Whitney Podcasts

Our collection of podcasts is available for download on SoundCloud or iTunes U, under the Yale University Humanities section. You may listen to our featured podcasts in streaming mp3 format by following the links below:

Podcast Speaker(s) Date

Banquets and Politics in China

Joanna Waley-Cohen delivers the first Franke lecture in the 2011 series, “History of Food and Cuisine.” Her talk is titled “Banquets and Politics in China.” Ms. Waley-Cohen is currently chair of the History Department at NYU, where she has taught the history of China since 1992. Ms. Waley-Cohen has published many books and articles on Chinese law, politics, foreign relations, and culinary culture, and is currently working on two projects: a culinary history of early modern China, focused on consumption, leisure, cooking, and imperial dining practices; and an account of daily life in China around 1800.

Joanna Waley-Cohen


A Conversation

The Whitney Humanities Center presents William Bailey and Mark Strand in conversation. The artist and the poet joined in discussion to celebrate the opening of the exhibition “William Bailey Works on Paper: Temperas, Drawings, and Prints” at the Gallery at the Whitney. One of the country’s leading figurative artists, Mr. Bailey eschews narrative, nostalgia, and materiality in his work, which instead conveys an abstract engagement whether working in still life or from the human figure. In the words of Mr. Strand, who is also the author of a monograph on Mr. Bailey, the painter’s works represent “realizations of an idea.”

William Bailey, Mark Strand


A Good Soup Holds History and Culture

Critically acclaimed food writer Claudia Roden, the 2010 Franke Visiting Fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center, shares the ingredients of her successful career chronicling, memorializing, and reconstructing cultural worlds through cooking. Ms. Roden has a particular interest in the historical, social, and cultural background of cooking. In the words of the historian Simon Schama, “Claudia Roden is no more a simple cookbook writer than Marcel Proust was a biscuit baker. She is, rather, memorialist, historian, ethnographer, anthropologist, essayist, poet, who just happens to communicate through ta’am—taste.” Ms. Roden’s international accolades include six Glenfiddich Awards, the James Beard Award, induction into the Cookbook Hall of Fame, and many more.

Claudia Roden


Adonis, pioneer of modern Arabic poetry

Adonis (born Ali Ahmad Said Esber) is a Syrian poet and essayist who led the modernist movement in Arabic poetry in the second half of the 20th century. He has written more than 20 books in his native Arabic, including the pioneering work An Introduction to Arab Poetics. He is visiting the US to celebrate his 80th birthday, and in this netcast, he and Khaled Mattawa read from Adonis: A Selection, published by Yale University Press in 2010 in the Cecile and Theodore Margellos World Republic of Letters Series.



Some Strange Region of the Universe: Material Things in the Gothic Cathedral

In her lecture, Jacqueline Jung talks about the material aspects of Gothic art and architecture and how they made the church precisely not a pure and abstract vision of heaven but a strange space partaking of both earthly and heavenly worlds. Jacqueline Jung specializes in the art and architecture of the medieval West, with an emphasis on the figural sculpture of Gothic Germany. Her teaching encompasses the history of medieval sculpture, images of death and apocalypse, art and ritual in the Middle Ages, Gothic cathedrals, medieval image-theory, medieval memory practices, and the interrelations between art and visionary experience.

Jacqueline Jung


The Sainte-Chapelle in Paris: Kingship, Crusading, and Leg

In her 2010 Franke Lecture, Alyce Jordan speaks about the Sainte-Chapelle as an activated liturgical and royal space and how and why Louis the Ninth’s chapel proved such a successful vehicle for the articulation of his own monarchic agenda. Professor Jordan’s research focuses on medieval stained glass and questions of narrative, identity, and representation. Her book Visualizing Kingship in the Windows of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris applies contemporary rhetorical theory and practices to better understand the monument and posits a radical re-envisioning of the original ensemble. In her 2010 Franke Lecture, Professor Jordan speaks about the Sainte-Chapelle as an active and activated space and how and why Louis the Ninth’s chapel proved such a successful vehicle for the articulation of his own monarchic agenda.

Alyce Jordan


"Guibert de Nogent and His Demons"

Prof. Rubenstein is a historian of medieval intellectual and cultural life in Europe during the 11th and 12th centuries. He is the author of “Guibert of Nogent: Portrait of a Medieval Mind” and co-editor of “Teaching and Learning in Northern Europe, 1000-1200,” among other works. Prof. Rubenstein received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2007. In his 2010 Franke Lecture, Rubenstein discusses the eleventh-century monk and autobiographer, Guibert de Nogent, and works to place him in the particular intellectual and built environments of his time and location, though only fragmentary evidence from these environments survive.

Jay Rubenstein


“Romanesque and Gothic as Biblical Architecture”

Mr. Cahn is the author of The Romanesque Wooden Doors of Auvergne; Masterpieces: Chapters on the History of an Idea; and Romanesque Bible Illumination; and numerous articles. He has been the recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, and is a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. Here, Mr. Cahn, Carnegie Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at Yale, delivers the first Franke Lecture in the 2010 series, “The Age of Cathedrals.” Mr. Cahn discusses Romanesque and Gothic as self-consciously biblical architectural forms.

Walter Cahn


Shake, Rattle, and Roll!

Music at the Whitney and Yale College New Music present chamber works composed by Yale College students and faculty, performed with members of the Yale Percussion Group. This program features an interesting sonic variety and several different percussion setups: mallet keyboard, suitcase percussion, and a mixed quartet. The student compositions include “Duettino” by Andrew Davis, “Particular Features of the Tule Elk” by Ryan Harper, “Gear Shift” by Stephen Feigenbaum, “…mallet merengue” by Alexander Weiser, and “Play Nice” by Jamie van Dyck. The final work, “Dreams and Reveries,” by faculty codirector Kathryn Alexander, explores the juxtaposition of “found sound”—created with flowerpots, beercan racks, and metal pipes—with more traditional instruments.

Music at the Whitney



Ms. Nordstrom’s principal areas of interest are the anthropology of war and peace, illegal economies and power, gender, globalization, and culture theory. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in warzones worldwide, with long-term interests in Southern Africa and South Asia. Her academic books include Global Outlaws: Crime, Money, and Power in the Contemporary World (2007) and Shadows of War: Violence, Power, and International Profiteering in the 21st Century (2004). She has received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, as well as numerous other grants, including from the U.S. Institute for Peace. In her 2008 Franke Lecture, anthropologist Carolyn Nordstrom examines invisible networks of social spaces and interactions, especially the dangerous extra-state and extra-legal interactions that we are meant not to see. Paul Farmer responds to this talk.

Carolyn Nordstrom