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Ideas

English, Human interest, 1 seasons, 367 episodes, 6 days 17 hours 9 minutes
About
IDEAS is a deep-dive into contemporary thought and intellectual history. No topic is off-limits. In the age of clickbait and superficial headlines, it's for people who like to think.
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Hands Up Who Loves Timmins

Timmins calls itself “the city with a heart of gold." And it offers a fast track to permanent residency for immigrants willing to move there. IDEAS producer Tom Howell finds out what this northern Ontario city has to offer a newcomer, and who’s ready to fall in love with Shania Twain’s hometown.
01/01/000154 minutes 9 seconds
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The North Star: Canada and the Civil War Plots Against Lincoln by Julian Sher

Montreal was a hotbed of spies and conspirators during the U.S. Civil War. IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed and investigative journalist Julian Sher, author of The North Star: Canada and the Civil War Plots Against Lincoln, tour Montreal’s past and present, tracing the city’s hidden Confederate past.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Enslaved Teen Who Cracked Vanilla’s Secret

Vanilla may well be the world’s most popular flavour. Its history is intertwined with the institution of slavery, scientific discovery, geopolitics and one individual’s breathtaking resilience. Scholar Eric Jennings shares the troubled, yet inspiring, history of vanilla, in his June 2023 lecture for the Jackman Humanities Institute.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Smart Cities, Technology and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias

Nothing seems to make a city politician’s eyes light up like the promise of the smart city. In his latest book, Dream States, journalist John Lorinc questions whether smart technologies live up to the hype and whether ultimately smart cities serve the interests of city dwellers or big tech companies.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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How to Flourish in a Broken World

The world is full of problems — our broken healthcare, out-of-reach housing, a democracy in shambles and a dying planet. Is it actually possible to fix this mess? IDEAS hears from people working to fix our most intractable problems at a time when it can feel easier to just give up.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Magic of Three

Three is a magic number. From curses to charms to incantations and evocations, speaking thrice gives power — today, and in the ancient past. As our number series continues, we enter the powerful and spiritual realm of three.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Echoes of an Empty Sound: The Story of Zero

It's the middle of the number line, and the likely end of the universe. It's nothing — and it's everywhere. Zero has confounded humanity for thousands of years. On IDEAS, we explore the infinite danger and promise of the void in a series called The Greatest Numbers of All Time.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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We Give You Five

Five: a simple, easy number with a diabolical side. As we continue our series, The Greatest Numbers of All Time, meet the Janus-faced figure of five and find out how the number has acquired its personality for people in the arts and sciences.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Nine: A Number of Synchronicity

Going the whole nine yards, dressing to the nines, being on cloud nine. In pop culture, in ancient folklore, in music, even in sports the number nine is everywhere. In the last episode of our series, The Greatest Numbers of All Time, we explore nine and its uncanny connections.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Dark Side of Charisma

Charisma can be a dangerous thing in politics. Writer and scholar Molly Worthen examines how today’s breed of charismatic leaders presents themselves as having the power to transform lives, transfixing their followers into unquestioning fealty, in her 2023 Larkin-Stuart Lecture.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Chile Experiment

In 1973, a military junta overthrew Chile’s socialist government in a bloody coup. This is well known. But what is less well known: the military then installed a radical pro-market program, inspired in part by neo-liberalist Milton Friedman. Fifty years later, this neo-liberal experiment could soon be ending.
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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Nine minutes that changed the world

In 1876, the poet Stéphane Mallarmé published a poem entitled "The Afternoon of a Faun." He doubted anyone could set it to music successfully. But composer Claude Debussy did exactly that. The music runs only about nine minutes long, but it helped give birth to the modern era as we know it.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Boyer Lectures, Pt 1: The story behind Australia’s ‘Voice’ referendum

On Saturday, October 14th, Australia votes on whether to create a new representative body: the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Indigenous lawyer and academic Noel Pearson lays out the backstory, and his view of what’s to come, in his Boyer Lectures.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Notes on an Invasion: Masha Gessen and Andrey Kurkov on Russia’s war in Ukraine

Andrey Kurkov (Grey Bees) is Ukraine’s leading novelist. Masha Gessen is a dissident Russian-American journalist. Each chronicles Ukraine’s fight for independence on the ground, and critique what we outsiders know, for the 2023 PEN Canada/Graeme Gibson Talk.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Honouring a radio revolutionary, Chris Brookes

Chris Brookes was a documentary producer who influenced generations of radio makers worldwide. In April 2023, he died in a tragic accident. IDEAS honours the spirit of this master craftsman of sound with a documentary made by his longtime friend and colleague, David Mairowitz.
01/01/000154 minutes 9 seconds
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The Origins of Us: Astrophysicist Hubert Reeves, Part One

Hubert Reeves is one of the world's foremost experts on the Big Bang and the origins of time. In Quebec, where he was born, he's called their Einstein. Reeves died this month at the age of 91. IDEAS producer Mary Lynk spoke to the acclaimed astrophysicist in 2019 at his country home in Burgundy, as part of a two-part series.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Herodotus: The Power and Peril of Story

Herodotus was committed to understanding the human causes of conflict and war. He gathered stories — some believable, others not — to show how different cultures understand themselves. Readings for this documentary by writer Michael Ondaatje.
01/01/000154 minutes 9 seconds
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Widowhood, Wisdom and Words: The Irrepressible Donna Morrissey

What was supposed to be an on-stage interview about Donna Morrissey's latest novel, Rage The Night, expanded to a conversation about Nietzsche, Carl Jung, and sudden grief after her husband died from a stroke. The Newfoundland author was in conversation with IDEAS producer Mary Lynk in Halifax.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Boyer Lectures, Pt 2: Australia's struggle with its past

Indigenous scholar Noel Pearson concludes his series of lectures on Australia's history and current relationship with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal peoples. In these later talks, Pearson views that relationship through the lens of the economy, schools, and cultural identity. He draws attention to the commonalities between Australians of all backgrounds.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Camera Lucida | How photographs help us understand our place in the world

The camera may not lie, but it can produce very convincing fiction. The wedding photograph and the headshot are just some of the ways our everyday world gets defined through the frozen image. Award-winning playwright Guillermo Verdecchia presents a sound portrait of a very "visual" medium in this 2001 IDEAS episode.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Arctic Amazon Art Project: The Mural, Part One

The Arctic and the Amazon may be far apart geographically, but art connects them intimately. As part of a public art project bringing Indigenous artists from both regions together, Inuk artist Niap and the Shipibo artist Olinda Silvano worked on a mural that now graces the campus of Toronto Metropolitan University. They share their inspirations and their collaboration.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Nature of Nonfiction: Robert Macfarlane

Robert Macfarlane says his writing is about the relationship between the landscape and the human heart. He's a modern-day re-interpreter of the sublime — whether he's writing about following ancient foot trails or descending into the mysterious world beneath the Earth's surface. He spoke at a special event at the Royal Ontario Museum, where he accepted the inaugural Weston International Award, presented by the Writers' Trust of Canada to recognize excellence in nonfiction.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Beauty of Chance: Astrophysicist Hubert Reeves, Part Two

Astrophysicist Hubert Reeves is one of the world's leading experts on the Big Bang theory. He was also a riveting storyteller. Reeves died this month at the age of 91. IDEAS producer Mary Lynk spoke to the acclaimed astrophysicist in 2019 at his country home in Burgundy. This is the second episode in a two-part series.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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Alanis Obomsawin: The Art of Listening

Indigenous filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin has witnessed nearly a century of change. At 91 years old she continues to produce documentaries featuring Indigenous stories and voices. The Abenaki artist delivered the 2023 Beatty Lecture at McGill University.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Trust Talks: The Future of Journalism in a Digital World

Three Canadian media bosses face explain why their institutions are losing people's trust. Toronto Star vice-president Irene Gentle, the CBC's Brodie Fenlon, and Global News' Sonia Verma joined moderator IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed to discuss how media outlets can regain the trust of the audience.
01/01/000154 minutes 9 seconds
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A Guide to Hope, Learning and Shakespeare: Scholar Shannon Murray

Feeling the weight of a world? A lecture on hope might be a much needed balm. Scholar Shannon Murray shares lesson in hope, patience, empathy and 'freudenfreude,' and how Shakespeare’s words have become the narrative soundtrack of her life.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Perimeter Institute Public Lectures: The Physics of Jazz | Dark Matter Night

Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander muses about the interplay of jazz, physics, and math. And cosmologist Katie Mack unpacks the latest thinking about the mysteries of dark matter, as part of the Perimeter Institute Public Lecture series.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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“Sometimes I think this city is trying to kill me…”

“Sometimes I think this city is trying to kill me…” That’s what a man on the margins once told Robin Mazumder who left his healthcare career behind to become an environmental neuroscientist. He now measures stress, to advocate for wider well-being in better-designed cities.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Dehumanization and War

How does the act of dehumanization pave the way for exploitation, humiliation and ultimately killing? In this episode, experts and survivors discuss dehumanization during war and whether there's a way back when the killing is done.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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CBC Massey Lectures | #5: Escaping the Burrow

Human beings will never be totally secure, especially not on a planet that has been destabilized. In the final 2023 CBC Massey Lecture, Astra Taylor offers some hope and solutions. She suggests cultivating an ethic of insecurity — one that embraces our existential insecurity. The experience of insecurity, she says, can offer us a path to wisdom — a wisdom that can guide not only our personal lives but also our collective endeavours.
01/01/00011 hour 2 minutes 8 seconds
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CBC Massey Lectures | #1: Cura’s Gift

Insecurity has become a "defining feature of our time," says 2023 CBC Massey Lecturer Astra Taylor. The Winnipeg-born writer and filmmaker explores how rising inequality, declining mental health, the climate crisis, and the threat of authoritarianism originate from a social order built on insecurity. In her first lecture, she explores the existential insecurity we can’t escape — and the manufactured insecurity imposed on us from above.
01/01/00011 hour 2 seconds
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CBC Massey Lectures | #3: Consumed by Curiosity

It’s a paradox — we live in the most prosperous era in human history, but it’s also an era of profound insecurity. In the third 2023 CBC Massey Lecture, Astra Taylor suggests that history shows that increased material security helps people be more open-minded, tolerant, and curious. But rising insecurity does the reverse — it drives us apart.
01/01/00011 hour 4 minutes 7 seconds
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CBC Massey Lectures | #4: Beyond Human Security

The burning of fossil fuels causes the past, present and future to collide in destructive ways. In the fourth 2023 CBC Massey Lecture, Astra Taylor tells us that as the climate alters, evolved biological clocks erratically speed up or slow down, causing plants and animals to fall out of sync. In a world this out of joint, how could we possibly feel secure? But there is a path forward.
01/01/00011 hour 3 minutes 39 seconds
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CBC Massey Lectures | #2: Barons or Commoners?

