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 this way. Previous series include Seeing White (Season 2), looking at the roots and meaning of white supremacy; MEN (Season 3), on patriarchy and its history; The Land That Never Has Been Yet (Season 4), exploring the not-so-accidental failings of democracy in the U.S.; and The Repair (Season 5), on the climate crisis: Where did we go so wrong in our relationship with the rest of the natural world, and who's "we"? Produced and hosted by John Biewen, Scene on Radio comes from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS) and is distributed by PRX.
"The Excess of Democracy": Rebroadcast
51:25In the summer of 1787, fifty-five men got together in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution for the United States, replacing the new nation’s original blueprint, the Articles of Confederation. But why, exactly? What problems were the framers trying to solve? Was the Constitution designed to advance democracy, or to rein it in? And how can the answers to those questions inform our crises of democracy today? By producer/host John Biewen with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. Interviews with Woody Holton, Dan Bullen, and Price Thomas. The series editor is Loretta Williams.
White Affirmative Action: Rebroadcast
50:11When it comes to U.S. government programs and support designed to benefit particular racial groups, history is clear. White folks have received most of the handouts. Part of our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts. By John Biewen, with Deena Hayes-Greene of the Racial Equity Institute and Season 2 series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika.
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Losing Ground: Rebroadcast
50:57The next in our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts: For Eddie Wise, owning a hog farm was a lifelong dream. In middle age, he and his wife, Dorothy, finally got a farm of their own. But they say that over the next twenty-five years, the U.S. government discriminated against them because they were Black, and finally drove them off the land. Their story, by John Biewen, was produced in collaboration with Reveal, the podcast and radio show from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Bonus: Introducing Hot Take
1:14:02In this bonus episode we share a recent installment from Hot Take, the climate podcast co-hosted by Amy Westervelt (co-host/reporter for our Season 5 series on climate, The Repair) and writer Mary Annaïse Heglar. They talk with their guest, author and New York Times writer David Wallace-Wells, about the lessons we can learn from Covid-19, the parallels between pandemic response and climate response, and how Russia’s war in Ukraine sits at the intersection of the two.
54:00Several years after Janey was sexually assaulted by her former boyfriend, Mathew, she told some of her closest friends, and her mother, what Mathew had done. Janey was so troubled by her loved ones’ responses that she went back to them years later to record conversations about it all. In this episode: Janey’s story, and philosopher Kate Manne, who coined the term “himpathy” in her 2017 book, “Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny.” With co-hosts John Biewen and Celeste Headlee. Part of our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts. To hear more of Janey Williams’ story and the conversations she had with friends, check out her podcast, "This Happened", available on most podcast apps and at thishappenedpodcast.com.
Things I'm Afraid to Say: Rebroadcast
17:52A refugee from war in Eastern Europe. An NYC-born survivor who grew up poor, Black, Muslim, and gay. And how one, and her music, saved the other. By Aleks Basic, featuring Laila Nur. Part of our summer mini-season of rebroadcasts. Editing by Shea Shackelford and host John Biewen.
Prince and Philando and Futures Untold: Rebroadcast
20:12How to grieve when the deaths come so quickly? How, as a Black mother in America, to protect your child’s innocence and hope? An audio essay by Stacia Brown. The first in a summer mini-season of rebroadcasts. Editing by Shea Shackelford and host John Biewen. Music by Prince, Eme Dm, One World One Nation, Blu & Exile, Otwin, and goodnight Lucas.
S5 E11: Change Everything
55:35In our Season 5 finale: What’s the cultural transformation we need to make — in the West, and the U.S. in particular — to live in good health with the rest of the natural world and with each other? Episode 11 of The Repair, our series on the climate emergency. Researched and produced by John Biewen, with co-host Amy Westervelt. Script editor, Cheryl Devall. Interviews with Dirk Philipsen, Christian Felber, Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò, and Jessica Hernandez. Music by Lili Haydn, Kim Carroll, Chris Westlake, Lesley Barber, Cora Miron, Fabian Almazan, and Alex Weston. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.
S5 E10: The Power Structure, Not the Energy Source
1:02:08The first of two concluding episodes in Season 5, in which we focus on solutions. In Part 10 of The Repair, we look at the actions and policies that people need to push for —now — to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Reported by Amy Westervelt. Script editor, Cheryl Devall. Production and mix by John Biewen. Interviews with Kate Marvel, Ken Caldeira, Julian Brave Noisecat, Kate Aronoff, Naomi Klein, Julia Steinberger, Leah Stokes, Heidi Marmon, Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Tara Houska, and Max Berger. Music in this episode by Lili Haydn, Kim Caroll, Chris Westlake, Lesley Barber, Cora Miron, goodnight Lucas, and Maetar. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.
S5 E9: Pachamama
39:28In several countries around the world, including Ecuador, New Zealand, and the U.S., some people are trying to protect the planet using a legal concept called “rights of nature” – infusing the law with Indigenous understandings of Mother Earth. Part 9 of The Repair, our series on the climate emergency. Reported by Amy Westervelt and Polyglot Barbershop. Script editor, Cheryl Devall. Production and mix by John Biewen. Music in this episode by Lili Haydn, Kim Carroll, Chris Westlake, Lesley Barber, Cora Miron, and Fabian Almazan. Music consulting by Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.