Program Archives

Mon 8.06.12 | Remembering Gore Vidal, Jeff Lustig

Jeff Lustig (ed.), Remaking California: Reclaiming the Public Good Heyday, 2010






This summer, the left lost two very different intellectuals -- Gore Vidal and Jeff Lustig. One shaped how we see the United States in the world; the other influenced how we view the Golden State. In this audio from the archives, Vidal discusses science, why not to attend university, Harry Truman, sex, and the Kennedys.  The dean of California studies, Jeff Lustig, along with co-author Lenny Goldberg, talks about the challenges that California faces and their origins in political questions of wealth, power, land values, and taxes.

Mon 7.23.12 through Wed 8.01.12

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Wed 7.18.12 | Life Without Parole; Native Struggles

Many death penalty abolitionists assert that life without the possibility of parole is a better and fairer alternative to capital sentencing. But Jessica Henry takes issue with what she calls the "unjustified and almost commonplace imposition" of life-without-parole sentences. Also, Tony Platt discusses efforts to repatriate Native American remains that were excavated over a period of almost two hundred years.

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Tues 7.17.12 | Anatomy of a Riot

Last August, riots erupted in the UK following the police killing of a black man in North London. Four days of looting and battles with the authorities ensued. Many conclusions were hastily drawn by the media, politicians, and the left about who rioted, who was targeted, and the nature of the riots. The Bristol Radical History Group did a postmortem of the unrest based on empirical data, which as Roger Wilson explains, sheds light on more than just the events of last year. He discusses the underlying politics of riots and rioting.

Mon 7.16.12 | The Technopolitics of Uranium

Gabrielle Hecht, Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade The MIT Press, 2012

Gabrielle Hecht, ed., Entangled Geographies: Empire and Technopolitics in the Global Cold War The MIT Press, 2011


Uranium is so dangerous that certain words -- Hiroshima, Chernobyl, Fukushima -- evoke images of horror and destruction. But uranium would do nothing and go nowhere if it weren't first extracted from the ground. While describing the toll uranium production has taken on people's lives, Gabrielle Hecht considers corporate conduct, regulatory policy, racial politics, and postcolonial dynamics.

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Wed 7.11.12 | Evolving Beliefs

Conventional wisdom has it that humans are monogamous, aggressive, and innately warlike. But what if we're as much wired to be polygamous, peaceful, and egalitarian? Drawing on his own work with primates, anthropologist Agustín Fuentes discusses a number of myths about sexual differences, monogamy, aggression, and race -- all justified by misconceptions about evolution and biology.

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