Imagine Otherwise by Ideas on Fire

Imagine Otherwise by Ideas on Fire

A podcast about bridging art, activism, and academia to build more just futures. On each episode, host Cathy Hannabach interviews the scholars, dancers, authors, artists, and filmmakers imagining collective freedom and creating it through culture.


April 3, 2024 26 mins

How has the Silicon Valley form of technocapitalism shaped geographies around the world?

In episode 159 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews Ideas on Fire author, University of Washington geography professor, and housing justice activist Erin McElroy about the global reach of technocapitalism.

Erin is the author of the new Duke University Press book Silicon Valley Imperialism:...

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How do media representations of US–Mexico border tunnels shape immigration discourse, public policy, and anti-immigrant violence?

To help us think through how these tunnels are represented and often overrepresented in US media, in episode 158 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews Ideas on Fire author Juan Llamas-Rodriguez about his new book Border Tunnels: A Media Theory of the US–Mexico Un...

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In episode 157 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews media scholar and Ideas on Fire author Tamara Kneese about the complex relationship between Big Tech and mortality, specifically how digital media platforms mediate our experiences of death.

Tamara is a senior researcher and project director of Data & Society’s AIMLab, and her new book Death Glitch: How Techno-Solutionism Fails Us in This...

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In episode 156 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews scholar and artist Nicosia Shakes, whose creative and scholarly work celebrates the intertwining of political activism and performance across the African diaspora.

Nicosia's play Afiba and Her Daughters, which offers an intergenerational narrative of Jamaican herstory, premiered at the Rites and Reason Theatre in Providence.


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September 20, 2023 23 mins

In episode 155 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews disability media studies scholar Meryl Alper.

Meryl is the author of 3 books about how kids with disabilities use digital technologies, including her most recent book, ​​Kids Across the Spectrums: Growing Up Autistic in the Digital Age.

Kids Across the Spectrums is out now from MIT Press and it is the first book-length ethnog...

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September 7, 2023 16 mins

In episode 154 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews performance artist and gender studies scholar Kristie Soares about the political power of pleasure, laughter, and joy in Latinx media.

Kristie’s new book Playful Protest: The Political Work of Joy in Latin Media has chapters about gozando in salsa music, precise joy among the New Young Lords Party, choteo in the comedy ¿Qué Pasa U.S.A.?, ...

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Host Cathy Hannabach interviews literature professor Cynthia Franklin about the politics of life writing. 

Cynthia’s new book Narrating Humanity: Life Writing and Movement Politics from Palestine to Mauna Kea traces the complex ways activists, artists, cultural producers, and scholars engage genres like memoir and autobiography to resist racial capitalism, imperialism, heteropatriarchy, and climate change.


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In episode 152 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews education scholars and leaders Magdalena L. Barrera and Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales about their new book The Latinx Guide to Graduate School.

Magdalena and Genevieve teamed up to write this guide after many years of advising Latinx graduate students struggling to navigate the hidden curriculum of academia—a curriculum built around norms of ...

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In episode 151 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews Indigenous studies and literature professor Katie Walkiewicz about states’ rights and the role this concept has played in US settler colonialism, enslavement, and dispossession as well as in radical projects seeking to create alternative political structures.

Katie Walkiewicz is an Read more

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Host Cathy Hannabach interviews Black visual studies scholar Jasmine Nichole Cobb about haptic blackness and the cultural politics of Black hair in US visual culture.

Jasmine is a professor of African and African American studies and of art, art history, and visual studies at Duke University. ...

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Host Cathy Hannabach interviews women’s and gender studies professor Mairead Sullivan about the histories and futures of lesbian feminism.

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Host Cathy Hannabach interviews ethnic studies and women and gender studies professor Josen Masangkay Diaz about US–Philippine relations during the Cold War and how that history shapes Filipino America today.

In their conversation, Josen and Cathy explore the role of race, nation, and gender during the Cold War, particularly how they were ren...

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Host Cathy Hannabach interviews anthropologist Erin Durban about the past and present relationship between the United States and Haiti as it shapes the lives of queer and trans Haitians.

In their conversation, Erin and Cathy talk about the history of US occupation and imperialism in Haiti and how it shapes the work international LGBTQ organizations began doing there in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Erin also shares h...

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Host Cathy Hannabach interviews feminist studies and ethnic studies professor Jennifer Lynn Kelly about her new book Invited to Witness.

In their conversation, Cathy and Jennifer talk about the temporality and pace of doing ethnographic research for this book while also navigating state visa politics, job search demands, and family commitments can pull in multiple directions.

Jennifer also shares the importance of letting a writing...

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Cathy Hannabach interviews digital media scholar Josef Nguyen about the promises and perils of flexible planning, why cultural anxieties over uncertain futures are so often routed through debates over flexible educational technology, and ways to put flexibility to use in the classroom, on the page, and in our daily lives in ways that center collective support and more just worlds. Transcript and show notes:
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The massive changes we’ve collectively experienced over the past two years of a global pandemic have caused many of us to ask some big questions about who we are and what we want to be doing.

It’s also pushed us to embrace our embodied capacity and make conscious changes to nourish our spirit as well as our creative, professional, and communal goals for the future.

It seems only fitting that we close out 2021 with an episode about ...

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We’re reaching that time of year when the days shorten and we start to wonder if we’ll get everything done we wanted to this year. In this season, many of us yearn for more balance in our daily routines and the second year of an ongoing global pandemic has made that feeling even more intense.

What does balance even mean in this context and how can we cultivate it in ways that feed our collective desires for justice?

In episode 143 ...

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Host Cathy Hannabach interviews digital studies scholar and professor Catherine Knight Steele, whose work reveals the central role Black women and Black feminists have played in developing, challenging, and transforming our digital technologies.

Approaching Black digital studies holistically, Catherine shows how marginalized groups build lasting community through online, in-person, and hybrid practices, including sustainable models...

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Even before the global COVID-19 pandemic, access to reliable, high-performance broadband internet was a necessity for many of us to be able to meaningfully participate in our workplaces, schools, and communities. The pandemic has made this even more apparent.

The digital divide separating those with access from those without is hardly a new issue but what is less often discussed is how that digital divide looks different in rural v...

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September 1, 2021 23 mins

Host Cathy Hannabach interviews filmmaker and media studies scholar Sandra Ristovska about the complex ethical, political, and legal relationship between imagery and human rights.

They discuss the role of video evidence in simultaneously exposing and reproducing injustice, the often life-and-death stakes of critical visual interpretation, and what it means to turn the act of seeing each other into a practice of human rights.


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