The Authority File Round-Up – February 2022

A quick overview of last month's episode, in case you missed it

Authority File graphic. Reads: "Conversations with thinkers shaping the future of academia"

In November 2021, the New York Times shared a collection of photographs chronicling New Yorkers reading in public spaces. Spanning the decades, you can scroll past readers in beach chairs by the water, laying across smooth boulders in Central Park, or tucked into architectural corners of the Metropolitan Opera House; thick magazines, well-loved paperbacks, and hardbound college course texts surface across the boroughs. One of the joys of public spaces is spying on strangers’ book picks. At coffee shops, laundromats, libraries, or on public transport, we can’t help but wonder: Why did they choose that title? What does it say about them? Would they recommend it?

Last month our guest was Uli Beutter Cohen, founder of Subway Book Review, a social media-based interview project of New Yorkers’ book selections. We chatted with Uli about why she chose the subway to hunt for readers, and what she’s learned and witnessed in the eight years since SBR’s inception. To supplement the episode, we’ve gone back into The Authority File archives to pull out the most popular episodes of the past year. Which topics piqued our audience’s interest the most?

Here’s a quick round-up of the past month (and beyond), in case you missed it. We hope you find the episodes useful, dynamic, and interesting. Thanks for listening!

Interview with Subway Book Review Founder Uli Beutter Cohen

Last month, we had one special episode with guest Uli Beutter Cohen. Uli is the founder of Subway Book Review and author of Between the Lines: Stories from the Underground. Uli began SBR in 2013 to document the book picks of New York City subway-goers. Armed with a compact microphone and her phone, Uli has interviewed thousands of New Yorkers, sharing their book selections and reviews on social media.

In this episode, Uli discusses SBR’s genesis and development, as well as her observations on how reading trends have shifted in response to the social and political climate. In addition, she reflects on the cultural practice of reading, the current rise in book banning, and why libraries are such vital institutions for readers.

Listen to the episode here.

In addition to this special episode, we’re taking a look back at the past year. Here are five of the most popular episodes of The Authority File from February 2021 to February 2022. Happy listening!

Emerging Space Markets: Unpacking Space Commercialization

  • In this August 2021 series Dr. Stella Tkatchova, a project manager in the European Space Industry, characterizes today’s space market. Coinciding with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space flight, Stella introduces us to the commercialization of the space industry. She highlights the steady rise of private investments and key ventures like space debris cleanup, solar-powered satellites, and lunar exploration. Listen to the episode here.

The Queer Evangelist: “It’s Been Quite a Life”

Last April, Cheri DiNovo, former member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and current United Church of Canada minister, joined the podcast to chat about her fascinating life. Detailed in her memoir The Queer Evangelist: A Socialist Clergy’s Radically Honest Tale, Cheri offered an intimate and practical look at running a headhunting agency in the 1980s to navigating the church and political realm as a queer person. Listen to the episode here.

Preparing Diverse Students for Success in the Academic and Private Sectors: The PhD Project and GSU’s DEI Database

  • In June 2021 four guests shared their unique insights on how to support diverse students in and outside of academia. Featuring Dr. Pamela Queen, a finance professor at Morgan State University, Dr. Rihana Mason, a research scientist at Georgia State University, and Todd Baldwin and Miranda Nunhofer of SAGE Publishing, the speakers revealed their institutions’ programs, initiatives, and resources that support this critical work. Listen to the episode here.

The Myth of the COVID-Transformed Workplace: Are Changes Long-lasting or Temporary?

  • Perhaps even more relevant now than in September 2021, this series delved into the so-called “transformed workplace.” Each of the four guests offered valuable observations on which aspects of work culture have truly changed—and what has proven only temporary. Offering expertise in business, higher education, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, the guests drilled down into positive changes that may continue, unequal effects of work environment adjustments, and how to support students entering today’s workforce. Listen to the episode here.

The Making of DisPlace: Backgrounds and Beginnings

  • Last November, Nduka Otiono, associate professor of African Studies and English at Carleton University, and Peter Midgley, an independent scholar and editor, discussed Nduka’s latest poetry collection, DisPlace: The Poetry of Nduka Otiono. This thoughtful conversation considered the making of DisPlace during the early stages of COVID, and the complexity of imperfect terms like “world literature” and “global south.” The series included an in-depth look at the intersection of diaspora, language, and politics, and featured two poetry readings from Nduka. Listen to the episode here.

Hungry for more? Here are five more popular episodes of the past year:

Missed January’s episodes? We’ve got you covered.

In January, Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton, Series Editor of Ethics and Integrity in Educational Contexts, introduced us to the field of educational ethics and academic integrity. She touched on its history, scope, and future, and explored the impact of new technologies and emergency remote teaching on academic policies, assessment, and curricula. Sarah also underscored the importance of administrators, faculty, and librarians working together to educate students on ethical practices in the academy. You can find the first episode here.

You can find more episodes of the Authority File here on our websiteApple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks for listening! See you next month.

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