Choose to be Curious

Curiosity & the Digital Transgender Archive

“You can definitely see traces of different kinds of curiosity throughout the historical record, and the ways that throughout history people are trying to grapple with gender transgression and understand what is happening. Certainly there are approaches that are much more objectifying, much more negative, are interested in a kind of salacious story — but then there are many others that are trying to get a different perspective, that are just trying to understand.” ~ K.J. Rawson

Philosophy graduate student Matt Ferguson takes the helm this week for an exploration of epistemic injustice in marginalized communities, where a lack of knowledge about one’s own history has real consequences. Matt talks with K.J. Rawson, project director for the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA), in this conversation about DTA and exploration of how curiosity and archives might help address such injustice.

Listen to Choose to be Curious #120: Curiosity & the Digital Transgender Archive, with K.J. Rawson.

This is the first in what I hope will be a series of shows guest-hosted by graduate and undergraduate students who were enrolled in the fall 2019 class Topics in Philosophy at American University.

As part of their final papers, students conceived and pitched potential episodes and interviews for Choose to be Curious. It was a privilege and a thrill to listen to their presentations and hear their ideas.

Originally, I committed to produce just one show, but I was so impressed with the students’ work, that I extended the offer to multiple students. Matt is the first across the finish line, a testament to his determination, even in the face of the pandemic.

Check out the Digital Transgender Archive.

When he’s not running the DTA, K.J. Rawson is a professor at College of the Holy Cross, with interests in Composition and Rhetoric, Rhetorical History, Archives, LGBT Studies and Digital Media.

Our theme music is by Sean Balick.

EDITOR PICK LOCAL PODCASTYou can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes and Stitcher.

Check out the Choose to be Curious shop! All purchases support Arlington Independent Media. Please also consider making a donation at wera.fm. Thanks!

Ferguson - In order to recognize that history is missing, and then to go find it, one has to be curious.-5

Choose to be Curious

Curious Entanglements

I often tell my students, “I’m not sure you’ll leave this class with more answers, but if you have more refined, more sophisticated questions, then I think we’ll have had a huge success.” ~ Christina León

Christina León, Princeton professor of English, wants us to be accountable in our curiosity and attentive to the ethics of how we approach the unfamiliar. Her writing — like any good literature — feels universally relevant and applicable.

A rich and timely conversation, inspired by Christina’s chapter “Curious Entanglements: Opacity and Ethical Relation in Latina/o Aesthetics” in Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge.

Listen to Choose to be Curious #117: Curious Entanglements, with Christina León

What I Learned: New vocabulary! Christina appreciates the stumbles — the thing that slows us down to read again — and, for me, that proved to be some new-to-me terminology in her chapter. Not sure that I have fully plumbed all the concepts, or the schools of thought behind them, but just learning I have more to learn was thrilling.

What I Loved: Christina’s writing is elegant and erudite. I loved that both the chapter and conversation took on new dimensions when I returned to them after several months away and that they do feel relevant well beyond their own important and particular focus. I suspect, like Shakespeare and Baudelaire whom she mentions, her work will be read over and over again.

Christina León is the twelfth and final of my series of interviews with the contributing authors to the anthology Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). Be sure to check out the depth of resources available on the Manifold site that accompanies the book.

More on Christina León here

EDITOR PICK LOCAL PODCASTOur theme and other music is by Sean Balick. “Come As You Are” by Cauldron via Blue Dot Sessions.

You can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes and Stitcher.

Check out the Choose to be Curious shopAll purchases support Arlington Independent Media. Please also consider making a donation at wera.fm. Thanks!

Reading is an opportunity for understanding how we encounter difference.

Choose to be Curious, Life Lessons

Voicing Curiosity

“The way that we know that curiosity is genuine in somebody’s voice is that they have tapped into this real desire, this real drive, this real motivation.” ~ Carol Cadby

How we say anything, how we punctuate our statements grammatically and verbally, all have tremendous impact on how we are heard and understood.

So how do we say something in such a way that others hear curiosity? Actor, director, educator and executive coach Carol Cadby joins me to explore voicing curiosity.

Listen to Choose to be Curious #116: Voicing Curiosity, with Carol Cadby

Our motto at Arlington Independent Media is “Raise Your Voice.” If you have a story you want to tell or share, want to learn how to use media to do that, we’re here for you. This is our spring fund drive. We’d love your support. Help us help you and others to raise your voices, to hear and be heard. Donations much appreciated at wera.fm .

