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Episode 21

Leadership and the Humanities Podcast

Episode 21: The Last Podcast

So what do we do with the long trajectory of American history in relation to where we are now? How do we take centuries of classism, racism, sexism, and oppression and make something of it?…

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  1. Kayla O'Connell Kayla O'Connell

    In the final podcast, Dr. Bezio discussed the importance of representation and storytelling in history. Since the introduction of media, certain cultures have finally been represented. In 2020, where everything is far from normal, movements and protests have been extremely common. In today’s society, where protests and polarization of beliefs are rampant, what forms of protest do you think have been most influential for change? How do you think future media will portray the events that occurred this year?

  2. Michael Childress Michael Childress

    I saw Hidden figures as a junior in high school and it absolutely gave me a new lens into a different perspective. I thought the point that Dr. Bezio made about how we normalize the worlds we see is very important. referring back to simple exposure effects, the more we can show successful minorities, the quicker we can move toward decreasing the effects of implicit biases against them. The interesting thing, though, is that it is far easier to look back and see these new movements after they have happened as opposed to while they are currently occurring. Sometimes it is easy to neglect to recognize the importance of these new types of media (minority representation) when they are on their rise in popularity. Do you have any advice or tips on how can we more accurately view new types of media as means of revolutionary change as opposed to casual movie viewings? In other words, how can we be more aware of what’s going on around us in the moment, so we can get involved, as opposed to waiting 2 or more years to realize it?

  3. Christopher Wilson Christopher Wilson

    I agree that popular media, including works of culture, can anticipate revolutions. Still, I feel that the popular media’s normative value does not influence the population who matter most- the government, the military, and big businesses. If we consider how leaders should respond to contemporary issues highlighted by popular media, what does this then reveal to us about what could happen in the next decade, especially if most leaders in power ignore what’s being spotlighted by popular media, let alone the public?

  4. Madeline Orr Madeline Orr

    In episode 21 of the podcast, Dr. Bezio discusses the importance of representation and culture when telling stories. Throughout this class we have talked about how the media often fuels stereotypes that we see in society because what we see often becomes what we think is true. It is important to create works that show representation, culture, and the true stories in order to create change in the future. How will the influence of social media and people having the ability to share their own opinions and their own lives have an impact on social change in the future?

  5. Margot Roussel Margot Roussel

    I do agree with the argument presented that having representation in media is a good way to normalize behaviors and show other cultures. However, recently I feel like some media has been just adding POC to shows for diversity points and these characters just enforce stereotypes instead of acting as full people. How do you think we as consumers can encourage having diverse stories while also making sure they dont just reinforce stereotypes?

  6. Zariah Chiverton Zariah Chiverton

    Will we always have to be analytical and critical of our government to ensure that they do right by ALL of the people?

  7. Olivia Cosco Olivia Cosco

    In podcast 21, Dr. Bezio discusses how important works of culture are to individuals vision of the world. She discusses how works of culture have been changing the world for a very long time. The reason they shape our vision is because they shape our imagination, which plays a role in the way we see other people, places and everything else. The media also shape our visions based on who is represented and how they’re represented. I remember talking about hidden figures in an earlier class and how it was a turning point for the movie industry. Do you think we have reached equality in the sense of media portrayal? If not, what more can be done and do you think it will be done soon?

  8. Zachary Andrews Zachary Andrews

    Podcast 21 was one of the most touching podcasts that I have listened to all semester. Not only did it talk about the changes that happened in America and across the world during the 20th century, but it also talked about the impact that books, movies, music, poems, plays, and more have on people and thus on society. The last line that tells us that, the stories we tell help shape our imaginations, which then influence our real lives really stuck out to me from the rest of the podcast. My question is, who will the next Hollywood discovery be, and how with them influence and impact a social movement or movements (this idea came from the use of Black Panther’s “Wakanda Forever” at Black Lives Matter protests)?

  9. Christina Glynn Christina Glynn

    Comparing now to the past, people can use social media to voice their opinions to the public immediately rather than going through publishing. How has this affected society as a whole?

  10. Isabela Keetley Isabela Keetley

    Podcast 21 has by far been one of my favorite podcasts from this semester, as it ties everything we’ve learned and talked about together. I found the idea that works of culutre have been changing the world for hundreds of years to be very compelling. This popular culture has the undeniable power to shape our perceptions of the world and open our mind to new ideas. Personally I find this to be very touching and motivating, as we normalize the world we see. If this is the case, why have we just now shifted our media (movies and tv shows) to break down stereotypes instead of reinforcing them? And as we see this swing in pop-culture, will it continue to have the strong underlying effects we see now?

