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Can we learn to make smarter choices? Listen in as host Katy Milkman--behavioral scientist, Wharton professor, and author of How to Change--shares stories of high-stakes decisions and what research reveals they can teach us. Choiceology, an original podcast from Charles Schwab, explores the lessons of behavioral economics to help you improve your judgment and change for good. Season 1 of Choiceology was hosted by Dan Heath, bestselling author of Made to Stick and Switch. Podcasts are for inf ...
 
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POC Podcast - Progressive Opinions of Color

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POC Podcast - Progressive Opinions of Color

Nancy Wu (Asian American, Economist, Progressive, Woman, Storyteller)

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Welcome to Progressive Opinions of Color (POC), a podcast that creates space for people of color in conversations about economics, politics, and culture. Your host is Nancy Wu. Nancy is an Asian American woman, an economist, and a huge politics and policy nerd. Nancy triple majored in Economics, Government (Political Science) and Gender Studies at Dartmouth and has a Master’s in Development Economics from Oxford. She works as an Economist full time and has previously worked in economic polic ...
 
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Jarvis Houston, the Organizing and Political Director of Sister District. Jarvis Houston has ten years of advocacy and campaign experience at the local, state, and national levels. He is a lifelong organizer and a proud graduate of Howard University. With armchair analysts portending a dark upcoming decade for Democrats, Jarvis speaks to a positive…
 
For many people, the start of a new year is an occasion to re-examine their lives, to set new goals and to give up old habits. Making New Year’s resolutions is something of a social ritual, but we see similar behaviors around other significant dates, as well--such as birthdays and anniversaries and the changing of seasons. And while it can be argue…
 
Diaspora’s Homeland: Modern China in the Age of Global Migration (Duke University Press, 2018) by Shelly Chan provides a broad historical study of how the mass migration of more than twenty million Chinese overseas influenced China’s politics, economics, and culture. Chan develops the concept of “diaspora moments” – a series of recurring disjunctio…
 
Luis Lobo-Guerrero is one of the three editors of this volume—Mapping, Connectivity, and the Making of European Empires—and one of the six contributing authors. He wrote the preface, “Poseidonians and the Tragedy of Mapping European Empires,” and the first two chapters, “Mapping and the Making of Imperial European Connectivity” and “Mapping and the…
 
Taking a wide focus, Southern Journey: The Migrations of the American South, 1790-2020 (LSU Press, 2020) narrates the evolution of southern history from the founding of the nation to the present day by focusing on the settling, unsettling, and resettling of the South. Using migration as the dominant theme of southern history and including indigenou…
 
In this interview, I speak with Till F. Paasche and James D. Sidaway about their new book, Transecting Securityscapes: Dispatches from Cambodia, Iraq, and Mozambique (University of Georgia Press, 2021). In addition to the book's methodological and theoretical contributions, we also discussed the extensive field research and important personal exper…
 
White middle-class eaters are increasingly venturing into historically segregated urban neighborhoods in search of "authentic" eating in restaurants run by-and originally catering to-immigrants and people of color. What does a growing white interest in these foods mean for historically immigrant neighborhoods and communities of color? What role doe…
 
Nancy chats with Sean about his own podcasts, how he transitioned from tech to the creative industry, how tech skills can be transferrable for creative career changes, and more. Sean is a Sloan MIT MBA, and former PM at Amazon. He currently is trying to write screenplays, actively participates in furthering the mission of the 1990 Institute as a bo…
 
Nancy chats with Ashish Prashar about his time in prison for a non-violent crime, how the prison industrial complex discriminates against BIPOC, and how to move toward prison reform and abolition. When you hear Ashish Prashar’s lovely soft spoken British accent, coupled with his intellectual stance on the flawed U.S. prison system, it's really hard…
 