Learn more and connect with Carol via OLA Consulting

Listen to what Erin Foreman-Murray has to say about dance and embodied curiosity. 

Our theme and other music is by Sean Balick . “Great Great Lengths” by The Ballonist, via Blue Dot Sessions.

EDITOR PICK LOCAL PODCASTYou can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes and Stitcher.

Check out the Choose to be Curious shopAll purchases support Arlington Independent Media. Please also consider making a donation at wera.fm. Thanks!

Hear & Be Heard

 

Choose to be Curious, Life Lessons

Curiosity Studies

“I can’t wait to see what else I don’t know about curiosity.” ~ Perry Zurn 

When I first interviewed Perry Zurn, American University professor of philosophy and connoisseur of curiosity, I had been following his work with interest and looking for ways to connect. In preparing for that conversation on the very political nature of curiosity I learned that, along with anthropology professor Arjun Shankar, he was co-editing an anthology called Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge.

That sounded like the academic version of my own show — and I was thrilled to be invited in on the project.

Listen to Choose to be Curious #115: Curiosity Studies, with Perry Zurn, PhD.

What I Learned: I am a very long way from exhausting this topic. It’s hard to imagine when or how it ever ends. Every conversation begets another, every idea, too.

I knew this. But, thanks to Perry, I feel it in my bones.

What I Loved:  I am a very, very long way from exhausting this topic! 🙂

That, and I got to use contributor Amy Marvin’s marvelous bread analogy. My heart broke with each rich morsel I left on the cutting room floor in producing this series. I am tickled to have picked this one up and included it here!

Curiosity Studies coverPerry Zurn is the eleventh in my series of interviews with the contributing authors to the anthology Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge (University of Minnesota Press, 2020).  This show is timed with the release of the book. Be sure to get your copy and stay tuned for more episodes. Check out the depth of resources available on the Manifold site that accompanies the book.

Listen co-editors Perry Zurn on the political nature of curiosity, and Arjun Shankar on the capitalist curiosity and the related challenges on college campuses today. 

Our theme and other music is by Sean Balick . “Town Market” by Onesuch Village via Blue Dot Sessions.

EDITOR PICK LOCAL PODCASTYou can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes and Stitcher.

Check out the Choose to be Curious shopAll purchases support Arlington Independent Media. Please also consider making a donation at wera.fm. Thanks!

Take up the quest of curiosity bravely.-2

Choose to be Curious, Life Lessons, UnComfort Zone

Resilient & Brave

“[I] can be curious about how I position myself and use the best of what I am, while the whole world seems to be spinning around me.” ~ Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post for my website about how — despite the pandemic and the social distancing and the shutting in and down we’re all doing — I hope to bring my own curiosity to whatever this is that is happening around us. I intend to keep having conversations about how curiosity shows up in our work and lives, whatever that now looks like.

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, neuroanatomist, author, inspirational public speaker and friend wrote back to me, “Thank you for sharing your curiosity and life with us. You are a stable and wonderful force. I am happy to do another interview with you about how we are programmed to be resilient and brave, how to interact with ourselves when we freak out and tips on how to be during this time.”

That was too good an offer to pass up.

Listen to Choose to be Curious #114: Resilient and Brave, with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

“Dr. Jill” was my third guest ever in this delightful conversation about our brains on curiosity  And in case you somehow missed it, here’s her TED Talk My Stroke of Insight.

I recommend Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ beautiful essay, We Were Made for These Times. 

Jill and I both recommend my conversation with Jud Brewer on curiosity and our craving minds.

EDITOR PICK LOCAL PODCASTOur theme music is by Sean Balick . Check out Sean’s new album “From the Pines”“Are We Loose Yet” by BodyTonic via Blue Dot Sessions.

You can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes and Stitcher. And check out the Choose to be Curious Shop!

WERA 96.7FM is a project of Arlington Independent Media. If you like what you hear on Choose to be Curious, please consider making a tax deductible donation to AIM. Thank you!

Livio - Curiosity is the best remedy for fear

 

Back Story, Choose to be Curious, Life Lessons, Making a List, UnComfort Zone

Hello, Dear Curious Friends

Hello Dear ListenersHello, friends, how are you?