  11. Sara Moushegian Sara Moushegian

    I think this podcast was a great note to end on for our podcasts. Professor Bezio places emphasis on the media to continue increasing the representation of minorities, in order to shape the vision for our future society. I really think our society is getting better with publishing media – books, movies, music- that represent different cultures in an appreciative way. Do you think this trend in media will truly change the stereotype of American culture (white culture) that other nations hold? Will we be a more represented nation of different ethnicities and cultures, or will it take more than the media?

  12. Samuel Hussey Samuel Hussey

    This week’s podcast focused on the importance of popular culture and fictional media in history. Starting with Robin Hood in medieval England, although I am sure there were examples before this, and up through today there have always been works of art, literature, or media created with a purpose. In recent years, we have seen the black community be more represented in popular culture in America. Tying this to last week’s class on Islamaphobia, how long will it be until America starts to highlight the Islamic population positively in popular culture? Is it still too soon to 9/11 and our ongoing conflicts with the middle east? Or is it more due to the demographic size being too small for Hollywood to ever invest in a movie about?

  13. Thomas Bennett Thomas Bennett

    It was fascinating to learn about works of entertainment which have guided social change throughout history. In order to be monetarily successful pieces of entertainment need to be geared toward the masses, not just those people in power which can make them a great equalizer of opinion as seen in “Hidden Figures”. Is it possible that movies could be released today that once again have negative effects like “The Birth of a Nation” and if so would it would possible to recognize it in the moment?

    • We mostly see it these days in terms of whitewashing–making characters who aren’t from a particular culture being “made up” to look that way. Disney’s live-action Mulan was going to star a white actor and fans threw such a big fit that they went back on it, fortunately. It’s still pretty terrible from what I hear, but at least the actors are all Asian.

  14. Julia Borger Julia Borger

    Like my fellow classmates, I was touched by this podcast, as I found it extremely relevant to my life and allowed me to really think about the kind of media I watch, read, and listen to and the impact it has on myself and others. With advancements in technology every year, how will the power of media change regarding those of the younger generations, who are born into the age of having a phone at their fingertips and learning about everything through a screen, compared to our older generations?

  15. Carly Cohen Carly Cohen

    This podcast was very interesting to me and opened my eyes to how much media does effect our imaginations and therefore our lives. Why do you think it took so many years for equality films such as the Black Panther and Hidden Figures to be released? Do you think these movies will change stereotypes?

  16. Olivia Cranshaw Olivia Cranshaw

    In our final podcast, Dr. Bezio highlighted the extreme importance of representation in our culture and in our history. As it is so important towards shaping our present and transforming our future, could there be any regulation passed to make movies, and other performance-based art, have more diversity in gender, race, religion, orientation, and more? As it would highly benefit kids who grow up with a diverse imagination and unlimited possibilities, what is stopping the government from imposing this regulation, and does it trod on artistic expression?

  17. Jeffrey Sprung Jeffrey Sprung

    In Podcast Episode 21, Dr. Bezio discussed the massive impact that movies and pop culture had on shaping society’s viewpoints throughout history. Before the 21st century, many movies, plays, poems, and more did not portray racial and gender equality, which helped contribute towards implicit biases and negative stereotypes towards minorities. As Dr. Bezio mentioned in the podcast, Black Panther was the first major film to feature all Black actors, which broke the stereotypes for superhero movies and helped contribute to its huge success. Although I have seen Black Panther, I was wondering what is the significance of a “Black Panther” and where did the term originate?

  18. Tess Keating Tess Keating

    In this final podcast Dr. Bezio discusses just how important representation in culture and history is. This all makes me wonder– what would history be like without the media and literature? Not there? Very one sided?

    • Since human beings have pretty much been making stuff up since the beginning of time… this is impossible to answer. We had fiction long before we had actual history.

  19. Delaney Demaret Delaney Demaret

    For the final podcast, Dr. Bezio spoke on the power of popular culture and the making of change. From Robin Hood to To Kill a Mockingbird to SIlent Spring, do you think that there exists one singular factor that turns your average work of popular culture into a catalyst for massive change? Is it hope, anger, or something else completely?

  20. Elina Bhagwat Elina Bhagwat

    I think that this was a really great way to end the podcasts. It’s so important to take what we have learned and apply it to the real world in a way that can actually make a difference. Analyzing literature and media is such a great way to learn about the world, so why are literature and media censored and regulated as strictly as it is? I understand the idea of knowledge is power and that people such as the Nazis feared power so they burned books. I guess what I’m wondering is why is knowledge so scary to the government and therefore regulated when they should be providing for the public’s best interests and not give their people a reason to revolt? Also, do you think that while the media can promote inclusivity, it can also be dangerous if done incorrectly and spread the wrong ideas about acceptance and equality?