In her new book Climate Ghosts: Migratory Species in the Anthropocene (Brandeis UP, 2021), environmental historian Nancy Langston explores three “ghost species” in the Great Lakes watershed—woodland caribou, common loons, and lake sturgeon. Ghost species are those that have not gone completely extinct, although they may be extirpated from a particu…
 
Near Tijuana, Baja California, the autonomous community of Maclovio Rojas demonstrates what is possible for urban place-based political movements. More than a community, Maclovio Rojas is a women-led social movement that works for economic and political autonomy to address issues of health, education, housing, nutrition, and security. Border Women …
 
Birds sing to set up a territory, but the relationships between the bird, the song, the territory, and the bird’s community are highly complex and individually variable. In Living as a Bird (English translation by Helen Morrison, Polity Press, 2021), Vinciane Despret explores the concept of territory from a perspective that situates philosophical w…
 
In the past four hundred years, the cultural position of Taiwan has been undergoing a series of drastic changes due to constant political turmoil. From the early seventeenth century to the late twentieth century, the ruling power of Taiwan shifted from Spaniard and Dutch to the Late-Ming Zheng regime, then to the Qing court and imperial Japan, and …
 
On this episode, I have the great pleasure of finally getting to talk with one of the “unsung heroes” of cybernetics, whose work has finally begun to receive the critical attention it has long deserved, and upon which I have leaned quite heavily in my own work since I entered this field. With Cybernetics for the Social Sciences, out from Brill in 2…
 
Our sense of smell is a uniquely visceral—and personal—form of experience. As Hsuan L. Hsu points out, smell has long been spurned by Western aesthetics as a lesser sense for its qualities of subjectivity, volatility, and materiality. But it is these very qualities that make olfaction a vital tool for sensing and staging environmental risk and ineq…
 
How is emptiness made and what historical purpose does it serve? What cultural, material and natural work goes into maintaining 'nothingness'? Why have a variety of historical actors, from colonial powers to artists and urban dwellers, sought to construct, control and maintain (physically and discursively) empty space, and by which processes is emp…
 
Anticipating and planning for obstacles can sometimes be more powerful than adopting a positive mindset. A positive attitude is important when embarking on any new endeavor. However, as you may have heard in previous episodes of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, overoptimism also can blind you to important information. In this episode, we look at a st…
 
The construction of collective identity among the Muridiyya abroad is a communal but contested endeavor. Differing conceptions of what should be the mission of Muridiyya institutions in the diaspora reveal disciples’ conflicting politics and challenge the notion of the order’s homogeneity. While some insist on the universal dimension of Ahmadu Bamb…
 
When are borders justified? Who has a right to control them? Where should they be drawn? Today people think of borders as an island's shores. Just as beaches delimit a castaway's realm, so borders define the edges of a territory, occupied by a unified people, to whom the land legitimately belongs. Hence a territory is legitimate only if it belongs …
 
The 1830s to the 1930s saw the rise of large-scale industrial mining in the British imperial world. Elizabeth Carolyn Miller examines how literature of this era reckoned with a new vision of civilization where humans are dependent on finite, nonrenewable stores of earthly resources, and traces how the threatening horizon of resource exhaustion work…
 
Nancy chats with Kat Calvin about voter suppression and the complexities of obtaining IDs for everyday use. Kat also talks about the California recall election and tips to starting a non-profit. Kat Calvin is the Founder and Executive Director of Spread The Vote and the Co-Founder and CEO of the Project ID Action Fund. A lawyer, activist, and socia…
 
Imaginaries of Connectivity: The Creation of Novel Spaces of Governance (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) addresses the problem of how the creation of novel spaces of governance relates to imaginaries of connectivity in time. While connectivity seems almost ubiquitous today, it has been imagined and practiced in various ways and to varying political eff…
 
Most of us would prefer to avoid an argument at work or at home. But there are times when arguments—at least when they’re civil—can help surface important information for decision-making. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at situations where certain types of conflict can actually lead to better outcomes. You’re probably fami…
 
