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Ideas from CBC Radio (Highlights)

Ideas is all about ideas and programs that explore everything from culture and the arts to science and technology to social issues.

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Edward Yong: The Art of Science Journalism

Early on in his coverage of COVID, journalist Ed Yong realized it was more than just a science story — it was an omni-crisis. His journalism focuses on exposing the cracks in society exacerbated by the pandemic. He delivered this lecture as part of the Lind Initiative Future of the Media series at the University of British Columbia in April 2022.

Download Edward Yong: The Art of Science Journalism
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Body Language | Olivia Laing: Visions of the Free Body

Writer Olivia Laing reflects on the fight for bodily freedom, through polarizing figures such as psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich and feminist Andrea Dworkin, in this conversation based on her book, Everybody. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 23, 2021 as part of our series, Body Language.

Download Body Language | Olivia Laing: Visions of the Free Body
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Body Language | The Problem of Too Much Body

Fat acceptance — the idea that bodies come in all sizes and all bodies have equal value and deserve equal treatment. But socially, we remain deeply invested in diet and weight loss culture. Is it possible to get to a place where body size no longer matters? *This episode originally aired on Sept. 22, 2021 and is part of our Body Language series.

Download Body Language | The Problem of Too Much Body
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Body Language | Beyond Ugly: A documentary

For thousands of years, disability, disfigurement, or ugliness have been connected to evil. From the ancient world to modern time this unsettling concept has survived the cultural narrative. As part of our series Body Language, this documentary explores the root of ugliness and unpacks the legacy that harms people today. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 21, 2021.

Download Body Language | Beyond Ugly: A documentary
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Body Language | Face to Face in an Uncertain World

Philosopher Emmanuel Levinas believed the face-to-face encounter was the beginning of our ethical obligation to each other. In our series Body Language, IDEAS considers the changing meaning of the face during COVID and imagines new ethical relationships for an uncertain time. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 6, 2021.

Download Body Language | Face to Face in an Uncertain World
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Perfectionism: A Medieval and Modern Malady

The quest for perfection has become a modern malady, correlating to increased rates of depression and anxiety. But according to scholar Irina Dumitrescu, there's a connection between medieval ideas and contemporary experiences, whether motherhood, body image or social status.

Download Perfectionism: A Medieval and Modern Malady
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Aspen Ideas Festival: The Genius of Various Animals

Animals — what on earth are they thinking? A panel of scientists explore the notion of animal cognition from what your dog means when it wags its tail, to the incredible problem-solving skills of crows, as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival. *This episode originally aired on November 5, 2021.

Download Aspen Ideas Festival: The Genius of Various Animals
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Shape: Hidden Geometry

In his latest book, Shape, mathematician Jordan Ellenberg reveals the geometry lurking beneath history, democracy, biology, and everything else. He argues geometry is a way of thinking, a method of reasoning and argument, and a system for making sense of the world.

Download Shape: Hidden Geometry
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Return of the Guillotine

Mock guillotines regularly show up at protests, from both the political right and left. This documentary by Matthew Lazin-Ryder traces the history of the guillotine as a symbol, from its bloody history during the darkest days of the French Revolution to its reinvention as an emblem of equality. *This episode originally aired on November 2, 2021.

Download Return of the Guillotine
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Myth of Normal, Part Two

Brain variations which were once advantages are now seen as burdens and disorders that beg for remedies. In this two-part series, IDEAS traces the social and cultural response to brain variation and whether there's a way back to seeing them as advantages.

Download Myth of Normal, Part Two
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Rescuing History: Father Columba Stewart

Minnesota-based Father Columba Stewart has spent nearly two decades working with religious leaders, government authorities, and archivists around the globe to preserve religious manuscripts. He tells IDEAS about where this all started, and why it matters so much.

Download Rescuing History: Father Columba Stewart
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Women and war: Stories from the other front

Never before have we had such a close up, real-time picture of war. IDEAS hears from several women who know war: They're neither fighters, nor victims, yet at times of conflict they are wholehearted participants. They discuss the challenges, stereotypes, and the dangers for civilian women working in the fog of war.

Download Women and war: Stories from the other front
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The Divided Brain

In The Divided Brain, neuroscientist Iain McGilchrist argues that Western society has become too dominated by the left hemisphere of our brains — obsessed with data and sorting things into categories. Meanwhile, the right hemisphere of our brains which understand relationships and context has been sidelined. *A TV documentary adapted for IDEAS. This episode originally aired on October 22, 2021.

Download The Divided Brain
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Polyphony: Music and Peace

In musical terms, ‘polyphony’ is a musical texture that combines two or more tones or melodic lines. But what can music do to truly advance peace and understanding? IDEAS explores this question with Nabeel Abboud Ashkar, co-founder of Polyphony — a music education organization, followed by a panel discussion.

Download Polyphony: Music and Peace
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The Left-Handers

They've remained a minority among humans since the dawn of our species, coping with systems and tools arranged for right-handers, and sometimes thriving as a result of their difference. IDEAS explores the history — and latest mysteries — of the 'sinister 10 per cent' to find out what makes a left-hander special.

Download The Left-Handers
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Myth of Normal, Part One

Brain variations which were once advantages are now seen as burdens and disorders that beg for remedies. In this two-part series, IDEAS traces the social and cultural response to brain variation and whether there's a way back to seeing them as advantages.

Download Myth of Normal, Part One
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Ideas from the Trenches: The Endless Rebellion

Retired army captain Cheng Xu left his 10-year military career to seek answers to a vexing question: how is it that some insurgencies turn violent and spiral into seemingly chaotic and unending horror, while others achieve their objectives and resolve with relative peace and speed? *This episode originally aired on October 1, 2021.

Download Ideas from the Trenches: The Endless Rebellion
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Moment of Encounter: Maaza Mengiste

In her lecture for the Global Centre for Pluralism, writer and Booker Prize nominee Maaza Mengiste turns to photographs from the war between Ethiopia and Italy in the 1930s to explore how historical narratives are constructed, what they overlook, and the murky realities in between. *This episode originally aired on May 20, 2021.

Download Moment of Encounter: Maaza Mengiste
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Beethoven's Scowl

Since Ludwig van Beethoven's death, he’s been used as a symbol of big ideas, from liberalism to nationalism to manliness. This documentary examines the shifting image of Beethoven, and his malleability as a symbol. *This episode originally aired on September 21, 2020.

Download Beethoven's Scowl
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Beyond Fate: Margaret Visser's 2002 Massey Lectures

Freedom, democracy, human rights... These are some of the most important pillars of modern society. But recently, our relationship to these ideals has shifted drastically. IDEAS revisits writer and broadcaster Margaret Visser's 2002 Massey Lectures which examines these concepts — their strengths and their limitations.

Download Beyond Fate: Margaret Visser's 2002 Massey Lectures
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Flâneuse: Women Walk the City

The flâneur is the quintessentially masculine figure of privilege and leisure who strides the capitals of the world with abandon. But it is the flâneuse that captures the imagination of cultural critic Lauren Elkin. IDEAS takes you on a walk through the streets of Paris with the author.

Download Flâneuse: Women Walk the City
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Reclaiming Shame

Can shame be positive? Some philosophers see it as an emotion that can improve social relationships, and cultivate a better self. Philosophers Owen Flanagan gives context based on his book, How to Do Things with Emotions, and Bongrae Seok explains the shame in the longstanding Confucian tradition.

Download Reclaiming Shame
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Stealing History: The Looting of Antiquities

For centuries, the looting of cultural artifacts has been a fraught discussion in the art world, and for government institutions. Many of these artifacts were taken from their places of origin during wars and conquests. Some never make their way back, and end up on the black market. But what's the real consequence of these lootings?

Download Stealing History: The Looting of Antiquities
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Reimagining the Northwest Passage

When Sir John Franklin set out to find the Northwest Passage in 1845, he never returned. From that mystery, began the stories. But why do we keep coming back to these Franklin stories? What do they say about us? And what does it mean today to seek a Northwest Passage?

Download Reimagining the Northwest Passage
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Reconciliation, Part Two: No Way Home

In Bosnia, there are facts about the genocide but little acceptance of their truth by Serb aggressors. For Bosniaks, genocide denial means they are stuck in a violent past with little prospect for release. This is part two of a three-part series on genocide, truth, and reconciliation.

Download Reconciliation, Part Two: No Way Home
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Horn of Plenty: The Saxophone and the Spirit

The shiny, handsome and undeniably cool saxophone has been a staple of jazz music and popular culture for nearly a century. But some music historians say that what’s often been overlooked are its deep roots in spiritual beliefs and religious ritual. *This episode originally aired on March 3, 2020.

Download Horn of Plenty: The Saxophone and the Spirit
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Will the Real Martin Luther Please Stand Up?

Five hundred years ago, when Martin Luther translated the New Testament so that ordinary Germans could understand it, he sparked a theological, social and political revolution that we’re still living in. But who exactly was he? A life-risking fighter for freedom of conscience? Many still see him that way. But his infamous anti-semitism was embraced by the Nazis. So who exactly was Martin Luther?

Download Will the Real Martin Luther Please Stand Up?
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Lynne Viola and the Window of Ukraine

An intricate portrait of secret Soviet operations in Ukraine during Joseph Stalin’s rule, from Canadian historian Lynne Viola. She speaks to Nahlah Ayed about the legacy of Stalin’s “Great Terror,” Russian suppression of Ukrainian nationalist sentiment, Vladimir Putin’s new war on history, and that time when the KGB came knocking on her door... and asked her out on a date.

Download Lynne Viola and the Window of Ukraine
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Building a Better Gym Class

Some of us avoid exercise: why? PhysEd researcher Brian Culp says a more inclusive, less sports-oriented high school education can help. Historian Jürgen Martschukat argues that the pressure to keep fit at all comes less from us, and more from political and economic forces. *This episode originally aired on June 23, 2021.

Download Building a Better Gym Class
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The University Crisis

Universities in the 21st century face a host of challenges, from bloated budgets to overworked contract faculty. And in a competitive economy, many students are wondering if a B.A. is still worth the time and money. IDEAS considers the idea of universities in crisis, what can be done to make them better and whether the system — as we know it — is worth saving. *This episode originally aired on October 12, 2021.