    • Of course. The power of media is precisely why the government regulates it. People might… get ideas!

      And yes, media can totally spread the wrong ideas… both on purpose and by accident if done poorly.

  21. Alexander Dimedio Alexander Dimedio

    The podcast stated that the year 2015 was a turning point in terms of focusing on inequality and injustice. Why did this happen in 2015? Was it a buildup of anger that boiled over, or did it stem from governmental leadership? The podcast talks about many different books and people that shifted American ideologies that lead to change. What roles do societal leaders play in this, and do we overrate the importance of one leader too often?

    • BLM came to the forefront in 2013, the Ferguson riots in 2014. It seems that suggested to some folks that perhaps we ought to be talking more positively about Black folks… which is the right timeline for films to be coming out in 2015.

      And yes. We totally overrate leaders.

  22. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    In our Final podcast episode 21 Dr. Bezio discusses different revolts that come from the ground up. As well as how racial representation adds to these changes in society. This ties nicely with out PHUS reading. This podcast left me with some questions: Now that I have all of this knowledge of history that commonly gets swept under the rug and forgotten what can I do with it? What does media representation look like in other countries? Do we countries with less systemic racism having more cultural representation in media?

  23. William Coben William Coben

    After listening to this podcast, I was forced to consider the merits of fictional media, and the influence that works of art like black panther, get out, and other movies featuring black stars have on American culture. Then, after contemplating that, I connected back to a previous lesson, Islamophobia. My question is this: Would movies and fictional stories about Muslim heroes begin to dismantle the culture of islamophobia that is present in modern-day America. As Dr. Bezio stated, the chant “Wakanda forever” became an imminent part of the BLM protests and movement… would a slogan about a Muslim hero have that same effect? It is an interesting thing to think about, and I am very curious as to what a movie about a Muslim hero would do for the Muslim population residing in the United States.

  24. Alexander Barnett Alexander Barnett

    In order to fully narrow the divide between minorities and white people in America, do you think it is necessary for our media outlets to appeal more to the minority or to have equal representation among all races and ethnicities?

    • We have no idea what it would look like if we had parity with our population demographics… since we haven’t managed that yet. I would say that’s a pretty good goal for now.

  25. Alexandra Oloughlin Alexandra Oloughlin

    This podcast was by far my favorite because it put everything we have been learning together. The fictional things that are being produced have the power to influence and motivate change, as well as to normalize certain qualities or behaviors. This can be used in both good and bad ways. This makes me wonder, does the government put restrictions on the content of movies and such in order to prevent uprisings? I also wonder which pieces of media were the most influential with the BLM movement protests?

    • Not here, they don’t.
      In Shakespeare’s day they did. If something was likely to incite a riot–the opening scene from a play called Sir Thomas More, for instance–it was cut before it ever saw production. That didn’t really stop authors from being subversive, it just made them bury it deeper.

  26. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    This podcast highlights the value of works of art representing different cultures. Dr. Bezio mentions the films Hidden Figures and Black Panther, and the way in which they changed the way the world sees movies, and how it was no longer just white men who would sell. The reason representation is so important is to shape our imagination and the way we see the world. My question is if you think representation is works of culture is the most powerful way to create a more inclusive and equal world? Do you think the media is the most “advanced” in portraying equality compared to other things in society?

  27. Annie Waters Annie Waters

    At the very beginning of the podcast, you stated that the first hints of revolution can often be found in dystopian, satirical, and revolutionary media. Most of the early historical examples you gave involved revolutionary action spurring significant governmental or legal reform, rather than inspiring a purely cultural revolution. If the US is in the early stages of a new revolutionary period, as our media may suggest, how might we predict whether it will proceed on a purely cultural route or an otherwise governmentally reformative route?

  28. Charley Blount Charley Blount

    You mentioned the significant profits grossed by movies with African-American leads. Where is this money going, and how do we prevent the film industry from becoming another example of black exploitation (I’m thinking of professional sports) with the lion’s share of the profits being funneled to white people?

    • Most of it goes to the studios, but actors and director also get a pretty sizeable cut. But that’s another thing that’s being fought in Hollywood–for Black actors to get the same rates as white ones.

  29. William Clifton William Clifton

    In our final podcast, Bezio talks about the value of truthful narratives. Today, factual and unbiased story telling is seen few and far between within the media. This is a concept that we have touched on a lot recently and I don’t think we can talk about it enough. In our most recent podcast, we talked about the role the media plays in the polarization of our country today. I wonder if a narrative change in the means in which media delivers information could manage to change that polarization and if so, to what extent?