In the 2023 CBC Massey Lectures, Astra Taylor argues our social order runs on insecurity. But we’re also guaranteed the right to “security of the person.” The wealthy barons of the past and present have defined what security means for themselves — but the rest of us, ordinary commoners, have fought for something else instead.
01/01/000158 minutes 34 seconds
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CBC Massey Lectures: Audience Q&A with Astra Taylor

Insecurity has become a "defining feature of our time," says 2023 CBC Massey lecturer Astra Taylor. The Winnipeg-born writer and filmmaker explores how rising inequality, declining mental health, the climate crisis, and the threat of authoritarianism originate from a social order built on insecurity. In this episode, Astra Taylor answers audience questions about insecurity from the cross-Canada tour. 
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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Swinging and Singing: The Violin

For musician and radio producer, David Schulman, the violin can swing and sing like nothing else. Schulman recently travelled to the north of Italy to try and discover the original trees from which Antonio Stradivari made his masterpieces. It’s a journey of surprise and delight.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Food Security: Root Causes and Pathways to Change

The cost of food is on the rise, and more Canadians are having a hard time knowing if they can afford their next meal. IDEAS hears from four leading experts in the field of food insecurity to explore the root causes and how our food systems can evolve to support us all.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Is artificial intelligence intended to serve human welfare or Big Tech?

There’s a lot of hope, hype and fear around artificial intelligence. That it’ll solve the climate crisis, or turn us all into paper clips. IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed speaks to two tech experts about the promise and perils of AI, as part of the Provocation Ideas Festival.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Bring Back Grumpy George: The Forgotten Message of George Grant

Canadian philosopher George Grant was known for his pessimism, and is best known for his book Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism. PhD student Bryan Heystee makes the case to revive Grantian philosophy and make it work for the 21st century.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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From Grit to Glory: Canada’s first Black woman publisher

In 1853, Mary Ann Shadd Cary became the first Black woman publisher in Canada with her newspaper, The Provincial Freeman. As a lawyer, publisher, and educator, she laid the groundwork for Black liberation in Canada. Descendants and other guests share her remarkable story.
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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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.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Inventing Peace

In times of bitter conflict, what does it take to make peace? An experienced mediator and two former heads of state who helped to end some of the world’s most intractable conflicts discuss how to get warring sides beyond the dehumanization and rage.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Disgust: The Good and Evil

Take a look at the motivations behind homophobia and racial prejudice, and you’ll find a shared emotion: disgust. At a time of increasing social divides, theorists say we need to reckon with an emotion that keeps us safe — and can make the world more dangerous.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Enemies and Angels: Opposing Soldiers Who Saved Each Other

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.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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How to do Diplomacy with Autocrats

Autocratic governments, like democratic ones, have a sphere of influence and a logic of diplomacy. In a time of crisis, is it possible to have honest and pragmatic engagements when the diplomatic temperature is set to a default slow?
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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The Value of Group Therapy

Is group therapy underused in treating mental health? Psychiatrist Molyn Leszcz calls it an “incredibly powerful” approach, where patients heal each other and themselves through support and, sometimes, challenge. Scholar Jess Cotton agrees, tracing the radical roots of an idea that she thinks could hold a greater place today.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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ARC Ensemble: The Forgotten Music of Exiled Composers

For the last 20 years, members of ARC Ensemble have dedicated themselves to recovering the forgotten works of exiled composers. Recently, the ensemble revived the works of Frederick Block — music that hasn't been performed publicly in nearly a century.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Exploring Inner City Winnipeg

The inner city isn’t just a place — it’s an idea. And in Winnipeg, it’s an idea whose meaning and future have been fiercely contested. Nahlah Ayed joins Owen Toews, author of Stolen City, for a walking tour of inner-city history — and speaks to Indigenous organizer and “inner-city builder” Kathy Mallett.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Why the 1976 novel Bear is still controversial — and relevant

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 explores its mystery, meaning and relevance today. *This episode originally aired on January 4, 2021.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on December 17, 2020.
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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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.
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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Join IDEAS for our annual New Year's Levee

As the calendar page turns, it's time for the annual New Year's Levee. IDEAS' producers and contributors preview what they're working on for the opening months of 2024. Topics run the gamut, from salmon to cells, and from the domestic state of marriage, to the neglected verse of a tragic teen poet.
01/01/000138 minutes 12 seconds
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Murder, Madness and Marriage: The Sensational World of Wilkie Collins

Considered one of the first writers of mysteries and the father of detective fiction, Wilkie Collins used the genres to investigate the rapidly changing world around him. UBC Journalism professor Kamal Al-Solaylee explores his work and its enduring power to make us look twice at the world we think we know.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Passion of Émile Nelligan: Canada's Saddest Poet

Broken violins, cruel love, absent fathers, the thought that a fleeting glimpse of happiness is a mere worthless illusion. At the end of the 19th century, Émile Nelligan wrote hundreds of tragic, passionate, sonnets and rondels on these subjects and more. And yet, most English-speaking Canadians seem never to have heard of the Quebec poet.
01/01/000154 minutes 9 seconds
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Arctic/Amazon Art Exhibition: Secrets and Visions, Part Two

Indigenous artists from the Arctic and the Amazon regions came together for an art exhibition — a culmination of years of research and conversation. Despite coming from apparently disparate territories and traditions, they shared deeply on histories, present circumstances, and future worlds.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Never-Ending Fall of Rome

Rome fell, because of... divorce. Or was it immigration? Maybe moral decay. IDEAS producer Matthew Lazin-Ryder explores the political history of 'the fall of Rome' — a hole in time where politicians, activists, and intellectuals can dump any modern anxiety they wish.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Lisa LaFlamme: In Defence of Democracy

These are anxious times for journalism and democracy. As part of an event hosted by the Samara Centre for Democracy, former news anchor Lisa LaFlamme tells IDEAS what can and must be done to bolster journalism so it can better safeguard democracy.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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A Political Prisoner’s Odyssey: Writer Ahmet Altan, Pt 1

Celebrated Turkish writer Ahmet Altan spent almost five years in jail. He wrote his memoir which was smuggled out on bits of paper. This award-winning documentary aired in June 2020 while he was still imprisoned. Tomorrow IDEAS features a conversation with CBC producer Mary Lynk and the now-freed Ahmet Altan.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Emancipation of Ahmet Altan

For nearly five years, Turkey imprisoned one of its most significant writers. Fifty-one Nobel laureates called for his release. Now free, the resilient Ahmet Altan reflects on the meaning of freedom, inside and out.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Healing and the Healer: Dr. Jillian Horton

In her book, We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing, Dr. Jillian Horton shares her personal story of burnout and calls for developing a compassionate medical system, with a more balanced and humane understanding of what it means to heal and be healed.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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IDEAS in the Hague: A Question of Genocide

Last week, South Africa and Israel were at the International Court of Justice with two starkly opposed versions of the conflict in Gaza: South Africa’s legal team argued Israel’s actions there violate the Genocide Convention. Israel’s lawyers argued it is acting in self-defence. The court must first decide whether to order emergency measures to stop the violence until it considers the bigger question. IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed was in the Hague. This episode features excerpts from the two-day hearings.
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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The Year 1919: Dividing the Spoils

After the First World War, the Western powers create new borders and carve out spheres of influence, leaders from the Global South fight for self-determination, and the League of Nations and the Communist International are formed. In this series recorded at the Stratford Festival, IDEAS explores five years in the 20th century that have shaped our world today.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Year 1938: The Winds of War

On the eve of the Second World War, Hitler annexes Austria and escalates antisemitic persecution, Japan wages war on China, and the parallel collapse of democracy in both the East and West sets the stage for war. This is the second episode in our series exploring five years that have shaped the world.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Year 1963: Social Revolutions

Our series continues as we focus on the year 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr. leads a march on Washington, the Pan-African movement ushers in a new era for Africa, President Kennedy is assassinated, and the war in Vietnam heats up.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Year 1973: The Dictators

In part four of our series exploring five years that shaped the world, IDEAS examines 1973. Augusto Pinochet comes to power in Chile, and dictators rule Portugal, Greece, Uganda and beyond. The OPEC oil embargo sets the world on a new path. The American Supreme Court legalizes abortion in Roe v. Wade, 50 years before it would be overturned.
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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The Year 1989: Uprisings and Downfalls

Our series exploring five years in the 20th century that shaped the world ends with the year 1989. The Berlin Wall comes tumbling down. There are democratic uprisings in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary. A riot in Tiananmen Square in Beijing is met with a fierce crackdown.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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The Tree of Life Revisited: Chava Rosenfarb

Chava Rosenfarb, Holocaust survivor and Canadian Yiddish writer, was born 100 years ago in Łódź, Poland. In 2023, Łódź celebrated “The Year of Chava Rosenfarb." In this episode, producer Allison Dempster revisits a 2001 IDEAS documentary that profiles Rosenfarb’s legacy and the politics of Holocaust remembrance in Poland today.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Our Bodies, Our Cells

Our bodies are a great paradox. We are made up of trillions of cells that are both independent and interconnected units of life. IDEAS travels into the microscopic complexity of the human body to explore sophisticated nanomachines — and probe the deep mysteries of a subatomic world.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Platforms, Power and Democracy: Understanding the Influence of Social Media

Research around social media was already hard to do. Now it’s even harder. Researchers describe how Big Tech and right-wing lawsuits block efforts to hold social media giants accountable.
01/01/000154 minutes 9 seconds
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Ulysses and the Art of Everyday Living

What does it mean to be a good person? Irish scholar and writer Declan Kiberd argues that Ulysses — James Joyce’s iconic novel — has lessons to teach us about the art of everyday living.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Puro Cubano: The Meaning of Tobacco in Cuba

For many people around the world, Cuban cigars are a luxury. But for Cubans, they’ve symbolized the country’s rich history and culture. Now as an economic crisis is gripping the country and people are leaving, the cigar is a bellwether of Cuba's uncertain future.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Be Reasonable: Scholars Define Who Is and Who Is Not

From the interpersonal to the societal: what is reasonableness? And in a democracy, how reasonable can we reasonably demand that others be? Five Canadian thinkers try to define what “reasonableness” means, and what it is to behave and think reasonably.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Queer Diplomacy: Negotiating 2SLGBTQ+ Rights in a Fraught World

