DiscoverThen & Now
Then & Now
Claim Ownership

Then & Now

Author: UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy

Subscribed: 0Played: 5


Then & Now connects past to present, using historical analysis and context to help guide us through modern issues and policy decisions. Then & Now is brought to you by the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy.Then & Now is produced by Maia Ferdman and David Myers, and features original music by Daniel Raijman.
31 Episodes
As a follow-up to our last pre-election episode, Professor Lynn Vavreck and Zev Yaroslavsky return to "Then & Now," joined by Professor Lorrie Frasure, to analyze the 2020 election results. They discuss a range of key topics: President Trump’s refusal to concede, the persistence of divided electorates in U.S. history, the political behavior of white men, the performance and reliability of polling, and the question of whether American democracy is dying.Lorrie Frasure is an Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at UCLA, and Acting Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies.Lynn Vavreck is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy at UCLA, a contributing columnist to The Upshot at The New York Times, and the author or co-author of five books on electoral politics. Zev Yaroslavsky is the Executive Director of the LA Initiative at the Luskin School of Public Affairs. He served as LA City Council Member from 1975 to 1994, and as LA County Supervisor from 1994 to 2014.
Two of the country's -- and UCLA’s -- keenest observers of electoral politics, Lynn Vavreck and Zev Yaroslavsky, join Then & Now to discuss their take on the 2020 election in light of the previous two elections. Lynn Vavreck is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy at UCLA, a contributing columnist to The Upshot at The New York Times, and the author or co-author of five books on electoral politics. Zev Yaroslavsky is the Executive Director of the LA Initiative at the Luskin School of Public Affairs. He served as LA City Council Member from 1975 to 1994, and as LA County Supervisor from 1994 to 2014. They discuss predictive models in presidential elections, racial dynamics, Trumpism, and their sense of where the 2020 election is heading. 
From Frances Harper to Michelle Obama, Black women have faced countless forms of violent aggression at the intersection of racism and sexism. Professor Koritha Mitchell, Literary Historian and Professor of English at Ohio State University, discusses the way these women define and redefine success in the face of this violence, challenging us to see their lives not just through the lens of protest, but through the lens of perseverance and achievement as well. Her book, From Slave Cabins to the White House: Homemade Citizenship in African American Culture, uses this lens to read the experience of Black women throughout U.S. history. This episode is hosted by UCLA Historian and Professor Katherine Marino. 
This special episode on October 12th marks Indigenous Peoples Day. Professor Kyle T. Mays, historian and scholar of Afro-Indigenous studies, urban history, and Indigenous popular culture at UCLA, joins Then & Now to discuss the history and significance of the day, as well as his scholarship tracking the parallel and often intersecting histories of Indigenous and African American communities in the United States. He discusses moments of historical conflict and collaboration between the two communities, and how the shared experience of oppression can support a common agenda for justice today.
Los Angeles is infamous for its ubiquitous, sprawling, and congested roads and freeways. Whether driving south on the 405 freeway in the morning, east on Olympic Boulevard in the afternoon, or north on Vermont Avenue in the evening, bumper to bumper traffic defines our streets. But has traffic in Los Angeles always looked this way? What policy efforts have city leaders pursued over the years to alleviate traffic? And what can we learn from history to make it better?Noted traffic expert Martin Wachs, Professor Emeritus of Civil & Environmental Engineering, former Chairman of the UCLA Department of Urban Planning, UCLA history PhD candidate Peter Chesney, and UCLA Master of Urban and Regional Planning Candidate Yu Hong Hwang join Then & Now to discuss these questions. Professor Wachs, Peter, and Yu Hong were LCHP Research Fellows from 2019-2020 and recently completed a research report highlighting these questions.Find the report here.
Whether watching the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, reading two different news sites, or merely glancing at any given Twitter feed, one might think that Americans across the country live in alternate universes. As the 2020 election approaches, political polarization has reached a boiling point. Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, a nationally renowned expert in deliberative democracy and Executive Director Emerita of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, joins Then & Now producer Maia Ferdman to discuss this phenomenon. She describes the historical development of hyper-partisanship in the U.S., describes the opportunities that innovative political engagement offers, and suggests ways of healing the seemingly intractable divides in our country in order to chart a collective path forward. Watch her latest project, documentary Divided We Fall, at this link.
As the United States continues to experience a national reckoning with its long history of racial inequality, so too a debate has taken hold in the Jewish community about where and whether Jews of Color fit into the communal mainstream. This episode features Devin Naar, Isaac Alhadeff Professor of Sephardic Studies at the University of Washington, who sheds light on this question through the lens of Sephardic Jewish history. He challenges the imposed racial categorization of Jews in the United States, discusses the erasure and exclusion of Sephardic and Mizrahi identity in mainstream Jewish institutions, and proposes a historical reclamation of Sephardic identity and a radical reimagining of community spaces.



