Scene on Radio is a two-time Peabody-nominated podcast that dares to ask big, hard questions about who we are—really—and how we got this way. Previous series include Seeing White (Season 2), looking at the roots and meaning of white supremacy; MEN (Season 3), on patriarchy and its history; The Land That Never Has Been Yet (Season 4), exploring the not-so-accidental failings of democracy in the U.S.; and The Repair (Season 5), on the climate crisis: Where did we go so wrong in our relationship with the rest of the natural world, and who's "we"? Produced and hosted by John Biewen, Scene on Radio comes from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS) and is distributed by PRX.
Update: Scene on Radio status report
Scene on Radio is on an extended hiatus, but is on its way back. Host and producer John Biewen explains that the show has found a new home: the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.
"The Excess of Democracy": Rebroadcast
In the summer of 1787, fifty-five men got together in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution for the United States, replacing the new nation’s original blueprint, the Articles of Confederation. But why, exactly? What problems were the framers trying to solve? Was the Constitution designed to advance democracy, or to rein it in? And how can the answers to those questions inform our crises of democracy today?
By producer/host John Biewen with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Woody Holton, Dan Bullen, and Price Thomas. The series editor is Loretta Williams.
White Affirmative Action: Rebroadcast
When it comes to U.S. government programs and support designed to benefit particular racial groups, history is clear. White folks have received most of the handouts. Part of our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts.
By John Biewen, with Deena Hayes-Greene of the Racial Equity Institute and Season 2 series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika.
Losing Ground: Rebroadcast
The next in our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts: For Eddie Wise, owning a hog farm was a lifelong dream. In middle age, he and his wife, Dorothy, finally got a farm of their own. But they say that over the next twenty-five years, the U.S. government discriminated against them because they were Black, and finally drove them off the land. Their story, by John Biewen, was produced in collaboration with Reveal, the podcast and radio show from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Bonus: Introducing Hot Take
In this bonus episode we share a recent installment from Hot Take, the climate podcast co-hosted by Amy Westervelt (co-host/reporter for our Season 5 series on climate, The Repair) and writer Mary Annaïse Heglar. They talk with their guest, author and New York Times writer David Wallace-Wells, about the lessons we can learn from Covid-19, the parallels between pandemic response and climate response, and how Russia’s war in Ukraine sits at the intersection of the two.
Several years after Janey was sexually assaulted by her former boyfriend, Mathew, she told some of her closest friends, and her mother, what Mathew had done. Janey was so troubled by her loved ones’ responses that she went back to them years later to record conversations about it all. In this episode: Janey’s story, and philosopher Kate Manne, who coined the term “himpathy” in her 2017 book, “Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny.” With co-hosts John Biewen and Celeste Headlee. Part of our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts.
To hear more of Janey Williams’ story and the conversations she had with friends, check out her podcast, "This Happened", available on most podcast apps and at thishappenedpodcast.com.
Seeing White should be required listening for all white people
Seeing White on Scene on Radio should be required listening for all white-bodied people in the US. Knowing the true history of how we got to where we are in this country is CRUCIAL to dismantle these systems that oppress those who do not look white. We don’t have a “race” problem… we have a “white supremacy” problem- and this show really unpacks so much of what whiteness is taught not to see. Thank you
This podcast is changing my relationship with myself and my loved ones (multiracial chosen family)
It’s probably the most important content I have consumed in years
Thank you from my soul
Seeing White from 2017 is FANTASTIC
The limited series that debuted shortly into Trump’s term as president is so extremely relevant six years later. This is the history that is missing (gee I wonder why?) from our schools. Seeing White is a series that needs to be listened to by every single person that has been classified as “white” by this society. Thank you Scene on Radio for this valuable content!