
What happens when illness changes the trajectory of a career? How can disability and chronic pain become generative experiences? And how can we reshape the way we think about disability to better live with differences in and beyond the academy?
Mental Health in History: Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry
How did the World Wars shape the practice of psychiatry and the larger mental health field? And how has psychiatric discourse in turn changed how we think about the self? What constitutes mental illness? Who gets to define it and how it should be treated?
Christopher Newfield on Building a More Democratic University
How do inequities in working conditions and resources across academic departments jeopardize the central project of higher education? And how might the humanities serve as a model for thinking about university reform and ensuring the democracy of our institutions?
Happiness in Psychology and Philosophy
Is pleasure the measure of happiness? Does happiness make life meaningful? How does it factor in economic and political life?
The boom of contemporary research on happiness has been driven by psychologists, though historically philosophy has long examined the subject. What happens when philosophy and psychology enter into conversation?
While happiness may be found through a walk in the woods with a friend, happiness research also illuminates social and public issues ranging from social media to authoritarianism. In this episode of Meeting Street, psychologist Joachim Krueger and philosopher Bernard Reginster explore with host Amanda Anderson the factors that contribute to or impact happiness and the ways in which happiness and meaningfulness can diverge. They talk about the benefits of conducting and teaching happiness research together and discuss how collaboration could shed light on related topics like social status.
A wide-ranging and revelatory conversation with scholar and writer Kevin Quashie about his new book Black Aliveness, which emphasizes the experience of Black life through readings of poetry and first-person essays. We discuss the notion of aliveness in the context of Afropessimism and anti-Black violence, critique and post-critique, and the fields of aesthetics and cultural studies. In the course of our conversation, Quashie also offers a philosophical analysis of pronouns, an account of study as an ethical act, and a beautiful reading of “Reply” by Lucille Clifton.