WBEZ | Arts & Culture http://www.wbez.org/news/culture Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Review: Mick Jenkins, 'Wave[s]' http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/review-mick-jenkins-waves-112714 <p><p>Mick Jenkins&#39; 2014 release The Water[s] helped establish him as one of the stronger voices in Chicago&#39;s vibrant, diverse (and crowded) hip-hop scene.</p><p>While the locally popular drill and bop music often associated with that city&#39;s rap are visceral expressions of youthful energy, Jenkins&#39; music is the decidedly cerebral and emotive other side of the same coin. It might be tempting to throw the conscious label his way, but that&#39;s reductive, especially in an era where the term is used pejoratively and associated with self-righteous and pedantic MCs.</p><p>For Jenkins, as evidenced by his new H2O-themed project, Wave[s], being smart doesn&#39;t have to mean being stiff and relying on a leitmotif that&#39;s used as a metaphor for truth doesn&#39;t get old.</p><p>On his past releases Jenkins proved that he can spit and make listeners think, but on Wave[s] he also takes a crack at making us dance. He romances on the Kaytranada-produced &quot;Your Love,&quot; using the track&#39;s elastic synths and future bounce rhythm to court a lady, offering &quot;a dream in New Orleans&quot; and the promise of falling in love in his hometown.</p><p>The flirtations continue on &quot;The Giver&quot; where Jenkins takes off his cool and makes his intentions to build a relationship clear: &quot;A n**** heart on his sleeve / girl it bleed / I&#39;m just letting you know / you don&#39;t gotta hit the weed / just bring your smile and a seed / I got water, we connect and it grow.&quot; But what happens when a relationship ends? Production crew ThemPeople provide the somber backdrop for Jenkins to explore heartbreak on &quot;40 Below.&quot;</p><p>Beginning with a soundbite of Halle Berry&#39;s Angela chewing out Eddie Murphy&#39;s character in the movie Boomerang, Jenkins tells his story of a teenage love gone sour, regretting his mistakes and admitting to lurking on her Facebook page, longing for what they once had.</p><p>Jenkins isn&#39;t only concerned with affairs of the heart &mdash; he also seeks to motivate.</p><p>He exhorts the listener to &quot;wake up, wake up&quot; on the jazzy &quot;Slumber&quot; alongside like-minded Chicago poet-cum-rapper Saba and ThemPeople&#39;s Sean Deaux, and uses the song title in the refrain on the high energy &quot;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk_k4zHSGaQ">Get Up Get Down</a>.&quot;</p><p>Though Mick Jenkins&#39; voice resonates with the forceful boom of a preacher delivering a sermon, he doesn&#39;t preach per se; it&#39;s his acknowledgement of his own imperfections that makes the water-obsessed rapper ultimately relatable.</p><p>At nine tracks total, Wave[s] is a brief but potent sample of what Mick Jenkins does best. When it comes to meaningful music, replete with personal truth, his cup runneth over.</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/08/12/431910529/first-listen-mick-jenkins-wave-s?ft=nprml&amp;f=431910529">via NPR&#39;s First Listen</a></em></p></p> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/review-mick-jenkins-waves-112714 Artist found inspiration in South Side jazz clubs http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/artist-found-inspiration-south-side-jazz-clubs-112646 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.wbez.org/" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">One of the major artists of the Harlem Renaissance never actually lived in New York.</p><p dir="ltr">The painter Archibald Motley, Jr. called Chicago home for most of his life. That&rsquo;s where, starting in the 1920s, he became inspired by a vibrant South Side nightlife that is largely forgotten today.</p><p dir="ltr">Many of these paintings are on display now in the exhibit <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/motley.html">Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist</a> at the Chicago Cultural Center, but only through the end of August.</p><p dir="ltr">Motley was born in New Orleans in 1891. A few years later, his family moved to Chicago where his father worked as a Pullman porter. Motley had a middle class upbringing in Englewood and eventually attended the School of the Art Institute.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://drive.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/?tab=mo#folders/0By7E2pZ6aCZtSl9MWm1palVzeGc">Professor Richard Powell of Duke University</a>, the exhibit&rsquo;s curator, said shortly after graduation Motley began a lucrative career painting portraits.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;African Americans who were business folk, ministers, school teachers, people who have some disposable income where they wanted their portraits done,&rdquo; said Powell. &ldquo;Archibald Motley filled that niche.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">But Motley soon began to paint not just his neighbors, but the neighborhoods themselves. Powell points to Motley&rsquo;s depiction of a bustling Bronzeville block in Black Belt from 1934.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;&lsquo;Black Belt&rsquo; was a sociological term that folks at the University of Chicago used to describe that part of Chicago where black people lived,&rdquo; Powell explained. &ldquo;[Motley] transforms it because there&rsquo;s nothing all that black and bleak about this painting.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Black Belt&rsquo;s vibrant street scene is crammed with men in dark suits and women in bright dresses. Curved black cars cruise under neon signs. According to Powell, Motley captures an energy that no photograph of that era could.