How can societies and states reinvent themselves after the pandemic? Andreas Reckwitz, sociologist, cultural theorist and one of Germany’s most eminent contemporary scholars, talks about what the COVID-19 pandemic means for late modern society from a sociological point of view. While the pandemic highlighted structural problems such as inequality, can it also bear hope for societal transformation? With our hosts Tom Zoellner and Aida Baghernejad, he discusses the emergence of a new middle class and the meaning of the terms “left” and “right” today. Reckwitz is the author of Society of Singularities (2017) and The End of Illusions (2019), and will be a fellow at the Thomas Mann House in 2022.
Tom Zoellner (host) is the New York Times bestselling author of eight nonfiction books, including Island on Fire, Uranium Train, and The Heartless Stone. He teaches at Chapman University and Dartmouth College. A former reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, he is the politics editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Aida Baghernejad (co-host) is a (pop) culture and food journalist based in Berlin. Her work has appeared in a number of regional, national and international media outlets, among them the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the San Francisco Chronicle, tipBerlin, Intro Magazine, Spex and Deutschlandfunk Kultur. She has previously taught at King’s College London and the Humboldt Universität Berlin.
Lisa Bartfai (producer) is an independent radio journalist and producer splitting her time between rural Maine and Southern California. Her work explores the intersection of culture and politics, and can be heard on NPR stations and podcasts all over the country.