As we near the start of the 2020-21 academic year at UCLA, Then & Now will be moving to a biweekly schedule. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and to sign up for our emails, to hear about all the great work coming out of the Luskin Center for History and Policy.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which granted and protects women’s right to vote. As we mark this centennial during an election year, UCLA Historian Ellen Dubois, one of the preeminent scholars of the movement for women’s suffrage and author of “Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote" (2020), joins us to reflect on the Amendment's legacy.  She discusses the tactics suffragists used to advocate for the vote, the political opposition they faced, and the role of race and Black women in the movement. Prof. Dubois also shares her thoughts on the present moment, the possibility of the first female Vice President, and the fundamental importance of the right to vote in a democracy.
The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution prevents the government from inflicting "cruel and unusual punishment” on those accused or convicted of a crime. Yet California’s prisons have been overcrowded, rife with violence, and lacking basic healthcare provisions for decades. In the era of COVID-19, this context translates to an infection and death rate well above that of the general population. Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced the early release of thousands of prisoners from custody to mitigate this pandemic, and yet this decision is rife with hurdles of its own.How did we get here? Professor Sharon Dolovich, Director of the UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project and the UCLA Law Prison Law & Policy Program, joins Maia Ferdman in conversation about the history of California’s carceral system, its human and economic toll, and the role of the law in its development over time.
In the wake of the unprecedented election of President Donald Trump, and now punctuated by the COVID-19 pandemic and summer of protests, many scholars and public figures have argued that the U.S. is descending into autocracy. Following the recent violent intervention of federal law enforcement officers in Portland, concerns about the state of America’s democracy have grown.Samuel Moyn, historian and Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale University, and Vera Eidelman, staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, join Then & Now to explore the utility of historical analogies, President Trump’s role in the trajectory of American history, and the state of American democracy today.
What are the roots of mass deportation and incarceration, and what do the two have to do with each other? How can studying these histories allow us to confront and dismantle the racist structures at the center of today’s national conversation? Professor Kelly Lytle Hernández — UCLA historian, activist, author, and recent recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Prize — shares her insights on these vital questions on this week’s episode of Then & Now. She discusses the foundational role of white supremacy and settler colonialism in the establishment of policing and immigration enforcement in the United States. She then discusses the historical arc of activism against these systems, outlining the need for divestment from policing, investment in Black life, and redress for historical injustice.
On June 15, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects Gay and Transgender individuals from workplace discrimination. ACLU National Legal Director David Cole, who spearheaded the victorious lawsuit, joins Then & Now to discuss this surprise ruling, how the ACLU and its allies framed the argument, what the decision's legal implications are for today, and how the Supreme Court’s approach to discrimination has evolved over time.
The seemingly intractable Israel-Palestine conflict may well be moving into a new phase, one in which the long-dominant two-state solution is no longer viable or desirable to the parties involved.  How did this occur?  And what would replace it? Peter Beinart, noted journalist and editor-at-large of Jewish Currents magazine, recently published two pieces in the Jewish Currents and The New York Times about abandoning his own faith in the long-sought two-state solution.  Beinart now proposes a vision of equality for all in a single state. He joins Then & Now in conversation with LCHP Director and UCLA professor of Jewish history David Myers to discuss his shift in perspective and the role of history in his present-day analysisThe conversation revisits the definition and historical foundations of Zionism, the role of the Holocaust in Jewish approaches to Israel, and the related dynamics of other geopolitical conflicts. Ultimately, Beinart complicates the lines between utopianism and realism, challenging listeners to approach a longstanding conflict with new perspective.