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I love how we get in the background, the sky and the stars in the sky. But rather than getting horizon lines, he just blends it. We move from that wonderful blue sky to the mauve of the sidewalk,&rdquo; said Powell. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a hint that this is not Realism 101. This is expressionism.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Powell thinks it may have been influenced by his studies at the Art Institute, as well as what he saw in 1929 during a six-month stay in Paris on a Guggenheim Fellowship.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;He looked at the work of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, the French artist who worked in Belle Époque Paris. The place that had all the can-cans and cabarets,&rdquo; said Powell. &ldquo;I think that Motley said &lsquo;there&rsquo;s something similar to that happening here in the South Side of Chicago.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Indeed, the Jazz Age in Chicago was in full swing at that time, filling nightclubs throughout the city.</p><p dir="ltr">In Motley&rsquo;s painting Saturday Night (1935), the dominant color is pomegranate red. A jazz combo plays to a crowded room of people drinking, laughing and talking. Lampshades dot tables where patrons lounge with martinis and cigarettes. A woman in a frilly dress sways to the music as waiters in white uniforms rush by with drink trays.</p><p>Powell said Motley captures the essence of the mood through color and technique.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s always this kind of energy between the figures and each other and how they interact with one another. Not in terms of a narrative but in terms of a composition,&rdquo; Powell said.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.mikeallemana.com/">Michael Allemana is a local musician and jazz historian</a>. He says the music scene back then was something everyone wanted to experience. There were nightclubs and theaters on nearly every block in some parts of the black South Side.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You didn&rsquo;t have TV, and radio was just starting to be a force,&rdquo; noted Allemana. &ldquo;Wherever you lived, you could walk to a club. Chicago was a magnet because there were opportunities for musicians to play here. It must have been so vibrant. And that&rsquo;s what I get out of [Motley&rsquo;s] paintings.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Places like the Platinum Lounge, Dreamland Cafe and Lincoln Gardens made up what was known as &ldquo;The Stroll&rdquo; &mdash; a nightlife district on State Street between 26th and 39th streets.</p><p dir="ltr">Those days are over, but there are still remnants of that era if you know where to look. &nbsp;</p><p>For instance, <a href="http://chicagopatterns.com/chicago-jazz-history-revealed-at-meyers-ace-hardware/">Meyers Ace Hardware store on E. 35th street</a>. Way in the back, past aisles of light bulbs and power tools, the store is hiding a secret past.</p><p dir="ltr">Manager Dave Meyers takes Powell and I up thin wooden stairs to his makeshift office. His father moved his old hardware store to this location in the 1960s.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Right now, we are on the bandstand. It went out six feet farther that way. In front of that was the stage.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">As Meyers opens the door, Powell&rsquo;s eyes widen as he gazes at a large crimson-colored mural on the back wall.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Oooh! Oh my goodness,&rdquo; Powell exclaimed. &ldquo;Oh wow!&rdquo;</p><p>The mural shows a white jazz saxophonist playing opposite an exotic-looking creature pounding a drum.</p><p dir="ltr">The painting was part of the Sunset Cafe later known as the Grand Terrace.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The club was known as a (black and) tan club,&rdquo; said Meyers. &ldquo;Because blacks and whites came here.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Meyers showed us pictures of Earl &lsquo;Fatha&rsquo; Hines, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and others who performed here and other nearby haunts.</p><p dir="ltr">It&rsquo;s not clear who painted the mural or when it went up. Powell thinks it might have been sometime in the 1940&rsquo;s. But he says Motley definitely went to the Sunset Cafe.</p><p dir="ltr">Powell reflected on what it was like to peek into Motley&rsquo;s past.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m speechless. That was amazing,&rdquo; said Powell. &ldquo;You can get kind of a glimmer of maybe what was. Just a glimmer.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Follow WBEZ reporter Yolanda Perdomo on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews">@yolandanews</a> </em></p></p> Fri, 14 Aug 2015 00:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/artist-found-inspiration-south-side-jazz-clubs-112646 Iranian rappers speak about hip-hop and its future in Iran http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/iranian-rappers-speak-about-hip-hop-and-its-future-iran-112571 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Zedbazi_Doc.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>&quot;Our group was the first group that used what they call explicit language in Iranian music.&quot;</p><p>So says Alireza Jazayeri, a rapper whose stage name is Alireza JJ, who originally gained fame as a member of a hip-hop group called Zedbazi, &quot;Even before the revolution there was no explicit language or curse words in art. We were the first who actually brought it to mainstream, like they did in American hip-hop in the late 80s.