I wanted to check in and say hi. Things are about to change for all of us, in ways I’m not sure we’ve really yet fully imagined, and I wanted to just connect and say thank you. 

Thank you for joining me on this curiosity journey. Thank you for showing up for life and work in curious and attentive ways. Thank you for taking care of yourself and everyone around you right now. Thank you for being you!

My dear buddy Mo, my conscience from afar, wrote to me the other night, “Curious to learn in what ways you’ll be reaching out to your listeners. We postponed the local service jam.”

The truth is, I’ve been so consumed with concerns about Arlington Independent Media‘s fate in the throes of all that is going on, that I haven’t been thinking much about my own show. I’ve come racing up against production deadlines, hastily typing blog posts, forgoing much of what is delightful in the craft, and just moving on.

But we’re not moving around much any more, most of us. Nor will we be.

So here’s what I can say for now:

I’m going to keep looking for these curiosity conversations and sharing them with you. You may notice some shifts in audio quality. I’m trying to find the best ways to deliver good content and sound from my basement, but it’s not going to compare with what I was able to produce at AIM. Bear with me!

Our new normal is both an obstacle and an opportunity. The obstacles are obvious; it’s the opportunities that interest me. What new habits can we cultivate that bring us closer, even as we maintain safe distances? How can we meaningfully enlarge our world, even as it temporarily shrinks? Time for that classic curiosity refrain: How might we….?

“I’m in the mood to try stuff!” is how one of my intrepid AIM partners has approached our challenges there. I’m inclined to adopt that spirit as well. Here’s some of the stuff I want to try….

      1. Breakfast with Friends: I’m going to miss meeting friends for breakfast, so I’m going to try to do that virtually. A friend who has a communications firm in Baltimore joins his staff each morning for virtual coffee. I don’t like coffee, but I love the idea. (Also: I sent a gift card for “our” breakfast spot to one friend, a promissory note to pick up where we’ve left off and a small way to support local businesses.)
      2. Curiosity Walks: Time to rediscover what’s within my four walls, to stroll the floorboards with as much attention to the textures, shadows and hidden delights as I would along the boulevards and byways of any other destination. I began in my kitchen some time ago. It was a lot of fun.
      3. Read Harder: Inspired by Dani Bassett’s “inter-book quotation network”  and Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, I’ll read outside the familiar, let my curiosity take me to unexpected places and to mingle with a whole new crowd. Might even go shopping on my shelves. Pretty sure there are some books there I haven’t yet read….

Each week, when a new episode airs, D. and I assemble in the living room to listen. No matter how many times I’ve heard them, the shows just sound different on the radio — which never ceases to amaze me. But what I really love is that we have this date to listen together. He’s a gracious audience and a good #analogy sport. I invite you to join our virtual living room via wera.fm Wednesday mornings at 10am Eastern time.

Come, choose to be curious — and #ListenTogether.

So, I’m curious: what stuff are you trying? What opportunities are you finding? Let me know — and stay well.

p.s. The photo of me actually predates the “no hands on your face” guidance. <sigh> SO many changes. I love you.

How might I...?

 

Choose to be Curious

Curiosity & the Community College Initiative

“We can choose to step in or step out / To the adventure of life / To meet all the colorful places / That will take you beyond the rainbow.”  ~ Roger Cardona

It takes a certain amount of courage and curiosity to travel around the world to attend school. Four NOVA students in the U.S. State Department’s Community College Initiative join me to talk about how curiosity has contributed to their year.

A delightful, insightful conversation with Mercy Mildred Adhaya, Oscar Barrera, Willy-Jefferson Y. Kouakou and Aninda Nurul Hadijah.

Listen to Choose to be Curious #112: A Curious Crew: Curiosity & the Community College Initiative.

More about the U.S. Department of State’s Community College Initiative, administered by the good folks at Northern Virginia Community College. 

EDITOR PICK LOCAL PODCASTOur theme music is by Sean Balick . Check out Sean’s new album “From the Pines”“Peacetime” by Tiny Tiny Trio, via Blue Dot Sessions.

You can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes and Stitcher.

Borton - whatever you do

Choose to be Curious

Connect the Dots

“I think one exciting solution is to re-conceptualize curiosity as the seeking of information links — not just the information, but the links between that information. ” ~ Danielle Bassett

Danielle Bassett is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies biological, physical, and social systems by using and developing tools from network science and complex systems theory. She works at the intersection of basic science, engineering, and clinical medicine — and now she’s taking on curiosity itself.

