Southern Wonder Apr 19th: American Philosophy with Dr. Phillip McReynolds

Dr. Phillip McReynolds“Who dares think a nation? What is the status of philosophy in a nation founded by philosophers? What are the risks of practicing philosophy in America? Does America have a “native” philosophy?”

These are questions that Dr. Phillip McReynolds, professor of philosophy at UNCC, set out to answer with his documentary project American Philosopher. In it, he interviews prominent American philosophers about what it means to practice philosophy in America today.

This is also the subject of his most recent book, The American Philosopher:

“With interviews that are both philosophical and biographical in nature, this book will be of interest to those who specialize in pragmatism and the history of American philosophy, academics in fields such as comparative literature, history, political science, sociology, and American studies, and to anyone with an interest in “America” as an idea.”

Dr. McReynolds also produces videos on topics of philosophy for his YouTube channel, and you can follow him on Twitter @americanphil. His current work focuses on the area of post-humanism, and he’s also published material on “the philosophy of technology, philosophy and film, and other topics in a pragmatist vein.

On Wednesday, April 19th, at 6:00pm, Southern Wonder host Allison Braden will sit down with Dr. McReynolds to talk about his work conducting these interviews and the research for his book as what he’s learned about the nature of philosophy in America. Expect a conversation that will range from the founding of the country to the present and will incorporate history, culture, and philosophy.

Got questions? Use the Mixlr app while listening to another LIVE, engaging conversation on Southern Wonder

Image for Southern Wonder ShowSouthern Wonder, hosted by Allison Braden airs LIVE every Wednesday from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, celebrating open-mindedness and the spirit of asking why via CharlotteCommunityRadio.org, CLTCRadio.org or Mixlr.com/CLTCRadio where you can chat with our hosts and guests alike. Keep up with all things Southern Wonder on Twitter and Facebook.

Allison Braden ~ Southern Wonder

Southern Wonder Apr 5th: Sex and Religion with Dr. Kent Brintnall

UNCC Professor Kent Brintnall teaching in front of a blackboardIt’s generally understood that conversations of sex and religion are to be avoided in polite society. Everyone in the world comes to both of these topics with a different understanding and personal experience that can make it challenging to find commonality and easy to find points of bitter contention. Dr. Kent Brintnall, professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) and director of the graduate certificate program in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, has made a career studying the intersection between these two topics.

How have the world’s major religions influenced our conception of the body? What do the world’s major religious traditions have to say about desire, deviance, and eroticism? How do these views challenge or conform to commonly held ideas about how sex and religion interface with each other? Religion as a spiritual concern has often had a fraught relationship with the body. Why?

Dr. Brintnall is bringing his extensive expertise to these questions on Southern Wonder, airing LIVE on Charlotte Community Radio, April 5th at 6:00pmEST. Specifically, I am interested in how religious, erotic and aesthetic experiences and practices foster a disruption of the subject’s coherence in a way that can respond to, and perhaps prevent, various forms of cultural violence.

He’s the author of Ecce Homo: The Male-Body-in-Pain as Redemptive Figure and co-edited a collection of essays entitled Negative Ecstasies: Georges Bataille and the Study of Religion, the North American editor for Theology and Sexuality, and he’s also working on two other monographs, tentatively entitled Constraining Violence: The Tragic Politics of Queer Theory and Formalizing Desire: Mysticism, Pornography, Subjectivity. Dr. Brintnall has also written for the general public on such topics as North Carolina’s House Bill 2 and marriage equality.

Got questions? Use the Mixlr app while listening to another engaging conversation on Southern Wonder.

Image for Southern Wonder ShowSouthern Wonder, hosted by Allison Braden airs LIVE every Wednesday from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, celebrating open-mindedness and the spirit of asking why via CharlotteCommunityRadio.org, CLTCRadio.org or Mixlr.com/CLTCRadio where you can chat with our hosts and guests alike. Keep up with all things Southern Wonder on Twitter and Facebook.