&quot;</p><p>The Iranian rap scene blew up in the mid 2000s in Tehran. Zedbazi formed in 2002, in the middle of this boom, and steadily gained popularity through the 2000s with their controversial language and lyrics.</p><p>&quot;Now rap is undoubtedly the most popular genre of music among 18-25 year old Iranians. Even 13-17 rap is like the main thing teenagers like to listen to,&quot; said Jazayeri.</p><p>If you listen to Iranian rap and hip-hop you&#39;ll hear frequent references to 021, the area code for Tehran and calling card for Iranian rap as a whole. &quot;I want you to throw your hands up high, higher/ throw 021 up forever&quot; raps Hichkas, lauded as the godfather of Iranian rap, in his 2008 song Bunch of Soldiers.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="465" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QU1NNAH6b_g" width="620"></iframe></p><p>But not all Iranian rappers live in the 021. Jazayeri and his group are currently based in France: &quot;I don&#39;t think in the near future we&#39;re going to be legal musicians in Iran,&quot; he said.</p><p>All musicians in Iran must have their music approved by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to legally produce or perform music. The rules are strict and the stamp of approval is hard to come by. In 2010 the deputy of the ministry stated that only 20 percent of music reviewed receives approval.</p><p>Inside the country Iranian rappers have formed a lively underground music scene. Djs mix beats in their bedrooms, rappers record in basements, and everything is shared for free online.</p><p>&quot;I would say inside of Iran 99 percent of rappers are working underground. They&#39;re not exactly being arrested but they can&#39;t legally perform or sell their music,&quot; explained Jazayeri. Some musicians have faced difficulties: Hichkas currently lives outside Iran after an arrest and trouble with authorities. Rapper Shahin Najafi fled to Germany after a fatwa was issued against him for rapping about a revered imam.</p><p>&quot;Iranian Hip-hop is at a very interesting stage of its life. But in the process of it becoming the most popular genre of music among the Iranian youth it went through a lot of transformation,&quot; commented rapper Salome MC, hailed as Iran&#39;s first female rapper, who now lives in Japan. &quot;It started from one website and few people that put their songs in it. Then it turned into something bigger that none of us could probably foresee back then.&quot;</p><p>Those who identify themselves as part of the 021 or Iranian hip-hop have formed an international musical community: collaborating on music, performing at &quot;virtual shows&quot; projected on computer screens, and promoting each others&#39; work from Paris to London to Tehran.</p><p>&quot;Because we record outside of Iran and we don&#39;t do any political stuff, they just consider us foreign artists who use the Persian language,&quot; said Jazayeri, &quot;We are not Iranian artists in the eyes of the government because Iranian artists have to have permissions to sell records and give concerts in Iran, and I don&#39;t see us getting that anytime soon.&quot;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UdlL5nQ3W3k" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Jazayeri says his hope for the future of Iranian rap is that it becomes legal, and that his music will become legal.</p><p>And with the recent Iranian nuclear deal, things may soon be changing. Trade will increase between the US and Iran, and travel between the two countries may become easier.</p><p>&quot;I doubt there will be a grand culture shock, at least for the middle to upper class,&quot; Said Salome MC, &quot;but the changes in economy as the key element of a social structure will effect everything, and hip hop will be one for sure. Will we have live hip-hop shows? I doubt it will happen in the near future, but I do think that once we have a bigger middle class and less people in poverty line, the demand for a more free public domain will increase, more people will start to realize the lack of human rights and make an issue off of it.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I don&#39;t know what will happen,&quot; concludes Jazayeri, &quot;I think when Iran&#39;s doors begin to open to the west there are some things that are going to change for sure. I think they&#39;re going to be more relaxed in some areas especially with a lot of foreign investors and people coming in and tourists. But that&#39;s going to take time. A country doesn&#39;t do a 180 in just a few years time so we&#39;ll see. But I&#39;m optimistic. It was a good deal, and it was great for Iran I think.&quot;</p><p>Listen to more Iranian rap here:</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/111594044&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/iranian-rappers-speak-about-hip-hop-and-its-future-iran-112571 China Markets in Freefall http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-31/china-markets-freefall-112535 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/China%20stock%20market%201.jpg" title="A Chinese investor walks past displays of stock information at a brokerage house in Beijing, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Shanghai stocks were volatile Tuesday after falling the most in eight years the day before while other Asian markets also flitted between gains and losses. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)" /><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217229042&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>China Markets Spiraling</strong></span></p><p>China&rsquo;s economy and stock markets have been on a &nbsp;deep decline. Hundreds of billions of dollars have left the country in the last year. &nbsp;The Shanghai Exchange, on Monday, &nbsp;posted its biggest loss since 2007. The markets bounced back slightly this week, after Beijing announced moves to restore confidence, such as buying back stocks, easing fiscal policy and aggressively restricting unethical practices like &ldquo;stock dumping.