The Nature of Space (Duke UP, 2021) is a translation (by Brenda Baletti) of pioneering geographer Milton Santos' A Natureza do Espaço, originally published in Brazil in 1996. The book offers a theory of human space based on relationships between time and ontology, producing a system of ideas that can catalyze a descriptive and interpretive system o…
 
Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound (University of Washington Press, 2021) tells a story about exploitation and a story of hope. Focusing on the life histories of both humans and the natural world, Williams presents an account of how people and place are connected by demonstrating the transformation of the landscape through geolo…
 
A dramatic, revelatory account of the female inmate firefighters who battle California wildfires for less than a dollar an hour On February 23, 2016, Shawna Lynn Jones stepped into the brush to fight a wildfire that had consumed ten acres of terrain on a steep ridge in Malibu. Jones carried fifty pounds of equipment and a chainsaw to help contain t…
 
Patrice M. Dabrowski's book The Carpathians: Discovering the Highlands of Poland and Ukraine (Northern Illinois UP, 2021) tells story of how the Tatras, Eastern Carpathians, and Bieszczady Mountains went from being terra incognita to becoming the popular tourist destinations they are today. It is a story of the encounter of Polish and Ukrainian low…
 
Embracing the Anthropocene: Managing Human Impact is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Mark Maslin, Professor of Geography at University College London. This wide-ranging conversation explores Prof. Maslin’s research on the Anthropocene which according to his definition began when human impacts on the planet irrevoc…
 
Today's guest is Greisa Martinez Rosas. She is the executive director of United We Dream (UWD), the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country. Greisa and Nancy talk about immigration reform and Democratic bid to legalize undocumented immigrants and give them a path to citizenship. Greisa also talks about the day to day of UWD and how you…
 
Perhaps this scenario seems familiar. Let’s say you generally do a good job of sticking to your monthly budget, but a rare opportunity arises—maybe a favorite musical artist is in town, or you’ve been invited to a friend’s 25th anniversary event—and you blow past your regular spending limit. It’s all right—you’ll just have to tighten your belt a bi…
 
Unnatural Disasters: Why Most Responses to Risk and Climate Change Fail But Some Succeed (Columbia UP, 2021) offers a new perspective on our most pressing environmental and social challenges, revealing the gaps between abstract concepts like sustainability, resilience, and innovation and the real-world experiences of people living at risk. Gonzalo …
 
Climate change is real, and extreme weather events are its physical manifestations. These extreme events affect how we live and work in cities, and subsequently the way we design, plan, and govern them. Taking action 'for the environment' is not only a moral imperative; instead, it is activated by our everyday experience in the city. Based on the a…
 
Nancy is joined with Sarah Audelo to discuss her work as executive director of the Alliance for Youth Action, the importance of Gen Z in voting and politics, how to enter a career of political organizing, and more. Sarah Audelo is a woman of color who has been at the forefront of youth political organizing for much of the last decade — from serving…
 
Nancy is joined with Yanzi Ding to discuss her career as an actress and her short film, Sans Everything. * About the bilingual writer/actor Yanzi Ding New York Taiwanese bilingual actress Yanzi Ding is also a writer, translator, and dubbing artist. As an actor, she leads two Off-Broadway Play and two feature films. However, her mission in the Unite…
 
When young children imagine their future lives, they’re often very optimistic. They’ll say things like “I’m going to be an astronaut!” or “When I grow up, I want to be a movie star!” These outcomes are, of course, quite rare. Most children will grow into slightly less exotic careers as adults. But even as adults, we tend toward personal optimism. W…
 
To envision and create the futures we want, society needs an appropriate understanding of the likely impact of alternative actions. Data models and visualizations offer a way to understand and intelligently manage complex, interlinked systems in science and technology, education, and policymaking. Atlas of Forecasts: Modeling and Mapping Desirable …
 
