Faculty and students of the International Relations Department have launched a new podcast titled “It’s More Complicated Than That.” The podcast is hosted by Professor of Political Science Kevin Dunn, Associate Professor of Political Science Stacey Philbrick Yadav and a rotating student guest. Released monthly, each episode investigates a pressing topic in world affairs and integrates interviews with experts, as well as music, poetry and other non-scholarly ways to examine the topic.
The podcast was conceived by Dunn and Philbrick Yadav to showcase the broad range of expertise and interests in the International Relations Department. “We have such great, intellectually-curious students. We were looking for a signature project that would showcase our students and their work, while also helping to build a community and identity for the program. Doing a podcast seemed like a perfect fit,” Dunn says.
Students have helped select the topics discussed in each episode. Their selections are grounded in topics covered in their international relations courses at the Colleges, but Dunn says that students have also pushed the ideas, topics and readings introduced in the classroom further, “going deeper with their own engagement.”
After the interview segment, hosts Dunn and Philbrick Yadav lend their perspectives as scholars and experienced teachers. “While the three episodes we’ve recorded so far reflect the students’ regional interests and a question or concern that they find compelling, our work as co-hosts has been to think about whether or how these questions have broader reach,” says Philbrick Yadav. “So far, that hasn’t been hard at all; it’s been really organic, I think, because it’s how we tend to think and teach already.”
The first episode focuses on the political and economic impacts of COVID-19 on Latin America and features guest host Carling Landeche ’21. Landeche has held internships with the office of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and with Education for the Children, where she wrote grants and fundraised for the School of Hope initiative in Jocotenango, Guatemala. During the episode, Landeche interviews Emeritus Professor of Economics Scott McKinney, a scholar of Latin American economies with a focus on Ecuador and Peru.
For the second episode, Yalemwork Teferra ’21 joins the podcast to explore the moral philosophies of Adam Smith. In a conversation with Associate Professor of Political Science Vikash Yadav, whose scholarly interests in the area of international political economy include globalization and neo-liberalism, she explores the evolution of modern capitalism. The episode also delves into consumer culture and corporate responsibility. Teferra previously held the 2019 Stephen W. Woodworth ’54 Fisher Center Student Summer Fellowship and has accepted a position with BNP Paribus following graduation.
The most recent episode was published Dec. 14, and features Carly Shiever ’21 as she interviews Associate Professor of History and of International and Area Studies at Washington University Lori Watt on memory, history and Japanese decolonization. Last fall, Shiever studied abroad in Hikone, Japan, where her coursework focused on culture and society, and Japanese language.
“It’s More Complicated Than That” is recorded at Geneva Sound Factory, a recording studio in Geneva, N.Y., and edited by Sound Designer Kelly Walker. Episodes of the podcast are published on PodBean here.