&rdquo; The regional reverberations have hit hard at countries like Australia, a major exporter to China. Observers warn that if the downward spiral doesn&rsquo;t turnaround soon, China will displace Greece as the world&rsquo;s most dangerous financial crisis. We&rsquo;ll talk about China&rsquo;s economic slowdown with <a href="http://www.eurasiagroup.net/about-eurasia-group/who-is/consonery">Nicholas Consonery</a>, Asia director for <a href="http://www.eurasiagroup.net">Eurasia Group</a>, a &ldquo;global political risk research and consulting firm.&rdquo; He leads the firm&#39;s consulting and advisory work on China.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;Nicholas Consonery,&nbsp;Asia director for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eurasiagroup.net">Eurasia Group</a>, a &ldquo;global political risk research and consulting firm.&rdquo; He leads the firm&#39;s consulting and advisory work on China.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217229789&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:24px;">Milos Stehlik Reviews&nbsp;&ldquo;A Pigeon Sat on a Branch&quot; and &quot;Shaun the Sheep&quot;</span></strong></p><p>Film contributor Milos Stehlik joins us to discuss the latest film from Swedish director Roy Andersson - <a href="http://www.magpictures.com/apigeon/">&ldquo;A Pigeon Sat on a Branch.&rdquo;</a> &nbsp;&nbsp;It&rsquo;s the third film in a trilogy that Andersson says looks at the human condition. The film opens this weekend in Chicago at the Gene Siskel Center. &nbsp;Milos also gives his take on the new animated film, <a href="http://shaunthesheep.com/">&quot;Shaun the Sheep&quot;</a></p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> Milos Stehlik is WBEZ&#39;s film contributor and director of Facets Multimedia<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217230650&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-size:24px;">Weekend Passport</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr">Each week global citizen, Nari Safavi, helps listeners plan their international weekend. &nbsp;This week, he&rsquo;ll tell us about an exhibition of street art from Greece and a play that looks at the role food plays in communities.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-2e91bfd6-e59e-640e-dc4a-c304d3205206">Nari Safavi, co-founder of <a href="http://www.pasfarda.org/">Pasfarda</a> Arts and Cultural Exchange</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-2e91bfd6-e59e-640e-dc4a-c304d3205206">Connie Mourtoupalas, curator of the <a href="https://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/">Hellenic National Museum</a> exhibit, &quot;The Street is My Gallery&quot;</span></p></p> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 09:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-31/china-markets-freefall-112535 The future of American history http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/future-american-history-112502 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-152461463-f3c8edde22c9febbb7fde899d945a971c2823e12-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>College history majors used to study&nbsp;<em>The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire</em>. Today perhaps they should also be studying the decline and fall of history majors.</p><p>Since 2010, the number of history majors at Ohio State University has dropped by more than 30 percent, according to a May 9<em>&nbsp;Columbus Dispatch</em>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/05/09/technology-edging-out-humanities.html" target="_blank">story</a>. Meanwhile, the number of students majoring in history at the University of Cincinnati has fallen by 33 percent since 2010.</p><p>At the University of Illinois, the&nbsp;<em>Daily Illini</em>&nbsp;<a href="histohttp://www.dailyillini.com/article/2015/04/history-department-combats-decline-in-enrollmentry department combats decline in enrollment" target="_blank">noted</a>&nbsp;on April 2 that the number of students enrolled in the college&#39;s history department has fallen precipitously in the past 10 years &mdash; from 521 in 2005 to 167 in 2015.</p><p>These recent stories reflect a 2013&nbsp;<a href="https://historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2013/data-show-a-decline-in-history-majors" target="_blank">report</a>&nbsp;from the American Historical Association showing a downward trend in undergraduate students earning degrees in history.</p><p>So why is the number of history majors diminishing? &quot;Experts blame anxieties about the job market for steering students into fields they think will translate to jobs quickly after graduation,&quot; the&nbsp;<em>Columbus Dispatch</em>&nbsp;story observes. &quot;Often that&#39;s the STEM disciplines that politicians have championed &mdash; science, technology, engineering and mathematics.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">More Inclusive</span></p><p>Teaching American history in the contemporary classroom &mdash; and in the coming years &mdash; holds some particular, and complicated, challenges. To put the challenges in some context, we contacted a trio of American history professors.</p><p><em><strong>In your teaching experience,&nbsp;do students these days seem to be more interested in American history than students in the past, or less interested?</strong></em></p><p><a href="http://college.wfu.edu/history/faculty-and-staff/faculty/michele-gillespie/" target="_blank">Michele Gillespie</a>&nbsp;has been teaching American history since 1990. She is also Dean of the College at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N. C.