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

A portrait of Audley “Queen Mother” Moore.

S4 E5: Feminism in Black and White

People fighting for more democracy in the United States often have to struggle against sexism and racism. In fact, those two struggles are often inseparable—certainly from the perspective of black...

Historian Bobby Donaldson of the University of South Carolina, at the South Carolina State House, Columbia, SC. Photo by John B

S4E4: The Second Revolution

After the Civil War, a surprising coalition tried to remake the United States into a real multiracial democracy for the first time. Reconstruction, as the effort was called, brought dramatic change...

Cotton bale, Old Slater Mill Historic Site, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Photo by John Biewen.

S4E3: The Cotton Empire

In the decades after America’s founding and the establishment of the Constitution, did the nation get better, more just, more democratic? Or did it double down on violent conquest and exploitation...

Pelham Town Hall, Pelham, Massachusetts. Photo by John Biewen.

S4E2: "The Excess of Democracy"

In the summer of 1787, fifty-five men got together in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution for the United States, replacing the new nation’s original blueprint, the Articles of Confederation. But...

A photo of the lawn at Mount Vernon. Photo by John Biewen.

S4E1: Rich Man's Revolt

In the American Revolution, the men who revolted were among the wealthiest and most comfortable people in the colonies. What kind of revolution was it, anyway? Was it about a desire to establish...

A photo of mussels.


“By now I have become a freshwater mussel groupie. I fawn over photographs. . . . I stalk them from a distance, writing their names in my notebooks: fatmucket, pistolgrip, heelsplitter, shinyrayed...

A photo of a pamphlet sitting on top of a flowery tablecloth. The pamphlet reads "How to Get to Heaven from Whittier, Alaska"

City Under One Roof

“Whittier occupies a crescent moon of shoreline, ringed in mountains and bordered by the sea. Barring arrival by boat or small plane, a single-lane tunnel is the only way to cross the tight ring of...

A blurry photo of a woman with her back towards the camera walking through a forest.

The Forest

“In these photographs, a deliberate juxtaposition of dark and light exemplifies the complex nature of the black subconscious. Afraid and fearless at the same time, we rise.” By the time she graduated...

A photo of a young man in front of a hearse.

Seeing the World in a Different Way

“I [came] into this course, thinking . . . it was very much about photographing. But what the whole year turned into for me was really about meeting people and relating to people. Trying to come in...

A drawing of a woman's head in profile looking at a cake, with the words "I speculate about cake... for Moira Kalman"


“An answer is satisfying, but speculation is limitless. The daydreaming I still do about the mysterious and unaccounted for missing half of that cake brings me more joy than the facts about what...