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Vox Conversations

Vox Media

Vox Conversations brings you discussions between the brightest minds and the deepest thinkers; conversations that will cause you to question old assumptions and think about the world and our role in it in a new light. Join Sean Illing and his colleagues across the Vox newsroom for new episodes every Monday and Thursday.

Vox Conversations brings you discussions between the brightest minds and the deepest thinkers; conversations that will cause you to question old assumptions and think about the world and our role in it in a new light. Join Sean Illing and his colleagues across the Vox newsroom for new episodes every Monday and Thursday.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Vox Media

Description:

Vox Conversations brings you discussions between the brightest minds and the deepest thinkers; conversations that will cause you to question old assumptions and think about the world and our role in it in a new light. Join Sean Illing and his colleagues across the Vox newsroom for new episodes every Monday and Thursday.

Language:

English


Episodes

The rise and fall of America's monuments

5/26/2022
Jamil Smith talks with Erin Thompson, professor of art crime and author of Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments. They discuss why we honor horrible people from the past in metal and stone, what effects these objects have on our present, and what's keeping so many of these monuments in place throughout America. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Erin Thompson (@artcrimeprof), author; associate professor of art crime, John Jay College...

Duration:00:50:42

The Philosophers: America's philosophy, with Cornel West

5/23/2022
Sean Illing talks with Cornel West about the American philosophical tradition known as pragmatism. They talk about what makes pragmatism so distinctly American, how pragmatists understand the connection between knowledge and action, and how the pragmatist mindset can invigorate our understanding of democratic life and communal action today. Cornel West also talks about the ways in which pragmatism has influenced his work and life, alongside the blues, Chekhov, and his Christian faith. This...

Duration:01:01:27

Why accidents aren't accidental

5/19/2022
Vox’s Marin Cogan talks with author and journalist Jessie Singer, whose book There Are No Accidents asks us to completely rethink our understanding of accidents as seemingly random, blameless, harm-inducing events. Marin and Jessie discuss what drug overdoses, car crashes, and apartment building fires have in common, the systemic structural vulnerabilities that lead to accidents, and how we can press for greater accountability. Host: Marin Cogan (@marincogan), Senior Features Correspondent,...

Duration:00:51:50

Rethinking the "end of history"

5/16/2022
Sean Illing talks with political scientist and author Francis Fukuyama, whose ideas about the "end of history" and the ideological supremacy of liberal democracy became well-known through his 1989 essay "The End of History?". They discuss Fukuyama's new book, Liberalism and Its Discontents, as well as some of the modern challenges facing liberalism today, what Fukuyama thinks of the radically redistributive politics of the Bernie Sanders campaign, and whether he thinks it's still the case...

Duration:01:02:23

Anita Hill finally gets even

5/12/2022
Vox's Fabiola Cineas talks with Anita Hill, whose testimony during the 1991 confirmation hearings for now-Justice Clarence Thomas highlighted the prominence of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. Hill discusses how those hearings changed her, whether or not she has respect for the Supreme Court as an institution, and how her fight to stop gender violence continues today. Host: Fabiola Cineas (@FabiolaCineas), Reporter, Vox Guest: Anita Hill (@AnitaHill),...

Duration:01:00:33

Elites have captured identity politics

5/9/2022
Sean Illing talks with Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò, whose new book Elite Capture is about how the wealthy and powerful co-opt political movements, and use the language of progressive activism to further their ends. They discuss the history and meaning of "identity politics," the notion of "woke capitalism," and how to arrive at a more constructive politics — one that actually engages directly in redistributing social resources and power, rather than achieving merely symbolic gains. Host: Sean Illing...

Duration:00:59:54

The moral dangers of dirty work

5/5/2022
Vox’s Jamil Smith talks with journalist and author Eyal Press about "dirty work" — the jobs Americans do that, as Press explains, can lead workers to perform morally compromising activities unwittingly. They discuss examples of this kind of work (drone pilots, meat packers, prison aides), talk about its relation to the term "essential workers" that gained prominence during the pandemic, and explain how certain jobs highlight the disparities of class, race, and gender in American society....

Duration:00:55:29

Did the sexual revolution go wrong?

5/2/2022
Sean Illing talks with author and Washington Post columnist Christine Emba about whether or not we need to rethink sex. They discuss why, according to the research and reporting in Emba's new book Rethinking Sex, many Americans are unhappy with the sex they're having, and don't fully understand what they want. They also talk about how her Catholic faith informs her views on sex, why it's necessary to expand on the framework of "consent," and what kind of sexual culture Emba hopes to see in...

Duration:00:57:06

Who decides how to conserve nature?

