October

Monday, October 2
GUN CRAZY: How fetishizing guns shuts down the debate about them
Columbine. Sandy Hook. Orlando. And now Las Vegas: the biggest mass shooting in the recent history of the United States. The stories seem to follow a pattern: shock, outrage, calls for gun control and rehearsed defences of the status quo, with very little changing. A.J. Somerset is a Canadian journalist, former Army reservist, and both an avid hunter and collector of guns. He's also a critic of what he calls "nutty" gun culture. His book is called Arms: The Culture and Credo of the Gun. He joins host Paul Kennedy in conversation, together with ex-Marine, hunter and Mohawk political philosopher Dr. Taiaiake Alfred, director of the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria; and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, activist and author, Christopher Hedges.


Tuesday, October 3
ISLAMIST PERSISTENCE: The Rise and Reality of Political Islam, Part 1
Was Islam founded on political principles?  If so, was the rise of Islamism, after the Arab Spring, a natural evolution in Muslim-dominated countries? It's a provocative debate among Islamic scholars, and many would say no. But author Shadi Hamid, an American Muslim and self-described liberal, claims the rise of Islamist parties is inevitable. He also thinks that if mainstream Islamist parties gain power through free and democratic elections, they should not be de-legitimized by secular liberals in the West and the Middle East. Part 2 airs Friday, October 12.


Wednesday, October 4
CHOOSE LIFE: The Lost Massey Lecture
In 1970, outspoken Harvard biologist George Wald became the first natural scientist to give the Massey Lectures. The Nobel winner championed diversity — biological and philosophical, and the value of both life and death. But he also reflected on the long-term negative consequences of social inequality, and of environmental pollution. He took a public stand against the war in Vietnam. Wald's Massey broadcasts were a huge success. But he never got around to publishing them as a book. Now Lewis Auerbach, who produced the 1970 Wald lectures, has recovered the typescripts and tells the remarkable backstory of Wald and his Massey talks.


Thursday, October 5
THE ART AND CRAFT OF RESURRECTION: How fiction can bring back the past, Part 1
What lessons can history give us? And where do we go to find those lessons? Maybe the best historical fiction can help us. Dame Hilary Mantel certainly thinks so. She's the award-winning author of bestselling novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, which bring Tudor England and other eras to vivid life. In the 2017 BBC Reith Lectures, Mantel explores how fiction can let the restless dead tell us things we need to know....if we listen. Part 1 of 4-part series. Remaining episodes air October 12, 19, and 26.


Friday, October 6
MASTER OF HIS OWN DESIGN: The art and adversity that created Frank Gehry, Part 1
A rare, in-depth conversation with an architect considered to be one of the greatest of our time. Frank Gehry is renowned for his sinuous designs, including the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and the Art Gallery of Ontario in his native Toronto. Now 88, this engaging and complex man is often elusive with the media, and infamous for giving the middle finger at a press conference. But he opens up with IDEAS producer Mary Lynk, reflecting on everything from his abusive childhood, to the cost of being an original. Part 2 airs Tuesday, October 12.
 



Monday, October 9
BREAD: Salvation or damnation?
Bread is a simple food and a staple item across the world. The influence of bread touches every aspect of life: art, religion, politics, health, wealth, poverty. Bread is life. But for some, it represents a wrong turn in our species' evolution. Through conversation with bakers, religious leaders, historians and bread aficionados, producer Veronica Simmonds asks whether bread has led us to salvation or damnation in her documentary, Bread: The Rise and Fall.


Tuesday, October 10
ISLAMIST PERSISTENCE: The Rise and Reality of Political Islam, Part 2
Was Islam founded on political principles?  If so, was the rise of Islamism, after the Arab Spring, a natural evolution in Muslim-dominated countries? It's a provocative debate among Islamic scholars, and many would say no. But author Shadi Hamid, an American Muslim and self-described liberal, claims the rise of Islamist parties is inevitable. He also thinks that if mainstream Islamist parties gain power through free and democratic elections, they should not be de-legitimized by secular liberals in the West and the Middle East.
 

