Previous Episodes Refresh
May 11, 2020
B. Earp and J. Savulescu, "Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships" (Stanford UP, 2020) )May 11, 2020
Consider a couple with an infant (or two) whose lives have become so harried and difficult the marriage is falling apart. Would it be ethical for them to take oxytocin to help them renew their emotional bonds, or would this be an unethical evasion of the hard work that keeping a marriage going requires? What if someone has sexual desires that they consider immoral – should they be able to take a drug to suppress those desires, or alternatively can society force them to? Debates about the...
Apr 30, 2020
Howard Friedman, "Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life" (U California Press, 2020)April 30, 2020
Howard Friedman's new book Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life (University of California Press, 2020) should be required reading for anyone sitting down to watch the evening news. The Covid-19 crisis is, unfortunately, a new broad-based instance in the valuation of human life. And I do mean value: in terms of cash dollars. Ultimate Price covers the ways that companies, courts, nations, and individuals have come to put a price tag on individual existence. While the book was written prior...
Apr 28, 2020
Leslie M. Harris, "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies" (U Georgia Press, 2019)April 28, 2020
Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary...
Apr 23, 2020
Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, "Stages: On Dying, Working, and Feeling" (Thick Press, 2020)April 23, 2020
Can care be enacted through art? Inside a cathedral, staff members from a nursing home work with an artist to perform a poetic text about caregiving, loss, and taking the time to feel one’s feelings. In the months leading up to the performance, the artist navigates her twenties—and art and life converge in unexpected ways. In Stages: On Dying, Working, and Feeling (Thick Press, 2020), Rachel Kauder Nalebuff has created a stirring work of hybrid nonfiction that takes us behind the scenes of...
Apr 22, 2020
Lloyd B. Minor, "Discovering Precision Health" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020)April 22, 2020
Today's guest is scientist, surgeon, and dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Lloyd B. Minor. Previously he served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at The Johns Hopkins University. With more than 140 published articles and chapters, Dr. Minor is an expert in balance and inner ear disorders. Our conversation covers innovative progress underway in replacing reactive medicine with precision and prevention. His new book, Discovering Precision Health:...
Apr 21, 2020
Richard G. Tedeschi, "Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research and Applications" (Routledge, 2018)April 21, 2020
During this global pandemic, many of us will experience trauma, which the authors define as a severely stressful life-altering event. A traumatic event is like an earthquake, shattering an individual’s coherent world-view the way an earthquake can shatter the foundations of buildings. A traumatic event is undesirable in the extreme and significant enough to challenge “the basic assumptions about one’s future and how to move toward that future…such as the loss of loved ones, of...
Apr 20, 2020
Baptiste Brossard, "Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease" (Indiana UP, 2019)April 20, 2020
Alzheimer's disease has not only profound medical consequences for the individual experiencing it but a life-changing impact on those around them. From the moment a person is suspected to be suffering from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, the interactions they encounter progressively change. Baptiste Brossard's new book Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease (Indiana University Press, 2019) focuses on that social experience of Alzheimer's, delineating the ways...
Apr 16, 2020
Carlo Caduff, "The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger" (U California Press, 2015)April 16, 2020
Carlo Caduff’s The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger (University of California Press, 2015) is an ethnographic inquiry into pandemic anxieties in the mid-2000s when such an event was widely anticipated by experts. Examining how experts in the United States framed a catastrophe that has not happened yet, the book trains a lens on the many generative ways in which the absence of a disease made preparedness a permanent project. Drawing on fieldwork among scientists...
Apr 15, 2020
Sara E. Davies, "Containing Contagion: The Politics of Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019)April 15, 2020
At the start of 2020 few of us would have recognized the face of the current director general of the World Health Organization. Three months later, and in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic he and other senior WHO officials appear on television and online almost daily, exhorting governments around the world to take urgent measures to stop the spread of the virus, advising them on how to do so, and coordinating efforts. To these exhortations governments in Southeast Asia, like their...
Apr 08, 2020
George Scialabba, "How To Be Depressed" (U Penn Press, 2020)April 08, 2020
George Scialabba is a prolific critic and essayist known for his incisive, wide-ranging commentary on literature, philosophy, religion, and politics. He is also, like millions of others, a lifelong sufferer from clinical depression. In How To Be Depressed (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020), Scialabba presents an edited selection of his mental health records spanning decades of treatment, framed by an introduction and an interview with renowned podcaster Christopher Lydon. The book also...