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Scene on Radio
Scene on Radio
Kenan Insitute for Ethics at Duke University

Scene on Radio is a two-time Peabody-nominated podcast that dares to ask big, hard questions about who we are—really—and how we got... more

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S6 E5: A Way Forward

What would it take, and what would it even mean, to heal from a wound like the Wilmington massacre and... more

08 Feb 2024 · 58 minutes
S6 E4: The Forgetting

After the massacre and coup of November 10, 1898, white supremacists in North Carolina soon finished the job of disenfranchising... more

31 Jan 2024 · 48 minutes
S6 E3: A Day of Blood

On November 1898, North Carolina Democrats won a sweeping victory at the polls – confirming the success of their campaign... more

24 Jan 2024 · 38 minutes
S6 E2: Crying "Negro Rule"

By 1898, two decades after the end of Reconstruction, white elites, backed by violent terror groups, have installed Jim Crow... more

17 Jan 2024 · 29 minutes
S6 E1: What Was Lost

This series tells the story of the only successful coup d’etat in U.S. history, and the white supremacist massacre that... more

10 Jan 2024 · 40 minutes
Trailer: Echoes of a Coup

Introduction to Season 6, a series co-produced by Michael A. Betts II and Scene on Radio producer and host John... more

03 Jan 2024 · 2 minutes
Update: Scene on Radio status report

Scene on Radio is on an extended hiatus, but is on its way back. Host and producer John Biewen explains... more

02 Jun 2023 · 2 minutes
"The Excess of Democracy": Rebroadcast

In the summer of 1787, fifty-five men got together in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution for the United States,... more

10 Aug 2022 · 51 minutes
White Affirmative Action: Rebroadcast

When it comes to U.S. government programs and support designed to benefit particular racial groups, history is clear. White folks... more

27 Jul 2022 · 50 minutes
Losing Ground: Rebroadcast

The next in our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts: For Eddie Wise, owning a hog farm was a lifelong dream. In... more

13 Jul 2022 · 50 minutes
Bonus: Introducing Hot Take

In this bonus episode we share a recent installment from Hot Take, the climate podcast co-hosted by Amy Westervelt (co-host/reporter... more

06 Jul 2022 · 1 hour, 14 minutes
Himpathy: Rebroadcast

Several years after Janey was sexually assaulted by her former boyfriend, Mathew, she told some of her closest friends, and... more

29 Jun 2022 · 54 minutes
Things I'm Afraid to Say: Rebroadcast

A refugee from war in Eastern Europe. An NYC-born survivor who grew up poor, Black, Muslim, and gay. And how... more

15 Jun 2022 · 17 minutes
Prince and Philando and Futures Untold: Rebroadcast

How to grieve when the deaths come so quickly? How, as a Black mother in America, to protect your child’s... more

01 Jun 2022 · 20 minutes
S5 E11: Change Everything

In our Season 5 finale: What’s the cultural transformation we need to make — in the West, and the U.S. in particular... more

15 Dec 2021 · 55 minutes
S5 E10: The Power Structure, Not the Energy Source

The first of two concluding episodes in Season 5, in which we focus on solutions. In Part 10 of The Repair,... more

08 Dec 2021 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
S5 E9: Pachamama

In several countries around the world, including Ecuador, New Zealand, and the U.S., some people are trying to protect the... more

01 Dec 2021 · 39 minutes
S5 E8: Last Orders

Among the wealthy, industrialized Western countries that created the climate crisis, Scotland is one of the leaders in pivoting away... more

24 Nov 2021 · 32 minutes
S5 E7: Deluges and Dreams

The climate crisis is not new to Bangladesh. For decades, global warming has exacerbated storms and flooding and turned many... more

17 Nov 2021 · 32 minutes
S5 E6: "We Don't Have the Power to Fight It"

Earth’s changing climate is already displacing millions of people, worsening tension and conflict, and sometimes violence – for example, between... more

02 Nov 2021 · 57 minutes
Bonus Episode: Manchin on the Hill, and Introducing Drilled

Co-hosts John Biewen and Amy Westervelt discuss the U.S. Congress’s effort to pass its first major climate bill ever, and... more

20 Oct 2021 · 39 minutes
S5 E5: Jakarta, the Sinking Capital

Southeast Asia is especially vulnerable to storms, rising oceans, and other climate effects—though countries in the region did very little... more

13 Oct 2021 · 41 minutes
S5 E4: Up to Heaven and Down to Hell

Why has the United States played such an outsized role in the creation of the climate crisis? As a settler... more

06 Oct 2021 · 1 hour, 1 minute
S5 E3: "Managing" Nature

If the Enlightenment was so great, why was it not a course correction? In fact, did cultural values that took... more

29 Sep 2021 · 55 minutes
S5 E2: To the Victor

How western Europe really broke bad in its understanding of humanity’s place in the natural world, from the Crusades to... more

22 Sep 2021 · 42 minutes
S5 E1: In the Beginning

Part 1 of our series on the climate emergency. How did we drive ourselves into the ecological ditch? And, crucially,... more

