Skip to main content Skip to main content

“The Human Context,” in context

Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry launches podcast series connecting world-class scholars and thinkers with in-the-moment topics. Here’s how to tune in.

By Cory Phare

June 23, 2020

The Human Context graphicDiscussing timeless questions in the present tense – that’s the goal of “The Human Context,” the recently launched podcast from the Denver Project of Humanistic Inquiry, or D-phi.

The series consists of Metropolitan State University of Denver faculty interviewing world-class scholars about topics relevant to our current moment and connecting them to a broader audience, said Adam Graves, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at MSU Denver and director of D-phi.

“One of the challenges of quarantine has been the elimination of live events, so we wanted to use this time to develop a platform with a wide reach to connect with the person on the street,” he added. “In that sense, it’s not much of a departure from what D-phi was doing before.”

The first two episodes consist of Graves’ interviews with Melissa Lane, Princeton University professor of politics and director of the University Center for Human Values, on the impact of solitude during a time of social distancing; and a joint conversation with Walter Scheidel (Stanford University) and Andrew Monson (New York University) on the historical effects that pandemics have had on the distribution of material wealth over the course of human history.

Future releases include history Professor Matt Makley’s conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Fenn (University of Colorado Boulder) on recentering history through a first-nations lens; and a distillation of Cornel West’s 2016 visit to campus, where he discussed the connection between studying the humanities and justice-based movements.

Other topics anticipated in the first season to explore include the history of evil as a concept, the evolution of our modern understanding of fascism and the threat that COVID-19 poses to global cooperation.

In addition to relevant discussions, Graves highlighted storytelling ability as a strength of the podcasting format – itself a contextual reinvention.

“Academic lectures typically jump right in and get down to business with facts and figures,” he said. “With this, we’re able to be more creative; we can open up with a narrative that connects to the individual listener on a personal level.

“The podcast is just next-generation radio, which arguably was itself the original form of social media.” 

Episodes are slated to be released twice per month through the fall and are available online at D-phi’s Anchor FM site or various podcast platforms, including Spotify, RadioPublic, Apple Podcast and Google Podcasts.

Topics: Events, Save the date

Edit this page