show episodes
 
Banished is a show about our reassessment of the many people, ideas, objects and even works of art that conflict with modern sensibilities. What can we learn about our present obsession with cancel culture by examining history, and what might it mean for freedom of expression? And how do we reconcile opposing points of view without turning on each other? For subscriber-only content, visit http://banished.substack.com. banished.substack.com
 
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show series
 
Tucker Carlson claimed that tacos are American. Rick Bayless was attacked for appropriating Mexican cuisine. Jamie Oliver hired a team of cultural appropriation specialists to advise him when writing recipes, to make sure he didn’t run afoul of the new culinary orthodoxy. What’s going on in the restaurant world and at our dinner tables? Who exactly…
 
Amna Khalid talks with Laura Bates, Professor of English at Indiana State University and founder of Shakespeare in Shackles — a prison program for those in solitary confinement — about the Bard’s decline in the modern curriculum. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ba…
 
One of the most popular musicals of all time, Grease seems to have fallen from grace. Most recently, two schools in Australia were planning to stage a joint production of the musical this year, but shelved it when students complained that the content of the musical was “offensive.” Why has the musical come under fire? Is it time to retire it? On th…
 
Earlier this year, St. Olaf College’s Institute for Freedom and Community invited controversial bioethicist Peter Singer for a virtual conversation titled “The Point of View of the Universe.” This was an invitation in keeping with the mission of the institute, which is to explore “diverse ideas about politics, markets, and society” and “challenge p…
 
In fall 2021, the philosophy department at Rhodes College invited the bioethicist Peter Singer to speak to the school. A controversial and important figure, the New Yorker has called Singer the “world’s most influential living philosopher,” and in 2005, Time Magazine named him one of most influential people alive. But as one of the world’s foremost…
 
In February 2020, The Lancet, a leading British medical journal, published a statement by more than two dozen scientists condemning the hypothesis that COVID-19 had leaked from a Chinese lab — effectively halting scientific inquiry along those lines. But a handful of researchers refused to rule out the so-called “lab-leak” theory and soon found the…
 
Michael Fitzgerald specializes in southern history, African American history, and the Civil War era including slavery, civil rights, and related topics. His most recent book is “Splendid Failure: Postwar Reconstruction in the American South.” His current project is a full-scale history of the Reconstruction era in Alabama. In this podcast Edmund Sa…
 
If you’re a solver of crossword puzzles, you probably know that Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba. But that was just the beginning. Historians Peter Hicks and Rafe Blaufarb tell us the full story. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit banished.substack.com/subsc…
 
Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic magazine and host of the podcast The Michael Shermer Show, was a regular writer for Scientific American for 18 years. With more than 200 monthy columns under his belt, he was hoping to match Stephen Jay Gould’s record run of 300 at Natural History and was due to hit his target within a few years. In De…
 
Badiucao is a Chinese political dissident and artist who self-exiled to Australia in 2009. In the buildup to the Beijing Olympics, he was catapulted into the limelight for a series of protest posters that at first glance seem like advertisements for the Games. On closer inspection, however, the images are a scathing visual commentary on the Chinese…
 
Over the past five years or so, free speech — like so many other topics — has been weaponized for use in the culture wars. Far right media sources have embraced the free speech mantle, arguing that liberals and progressives who dominate higher education are silencing conservative voices. For many Republicans, “free speech” means having the right to…
 
Michael Phillips has taught history at Collin College in Texas for the past 14 years, but after speaking out about the school’s anti-masking policy his contract was not renewed. Which makes him the fourth faculty member to lose his job there since Neil Matkin assumed the role of College President in 2015. Amna Khalid spoke with Phillips about what …
 
During her visit back to Pakistan in December, Banished host Amna Khalid spoke with Salima Hashimi — artist, curator, activist and former principal of the National College of Arts, the premier Art school of Pakistan. They discussed the state of free expression in Pakistan under the 11-year military regime of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who was a k…
 
In the age of “cancel culture,” it comes as no surprise that the publishing industry is cowering before demands to remove “problematic” books. Dr. Seuss’s estate recently announced that it will no longer allow the publication and licensing of six of his books because of the racist and stereotypical imagery used for minority groups. Should these boo…
 
Broadway-bound songsmith Frank Loesser wrote “Baby It’s Cold Outside” as a call-and-response duet for he and his wife to perform at parties. Several years later, the tune made its way into a movie and soon took the Christmas canon by storm. But is it a “rapey” relic of a bygone era that should be buried permanently in the winter snow? Amna Khalid i…
 
Last week, Harvard announced it will extend its test-optional admissions policy for at least another four years. The stated reason is that the pandemic has reduced access to test sites — but this decision has added grist to the test-elimination mill. The movement to do away with standardized testing is predicated on the idea that tests are cultural…
 
Elizabeth Tandy Shermer is an associate professor of history at Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches courses on labor, capitalism, and politics. She has written about those topics in op-eds, academic articles, and scholarly books, including Sunbelt Capitalism (2013) and The Right and Labor, a 2012 edited collection done with Nelson Lichtens…
 