In the 1980s, Douglas Janoff marched outside the United Nations to promote 2SLGBTQ+ rights. Then, after several decades as an activist, he became a Canadian diplomat — and started pushing for change from within. He shares his experience through the complex and delicate world of queer diplomacy.
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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5 Canadian Writers on Subverting Identity

Identity is a hot topic in our era, but also a complex reality. Five literary writers — all of them winners of 2023 Governor General’s Literary Awards — read from new poems, essays, and stories that consider the ways that seemingly solid identities can be altered, questioned, or entirely subverted.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Obtaining Justice Without Demonizing Your Enemies: Martha Minow

In the age of growing polarization, how do you tackle injustice without demonizing your enemies? Former Harvard Law School dean Martha Minow tackles that question in her 2023 Horace E. Read Memorial Lecture.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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For the Sake of the Common Good: Honouring Lois Wilson

Lois Wilson has lived many lives during her 96 years: a United Church Minister, a Senator, a human rights advocate and an inspiration to many — exhibiting a humility that can only be described as steadfast. For the Sake of the Common Good: Essays in Honour of Lois Wilson is a tribute to the life and work of a remarkable Canadian. 
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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From Page to Stage: Exploring sex and gender in Shakespeare's work

In the thorny thickets of love and desire, how do Shakespeare’s characters talk to each other? And what’s changed in 400 years? From the Stratford Festival, IDEAS explores the challenges around issues of sex and gender in staging Shakespeare’s plays.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Marriage and the Modern Woman

Marriage is on the decline in Canada. And in heterosexual unions, it’s women who more often initiate divorce, and wait longer to remarry. Why is marriage not working for women?
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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Singing in Dark Times | Sandeep Banerjee

"In the dark times, will there also be singing?" Bertolt Brecht once asked. World literature scholar Sandeep Banerjee explores the power of art in times of war — and how ghost stories can help us imagine another world. This talk kicks off a new public lecture series called IDEAS at Crow’s Theatre. 
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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Healing the Land, Part One: After the Fire

More than two years after a devastating fire, IDEAS visited St'át'imc territory around Lillooet, B.C. to learn how 21st-century wildfires are reshaping the landscape. This two-part series follows the work of the northern St'át'imc Nations, land guardians, and scientists from the Indigenous Ecology Lab at UBC as they seek to document the effects of wildfires and chart a new future.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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Healing the Land, Part Two: From Eden Ecology to Indigenous Ecology

More than two years after a devastating fire, IDEAS visited St'át'imc territory around Lillooet, B.C. to learn how 21st-century wildfires are reshaping the landscape. This two-part series follows the work of the northern St'át'imc Nations, land guardians, and scientists from the Indigenous Ecology Lab at UBC as they seek to document the effects of wildfires and chart a new future.
01/01/000154 minutes 7 seconds
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A Life-giving Chord: The Power of Gospel Music

A century after the founding of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, the sounds of Black gospel — which from its very beginnings has been steeped in the idea of community — echo at last, from its classrooms. Documentary producer Alisa Siegel takes us into that room where Black gospel is helping to transform the way that students learn, create, and perform music.
01/01/000154 minutes 8 seconds
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What Good Is Philosophy?

"What is good?" is at the heart of philosophy. Asking the question helps us move toward answers about inclusivity, equality, and who gets a voice at the table. Earlier this year, The Munk School at the University of Toronto hosted philosophers and writers and put philosophy to the test. When it comes to the good, they asked, what good is philosophy?
54 minutes 8 seconds
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What’s Up with The Birds?

Fears of technological overreach, environmental decline, and the violent rise of the irrational: our 21st century anxieties were anticipated in an unlikely 20th century horror metaphor. “The Birds” – a haunting 1953 short story by Daphne duMaurier, and the truly bizarre 1963 Alfred Hitchcock movie that it inspired.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Astra Taylor: The Hidden Truth of the World

Writer and political organizer Astra Taylor is the 2023 CBC Massey Lecturer. She speaks with Nahlah Ayed about key moments in her intellectual coming-of-age, from her early life in the “unschooling” movement to her involvement with Occupy Wall Street.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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World on Fire

The Labour Day long weekend is the unofficial end to our Canadian summer but it won't be the end of the smoke or the fires. This unprecedented wildfire season has burned further, faster and is predicted to last longer than even some of the climate experts could have imagined. CBC reporter Adrienne Lamb explores what this could mean for all of us.
54 minutes 9 seconds
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What are universities for?

What are universities for? Where have they gone wrong? What are they doing right? And what do they owe the public? Those were just some of the questions put to university educators and renowned scholars at a public discussion hosted by the University of Regina. You'll also hear voices from students past, present and possibly future on what the purpose of a university means to them.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Suzuki's Survival Guide | Air and Atmosphere

Air of course is all around us. We move through it without noticing it. This episode from 2010 is called The Last Breath. We follow a single breath in its journey around the world, explore how an ice-free Arctic will change life on Earth, and David Suzuki sits down with Margaret Atwood for an entertaining chat conversation about breath, life, and death.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Suzuki's Survival Guide | Life and Death

Death is a part of life…and as such, it is all around us. In this episode of Suzuki's Survival Guide: A Retrospective from 2010, David Suzuki takes an unflinching look at death and decomposition, at the way cells die to make way for new life within us, and at what happens to a carrot after we harvest it and eat it. All to unlock the cycle in which the things we are made of are never wasted.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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David Suzuki's Survival Guide | Wonders of Water

Water is essential for our survival; it's an integral part of our bodies. It is also at the heart of some of the most profound mysteries of existence. How deep is the ocean, and what is it really like in the darkest reaches? What are whales doing when they sing? And why do we have so much trouble taking care of this precious and crucial resource?
54 minutes 8 seconds
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David Suzuki's Survival Guide | The 'Love' Economy

The field of economics is limited by how it measures success. It doesn't take into account the things that sustain life that can't clearly be measured. The earth and its atmosphere provide infinite services free of charge — the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil that sustains countless lifeforms on earth. It also doesn't include the impact of community bonds, relationships, and love. This episode explores new ways to think of growth and society's holistic well-being.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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David Suzuki's Survival Guide | Naked Ape to Superspecies

Never before in the four billion-year history of life on Earth has a single species been able to alter the geological, biological and physical features of the planet. As David Suzuki puts it, "We have evolved from naked ape to superspecies." This first episode from his 1999 IDEAS series, The Naked Ape, explores the impact of human culture on the natural world.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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David Suzuki's Survival Guide | Eco-nomics

"Growth is what we've come to live for. It has been the inspiration for our political and economic systems," says David Suzuki in his 1989 series, It's a Matter of Survival. In this episode, Suzuki explores the clash between ecological and economic objectives and how it came to pass that the environment is seen as an infinite sinkhole as the quest for profit and growth dominates political and business interests.
54 minutes 6 seconds
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David Suzuki's Survival Guide | How we got to this point

"If we don't move now, it will be a disaster," said Lucien Bouchard in 1989 when he was the Conservative Environment Minister under Brian Mulroney. He was addressing the need to cut back on fossil fuels in the face of climate change, saying the survival of our species is at stake. In an attempt to understand the conditions that created the climate emergency, David Suzuki talks to Bouchard and others, including Stephen Lewis, Ralph Nader and historian Graeme Decarie.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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David Suzuki’s Survival Guide | A Warning

In his 1989 CBC Radio series, It's a Matter of Survival, David Suzuki and other scientists look ahead 50 years into the future to paint a picture of what the world could be like if nothing is done to curb the human impact on climate change. The series galvanized the environmental movement in Canada, with more than 14,000 listeners writing letters of support.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk: What We Do With Words

When Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk wrote Sanaaq, the first novel written in Inuktitut in Canada, that was just the beginning. Over the course of her extraordinary life, she wrote more than 20 books, many of them aimed at young Inuit readers. She was also a teacher, an artist and a thinker with profound ideas about justice and community. *This is the third episode in our four-part series called Another Country: Change and Resilience in Nunavik.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Another Country: The Film

Bobby Kenuajuak was a promising filmmaker with a grand ambition: to change the narrative about his people. A quarter century later, Bobby’s remembered as a pioneer, whose tragic end confounds a hopeful beginning. *This is the final episode in our four-part series, Another Country: Change and Resilience in Nunavik.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Bonus | Introducing the 2023 CBC Massey Lecturer: Astra Taylor

We're thrilled to announce that this year’s Massey lecturer is Astra Taylor, a filmmaker, writer and political organizer who was born in Winnipeg and currently lives in the United States. She speaks with Nahlah Ayed for a sneak preview of her lecture series, "The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart." You can find more information on our website, cbc.ca/ideas.
6 minutes 54 seconds
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Sanaaq: The First Novel Written in Inuktitut

In the early 1950s, 22-year-old Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk began compiling Inuktitut phrases as a language guide for missionaries. Then she created fictional characters and began imagining their lives, loves and encounters during a period of profound change. Those stories would eventually become Sanaaq — the first novel written in Inuktitut syllabics in Canada. *This is the second episode in our series, Another Country: Change and Resilience in Nunavik.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The People of Puvirnituq, Working Together for Themselves

Outside the co-op store in Puvirnituq, an Inuit community on the north eastern shore of Hudson Bay, there’s a sign that reads “Puvirnitumiut Katujjuiyut Immiguutut”: the people of Puvirnituq, working together for themselves. This spring, IDEAS visited Puvirnituq to learn how its residents have fought to shape their own future in a rapidly changing world. *This is the first episode in our four-part series, Another Country: Change and Resilience in Nunavik.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Meet the 2023 Killam Prize Winners

Five Canadian minds changing the world with their contributions to science and scholarship have won the 2023 Killam Prize, a $100,000 award handed out by the National Research Council of Canada. Each scholar has significantly impacted their respective fields of engineering, health sciences, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.
54 minutes 9 seconds
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Is Human Intelligence Overrated?

Our brains tell us human intelligence is unique in understanding this complicated world — that our intellects make us superior to animals. But after years of studying dolphins and other marine creatures, Justin Gregg has come to the conclusion that the human brain isn’t as great as it thinks it is.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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When We Kill History

There's a growing culture war over history with efforts throughout western nations to revert to "virtuous origin" stories. IDEAS explores what happens when we sanitize history and remove criticism and doubt from the myth. If we kill history, how can we look to the future?
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Pot, Policy and Pandemics: André Picard’s reflections on 40 years of Health Journalism

Acclaimed columnist and author André Picard reflects on 40 years of health journalism, from how health care has changed over the decades, and where he believes it’s headed. Picard delivered the 2023 Dalton Camp Lecture in Journalism, at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Man Up! Masculinity in Crisis, Part Three

Warning: Profanity | In the final episode of the three-part series, Man Up: Masculinity in Crisis, IDEAS explores how far-right men's groups are reasserting traditional masculinity online, and why some experts see a positive way forward for men through fatherhood.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Is Overpopulation Killing the Planet?

