111 - Palaces for the People—Author Eric Klinenberg from The Librarian Is In
As part of our series, The Keepers , The Kitchen Sisters Present an episode of the New York Public Library’s podcast The Librarian Is In featuring Eric Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People about the power and promise of the public library and its critical role in the future of our society.
Eric Klinenberg believes that the future of democratic societies rests not simply on shared values but on shared spaces: the libraries, childcare centers, bookstores, churches, synagogues places where people gather and linger, making friends across group lines and strengthening the entire community. In his book, Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life , Klinenberg calls this the “social infrastructure.” When it is strong, neighborhoods flourish; when it is neglected, as it has been in recent years, families and individuals must fend for themselves.
Special thanks to The Librarian Is In, the New York Public Library's podcast about books, culture, and what to read next. Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius interview guests, discuss the books they're reading, pop culture and the literary zeitgeist, and the world of libraries.
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110 - Filmmaker Wim Wenders - The Entire Caboodle
Filmmaker Wim Wenders talks about his early influences — Cinémathèque Française, Henri Langlois, Lotte Eisner — and tells stories of Werner Herzog and the films that have impacted his work.
Ernst Wilhelm “Wim” Wenders, filmmaker, playwright, author, photographer, is a major figure in New German Cinema and global cinema. His films include Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire, The American Friend, Alice in the Cities, Kings of the Road, Buena Vista Social Club, Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, Pina, Until the End of the World, and many more.
We were gathering interviews for The Keepers story, , about one of the earliest and most important film archives in the world, started in Paris in the 1930s, still thriving today. When we dug in to the filmmakers that had been shaped by this archive and its eccentric archivist, along with all of the French New Wave — Truffaut, Godard, etc. — surfaced the name of a filmmaker we have long admired, whose movies open the door of the lonely, the mystical, the musical, the landscape, with performances that tear your heart. Wim Wenders.
In our interview with Wim he told us about the impact Henri Langlois and the Cinémathèque had on his own filmmaking, but then the stories began to move in new directions — Lotte Eisner, Werner Herzog, and more. On the eve of the Academy Awards — an award Wim Wenders has been nominated for 3 times — we share his story. Produced by Vika Aronson and The Kitchen Sisters. Mixed by Jim McKee.
Special thanks to Tom Luddy, Robb Moss, Homi Bhabha, Haden Guest, Sophia Hoffinger, Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. And most of all, to Wim Wenders who has inspired us across the years.
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109 - Linda Spalding - A Reckoning
Best selling author Linda Spalding is a keeper. A keeper of her family history, a keeper of words, a keeper of truth. In this episode of The Kitchen Sisters Present, Spalding reads from her new book and talks about how discovering her family's dark history as slave holders inspired her novels A Reckoning and The Purchase.
“Writing historical fiction is a mug’s game,” says Spalding. “Are we recreating the past, or creating it? While writing, I am imagining things that never happened, trying to make it seem like they did, like they were part of the actual pageant of history, like they make as much sense as the history we all learned in school, some of which was also a fiction. While writing, I am leaning backward from my 21st century chair and hoping to smell things that no longer even exist, to create medicines and foods and conversations I have never heard or seen or tasted."
Other books by award winning author Linda Spalding include Who Named the Knife, The Paper Wife, Daughters of Captain Cook, A Dark Place in the Jungle, Mere and Brick a literary magazine she and a group of Canadian writers have been publishing for years.
Born in Topeka, Kansas she lived in Mexico and Hawaii before moving to Toronto in 1982. She has two daughters, Esta and Kristin Spalding, from her first marriage to photographer Philip Spalding. She is currently married to Canadian novelist Michael Ondaajte. A professor of English and writing, Spadling has taught at several universities including University of Hawaii, New York University, University of Toronto. She was writer in residence at Brown University and has taught creative writing at Humber College’s School for Writers.
108 - The Dark Side of the Dewey Decimal System
Melvil Dewey, the father of library science and the inventor of the most popular library classification system in the world, was a known racist and serial sexual harasser. Forced out of the American Library Association, which he co-founded, his 19th century world view and biases are reflected in the classification system that libraries around the world have inherited.
Molly Schwartz of the Metropolitan New York Library Council and producer of the podcast Library Bytegeist visits Bard High School Early College in Queens to find out about how students there are rebelling against the Dewey Decimal System. She also talks with Greg Cotton (Cornell College), Barbara Fister (Gustavus Adolphus College), and Dorothy Berry (Umbra Search Project).
107 - William Ferris—Keeper of Southern Folklife
Folklorist and Professor Bill Ferris, a Grammy nominee this year for his "Voices of Mississippi" 3 CD Box set, has committed his life to documenting and expanding the study of the American South. His recordings, photos and films of preachers, quilt makers, blues musicians and more are now online as part of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina.
Bill Ferris grew up on a farm in Warren County, Mississippi along the Black River. His family, the only white family on the farm, worked side by side with the African Americans in the fields. When he was five, a woman named Mary Gordon would take him every first Sunday to Rose Hill Church, the small African American church on the farm. When Bill was a teenager he got a reel-to-reel tape recorder and started recording the hymns and services.
“ I realized that the beautiful hymns were sung from memory—there were no hymnals in the church—and that when those families were no longer there, the hymns would simply disappear.”
These recordings led Bill to a lifetime of documenting the world around him—preachers, workers, storytellers, men in prison, quilt makers, the blues musicians living near his home (including the soon-to-be well known Mississippi Fred McDowell).
Bill became a prolific author, folklorist, filmmaker, professor, and served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a professor of history at UNC–Chapel Hill and an adjunct professor in the Curriculum in
Folklore. He served as the founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of
Mississippi, where he was a faculty member for 18 years. He is associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South.
Bill’s has written and edited 10 books and created 15 documentary films, most dealing with African-American music and other folklore representing the Mississippi Delta. His thousands of photographs, films, audio interviews, and recordings of musicians are now online in the , part of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina.
This story was produced by Barrett Golding with The Kitchen Sisters for The Keepers series.