</p><p>&quot;My students still gravitate toward American history,&quot; Gillespie says, &quot;but they are much more interested these days in seeing that history in a broader world context, whether we are looking at American slavery, the American Civil War, or social movements like civil rights.&quot;</p><p>Students today, Gillespie says, &quot;are much more likely to critique American and European scholars for only using Western comparative contexts, and my students are also inclined to bring comparisons from their other courses on African, Latin American, East Asian, South Asian and Middle East history into my U.S. history courses.&quot;</p><p>The result: &quot;It makes for a dynamic, exciting classroom, one in which my students, who see themselves as global citizens in many respects, are taking real ownership.&quot;</p><p><a href="http://dartmouth.edu/faculty-directory/annelise-orleck" target="_blank">Annelise Orleck</a>, a professor of American history at Dartmouth College, has also been teaching at the college level for 25 years. &quot;My classes are bigger and I am now getting quite a few students who are deeply interested, willing to do a great deal of work,&quot; Orleck says, &quot;especially because I teach American history in a way that is more inclusive and challenging of dominant myths than most of them were exposed to in high school.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Students are just as interested in history now as they were in the past,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://allysonhobbs.com/" target="_blank">Allyson Hobbs</a>, an assistant professor in the history department at Stanford University. &quot;Students have always looked to history to better understand their worlds. Professors have the responsibility of making history accessible to students so that they can make better sense of their lives and so that they can see the connections and similarities between their life circumstances and the life circumstances of their parents and grandparents.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Dismantled Notions</span></p><p><strong><em>What are a couple of the particular challenges of teaching American history in 2015?</em></strong></p><p>&quot;Unfortunately,&quot; says Allyson Hobbs, &quot;there has been a decline in the value that many people place on history and the humanities, more generally. Particularly in Silicon Valley, there is a major emphasis on the technology industry, which leads many students to major in computer science or engineering. Still, computer scientists will create more useful and revolutionary products and services if they have a deeper understanding of the world around them, which comes from the study of history.</p><p>&quot;The value of history lies in its ability to help us to better understand the present,&quot; says Hobbs. &quot;This is particularly salient now given the tragedies of police violence, the massacre in Charleston, and the problems of economic inequality, poverty, educational disparities and mass incarceration. But this history is painful to face. It is a challenge for history professors to help students grapple with these societal issues.&quot;</p><p>The major challenge in teaching American history, according to Annelise Orleck, &quot;is that this is a wildly diverse nation and it is complicated to try to do justice to the stories of the many kinds of people who have made and lived American history.&quot;</p><p>Another major difficulty, Orleck says, &quot;is grappling with how to teach painful histories &mdash; histories of slavery, Native American genocide, Jim Crow and lynching, Japanese internment &mdash; in ways that are accessible and useful to students and that challenge them emotionally and intellectually while not making them shut down.&quot;</p><p>For Michele Gillespie, &quot;the fast-paced change in American society and the U.S. in the world over the last decade or so means students bring fundamentally different sets of questions and experiences to the table.&quot;</p><p>This is both a challenge and an opportunity, she continues. &quot;For example, President Obama&#39;s election was supposed to have launched a post-racial U.S., but subsequent events, including Ferguson, have dismantled that notion. Students really want to understand the historic underpinnings of racism in their embrace of the &#39;black lives matter&#39; movement. This creates a powerful opportunity to look at the close coupling of the rise of American democracy and slavery in U.S. history, and students have a deeper investment in that analysis.&quot;</p><p>In another example, Gillespie says, &quot;Not all students are convinced they need to know a great deal about U.S. history anymore. Some​ believe in the power of the global marketplace to shape their present and future lives, and therefore see our hallmark U.S. institutions &mdash; the Constitution, citizenship, federal government system ... ​and the histories attached to them &mdash; ​as arcane compared to the new worlds that technology, innovation and consumption are spawning.&quot;</p><p><em>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/npr-history-dept/2015/07/29/421624129/the-future-of-american-history?ft=nprml&amp;f=421624129">via NPR</a></em></p></p> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/future-american-history-112502 A sense of self: What happens when your brain says you don't exist http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/sense-self-what-happens-when-your-brain-says-you-dont-exist-112498 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/self-identity_wide-593012d29d82fcf11be24fb6d9d317a3cef5496c-s700-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Science journalist Anil Ananthaswamy thinks a lot about &quot;self&quot; &mdash; not necessarily&nbsp;himself, but the role the brain plays in our notions of self and existence.