In the fall of 2022, humanity entered unprecedented territory when, according to the United Nations, the world’s population reached eight billion people. Journalist Bruce Livesey explores the complex issues around population growth — from its connection to energy sources, to the often racist reactions to the subject.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Learning to Look in the Sistine Chapel: Jeannie Marshall

Canadian writer and Rome resident Jeannie Marshall probes the power of art to move us and to transcend the historical and religious contexts that shaped it in her book, All Things Move: Learning to Look in the Sistine Chapel. She speaks with CBC's Rome correspondent Megan Williams.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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David Suzuki Has Something To Say

David Suzuki hosted CBC's The Nature of Things for 44 years, exploring the beauty of the natural world, while underlining the moral responsibility that comes with being alive. The award-winning scientist and environmentalist shares his life lessons as a proud elder.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Mexico's Gothic Turn

A PhD student argues that a new literary genre has emerged — the ‘Mexican Gothic’ style, featuring the creepy castles and haunting figures of traditional Gothic novels, mixed up with drug cartel kingpins and colonialism, set in contemporary Mexico. *This episode is part of our ongoing series, IDEAS from the Trenches, about outstanding PhD scholars across the country.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Jay Pitter: The Future of Culture Is ...

Social equity and public spaces may seem worlds apart, but that’s where Jay Pitter enters. She’s an award-winning placemaker who works at the crossroads of urban design. She delivered a public talk for the Ontario Heritage Trust called “The Future of Culture Is …” on how we define heritage, whose heritage is protected and how to confront the complexity of colonial heritage symbols.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Man Up! The Masculinity Crisis, Part Two

IDEAS continues to explore the state of manhood in part two of the three-part series, Man Up!: Masculinity in Crisis. This episode examines rejuvenation therapy, how the McCarthy era and the Boy Scouts played a role in shaping masculinity, testing homosexuality in boys and the creation of the mythopoetic movement.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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If Science is to Save Us: Sir Martin Rees

One of Britain’s most influential scientists, Sir Martin Rees argues that science could save humanity or destroy it, so it’s more essential than ever to have closer engagement and a mutual understanding between science and the public sphere.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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A Tale of Two Metlakatlas: My Matriarchs, the Missionaries and Me

Just over 130 years ago, over 800 Ts'msyen people left their village of Metlakatla, B.C. to found "New" Metlakatla in Alaska. IDEAS contributor Pamela Post follows her own family history, and how it was shaped by those events.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Extracting Justice: The Human Rights Impact of Canadian Mining

About 60 per cent of the world’s mining companies are Canadian, operating around the world, including countries where mining activities have been linked to human rights violations. International human rights lawyer James Yap is working on making offending companies accountable.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Philosophy from the Pub, with Lewis Gordon

Lewis Gordon is an academic. But he argues that confining thinking to the academy has resulted in people forgetting that philosophy “has something important to say.” He helps remedy the situation with this warm, funny, vital talk, recorded in a historic pub in St. John’s, Newfoundland, by Memorial University.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Great Reset

The Great Reset — it came down from the mountains of Davos Switzerland. To conspiracy theorists, it's a plot by global elites at the World Economic Forum to control our lives. To its supporters, it represents a gentler, more humane form of capitalism. IDEAS contributor Ira Basen investigates what exactly is the Great Reset and why it's so controversial.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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English: Friend or Frenemy?

English may have a reputation for being a "linguistic imperialist," pushing local languages into obscurity but linguist Mario Saraceni argues English should be viewed as a global language with multiple versions existing on equal footing.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Judge Rosie

The first Jewish woman on the Supreme Court of Canada, Rosalie Abella (or Judge Rosie as many people call her) has left a celebrated legacy as a tireless fighter for equity and human rights. She is in conversation with an old friend, psychiatrist and mental health advocate David Goldbloom, at the Stratford Festival.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Man Up! The Masculinity Crisis, Part One

In recent decades, social scientists have noticed a trend: men are dropping out of the workforce. And their addiction rates are climbing. Men are also three times more likely to commit suicide than women. IDEAS explores the state of manhood in a three-part series, Man Up!: The Masculinity Crisis. Part One traces the history of masculinity.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Voices of Internment

It’s a hidden chapter of Canadian history that’s slowly emerging. Thousands of Ukrainians labelled ‘aliens of enemy origin’ were interned in labour camps during the First World War. Descendants of those imprisoned in the camps share their stories.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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IDEAS recommends Let's Not Be Kidding with Gavin Crawford

If laughter really was the best medicine, comedian Gavin Crawford would have cured his mother of Alzheimer’s disease. In a seven-part series, he tells the story of losing his mother — his best friend and the inspiration for a lot of his comedy — to a disease that can be as hilarious as it is heartbreaking. This is the first episode of Let's Not Be Kidding, listen to more episodes on the CBC Listen app or wherever you get podcasts.
35 minutes 42 seconds
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Disinformation and Democracy: A Conversation with Maria Ressa and Ron Deibert

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Maria Ressa believes online disinformation could pose an existential threat to democracy — and she's not alone. Ressa joins Citizen Lab founder Ron Deibert for a conversation about how online impunity is eroding civil society and how we can fight back.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Many Afterlives of the Queen of Sheba

The Queen of Sheba is a holy figure to some; a demon in disguise to others. Author and journalist Kamal Al-Solaylee explores the many afterlives of the Queen of Sheba — and how ideas about gender and power have shifted in each retelling of her life.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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French Evolution: The History of France in 9 Songs

The history of France is intimately connected with its music. Where there's revolution, resistance or riots, there are chansons, ballads, and marches. Roxanne Panchasi, a historian of French culture, spins records with songs that reveal tensions, myths, and memories of France through the 20th and 21st centuries.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time: The Enduring Wisdom of Walter Borden

“We travel a tightrope,” writes poet and actor Walter Borden, “which we all must cross in order to embrace the fact that, in spite of everything, ‘we done made it over.” IDEAS celebrates the delightful wisdom of Walter Borden and a revised version of his one-man play, The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Citizenship: A Right or a Privilege?

Under international law, each person has the right to a nationality including not being arbitrarily deprived of it. Yet citizenship stripping is on the rise, sometimes even leading to statelessness. Could western societies see the return of exile as punishment? IDEAS explores the question: is citizenship a right or a privilege?
54 minutes 8 seconds
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A Walk of Remembrance: Honouring Canadian soldiers who helped liberate the Netherlands

In a powerful act of remembrance, a group of Canadians participated in a pilgrimage to the Netherlands to commemorate their fathers, grandfathers and uncles who helped to liberate the country from the Nazis. IDEAS contributor Alisa Seigel shares their journey in her documentary, A Walk of Remembrance.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Resurrection? Jordan Bitove's Toronto Star

The future of the newspaper business doesn't look bright. According to Jordan Bitove, publisher and owner of the Toronto Star, the industry requires government help in creating an "ethical media supply chain." He outlines his plan for the newspaper, and why he won't let it fail.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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A Dictionary of War

Ukrainian poet Ostap Slyvynsky has been at the Lviv railway station helping refugees on their way west, escaping the horrors of war. They tell him stories of what they have left, what they have seen and experienced. He has created a sort of A to Z of all these stories — a compendium of all the things that people say about war.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Injustice For All, Part Two

Our justice system was developed under the assumption that both parties in a dispute would each have a lawyer. But most Canadians can’t afford a lawyer — which means that our justice system is tilted in favour of those who can. In a two-part series, IDEAS contributor Mitchell Stuart asks: is a system like that still capable of administering justice?
54 minutes 1 second
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The Great Acceleration

We’ve heard of the Anthropocene: how human activity has altered the planet. But the Great Acceleration? It’s that period from 1950 onwards, when the same human activities revved up even more, and are still accelerating. IDEAS contributor David Kattenburg examines the crucial, and sometimes contested, meanings of this age of Great Acceleration.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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IDEAS recommends White Coat, Black Art with Dr. Brian Goldman

Jordyn and Anne had family members with breast cancer. They each got genetic testing and found out they too carried genes that gave them very high odds of getting cancer too. Both of these women decided to deal with the risk preemptively by having surgery. This is part one of 'The Previvor Dilemma.' Subscribe to the White Coat, Black Art podcast to download the second part of the series, and explore the show’s vast archive.
27 minutes 41 seconds
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Perimeter Institute Conversations About Science and Identity

Identity and historical and social context shape what we know and how we know it, even in the most mind-bending science. Quantum physicist Shohini Ghose discusses the interplay between quantum principles and Mi'kmaq astrophysicist Hilding Neilson talks about how Indigenous traditions of astronomy can enrich and broaden our views of the cosmos.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Injustice For All, Part One

Our justice system was developed under the assumption that both parties in a dispute would each have a lawyer. But most Canadians can’t afford a lawyer — which means that our justice system is tilted in favour of those who can. In a two-part series, IDEAS contributor Mitchell Stuart asks: is a system like that still capable of administering justice?
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Taken In: Exploring Credulity

Two experts who got financially scammed. Two ex-Fundamentalist Christians who researched the psychology of conspiracy belief. Each describes their experience, and explains why credulity is a universal and persistent human tendency.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Quest for a Better World: The life and work of Hina Jilani

Hina Jilani is one of the world’s leading human rights lawyers. She has played several prominent roles for the UN, including eight years as the Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders. Despite attempts on her life, nothing will stop her from fighting injustice to help make a better world.
54 minutes 6 seconds
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Hark! Remembering Chris Brookes

Chris Brookes was a masterful radio storyteller from St. John’s, Newfoundland who helped change the way we make, and listen, to radio. He died from an accidental fall on Monday, April 10, 2023. In tribute of his audio legacy, IDEAS revisits a 2009 documentary, Hark!, about an audio exploration of what Elizabethan England may have sounded like.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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BBC Reith Lecture # 4: Fiona Hill

The final BBC Reith Lecture on the theme of Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms features intelligence specialist Fiona Hill, who served under three U.S. Presidents — Bush, Obama, and Trump. In her lecture, she argues that fear is a weapon of war, and the best way to fight back is through education.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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After 25 Years of Peace, an Old Irish Border is Visible Again