Download The University Crisis
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A Post-pandemic Future: Sir Mark Walport

The Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research recognizes distinguished leadership, vision and innovation. The 2021 lecture was delivered by internationally acclaimed Professor Sir Mark Walport, known globally for his innovative work in health research. The topic of his talk is Medical Research and Innovation: Post-Pandemic Priorities.

Download A Post-pandemic Future: Sir Mark Walport
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Love and Consequences: George Eliot's Middlemarch, Part Two

Middlemarch by George Eliot is a book full of characters, navigating everything from love, to family, to morality — in the end asking the question: is it a good thing to live a life of duty or is it ridiculous? This is the final episode of a two-part series.

Download Love and Consequences: George Eliot's Middlemarch, Part Two
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Love and Consequences: George Eliot's Middlemarch, Part One

Virginia Woolf called George Eliot's novel, Middlemarch 'one of the few English books written for grownups.' It's a book that excavates happiness and unhappiness and is perhaps more relevant now than ever. This is part one of a two-part series.

Download Love and Consequences: George Eliot's Middlemarch, Part One
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Of Dogs and Derrida

Dogs are lauded as 'man's best friend.' But PhD student Molly Labenski argues that, in America, the real picture is of a dysfunctional, toxic 'friendship' between the human and canine species. She points to a revealing source of cultural attitudes — the use of fictional dogs by authors of 20th-century literature. An episode from our series, Ideas from the Trenches.

Download Of Dogs and Derrida
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The Authoritarian Personality

A groundbreaking study conducted in the wake of the Second World War by a group of scholars rocked the academic world when it was published in 1950 — but fell out of favour. Now a new generation of scholars is reviving the lessons of The Authoritarian Personality to understand the politics of our time.

Download The Authoritarian Personality
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Around the World in 80 Plays: The Seagull

The playwright Anton Chekhov wrote to a friend that he was writing a play with "a great deal of conversation about literature, little actions, tons of love." The Seagull is not unlike our own lives, where there isn't a ready-made plot with a neat ending. This episode is a collaboration between IDEAS and Soulpepper Theatre Company's audio drama series Around the World in 80 Plays. It originally aired on May 12, 2021.

Download Around the World in 80 Plays: The Seagull
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The Travels of Mirza Saleh Shirazi

In the 18th and 19th centuries, a series of Persian travellers from Iran and India to visit cities all over the world. They wrote popular travelogues describing the cultures and ideas they encountered and asked the questions fundamental to all of us: who am I? What is our relationship to each other, and to the world? * Originally broadcast on March 9, 2020.

Download The Travels of Mirza Saleh Shirazi
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The Cult Movie Canon

They’re weird. They break the rules. They’re kinda bad. They are cult movies. Dive into the stories of films from ‘Troll 2’ to ‘The Last Dragon’ to the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ to learn what drives people to watch these oddball films again and again. Producer Matthew Lazin-Ryder looks at the history, future, and function of cult movies. *Originally aired on May 19, 2020.

Download The Cult Movie Canon
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The Coffee Chronicles

An ordinary cup of Joe just won’t do anymore. It’s now gourmet, fair trade and organic. Whether the method is pour over, French press, or vacuum pumps, coffee is now described with terms like “mouthfeel," just as fine wines are. Contributor Marilyn Powell examines the cultural history behind the world's most popular drink. *Originally published on June 19, 2019.

Download The Coffee Chronicles
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Against Nature: Lorraine Daston

Throughout the centuries, politicians, theologians and philosophers have pointed to nature as a way to guide our actions and beliefs. The equivalence between "unnatural" and "bad" seems to be as durable as ever. But philosophical anthropologist Lorraine Daston doesn't think using "nature" as a guide is necessarily all bad. *Originally aired on Dec. 5, 2019.

Download Against Nature: Lorraine Daston
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Around the World in 80 Plays: Death and the King's Horseman

What happens when sacred rituals that are integral to Yoruba society are interrupted by a colonial power? Does life go on? Or will this spiritual wrong be righted? Nobel laureate and playwright Wole Soyinka answers these questions in his 1975 play Death and the King's Horseman. This episode is in collaboration with Soulpepper Theatre Company's Around the World in 80 Plays series. It originally aired on June 9, 2021.

Download Around the World in 80 Plays: Death and the King's Horseman
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The Trouble with Things: Lucy Ellmann

Things Are Against Us is a collection of satirical essays by Booker Prize-shortlisted writer, Lucy Ellmann. Satire aims to correct excess and Lucy Ellmann takes aim at a lot: male ego, eco-tourism, crime fiction, all the irritations that chip away at our pandemic-weakened sanity, and dead-centre in her crosshairs: Big Industry.

Download The Trouble with Things: Lucy Ellmann
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Africa and Modernity: Howard W. French

Not the history we learned in school: the Western world has its roots in African trade and resources, and was built on the lost lives and liberty of African people. So argues senior journalist and history author Howard W. French in this Carleton University School of Journalism lecture, based on his latest book, Born in Blackness.

Download Africa and Modernity: Howard W. French
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The COVID Generation

Over the past two years, teenagers around the world have missed out on the rites of passage that generations before them experienced as a matter of course. Add to that their increased levels of anxiety and isolation, and it becomes apparent why the COVID Generation stands apart. Teenagers in the U.S., Ireland and Kenya, recount how the pandemic has altered the course of their lives.

Download The COVID Generation
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13 Ways of Looking at a Cormorant

Who will speak for the cormorant? This unusual water bird gets culled by humans for overfishing and killing trees. But maybe it is humans and their cultural assumptions that are the source of the problem, say defenders of the cormorant. *This episode originally aired on October 6, 2021.

Download 13 Ways of Looking at a Cormorant
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Around the World in 80 Plays: She Mami Wata & The PxssyWitch Hunt

In Jamaica, life for queer people often consists of navigating a society where both church and state reject the LGBTQ community. In her play She Mami Wata and the Pxssywitch Hunt, Jamaican-Canadian playwright and dub poet d'bi.young anitafrika untangles this complex state of affairs. This is the latest episode in our collaboration with Soulpepper Theatre Company, and its audio drama series Around the World in 80 Plays.

Download Around the World in 80 Plays: She Mami Wata & The PxssyWitch Hunt
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Freedom, Part Two

Today, the concept of freedom is often associated with limited government and freedom from state inference. But historian Annelien de Dijn argues that’s actually a relatively new idea in the longer history of thinking about freedom ⁠— one that emerged from an anti-democratic backlash to the Age of Revolutions.

Download Freedom, Part Two
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Words of love: A guided tour of the Song of Songs

In one way or another, over the course of about 2500 years, the Song of Songs has also been mystery of mysteries, allegory of allegories, love of loves, and even language of languages. Its verses are both lovingly crafted and enthrallingly disorienting. The Song of Songs polishes the many facets of love, raises up the physical and marvels at the transcendent, and in doing all this, exalts the very act of poetry. This documentary seeks out our best understanding of its origins, and tries to convey something of its power.

Download Words of love: A guided tour of the Song of Songs
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Alan Lightman: Probable Impossibilities

As a theoretical physicist, Alan Lightman writes about the wonders of the universe with the soul of a philosopher. As science makes more fantastical discoveries and the cosmos becomes yet more mysterious, Lightman probes the biggest, most difficult questions to answer — is there a purpose to life and the universe? Where did we come from? What is the self? Why is there something rather than nothing?

Download Alan Lightman: Probable Impossibilities
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Why the novel "Bear" (1976) is still controversial — and relevant

It's a novel so strange, shocking and surreal that it's hard to describe. At the surface, Bear is about a woman who develops a sexual relationship with a bear. And though the 1976 novel earned Marian Engel a Governor General's award, it's been largely forgotten. Contributor Melissa Gismondi brings Bear to life and explores its mystery, meaning and relevance today. *This episode originally aired on January 4, 2021.

Download Why the novel "Bear" (1976) is still controversial — and relevant
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Around the World in 80 Plays: The Parliament of the Birds

The 12th century Persian poem, Conference of the Birds, tells the extraordinary story of a group of birds setting out in search of God only to realize after much struggle and hardship, that God was always within. This episode of IDEAS is in collaboration with Soulpepper Theatre Company, and their audio drama series, Around the World in 80 Plays.*This episode originally aired on May 26, 2021.

Download Around the World in 80 Plays: The Parliament of the Birds
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Writers' Trust Balsillie Prize for Public Policy

University of Toronto Professor Dan Breznitz says Canada has an innovation problem, and it’s time we did something about it. In 2021 Breznitz won the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s inaugural Balsillie Prize for Public Policy for his book, Innovation in Real Places. In this episode, Nahalah Ayed speaks with Breznitz and the three other finalists for the prize.

Download Writers' Trust Balsillie Prize for Public Policy
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Theatre and Physics, Part Two

Science isn’t just facts and theories about the universe. As Aaron Collier’s one-person play, Frequencies, shows, science is also experienced on an intimately personal level through our senses. Nahlah Ayed moderated a panel inspired by Frequencies at the National Arts Centre's Theatre and Physics Symposium in November.

Download Theatre and Physics, Part Two
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Freedom, Part One

As a child in Stalinist Albania, Lea Ypi grew up believing she lived in a free state. When the system collapsed in 1990, she lived through a radical redefinition of “freedom.” She speaks with Nahlah Ayed about the contested meaning of freedom today and her memoir Free: A Child and a Country at the End of History.

Download Freedom, Part One
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Poetics of Space

For more than 60 years, French thinker Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space, has inspired poets, artists, architects, philosophers ⁠— and daydreamers. Millions of us around the world have spent two years sequestered in our homes, so what does his book about daydreaming and the imagination offer us now?

Download The Poetics of Space
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Around the World in 80 Plays: Hayavadana

Hayavadana tells the story of three friends caught in a love triangle that leads to an intense identity crises after the heads of two of them are switched. It is considered one of the most important Indian plays of the 20th century. This audio drama is part of a collaboration with Soulpepper Theatre Company's Around the World in 80 Plays series. It originally aired on May 19, 2021.

Download Around the World in 80 Plays: Hayavadana
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Theatre and Physics, Part One

Last November, the National Arts Centre staged its Theatre and Physics Symposium; it featured plays about some of the principles and towering figures of theoretical physics to show how quantum science can shed light on the equally mysterious world of human relationships.