Allison Braden ~ Southern Wonder

Southern Wonder Mar 22nd: Philosophy of Pop with Dr. Robin James

Photo of UNCC, Professor, Dr. Robin James, guest on Southern WonderWhat does the music of pop singers like Beyonce, Rihanna, Meghan Trainor, and Lana del Rey have to say about our modern conception of the self? What does it have to say about our relationship to power in society? To explore this, UNCC professor Dr. Robin James looks in part at the sonic structure of the music. It turns out, pop music today has more to say than we thought.

“In general,” she says on her website. “I use the compositional structure and critical (well, and sometimes, uncritical) reception of songs as a lens to focus my philosophical research in gender, race, and politics. Because songs are much smaller and easily comprehendible than social relations, understanding how these songs work helps us better understand how society works.”

Dr. James’s latest book, Resilience and Melancholy, explores how contemporary sonic structure can be used to reinforce and strengthen existing societal power systems despite a surface message to the contrary (resilience) or subvert those power systems by challenging our expectations (melancholy).

…wait, what?

Don’t worry. Wednesday, March 22nd, at 6:00pm on Charlotte Community Radio, my Southern Wonder guest is Dr. James who will walk us through these ideas using examples from songs you’ve probably heard on Top 40 radio. She’ll hold our hands as we wade into a theoretical wonderland, and hopefully we’ll all come away with a new way to look at the kind of music we hear every day.

Until then, check out Dr. James’s Twitter feed and blog. Plus, you can read an interview with her about the ideas she explores in Resilience and Melancholy.

Bring your questions to Mixlr and tune in for another engaging LIVE conversation on Southern Wonder.

Image for Southern Wonder ShowSouthern Wonder, hosted by Allison Braden airs LIVE every Wednesday from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, celebrating open-mindedness and the spirit of asking why via CharlotteCommunityRadio.org, CLTCRadio.org or Mixlr.com/CLTCRadio where you can chat with our hosts and guests alike. Keep up with all things Southern Wonder on Twitter and Facebook.

Allison Braden ~ Southern Wonder

Southern Wonder Mar 8th: The New South with Levine Museum Historian, Dr. Brenda Tindal

In his seminal work on the South, The Mind of the South, W.J. Cash summarized the vices and virtues of the region we call home: “Proud, brave, honorable by its lights, courteous, personally generous, loyal, swift to act, often too swift, but signally effective, sometimes terrible, in its action — such was the South at its best. And such at its best it remains today, despite the great falling away in some of its virtues. Violence, intolerance, aversion and suspicion toward new ideas, an incapacity for analysis, an inclination to act from feeling rather than from thought, an exaggerated individualism and too narrow concept of social responsibility, attachment to fictions and false values, above all too great attachment to racial values and a tendency to justify cruelty and injustice in the name of those values, sentimentality and a lack of realism — these have been its characteristic vices in the past. And, despite changes for the better, they remain its characteristic vices today.”Photo of Historian Dr. Brenda Tindal, Courtesy of Charlotte Post

Where did these characteristics come from? Why is the South such a unique region in the American landscape? Is the Southern identity in danger as America and the world globalize and homogenize? How do we preserve a sense of Southern pride and identity while also grappling with the legacy of profound suffering this region has wrought?

On March 8th, during another LIVE Southern Wonder show airing at 6:00pm on Charlotte Community Radio, Allison Braden tackles these topics with Dr. Brenda Tindal, staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South. With Dr. Tindal, we’ll explore the history and future of the South and what it means to exist at the intersection of those two today.

In her research, Dr. Tindal has focused on 19th and 20th century U.S. and South African history, visual and material culture, and global social reform movements. She’s also worked on a number of research, archival, and exhibit projects that bring history to a wider audience. Learn more about her in the Charlotte Observer, WFAE, and the Charlotte Post. Follow her on Twitter.

Image for Southern Wonder ShowSouthern Wonder, hosted by Allison Braden airs LIVE every Wednesday from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, celebrating open-mindedness and the spirit of asking why via CharlotteCommunityRadio.org, CLTCRadio.org or Mixlr.com/CLTCRadio where you can chat with our hosts and guests alike. Keep up with all things Southern Wonder on Twitter and Facebook.

Allison Braden ~ Southern Wonder