The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have been divided by a largely invisible border since 1998. Now after 25 years of relative quiet, while the return of the border is less likely than ever, the fear of that old familiar sectarian rancour is back. This episode is part two in our series, Walking the Border: Walls That Divide Us. *Originally aired on September 9, 2019.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Left Is Not Woke: Susan Neiman

In recent years, the word "woke" has evolved from a catchphrase into a political ideology — and a catch-all pejorative, routinely wielded on the right against its left-leaning adherents. But in her new book, Left Is Not Woke, moral philosopher Susan Neiman argues that the "woke" ideology represents a fundamental break from traditional leftist ideals.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Messiah Revealed: The hidden treasures of this celebrated piece

Handel's Messiah is possibly the most famous and popular piece of classical music of all time. Yet it's full of secrets and surprises. The founding director of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir Ivars Taurins, and veteran CBC Radio producer Robert Harris, reveal the hidden treasures of this celebrated piece. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 8, 2015.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on January 19, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is the longest night of the year. And that’s what makes it the perfect time to slow down, move inwards, and reflect. CBC Music's In Concert host, Paolo Pietropaolo joins Nahlah Ayed to showcase music he feels captures the spirit of the winter solstice.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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The Canterbury Tales: Wife of Bath

A group of pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales tell stories to each other. One of them — the bawdy, smart, confident Wife of Bath — tells us exactly what she thinks about marriage — and men. She’s been called the first fully-formed woman in English literature, and 700 years later, the Wife of Bath remains an inspiration to writers today.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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IDEAS recommends The Africas VS. America

In 1985, at the height of the Black Power era, police dropped a bomb in a Philadelphia neighbourhood. Their target? A family of Black radicals known as ‘MOVE,’ who found themselves ensnared in a city — and nation’s — domestic war on Black Liberation. Over seven episodes, host Matthew Amha investigates the events that culminated in the MOVE bombing, and the long afterlife of a forgotten American tragedy. Hear more episodes where you get your podcasts or here: https://link.chtbl.com/aHtJxR6f
53 minutes 16 seconds
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Orwell's Roses: Rebecca Solnit

In her latest book, Orwell’s Roses, Rebecca Solnit uncovers a George Orwell who sought simple pleasures and beauty and was besotted with the natural world — something that was core to his being and that was essential to a worldview that abhorred totalitarianism, lies and abuses of language.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Wretched of the Earth: Frantz Fanon, Part Two

One of the heroes of the Algerian war for independence from France was a young psychiatrist from Martinique. Frantz Fanon treated both Algerian victims of French brutality and torture, as well as French colonial officers and authorities responsible for it. This is the final episode in David Austin's 2006 series about the life and work of Frantz Fanon.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Flow: when the impossible becomes possible

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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Eugenic thinking has never gone away

Eugenics is seen as a 19th-century idea put into horrific 20th-century practice. But the attraction to breeding “better” humans has a long and persistent history, says Adam Rutherford. The geneticist and science podcaster explains, in conversation with host Nahlah Ayed.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on April 7, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Neurodiversity and the Myth of Normal, Part 2

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. *This episode originally aired on May 9, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Maria Ressa: ‘Last two minutes of Democracy'

Nobel laureate and renowned journalist Maria Ressa warns that we’re in the "last two minutes of democracy." She delivered the 2022 Beatty Lecture at McGill University and then joined IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed to discuss what can be done to change the course against disinformation.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Indigenous Renaissance in Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland has a vibrant history of Indigenous writing that’s been obscured over the years, but is now being rediscovered and celebrated. As part of the George Story Distinguished Lecture series at Memorial University, professor Kristina Bidwell shares the rich and complex world of Newfoundland’s Indigenous literature and points to the collaborations taking place right now.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. IDEAS examines the cultural history behind the world's most popular drink. *Originally published on June 19, 2019.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on April 22, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Transforming Justice, Part 2: Angela Davis, Fania Davis and Margaret Burnham

We continue our series with a rare glimpse into seven decades dedicated to rebuilding society. Three titans of the civil rights movement, Angela Davis, her sister Fania Davis and Margaret Burnham, come together to discuss transforming racial justice, as part of an event organized by the Restorative Lab at Dalhousie University's Schulich School of Law and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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IDEAS presents Scene on Radio's The Land That Never Has Been Yet, Part One

The American Revolution is often depicted as a struggle between the common man and the callous elite. Yet most of the famous American figures of the revolution were powerful landowners, with vast wealth and ownership over other human beings. A Duke University podcast from the Centre for Documentary Studies revisits how contested ideas of "democracy" reverberate in American politics today.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Geography of Hope: Wallace Stegner and the Disappearing West

American writer Wallace Stegner fought hard to protect the land and resources in the Wild West. But he had crucial blind spots about the history of Indigenous people. IDEAS goes to Eastend, Saskatchewan in search of what Stegner's writings on conservation mean today, in a place where the grasslands are still under threat.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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A Demon Attack in Old Quebec

A demonic possession, a do-it-yourself exorcism, and the execution of an accused witch — welcome to daily life in Quebec City, circa 1660. Historian Mairi Cowan shares the story of Canada’s earliest reported ‘demon possession caused by witchcraft’ case.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Real Actor: Method Acting

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. *This episode originally aired on March 2, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Getting Past Polarization: Anand Giridharadas

The extremes are extreme in U.S. politics. But Anand Giridharadas and some other progressives are convinced that there are uncompromising approaches that can move up to 60 per cent of voters to value democracy and human rights. The author of The Persuaders describes the methods proven effective in shifting views.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Coyotes!

Coyotes are everywhere, from the deepest woods to urban backyards. Who is this “song dog” and why do they fascinate and unnerve humans? IDEAS explores some answers in a 2001 documentary that looks at coyotes, in reality and story.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Fate Is the Hunter: Ernest K. Gann

IDEAS takes a deep dive into Fate Is the Hunter, Ernest K. Gann's celebrated memoir of flying and the capricious hand of fortune. The book is a nail-biting account of his early days in aviation. Gann wonders: why did I survive when so many other pilots perished?
54 minutes 8 seconds
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O Canada: Joyce Wieland and the Art of Nationhood

In the 1960s and 70s, Joyce Wieland painted, sculpted and stitched the Canadian flag and our sense of national identity. Her art called on the need to preserve its distinctness from the United States. Now, a quarter century after her death, Canadians are wrestling with questions of who and what we are as a nation.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 25, 2021.
54 minutes 9 seconds
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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? *This episode originally aired on March 15, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka on fighting a new set of 'internal colonialists'

Wole Soyinka has gone from political prisoner to Nobel Laureate in Literature. His writing, brimming with wit and rage, bears witness to the tragedy and triumphs of his native Nigeria. He spoke with Nahlah Ayed about power, the corruption of language, and his first novel in almost 50 years.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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2022 CBC Massey Lectures | # 1: On Language

In his 2022 CBC Massey Lectures, acclaimed Cree writer Tomson Highway explores fundamental questions of human existence through the lens of Indigenous mythologies, and contrasts them with the ideas from ancient Greece and Christianity. In the first lecture, Highway argues that language shapes the way we see the world. Without language, we are lost creatures in a meaningless existence — which is why we tell stories. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 14, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Idea of Home: Song of Home

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 and how have decades of conflict reshaped Afghan music? This is the final episode in our series, The Idea of Home, which aired on June 17, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Cundill History Prize 2021: Marjoleine Kars

The Cundill History Prize is the most prestigious of its kind. Marjoleine Kars won the award of $75,000 USD in 2021 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. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 2, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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? *This episode originally aired on March 7, 2022.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Neurodiversity and the Myth of Normal, Part 1

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. *This episode originally aired on April 29, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. The 2021 Boyer Lectures were delivered by 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. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 9, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 13, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The New World Disorder | The Rise of the Strongman

Democracy is shrivelling and illiberalism is on the rise. We've been watching this unfold for more than three decades but the sense of urgency has, perhaps, never been so great. IDEAS hears from people on the frontline of the fight against rising authoritarianism — how they understand the struggle and what they're doing to survive it. *This episode is part of our series, The New World Disorder.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Freedom, Part Two: Annelien de Dijn

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. *This episode originally aired on March 17, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The New World Disorder | The Future of Democracy

What hope does democracy have when geopolitical instability is mounting, and public discourse is drowning in a sea of misinformation and disinformation? There is hope — according to two former Massey Lecturers Ron Deibert and Jennifer Welsh. *This episode is part of our series, The New World Disorder.
54 minutes 9 seconds
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Iran: Bänoo Zan, a War Correspondent in Verse

Leaving Iran in 2010 was the first time translator and poet Bänoo Zan was able to fully inhabit a self-described role as "war correspondent in verse." In this conversation with host Nahlah Ayed, the writer in residence at the University of Alberta explores the role of poetry in such moments of upheaval in her home country.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Inherited Memories of Partition: Aanchal Malhotra

It’s been 75 years since the Partition of India — a rupture that still shapes the lives of those born in its wake. Oral historian Aanchal Malhotra speaks with Nahlah Ayed about how the inherited memory of Partition continues to shape people’s politics, identities, curiosities and fears.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Mercury’s In Retrograde: The Rise of Astrology

Belief in astrology is on the upswing, especially among younger people. But since it has no predictive value, what meanings can be gleaned from a belief that the stars reveal all about us? This documentary examines the rise of popular astrology in the 1930s and how it fits into the consumer capitalism world we now inhabit.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Myths on Screen: Hollywood at War, Part Two

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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 7, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Killam Prize Winner: Carl E. James

Carl E. James is the winner of the 2022 Killam Prize for Social Science. Professor James is Canada's leading expert on schools and universities, especially as viewed through the lives of racialized students. He insists we must notice the processes behind what can appear to be flaws in society.
54 minutes 9 seconds
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The Democratic Republic of China

China is a true superpower, with influence far beyond its borders. But the world is changing. Could China possibly become a democracy? University of Toronto professor Joseph Wong thinks so. He explores this theory and explains how China got to where it is today.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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BBC Reith Lectures #1: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The BBC Reith Lectures return and this year’s theme is The Four Freedoms. In the first lecture, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi-Aidichie analyzes the state of free speech today, including the phenomenon some call “cancel culture.” She argues that moral courage is required to resist threats to freedom of speech, be they political, legal or social.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Idea of Home: The Hospitable Hospital

