DELVING IN: Ben Alderson-Day on Hallucinations, Not-Necessarily-Psychotic, of Another Person's Presence
Stuart Kelter interviews Ben Alderson-Day, a professor of psychology at Durham University in the UK, researching the phenomena of voice-hearing and unusual sensory experiences. Specializing in atypical cognition and mental health, his work spans cognitive neuroscience, psychiatry, philosophy, and child development. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the Early Career Hallucinations Research group, a network comprising 24 countries. Before moving to Durham he completed a PhD on autism at the University of Edinburgh, and worked as a research coordinator for a child & adolescent mental health research team for the National Health Service (NHS) in York. He is the author of PRESENCE: The Strange Science and True Stories of the Unseen Other, which is the topic of today’s interview.
Stuart Kelter interviews Aveek Bhattacharya, who was the Chief Economist and is now the Interim Director of the Social Market Foundation (SMF), a non-partisan think tank based in the U.K., which aims to promote evidence-based policy and cross-party co-operation in politics. Prior positions include Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute of Alcohol Studies, researching and advocating for policies to reduce alcohol-related harm. With interests in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, he earned his PhD in Social Policy from the London School of Economics. Aveek is co-editor of the book Political Philosophy in a Pandemic: Routes to a More Just Future. Today’s interview focuses on an essay he recently wrote for the Social Market Foundation entitled, “Social Mobility and its Critics,” published in July of 2023.
DELVING IN: Roger Berkowitz on a Long-Neglected Form of Government with the Potential to Revitalize Democracy
Stuart Kelter interviews Roger Berkowitz, a professor of Political Studies and Human Rights, as well as the founder and academic director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities, both at Bard College. He is the author of The Gift of Science: Leibniz and the Modern Legal Tradition, an account of how the rise of science led to the divorce of law and justice and the editor of Revenge and Justice, a special issue of Law, Culture, and the Humanities. In October of 2021, the Arendt Center hosted a conference entitled, “Revitalizing Democracy: Sortition, Citizen Power, and Spaces of Freedom,” about a mode of government that originated in ancient Greece with great potential for our own times. The Center has also provided trainings in the large scale use of digital tools for citizens around the world to enhance their involvement in policy-making.
DELVING IN: Jennifer Michael Hecht on Enhancing Life Through Ritual and Poetry for Believers and Skeptics Alike
Stuart Kelter interviews Jennifer Michael Hecht, a poet and historian, teacher and public speaker, the author of several intellectually provocative books, translated into many languages. Her bestseller, Doubt: A History, explores religious and philosophical doubt throughout the world and over the centuries. Her book, entitled Stay, focuses on the history of suicide and a secular argument against it. The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology won Phi Beta Kappa’s 2004 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award. The Happiness Myth brings a historical eye to modern wisdom about how to lead a good life. She has published in peer-reviewed journals, written articles for major newspapers and magazines, and appeared in numerous television and radio interviews. Her books of poetry – which include The Next Ancient World, Funny, and Who Said – have won accolades and major awards. Her most recent book, The Wonder Paradox: Embracing the Weirdness of Existence and the Poetry of Our Lives, published in March 2023, is the subject of today’s interview.
Stuart Kelter interviews Dov Waxman, a political science professor and chair of Israel studies at UCLA, whose research focuses on the conflict over Israel-Palestine, Israeli politics and foreign policy, U.S.-Israel relations, American Jewry’s relationship with Israel, Jewish politics, and anti-Semitism. He is the author of dozens of scholarly articles and four books: The Pursuit of Peace and The Crisis of Israeli Identity: Defending/Defining the Nation, published in 2006, Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within, published in, 2011, Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel, published in 2016, and most recently, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know, published in 2019. He has also been widely published in mainstream news media and has been a frequent commentator on television and radio. Today’s interview will focus primarily on the subtleties of antisemitism in the United States, such as how to tell if and when anti-Zionism crosses the line into antisemitism. He also shares his recommendations for educational initiatives to combat antisemitism, which places less emphasis on the teaching about the Holocaust.
DELVING IN: Seth David Radwell on the Historical and Intellectual Roots of our Current Political Crisis
Stuart Kelter interviews Seth David Radwell, an internationally known business executive and thought leader in consumer marketing with a keen interest in democratic values and American public policy. Past leadership roles include President of eScholastic, the digital arm of the global children’s publishing and education conglomerate; President of Bookspan/ Bertelsmann, which includes Book of the Month Club, Doubleday Book Club, and Literary Guild; and many other leadership roles in the world of corporate marketing. His book, American Schism: How the Two Enlightenments Hold the Secret to Healing our Nation, written during the Covid-19 pandemic and published in 2021, won the 2022 International Book Award for best general non-fiction.
Stuart Kelter interviews Pamela Pereyra, the founder and CEO of Media Savvy Citizens and the New Mexico Chapter Chair of Media Literacy Now. She conducts media literacy trainings with teachers throughout New Mexico, facilitates workshops in digital literacy skill-building with families, and leads networking meetings for NM educators statewide and nationally. Her works involves multiple audiences: students and families, educators and administrators, organizations and businesses, civic leaders and legislators. In 2021 she received the Media Literacy Community Award by the National Association for Media Literacy Education and in 2019 the Media Literacy Champion Award by Media Literacy Now.
Stuart Kelter interviews Faith Rogow, a media literacy leader, innovator, and author, who for twenty years has been one of the few people in the United States advocating for and creating media literacy education for young children. She is the founder of Insighters Educational Consulting, the founding president of the National Association for Media Literacy Education or NAMLE, a founding editorial board member of the Journal for Media Literacy Education, a founding advisor to Project Look Sharp at Ithica College, and co-author of NAMLE’s “Core Principles of Media Literacy Education in the U.S.,”published in 2007. She is the author of widely circulated teachers’ materials on the subject, including her book, Media Literacy for Young Children: Teaching Beyond the Screen Time Debates, published in 2022.
Stuart Kelter interviews Katja Hoyer, a German British historian and journalist who was born in East Germany and moved to the UK as a young adult.. A visiting research fellow at King’s College London and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, she is a columnist for the Washington Post and host of the podcast The New Germany. Hoyer has published two books about the history of Germany. Her first book, Blood and Iron was about the German Empire from 1871 to 1918. Her second book, Beyond the Wall, about the history of East Germany from 1949 to 1990, is the subject of today’s interview.
Stuart Kelter interviews Carl Safina, a world-renowned ecologist and conservationist, award-winning writer and professor, political activist and visionary. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the MacArthur Genus Prize and National Science Foundation Fellowships. Audubon magazine named Carl Safina among its “100 Notable Conservationists of the 20th Century” and Utne Reader listed him among “25 Visionaries Changing the World." His lyrically inspirational writing has appeared in major newspapers and magazines and his many books include the NY Times best-seller, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel. He hosted the PBS series Saving the Ocean and is founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. His most recent TED Talk received a million views in its first month. His latest book, Alfie and Me: What Owls Know, What Humans Believe is the subject of today’s interview.
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