15 Sep 2021 · 42 minutes
Season 5 Trailer: The Repair

This season will explore the cultural roots of our current ecological emergency, and the deep changes Western society will need... more

23 Aug 2021 · 3 minutes
REBROADCAST: S4 E8 The Second Redemption

This special re-broadcast of a Season 4 episode is in response to the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump... more

13 Jan 2021 · 1 hour, 7 minutes
BONUS EPISODE: Election 2020

What does the 2020 election in the United States tell us, or remind us, about the state of democracy in... more

24 Nov 2020 · 31 minutes
Hearing Hiroshima (Rebroadcast)

The word “Hiroshima” may bring to mind a black-and-white image of a mushroom cloud. It’s easy to forget that it’s... more

03 Aug 2020 · 34 minutes
S4 E12: More Democracy

What will it take to make the United States a more fully-functioning democracy, and how can we, as citizens, bring... more

10 Jun 2020 · 57 minutes
S4 E11: More Truth

How well do the news media serve us as citizens, and what role does the notion of “objective,” or “neutral,”... more

27 May 2020 · 56 minutes
S4 E10: Schooled for Democracy

In most American schools, children *hear about* democracy, but don’t get to *practice* it. What would a more engaged brand... more

13 May 2020 · 59 minutes
S4 E9: American Empire

“America” and “empire.” Do those words go together? If so, what kind of imperialism does the U.S. practice, and how... more

29 Apr 2020 · 1 hour,
S4 E8: The Second Redemption

The conservative, neoliberal counterrevolution in the face of expanding democracy in America: It started long before Donald Trump. Even before... more

15 Apr 2020 · 1 hour, 3 minutes
S4 E7: Freedom Summer

In the summer of 1964, about a thousand young Americans, black and white, came together in Mississippi to place themselves... more

01 Apr 2020 · 1 hour, 7 minutes
Bonus Episode: Pandemic America

In this special episode, host John Biewen and series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika discuss the coronavirus pandemic and how the crisis, and... more

27 Mar 2020 · 23 minutes
S4 E6: A New Deal

The Great Depression presented a crisis not only for the U.S. economy, but for American democracy. President Franklin Roosevelt wanted... more

17 Mar 2020 · 52 minutes
S4 E5: Feminism in Black and White

People fighting for more democracy in the United States often have to struggle against sexism and racism. In fact, those... more

04 Mar 2020 · 45 minutes
S4 E4: The Second Revolution

After the Civil War, a surprising coalition tried to remake the United States into a real multiracial democracy for the... more

19 Feb 2020 · 54 minutes
S4 E3: The Cotton Empire

In the decades after America’s founding and the establishment of the Constitution, did the nation get better, more just, more... more

05 Feb 2020 · 41 minutes
S4 E2: "The Excess of Democracy"

In the summer of 1787, fifty-five men got together in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution for the United States,... more

22 Jan 2020 · 46 minutes
S4 E1: Rich Man's Revolt

In the American Revolution, the men who revolted were among the wealthiest and most comfortable people in the colonies. What... more

08 Jan 2020 · 45 minutes
Season 4 Trailer: The Land That Never Has Been Yet

Our season-long series will touch on concerns like authoritarianism, voter suppression and gerrymandering, foreign intervention, and the role of money... more

18 Dec 2019 · 3 minutes
S3 E12: The End of Male Supremacy?

In our Season Three finale, co-hosts Celeste Headlee and John Biewen talk about where American culture goes from here, sexism-wise.... more

12 Dec 2018 · 31 minutes

Host John Biewen dips into the world of sports talk radio, where guys talk not just about sports but also... more

28 Nov 2018 · 37 minutes
S3 E10: The Juggernaut

Writer Ben James and his wife Oona are raising their sons in a progressive and “queer-friendly” New England town. They... more

14 Nov 2018 · 54 minutes
S3 E9: Be Like You

Lewis Wallace, female-assigned at birth, wanted to transition in the direction of maleness—in some ways. He shifted his pronouns, had... more

31 Oct 2018 · 38 minutes
S3 E8: American Made

American history—law, economics, culture—has built different notions of masculinity (and femininity) for people of varying races and ethnicities.  A trip... more

17 Oct 2018 · 44 minutes
S3 E7: Himpathy

Several years after Janey was sexually assaulted by her former boyfriend, Mathew, she told some of her closest friends, and... more

03 Oct 2018 · 51 minutes
S3 E6: Warriors

Do nations fight wars because men are naturally violent? Or do societies condition men to embrace violence so they’ll fight... more

19 Sep 2018 · 42 minutes
S3 E5: More Than Paper Cuts

The #MeToo Movement has shed a harsh light on sexual harassment in the workplace. Just how bad, and how pervasive,... more

05 Sep 2018 · 53 minutes
S3 E4: Feminism in Black and White

The struggles against sexism and racism come together in the bodies, and the lives, of black women. Co-hosts Celeste Headlee... more

22 Aug 2018 · 46 minutes
S3 E3: Skeleton War

A few hundred years ago, the great thinkers of the Enlightenment began to declare that “all men are created equal.”... more

