Welcome to The Scholars’ Circle

Producers: Maria Armoudian, Ankine Aghassian & Melissa Chiprin
contact us : host (at) scholarscircle.org

The Scholars’ Circle is a weekly production. Our library contains interviews from 2011 to present.

Below are our 10 most recent recordings.



Scholars’ Circle – Will International Finance protect human rights -/- Responsibility of Individual, State and Institutions – August 25, 2019

Can international finance systems be harnessed to protect human rights? While historically financiers have funded some of the worse of human rights abuses, finances also enabled great human leaps. Our guest argues that it is time to alter the financial system for the good of humanity. [ dur: 29 mins. ]

Then, our guest studies factors that shape our lives and ways of being in life, like ideas and events. What does it really mean to be responsible? It might depend on where you live. [ dur: 29 mins. ]

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Brexit Explained – August 18, 2019

We spend the hour examining Brexit, what the election of Boris Johnson means for Brexit and a bitterly polarized British public and politics. What is the future of British economy? What the UK will likely look like in 2024? Doug Becker hosts.[ dur: 58mins. ]

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Mass Shooting connection to Identity Politics – August 11, 2019

On the heals of more mass shootings in the United States, we examine the mindset, the trends and changes of a globally connected rightwing movement, then turn to solutions to the growing animosity between identity groups.[ dur: 58 mins. ]

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Civil Rights to US Corporation -/- Is Privatization a US Constitutional Coup – August 4, 2019

First, how did corporations get civil rights? The two-hundred-year battle to give corporations personhood and constitutional protections. [ dur: 34 mins. ]
For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Then, how does privatization amount to what our guest calls a Constitutional Coup.[ dur: 23 mins. ]

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Survey of Media Freedom in the World -/- Ways to affect climate change – July 28, 2019

First we looks at History of World Media Freedom. Jenifer Whitten-Woodring and Douglas A. Van Belle are the co-authors of the book Historical Guide to World Media Freedom – A Country-by-Country Analysis [ dur: 28mins. ]

  • Jenifer Whitten-Woodring is an Assistant Professor of Political Science Department at University of Massachusetts Lowell.
  • Douglas A. Van Belle is a senior lecturer in Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.

Then we talk with one Stanford University scientist maps out the way to slow down climate change and even reverse some of the damage. [ dur: 30 mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – India and Pakistan tensions over Kashmir – July 23, 2019

Contributing host Doug Becker takes on one of the most volatile international rivalries in the world, the conflict in South Asia between Pakistan and India. No issue embodies this rivalry more clearly than the region of Jammu and Kashmir. Resolving this issue would ease tensions between these two nuclear powers. What’s driving the conflict in Kashmir? Would granting the region independence lead to peace? How much is this conflict driven by local actions in the region and how much is it fueled by policies in Islamabad and New Delhi? How can we resolve it? [ dur: 58mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ.

Report from Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Right on Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir. Link.

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle -The Environmental Impact of the US Military- July 14, 2019

We spend the hour looking at the environmental impact of the US military. How much does the US military pollute the environment? What is their role in climate change causing green house emissions? The military has taken some measures to reduce its impact on the environment and green gas emissions, but our guests say these measures do little to assuage the military’s bigger effects on climate change. What are these effects and what can be done about them?[ dur: 58mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Nazi Cell in Hollywood -/- Lessons from past human societies and climate disruptions – July 7, 2019

First, how one man infiltrated the Nazi cells and foiled their plots to sow chaos in Los Angeles. Steven J. Ross is the author of Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America.[ dur: 33mins. ]

Then, how have our ancestors dealt with earlier changes in the climate and environment? What does it tell us about our current situation? [ dur: 23mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle -Fertility and Mortality affected by Climate Change -/- Designing Peace in Divided Society – June 30, 2019

Then, climate change is here. How does climate change affect conception? [ dur: 15 mins. ]

Then, designing peace in divided societies. How do you make peace after fatal conflicts and loss of lands? What is the role of identity in conflict and peacemaking? [ dur: 43 mins. ]

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle -International law affected by human rights and war -/- Prohibition of nuclear Weapons an on going struggle – June 23, 2019

First, how is international law changing for human rights and for war? Our guest says we are moving from protecting state security to increasingly protecting individual security. The shifts are influenced by the human rights frame and are reshaping what she calls “humanity’s law.” [dur: 15mins. ]

  • Ruti Teitel is Professor of Comparative Law at the New York Law School and Visiting Professor at London School of Economics. She is Chair of Global Law and Justice Colloquium and Founding Co-Director of the Institute for Global Law, Justice and Policy at New York Law School. She is the author of numerous publications including Humanity’s Law and Globalizing Transitional Justice.

Then, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the most broad sweeping attempt to ban nuclear weapons. Guest host Doug Becker looks at the motivations behind the treaty, its relative importance on nuclear states decisions, and its prospect for eventual adoption.[ dur: 42mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

  • Ira Helfand, MD is co-chair of the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)’s Nuclear Abolition Committee. He is also a member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)’s International Steering Committee. He has co-authored PSR’s “Nuclear Famine: 2 billion at Risk?
  • Wayne Glass is Professor Emeritus in the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. He is the former Senior Defense Policy Advisor to Senator Jeff Bingaman on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.