  30. Mia Slaunwhite Mia Slaunwhite

    if we are in a world that isn’t ideal right now, what might be the best source for expressing our concerns? Would a movie or an article be enough to make some change? Maybe not at this moment, but how long after the media is released has changed occurred?

  31. Sophia Peltzer Sophia Peltzer

    In the final podcast, Dr. Bezio discusses the importance of representation and storytelling in the media, emphasizing the importance of displaying a world we want to see through our media and culture. My question is for Dr. Bezio specifically – have you personally noticed a cultural shift or change in media since you were growing up? Do you think that we are in the midst of a revolution now, based on your lived experiences? I think it is hard for many young people, including myself, to determine the normalcy of the protests, riots, and seemingly mass cultural revolution we are going through because we have no “normal” from the past to compare it to. Do the past few years or decades seem genuinely different to you, and do you think this time period will end in a significant cultural shift?

    • Dear Lord, yes, in terms of media. Find a movie from the 1980s on Netflix. The sexism, homophobia, and casual racism is positively PAINFUL now, but we didn’t think anything of it at the time.

      As for a social revolution… not having lived through one before, I have no idea. Ask me in another decade.

  32. Sophia Picozzi Sophia Picozzi

    We all have grown up in such an unprecedented time, even before the pandemic, that our generation perceives this change as normal, and younger generations are growing up being surrounded by our new normal. The younger generations are even more exposed to diverse perspectives and people than we were in my opinion, so I wonder how this young generation will grow up. Will they be the most empathetic and progressive one yet? Will this new age of diverse media stay and become the new normal forever? Will our whole country’s trajectory change by the time these young generations are like 30? Or will there still be fighters trying to conserve the nostalgia of the past and keep trying to “make America Great Again?”

  33. Julia Leonardi Julia Leonardi

    I agree with the podcast about how context and representation matters. I do think that some of the examples mentioned had little to no representation- especially Harry Potter. The problem I have with it is that it always is “the token Asian friend” or the “token black friend,” but never just the friend. It is hard to say that these movies have representation when the main character is always white and there’s one black person and one Asian one. I fail to see any Latino representation, and even when I do, it is one of the stereotypes. The issue is that it doesn’t matter if there is “representation” when it is all there to play with the racial stereotypes. I guess my question is how can we stop industries from capitalizing on the stereotypes of people of color?

    • The short answer is “don’t buy it.” Which is hard when your demographic is underrepresented, since you probably aren’t buying it anyway.

      It’s starting to change. Slowly. Painfully. But we’re seeing more Latinx culture, particularly on tv (rather than films). Yes, a lot is stereotyped, but it’s getting better.

  34. Pierce Kaliner Pierce Kaliner

    Towards the end of the Podcast Dr. Bezio talked about how Hollywood and the film making industry is in the middle of a change right now. They have realized that they can use people of color as actors and actresses and still make massive profits. As before they would just market these kinds of movies to a certain niche. I wonder, what will be the next change in the film making industry? Will it improve movies? Or try to build on the recent gains of attempting to get to racial equality in the film industry?

  35. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    The final podcast asks us what we do now? We have learned about all the injustice, inequity and intolerance of history, but what are we supposed to do with it? First, we should remember that we are not the only ones with this knowledge, as people have been fantasizing about a better future for all of human history (the main example being dystopian stories of brighter (or occasionally darker) futures in order to spur change). “Culture reflects the kinds of worlds we want to create,” and we “normalize the kinds of worlds we see.” If this is the case, why isn’t our world “perfect” by now?

  36. Michael Stein Michael Stein

    What we watch matters. But who does the responsibility of ensuring what we watch is beneficial to society fall on? Is it the media companies who produce what we watch? Or is it the consumer et large? Should consumers feel obligated to push for media that pushes society forward?

  37. Henry Groves Henry Groves

    In the final podcast, Dr. Bezio talked about how change is created, either through revolution or media. I was fascinated by how much power stories like “All Quiet on the Western Front” had on society and especially on the mental health of war veterns. There are so many examples of stories like this one mentioned in the podcast, as well as others, which was eye-opening. You mention how fictional media is the easiest way to normalize behaviors, is that because we inspire to be the characters and live the fantasy worlds created, or because it exposes the viewer to the behavior that is trying to be normalized?

    • Both of those things, but also because psychologically speaking we’re more susceptible to changing our thinking when it comes in fictional story form.

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