08 Aug 2018 · 34 minutes
S3 E2: Ain't No Amoeba

For millennia, Western culture (and most other cultures) declared that men and women were different sorts of humans—and, by the... more

25 Jul 2018 · 32 minutes
S3 E1: Dick Move

Launching our Season 3 series, co-hosts John Biewen and Celeste Headlee look at the problems of male supremacy. And we... more

11 Jul 2018 · 37 minutes
Scene on Radio Season 3: MEN Trailer

Scene on Radio opens its Season 3 series, MEN, with this preview. Host John Biewen introduces the series with series... more

27 Jun 2018 · 5 minutes
I Know It's You (Rebroadcast)

A father turns on a recorder while tucking in his 7-year-old, having no idea he’s about to capture a poignant... more

13 Dec 2017 · 16 minutes
Transformation (Seeing White, Part 14)

The concluding episode in our series, Seeing White. An exploration of solutions and responses to America’s deep history of white... more

24 Aug 2017 · 44 minutes
White Affirmative Action (Seeing White, Part 13)

When it comes to U.S. government programs and support earmarked for the benefit of particular racial groups, history is clear.... more

09 Aug 2017 · 47 minutes
Losing Ground

For Eddie Wise, owning a hog farm was a lifelong dream. In middle age, he and his wife, Dorothy, finally... more

26 Jul 2017 · 50 minutes
My White Friends (Seeing White, Part 12)

For years, Myra Greene had explored blackness through her photography, often in self-portraits. She wondered, what would it mean to... more

12 Jul 2017 · 40 minutes
Danger (Seeing White, Part 11)

For hundreds of years, the white-dominated American culture has raised the specter of the dangerous, violent black man. Host John... more

28 Jun 2017 · 45 minutes
Citizen Thind (Seeing White, Part 10)

The story of Bhagat Singh Thind, and also of Takao Ozawa – Asian immigrants who, in the 1920s, sought to... more

14 Jun 2017 · 38 minutes
A Racial Cleansing in America (Seeing White Part 9)

In 1919, a white mob forced the entire black population of Corbin, Kentucky, to leave, at gunpoint. It was one... more

31 May 2017 · 29 minutes
Skulls and Skin (Seeing White, Part 8)

Scientists weren’t the first to divide humanity along racial – and and racist – lines. But for hundreds of years,... more

17 May 2017 · 48 minutes
Chenjerai’s Challenge (Seeing White, Part 7)

“How attached are you to the idea of being white?” Chenjerai Kumanyika puts that question to host John Biewen, as... more

05 May 2017 · 14 minutes
That's Not Us, So We're Clean (Seeing White, Part 6)

When it comes to America’s racial sins, past and present, a lot of us see people in one region of... more

26 Apr 2017 · 40 minutes
Little War on the Prairie (Seeing White, Part 5)

Growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, John Biewen heard next to nothing about the town’s most important historical event. In 1862,... more

12 Apr 2017 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
On Crazy We Built a Nation (Seeing White, Part 4)

“All men are created equal.” Those words, from the Declaration of Independence, are central to the story that Americans tell... more

30 Mar 2017 · 36 minutes
Made in America (Seeing White, Part 3)

Chattel slavery in the United States, with its distinctive – and strikingly cruel – laws and structures, took shape over... more

16 Mar 2017 · 33 minutes
How Race Was Made (Seeing White, Part 2)

For much of human history, people viewed themselves as members of tribes or nations but had no notion of “race.”... more

01 Mar 2017 · 28 minutes
Turning the Lens (Seeing White, Part 1)

Events of the past few years have turned a challenging spotlight on White people, and Whiteness, in the United States.... more

15 Feb 2017 · 16 minutes
Movement Time

Facts can be ignored by the powers that be and still ignite a movement. An interview with Tim Tyson, author... more

25 Jan 2017 · 45 minutes
Emmett and Trayvon (Rebroadcast)

There’s a long and painful history in the U.S. of white men killing black men and boys without punishment. In... more

11 Jan 2017 · 18 minutes
I Found No Strangers (Travels With Mic, Part 3)

The last in our series exploring the spirit of America in the footsteps of one of its greatest writers, John... more

14 Dec 2016 · 23 minutes
Reality is Not the Stronger (Travels With Mic, Part 2)

The second in a three-part series, journeying into the soul of America through the eyes of artists, while following in... more

30 Nov 2016 · 20 minutes
Monster America (Travels With Mic, Part 1)

First in a three-part journey into the soul of America, through the eyes of working people who happen to be... more

16 Nov 2016 · 22 minutes
El Nuevo South

Siler City, North Carolina used to be a typical Southern town. Everybody was white or black. Now the town’s population... more

02 Nov 2016 · 38 minutes
Prince and Philando and Futures Untold

How to grieve when the deaths come so quickly? How, as an African American mother, to protect your child’s innocence... more

19 Oct 2016 · 20 minutes
Scene on Radio
How Race Was Made (Seeing White, Part 2)
Scene on Radio

Listen now on

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For much of human history, people viewed themselves as members of tribes or nations but had no notion of “race.” Today, science... more