4/28/2022
Vox's Benji Jones talks with Indigenous leader Kimaren ole Riamit about the role of Indigenous peoples in the conservation movement. Bringing the perspective of his upbringing in the Kenyan Maasai pastoral community as well as advanced degrees earned at Western institutions, Kimaren discusses with Benji the power and potential of Indigenous knowledge in combating the climate crisis, and the challenges in bridging that knowledge with the global conservation effort. Host: Benji Jones...

Duration:00:58:48

The Philosophers: Loneliness and totalitarianism

4/25/2022
Sean Illing talks with professor Lyndsey Stonebridge about the philosopher Hannah Arendt, author of The Origins of Totalitarianism. Arendt might be best known for coining the phrase “the banality of evil” in her reporting on the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961, but in this episode Sean and Lyndsey discuss Arendt's insights into the roots of mass movements, how her flight from Nazi occupation shaped her worldview, and how loneliness and isolation — which abound in our world today — can...

Duration:01:03:49

The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 4: The future of Europe

4/21/2022
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part four, Zack speaks with author, political scientist, and scholar of European politics Ivan Krastev. They discuss the reverberations of Russia's invasion of Ukraine across Europe, from a sudden change of course in Germany and elections in...

Duration:01:05:43

Michael Lewis on why Americans distrust experts

4/18/2022
Sean Illing talks with writer Michael Lewis about why it is that Americans are so good at producing knowledge, but so bad at identifying and utilizing that knowledge — the central issue of the new season of his podcast "Against the Rules." They discuss who counts as an expert, some fundamental impediments to disseminating knowledge, and whether or not there is a possible future where Americans regain their trust in experts, institutions, and each other. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling),...

Duration:00:56:03

The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 3: The nuclear threat

4/14/2022
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part three, Zack speaks with professor, blogger, and nuclear arms expert Jeff Lewis about the looming nuclear threat of the conflict in Ukraine. They discuss the probability of escalation by both Russia and the U.S., what "tactical" nuclear...

Duration:00:53:10

The case for regret

4/11/2022
Sean Illing talks with writer Daniel Pink about his book The Power of Regret. They discuss why regret can be not only useful, but potentially the most valuable emotion we have. Daniel and Sean talk about the difference between regret and "wallowing," how to anticipate regrets and act accordingly, and Daniel shares his findings on the regrets that Americans most have in common. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Daniel Pink (@DanielPink), author References: The...

Duration:00:46:41

The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 2: Sanctions

4/7/2022
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part two, Zack speaks with Dan Drezner, international relations professor and columnist for the Washington Post, about the massive slate of sanctions imposed upon Russia by the United States and other Western countries in the aftermath of Russia's...

Duration:01:01:43

The spirituality of parenting

4/4/2022
Sean Illing talks with the author and self-described mystic David Spangler about parenting as a spiritual enterprise, where the parent communes in a radical way with the spirit of another and expands the limits of the self. They discuss what it means to adopt the "beginner's mindset" in parenting, relating to children as full individuals, and how to cope with obstacles that all parents experience — from misbegotten family dinners, to the perils of getting dressed in the morning. Host: Sean...

Duration:00:50:19

The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 1: Why did Putin go to war?

3/31/2022
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part one, Zack speaks with political scientist Yoshiko Herrera about the country responsible for the war: Russia. They explore why Vladimir Putin decided to launch the invasion, what Russians think about the war, and how this conflict might change...

Duration:00:56:54

The Philosophers: Resisting despair

3/28/2022
Sean Illing talks with author and professor Robert Zaretsky about the French philosopher, novelist, and journalist Albert Camus (1913–1960). Though Camus might be best known for his novel The Stranger, Sean and Prof. Zaretsky explore the ideas contained in his philosophical essays "The Myth of Sisyphus," The Rebel, and in the allegorical novel The Plague, which saw a resurgence in interest over the past two years. They discuss the meaning of "the absurd," why one must imagine Sisyphus happy,...

Duration:00:56:43

What happened to American conservatism?

3/24/2022
Vox’s Jamil Smith talks with Charlie Sykes — journalist, author, stalwart "never Trumper," and a founder and editor-at-large of The Bulwark. They talk about the Republican response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the attraction of some self-professed conservatives to Vladimir Putin, the efforts by Republican lawmakers to ban books and topics from schools, and the devolution of conservative values within the post-Trump GOP. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest:...

Duration:01:00:22

The limits of forgiveness

3/21/2022
Sean Illing talks with philosopher Lucy Allais about the nature, power, and limits of forgiveness. They talk about the role of forgiveness in the dissolution of apartheid in Allais's native South Africa, the distinction between forgiveness and punishment, and the prospect of using forgiveness as a political tool in order to move forward as a polarized democracy. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Lucy Allais, professor of philosophy, University of Witwatersrand...

Duration:00:54:11