Download Theatre and Physics, Part One
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


The Real Actor

Intense and controversial, the approach to acting known as the Method gave performers a new way into character psychology. It also gave audiences a more authentic view of being human. Author Isaac Butler describes its evolution and influence — from the Russian stage to Hollywood movies and beyond.

Download The Real Actor
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In a Liminal Space

Early in the pandemic, an online community of photographers, artists and editors started creating and sharing pictures of what they described as “liminal spaces”: empty, dark hallways, old arcades and decrepit stairways, which echoed a sense of timelessness and eeriness that resonated in today's world.

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Around the World in 80 Plays: Six Characters in Search of an Author

Six characters whose story was never written take matters into their own hands by gatecrashing a theatre rehearsal, turning reality on its head. From Soulpepper Theatre Company’s Around the World in 80 Plays, the metatheatrical masterpiece of Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. *This episode originally aired on May 5, 2021.

Download Around the World in 80 Plays: Six Characters in Search of an Author
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Words Fall Apart: Ukraine

Poet Lyuba Yakimchuk grew up in the contested Donbas region of Ukraine. After pro-Russian separatists took control of the area in 2014, her family had to flee. And now, the whole country has been invaded. Lyuba Yakimchuk reflects on poetry, war, and the burden of a motherland.

Download Words Fall Apart: Ukraine
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


The Great Leveler: Dr. Paul Farmer on the fight for equal health care

Dr. Paul Farmer was a towering figure in global public health. As a co-founder of Partners in Health, he sought to radically change ideas about healthcare and who deserves it. Dr. Farmer died suddenly in his sleep on February 21, 2022, at the age of 62. In May of 2020, he shared his thoughts with IDEAS about equity and humanity in healthcare.

Download The Great Leveler: Dr. Paul Farmer on the fight for equal health care
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Wasteland Gardens, Part Two

Eighty years ago this week, Japanese Canadians in British Columbia were forced into internment camps by the federal government. It wasn't until 1949 that they were accepted back into B.C. Three generations of Japanese Canadians tell the story of these years and their aftermath. *This two-part documentary originally aired on IDEAS in 1988.

Download Wasteland Gardens, Part Two
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:06]


Wasteland Gardens, Part One

Eighty years ago this week, Japanese Canadians in British Columbia were forced into internment camps by the federal government. It wasn't until 1949 that they were accepted back into B.C. Three generations of Japanese Canadians tell the story of these years and their aftermath. *This two-part documentary originally aired on IDEAS in 1988.

Download Wasteland Gardens, Part One
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


The Great Hunger: Ukraine

The fear in Ukraine of a war with Russia has its roots in what happened in the 1930’s. IDEAS producer Philip Coulter visited Ukraine to look at the effects of the Holodomor, the extermination by famine of 90 years ago. *This documentary originally aired in 2009.

Download The Great Hunger: Ukraine
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Around the World in 80 Plays: The Walls

In her 1963 play about truth, lies and state violence, Griselda Gambaro predicted the dark period Argentina was hurtling towards. As part of a collaboration with Soulpepper Theatre Company, we bring you inside a room where innocence doesn’t exist and even the walls themselves can’t be trusted. *This episode originally aired on April 28, 2021.

Download Around the World in 80 Plays: The Walls
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Alaa Al Aswany: The Republic of False Truths

Alaa Al Aswany is one of Egypt’s most important authors. While his work is banned in his country, including his latest novel about a fictionalized account of the failed Egyptian revolution of 2011, the writer believes it’s only a matter of time before the revolution prevails.

Download Alaa Al Aswany: The Republic of False Truths
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


On China: Detention, Surveillance — and Profit

Anthropologist Darren Byler sees a confluence in Xinjiang province in China of constant surveillance, state data harvesting and private companies driven by profit. How does this apply to the global race for supremacy in artificial intelligence?

Download On China: Detention, Surveillance — and Profit
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


From Tolerance to Tyranny: Erna Paris

Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together in relative harmony in medieval Spain. Then the Spanish Inquisition came along, turning a pluralistic society into a police state. Writer Erna Paris, who passed away earlier this month, explored this history for IDEAS calling what happened in Spain "a cautionary tale for today." *This episode originally aired on January 21, 2015.

Download From Tolerance to Tyranny: Erna Paris
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Love on Drugs

Researchers are beginning to explore potential drug treatments for everything from heartbreak to PTSD in relationships. But traditionalists argue romantic love is not to be tampered with by doctors. IDEAS teases out the complicated relationship between chemicals and romance — and ask how drugs could reshape the future of love. *This episode originally aired on April 14, 2021.

Download Love on Drugs
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Around the World in 80 Plays: Moonlodge

Soulpepper Theatre Company is taking audiences across the globe with eight international audio plays. And IDEAS will be your travelling companion. Moonlodge is the first play of the Around the World in 80 Plays series. *This episode originally aired on April 21, 2021.

Download Around the World in 80 Plays: Moonlodge
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Growing up in the Ice Age: April Nowell

Ice Age communities were crawling with kids. Researchers estimate that anywhere from 40 to 65 per cent of prehistoric societies were made up of children. Archaeologist April Nowell has been researching the lives of Paleolithic children for decades. She argues that prehistoric children played a critical part in the cultural evolution of humans.

Download Growing up in the Ice Age: April Nowell
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Cowboy's Lament, Part Two

Since the early 1900s cowboy fiction and films have played a major role in shaping popular notions of the American West. In this second of our two-part series The Cowboy's Lament, IDEAS contributor Tom Jokinen examines how the ethos of the American West is captured in film, both advancing — and complicating — the myth of the Old West. *This episode originally aired on October 16, 2020.

Download Cowboy's Lament, Part Two
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Cowboy's Lament, Part One

The potent Images of the cowboy and the six shooter have shaped the myth of the American West: pioneer freedom and frontier towns. In this first episode of a two-part series, IDEAS contributor Tom Jokinen explores the myth of the West, and how the values of individual freedom and boundless conquest continue to feed America's political ideology through to today. *This episode originally aired on October 15, 2020.

Download Cowboy's Lament, Part One
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Searching for Solace: Michael Ignatieff

In the face of death, disappointment or fear we look for meaning, a sense of order, and consolation to help us carry on. Michael Ignatieff, in a public forum with Nahlah Ayed for the Toronto Public Library, discusses his book, On Consolation: Finding Solace in Dark Times.

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Flow

Flow. Athletes know it: the state of mind and body when every move made is the right one. But flow presents a paradox, as a state in which you lose yourself, yet become yourself. Writer and triathlete, Suzanne Zelazo, delves into the mystery at the heart of flow. *This episode originally aired on June 25, 2021.

Download Flow
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The Bias List

All of us are biased. We have individual biases, momentary biases, morning biases and evening biases. Our institutions are biased. Our constitutions are biased. So what to do about it? IDEAS producer Tom Howell continues his investigation into what the field of ‘bias studies’ has to offer us.

Download The Bias List
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Generation Botox

When a woman opts to get plastic surgery, she enters complex and fraught territory. Some claim it's self-exploitation but an increasing number of younger women view plastic surgery as empowering. IDEAS contributor Maggie Reid examines the fault lines that define what she calls Botox Nation. *This episode originally aired on November 30, 2020.

Download Generation Botox
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Feminism is dead. Long live feminism.

Feminism today is wracked with inequality. Rafia Zakaria, author of Against White Feminism, says feminists must have a reckoning within and that white women must make space for those women who may not be the policymakers or theorists, but who live the feminist struggle every day of their lives.

Download Feminism is dead. Long live feminism.
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CBC Massey Lectures | # 6: Asia and the Art of Storytelling

In her final Massey Lecture, Esi Edugyan speaks to how China and Japan created their ideas of Blackness from imported stories of pre-twentieth-century Africa, "shaping cultural expectations and in turn shaping the Black history and experience in Asia." For Esi Edugyan going to Asia served as a lesson in the power of storytelling and also the dangers of Othering.

Download CBC Massey Lectures | # 6: Asia and the Art of Storytelling
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CBC Massey Lectures | # 5: Africa and the Art of the Future

Esi Edugyan argues we are constrained by a largely white, Eurocentric idea of progress when it comes to the history of the future. African thinkers and artists suggest other realities: the Zambian Space Program, the film Black Panther, and Nnedi Okorafor's novel Lagoon, are all possible parables of the future.

Download CBC Massey Lectures | # 5: Africa and the Art of the Future
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CBC Massey Lectures | # 4: America and the Art of Empathy — The Post-Racial Society

"To talk of transracialism instead of racial passing is, I think, to shear off its past of darkness, of illicitness," argues Esi Edugyan. Transracialism implies that we've gone beyond the limiting values of racial passing, allowing us to define for ourselves what our race is. So where do our rights to define ourselves begin and end?

Download CBC Massey Lectures | # 4: America and the Art of Empathy — The Post-Racial Society
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CBC Massey Lectures | # 3: America and the Art of Empathy — What it Means to 'Pass'  

"We all construct our own identities," Esi Edugyan says in her third Massey Lecture, "but we all understand, sooner or later, the limits of doing so​ — ​that there are ways in which our practical, economic, and physical realities are fixed." She explores how people who “pass” as Black complicate our understanding of identity.

Download CBC Massey Lectures | # 3: America and the Art of Empathy — What it Means to 'Pass'  
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CBC Massey Lectures | # 2: Canada and the Art of Ghosts

"The stories we tell about the dead act as clarifying narratives to explain what has shaped us, and what continues to make us who we are," argues Esi Edugyan in her second Massey Lecture. However, she asks: who is being forgotten and why? When some histories are forgotten, we all lose. Recovering our ghosts is a way of redressing the narrative.

Download CBC Massey Lectures | # 2: Canada and the Art of Ghosts
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CBC Massey Lectures | # 1: Europe and the Art of Seeing

Black subjects in European art are generally marginal figures, but even as such, they tell a rich tale about cultural assumptions. "To look at a portrait is to be forced to build a human life out of our own imaginations," says Massey lecturer Esi Edugyan. Art can both freeze a narrative and remove ambiguity, but it can also suggest layers of perhaps unintended meaning.

Download CBC Massey Lectures | # 1: Europe and the Art of Seeing
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Landscape of Disgrace

Ultranationalism requires an enemy. In Poland, that means sexual minorities. Municipalities across the country are passing anti-LGBT measures. But activists are fighting back, despite the legal odds and the physical violence.

