BrainBox

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October 5, 2020  

Tribal Citizenship and Identity

What does it mean for half a million Oklahomans to be citizens of both the United States and of their tribal nations? We speak with Jay Hannah, who has served the Cherokee Nation as Secretary-Treasurer, Chairman of the 1999 Constitution Convention, and Chairman of all tribal enterprises, about the history and meaning of tribal citizenship within American democracy.

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September 21, 2020  

Why Do We Have the Electoral College?

Why do we use this complicated 18th century invention to elect U.S. presidents? Where did the Electoral College come from, what problems and controversies has it caused, and what are its potential benefits for our election system? Our guests, Dr. Aaron Mason and Dr. Eric Schmaltz of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, discuss this hugely consequential quirk of our electoral system and how it has affected American democracy. 

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More information about this episode: https://www.okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep13 

September 1, 2020  

Using Philosophy in Everyday Life

How can philosophical and ethical concepts help us navigate the challenges of our current world? We speak with Dr. Guy Crain, a professor of philosophy at Rose State College, about ways of understanding and using philosophy in our everyday lives. Dr. Crain discusses his particular interest in the ethics of violence, and we discuss the deep importance of the humanities and the concept of "intellectual humility" in dealing with the anxieties and problems of life in 2020. Dr. Crain also recommends some excellent resources, including his own open sourcebook, for further exploration into the world of philosophy.

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More information about this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep12

August 17, 2020  

New Ways of Seeing the World: The Value of Fantasy Literature

“Fantasy literature makes you look at the world from a different perspective, it makes you look at humanity in a totally different light.”

We’re looking at the value and deeper meanings of fantasy literature in this episode, featuring Dr. Joshua Grasso of East Central University. We discuss why humans need fantasy, some common themes like exile and reluctant heroes, and key examples of cultural diversity seen in fantasy literature. Dr. Grasso also recommends some lesser known works of fantasy, and we talk about how to deal with the legacies of authors whose beliefs or personal lives can be troubling to 21st century readers. 

 

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More Information about this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep11

August 3, 2020  

From Lucy to Cersei: Portrayals of Women on Television

“When you have shows that are centered on women, you allow for stories that finally give a platform to issues that women have been trying to put a spotlight on for years, whether it’s health care or sexual harassment or equal pay. Television is a perfect platform.”  

We talk with Dr. Sunu Kodumthara, a professor of American History at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, about ways women have been portrayed on television and what those portrayals reveal about American society and culture. We discuss depictions of traditional #genderroles, programs that showed women in the workplace, representations of #womenofcolor, and finally some of the most significant female rebels on American television. For that last category, we are joined by Elizabeth Bass of the Oklahoma Historical Society for a free-flowing discussion of Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia – possibly the four most amazing (and golden) portrayals of women in the history of television. 

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More information on this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep10

July 20, 2020  

The 1970s and American Memory

"Part of the story of the 1970s is the story of a decade that, at the time and for a couple of decades after, wasn't seen as being a very important decade. It is now seen as absolutely crucial." 
 
We talk with Dr. Ben Alpers, a Professor of American Intellectual and Cultural History at the University of Oklahoma Honors College, about the 1970s and some of its most interesting cultural touchstones. We discuss how 1970s movies like American Graffiti, hit TV shows like Happy Days and Roots, and musical movements like punk rock help us understand both that remarkable decade and our own life and culture in the 2020s.    
 
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More information on this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep9

July 6, 2020  

Social Justice and Racial Healing in America

Our guest, Dr. Tonnia Anderson, is the Founder and Director of the Dr. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Center for Social Justice and Racial Healing at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, and she is an Associate Professor of History and American Studies at USAO. In this episode, we discuss the roots and consequences of #racism in America, ways to understand longstanding systems of racial oppression, and efforts to overcome racial trauma. Dr. Anderson also shares powerful stories of her own family's history dealing with racial issues in Oklahoma.
 

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More information on this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep8

June 22, 2020  

Gettysburg and the Legacy of the Civil War

Viewing the Civil War through the lens of its largest battle, Gettysburg gives deeper insights into the war's misconceptions, mythologies, and memories. We speak with one of the leading scholars of the Battle of Gettysburg, Dr. Jen Murray of Oklahoma State University, about the context of the battle, its impact on the ultimate defeat of the Confederacy, its role in the "Lost Cause" narrative, and the many ways the Civil War's legacy still affects American society and culture.

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Additional information about this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep7

June 8, 2020  

Oklahoma’s Black Towns

Anthropologists Suzette Chang and Dr. Elisha Oliver illuminate the history and significance of Oklahoma’s Black Towns. We look at the origins of the Black Towns following the Civil War, examine the challenges their citizens faced before and after Oklahoma’s statehood, and discuss these communities’ historical and ongoing importance to the identity of Oklahoma. 

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Additional information about this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep6

May 21, 2020  

The Worst Pandemic of the 20th Century

What can we learn from the "Spanish Flu" pandemic that claimed at least 50 million lives worldwide a century ago? Dr. Justin Olmstead, a professor of history at the University of Central Oklahoma and one of the leading historians of this time period, discusses the impact of this pandemic on American life and culture. We discuss the origins and various names given to this pandemic (3:15), its impact on the final stages of the First World War (20:30), and its wide-ranging effects on everyday life a century ago and how they compare with our own experiences with the Coronavirus in 2020 (49:30).

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Additional information about this episode: okhumanities.org/page/brainbox-s3-ep5

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