</p><p>In his new book,&nbsp;<em>The Man Who Wasn&#39;t There</em>,&nbsp;Ananthaswamy examines the ways people think of themselves and how those perceptions can be distorted by brain conditions, such as Alzheimer&#39;s disease, Cotard&#39;s syndrome&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19132621">body integrity identity disorder</a>, or BIID, a psychological condition in which a patient perceives that a body part is not his own.</p><p>Ananthaswamy tells&nbsp;Fresh Air&#39;s&nbsp;Terry Gross about a patient with BIID who became so convinced that a healthy leg wasn&#39;t his own that he eventually underwent an amputation of the limb.</p><p>&quot;Within 12 hours, this patient that I saw, he was sitting up and there was no regret. He really seemed fine with having given up his leg,&quot; Ananthaswamy says.</p><p>Ultimately, Ananthaswamy says, our sense of self is a layered one, which pulls information from varying parts of the brain to create a sense of narrative self, bodily self and spiritual self: &quot;What it comes down to is this sense we have of being someone or something to which things are happening. It&#39;s there when we wake up in the morning, it kind of disappears when we go to sleep, it reappears in our dreams, and it&#39;s also this sense we have of being an entity that spans time.&quot;</p><div><hr /></div><p><strong><span style="font-size:24px;">Interview Highlights</span></strong></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">On how to define&nbsp;&quot;self&quot;</span></p><p>When you ask someone, &quot;Who are you?&quot; you&#39;re most likely to get a kind of narrative answer, &quot;I am so-and-so, I&#39;m a father, I&#39;m son.&quot; They are going to tell you a kind of story they have in their heads about themselves, the story that they tell to themselves and to others, and in some sense that&#39;s what can be called the narrative self. ...</p><div id="res427154370"><aside><div><p>We can think back to our earliest memories. We can imagine ourselves in the future, and whatever perceptions arise when we remember or when we imagine, whatever emotions arise, they again feel like they&#39;re happening to the same person. So all of these things put together, in some sense, can be called our sense of self.</p></div><p>There are also other ways of thinking about the self. For instance, you and I right now are probably sitting on our chairs, and we have a sense of being a body that is in one place and we can feel sensations in our body. ...</p></aside></div><p>We can think back to our earliest memories. We can imagine ourselves in the future, and whatever perceptions arise when we remember or when we imagine, whatever emotions arise, they again feel like they&#39;re happening to the same person. So all of these things put together, in some sense, can be called our sense of self.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">On&nbsp;Cotard&#39;s&nbsp;syndrome, in which a person believes he or she is already dead</span></p><p>Cotard&#39;s syndrome was something that was first identified by a French doctor in the late 1800s. His name was Jules Cotard, and it&#39;s named after him. It&#39;s a constellation of symptoms ... and the most characteristic symptom is the situation where people say that they don&#39;t exist. This is a perception that they have, and you cannot rationalize, you cannot really give them evidence to the contrary and expect them to change their mind. It is a complete conviction that they have that they don&#39;t exist. ... It&#39;s very, very paradoxical. It poses a great philosophical challenge to people who are trying to understand what it means to say &quot;I exist&quot; or &quot;I don&#39;t exist.&quot; It also makes you wonder about all the other things that we are certain about, like you and I probably are very certain that we exist, well, these people are just as certain that they don&#39;t. So it makes you question about perceptions that arise in the brain and somehow, in this case, the delusion is so complete and so convincing that you really cannot shake their conviction that they are dead.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">On what brain imaging of a patient with&nbsp;Cotard&#39;s&nbsp;syndrome shows us<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/07/28/426753409/a-sense-of-self-what-happens-when-your-brain-says-you-dont-exist?ft=nprml&amp;f=426753409#" title="Enlarge">i</a></span></p><div id="res426757011" previewtitle="Anil Ananthaswamy is a consultant for New Scientist Magazine."><div><div><p>What seems to be happening is that there is a network in the brain that is responsible for internal awareness, awareness of our own body, awareness of our emotions, awareness of our self-related thoughts, and in Cotard&#39;s, it seems like that particular network is tamped down. In some sense, their own experience of their body, in all its vividness, in experience of their own emotions in all its vividness, that&#39;s compromised very severely. In some sense they&#39;re not feeling themselves vividly. It&#39;s as simple as that. But, then there&#39;s something else that&#39;s happening in the brain. It seems like parts of the brain that are responsible for rational thought are also damaged. First of all, what might be happening is a perception that arises in their brain saying that they are dead because they&#39;re not literally perceiving their own body and body states and emotions vividly and then that perception &mdash; irrational though it is &mdash; is not being shot down.