What is work? Who is a worker? How have women been perceived and treated as workers?  Who is deemed “deserving” of benefits, welfare, and pensions, and who gets excluded?  Answers to these questions have enormous implications on the the structure of society and policy and how we live our lives. Professor Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and Distinguished Professor of Feminist Studies and Professor of History, Black Studies, and Global Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, joins Katherine Marino on Then & Now to discuss the development of the woman worker throughout history, the role of the International Labor Organization in this development, and the division of household labor during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From Jack Johnson to Muhammed Ali, from Tommie Smith to Colin Kaepernick, Black athletes have played a huge role in the social and cultural history of the 20th and 21st centuries.  Ben Carrington, sociologist at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, joins Then & Now to discuss the "racial project" of the Black Athlete.  He observes how Black athletes have been fetishized, commodified, controlled, and celebrated, sometimes all at once. He compares the long history of this project to the present moment, when Black athletes, both at the professional and collegiate levels, are gaining greater agency over their lives and careers.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ Pride Parade and Festival in West Hollywood. Activist, speaker, and founder of the TransLatin@ Coalition Bamby Salcedo joins Then & Now in conversation with LCHP’s Maia Ferdman to discuss Pride's origins as a protest movement spurred by transgender women of color. She discusses the historic exclusion of the transgender community from the gay liberation movement, some of the persistent challenges facing the transgender community today as a result, and a vision for an inclusive and equitable approach to progress. Learn more about Bamby's work with the TransLatin@ Coalition here. 
“Battling Bella” Abzug was a Congresswoman, lawyer, and ardent feminist leader — during the 1970s she was one of the most recognizable women in U.S. politics. Abzug biographer and historian Leandra Zarnow joins Then & Now for a conversation with UCLA History Professor Katherine Marino about Abzug’s legacy that touches on an array of pivotal women’s rights policies, the founding of the National Women’s Political Caucus, and an intersectional approach to progressivism. Now, in the era of #MeToo, new political leaders such as  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and an approaching election with an historic number of female candidates, Zarnow reflects on the significance of and need to build upon Abzug’s trailblazing legacy today.Find Professor Zarnow’s book, Battling Bella: The Protest Politics of Bella Abzug” here.
The coronavirus is like rain — it falls on everyone, but some communities are better able to protect themselves. In this week’s episode, Dr. David Hayes-Bautista talks with the LCHP's Maia Ferdman about the historical origins of these health inequities and their consequences today. A Distinguished Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture (CESLAC) at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Dr. Hayes-Bautista shares his data-driven journey into the study of Latino health, the historical and present-day nuances involved in the study of Latino health, and his current research on COVID-19 case rates. Find Dr. Hayes-Bautista’s research on COVID-19 here.
"We cannot be the nation we want to be if we wrap ourselves in a flag of mythology, and refuse to look at what lies underneath that flag."As part of our special coverage on the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing debate over policing and structural racism, we welcome scholar Brenda Stevenson to the program. A leading historian on slavery and the legacy of America's race problems, Dr. Stevenson ranges widely, from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s, from the murder of Latasha Harlins in 1991 to the recent murder of George Floyd, drawing out major lessons for activists and change-makers today. One major lesson she pulls from the past? Resist, resist, resist. Find Dr. Stevenson’s writing and other media coverage on these issues at her website.
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store