The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Magazine for October 4, 2020

Piya Chattopadhyay speaks with Brenda Austin-Smith, Peter Toohey Margaret MacMillan and Yiyun Li.
(CBC)

This week on The Sunday Magazine with host Piya Chattopadhyay:

The pandemic reveals the cracks in Canada's post-secondary education: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and amplified many of the underlying pressures faced by colleges and universities across Canada. As classes resume, Piya Chattopadhyay speaks with Brenda Austin-Smith, president of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), about the challenges and opportunities presented by online teaching, cracks in the post-secondary education business model, and the meaning of higher education after the pandemic.

Boredom and waiting — a pandemic state of mind: As fall sets in alongside rising cases of COVID-19 ... so too does a new emotional state for many of us, marked by anxiety, lethargy and apathy. Some think we're experiencing the ancient state of "acedia". University of Calgary classics professor Peter Toohey breaks down its origin and meaning... and explains that what we're feeling is likely more a mix of boredom and waiting. But as he tells Chattopadhyay, there are benefits to both!

Margaret MacMillan on the paradoxes of war: Renowned Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan is back with a sweeping new book called War: How Conflict Shaped Us. Chattopadhyay speaks with her about the paradoxes of war — which MacMillan argues has been both a force of destruction and a catalyst for change — and traces the evolution of war in the 21st century.

READ: Changing the course of human history 'for better and for worse': Margaret MacMillan on the paradoxes of war

Aging, memory and the roles we play in each other's lives: Yiyun Li's novel Must I Go is a portrait of the rich inner life of an octogenarian woman in long-term care. It also deals with the aftermath of losing a child to suicide, and is deeply informed by the the death of Li's own son. Chattopadhyay speaks with the author about her story, processing grief, and the roles we play in each other's lives.

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