</p></div></div></div><p><span style="font-size:24px;">On&nbsp;body integrity identity disorder, which causes a person to believe that a body part is not his or her own</span></p><p>It really is a very disturbing condition in the sense that it&#39;s not something you would normally ever experience. ... If you look at your hand, there is no doubt in your mind that it is your hand. Now imagine you looked at your hand and it didn&#39;t feel like yours and it didn&#39;t feel like yours for 20, 30 years; it could be a very debilitating thing. It seems to be like that for people experiencing or suffering from BIID. They do take extreme measures. It&#39;s basically a mismatch between the internal perception they have of their own body and the physical body and what&#39;s intriguing and interesting in terms of the self is that what is most important for our sense of self, our bodily self, is the internal perception of it. You can look at your body and you can see your hand or leg that is fully functional, and yet if it doesn&#39;t feel like yours. The feeling is the much more important part of one&#39;s self, not the fact that you can see it and you can function with this leg.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">On a patient with BIID who got his leg amputated</span></p><p>I talked to him a few times before the operation trying to find out what it was really that he was suffering from and he really felt like this leg, part of his leg, was not his, it was really something he didn&#39;t want. He would try a whole range of things to make it seem as if he didn&#39;t have it. He would fold his leg and pretend it wasn&#39;t there, he would push it to one side, it really seemed to ruin his life. I remember asking him once, &quot;So what does it exactly feel like?&quot; He says, &quot;It feels like my soul doesn&#39;t extend into that part of my leg.&quot; ...</p><p>One way to kind of understand might be happening in BIID is actually to look at the converse problem. Most people by now will be really well aware of this phenomenon called phantom limbs [syndrome] where you actually have an amputation because of some unfortunate accident or infection and you lose an arm or a leg. Many people continue to feel that the limb still exists and some people even feel pain in that imaginary limb. What that&#39;s telling you is what you are perceiving as your limb is actually some representation of the limb in your brain, not the physical limb.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">On how Alzheimer&#39;s disease affects the narrative self</span></p><p>Alzheimer&#39;s disease ... unfortunately literally erases a very important part of our sense of self, which is the narrative that we have in our heads about who we are. This narrative is something that the brain constructs and we&#39;re not even aware that it&#39;s actually a constructed thing. When we just think of ourselves, we have this expansive narrative inside us about who we are and what Alzheimer&#39;s unfortunately does is it puts a stop to the narrative forming. So because short-term memory formation is impaired, it becomes harder and harder for a person with Alzheimer&#39;s to start having new memories, and once you stop having or forming new memories, these memories don&#39;t get incorporated into your narrative. So, in some sense, your narrative stops forming. As the disease progresses it starts eating away at the existing narrative. It starts basically destroying a whole range of memories that go toward constituting the person that you are. ...</p><p>In terms of talking about the self, what this is telling you is that the self is multilayered. There&#39;s a narrative component to it, and what Alzheimer&#39;s seems to be doing is destroying the narrative component to the point that the person really cannot recognize anyone. ... We really don&#39;t know what the situation is from the perspective of the person suffering from Alzheimer&#39;s, especially late stage Alzheimer&#39;s.</p></p> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 23:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/sense-self-what-happens-when-your-brain-says-you-dont-exist-112498 Radio M: July 24, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/radio-m/2015-07-29/radio-m-july-24-2015-112485 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Terkaft.gif" alt="" /><p><p>This week on Radio M lots of new music for your ears.&nbsp;</p><p>This week&#39;s show includes the latest from desert rockers Terakaft, Chilean singer-songwriter Camila Moreno, Brazilian tropicalista Ava Rocha and Nigerian Highlife thru the lens of Finnish band Kaveri Special.</p><p>Also a live cut from the <em>Morning Shift</em> performance by Chicago veena player Sara Ranganathan.</p><p>Plus Talking Heads and The Skatalites.</p><p><strong>Playlist</strong></p><p>9 p.m.</p><p>Terakaft- Admidinin Senat Afelas (My Confidant)- Alone</p><p>Alif- Yalla Tnam (Lullaby)- Aynama Rtama</p><p>Talking Heads &ndash; Dancing for Money- Fear of Music (Remastered)</p><p>Kanaku y El Tigre- Quema Quema Quema- Quema Quema Quema</p><p>Inezz Mezel- Silent Waters- Strong</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QY8YYemmsd8" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Kaveri Special- Sunnuntaibrunissi- Kaveri Special</p><p><strong>9:30 p.m.</strong></p><p>The Skatalites- Dick Tracy- Studio One: Scorcher Vol.2</p><p>Pacho Galan y Su Orquesta- Cumbia del Caribe- Zombie Club presents Mambo Calypso</p><p>Ebo Taylor- Children Don&rsquo;t Cry- Afrobeat Airways Vol.2</p><p>Sara Ranganathan &ndash; Raga Blues &ndash; Live at WBEZ</p><p>The Expanders- Hustling Culture- Hustling Culture</p><p>Imperial Tiger Orchestra- Yedao- Mercato</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>10 p.m.