Michael Kazin is a professor of history at Georgetown University and editor emeritus of Dissent magazine. He is the author of six books and the editor of three. His most recent book is War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914-1918, published in January, 2017 by Simon and Schuster. It won the best book prize from the Peace History Society…
 
Eugene McCarraher is professor of humanities and history at Villanova University. He has also taught at the University of Delaware and Princeton. In addition to publishing scholarly articles, he has also written many essays and book reviews for the Baffler, the Chicago Tribune, Commonweal, Dissent, the Nation, In These Times, the Hedgehog Review, a…
 
Author and professor Ashley Hope Pérez gained prominence for her novel Out of Darkness, which explores themes of segregation, love and family against the backdrop of the 1937 New London School explosion. The book won rave reviews from critics and the Américas Award from the Library of Congress, but has recently become embroiled in controversy after…
 
Scapegoating particular communities during an epidemic — be it tuberculosis, HIV or COVID-19 — is nothing new. Outbreaks of disease are often accompanied by the demonizing of some portion of humanity that is supposedly the source of the contagion. They are to blame. Must it be this way? Why do we feel the need to point the finger at each other when…
 
If you’ve been listening to Banished, you’ll recall that in just a few short months we’ve talked about attempts to abolish artwork, to repudiate literature and even to eliminate entire curricula throughout the United States. But you may wonder, as I sometimes still do, why me? Why am I, Amna Khalid, pulled toward these topics, compelled by what we …
 
Dorian Abbot, associate professor of geophysical sciences at University of Chicago, was invited to give the prestigious Carlson Lecture at MIT this month. He was going to speak about the insights gained from studying Earth’s climate and how those insights have been used to predict which planets outside the solar system might be habitable. But, foll…
 
This is the second in our occasional series on Rethinking the Canon. Is there value in reading the classics at a time when they are increasingly viewed as unrepresentative texts that don’t speak to the diverse experiences of modern students? This week Amna talks with Roosevelt Montás, senior lecturer in American Studies and English at Columbia Univ…
 
Virgil Storr is an Associate Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics, George Mason University, and the Don C. Lavoie Senior Fellow in the F.A. Hayek Program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Mercatus Center, George Mason University. He is the author (or co-author) of several books including Understanding the Culture of Markets, C…
 
“Critical Race Theory,” also known as CRT, is a phrase that has become shorthand for just about any classroom instruction on racism, past or present. But what is this fight really about? What are these anti-CRT bills aiming to accomplish, and how will they affect schooling in the US? Amna Khalid discusses the rise of anti-CRT bills with Harvard Law…
 
Gretchen Morgenson is the senior financial reporter in the Investigations unit at NBC News, a position she assumed in December 2019. Previously, Ms. Morgenson spent two years as an investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal and almost 20 years as assistant business and financial editor and columnist at The New York Times. She won the Pulitze…
 
Irshad Manji is the founder of Moral Courage College, which teaches people how to engage on polarizing issues without shaming or “cancelling” each other. A professor of leadership at New York University for many years, Irshad now lectures with Oxford University’s Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights. Her books are bestsellers in some count…
 
Is there value in reading the classics at a time when they are increasingly viewed as tools of oppression and white supremacy? Do they speak to non-white students? Dr. Anika Prather, founder and principal of the Living Water School in Maryland and lecturer at Howard University in DC talks to Amna Khalid about the deep history of the significance of…
 
What does it mean to be woke? Has the word problematic become problematic? Lexicon Valley’s John McWhorter talks to Amna Khalid about the fraught vocabulary of modern censorship. * FULL TRANSCRIPT * AMNA KHALID: From Booksmart Studios, this is Banished. And I’m Amna Khalid. NEWSCASTER: Republicans are always denouncing so-called “cancel culture.” B…
 
We are approaching the 40th anniversary of The Color Purple, a novel that garnered critical acclaim, won Alice Walker the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and brought her sudden literary scrutiny. Both the book and its subsequent feature film adaptation elicited a flurry of criticism, frequently from within the Black community. Accused of reinforcing st…
 
In Episode One of Banished, we covered the controversy around Victor Arnautoff's murals, “Life of Washington” — a series of 13 paintings that cover the entrance and the hallway of George Washington High School in San Francisco. One of the voices in the episode was Professor Dewey Crumpler, an artist who was commissioned to paint so-called “response…
 
In the mid-1930s, Russian-born muralist Victor Arnautoff was commissioned by the New Deal’s Public Works of Art Project to paint a series of frescoes at sites around the San Francisco Bay Area. One of his more ambitious undertakings covered 1,600 square feet of wall space inside the lobby and stairwells of George Washington High School, depicting s…
 
Until about a year or so ago, most of us felt understandably smug when measuring our modern selves next to our ancient ancestors. We are manifestly more advanced — scientifically, morally and, it can be said, rather literally, since we now know that the universe is expanding. We’ve clearly taken considerable steps along the misty path of improvemen…
 
Banished is about our reassessment of the many people, ideas, objects and even works of art that conflict with modern sensibilities. What can we learn about our present obsession with cancel culture by examining history, and what might it mean for freedom of expression? Amna Khalid is professor of history at Carleton College. Born in Pakistan, Amna…
 
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