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Accepting refugees isn't a gift — it's a human right: Michael Ignatieff

In a time of growing authoritarianism and a decline in democratic institutions, it is a greater challenge to accept that despite the language of “us and them,” we have obligations to strangers both inside and outside our borders. Michael Ignatieff talks to Nahlah Ayed about citizenship, moral values, and what we still owe each other.
Ideas Afternoon

How mythologist Joseph Campbell made Luke Skywalker a hero

It inspired movies like Star Wars, The Lion King, and The Matrix. It was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential books of all time. Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces was published in 1949 — a book that is simultaneously timeless, and very much of its time. IDEAS looks at the massive influence of Campbell's theory.

How jeans became one of the most polluting garments in the world

Blue jeans evolved from being the uniform of cowboys to a symbol of rebellion, and are now the most popular — and possibly the most polluting — garment in the world. Ideas contributor and fashion expert Pedro Mendes explores the 150-year history of jeans and the 'authenticity' they are supposed to represent.

'Hope is not what we need': UN Rapporteur urges governments to fight for human rights

Human rights lawyer Agnès Callamard investigated the murder of Jamal Khashoggi for the UN. Shocking as it was, the horrific killing speaks of our times — it's also the disturbing but fitting departure point for our discussion with her on human rights in the 21st century, and what the international community can do when they're violated.

Nature through the eyes of Tom Thomson — 100 years after his death

Tom Thomson's is one of the most mythologized Canadian painters of his time — and ours. Now, 102 years after his mysterious death, IDEAS contributor Sean Foley asks one central question: does the mortal and material fascination with Tom Thomson leave us with something enduring — something to carry us through the next century, and beyond?

After 2 decades of peace, the threat of an Irish Brexit border is stirring up old fears

The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have been divided by a largely invisible border since 1998. But Brexit has sparked anxiety that the border could once again become very visible — and a cause of conflict and violence. Ideas host Nahlah Ayed went there to hear what people are saying.

Just don't say his name: the modern left on Karl Marx's place in politics

Intelligent minds have disagreed, vehemently, ever since Karl Marx wrote his ideas down in the mid-1800s. They disagree some more in this IDEAS episode about Marx and the modern political left, featuring Sheila Copps, Charlie Foran, and Rick Salutin.

5 top researchers granted the 2019 Killam Prize — considered 'Canada's Nobel' award

Meet the five top Canadian scholars who won the 2019 Killam Prize. Lynne Viola exposes hidden stories of Stalin's Russia. Keith Hipel takes an engineer's approach to fixing the climate change debate. Yoshua Bengio is bringing us computers that learn and think. André Blais investigates what makes democratic elections work better. And Stephen Scherer is helping science read into the human genome.

Rethinking menopause: Authors argue dreaded life change has an upside

Is The Change always “women’s hell?” Is it possible that the negative way we think about menopause has an effect on how women actually experience menopause? Writer Darcey Steinke and historian Susan Mattern reframe an often-dreaded transition, and reclaim the power of post-reproductive life.

How algorithms create a 'digital underclass'

There was a time when technology was perceived as neutral. But we now know the technology we thought would save us is actually recreating the same kinds of inequalities we were trying to redress in the first place. Princeton sociologist Ruha Benjamin asks if there's a way to create a new technological reality without a digital underclass.
Ideas Afternoon

How mythologist Joseph Campbell made Luke Skywalker a hero

It inspired movies like Star Wars, The Lion King, and The Matrix. It was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential books of all time. Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces was published in 1949 — a book that is simultaneously timeless, and very much of its time. IDEAS looks at the massive influence of Campbell's theory.

The peace walls of Belfast: Do they still help keep the peace?

More than 20 years after the Good Friday peace agreement was signed, the so-called peace walls remain in Northern Ireland. Host Nahlah Ayed heads to Belfast to find out if the walls are helping or hindering community reconciliation between Catholic and Protestant, Republican and Unionist. This is the first episode in our series, Walking the Border: Walls That Divide Us.

New time, new host: IDEAS launches on Labour Day

IDEAS kicks off a new season on Labour Day, one hour earlier at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT). New host Nahlah Ayed heads to Belfast to find out if the so-called peace walls are helping or hindering reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants, Republican and Unionist. This documentary is the first in our series, Walking the Border: Walls That Divide Us.

Is neoliberalism destroying the world?

Deregulation. Infinite growth. Self-correcting markets. All are hallmarks of neoliberal thinking. But they're more than just assumptions about the economy. They undergird much of the most influential thinking about governance right now, and dominate political and economic thinking everywhere. The results, according to some, have been disastrous.

