Conversations with History host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor Arlie Hochschild, 2017 Moses Lecturer at Berkeley for a discussion of her book Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right which strives to bridge the gap of understanding between liberals and conservatives.
In 2011, Hochschild noticed a resurgence of the American right and decided to study it further in Louisiana. “I felt I was in a bubble here in Berkeley and wanted to learn more about the equal and opposite bubble.” Her goal was simple: to learn more about the conservative perspective through empathetic listening. “When listening to people who have strong opinions that differ from yours,” she explains, “it’s important to temporarily turn off your alarm system and be honest about it.”
But that’s not always easy. Hochschild advices that “when working with people to try to understand them, as sociologists do, it’s important to first create and feel comfortable within your own support system, to find your cocoon. Then, with that support, it won’t be so frightening to reach out.”
The influences that shaped her journey as a sociologist began as a child traveling extensively with her family. Because of her father’s work in the foreign service, Hochschild lived in foreign countries, not wearing the “right clothes” or speaking the language. In essence, she was the outsider… the “oddball.” Says Hochschild, “I think it’s why I’m a sociologist – I had to figure it out.” At social gatherings, she was “the little kid passing the peanuts, watching how people were interacting, people from different worlds and how they were relating to each other, the different signal systems.”
Conversations with History welcomes UC Berkeley’s Professor Mary Ann Mason to discuss her career as a university official, historian, and lawyer, as well as the changing role of women in academia and society.
Mason says moving to Berkeley at the end of the 60’s raised her awareness of issues, particularly the women’s rights movement, which was just beginning to gain momentum.
She was teaching history at a small college in Oakland when she joined the women’s consciousness raising movement. They held a gathering of women teaching history at four year colleges and they realized what a small group they were. There were only eight of them, in all of California. As for the UCs at the time, Mason reports that there were only 1.3 women historians for each campus.
Throughout her time in Berkeley, Mason watched the equality of women improve. When she got hired as a professor by UC Berkeley in 1989, about 15 percent of the faculty were women, which she reports is a huge improvement from just 2 percent in 1972.
In this episode of Conversations with History, host Harry Kreisler welcomes George Packer, author of The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, to discuss his new book, The Unwinding.
In this book, Packer interweaves the narratives of several different Americans, to paint the picture of a superpower coming undone at the seams. He tells the tale of an Evangelist son of tobacco farmers, a factory worker in a fading Rust Belt town, a silicon valley billionaire with radical ideas about the future and the internet, and a Washington insider torn between political ideals and greed; even Newt Gingrich and Jay-Z have a role in Packer’s book.
Hear Packer explain his ideas behind this image of the “new America” and how these lives give insight to the changing American dream in “The Unwinding with George Packer.” Get behind the story as George discusses forming his political identity and how he became the writer he is today.
A commander of the army and a diplomat seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum of foreign relations, but the two titles have been filled by one man: Karl Eikenberry.
In this episode of Conversations with History, Harry Kreisler is joined by Karl Eikenberry, who commanded coalition troops in Afghanistan and served as US Ambassador there.
Eikenberry is now the William J. Perry Fellow in International Security at Stanford University, where he continues to teach that the two roles have more in common than one might think.
He encourages people in the armed forces, particularly army and marines (those deployed on the ground) to have a strong liberal arts background in order to better understand and empathize the foreign cultures that they work within.
Watch “Force and Diplomacy with Karl Eikenberry” to hear Eikenberry give his expert opinion on the current situation in Afghanistan as the U.S. formulates an exit strategy, turning its attention towards China.
Have you ever wondered what your dog was thinking? Professor Alexandra Horowitz of Columbia University offers new insight to understanding the way a dog’s mind works. Hear Horowitz discuss the societal roles dogs have developed now, and throughout history in her talk, “Considering Dogs,” from the UC Berkeley Graduate Council.
In this episode of “Conversations with History,” Horowitz discusses what led her to write her best-selling book, Inside of a Dog, in which she analyzes the cognition of dogs with consideration of their wolf ancestry, anatomy, cognitive skills, and the way dogs have adapted to life with humans.
Did you know that dogs can also have obsessive compulsive disorder? Check out the Zoobiquity Series, in which clinicians and veterinarians discuss how the same diseases afflict more than just humans, comparing ways to diagnose and treat illnesses between species.