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Shakespeare's Richard III

In Richard III, Shakespeare shows us how easy it is to fall under the spell of a tyrant. IDEAS explores the parallels between Richard III and the Trump era, and the play’s eerily prescient lessons about complicity, conscience and speaking truth to power. *This episode originally aired on April 2, 2021.

Download Shakespeare's Richard III
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Lloyd Percival: Canada's Sports Prophet, Part Two

Lloyd Percival was arguably Canada's most successful coach. He helped revolutionize the way hockey was played around the world but was rejected by the NHL establishment. This two-part series examines the life and legacy of Percival the man, the coach — and the legend he helped build around himself.

Download Lloyd Percival: Canada's Sports Prophet, Part Two
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Lloyd Percival: Canada's Sports Prophet, Part One

Lloyd Percival was arguably Canada's most successful coach. He helped revolutionize the way hockey was played around the world but was rejected by the NHL establishment. This two-part series examines the life and legacy of Percival the man, the coach — and the legend he helped build around himself.

Download Lloyd Percival: Canada's Sports Prophet, Part One
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Ideas from the Trenches: The Taboo Relic

It's a relic deemed so taboo, that the Vatican threatened excommunication to anyone who speaks of it or writes about it. But for nearly a thousand years the 'holy foreskin' of Jesus Christ was widely considered to be the holiest of relics. University of Alberta PhD student James White is researching the relic's history, with an eye to understanding Medieval logic and concepts of the body. *This episode originally aired on April 27, 2021.

Download Ideas from the Trenches: The Taboo Relic
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Skin Hunger: Exploring disembodied touch in healthcare practitioners

The pandemic upended much of our normal way of interacting with others. Intuitive activities like hugging loved ones and bonding over shared meals had to stop because of distancing protocols. Contributor Johnny Spence explores the emotional and neurological impact of touch deprivation, especially as it pertains to healthcare practitioners.

Download Skin Hunger: Exploring disembodied touch in healthcare practitioners
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The Old Stone Age in the Western Hemisphere

The dominant story in archaeology has long been that humans came to North America around 12,000 years ago. But Indigenous archaeologist Paulette Steeves points to mounting evidence suggesting it was more like 130,000 years ago.

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A Good Enough Life

Life is imperfect, and most quests for high achievement are destined to fail. Those truths have led some to advocate for a "good enough" future, prioritizing greater decency and sufficiency for the majority, rather than a select few.

Download A Good Enough Life
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BBC Reith Lectures: Artificial Intelligence and Human Existence, Part Two

In part two of the BBC Reith Lectures, professor Stuart Russell examines the future of work, as Artificial Intelligence takes over more of the economy. People have been worried about robots displacing workers since at least Aristotle. But in this lecture, Russell argues there's reason for optimism.

Download BBC Reith Lectures: Artificial Intelligence and Human Existence, Part Two
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BBC Reith Lectures: Artificial Intelligence and Human Existence, Part One

The founder of University of California Berkeley's Artificial Intelligence lab Stuart Russell is this year's presenter of the BBC Reith Lectures. His series examines how AI is rapidly becoming integral to the economy, military, and daily life. He argues that we have a responsibility to put moral limits on AI as we continue to cede ethical decision-making to machines.

Download BBC Reith Lectures: Artificial Intelligence and Human Existence, Part One
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Exposing the Truth: Journalism's Role in Reconciliation

Award-winning investigative journalist Connie Walker delivered the seventh annual Indigenous Speakers Series Lecture at Vancouver Island University called Exposing the Truth: Journalism's Role in Reconciliation. She shares her observations and experiences, both professional and personal, on the evolution of journalistic coverage of Indigenous stories.

Download Exposing the Truth: Journalism's Role in Reconciliation
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The Flamethrowers: The Talk Radio President

One year ago today, hundreds of Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building under the false belief that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen. In this episode adapting the podcast The Flamethrowers, presenter Justin Ling traces the relationship between American right-wing radio and Donald Trump's style and tactics in garnering support.

Download The Flamethrowers: The Talk Radio President
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The Greenest Metaphor

Some people describe it as a war. To others, it’s a race. Maybe it’s a sickness that needs to be cured, or a puzzle that needs to be solved. There are a lot of metaphors for the fight against climate change, and picking the right one might be the key to making real progress. *This episode originally aired on April 1, 2021.

Download The Greenest Metaphor
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The First Good Poem in English

Several English-language literary works survive from the first millennium A.D. and it's still uncertain which is the oldest. However, a short elegy called The Wanderer stands out as English's oldest-surviving good poem, according to IDEAS producer Tom Howell. Experts in Old English help explain the appeal and the complexity of this ancient yet strangely accessible work. *This episode originally aired on March 15, 2021.

Download The First Good Poem in English
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The Telling of Stories: 2021 CBC Massey Lecturer Esi Edugyan

When stories are left out of the historical record, we are all the poorer for that, says 2021 CBC Massey lecturer Esi Edugyan. Her six-part lectures will air on IDEAS starting January 24. As a prequel, the acclaimed novelist joins Nahlah Ayed to talk about the importance of origin stories and about the people and things that shaped her as a writer.

Download The Telling of Stories: 2021 CBC Massey Lecturer Esi Edugyan
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New Year's Levee 2022

To celebrate the New Year, Nahlah Ayed welcomes IDEAS producers into the virtual studio to share their passion for upcoming projects. You'll hear an eclectic range of topics — from the power of touch, to the meaning of home, to an exploration of the pesky problems bias presents.

Download New Year's Levee 2022
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Feline Philosophy

Unlike humans, cats aren't burdened with questions of love, death and the meaning of life. They have no need for philosophy at all. English philosopher John Gray explores this "unexamined" way of being in his book, Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life. *This episode originally aired on May 6, 2021.

Download Feline Philosophy
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No Feeling Is Final: The Wisdom of Rainer Maria Rilke

In his letters and poetry, Austrian writer Rainer Maria Rilke urged readers to “love the questions” instead of searching for answers, and to “sing out” with pain solitude causes them. His writing seems tailor-made for our own era — a dark interval of uncertainty, solitude, and grief. *This episode originally aired on May 13, 2021.

Download No Feeling Is Final: The Wisdom of Rainer Maria Rilke
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Time Does Not Exist: Carlo Rovelli

In Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli's world, time does not exist. Nor, he argues, does it in our own world. We human beings, he suggests, may be the universe's only real time machine. Rovelli has spent years writing and lecturing about time, and a whole host of complex scientific conundrums — all in an effort to share the beauty he sees in uncertainty. *This episode originally aired on April 22, 2021.

Download Time Does Not Exist: Carlo Rovelli
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Fireside & Icicles — poems for winter

A childhood full of Christmasses in Wales has left IDEAS producer Tom Howell pining for a certain kind of nostalgic poem this winter. So he turns to poets to put into words a strange feeling of homesickness, nostalgia, and yearning in his documentary, Fireside and Icicles. *This episode originally aired on December 17, 2020.

Download Fireside & Icicles — poems for winter
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Ordinary Magic: The Musical Genius of Jerry Granelli

*Warning: Profanity | A profile of the legendary jazz drummer and composer Jerry Granelli, on the eve of turning 80. He has accompanied many of the greats, including: Mose Allison, Sly Stone and The Grateful Dead. And most famously, he is the last surviving member of the Vince Guaraldi Trio that recorded the iconic album: A Charlie Brown Christmas. *This episode originally aired on December 21, 2020.

Download Ordinary Magic: The Musical Genius of Jerry Granelli
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Christmas Philosophy 101

Heat the cocoa, stoke the fire, and settle in for some good ol' fashioned philosophy. Christmas is a minefield of deep philosophical quandaries, like — is it ethically correct to lie to children? Who does a gift really benefit the giver, or receiver? How do we really know Santa exists, or doesn't? Join us on a dramatic journey through the philosophy of Christmas. *This episode originally aired on December 23, 2020.

Download Christmas Philosophy 101
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Connections: 2021 Governor General's Literary Award winners

How do we connect with each other, even in challenging circumstances? Four writers, all winners of 2021 Governor General’s Literary Awards, reflect on the bonds that stay strong — despite inadequate technology, physical absence, or even death.

Download Connections: 2021 Governor General's Literary Award winners
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Passaggio

‘Passaggio’ is a term from classical singing, describing the transition between vocal registers. It's also the title of a documentary by Pamela Post about the transition of her transgender son, Asher — a serious performer of vocal music. The documentary captures this intimate passaggio as Asher confronts the pain of medical procedures and the prospect of losing both his musical career and his partner.

Download Passaggio
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Global War on Terror, Pt 3: A Return to the New

Since the explicit withdrawal of the U.S. from Afghanistan, the broader media and political discourse is that the so-called War on Terror is over. But the war lives on through drone warfare and mass surveillance of Muslim citizens. In this era of increasing anti-Muslim violence, how are Muslims imagining and creating a better world for themselves and others? Is it possible to shift the narrative and take back what was lost in the war?

Download Global War on Terror, Pt 3: A Return to the New
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Kim Stanley Robinson: The Best-Case Scenario You Can Still Believe In

In 2021, B.C. has faced a deadly heat wave and catastrophic floods. Kim Stanley Robinson predicted both of them in his science fiction novel The Ministry for the Future. After returning from COP 26 in Glasgow, Robinson reflects on the crisis we’re in and how to achieve "the best-case scenario you could still believe in."

Download Kim Stanley Robinson: The Best-Case Scenario You Can Still Believe In
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An Ode to Failure

Failure. It's the worst. Or is it? In the last decade, efforts to reframe failure have pushed it to the surface of popular culture. People like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Oprah Winfrey are all hawking failure as the secret to 21st-century success. Was Samuel Beckett right: fail again, fail better?

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Good News for Nihilists

Philosophers Tracy Llanera and James Tartaglia offer their cheerful defence of nihilism, the easy-to-carry, portable, multi-purpose, and aerodynamic attitude to life, the universe, and pretty much everything. To achieve it, they take up the classic objections to nihilism in turn, and attempt to make each of them disappear into... nothingness! *This episode originally aired on May 25, 2021.