Hospitality — and hospitals. Two words that share a root, but whose meanings often seem at odds with each other. IDEAS traces 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. The third episode in our series, The Idea of Home, which originally aired on June 15, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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'Mr. Dynamo': Remembering Ronnie Hawkins

The passing of Ronnie Hawkins at age 87 is the inspiration for this special episode of IDEAS in which producer Philip Coulter retools a show he did for Inside the Music. It plumbs the CBC Radio's extensive archives featuring The Hawk and captures the bottomless charisma, warmth and energy that defined his legendary career.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Picturing the Past: History Movies

History films get the most awards at the Oscars. But they’re more than just entertainment. They colour our understanding of the past, and sometimes discolour it. Film scholar Kim Nelson explores the complex power of how history films shape our sense of who we are.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 21, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on May 6, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Nowhere Left to Run: Climate Reparations

At the most recent COP27 global meeting, vulnerable countries counted a win — sort of — with the creation of a fund to pay for loss and damage brought on by climate change. All they need now is for rich nations to pay up. But will they take on moral responsibility? And if not, how can climate justice be achieved?
54 minutes 8 seconds
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On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe

Starting in 1493, tens of thousands of Indigenous people began arriving in Europe. British historian Caroline Dodds Pennock pieces together the evidence of their lives and experiences there in her book, On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe.
54 minutes 9 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 25, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Messiah Revealed: The hidden treasures of this celebrated piece

Handel's Messiah is possibly the most famous and popular piece of classical music of all time. Yet it's full of secrets and surprises. The founding director of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir Ivars Taurins, and veteran CBC Radio producer Robert Harris, reveal the hidden treasures of this celebrated piece. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 8, 2015.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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
54 minutes 8 seconds
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2022 CBC Massey Lectures | # 2: On Creation

In his second CBC Massey lecture, Tomson Highway questions how the universe came to be. He explores ancient Greek and Christian beliefs and suggests the Indigenous worldview offers something else: "Those who lived in ages before us... who have died, our loved ones — they live here with us, still, today, in the very air we breathe." *This episode originally aired on Nov. 15, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Words of Love: A Guided Tour of the Song of Songs

The Song of Songs is about two lovers whose passion for one another transcends place and time. Or is it about the relationship between God and humanity? Is it about language as love? Or is it actually an ode to many kinds of love, in many walks of life? The answer is: all of the above, and more.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Transforming Justice, Part 1: Angela Davis, Fania Davis and Margaret Burnham

IDEAS offers a rare glimpse into seven decades dedicated to rebuilding society. Three titans of the civil rights movement, Angela Davis, her sister Fania Davis and Margaret Burnham, come together to discuss transforming racial justice, as part of an event organized by the Restorative Lab at Dalhousie University's Schulich School of Law and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Myths on Screen: Hollywood at War, Part Three

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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Thucydides, Part 2: Lessons from the plague of Athens

The plague of Athens struck in 430 BC, violently killing up to half of the Greek city's population. The chronicler Thucydides documented the grim symptoms, as well as the social and psychological fallout. His vivid account holds enduring lessons for us today. *This episode originally aired on June 23, 2020.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 10, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on April 6, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Cymbeline in the Anthropocene

At first glance, Shakespeare’s play Cymbeline doesn’t seem like an obvious choice for confronting the climate crisis. But seven theatre companies around the world, from Argentina to Australia, have adapted Cymbeline to respond to the climate crisis in their local communities.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The New Masters: 2022 Sobey Art Award

How did the iconic Taj Mahal get turned into a bouncy castle? Artist and winner of the 2022 Sobey Art Award, Divya Mehra explains the meaning behind her art installation and joins the four finalists in a conversation that celebrates where new art is taking us.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Polyphony: Jewish and Palestinian musicians aim to 'bridge the divide' through music

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. *This episode originally aired on May 3, 2022.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Atlantis and the Apocalypse: The World of Fringe Archaeology

A Netflix series called Ancient Apocalypse claims that a thriving civilization was wiped out during the Ice Age by comets and floods, but left humanity with science and technology. Experts call this "pseudo-archaeology." IDEAS unearths how pseudo-archaeology has been used to advance political and cultural ideas, and where it crosses over from pseudo-science to religious myth-making.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Britt Wray on Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis

Science writer and scholar Britt Wray specializes in the mental health impacts of the ecological crisis. Her new book, Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis, shares productive ways to cope, think, and act while facing an anxious ecological present and uncertain future.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on May 11, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. It originally aired on Dec. 10, 2021.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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?
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Shock of the New | The Year 1947: Fractures and Tectonic Shifts

The Partition of India creates the largest mass migration in human history. The newly-created United Nations votes to partition British Palestine. The Cold War divides the world into opposing camps, and empires collapse and retreat. This is the final episode in our series, The Shock of the New, exploring how change happens.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on January 26, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Words Fall Apart: Ukrainian poet Lyuba Yakimchuk

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, it's been a year since the whole country has been invaded. Lyuba Yakimchuk reflects on poetry, war, and the burden of a motherland. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 25, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Marrow of Nature: A Case for Wetlands

Our relationship with wetlands is nothing if not troubled; swamps, bogs, and marshes have long been cast as wastelands, paved over to make way for agriculture and human development. But with wetlands proving crucial for life, artists, ecologists and activists say we need to rewrite this squelchy story.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The peace walls of Belfast: Do they still help keep the peace?

It was 25 years ago today that the Good Friday peace agreement was signed, yet the so-called peace walls remain in Northern Ireland. Host Nahlah Ayed went to Belfast to find out if the walls are helping or hindering community reconciliation between Catholic and Protestant, Republican and Unionist. *This episode originally aired on September 2, 2019.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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The Rise and Fall and Rise of Richard Wright

Richard Wright was the biggest name in Black American literature in the 1940s. He fell out of favour, in part the result of critiques by James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison. But a recent publication of a Wright manuscript has led to a re-evaluation of his legacy and enduring relevance.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on January 18, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on April 13, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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? *This episode originally aired on Dec. 17, 2021.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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The Origins of Celebrity

Celebrity culture existed long before the stage, screen, and social media. Famous people, who elicited Kardashian-level feelings of love and hate in the public, were present centuries ago... though they share qualities with stars today, say scholars Irina Dumitrescu and Sharon Marcus.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Alphabet Odyssey: The Middle English Dictionary

The Middle English Dictionary was 71 years in the making. Eventually published by the University of Michigan in 2001, it featured 15,000 pages, 55,000 definitions, and had 900,000 examples of usage gleaned from 400 years of medieval texts. Join IDEAS on a romp through the Middle English Dictionary. *This episode was originally broadcast in 2004.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Laurie Anderson: Spending the War Without You, Part One

Through excerpts from her Norton lectures, legendary avant-garde multimedia artist Laurie Anderson takes us on a curious journey exploring questions of politics, love, technology and fame. Episode One touches on angels, code-cracking and modern dance. *This episode originally aired on June 2, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Idea of Home: Return

Can you ever truly go home again? At a time when more people have been forcibly displaced from their homes than at any other time in history, IDEAS explores what it means to return years — or decades — later. *This is the first episode in our five-part series, The Idea of Home, which originally aired on June 13, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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 applies this notion to create Dante's Indiana, a tragi-comic epic that descends deep into the recesses of modern American life.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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 dangers for civilian women working in the fog of war. *This episode originally aired on May 5, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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George McCullagh — Canada's first media mogul you've never heard of

The Globe and Mail's founder George McCullagh once had the ear of the entire nation —but despite his remarkable rise to power, few know his name. Historian Mark Bourrie traces his legacy in the book Big Men Fear Me. *Please be advised, this episode contains discussion of suicide.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Meaning of Ice: Arctic research embracing traditional knowledge

Climate change has transformed the Arctic faster than most places on the planet. Inuit know this better than anyone. But as Arctic ice researcher Dr. Shari Fox argues a colonialist approach to Arctic research by academia has largely disrespected and sidelined traditional knowledge. She's working to change that.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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? *This episode originally aired on Dec. 15, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 14, 2022.
1 hour 1 minute 11 seconds
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The COVID Generation, Part Two

Over the past two years, millions of teenagers 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 quickly becomes apparent why the COVID generation stands apart as a uniquely marked one.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Odyssey of Saturn the Alligator: Hitler's 'Favourite'

Saturn, an alligator that was supposedly Hitler’s favourite animal was 'liberated' from the Berlin zoo when the Red Army invaded Germany at the end of the Second World War. The reptile was relocated to Moscow where it died in 2020. But with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Saturn’s story has become once again a symbol wartime geopolitics.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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We Make the Road by Walking: Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Geographer Ruth Wilson Gilmore pioneered the study of how mass incarceration has shaped the American landscape. In this wide-ranging interview with IDEAS, Gilmore talks about her latest book, Abolition Geography, in which she brings together more than three decades of essays and lectures about how America — and Americans — have come to be.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Ideas Introduces: Nothing is Foreign

World news, local voices. Nothing is Foreign is a weekly trip to where the story is unfolding. Hosted by Tamara Khandaker. This episode takes you inside the culture and class wars of Egypt and explores what the banning of popular music says about the African country's image and its future. More episodes are available at: http://hyperurl.co/nothingisforeign
24 minutes 49 seconds
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Dante: Poet of the Impossible, Part Two

Dante Alighieri died 700 years ago. 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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 11, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Canada's School Trains

They were known as school cars and schools on wheels. Trains that brought the classroom to children in the most isolated communities of Northern Ontario. IDEAS contributor Alisa Siegel explores remote education, homeschooling and nation-building.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Thomas Halliday: History of Extinct Ecosystems

British paleontologist Thomas Halliday reveals how extinction is intimately linked to evolution in his book, Otherlands. He chronicles 16 extinct ecosystems over the past 520 million years to show how everything living today is the descendant of survivor species.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on April 8, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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On Decline: Revisiting Andrew Potter’s Prognosis

In September 2021, Andrew Potter spoke with IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed about his book, On Decline. He argues that our entire civilization is in a slow, grinding descent into diminished prospects for a better world. We asked the author to return this month to assess how the past nine months have affected his grim prognosis.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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A Clearer Universe: Astrophysicist Louise Edwards

In 2024, our view of the universe is going to change drastically. When the Vera C. Rubin Observatory is complete, it will be possible to produce images of the night sky that are both sharper and more wide-ranging than ever before — revolutionizing our knowledge of galaxies, according to astrophysicist Louise Edwards.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Dinner on Mars: How to grow food when humans colonize the red planet