Wednesday, October 11
FAIL BETTER: What baseball can teach us about failure and community
Baseball has inspired more books than any other sport -- but none quite like philosopher Mark Kingwell's recently published, Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters. It's the first book-length philosophical meditation on what has been called America's national pastime. Paul Kennedy takes him out to a ballgame, and discusses everything from RBIs, to the metaphysics of failure, and how Kingwell borrowed the title for his baseball book from a work by Samuel Beckett.


Thursday, October 12
THE ART AND CRAFT OF RESURRECTION: How fiction can bring back the past, Part 2
What lessons can history give us? And where do we go to find those lessons? Maybe the best historical fiction can help us.  Dame Hilary Mantel certainly thinks so. She's the award-winning author of bestselling novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, which bring Tudor England and other eras to vivid life.  In the 2017 BBC Reith Lectures, Mantel explores how fiction can let the restless dead tell us things we need to know....if we listen. Part 2 of 4-part series. Part 3 airs October 19; Part 4 airs October 26.


Friday, October 13
MASTER OF HIS OWN DESIGN: The art and adversity that created Frank Gehry, Part 2
The final chapter of this rare, in-depth conversation with an architect considered to be one of the greatest of our time. Frank Gehry is renowned for his sinuous designs, including the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and the Art Gallery of Ontario in his native Toronto. Now 88, this engaging and complex man is often elusive with the media, and infamous for giving the middle finger at a press conference. But he opens up with IDEAS producer Mary Lynk, reflecting on everything from his abusive childhood, to the cost of being an original. 
 



Monday, October 16
THE EDGE OF MUSICAL THINKING: Capturing the spirit of tango and vibrato
Musical artistry is difficult to pin down with words and numbers. Whether performing a melody beautifully, or composing a daring new piece, musicians rely on instincts and deep knowledge trained into their bodies and minds. Few can well describe why they do exactly what they do. But in this episode of Ideas from the Trenches, we meet two young musicians attempting to do just that. Flautist Hannah Darroch makes scientific measurements to map the possibilities of vibrato — a tiny but crucial 'wobble' in the note that, in the wrong hands, is "worse than cholera." And cellist Juan Sebastian Delgado searches out the essence of tango in today's challenging instrumental 'tango' works, which few of us can recognize as relating to tango at all! Both PhD scholars are at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University.


Tuesday, October 17
THE ENRIGHT FILES ON VLADIMIR PUTIN'S RUSSIA
One hundred years ago, in 1917, Russia's tsarist dynasty was overthrown and a Communist government led by Vladimir Lenin took power. A century later, Russia is very much the state of Vladimir Putin, who rules as a strange hybrid of tsarism, Stalinism and post-Cold War turbocharged capitalism. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, we revisit interviews about Vladimir Putin's Russia.
 

Wednesday, October 18
DARK CITY OF DREAMS 
The infamous "Walled City of Kowloon" was once the most populous spot on the planet. With 1.2 million people per square kilometre, it was a gigantic squatter's village. Nobody planned it, but somehow it worked, until it was demolished, just before the British handed Hong Kong back to China. Paul Kennedy speaks with photographer Greg Girard, and urban designer Suenn Ho, about what the Walled City meant to them, and him.


Thursday, October 19
THE ART AND CRAFT OF RESURRECTION: How fiction can bring back the past, Part 3
What lessons can history give us?  And where do we go to find those lessons?  Maybe the best historical fiction can help us. Dame Hilary Mantel certainly thinks so. She is the award-winning author of novels like Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, and her books take us into Tudor England and other eras like few others. In the 2017 BBC Reith Lectures, Dame Hilary explores how fiction can let the restless dead tell us what we need to know....assuming we choose to listen. Part 3 of 4-part series. Part 4 airs Thursday, October 26.


