Scene on Radio Podcast

In 2015, CDS audio director John Biewen launched the Scene on Radio podcast, which goes out of the studio and into the field to “explore human experience and the society we’re making for ourselves in America,” Biewen says. Scene on Radio features audio work made at CDS—his own new stories, the best pieces by his students, and an occasional gem from the archives.

Season 2 of Scene on Radio featured the 14-part series "Seeing White," which was nominated for a Peabody award.

Season 3 of the Scene on Radio podcast—MEN—launched July 11, 2018; episodes will post every other Wednesday. The podcast’s producer, CDS audio director John Biewen, describes the upcoming season: “Co-host Celeste Headlee and I will take a similar approach to the Seeing White series, which explored the history and meaning of whiteness. With MEN, we’ll be asking questions like, What’s up with this male-dominated world? Is male supremacy inevitable? How did we get sexism/patriarchy/misogyny, and what can we do about it?”

Scene on Radio episodes are posted every other Wednesday. Subscribe on the podcast website, and follow Scene on Radio on social media: @SceneOnRadio.

Scene on Radio Episodes

Bhagat Singh Thind in U.S. Army uniform. Smithsonian Institution

Citizen Thind (Seeing White, Part 10)

The story of Bhagat Singh Thind, and also of Takao Ozawa – Asian immigrants who, in the 1920s, sought to convince the U.S. Supreme Court that they were white in order to gain American citizenship....

A Racial Cleansing in America (Seeing White, Part 9)

A Racial Cleansing in America (Seeing White, Part 9)

In 1919, a white mob forced the entire black population of Corbin, Kentucky, to leave, at gunpoint. It was one of many racial expulsions in the United States. What happened, and how such racial...

Skulls and Skin (Seeing White, Part 8)

Skulls and Skin (Seeing White, Part 8)

Scientists weren’t the first to divide humanity along racial – and racist – lines. But for hundreds of years, racial scientists claimed to provide proof for those racist hierarchies – and some still...

Chenjerai's Challenge (Seeing White, Part 7)

Chenjerai's Challenge (Seeing White, Part 7)

“How attached are you to the idea of being white?” Chenjerai Kumanyika puts that question to host John Biewen, as they revisit an unfinished conversation from a previous episode. Part 7 of our series...

A lynching on Clarkson Street, New York City, during the Draft Riots of 1863. Credit: Greenwich Village Society of Historical Preservation.

That's Not Us, So We're Clean (Seeing White, Part 6)

When it comes to America’s racial sins, past and present, a lot of us see people in one region of the country as guiltier than the rest. Host John Biewen spoke with some white Southern friends about...

Little War on the Prairie (Seeing White, Part 5)

Little War on the Prairie (Seeing White, Part 5)

Growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, John Biewen heard next to nothing about the town’s most important historical event. In 1862, Mankato was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history – the...

On Crazy We Built A Nation (Seeing White, Part 4)

On Crazy We Built A Nation (Seeing White, Part 4)

“All men are created equal.” Those words, from the Declaration of Independence, are central to the story that Americans tell about ourselves and our history. But what did those words mean to the man...

Made in America (Seeing White, Part 3)

Made in America (Seeing White, Part 3)

Chattel slavery in the United States, with its distinctive – and strikingly cruel – laws and structures, took shape over many decades in colonial America. The innovations that built American slavery...

How Race Was Made (Seeing White, Part 2)

How Race Was Made (Seeing White, Part 2)

For much of human history, people viewed themselves as members of tribes or nations but had no notion of “race.” Today, science deems race biologically meaningless. Who invented race as we know it,...

Turning the Lens (Seeing White, Part 1)

Turning the Lens (Seeing White, Part 1)

Events of the past few years have turned a challenging spotlight on White people, and Whiteness, in the United States. An introduction to our series exploring what it means to be White. By John...

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