The Fact of a Body

The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is a true crime memoir. After encountering the child murderer Ricky Langley, Alexandria’s desire to work as a lawyer to fight against the death penalty is up-ended. She spends several years investigating Ricky’s story as a way to confront the story of her own child abuse. This is a deeply moving book, and a relatively easy read given the morose topic – a testament to the author’s skill.

Our conversation ranges from the effects of trauma on individuals and communities to the genre itself. If you haven’t read it yet, beware that we assume you’ve read it, spoiler alert!

Featuring Jeffery A. Jenkins (@jaj7d ‏), Lisa Schweitzer (@drschweitzer), Brettany K. Shannon (@brettanyshannon), and Deborah Winters

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Special thanks to Flatiron Books for sending us review copies!

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of The Fact of a Body click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play

To build better cities, men need to listen when women speak

Vicky Mochama mentions Lisa Schweitzer in an article for Toronto’s Metro News on building better cities by listening to more female voices. Mochama cites the recent article in Curbed by Alissa Walker tackling the issue of mansplaining in urbanist circles. What we lose in that is nuance. Walker cites Lisa Schweitzer, an urbanist and professor of…

Confronting Male Dominance in the Urban Planning Debate

LA Streets Blog cited comments by Lisa Schweitzer of the USC Price School on how men dominate urban planning debates. Schweitzer has a few theories on why women are getting drowned out by Smartest Boy Urbanists. Women often want to engage in a conversation that centers around identity, which in an urban context means building cities that…

Mansplaining the city

Curbed LA highlighted research by Lisa Schweitzer of the USC Price School on how males and male-centric language dominates development, real estate and politics. According to Schweitzer women typically engage in identity-driven conversations to promote equity for city residents and are often shot down. The story cites a blog post by Schweitzer titled “The Smartest…

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The narrator of Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist may be unreliable as he tells his American experience before and after 9/11 with an unknown American dinner guest, but we wonder if he is any more unreliable than the voice inside all of us. We discuss the East/West conflict, the relationship between fundamentalism and nostalgia, the narrator’s reluctance and fundamentalism, the narrator’s love of America and Erica, as well as puzzle over the ending as we delve into this deep and short novel.

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of The Reluctant Fundamentalist click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play

Talking Headways Podcast: Lightsaber Fights From Autonomous Pods

Streetsblog USA podcast interviewed Lisa Schweitzer of the USC Price School.  In the first of a two-part series, Dr. Schweitzer talks about how her students respond to urban planning classes, what a recent controversy in a Los Angeles City Council election reveals about bike advocacy, and autonomous vehicles and land use policy. Listen to the podcast.

Metro trying vendor marketplace at Westlake/MacArthur Park station

The Macarthur Park street market will run as a year-long pilot program and could be expanded if it is successful. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority says the program will increase accessibility and safety at the station and eliminate vendors who don’t have permits. Lisa Schweitzer, a University of Southern California urban planning professor,…

The Ethics of Governing

PhD candidate Anthony Orlando discusses the “Ethics of Democracy” in the latest episode of Our American Discourse.

Democracy is a dialogue. It requires our leaders to ask, to listen, and to react. Good governance thus hinges on conversation and consent—and whether we like it or not, conflict. Planners and policymakers have to balance competing needs, never more so than in today’s polarized environment. How do they do the right thing? Does such a thing even exist? Citizenship demands that we engage with these uncomfortable questions, especially in this troubled era.

Listen to this episode of Our American Discourse by clicking on the orange play arrow on this post, or subscribe at iTunes, Soundcloud, Google Play, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

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