Ideas in the Afternoon for April 2018
Monday, April 2
THE AMOROUS HEART: Why we love the heart symbol
We all know the heart symbol ❤ but it didn't always mean love. At times, it was just a decoration. At others, it meant spiritual, chaste love. At still others, romantic and carnal. Marilyn Yalom is a senior scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. She's also the author of The Amorous Heart: An Unconventional History of Love. And in it, she traces the astonishing, centuries-long journey of how the symbol took on the meaning it has today.
Monday, April 9
THE RESISTANCE OF BLACK CANADA: State surveillance and suppression
Canada's history of suppressing Black activism is coming to light like never before, thanks to researchers like PhD student Wendell Adjetey. Wendell's historical research uncovers evidence of clandestine government surveillance in the 20th century, while also bringing to life overlooked parts of this history. His work highlights the struggles and setbacks of Black activists in the 20th century, helping us understand the ripple effect of those legacies today.
Monday, April 16
CAN WE SAVE ROSEMARY'S BABY?
It's a horror classic from the 1960s that still unnerves us. It's influenced generations of filmmakers. It's part of the exclusive Criterion Collection of world cinema. And it turns 50 this year. But director Roman Polanski is a convicted rapist. Film experts and cultural historians explore good and evil in Rosemary's Baby, discover eerie parallels between 1968 and 2018, and debate the movie's surprising treatment of women, all to answer the question: can we save Rosemary's Baby?
Monday, April 23
ALCOHOL: TONIC OR TOXIC?
As we move towards legalization of cannabis, we look at that other drug that many of us already have in our homes and use on a daily basis: alcohol. How did we start using it? How does it affect our health and society? And given the latest scientific research, should we still drink it?
Monday, April 30
IT'S ALIVE: FRANKENSTEIN AT 200
In 1818 the world was introduced to an entirely new kind of monster. Mary Shelley published Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus and her creation has stalked the stage, then the screen, inspired art, and filled the pages of countless sequels and comic books ever since. Frankenstein's creature became the most famous monster of the modern era. In this episode we explore how this remarkably original horror story captured our imagination so completely, and how it reflects the anxieties of so many aspects of modern times, from birth, parenthood and human identity, to scientific creation, to the fundamental question of good and evil.