Ideas

IDEAS in the Afternoon for July/August 2022

Ideas in the Afternoon airs Mondays at 2:05 pm on CBC Radio One.
Ideas in the Afternoon airs Mondays at 2:05 pm on CBC Radio One. (Ben Nelms/CBC)


* Please note this schedule is subject to change.


Monday, July 4

THE IDEA OF HOME: THE STRANGER AT THE DOOR
What do you owe to a stranger who arrives at your door? In ancient Greece, hospitality (or xenia) was seen as a sacred moral imperative. Someone who defied the obligations placed on both host and guest risked the wrath of the gods, or even outright war. Today, the word xenia has largely fallen out of use, but its opposite, xenophobia, has been a driving factor in contemporary politics for years. IDEAS explores ancient traditions of hospitality — from Haudenosaunee law, Islamic teachings, Greek tragedies and Biblical warnings — and whether true hospitality is possible in a world of nation-states and borders. *This episode originally aired on June 14, 2022.


Monday, July 11

THE IDEA OF HOME: THE HOSPITABLE HOSPITAL
You leave your house in a moment of crisis, seeking refuge. But instead of knocking on a stranger's door, you go to the front door of a hospital: an emergency room. IDEAS explores the notion of hospitality in hospitals — two words that share a root, but whose meanings often seem at odds with each other. This episode traces the historical roots of hospitals, the tension between hospitality and discipline that has defined hospitals throughout their history, and what it means to create a hospitable hospital in the 21st century. *This episode originally aired on June 15, 2022.


Monday, July 18 

THE IDEA OF HOME: THE ARCHITECTURE OF WAR AND PEACE
"Urbicide" — the intentional killing of a city — is a common and brutal strategy of war, from the levelling of Mariupol, Ukraine to the destruction of Syrian cities. Armies destroy apartment buildings, theatres and bridges to destroy residents' sense of home and belonging. But even in peacetime, urban planning can become part of a more subtle kind of war over who gets to call a city home. IDEAS explores how the "battle for home" shapes cities before, during, and after wartime. *This episode originally aired on June 16, 2022.


Monday, July 25

THE IDEA OF HOME: SONG OF HOME
In 2021, when the Taliban seized power again in Afghanistan, orchestras disbanded and musicians fled for their lives. But since the Soviet occupation decades earlier, Afghans have been fleeing the region, bringing their distinctive and storied musical tradition with notes hailing from the classical music of Iran and India. IDEAS takes a journey to Afghanistan with members of the Afghan diaspora, who find their way "home" through their music. We ask: how is the idea of home embedded in music? How have decades of conflict reshaped Afghan music? And how do you "compose" the latest tragedy in the story that is Afghanistan? *This episode originally aired on June 17, 2022.


Monday, August 1

THE ORIGINS OF CELEBRITY
Our fascination with famous people long predates both early Hollywood and the recent internet — by centuries, in fact. It has also allowed for a broad definition of celebrity: from medieval saints who rival the Kardashians for life drama, to a certain abrasive 19th century frontiersmen, all too reminiscent of a recent American president. In this episode, scholars tell us that throughout the centuries, there are always echoes of our complex and curious relationship with the well-known people who we don't actually know. *This episode originally aired on June 30, 2022.


Monday, August 8

SHAPE: HIDDEN GEOMETRY
Abraham Lincoln used geometry to make better arguments. Google uses geometry to hide or promote websites. And U.S. political parties use it to tip elections in their favour. In his new book Shape, mathematician Jordan Ellenberg exposes the geometric underpinnings of logic, science, and politics. A former child prodigy who aced the SATs at age 12, Ellenberg argues that clever use of math and geometry is helping corrupt American democracy, but mathematicians might still be able to save it. *This episode originally aired on May 11, 2022.


Monday, Aug 15

THE RISE AND FALL AND RISE OF RICHARD WRIGHT
Richard Wright was the biggest name in Black American literature in the 1940s. His bestselling 1940 debut novel, Native Son, was a literary sensation, his short stories and non-fiction were searing depictions and critiques of the effects of racism and the ever-present threat of racist violence. But Wright fell out of favour, in part the result of critiques by two writers he mentored — James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison. However, the persistence of anti-Black racist violence, the emergence of Black Lives Matter, and the publication of a long-forgotten Wright manuscript have led to a re-evaluation of Wright's importance, legacy and enduring relevance. *This episode originally aired on May 19, 2022.


Monday, August 22

BRITT WRAY ON GENERATION DREAD
In a world of climate crisis and inaction, the kids are not alright. Neither are many adults, including those considering parenthood. Science writer and scholar Britt Wray was one of the latter when she made a 2018 IDEAS documentary on the topic. Now she is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, specializing in the mental health impacts of the ecological crisis. Her new book details her work and conversations, and synthesizes her insights. It shares productive ways to cope, think, and act while facing an anxious ecological present and uncertain future. At an event recorded at the Toronto Reference Library, Britt Wray talks to Nahlah Ayed about Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis*This episode originally aired on May 26, 2022.


Monday, August 29

DANTE'S INDIANA: RANDY BOYAGODA
Central to Dante's Divine Comedy is the idea of contrapasso: the appropriate afterlife punishment that matches the transgressions committed during one's earthly existence. Novelist Randy Boyagoda takes this notion of contrapasso, and applies it to modern America and its theme parks, televangelism, and pill-popping society. The result is Dante's Indiana, a tragi-comic epic that descends deep into the recesses of modern American life. *This episode originally aired on June 29, 2022.


Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

now