White Tears

For our discussion of Hari Kunzru’s White Tears, we return to the question: can America overcome its sin of racism? Or will our collective inability to deal with the consequences of our actions win the day? If you have not read this novel, beware – this podcast it mostly spoilers! We dive into the themes Kunzru explores in this complex novel, relish the strong prose, and question the role of cultural memory and American identity.

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of White Tears click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player here -or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play

Featuring Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro (@AngeMarieH), Aubrey Hicks (@AubreyHi), and David Sloane (@dcsloane53)

Sloane delivers keynote at Hollywood Economic Development Summit

USC Price School of Public Policy Professor David Sloane provided the closing keynote for the 2017 Hollywood Economic Development Summit, hosted June 22 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce at ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood.

The theme of the summit was building a more livable Hollywood, and Sloane noted the unique challenges Hollywood faces in planning for a city that is both a global brand and a Los Angeles community.

The Hotel Play

On April 29, 1992, Los Angeles erupted into chaos and violence after four white police officers were acquitted in the beating of African American Rodney King. The Hotel Play asks what, if anything, has changed in the past 25 years?

Join Jody David Armour, Paula Cizmar, Aubrey Hicks, and David Sloane as we think about race, Los Angeles, art, and social movements. We look at the moment that was the uprising in 1992 and how community organizing that grew out of that moment became a movement.

To listen to the Price Projection Room discussion of The Hotel Play, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or download and subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

The Underground Railroad

*Warning: Spoilers!*

In Colson Whitehead’s award winning novel The Underground Railroad, Cora, daughter and granddaughter of slaves, flees her plantation after a horrific punishment. She heads out with a fellow slave Caesar, who takes her to the underground railroad – in this novel, a real RR. She is passionately pursued by Ridgeway, a slave catcher while she experiences the horrors of American racism and the courage of the RR personnel. The book compares a mythological Southern narrative of slavery with Cora’s truths and Ridgeway’s version of the “American imperative.” Beautifully written, full of horrific incidents, the book reminds us of the power of racism, the government’s complicity in its implementation and persistence, and reminds us freed African Americans carried with them the legacy of violence, oppression, suppression, and more violence whether from the police, physicians, or any other institution.

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of The Underground Railroad click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player here – or you can download it and subscribe through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play

American Gods

The novel is a fascinating exploration of the meaning of ethnicity, modernism, memory, and community in which we are reminded of the many ethnicities that make up America, but also their amalgamation into a secular American society with few gods. As multiple characters remind us, America is a hard place to be a god. This is a quintessential American novel from a quintessential British storyteller – it’s a sprawling road trip into the vast highways and byways of the American landscape, it’s a horror novel, a mystery, a romance, a western, a fantasy, and ultimately a look into the heart of America.

This podcast features Caroline Bhalla, Raphael Bostic, Lisa Schweitzer, and David Sloane

The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is one of the most important American books in the last decade. Alexander systematically explores the policy changes from the days of Nixon through the present – exploring how each decision has created and allowed a system which criminalizes blackness, brownness, otherness in way that both creates new racial biases and confirms them by incarcerating millions of young black and brown men (and to a lesser extent, black and brown women).

On Such a Full Sea

In this edition of the Bedrosian Book Club Podcast, we’re looking at the dystopian novel On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee. Lee’s novel follows Fan, a young woman from one of the labor communities, as she leaves her home in search of her love. In a corporatized future world – where the wealthy fly in helicopters, workers try to compete with robots, and the really poor live in favelas – what becomes of social mobility and the notions of resilience and hope and equality?

Podcast – Invisible Cities episode

Featuring Lisa Schweitzer and David Sloane In this special edition of the Bedrosian Book Club Podcast, we discuss the Italian classic novel Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. The ancient emperor, Kublai Khan is so busy running the empire that he needs merchants to describe his vast empire, the great explorer Marco Polo is the only one whose imaginative…