Two food security experts imagine what it would take to feed a human colony on Mars in the year 2080 if we colonized the red planet. From greenhouse technologies to nanotechnologies, they figure we could have a well-balanced diet on Mars, and argue there are lessons on how to improve our own battered food systems here on Earth.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Bias List: Investigating the field of 'bias studies'

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. *This episode originally aired on Feb. 3, 2022.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Ideas Introduces: The Kill List

When human rights activist Karima Baloch is found drowned off the shores of Toronto, an investigation into her mysterious death leads all the way back to Pakistan, the country she had recently fled. In this six-part series, host Mary Lynk explores the rampant abductions and killings of dissidents in Pakistan, the dangers that follow those who flee to the West, and a terrifying intelligence agency with tentacles around the globe. How did Karima die? And would Pakistan really carry out an assassination far beyond its borders? This is a story that a powerful state doesn’t want you to know. More episodes are available at smarturl.it/thekilllist
52 minutes 35 seconds
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Nima Elbagir delivers the 2021 Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondents Lecture

CNN's Senior International Correspondent Nima Elbagir delivers the 2021 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. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 25, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Crime, Punishment, and Alternative Forms of Justice

The demographics of Canada’s prison population are far out of line with the rest of Canada. As part of the Provocation Ideas Festival and the Toronto International Festival of Authors, Nahlah Ayed hosts a panel discussion on challenges facing the legal system, and how to build a better court.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 12, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Song of Zong!: M. NourbeSe Philip's epic poem gives voice to slave ship victims

In November 1721, 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. *This episode originally aired on November 29, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. Fashion expert Pedro Mendes explores the 150-year history of jeans and the 'authenticity' they are supposed to represent. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 13, 2019.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on March 10, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on April 4, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Ideas Introduces: Kuper Island

Kuper Island is an 8-part series that tells the stories of four students: three who survived and one who didn’t. They attended one of Canada’s most notorious residential schools – where unsolved deaths, abuse, and lies haunt the community and the survivors to this day. Hosted by Duncan McCue. More episodes are available at hyperurl.co/kuperisland
32 minutes 56 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Seduced by story: the dangers of narrative

Humans are storytelling creatures. But literary scholar Peter Brooks argues that stories have become far too dominant as the way we understand ourselves and the world. IDEAS examines the dangers of seeing everything as a story.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The End of Everything: Katie Mack

The scientific consensus is that the universe was probably born in The Big Bang — the beginning of time and space. It's far less certain how the universe will end. Theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack outlines the possible fates of the universe in her book, The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking).
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Flop Sweat: Why We Choke When It Matters Most

The World Cup of Soccer promises some of the most dramatic moments in sports. And when the stakes are high, some people choke. IDEAS contributor Peter Brown looks at why our skills desert us when we're under pressure, and what can be done to avoid the dreaded choke.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Beyond the Pale (Part 3 of Bias series)

Calling something ‘beyond the pale’ puts it outside of civil society. (The word ‘pale’ actually means a ‘fence’.) So is there a fair way to build and maintain that fence in today’s political climate? IDEAS producer Tom Howell finds out how people are placing their private ‘pales’ these days — and what agreement remains on the existence of a public one.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Transhumance: An ancient practice at risk

For millennia, human beings along with their domesticated animals have travelled to bring sheep, goats, cattle, and other animals to better grazing areas. The ancient practice, known as transhumance, has been dismissed as an outdated mode of animal husbandry. Yet the practice holds promise for a sustainable future.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on January 31, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Freedom, Part One: Lea Ypi

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. *This episode originally aired on March 8, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Wretched of the Earth: Frantz Fanon, Part One

The psychiatrist and political philosopher Frantz Fanon was one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. This episode examines Fanon's early life under French colonial rule in Martinique, his involvement as a young man in WWII, and the influence of Jean-Paul Sartre on Fanon's thinking. A deep dive into the life of this remarkable thinker by Montreal writer David Austin.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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 episode of 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. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 3, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Muhammad Iqbal: one of the greatest South Asian thinkers of the 20th century

Muhammad Iqbal was popularly known as the intellectual founder of Pakistan, but his greater fame is for his philosophical works in English and his poetry, both in Urdu and Persian. IDEAS looks at the life and work of one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 24, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on March 23, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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A Harem of Computers: The History of the Feminized Machine

Digital assistants, in your home or on your phone, are usually presented as women. In this documentary, IDEAS traces the history of the feminized, non-threatening machine, from Siri and Alexa to the "women computers" of the 19th century.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Peter Stursberg Lecture: Giancarlo Fiorella of Bellingcat_

In a world that’s increasingly hostile to journalists, Bellingcat has become an internationally respected organization uncovering the truth about wrongdoing. Giancarlo Fiorella, a senior investigator with Bellingcat delivered the 2022 Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondent Lecture in an event moderated by IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 26, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Return to North: The Soundscapes of Glenn Gould

In 1967, pianist Glenn Gould made a radio documentary for CBC about the Canadian North. He applied the technique of contrapuntal music to documentary-making, with the result sounding like a Bach fugue made of stories. This 2017 documentary explores Gould's life and his revolutionary ideas about music and radio.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on January 28, 2022.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Resurgent History: Mohawk Ironworkers

Indigenous scholar Allan Downey tells the story of Indigenous ironworkers from the Haudenosaunee community of Kahnawake in Quebec and how they helped build New York’s skyline — and a community in Brooklyn. Downey calls it a resurgent history, aimed at reviving Indigenous culture, traditions and governance.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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BBC Reith Lecture #2: Rowan Williams

The BBC Reith Lectures return, and this year’s theme is The Four Freedoms. Rowan Williams, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, delivers the second BBC Reith Lecture. He argues that the West has forgotten what freedom of religion really means.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 6 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 4, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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B is for Bias

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. *This episode originally aired on Sept. 7, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. The 2021 Boyer Lectures were delivered by 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. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 8, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The New World Disorder | The End of America

The U.S. is at a turning point and experts say the country hasn't been this divided since the Civil War. Some are predicting the end of American democracy, while others claim the potential for political violence looms. IDEAS contributor Melissa Gismondi explores where the country might be headed and what — if anything — can save it. *This episode is part of our series, The New World Disorder.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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[Hunting] Ghost Particles

The mysterious ‘neutrino’ has a nickname: the ‘ghost particle.’ Benjamin Tam is finishing his PhD in Particle Astrophysics at Queen’s University. He takes us two kilometres to a laboratory deep below the earth’s surface where he and fellow scientists hope to watch neutrinos finally explain the universe’s existence.
54 minutes 9 seconds
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Award-winning writers on finding ways to heal

How do you heal emotional wounds? Novelist Jen Ferguson recommends anger and “a good scream.” Playwright Dorothy Dittrich suggests art and conversation can draw a person out of grief. Artist Nahid Kazemi agrees with the poet Rumi: “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” The three are winners of 2022 Governor General’s Literary Awards.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Killam Prize Winner: Bioethicist Françoise Baylis

Slowing down science, negotiating the self, and making ‘virtues’ cool again. IDEAS speaks to world-leading bioethicist Françoise Baylis, a recent winner of the 2022 Canada Council Killam Prize for her influential work.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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IDEAS from the Trenches: The Conspiracy Practice

Growing up, PhD student Sarah believed in the literal interpretation of the Bible. Born into a devout evangelical Christian community, she draws on her religious past to understand the visceral belief people acquire in conspiracy theories — from PizzaGate to the 'stolen' 2020 U.S. election.
54 minutes 9 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 19, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Idea of Home: The Stranger at the Door

In ancient Greece, hospitality (or xenia) was seen as a sacred moral imperative. 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 in this second episode of our five-part series, The Idea of Home. *This episode originally aired on June 14, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Worst Marriage Ever: The Story of Jason and Medea

The ancient Greek story of Jason and the Argonauts is that of a quest — and one of the first ever told: a man, a ship and a team of sailors, all in search of a miracle. Jason's turbulent relationship with Medea is at the centre of this documentary by contributor Tom Jokinen, Worst Marriage Ever: The Story of Jason and Medea.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired January 7, 2022.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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The Librarian Who Won’t Stay Quiet

Libraries are under literal attack in Ukraine, and ideological attack amid North America’s culture wars. Oxford librarian and author Richard Ovenden is not about to stay quiet about it. He argues that libraries defend our democratic freedoms, and deserve our defence in return.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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In Defence of Democracy: Naheed Nenshi

Democratic backsliding is speeding up. Is there a way to revive civic engagement and resilience and push back against public apathy? IDEAS host, Nahlah Ayed talks to former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi about the possibility of renewing civic purpose in Canada, as part of a public lecture hosted by the Samara Centre.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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To Know Evil: Philosophy in Wartime

What good is philosophy in times of war? Ukrainian scholar Mychailo Wynnyckyj and Yale philosopher Jason Stanley share their thoughts on how philosophy can illuminate the Ukrainian crisis — and inform our response to the war.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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? *This episode originally aired on April 19, 2022.
54 minutes 6 seconds
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Music on Mars

If you thought space was silent, think again. Thanks to NASA's latest Mars rover, 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 in this award-winning documentary by Matthew Lazin-Ryder. *This episode originally aired on May 17, 2021.
54 minutes 6 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 13, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Shock of the New | The Year 1833: Evolution and Entrenchment

Britain abolishes slavery — but consolidates and expands its empire, especially in Africa and the Caribbean. Industrialization transforms the nature of work, communication and travel. The inventors of the computer meet for the first time, and Charles Darwin has a revelation that will revolutionize science and challenge religions. Part three in our series exploring “hinge moments” in history.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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LRB’s Encounters with Medieval Women

IDEAS presents a sample from a London Review of Books podcast miniseries called Encounters with Medieval Women. 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. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 29, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Mystified by Money

Money is a pervasive force in life, as anyone feeling the pinch from inflation knows all too well. It’s also unpredictable, unstable, unnatural, abstract, and deeply invested with emotion, trust and politics. IDEAS explores the strange history of money and how it confounds attempts to understand and control it.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Neuroscientist Iain McGilchrist on 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.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Ed 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.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Passaggio

'Passaggio' is a documentary by Pamela Post about the transition of her transgender son, Asher, a serious performer of vocal music. The story captures the pain and joy as Asher confronts medical procedures and the prospect of losing both his musical career and his partner. *This episode originally aired on Dec. 20, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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What Money Can't Buy: Michael Sandel

Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel fears that we’ve turned from a market economy into a market society, where just about everything is for sale. His book, What Money Can’t Buy, was a big success 10 years ago. He joins Astra Taylor and Michael Ignatieff to discuss why his book is even more relevant today.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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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?
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Artemisia Gentileschi: What a Woman Can Do

