America & Democracy Ep. 3: Carol A. Stabile on the Red Scare

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On November 3rd, America chooses its next president and in this series of interviews from The MIT Press Podcast, we'll be drawing on the research of various authors to reflect on some of the issues shaping the American political landscape of today.

In this episode Carol A. Stabile discusses her book The Broadcast 41 (published in April of last year by Goldsmiths Press.)

In her book, Carol traces the history of forty-one women who were forced out of American television and radio in the 1950s as part of a censorship program often referred to as the Red Scare. She explains their broad and nuanced political beliefs and how an FBI-backed program of state censorship invoked the paranoia of another American revolution to try and destroy their careers.

We discuss how the cause of anti-communism, g-man masculinity and censorship destroyed a potential television landscape that reflected the reality of post-war America in favor of a white, straight, patriarchal world of white picket fences and eager beavers. We also discuss what the history of these women might tell us about current debates on free-speech and ‘cancel-culture’.

Carol is Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon. She’s also the author of Feminism and the Technological Fix, White Victims, Black Villains: Gender, Race, and Crime News in US Culture, among other books.

You can find more resources related to the book, including FBI files released since the book's publication, at https://broadcast41.com/

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