How do we connect our curiosity dots? Network theory will out!

Listen to Choose to be Curious #111: Network Systems: Connecting the Dots with Dani Bassett

What I Learned: Although I think of myself as a person who loves words, I have learned that I am very much a visual learner, and that how information is presented — what it actually looks like — really matters to me, and others. Dani’s search for the models that could help us understand our learning and information processing seems potentially and importantly transformative. It is remarkable to me that there is math for that.

What I Loved:  This radical rethinking of how we connect information, for ourselves and others, is marvelous.  This idea of linking ideas. This idea of casting out an edge in search of a node, whose whereabouts, purpose or identity are still to be determined, seems wonderfully hopeful. Curiosity as an optimism about the unknown is thrilling.

That, and the idea of a curiosity fingerprint equivalent. Don’t you love the idea that you embody a unique constellation of curiosity networks, decidedly and entirely your own? Would you recognize a map of your own curiosity?

Dani Bassett is the tenth in my series of interviews with the contributing authors to the forthcoming anthology Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge (University of Minnesota Press, 2020).  Stay tuned for more episodes!

A bonus: After we recorded, Dani sent me this quote from Francesco Petrarch. I think you’ll understand why after you’ve listened to the show: “Books never pall on me. They discourse with us, they take counsel with us, and are united to us by a certain living chatty familiarity. And not only does each book inspire the sense that it belongs to its readers, but it also suggests the name of others, and one begets the desire of the other.” 

Check out more of Dani Bassett’s work, as well as the delightful illustrations of her network theory (sample below, “The Stones” by JKRofling).

Our theme and other music is by Sean Balick . Check out Sean’s album “From the Pines”.  

You can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes and Stitcher.EDITOR PICK LOCAL PODCAST

Check out the Choose to be Curious shopAll purchases support Arlington Independent Media. Please also consider making a donation at wera.fm. Thanks!

the Stones

 

Choose to be Curious, UnComfort Zone

Bipartisanship

“By opening ourselves to listening and to new ideas, we actually come up with something more dynamic — a better solution to the public policy issue that we were thinking about.” ~ Bob Mitchell

More than 25 years ago, Bob Mitchell founded a leadership program in Michigan to train diverse cohorts of would-be political candidates in campaigning and governing — in a bipartisan way. Now he wants to take it national, starting with a partnership in Virginia.

A timely curiosity conversation about the power of listening well and seeking opportunities, instead of obstacles.

Vote for curiosity!

Listen to Choose to be Curious #110: Bipartisanship & Curiosity, with Bob Mitchell

Check out the Bipartisan Leadership Project and the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Science curiosity turns out to be a good marker for being politically open-minded. Fascinating research!

Read up on the 48 Laws of Power. Might you defeat your enemies by making them friends?

EDITOR PICK LOCAL PODCASTOur theme music is by Sean Balick . Check out Sean’s new album “From the Pines”“Front Runner” by Union Hall, via Blue Dot Sessions.

You can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes and Stitcher.

pix-lincoln-like-the-man

Choose to be Curious

Curiosity & Health Advocacy

“When patients and their family members understand the why, they’re much more likely to follow through.” ~ Nicole Rochester, M.D.

Studies show that health information seeking behavior (HISB) raises individuals’ self-care management skills and medical treatment compliance, and enhances shared decision-making and medical treatment satisfaction.*

So choosing to be curious about our own health and health care options is good for us.

I know from my own experience, when health concerns get complicated – which is to say any time we’re talking about healthcare – it’s incredibly helpful to have more than one person asking questions, hearing answers, and wondering about alternatives. That might be a family member, friend, trusted community member — or a professional health advocate. Dr. Nicole Rochester, physician and founder of Your GPS Doc LLC, is such an advocate.

Listen to Choose to be Curious #109: Curiosity & Health Advocacy, with Nicole Rochester. M.D.

Check out Dr. Nicole Rochester at Your GPS Doc LLC.

*It turns out, health seeking behaviors are good for you. Take a look at the research.

EDITOR PICK LOCAL PODCASTOur theme music is by Sean Balick . Check out Sean’s new album “From the Pines”.  “Mind Body Mind” by BodyTonic, via Blue Dot Sessions.


You can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes and Stitcher.

Rochester - Knowledge is Power