Friday, October 20
HISTORY DERAILED: Understanding the messy Middle East
The Arab Spring was supposed to be a turning point for the Arab Middle East. And it was. But history appears to have taken a wrong turn. Again. American journalist Robert F. Worth joins Paul Kennedy in conversation about his book, A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS. Worth is the 2017 winner of the Lionel Gelber Prize.
 



Monday, October 23
PLAYING FOR THEIR LIVES
Earlier this year, a musician named Armando Canizales was shot dead by police during protests against the Venezuelan government. The young violist had played with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra — the pride of Venezuela, and the product of El Sistema, a radical music education programme designed to get young people off the streets and into music. Now, Armando Canizales, his viola, and indeed, music itself, are symbols in the ongoing protests. As his friends and fellow musicians fight for their future, we pay a timely revisit to this documentary on El Sistema's founder Juan Antonio Abreu, 2008 recipient of the Glenn Gould Prize. 
 

Tuesday, October 24
A PEASANT VS THE INQUISITION: Cheese, worms and the birth of micro-history
Carlo Ginzburg is celebrated as "one of the most original and influential historians of our time,"out to reveal what has been marginalized, forgotten, and suppressed. His most famous work is The Cheese and the Worms, reconstructing the story of a 16th century miller who was tried twice by the Inquisition and eventually put to death. The trial records reveal a fascinating cosmology that might have been lost forever. Given the Fascist persecution of Ginzburg's own family, he is passionate about the importance of such micro-histories.
 

Wednesday, October 25
SEX, TRUTH & AUDIOTAPE
It's often been said that everything in the world is about sex, except sex itself—sex is about power.  So what are we to make of today's sexual landscape, where we see the most diverse range of orientations and expressions of sexuality in history? Lesbian, gay, queer, cis, pansexual, leather daddies, stone butch, asexual... the list keeps growing. And there is entrenched push-back against that expansion. So who gets to say what about whom? And as the sexuality landscape broadens, what will it mean?


Thursday, October 26
THE ART AND CRAFT OF RESURRECTION: How fiction can bring back the past, Part 4
What lessons can history give us?  And where do we go to find those lessons?  Maybe the best historical fiction can help us.  Dame Hilary Mantel certainly thinks so.  She is the award-winning author of bestselling novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, which bring Tudor England and other eras to vivid life.  In the 2017 BBC Reith Lectures, Mantel explores how fiction can let the restless dead tell us things we need to know....if we listen.
 

Friday, October 27
MEAT ON THE TABLE: Debating the ethics of consuming animals
Our recent documentary The Matter of Meat by CBC Radio producer Kevin Ball drew a lot of response, including from two of its participants. Gary Francione teaches law and philosophy at Rutgers University, and is a staunch opponent of meat production and consumption. Nicolette Hahn Niman is a cattle rancher — and vegetarian — who believes that not only can meat production be ethical, healthy and sustainable, but that it is also necessary for human welfare. The two speak directly to each other, in a conversation hosted by Paul Kennedy.
 




Monday, October 30
GO WITH THE FLOW: Using nature to help figth climate change
Our climate is changing and because of it, our oceans and rivers are rising. In the past, we used large, manmade infrastructure to keep the water at bay. But maybe instead of trying to fight off nature, we should start working with it. A recent movement among philosophers and landscape architects thinks that the time of large, expensive infrastructure is over. Ecology is the new engineering, and this new approach of "building with nature" is being embraced around the world. Contributor Anik See explores projects across The Netherlands, in northern Spain, and in New Orleans.


Tuesday, October 31
THE NEW CITY STATE
Athens, Rome, Venice. History offers many examples of cities that were their own world, independent mini-states that offered freedom of ideas and a model for social cohesion—alternative societies that have often been in conflict with the larger surrounding state. Cities still drive social progress, but many factors are changing our modern world, and cities are again being forced to retool and rethink how they work. A discussion from the Stratford Festival featuring Sevaun Palvezian, CEO of Toronto's CivicAction, leading urban thinker Gil Penalosa, and Lorna Day, Director of Urban Design for the City of Toronto.