</strong></p><p>Camila Moreno- Maquinas Sin Dio- Mala Madre</p><p>Klaus Johan Grobe- Schlaufen de Zukunft- Im Sinne de Zeit</p><p>Ava Rocha &ndash; O Jardim- Ava Patrya Yindia Yracema</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yXlCgiMszAo" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Jabula- Mathome- Spirit of Malombo</p><p>Los Cayenes- Suspirando por el Chikichaka- Si Para Usted Vol.2: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba</p><p>Mabel Scott- Fool Burro- Juke Box mambo: Rumba &amp; Afro Latin Accented Rhythm &amp; Blues 1949-60</p><p>Orlando Julius &amp; His Modern Aces- Mapami- super Afro Soul</p><p><strong>10:30 p.m.</strong></p><p>Sakir Oner Gunham- Deli Deli- Psych Funk a la Turkish</p><p>Mehr Pouya- Soul Raga- Soul Raga</p><p>Pheno S &ndash; Waihidjo- Music from Saharan Cellphones Vol.2</p><p>Adelkbir Marchane &amp; Ahmed Baqbou- Sandiya- Ouled Bambara: Portraits of Gnawa</p><p>Ballake Sissoko &amp; Vincent Segal- Ma Ma FC- Chamber Music</p></p> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 13:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/radio-m/2015-07-29/radio-m-july-24-2015-112485 Obama Visits Kenya http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-24/obama-visits-kenya-112475 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Obama pic 3.jpg" title="U.S. President Barack Obama waves after being greeted by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, right, on his arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya Friday, July 24, 2015. Obama began his first visit to Kenya as U.S. president Friday. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216187008&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong style="font-size: 24px;">Obama Vists Kenya as President</strong></p><p>President Obama heads to Kenya today. This is the first time he will visit his father&rsquo;s home country since he was elected president. The visit is filled with anticipation. There was discussion of making the visit a national holiday. In the town of Funyula in Busia County, which by borders Siaya County, the home area of President Obama&#39;s late father, the radio station there is calling today &ldquo;Obama Day.&rdquo; We&rsquo;ll check in with Phylis Nasubo Magina who is in Funyula. She&rsquo;s the managing director of The ABCs of Sex Education, where she leads a team of 49 community educators providing sex education and HIV prevention. Ken Opalo, an assistant professor at Georgetown University also joins us to discuss Obama&rsquo;s visit. He&rsquo;s originally from Kenya.</p><p><strong>Guests: </strong></p><p>Phylis Nasubo Magina is the Kenya Country Director of The ABCs of Sex Education</p><p>Ken Opalo Ken Opalo is an assistant professor at Georgetown University&rsquo;s School of Foreign Service and a blogger. He&rsquo;s originally from Kenya.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216187612&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Weekend Passport:</strong></span></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. This week he&rsquo;ll tell us about an exhibit on North Korea, the film Hiroshima Mon Amor and Bomba Estereo: Album Release Show</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Nari Safavi is co-founder of Pasfarda Arts and Cultural Exchange</p><p>Alice Wielinga is a participating artist in North Korean Perspectives</p><p>Marc Prüst] is curator of North Korean Perspectives<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216188449&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Milos Stehlik talks with Omar Sy, star of the film &#39;Samba&#39;</strong></span></p><p>Film contributor Milos Stehlik sits down with Omar Sy, star of the new film &ldquo;Samba.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s the latest film by the team that brought us &ldquo;The Intouchables. &#39;Samba&#39; tells the story of an undocumented kitchen worker who&rsquo;s battling deportation. The movie follows his struggles and budding romance with the immigration case worker who&rsquo;s trying to help him stay in France.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Omar Sy, French actor and comedian, star of the film &ldquo;Samba&rdquo;</p><p>Milos Stehlik is WBEZ&rsquo;s film contributor and director of Facets Multimedia</p></p> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-24/obama-visits-kenya-112475 StoryCorps Chicago: Tales from Theresa's Lounge http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-tales-theresas-lounge-112473 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/bh_storycorps_pokempner.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Marc PoKempner is a <a href="http://www.pokempner.net/book.html">photojournalist </a>who has worked extensively with the <em>Chicago Reader </em>and <em>People</em> magazine.</p><p>But in the 1960s he was just a college student in Hyde Park, interested in photography and the blues.</p><p>StoryCorps producer Francesco De Salvatore interviewed PoKempner recently.</p><p>And they spoke a lot about a basement bar in Chicago on the corner of 43rd and Indiana called Theresa&rsquo;s Lounge, where many of the city&rsquo;s most famous blues musicians held court.</p><p><em><em>Marc Pokempner was interviewed through a partnership with the Maxwell Street Foundation.</em>StoryCorps&rsquo; mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 12:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-tales-theresas-lounge-112473 Review: Amy Schumer's Trainwreck http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/review-amy-schumers-trainwreck-112411 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/trainwreck.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It-Girl Amy Schumer falls for the rare Manic Pixie Dream Guy Bill Hader in <em>Trainwreck</em>, but will audiences&nbsp;swoon for the Schumer-penned/Judd Apatow-directed film? Hosts Adam Kempenaar and&nbsp;Josh Larsen share their review on the latest episode of <em>Filmspotting</em>.</p></p> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/review-amy-schumers-trainwreck-112411