Download Good News for Nihilists
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Unsound: The Legacy of Alexander Graham Bell

You hear the name ‘Alexander Graham Bell,’ and you think ‘inventor of the telephone.’ But he devoted much of his life to the ‘education’ of deaf people. Bell’s fraught legacy with the deaf community is explored in Veronica Simmonds' documentary, Unsound: The Legacy of Alexander Graham Bell. *This episode originally aired on May 10, 2021.

Download Unsound: The Legacy of Alexander Graham Bell
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Global War on Terror, Pt 2: Eyes on Us

In the years since 9/11, the surveillance state has shifted from crudely trawling vast amounts of data to predictive surveillance where authorities try to identify crime before it happens. What this often means for Muslims is their everyday behaviour is seen through the lens of counter-extremism strategies. This is the second episode in our series Global War on Terror.

Download Global War on Terror, Pt 2: Eyes on Us
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ABC Boyer Lectures, Part Two: John Bell

The CBC has its Massey Lectures. The BBC has its Reith Lectures. And ABC Australia has its Boyer Lectures. This year's speaker is acclaimed Australian actor and theatre director, John Bell. He illustrates how Shakespeare's life and works have profound relevance to issues we're facing today: political self-interest, gender inequality and the growing need for good governance.

Download ABC Boyer Lectures, Part Two: John Bell
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ABC Boyer Lectures, Part One: John Bell

The CBC has its Massey Lectures. The BBC has its Reith Lectures. And ABC Australia has its Boyer Lectures. This year's speaker is acclaimed Australian actor and theatre director, John Bell. He illustrates how Shakespeare's life and works have profound relevance to issues we're facing today: political self-interest, gender inequality and the growing need for good governance.

Download ABC Boyer Lectures, Part One: John Bell
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Ontario Heritage Trust Lecture: Ed Burtynsky

During his 40-year career, Edward Burtynsky has photographed the planet's changing landscape, everything from large-scale mining operations in Sudbury to plastic landfills in Nairobi. The renowned photographer recently delivered a virtual talk for the Ontario Heritage Trust and spoke with IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed about what he's seen, where he's been, and what comes next.

Download Ontario Heritage Trust Lecture: Ed Burtynsky
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Rape and Romance In Medieval England

PhD student Mariah Cooper dusted off 800-year-old court documents from medieval England to find that convictions for sexual assault from that period are on par with convictions for sexual assault today. Her thesis demonstrates remarkably consistent representations of survivors of sexual assault dating from the Middle Ages right to the 21st century. This episode is part of our series Ideas From The Trenches.

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Global War on Terror, Pt 1: Guantanamo and the Afterlives of Torture

The prison at Guantanamo Bay remains open. And while advocates including former detainees fight to close it down, the legacy of detention and torture live on. This is the first of a three-part series in which IDEAS producer, Naheed Mustafa, peers into the house the War on Terror built.

Download Global War on Terror, Pt 1: Guantanamo and the Afterlives of Torture
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Cundill History Prize 2021: Marjoleine Kars

The Cundill History Prize is the most prestigious of its kind. Its award of $75,000USD goes this year to Marjoleine Kars for her book Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast. The author speaks with host Nahlah Ayed about uncovering a forgotten slave rebellion.

Download Cundill History Prize 2021: Marjoleine Kars
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Much Ado About Nothing: Heidegger vs. Carnap and the Continental-Analytic Split

In 1929, a disagreement over the meaning of "nothing" exposed deep divisions in Western philosophy and erupted into a debate over whether philosophy is more art or science. Poet-philosopher Martin Heidegger's lecture about nothing excited students and divided colleagues. But the empiricist Rudolf Carnap thought all this talk of the meaning of nothing, amounted to nothing at all.

Download Much Ado About Nothing: Heidegger vs. Carnap and the Continental-Analytic Split
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The Mystery of Louise Labé

Stakes are high for readers and scholars as the identity of a groundbreaking poet, Louise Labé, is debated in France and beyond. Sexy, wry, and bold, her poems cut across time. They also upend assumptions about how female desire was expressed in the past. *This episode originally aired on October 1, 2020.

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Song of Zong!

Exactly 240 years ago today, a massacre began on the Zong slave ship. The tragedy inspired the Canadian poem Zong! by M. NourbeSe Philip. She reflects on the mass murder, the bizarre court case, and the work of art still rising from its depths.

Download Song of Zong!
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IDEAS listens to Stuff the British Stole

There’s often a very messy history behind tidy museum exhibits: war and empire, power and theft. Stuff the British Stole tells the vivid truth. From the Parthenon Marbles to Tipu’s Tiger, we introduce you to an entertaining history podcast.

Download IDEAS listens to Stuff the British Stole
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Nima Elbagir delivers the Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondents Lecture

CNN's Senior International Correspondent Nima Elbagir delivers this year's Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondents Lecture. The award-winning journalist has reported from the frontlines of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and in Chibok, the Nigerian village from which over 250 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram. Her talk is entitled Humanity and the Foreign Correspondent.

Download Nima Elbagir delivers the Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondents Lecture
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Black Myths on Screen: Hollywood and a Century of Race, Part Three

Since its beginnings, Hollywood has portrayed African Americans in a variety of ways: as primitive beings in Birth of a Nation, as happy former slaves in Gone With the Wind, and as hypersexual heroes during the 1970s "blaxploitation" era. In this three-part series, IDEAS explores a century of racial politics in Hollywood. *This episode originally aired on March 19, 2021.

Download Black Myths on Screen: Hollywood and a Century of Race, Part Three
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Black Myths on Screen: Hollywood and a Century of Race, Part Two

Since its beginnings, Hollywood has portrayed African Americans in a variety of ways: as primitive beings in Birth of a Nation, as happy former slaves in Gone With the Wind, and as hypersexual heroes during the 1970s "blaxploitation" era. In this three-part series, IDEAS explores a century of racial politics in Hollywood. *This episode originally aired on March 18, 2021.

Download Black Myths on Screen: Hollywood and a Century of Race, Part Two
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Black Myths on Screen: Hollywood and a Century of Race, Part One

Since its beginnings, Hollywood has portrayed African Americans in a variety of ways: as primitive beings in Birth of a Nation, as happy former slaves in Gone With the Wind, and as hypersexual heroes during the 1970s "blaxploitation" era. In this three-part series, IDEAS explores a century of racial politics in Hollywood. *This episode originally aired on March 17, 2021.

Download Black Myths on Screen: Hollywood and a Century of Race, Part One
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Imagining Extinction

Religious and mythological visions of the end of the world may be common, but the scientific concept of human extinction has a more urgent history. IDEAS explores the link between imagining extinction and acting to avert it — from Mary Shelley's pandemic novel, The Last Man (1826), to visions of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War, to cli-fi (climate fiction) of today. *This episode originally aired on March 4, 2021

Download Imagining Extinction
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PT 4: Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth (Nunca Mas)

In the final episode of this series, IDEAS examines the ongoing struggle in the rebuilding of Guatemalan society. Torture, massacres, individual murders, the fracturing of communities and families, all of these are part of the terrible legacy of the civil war. How are the inheritors of all this to make change and build something better?

Download PT 4: Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth (Nunca Mas)
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PT 3: Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth (Warp and Weft)

After the 36-year civil war in Guatemala, land reform and equal rights have been slow to come for the Indigenous Mayan people. IDEAS revisits a four-part series about the Mayan people. In this episode, we explore the role of Mayan women in the making of Guatemala and the importance of the art of weaving in keeping an ancient culture alive.

Download PT 3: Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth (Warp and Weft)
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PT 2: Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth (Tierra Madre)

After the 36-year civil war in Guatemala, land reform and equal rights have been slow to come for the Indigenous Mayan people. IDEAS revisits a four-part series about the Mayan people. This second episode looks into the issue of land and land reform — and the historical importance of land to the Mayan people.

Download PT 2: Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth (Tierra Madre)
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PT 1: Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth (Mayan spirituality)

After the 36-year civil war in Guatemala, land reform and equal rights have been slow to come for the Indigenous Mayan people. IDEAS revisits a four-part series about the Mayan people. The first episode explores the spirit world of the ancient Mayan people and the struggle today to make Mayan ancient beliefs relevant in a modern society.

Download PT 1: Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth (Mayan spirituality)
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Pandemic Amnesia

We're used to public memorials dedicated to war. But over the centuries, pandemics have also claimed millions of lives yet we see almost no statues or commemorations dedicated to them. IDEAS contributor Olivia Humphreys examines the dynamics of public memory and discovers why we choose what we'll remember.

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Artist, Witness, Woman: Mary Riter Hamilton

In 1919, Canadian artist Mary Riter Hamilton embarked on a solo mission to paint the World War One battlefields of France and Belgium. A century later, documentary maker Alisa Siegel speaks to the artist's biographer, historians and art historians to resuscitate Mary Riter Hamilton's art, life, and legacy.

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I Travel Therefore I Am: The Philosophy of Travel

Philosophy of travel isn't a thing, but philosopher Emily Thomas says it should be. IDEAS takes a journey of the mind through the past and present to ask the question: what is the meaning of travel? How does it change us — and how does it help us understand our own minds? *This episode originally aired on March 12, 2021.

Download I Travel Therefore I Am: The Philosophy of Travel
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The Red Book, Part Two: The Long Way Home

Bound in scarlet leather, full of dreams and visions: this was the private journal published in 2009 as C.G. Jung’s The Red Book. The influential psychologist analyzed a period of his own inner turmoil, and it forever changed his thinking about the unconscious mind. This 2012 documentary follows his secret journey, in two parts.

Download The Red Book, Part Two: The Long Way Home
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Red Book, Part One: The Journey Begins

Bound in scarlet leather, full of dreams and visions: this was the private journal published in 2009 as C.G. Jung’s The Red Book. The influential psychologist analyzed a period of his own inner turmoil, and it forever changed his thinking about the unconscious mind. This 2012 documentary follows his secret journey, in two parts.

Download The Red Book, Part One: The Journey Begins
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


Laughing Matters: The science of laughter

Disclaimer: Profanity | What role does laughter play in the evolution of humanity? What does our laughter have in common with the way primates and even rats laugh? IDEAS contributor Peter Brown takes us on a joyride throughout our evolutionary history and shows us why laughing matters. *This episode originally aired on November 4, 2020.