Stephen J. Pyne's new book The Pyrocene: How We Created an Age of Fire, and What Happens Next (U California Press, 2021) tells the story of what happened when a fire-wielding species, humanity, met an especially fire-receptive time in Earth's history. Since terrestrial life first appeared, flames have flourished. Over the past two million years, ho…
 
In the name of agriculture, urban growth, and disease control, humans have drained, filled, or otherwise destroyed nearly 87 percent of the world's wetlands over the past three centuries. Unintended consequences include biodiversity loss, poor water quality, and the erosion of cultural sites, and only in the past few decades have wetlands been wide…
 
Fair trade certified coffee is now commonly found on the supermarket shelves of the Global North, but the connections between the consumer and producer of fair trade coffee are far from simple. Lindsay Naylor’s book, Fair Trade Rebels: Coffee Production and Struggles for Autonomy in Chiapas (University of Minnesota Press, 2019), examines the contes…
 
You may notice that charity campaigns tend to focus on the stories of one or two individuals or families, and that those stories are often rich with emotional content but light on information and statistics. There’s a reason for that. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at the different ways we tend to be captivated and motiva…
 
A solo episode today with Nancy Wu, who chats about women’s and gender studies theory versus facing everyday misogyny and catcalls. She also talks about the U.S. pulling troops out of Afghanistan and the Taiban’s entry, and the consequences of the U.S.’s actions abroad, and the narratives of the Delta variant in the U.S. and abroad, and the dangers…
 
Geographer and writer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro has a sharp appreciation for place, history, and the stories we tell to give meaning to our lives. All of these are present in his new book Names of New York: Discovering the City’s Past, Present and Future Through Its Place Names, published by Pantheon. Place names hold stories, Jelly-Schapiro argues, an…
 
Nancy is joined by Tatenda Musapatike. Tatenda Musapatike is the founder and CEO of the Voter Formation Project. She’s spent over a decade working on digital programs and in tech to support progressive causes. She most recently was a senior advisor at ACRONYM where she built their $12.5M Expand the Electorate program from the ground up. This progra…
 
Most people wouldn’t attempt a marathon or a climb up Mount Everest without first working through some less audacious objectives. And yet there are countless examples of ambitious goals—new businesses, academic degrees, career changes, athletic feats—that were abandoned because they appeared too daunting in scope. In this episode of Choiceology wit…
 
There are maps of the Earth’s landmasses, the universe, the ocean floors, human migration, the human brain: maps are so integral to how we interact with the world that we sometimes forget that they are not the world. In When Maps Become the World (University of Chicago Press), Rasmus Grunfeldt Winther considers how maps get made, used, and abused, …
 
Throughout the Cold War, the Soviet Union conducted an ambitious yet clandestine programme to map the world - from big cities like New York and Tokyo, to seemingly-obscure towns like Gainsborough (Lincolnshire) and Pontiac (Missouri). The programme was unlike any other of its time, encompassing a wide variety of topographic maps and city plans in i…
 
Nancy is joined by Varun Nikore, the President of the AAPI Victory Fund and Executive Director of the AAPI Victory Alliance. Varun discusses the importance of AAPI voter turnout in the 2020 election, why the AAPI vote matters, the importance of funding to turn out the AAPI vote, Andrew Yang's run for NYC Mayor, media perceptions of AAPI candidates,…
 
“A map is the greatest of all epic poems, its lines and colors show the realization of great dreams.” --Gilbert Grosvenor The Great Game raged through the wilds of Central Asia during the nineteenth century, as Imperial Russia and Great Britain jostled for power. Tsarist armies gobbled up large tracts of Turkestan, advancing inexorably towards thei…
 
In Mapping Beyond Measure: Art, Cartography, and the Space of Global Modernity (U Nebraska Press, 2019), Simon Ferdinand analyzes diverse map-based works of painting, collage, film, walking performance, and digital drawing, made in Britain, Japan, the Netherlands, Ukraine, the United States, and the former Soviet Union, arguing that together they c…
 
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