*Please note that this episode features descriptions of a sexual assault that some listeners may find disturbing.* 17-century artist Artemisia Gentileschi upended traditional depictions of women in her paintings by creating gutsy, strong female figures. With her paintbrush as in her life, she fought gender inequality and helped to reimagine womanhood and what it could mean to be a female artist. *This episode originally aired on May 24, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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IDEAS presents Scene on Radio's The Land That Never Has Been Yet, Part Two

The American Revolution of 1776 may have been a revolt of the powerful rich, but the United States had a second chance at crafting a democracy after the Civil War. In part two, this podcast series revisits the Reconstruction era, where an unlikely coalition of leaders tried to make the U.S. into a true multiracial democracy. And it worked, for a while.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *Originally aired on October 14, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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 originally aired on Dec. 6, 2021.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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The Alchemy Lecture: Borders, Human Itineraries and All Our Relation

Language. Labour. Migration. Four international scholars gathered at York University to deliver the inaugural Alchemy Lecture: Borders, Human Itineraries and All Our Relation. Together they envision a world without borders, a world that confronts the global injustices of labour, of forced migration, and life in the Black diaspora.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Idea of Home: The Architecture of War and Peace

“Urbicide” — the intentional killing of a city — is a brutal tactic of war, designed to destroy people’s sense of home and belonging to a larger collective. But even in peacetime, architecture and urban planning can become part of a more subtle kind of war over who gets to call a city home. This is the fourth episode in our series, The Idea of Home, which originally aired on June 16, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Cundill History Prize: Tiya Miles

A cotton sack from the time of slavery bears the first names of a mother and her daughter, who was sold at the age of nine. Harvard historian Tiya Miles scours the historical documentary record to discover who these women were and reveals their story of love in her book, All That She Carried — winner of the 2022 Cundill History Prize.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Myths on Screen: Hollywood at War, Part One

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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 6 seconds
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'Quiet Resistance': The 19th-Century Journals of Iranian Women

As mass demonstrations continue to erupt across Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini, journals of Iranian women from the 19th century reveal a 'hidden resistance' to authority. Safaneh Mohaghegh Neyshabouri studied these journals and observed how small acts of resistance can give root to massive social upheaval. This episode is part of our ongoing series, IDEAS from the Trenches.
54 minutes 9 seconds
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Négritude: The birth of Black humanism

Négritude was a Francophone movement to rethink what it meant to be Black and African. Scholar Merve Fejzula explores the dynamic debates happening in the early-to mid-20th century among Négritude thinkers, how they disseminated their ideas, and how all this changed what it meant to be part of a public.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Laws of War

A Russian soldier has been sentenced to life in prison for committing war crimes in Ukraine. But what are the rules of a war crime and how can they be enforced? IDEAS speaks to three experts to examine how international law deals with war crimes.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Haunted: Imagining Ghosts Out of Loss

Sometimes, ghosts 'appear' for very human reasons. Loss, change, and grief can alter our perceptions of reality. In this episode, the reasons why ghosts are seen everywhere from new high-rises in Mumbai, to urban food courts, to a gay gym in San Francisco.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on March 1, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Stolen Revolution: Iranian Women of 1979

The Iranian women demanding their rights today are part of a long history of resistance — and they’re continuing a struggle that began 43 years ago. IDEAS contributor Donya Ziaee shares the story of the women who took to the streets to oppose mandatory veiling just after the 1979 revolution. *This episode originally aired on March 8, 2019.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Indigenous Sexuality and Gender

When Europeans colonized North America, they brought very specific ideas about gender and sexuality. Following the 2022 CBC Massey Lectures, Tomson Highway joined panellists to discuss Indigenous sexuality in the aftermath of colonialism — from Cree mythology to the Vancouver dating scene. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 21, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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BBC Reith Lecture #3: Darren McGarvey

Scottish journalist and musician Darren McGarvey gives the third of four BBC Reith Lectures on the theme of 'Freedom from Want'. He says it's incumbent upon people to challenge and confront what inequality means. McGarvey argues that expecting compassion from the government is unreasonable — as governments have become hard-wired to avoid compassion.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The New World Disorder | The Nature of Nationalism

Today’s nationalist leaders employ an exclusionary nationalism that can stoke fear, insularity, and hate. Yet political scientists Maya Tudor and Harris Mylonas argue it's important to understand nationalism as a powerful ideology that can be harnessed for national and global good. *This episode is part of our series, The New World Disorder.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Keeping Kayfabe: The Philosophy of Pro Wrestling

Is there beauty in a Reverse Frankensteiner? Truth in a Crossface Chickenwing? Meaning in a Turnbuckle Thrust? These are questions for professional wrestlers, and professional philosophers. This episode brings both groups together, for a rough 'n tumble cage match of philosophical inquiry.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Shock of the New | The Year 1789: More Than One Revolution

A revolution in France heralds a change in political order everywhere. The revolution upends ideas about everyday life, gender, time and more. New definitions of freedom and equality emerge — and are fiercely contested. As empires expand, enslaved people and anticolonial leaders push back. Part two in a series about what Salman Rushdie calls “hinge moments” in history, exploring how change happens.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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2022 CBC Massey Lectures | # 4: On Sex and Gender

In his fourth Massey lecture, Tomson Highway explores some of the limits monotheism imposes our understanding of the human body and gender. In the world of Indigenous peoples, Highway writes, "the circle of pantheism has space for any number of genders" — an idea with fresh relevance for understanding our own times. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 17, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Madame Blavatsky: Intellectual, Adventurer, Occultist... Fraud

IDEAS delves into one of the great enigmatic figures of the late 19th century: Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Known as the godmother of the New Age movement, she led the Theosophical Society — a group determined to seek 'no religion higher than the truth.'
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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How Sand Shapes Our World

"Sand is the material that matters most to what it means for us to be human," says researcher Nehal El-Hadi. She explores how sand shapes everything from our cities to our understanding of time — and what it means that the global supply of sand is dwindling, in her lecture, Poetics, Politics, and Paradoxes of Sand.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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2022 CBC Massey Lectures | # 5: On Death

Tomson Highway's final Massey lecture is an uplifting and joyous conclusion to his series ⁠— a message that the worldview of Indigenous people suggests ways of seeing and believing that make our journey on Earth joyous, hilariously funny and rich in diversity. *This episode aired on Nov. 18, 2022.
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The Shock of the New | The Year 1600: The Birth of the Modern?

Empires are expanding, the British East India Company is born, and the silver trade between South America and China begins to stitch the world into a global economy. Shakespeare is writing Hamlet and Julius Caesar, and Giordano Bruno is burned at the stake for his scientific discoveries. Part one in a series about what Salman Rushdie calls “hinge moments” in history, exploring how change happens.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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? *This episode originally aired on January 27, 2022.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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Turn the Other Cheek

The Sermon on the Mount is one of the greatest gifts of scripture to humanity; just ask Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Leo Tolstoy. But who's making any use of it today? In a time when an eye for an eye still seems to hold sway, IDEAS producer Sean Foley explores the logic of Christian non-violence, beginning with Jesus' counsel to 'turn the other cheek.'
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Andean Philosophy: The Huarochirí Manuscript

The Huarochirí Manuscript is one of the few surviving records of Quechua worldviews in the early modern era. It was once used by the Catholic Church to identify and eradicate “idolatries.” But today, for philosophy professor Jorge Sanchez-Perez, the manuscript is a tool for reconstructing and revitalizing Andean metaphysics.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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War and Medicine: Hawkeye's Army

We think nothing today of calling healthcare workers “front line workers,” engaged in a “battle” against disease. But the roots of the war metaphor in medicine go a long way back ⁠— entrenched by pop culture icons like the TV show M*A*S*H and Hawkeye’s army. Dr. Jillian Horton explores a less heroic but healthier way forward for doctors and health professionals.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Thucydides, Part 1: The First Journalist

About 2,500 years ago, Thucydides travelled ancient Greece, gathering stories about a brutal war that plunged the ancient world into chaos. He set high standards for accuracy, objectivity and thoroughness in his reporting. IDEAS producer Nicola Luksic explains why his account of the Peloponnesian War is relevant today. *This episode originally aired on Jan. 7, 2011.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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The Bird Man: Adventures with Bill Montevecchi

Seabird biologist Bill Montevecchi has been ranked in the world’s top two per cent of scientists. IDEAS producer Mary Lynk follows him on a heart-pounding overnight rescue mission of young storm petrels along Newfoundland’s coastline. *Some strong language in episode.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on May 2, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Insomnia: A Cultural History

Scholar Katie Hunt ties together lines of Romantic era poetry with scientific research on sleep... to reveal how our concept of insomnia evolved, and how the poems still have the power to open our minds.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on April 5, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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2022 CBC Massey Lectures | # 3: On Humour

In his third CBC Massey lecture, Tomson Highway invites us into the Cree world of scatological, wild laughter. He invokes the Trickster — a central figure to mythologies of many Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. The audience is invited to experience the world through joy and laughter. *This episode originally aired on Nov. 16, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Engaging with a World in Turmoil: Bob Rae

The UN was created partly to prevent war yet war's the one thing it hasn’t been able to prevent. Still despite its flaws, Canada’s ambassador to the UN, Bob Rae says it's a good place to start. Rae makes an impassioned plea for engaging with a world in turmoil.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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? *This episode originally aired on Feb. 16, 2022.
54 minutes 7 seconds
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The Shock of the New | The Year 1913: The World on the Brink

The Ottoman Empire is at war in the Balkans. There's a revolution in Mexico and a coup in Istanbul. Women worldwide agitate for suffrage. Modernism bursts onto the artistic stage, and Rabindranath Tagore becomes the first non-western writer to win the Nobel Prize. Part four in our series, The Shock of the New, exploring how change happens.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Games and the Good Life: From Baseball to Business

Deciding what counts as a game and what doesn’t can be tough. Philosopher Thomas Hurka, from the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto, examines what makes a game a game — and how getting the definition right can help us understand what makes for a life well spent.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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Laurie Anderson: Spending the War Without You, Part Two

Musician, poet and multimedia artist Laurie Anderson addresses technology, fame and Yoko Ono’s one-minute scream in the second episode featuring excerpts from her Harvard University Norton Lectures. *This episode originally aired on June 3, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on Oct. 13, 2021.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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.
54 minutes 8 seconds
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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. *This episode originally aired on March 24, 2022.
54 minutes 8 seconds