Download Laughing Matters: The science of laughter
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Shakespeare in Translation

Translation is a form of “resurrection,” argues Canadian scholar Irena Makaryk. And in the 400 years since Shakespeare shuffled off this mortal coil, he has been resurrected too many times to count. In the final instalment of this year’s IDEAS at Stratford, we consider what’s lost in translation, what’s found, and how translation can shine a new light on the ideas in a familiar story.

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Love, Beauty and Salvation: The Poetry of Michelangelo

*Warning: profanity | Michelangelo was dubbed the ‘divine Michelangelo’ in his day for his stunning works of art. But his poetry reveals a deeply troubled and dissatisfied soul — he never felt his work was good enough, and was plagued by feelings of guilt for his earthly desires. *This episode originally aired on June 3, 2021.

Download Love, Beauty and Salvation: The Poetry of Michelangelo
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LRB’s Encounters with Medieval Women

IDEAS presents a sample from a new audio miniseries from the London Review of Books podcast. In their debut episode, co-hosts and medieval scholars Irina Dumitrescu and Mary Wellesley take on Mary of Egypt, a “fallen woman” turned saint, whose wild story courts comparisons to Pretty Woman, Fleabag, and Sex and the City.

Download LRB’s Encounters with Medieval Women
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The Idea of India: Gandhi vs Ambedkar, Part Two

In 2019, the Indian government passed legislation amending its citizenship laws. Many people argued it targeted the country's Muslim minority. Protesters held up images of B.R. Ambedkar, the Dalit icon who claimed India could never be free unless the caste system was eradicated. Can his idea of true equality offer a way back to unity? *This episode originally aired on October 6, 2021.

Download The Idea of India: Gandhi vs Ambedkar, Part Two
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Idea of India: Gandhi vs Ambedkar, Part One

In December 2019, the government of India passed legislation amending its citizenship laws. Critics, activists, and ordinary people pushed back, arguing the law was targeting the country's Muslim minority. Many protesters held up images of Gandhi and urged a return to Gandhian values. But does Gandhi and his values still have a place in today's idea of India? *This episode originally aired on October 5, 2020.

Download The Idea of India: Gandhi vs Ambedkar, Part One
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War and the Modern World: Margaret MacMillan

Award-winning historian Margaret MacMillan delivers a lecture entitled, War and the Modern World, examining the relationship between conflict and modern society. The virtual talk was part of the International Issues Discussion (IID) series, a student-led forum at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University.

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Killiam Prizes 2021

Each year, the Canada Council’s Killam Prizes celebrate the best scholars in the country, in all the major disciplines of research. Host Nahlah Ayed talks to two of the five winners to find out about their major contributions in their respective fields.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Problem with Science Skepticism

For over four decades, Dr. Anthony Fauci has served as medical advisor to seven U.S. presidents. With the COVID-19 death toll in the United States having surpassed 730,000, Dr. Anthony Fauci tells IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed that he finds it "mind-boggling" that partisanship and skepticism of science continue to fuel the pandemic.

Download Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Problem with Science Skepticism
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The Rise of H.P. Lovecraft

American short story writer H.P. Lovecraft died in 1937. Now he's more popular than he was in his lifetime. IDEAS examines why his brand of “cosmic horror” resonates in the 21st century, and how new writers are dealing with his racist legacy. *This episode originally aired on January 22, 2021.

Download The Rise of H.P. Lovecraft
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Shakespeare's Novels: The Tempest

As part of our series on contemporary novels inspired by Shakespeare plays, and produced in collaboration with the Stratford Festival, IDEAS explores what The Tempest has to say to us today about colonialism, reparations and forgiveness.

Download Shakespeare's Novels: The Tempest
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The Dandy Rebel

Over the last two centuries, the figure of the Dandy has been a provocateur, someone who pushes against the boundaries of culture, masculinity and politics. From Beau Brummell to Oscar Wilde to contemporary Black activists, IDEAS contributor Pedro Mendes tracks the subversive role the Dandy plays in challenging the status quo. *This episode originally aired on April 15, 2021.

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Tangled Roots: A History of Black Hair

From pre-colonial Africa till now, Black hair has shifted in its meaning and become highly politicized, particularly in Western society. And today, Black women's hair continues to have an enormous bearing on how they are able to move through the world. IDEAS looks back on the story of Black hair, and what it tells us about the Black female experience throughout history. *This episode originally aired on January 28, 2021.

Download Tangled Roots: A History of Black Hair
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Don't Look Back: The Myth of Orpheus

The myth of Orpheus is the oldest love story, from ancient Greece — it's the story of the power of art, a story told through opera and film, and poetry. Two thousand five hundred years later, IDEAS contributor Tom Jokinen explores why the myth of Orpheus still has such a hold on us.

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Margaret Atwood and Omar El Akkad: Beyond Dystopia

Dystopian versus utopian. Description versus prescription. Ideology versus art. As geopolitical and climate crises deepen, what role should writers play? A conversation with novelists Margaret Atwood and Omar El Akkad as part of the first annual PEN Graeme Gibson Talk.

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An Evening with Chickens

Chickens have followed humankind around the world, giving us eggs and meat, and also spiritual and social comfort. And it’s the living animal who stars in this podcast by IDEAS producer, Tom Howell. Spend an hour with this helpful creature and hear its tales of adventure from dinosaur times to the modern city. *Originally aired on October 19, 2020.

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October Crisis Manifesto

Fifty-one years ago, the Front de liberation du Quebec (FLQ) escalated their separatist campaign by kidnapping British diplomat James Cross and Quebec Deputy Premier Pierre Laporte, sparking what came to be known as the October Crisis. In return for Cross, the FLQ had seven demands, one of which was the broadcast of its manifesto — and CBC/Radio-Canada complied. Geoff Turner examines the impact and legacy of the manifesto, and how it still has relevance today. *This episode originally aired on October 13, 2020.

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The Devil's Trick: How Canada Fought the Vietnam War

There's a fantasy about Canada’s role in the Vietnam War: that from the beginning, Canada was the conscience of America, taking a stand against conflict, welcoming war resisters, and opening the doors for refugees. But historian John Boyko picks apart that fantasy, showing how divisive the war was in Canada, in his book 'The Devil's Trick.'

Download The Devil's Trick: How Canada Fought the Vietnam War
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Lee Maracle delivers the Margaret Laurence Lecture

Acclaimed author, poet and activist Lee Maracle of the Stó:lō Nation delivers the Margaret Laurence Lecture, an annual event commissioned by the Writers' Trust of Canada. This episode features excerpts from her lecture, and Maracle in conversation with award-winning author, and former Massey Lecturer, Tanya Talaga.

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Salman Rushdie: Languages of Truth

Salman Rushdie argues that “the breakdown in the old agreements about reality is now the most significant reality.” He speaks with Nahlah Ayed about how the old consensus about reality fell apart — and whether it’s possible to build a new one.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


On Decline: Nowhere To Go But Down

Each year seems worse than the one preceding. For Andrew Potter, author of On Decline, these events indicate that our entire civilization is in decline. And he argues we're left without the social cohesion, economic growth and political leadership that we'd need to turn things around.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


God: Leibniz vs Voltaire

Is the concept of God useful at a time of crisis? German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and French writer and philosopher Voltaire had different views on that question. *This episode originally aired on December 14, 2020.

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Body Language | Indigenous BioData

For decades, non-Indigenous scientists have taken samples from Indigenous peoples for future studies, often without clear consent. But a new generation of Indigenous scientists are revolutionizing biomedical research, asking important questions about who controls the research process and the data derived from it.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


Body Language | The Right to Sex

'Incel' violence is a clear example of the lethal danger of believing that anyone is entitled to sex. But feminist philosopher Amia Srinivasan argues who is and is not sexually desired can still be an issue of political injustice. She speaks with host Nahlah Ayed about autonomy, preference, entitlement, and the moral and political complexities of sexual desire. The fifth in our series Body Language.

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Music on Mars

If you thought space was silent, think again. NASA's latest Mars rover carries an acoustic microphone. For the first time, anyone can hear the sound of the Martian wind. IDEAS tunes in to the sounds of space and the people working to make music from the beauty of the cosmos. *This episode originally aired on May 17, 2021.

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Dante: Poet of the Impossible, Part Three

Dante Alighieri died 700 years ago this year. His enemies had him exiled, hoping he'd disappear from history. But instead he wrote a masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, making himself the hero of his own epic poem — and in so doing, attained literary immortality. This is the final episode in a three-part series that originally aired in May of 2002.

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Dante: Poet of the Impossible, Part Two

Dante Alighieri died 700 years ago this year. His enemies had him exiled, hoping he'd disappear from history. But instead he wrote a masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, making himself the hero of his own epic poem — and in so doing, attained literary immortality. This is the second episode in a three-part series that originally aired in May of 2002.

Download Dante: Poet of the Impossible, Part Two
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Dante: Poet of the Impossible, Part One

Dante Alighieri died 700 years ago this year. His enemies had him exiled, hoping he'd disappear from history. But instead he wrote a masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, making himself the hero of his own epic poem — and in so doing, attained literary immortality. This is the first part of a three-part series that originally aired in May of 2002.

Download Dante: Poet of the Impossible, Part One
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Shakespeare's Novels: King Lear

The familiar plot of Shakespeare’s King Lear is also the plot of many novels written for our own times. Nahlah Ayed speaks to novelists Preti Taneja and Jane Smiley who have reworked the Lear story. She’s also joined by Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino to explore what King Lear has to say to us today about gender, power, loyalty and inheritance.

Download Shakespeare's Novels: King Lear
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Enemies and Angels

Warning: Profanity | An Iraqi soldier crawls off to die in a bunker. But he’s saved by an Iranian medic. Nearly 20 years later, and halfway around the world, they meet again in a breathtaking coincidence for another life-saving encounter. *This episode originally aired on December 23, 2014.

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Ghosts of Afghanistan

Former Globe and Mail war correspondent Graeme Smith travels deep inside Taliban territory to catch a glimpse of their growing control over the country and uncovers what went wrong with the 'forever war' in his TVO documentary, Ghosts of Afghanistan.

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Entre Chien et Loup: How Dogs Began

Scientists agree that dogs evolved from wolves and were the first domesticated animals. But exactly how that happened is hotly contested. IDEAS contributor Neil Sandell examines the theories and the evolution of the relationship between dogs and humans. *This episode originally aired on March 1, 2021.

