The documentary series “Scene on Radio” delves into American issues, looking to the past and examining the country’s current status. John Biewen hosts multi-part series on topics like sexism and the patriarchy, white supremacy’s history and meaning, and more.
Since 2015, “Scene on Radio” has released over 90 episodes and is now in its fifth season. Start from the first episode of a specific season to follow the complete story, and feel free to check out the seasons in any order. Episodes run under an hour long on average.
Season 5 is titled “The Repair,” investigating the world’s climate crisis and what needs to change in Western society to save the planet and humankind. This season, Biewen co-hosts with Amy Westervelt to interview experts and historians to analyze the historical and cultural origins of this situation, leading listeners through the West’s colonization, extractive culture, and the Global North’s nosedive into this ecological emergency. This season talks to producers in countries that got slammed earlier on. The hosts and guests will also explore possible solutions to repair the planet.
The fourth season recounted America’s history from its start to present time, and listeners heard about politics and issues like gerrymandering, voter suppression, foreign intervention, democracy, and authoritarianism. You’ll hear interviews with thinkers, field recordings, and rare stories that illuminate important questions for how the country is run, and questioning how democratic the country was meant to be. Was there ever a time that American democracy was not in crisis?
A recent Podsauce guest, Elise Loehnen, recommended season three, “MEN,” co-hosted by Celeste Headlee, all about gender, the problems of male supremacy, sexism, and how men invented the patriarchy. This season traced how we get our ideas about gender, and how sexism interacts with other forms of oppression. Elise also told Podsauce about 2017’s season two, “Seeing White” about race, racism, and whiteness.
This series is presented by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Tune in wherever you find your favorite podcasts to hear all five “Scene on Radio” seasons, now streaming.