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Scholars’ Circle – Philippines Presidential Election – May 22, 2022

On May 9, the Philippines held their Presidential elections. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won the election, bringing back the infamous family toppled in 1986 in a popular revolution. What does this say about the memory and the political climate of the nation? How will Marcos govern the country? What policies do we expect of this new Marcos regime and how might they differ from the current policies of Rodrigo Duterte? We explore the historical significance of the return of Marcos to power in the nation. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Women’s Reproductive Health post-Roe – May 15, 2022

As the US Supreme Court indicates its likelihood of overturning the landmark decision enshrining women’s reproductive control on abortion, Roe v. Wade, women throughout the country are wrestling with strategies to ensure continued abilities to terminate unwanted pregnancies. This legal development has been anticipated. The drastic shift to the right of the Court has, for years, compelled abortion advocates to develop alternative strategies for women. If Roe v. Wade is in fact overturned, what will women do to maintain sovereignty over their own bodies? What will a post-Roe world mean for women’s reproductive health?

Can reframing reproductive rights influence how people understand the issues related to abortion? Would the phrase “reproductive justice” offer a more accurate view than previous frames such as “reproductive rights” or “rights to privacy?”. [ dur: 58mins. ]

Community of Womens’ Health advocates:

  • Repro Legal Defense fund – https://reprolegaldefensefund.org
  • If/When/How – https://www.ifwhenhow.org/ ,  lawyers for reproductive justice

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle -German History of Gay rights during the period of Cold War; LGBTQ rights struggle in US – May 8, 2022

What was the experience of gay people in East and West Germany during the Cold War? We speak with Samuel Clowes Huneke author of States of Liberation: Gay Men between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany [ dur: 32mins. ].

Since the 2020 election, anti-transgender campaigns have been growing in the United States. What are these efforts? We look at the campaigns to curtail and reverse gay and transgender rights, in particular we explore campaigns such as Florida’s Parental Rights in Education act (dubbed by critics as “Don’t Say Gay” bill) and attempts to ban trans athletes in all levels of competition. [ dur: 25 mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Disinformation in our time – May 1, 2022

With the news that Elon Musk intends to purchase Twitter and with promises that the social media company will allow a wider range of content, including some that was previously banned as hate speech, disinformation, or conspiracy-centric, concerns over disinformation in political discourse have been heightened. But the challenge of democratic discourse in light of misinformation and disinformation is a historic challenge. Social media just speeds the process. Yet a significant concern is discerning who best to regulate what constitutes disinformation, in light of the political power of censorship.
We look at how disinformation has spread worldwide, shifting politics and challenging democracies. What are the most effective ways to counter disinformation? How might it be different for states, than for individuals? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Importance of Preserving All Presidential Documents; Uzbekistan Denies Protection of Religious Freedom – April 24, 2022

Former President Trump’s administration took the presidential documents to Mar-a-Lago instead of submitting them to the U.S. archive. Why does this matter? [ dur: 26mins. ]

In recent months, investigators discovered that a significant number of records from the Trump White House were relocated to his personal residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. This removal of official papers from the White House poses a significant threat for the security of classified information. But perhaps most importantly, it serves as a major concern for future historians to write accurate and detailed histories of the presidency. We explore the Presidential Records Act and how the law is applied.

We turn our attention to a country rarely in the news, Uzbekistan. What do we know about the country, particularly its religious freedoms? Uzbekistan is an Islamic country. But does it respect the rights of its Muslims? If so, why does the country imprison its people considered prisoners of conscience and religious prisoners? We discuss a new report from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom on Uzbekistan’s Religious and Political Prisoners. [ dur: 32mins. ]

  • Steve Swerdlow is Associate Professor of the Practice of Human Rights in the Department of Political and International Relations at the University of Southern California (USC). He was Senior Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. He has conducted extensive field work internationally with a particular focus on Central Asia and the Caucuses. He was Senior Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. He has conducted extensive field work internationally with a particular focus on Central Asia and the Caucuses. He is the author of Uzbekistan’s Religious and Political Prisoners.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Will France Elect a Far Right President?- April 17, 2022

The French are electing a new President. On today’s show we explore French politics and society and the potential of a French election of a far right candidate as President. [ dur: 58mins. ]

On April 10, 2022, French voters went to the polls for Presidential elections. Like so many countries, the first round of elections are multi-party. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote, then a second round of elections is held with the top 2 finishers. In a repeat of the 2017 elections, Emmanuel Macron received the most votes but fell short of the 50% threshold. He will once again run against National Front candidate Marine Le Pen. This election will be held April 24. What is at stake is French participation in the European Union and NATO. French identity is at stake as well, with Le Pen’s well known white nationalist appeal to French voters. We will discuss political and social developments in France, and what we are watching in the outcomes on April 24.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Historical and Current Practices to Redress Crimes Against Humanity – April 10, 2022

After mass atrocities and crimes against humanity, how can societies reconcile? How is justice performed and how should we recognize these crimes? And what of the clash between international interests and local needs when dealing with the punishment and acknowledgment of atrocities? Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This interview was recorded on April 18, 2021.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – War Crimes and Justice for Victims and Survivors- April 3, 2022

President Biden has called Russia’s attack on Ukraine a war crime. What does that mean in term of legal remedies? When and how are war crimes adjudicated? Prosecuting those who commit crimes against humanity or war crimes is one part of justice, the other part is redressing the victims and survivors. What can be done to redress them? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Maria Armoudian, Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Ketanji Brown Jackson nomination for the US Supreme Court – March 27, 2022

In what ways is the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson historic? What impact will having a former criminal defense attorney on the Supreme Court have on future rulings or on dissents? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Maria Armoudian, Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Black Women Intellectuals how they empowered the civil rights struggle – March 20, 2022

What role have black women played in the civil rights era and black empowerment in addressing issues of white supremacy? We explore the importance of black women intellectuals, the way in which they have framed the scholarship, the analysis, and policies. [ dur: 34mins. ]

Several states have passed legislation barring teaching critical race theory in public schools. Today we explore critical race theory and how race is taught. How should academics proceed in light of the political backlash to teaching about race? [ dur: 22mins. ] This was originally recorded July 21, 2021. This is an excerpt, the complete version can be heard here.

This program is produced by Maria Armoudian, Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.