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B is for Bias

It’s easy to admit to having biases, but much harder to pin down what they are. Inspired by a recent and significant update to the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of ‘bias,’ documentary producer Tom Howell embarks on a quest to draw up a complete list of personal biases, with the aim of assessing which ones to combat, and which to indulge.

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The Coming Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies are shuffling, moaning metaphors for all our apocalyptic fears. In this 2015 documentary, journalists Garth Mullins and Lisa Hale revisit pop culture's zombie obsession, and why it's so easy to imagine a future full of catastrophe and monsters.

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Visions of the Apocalypse

If 2021 makes you feel like the end is near, you’re not alone. But it might help to know that history shows people have always felt the end is near. This archive episode from 1998 looks at the longevity of apocalyptic thinking.

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A Story of Joy: Jesse Wente

Writer and broadcaster Jesse Wente says that it's important to frame stories about Indigenous people in joy, even if those stories also contain other, darker emotions. In his November 2020 lecture called The Story of Joy: Reducing the Harm So We Can Heal he looks at the state of reconciliation in Canada today, and the role that joy can play in moving forward. *This episode originally aired on January 5, 2021.

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2020 Massey Lectures: Reset Revisited

In his 2020 CBC Massey Lectures, Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society, Ron Deibert surveyed the traps and dark corners of the internet and social media. Now, Ron looks back at the questions he raised, in the company of the team of people who were commentators in the original series — and answers listener questions sent in.*This episode originally aired on May 28, 2021.

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CBC Massey Lecture #6: Retreat, Reform, Restraint

In his 2020 CBC Massey Lectures, Citizen Lab founder and director Ron Deibert wants to get us thinking about how best to mitigate the harms of social media, and in doing so, construct a viable communications ecosystem that supports civil society and contributes to the betterment of the human condition (instead of the opposite). *This episode originally aired on November 16, 2020.

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CBC Massey Lecture # 5: Burning Data

What we don’t see — because it is so carefully hidden from the public eye — is the ecological impact of our social media usage and the wasteful consumption loop we’re trapped in, as we’re pushed to constantly upgrade our devices and turn simple electronics and appliances into “smart” machines. *This episode originally aired on November 13, 2020.

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CBC Massey Lecture # 4: A Great Leap Forward...For The Abuse Of Power

The initial vision of the internet was that it would empower individuals and expose the wrongdoings of state and corporate interests. But now the same technologies that had been used for public uprisings against oppressive governments are now being used by those governments against political demonstrators, whistleblowers and dissidents. *This episode originally aired on November 12, 2020.

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CBC Massey Lecture # 3: Toxic Addiction Machines

Everyone loves to hate social media, but there's a real reason it seems impossible to quit. And you might not like it. In the third instalment of the Massey Lectures, Ron Deibert exposes how social media platforms are engineered to be "addiction machines." *This episode originally aired on November 11, 2020.

Download CBC Massey Lecture # 3: Toxic Addiction Machines
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CBC Massey Lecture # 2: The Market for Our Minds

The ads that personalize our internet browsing are obvious examples of how "attention merchants" vie for our data, but the more insidious actors are the ones we don't see. In his second CBC Massey Lecture, Ron Deibert explores "the economic engine that underlies social media: the personal data surveillance economy" and what is called "surveillance capitalism." *This episode originally aired on November 10, 2020.

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CBC Massey Lecture # 1: Look At That Device In Your Hand

There's a problem with that device in your hand — your phone that makes you anxious when it's not near. Renowned tech expert Ron Deibert says that needs to change. The 2020 Massey Lecturer suggests we need a 'reset' and in his first lecture, Deibert sketches out the layered problem — and how he sees a way forward. *This episode originally aired on November 9, 2020.

Download CBC Massey Lecture # 1: Look At That Device In Your Hand
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Rembrandt in Amsterdam, Part Two

His early art work in the Dutch city of Leiden wasn't all that great, but soon after Rembrandt arrived in Amsterdam in 1631, he had become the most highly sought-after artist around. Rembrandt's art makes us rethink what it means to be an artist, and a consumer of art. His art looks back at us and demands: who do you think you are, looking at this? *This episode originally aired on February 10, 2021.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Rembrandt in Amsterdam, Part One

His early art work in the Dutch city of Leiden wasn't all that great, but soon after Rembrandt arrived in Amsterdam in 1631, he had become the most highly sought-after artist around. Rembrandt's art makes us rethink what it means to be an artist, and a consumer of art. His art looks back at us and demands: who do you think you are, looking at this? *This episode originally aired on February 3, 2021.

Download Rembrandt in Amsterdam, Part One
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Bionic Society

Think you're Wonder Woman? Being addicted to your device can make you a little bit bionic. *This episode originally aired on January 13, 2021.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


The Identity of Me, The Community of Us

In this time of upheaval, what does the future look like? When we think about marginalized groups in society, and issues of gender, race, and poverty — how do we work toward making a better world? Rinaldo Walcott, Monia Mazigh and Micheal Vonn explores these questions in conversation with Nahlah Ayed. *This episode was published on September 15, 2020.

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The Shakespeare Conspiracy

The internet is awash in conspiracy theories. In this lecture, Simon Fraser University professor Paul Budra examines conspiracy theories as an art form, using the long-running conspiracy theories over Shakespeare as a test case.*This episode originally aired on March 31, 2020.

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Myths on Screen: Hollywood at War, Part 3

Warning: Explicit Content | As the Twin Towers lay in rubble after Sept. 11, former U.S. president George W. Bush's administration leveraged the influence of Hollywood celebrities to sway the public to rally around the flag. *This episode originally aired on May 25, 2020.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Myths on Screen: Hollywood at War, Part 2

Warning: Explicit Content | America's losing the Vietnam War shattered the 'heroic myth' that Hollywood had spent decades creating, according to historians and researchers. What followed was an era of films attempting to recapture past glories. *This episode originally aired on May 18, 2020.

Download Myths on Screen: Hollywood at War, Part 2
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Myths on Screen: Hollywood at War, Part 1

The U.S. military had some little-known help in spinning public perception about it over the last seventy years: Hollywood. This series shows how movies functioned as the unofficial — but massively influential — propaganda arm of America's war efforts. *This episode originally aired on May 11, 2020.

Download Myths on Screen: Hollywood at War, Part 1
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Common Good | Declaration for the Independence of the Mind

In 1919, Romain Rolland wrote the Declaration of the Independence of the Mind as a call to intellectuals to rise above division, censorship and nationalism of their day. Nahlah Ayed speaks to Canadian and international thinkers to consider the role of the intellectual today, and to rewrite the declaration for our own post-truth moment. *This episode originally aired on April 16, 2021 and is part of our series, The Common Good.

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Common Good | The World Turned Upside Down, Part Two

Perhaps no question is more important than this one: what is the common good? What can we agree on that benefits us all? IDEAS looks to the English Civil Wars from the 17th century when great questions of the common good were rediscovered, argued, and fought over changing England — and the world — forever. *This episode originally aired on April 13, 2021, and is part of our series, The Common Good.

Download Common Good | The World Turned Upside Down, Part Two
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Common Good | What If This Gets Bigger?

The rules for behaving well in a society arguably depend on the size of that society. The structures, institutions and even the logic behind human co-operation change along the axes of space, population, and time. From camping trips to climate change conferences, IDEAS examines why scale matters so much to conversations about the common good. *This episode originally aired on April 9, 2021 and is part of our series, The Common Good.

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Common Good | Why Don’t We Live Together?

Many people are priced out of the urban housing market. Others are disenchanted with the four walls of the single family home. From a San Francisco commune network to co-living communities in Berlin, advocates argue the benefits of sharing domestic space. *This episode originally aired on April 8, 2021 and is part of our series, The Common Good.

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Common Good | The Value of Old Age

IDEAS producer Mary Lynk explores what is the purpose of a long life? Traditional cultures often place older people at the top of social hierarchy, but in modern Western societies there's been a profound loss of meaning and vital social roles for older adults. What happened? And what role can we reimagine for older people now? *This episode originally aired on April 7, 2021 and is part of our series, The Common Good.

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What is Common? And What is Good?

The Haitian Revolution of 1791 gave birth to ideas about Black liberation and the common good that went on to inform freedom struggles throughout the Black Atlantic. IDEAS traces that lineage and how it connects to today's Black Lives Matter movement. *This episode aired on April 6, 2021, and is part of our series, The Common Good.

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Common Good | The World Turned Upside Down, Part One

Perhaps no question is more important than this one: what is the common good? What can we agree on that benefits us all? IDEAS looks to the English Civil Wars from the 17th century when great questions of the common good were rediscovered, argued, and fought over changing England — and the world — forever. *This episode is part of our series, The Common Good.

Download Common Good | The World Turned Upside Down, Part One
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Common Good | Commanding Hope: Thomas Homer-Dixon

Climate activist Greta Thunberg once declared that she doesn’t want hope, unless it translates into action. Political scientist Thomas Homer-Dixon shares his ideas on how hope can galvanize concrete change. *This episode is part of our series, Common Good. This episode originally aired on November 26, 2020.

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Separated at Rebirth: Science and Religion

With the rise of mindfulness and the growth of brain research, Buddhism and science have become fast friends. Philosopher Evan Thompson is skeptical about the contemporary characterization of Buddhism. His latest book, Why I Am Not a Buddhist, offers both a critique of Buddhist exceptionalism, and a way forward for our globalized and diverse culture. This episode originally aired on October 2, 2021.

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In Defence of Domestic Workers: Adelle Blackett

Professor Adelle Blackett is the chief legal architect behind the International Labour Organization's first comprehensive standards offering protections and rights to more than 60 million domestic workers. In her public lecture to Cornell University, the Canada Research Chair in Transnational Law at McGill University addresses why we urgently need to bring equality to the household workplace. This episode originally aired on February 1, 2021.

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The 99% Invisible City: Roman Mars

For the last decade, Roman Mars has been exploring the hidden stories behind architecture and design in his podcast 99% Invisible. He speaks with Nahlah Ayed about how learning to read the secret language of cities reveals reasons for delight all around us, why he sees cities as ‘evolving organisms,’ and how war and disease shape the built environment. This episode originally aired on February 9, 2021.

