Fifty years after publishing his first short story, Stephen King remains a powerful force in American popular culture. Claudia Moreno Parsons joins me to talk about what King’s work has meant to us personally and his place in the wider spectrum of American literature.
In this episode, Justin Rogers-Cooper and I take on the immigration debate from our typically broader historical perspective. How did we get from “tear down this wall!” in 1989 to “build the wall!” in 2016, and what do our rapidly hardening state borders tell us about what’s coming down the line?
Mikhail Gershovich was my boss at the Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute in New York, where we were both surprised to discover that we had each been raised in Ventura County during the 1980s. Now that we’re both living in California again (Mikhail is academic director at Emerson College in Los Angeles), I get to hear about his early childhood in the Soviet Union, how his family came to the U.S. in 1979, and what it was like becoming American in Southern California during the height of the 1980s Cold War.
On my way out of Baruch College after twelve years of teaching in the history department, I stopped by Professor Vincent DiGirolamo’s office to talk with him about his youth in California and his path to academia in New York City.
Climate change is a favorite topic for me and my friend Justin Rogers-Cooper, who joins me here to talk about the state of the planet and the doomed human species in the Trump era. Despite its apocalyptic implications, our conversation takes an improbably optimistic turn, as Justin explains how the recent Star Wars entry Rogue One might point the way to a horizontal, inclusive politics strong enough to confront an increasingly challenging future.
My good friend Justin Rogers-Cooper came over to help me understand a bit more of what’s going on in Syria, and our conversation ended up focusing more on war imagery and how it functions in the social media age. How do graphic pictures and videos of war’s mangled bodies, liked and shared on Facebook and Twitter, reflect the growing intersection of capitalism, media, technology, and violence?
Michael Koncewicz is a historian and writer whose book They Said ‘No’ to Nixon: Republicans Who Stood Up to the President’s Abuses of Power will be out next year from University of California Press. In this conversation he tells me about his college years, working for the Nixon library in Yorba Linda, California, and how internal resistance to Nixon’s criminality might signal a strategy for dealing with Trump.