cherise smith

The Documentary (EP. 8)

Stuart Hall: In Conversations revisits the life and work of the Jamaican-born cultural theorist, Stuart Hall, a key figure in the foundation of the field of Cultural Studies. Through interviews, music, and audio archives, this program examines the political and historical context that shaped Stuart Hall’s ideas.

From the 1950s until his death in 2014, Hall was a world renowned black public intellectual, known for his role in establishing the New Left in Britain, his groundbreaking analyses of Thatcherism, and his dialogical understanding of culture and representation.

Hall saw politics in a range of human formations, from the mundane and everyday to the global expansion of free market capitalism.He argued that culture should be understood both as a site for the reproduction of dominant ideologies as well as a location for resisting power and claiming new identities.

Stuart Hall’s visionary understandings of neoliberalism and what he called “authoritarian populism” are worth revisiting today in an era of racially charged nationalism, evidenced in the 2016 Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, Marine Le Pen’s rise in popularity in France, and the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States.

Stuart Hall Live (Ep. 7)

Listen back to our Views and Brews discussion from December 13, 2016 with KUT’s Rebecca McInroy, along with sociologist Ben Carrington, art historian Cherise Smith, and journalist Steven Thrasher of The Guardian.
They talk about the life and legacy of Stuart Hall and take audience questions.
Who was Stuart Hall? What can his ideas teach us about populist politics, the importance of the visual arts, and the role of the media in our current social and political moment?

V&B: Stuart Hall

Listen back to our Views and Brews discussion from December 13, 2016 with KUT’s Rebecca McInroy, along with sociologist Ben Carrington, art historian Cherise Smith, and journalist Steven Thrasher of The Guardian.
They talk about the life and legacy of Stuart Hall and take audience questions.
Who was Stuart Hall? What can his ideas teach us about populist politics, the importance of the visual arts, and the role of the media in our current social and political moment?

Race In America

Race in America

This month’s episode recognizes Black History Month by bringing together several scholars for a discussion of race in contemporary America. As we look back on 2014, we celebrate the achievements of African-Americans, but we also find racial inequality and abuses of power and privilege that continue to endanger and oppress non-white Americans. We must also ask ourselves: Where are we, as a nation, in our ongoing debates regarding race? Among other inquiries, host Rebecca McInroy asks these In Perspective discussants which conversations about race are most productive to pursue.

The Discussion

Cherise Smith is a professor of art history and Director of the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Smith reminds us that while the effects of racial discrimination are very real, race is also a social construction that gets piled onto other issues of power and identity, including gender, class, and education.

Rich Reddick is a professor of educational administration and Faculty Director for Campus Diversity Initiatives at UT Austin. Reddick argues that we need to have more general conversations about race, rather than rely on reactionary discussions, in order to help us work through and understand ongoing institutional racism.

Eric Tang is a professor of African and African diaspora studies and Asian American studies at UT Austin. For Tang, race is a set of practices, which assign values and power to certain bodies based on individual daily life, as well as policy. He brings to our attention the significance of race in how Austin has changed over time.

Regina Lawrence is a professor of journalism at UT Austin and author of The Politics of Force: Media and the Construction of Police Brutality. For Lawrence, conversations about race begin with a shared language and a greater sense of empathy—something she finds lacking in discussions driven by social media where earnest conversation can be foreclosed by a culture of shaming.

What’s your perspective?

Race is a sensitive issue in this country to say the least. It is a complicated social construction that keeps us divided through institutionalized means, via the daily reproduction of social conventions, and via the easy reliance on harmful stereotypes. While we engage in this discussion during Black History Month, it is clear that race impacts all our lives regardless of how we might identify and regardless of how others categorize us. When we understand race in relation to power and privilege, we begin to see how it plays out in our daily experiences. How does race impact your daily life.