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Podcast: The costs of culture wars: Curiosity at risk

Podcast: The costs of culture wars: Curiosity at risk

In some ways, our culture is less tolerant and more fragile than it once was. The teaching of literature in schools and colleges is often caught in the crossfire of the culture wars. Support for canceling books and authors by the illiberal left and demands to ban books from the reactionary right have led to the removal of important literature from classrooms and libraries.

In this episode, author and literature professor, Deborah Appleman mounts a rousing case for teaching troubling texts in troubling times. "Our classrooms need to remain a space where critical thinking is taught, tolerance from different viewpoints is modeled, and the sometimes-harsh truth of our history and literary heritage are not hidden," she says. Her latest book is "Literature and The New Culture Wars."


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This is the first entry in the “Fairness Matters” series, examining structural problems with the current political systems, critical policies issues that are going unaddressed and the state of the 2024 election.

Our path forward as a nation requires that we send a resounding message to Washington that fairness matters. That proportional representation needs to be the heart and soul of our political system because, right now, the far left and the far right are disproportionately represented. Meanwhile, "we the people" are not nearly as polarized as our legislatures, and that is by design.

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Sixty years have passed since Freedom Summer, that pivotal season of 1964 when hundreds of young activists descended upon an unforgiving landscape, driven by a fierce determination to shatter the chains of racial oppression. As our nation teeters on the precipice of another transformative moment, the echoes of that fateful summer reverberate across the years, reminding us that freedom remains an unfinished work.

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