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BBC Reith Lectures: Mark Carney, Part Three

In our final episode of Mark Carney’s 2020 BBC Reith Lectures, the economist and former governor of the Banks of England and Canada, focuses on how the ultimate test of a more fair economy will be how it addresses the growing climate crisis. This episode originally aired on February 24, 2021.

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BBC Reith Lectures: Mark Carney, Part Two

2020 BBC Reith Lecturer Mark Carney continues his lecture series entitled, ‘How We Get What We Value.’ In this episode, the former bank governor focuses on the 2008 financial crisis and the ongoing impact of the pandemic. This episode originally aired on February 23, 2021.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


BBC Reith Lectures: Mark Carney, Part One

Mark Carney is the 2020 Reith Lecturer, the BBC’s flagship lecture series. In his lectures entitled, 'How We Get What We Value,' he argues the worlds of finance, economics, and politics have too often prioritized financial values, over human ones. The future depends on reversing that shift. In lecture one, he addresses the changing nature of value — and how we've come to equate 'value' to what is profitable. This episode originally aired on February 22, 2021.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Rising Star of Judith Shklar, the skeptical liberal

Why it matters to say ‘cruelty is the worst thing that we do’ according to fans of Judith Shklar, political philosopher. This episode originally aired on January 14, 2021

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Notes From Utopia: The Arab Spring 10 years on

Ten years ago, the Middle East was in convulsions as protesters attempted revolution in several countries. Looking back, what can we learn from those experiments in human collaboration? This episode aired on January 26, 2021.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Buffalo, Part Three

The Buffalo — a three-part series that originally aired in 1992 — tells the story of a magnificent animal, and of the people who lived with the buffalo. It's also the story of survivors, of the Indigenous people who continue to revere the buffalo and who fight to save the one remaining herd, now threatened with extermination. The series is narrated by novelist, Thomas King. This episode aired on October 7, 2020.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Buffalo, Part Two

In the foothills of the Rockies, you'll find a cliff rising 11 metres from the ground called Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, in Alberta. For more than 5,000 years, Indigenous peoples of the plains used this site to kill buffalo. It's a place deeply connected to Indigenous history and practice. Novelist Thomas King, narrates this second in a three-part series on the Buffalo, originally broadcast in 1992. This episode aired on September 30, 2020.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Buffalo, Part One

In the mid-1870s, buffalo roamed across North America in the millions. A few short decades later, there were only 300 left. Using both science and storytelling, this series tells the story of the buffalo and its relationship to the Indigenous people who revere it. (This series originally aired in 1992 and is narrated by novelist, Thomas King.) This episode aired on September 23, 2020.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Common Good | The Politics of Belonging

Left-wing and right-wing governments around the world have fallen into the same trap, a failure of leadership to inspire a cohesive vision of society that ordinary citizens can share. What is to be done? Author George Monbiot joins Nahlah Ayed to point toward a new way of conceptualizing the common good, and forging a politics of belonging. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 11, 2020 and is part of our series, Common Good.

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Common Good | The Good Ancestor

In calling on us to be good ancestors, public philosopher Roman Krznaric is trying to give the discussion about the future a language, an address and a face: introducing us to all the people already working to formalize the practice of thinking long-term for the common good, benefiting both present and future generations.*This episode originally aired on Sept. 7, 2020 and is part of our series, The Common Good.

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Roxane Gay: A Fierce and Vital Voice

Warning: Content includes rape and profanity | Roxane Gay likes to joke that even her opinions have opinions — which comes in handy for her column in The New York Times. The Haitian-American writer is fond of dark explorations, but her work can also be funny and erotic. IDEAS Producer Mary Lynk speaks with the formidable Ms. Gay about racism, surviving rape and what she calls the 'fetishizing of forgiveness.' *This episode originally aired on November 17, 2020.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Complexity of Cuteness

The charms of cuteness seem obvious. Yet, from the Japanese fear of adulting to universal attractions of indeterminacy, the new field of Cute Studies reveals layers beneath a fluffy surface.*This episode originally aired on November 23, 2020.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Flip Side of History: the Aztecs through their own words

Forget history written by the victors. Cundill Prize-winning historian Camilla Townsend turned to annals kept by the Aztecs themselves to reveal a history of a vibrant, sophisticated people who valued hard word, perseverance, who were master storytellers and loved a good joke — and who 500 years ago had outdoor food courts! *This episode originally aired on December 3, 2020.

Download The Flip Side of History: the Aztecs through their own words
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Welcome to the Technate

The 20th century has seen capitalism, communism, socialism, and various other "isms" come and go. But Technocracy Inc. had its own vision to replace them: a technologically-driven society that would be perfectly egalitarian, productive and healthy. Its following was massive. Contributor Ira Basen brings us this documentary on the legacy of Technocracy Inc.

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Beware of Bitter Oranges: Ibn Khaldun and his life's work

Adam Smith may be known as 'The Father of Economics,' but 400 years before him, Muslim scholar Ibn Khaldun was putting forward economic theories that are now taken for granted. IDEAS explores Ibn Khaldun's famous book, Muqaddimah and the lessons it has for us on the philosophy of history, economics, biology, sociology, and political theory.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Long Telegram: 5,000 words that altered history

In 1946, U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan authored a secret document about Russia that would cool international relations and help launch the Cold War. Seventy five years later, Kennan's Long Telegram still echoes in Washington and in Putin's Russia.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


The Unborn Future: Lecture # 3 | Catastrophes Big and Small

Philosopher Todd Dufresne has written a three-part lecture series for IDEAS, entitled: Climate Change and the Unborn Future: Capitalism, Philosophy, and Pandemic Politics. He argues that the way we live needs a stem-to-stern overhaul — and a new philosophy of the Anthropocene to see the world with new eyes. This is his third lecture, Catastrophes Big and Small.

Download The Unborn Future: Lecture # 3 | Catastrophes Big and Small
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Unborn Future: Lecture # 2 | Lessons Learned

Philosopher Todd Dufresne has written a three-part lecture series for IDEAS, entitled: Climate Change and the Unborn Future: Capitalism, Philosophy, and Pandemic Politics. He argues that the way we live needs a stem-to-stern overhaul — and a new philosophy of the Anthropocene to see the world with new eyes. This is his second lecture, Lessons Learned.

Download The Unborn Future: Lecture # 2 | Lessons Learned
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Unborn Future: Lecture # 1 | Utopic Realism

Philosopher Todd Dufresne has written a three-part lecture series for IDEAS, entitled: Climate Change and the Unborn Future: Capitalism, Philosophy, and Pandemic Politics. He argues that the way we live needs a stem-to-stern overhaul — and a new philosophy of the Anthropocene to see the world with new eyes.

Download The Unborn Future: Lecture # 1 | Utopic Realism
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Music for the Dead and Resurrected

For nearly 27 years, citizens of Belarus have lived under the thumb of Alexander Lukashenko, who is considered Europe’s last dictator. In her poetry collection Music for the Dead and Resurrected, Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort explores collective memory, a history of both horror and joy, and how to memorialize those buried in mass graves.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


On Time and Water: Andri Snaer Magnason

Icelandic writer and documentary filmmaker Andri Snaer Magnason speaks to Nahlah Ayed about his response to the climate crisis, in his book entitled On Time and Water. Magnason embarked on the project at the insistence of a climate scientist who was dismayed at failures of public communication surrounding the latest research.

Download On Time and Water: Andri Snaer Magnason
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Rats: Facing Our Fears, Part Two

For millennia, rats have been portrayed as violent and disgusting. But rats have aided in our self-understanding. IDEAS contributor Moira Donovan investigates the contributions rats have made to humanity and whether co-existing with rats means coming to understand their role in our ecosystem. *This episode originally aired on October 27, 2020.

Download Rats: Facing Our Fears, Part Two
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


Drawing Disaster

A few decades ago, comic books were considered an unlikely way to tell stories about conflict and war — until Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel, Maus. The book explores his parents' survival of Auschwitz. Since then, comics have become an established medium through which creators can articulate the traumas of their lives. In this age of digital access to traumatic imagery, what resistance can this unique medium offer?

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[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


Introducing: Life Jolt

Life Jolt - prison slang for a life sentence - examines the lives of women navigating Canada’s correctional system. The team gained unprecedented access to the Grand Valley Institution prison, the federal pen for women in Ontario, for a full year. They followed women going into prison for the first time, spoke with lifers who have been there for years, and parolees as they left. Hosted by Rosemary Green, a former inmate herself, Life Jolt focuses on individual women’s stories and the realities of prison life, and explores a wide range of issues including parenting behind bars, segregation, the over-representation of Indigenous women, addiction, trauma and the many obstacles of reintegration. More episodes are available at: smarturl.it/lifejolt

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[mp3 file: runs 00:36:18]


The Grand Dame of Green Design: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander

Even if you don't recognize her name, you might recognize one of Cornelia Hahn Oberlander's green designs: the green roof on the Canadian Embassy in Berlin or the grounds surrounding the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. In 2012, IDEAS producer Yvonne Gall profiled the pioneering landscape architect who died in May 2021.

Download The Grand Dame of Green Design: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


Rats: Haunting Humanity’s Footsteps - Part One

Despite their admirable qualities, rats have long been reviled as disgusting and aggressive animals. IDEAS contributor Moira Donovan explores how rats have come to occupy a position as cultural villain — and how they’ve shaped human history along the way. *This episode originally aired on October 26, 2020.

Download Rats: Haunting Humanity’s Footsteps - Part One
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Justicia Canadiana: Jean Teillet

Preliminary findings on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. reveal the remains of 215 Indigenous children. The news cuts into an exposed nerve on the body politic of this country: the state of justice for First Nations people in Canada. Justice is not blind in Canada’s legal system, argues Métis lawyer Jean Teillet. She says it needs to view Indigenous people fully to render justice fairly. *This episode originally aired on May 6, 2020.

Download Justicia Canadiana: Jean Teillet
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]


The Last Bohemian: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s death this year at age 101 marks the end of a colourful, artistic life, aligned with the Beat generation. But the poet and publisher’s bookstore, City Lights, survives as a hub of rebellious ideas for all. We revisit Ferlinghetti and friends in San Francisco in this 2003 episode.

Download The Last Bohemian: Lawrence Ferlinghetti
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:07]