Ideas for September 2019

Highlights include: exploring 150 years of jeans — the most popular and possibly the most polluting garment in the world. (Sept. 13); author Ronald Wright on the state of civilization in 2019 (Sept. 19); and an examination of the unsettling relationship between facts and truth (Sept 25).

On the Move: Commuting, work, life

Seven years ago, a large group of interdisciplinary scholars from all parts of Canada (and beyond) started to examine issues connected with 'work-related mobility'. Some people find it necessary to work from home. Others are expected to spend more time travelling to and from the workplace than they actually spend doing their job. How do changes in the way we work affect every other aspect of 21st century life?

The Sudbury Effect: Lessons from a regreened city

Forty years ago, nickel mines and smelters around Sudbury, a relatively small city in Northern Ontario, had created one of the most dramatic examples of environmental devastation in the history of this planet. Nothing could grow, and people were dying. Now, Sudbury boasts the cleanest air of any city in Ontario, lakes have come back to life and the surrounding countryside is almost all green.

The Audience Talks Back: The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures

On the CBC Massey Lectures tour, each lecture concluded in an audience discussion with Tanya Talaga ⁠— most of which was never broadcast. This episode includes a conversation with IDEAS' Greg Kelly and Tanya Talaga speaking about her experience delivering the Massey Lectures, responding to listener questions, plus the best audience discussions from the tour.
CBC Massey Lectures

The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures: All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples — in Canada and elsewhere — in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.
Ideas Afternoon

Learning to listen: Paul Kennedy's takeaway lesson

In order to make his first-ever IDEAS documentary, back in 1977, Paul Kennedy paddled a 14-foot canoe down the 1,600 km Mackenzie River. He recently revisited the area in March 2019, and talked with some of the people he met 42 years ago. Those conversations provide the context for Paul's final IDEAS episode.
CBC Massey Lectures

CBC Massey Lecturer Sally Armstrong argues gender equality is crucial to a thriving future

This year's lecturer is the celebrated journalist and author Sally Armstrong, and “Power Shift: The Longest Revolution” is the title of her lectures ⁠— the story of women’s place in the world today, how we got here, and what we can expect from the future.

Ojibwe writer seeks to 'undo' tragic view of Native American history

The massacre of over 150 Lakota at Wounded Knee in 1890 is often taken to be the “end” of Native American history — a notion unintentionally reinforced by Dee Brown's 1970 book, "I Buried My Heart at Wounded Knee." This idea of history as tragedy is something Ojibwe writer David Treuer tries to undo in "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee."

The Music of Matter: 150 years of the Periodic Table

The world, the universe, is a mess of molecules and muck. Within the chaos, though, a cosmic harmony plays the secret song of nature, and the music of matter. You just have to be able to read the music. Contributor Ian Wilkinson unravels the universal chords of Dmitri Mendeleev's creation of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements.

Shepherds or Scapegoats: Gay priests in limbo

There's a Vatican prohibition on gay men entering seminaries, even as the stories swirl about how many high-level clerics are sexually active. Producer Sean Foley explores the psychological, historical, and pastoral paradoxes of clerical sexual identity at a pivotal time for the Church and the world.
Ideas Afternoon

Anarchist Emma Goldman picked as Paul Kennedy's favourite IDEAS subject

For almost as long as he's been reading, biography has been Paul Kennedy's favourite narrative form. In this episode, Paul discusses a four-part 1983 series about Emma Goldman — the anarchist autobiographer. His guests are 2019 Massey Lecturer Sally Armstrong, and historian Margaret Macmillan.
Ideas Afternoon

Learning to listen: Paul Kennedy's takeaway lesson

In order to make his first-ever IDEAS documentary, back in 1977, Paul Kennedy paddled a 14-foot canoe down the 1,600 km Mackenzie River. He recently revisited the area in March 2019, and talked with some of the people he met 42 years ago. Those conversations provide the context for Paul's final IDEAS episode.
Ideas Afternoon

Anarchist Emma Goldman picked as Paul Kennedy's favourite IDEAS subject

For almost as long as he's been reading, biography has been Paul Kennedy's favourite narrative form. In this episode, Paul discusses a four-part 1983 series about Emma Goldman — the anarchist autobiographer. His guests are 2019 Massey Lecturer Sally Armstrong, and historian Margaret Macmillan.

Accepting refugees isn't a gift — it's a human right: Michael Ignatieff

In a time of growing authoritarianism and a decline in democratic institutions, it is a greater challenge to accept that despite the language of “us and them,” we have obligations to strangers both inside and outside our borders. Michael Ignatieff talks to Nahlah Ayed about citizenship, moral values, and what we still owe each other.