Podcast Tip: Eve Ensler, The Apology

Earlier this summer, Eve Ensler did a long, and profound discussion on WTF with Marc Maron.

Over the course of the 90 minute conversation, Ensler discusses her latest novel, The Apology (2019), as well as toxic masculinity; negotiating trauma; the ways that the victim-perpetrator narrative is constructed (and re-constructed), and how we practice the apology:

We don’t often know what an apology is. I wanted to explore and find out what the words were that I needed to hear. What did I need to experience in order to release? What would it look and sound like? What would its textures be? What were the stories I needed to hear? I was looking for what catalyzes the alchemy of an apology.

The Alchemy of an Apology: Eve Ensler Interviewed by Raluca Albu, BOMB, June 13, 2019

The interview is a visceral experience, and provides a deep understanding of the complexities of violence, trauma, and its aftermath.

For more on The Apology, visit the full interview by Raluca Albu, and/or read an excerpt from the novel at LitHub, here.

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Podcast Tip: Gender, Governance, and Islam

One for Week 8, an excellent podcast discussion with Professor Nadje Al-Ali, (Watson Institute, Brown University), and a regular on our reading list:

In the podcast, Professor Al-Ali talks about her new book, co-edited with Deniz Kandiyoti and Kathryn Spellman Poots, Gender, Islam & Governance (2019), as well as the deeper issues affecting gender and area studies:

If you want to understand the level of authoritarianism or the level of democracy, the politics of gender is not a side issue. It’s central to it. Often, mainstream political scientists, international relations scholars, or even area studies scholars, they think about women and gender issues as a side issue to the big issues of political transition, democracy, authoritarianism.

You don’t need to be an academic to see when you look at what’s been unfolding, especially since 2011 in terms of the various protest movements in the region, that when it comes to women, men, sexuality, this has been actually a central component of challenging previous regimes, but also has been a central component of regimes trying to control their populations. How does a regime try to crack down on a protest movement? By controlling women’s mobility. By sexual harassing women and telling them, ‘your place is not on the street’.

[‘Gender, Governance, and Islam’ with Nadje Al-Ali’, interview by Sarah Baldwin.]

The volume includes a collection of chapters that are relevant to not only Week 8, but Weeks 4, 7, and 9 (and more), including research by Islah Jad, (‘Palestine: Gender in an Imagined Fragmented Sovereignty’), Al-Ali (‘Iraq: Gendering Violence, Sectarianisms and Authoritarianism’), and Afiya Shehrbano Zia (‘Defiance not Subservience: New Directions in the Pakistani Women’s Movement’), among others.