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Doc Talks

Rice University's Task Force on Slavery, Segregation and Racial Injustice

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Are you interested in learning more about the research being done by the Rice University Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, and Racial Injustice? The Doc Talks podcast features Task Force chairs Dr. Alex Byrd and Dr. Caleb McDaniel discussing documents from our university's past and showing why they matter today.
 
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show series
 
A 1923 homecoming article in the Rice Thresher introduces us to an African American woman who worked on campus during the earliest days of the Rice Institute. And another article from the same year features a student performance of Eugene O'Neill's short play "The Dreamy Kid,"raising questions about portrayals of Black characters on stage at the In…
 
There were no Black students or faculty at the opening of the Rice Insitute in 1912, but in this episode, we take a look at some of the schools being built and attended by Black Houstonians at the same time. When Black faculty like Dr. Rose M. Brewer finally do begin to arrive at Rice in the 1970s, what do their paths to the university tell us abou…
 
A video featuring an early Black faculty member walking in the academic quadrangle in 1972, and a series of events surrounding the unveiling of the William Marsh Rice statue in 1930, leads to a conversation about race, space, and belonging at Rice.Rice University's Task Force on Slavery, Segregation and Racial Injustice tarafından oluşturuldu
 
The Covid-19 pandemic caused huge economic disruption for millions of Americans. Unemployment rose sharply. Many businesses – especially small ones – struggled to stay open. Yet consumer credit scores actually increased during the course of the pandemic. What explains this surprising result? What role did reduced household consumption play? How did…
 
On May 3, a subway collapse in Mexico City killed 26 people and injured scores of others. The collapse is a heart-breaking human tragedy. But it also raises important questions about Mexico’s approach to infrastructure. What does this disaster tell us about what could be called the culture of maintenance in Mexico? How is it related to budgetary au…
 
On this episode, we examine a property deed from 1848 that highlights William Marsh Rice’s role in the enslavement of a woman named Ellen and her infant daughter, Louisa. Then we turn to a report by Rice students, faculty, and staff from 1990 that reflects on the state of Black life at the University as the twentieth century came to a close.…
 
In mid-April, President Joe Biden announced that there would be a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the symbolic date of September 11, 2021—twenty years after the 9/11 terror attacks. Though troop numbers in Afghanistan have declined in recent years, a complete withdrawal of the type described by Biden would be a notable new develo…
 
Growing numbers of undocumented migrants crossing the Mexico-U.S. border have raised a political firestorm in the United States, with some – particularly Republicans – calling the situation a “crisis.” Polling suggests that handling migration may be a weak spot in President Biden’s otherwise popular agenda. What are the numbers when it comes to und…
 
For the past six years, Yemen has been the center of a heated armed conflict between its Saudi and UAE-backed government and the rebel group “Ansar Allah,” more commonly known as the Houthis, leading to countless deaths and internally displaced persons. On top of the global challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, Yemenis are continuing to face dire hea…
 
“The times they are a’changing,” however slowly, when it comes to drug policy in the United States. Across the nation, states and municipalities are reassessing often punitive laws governing the use of illicit substances. What has been the human cost of the “war on drugs?” How has it impacted disadvantaged communities? What has been the effect of t…
 
In mid-February, a cold weather storm swept much of the United States. In Texas, the result was catastrophic, as skyrocketing electrical demand and plummeting supply led to massive, protracted blackouts across the state. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates most of the state’s electrical grid, has received an avalanche …
 
In May 2020, Dr. Caleb McDaniel, the Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of Humanities and current chair of Rice University's History Department, became the first Rice professor to be honored with the Pulitzer Prize. His award-winning book, Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, chronicles the life of Henrietta Wood, a f…
 
President Joe Biden is committed to reversing his predecessor’s restrictive, often punitive approach to immigration. In general terms, how will his policies differ from those of President Donald Trump? What has Biden already done on the immigration front? What are likely new initiatives, particularly as they affect migration from Mexico and Central…
 
The Covid-19 pandemic in the United States has led to a sharp increase in cashless transactions. This is part of a broader trend toward electronic payments. What are the advantages of cashless transactions? How will their rise affect poorer households, particularly those which do not use banks and/or rely on alternative financial services? What sec…
 
We are at a dramatic moment in the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States. Even as infections and deaths reach horrifying highs, vaccines are becoming available. What is Operation Warp Speed? How successful has it been in developing vaccines? What vaccines are currently available in the United States? What others are in the pipeline? How is the rol…
 
U.S. Federal debt, already at the highest level since World War II, has grown dramatically as Washington has expended huge sums to address plummeting output caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. How sustainable is this debt? What explains the long-term trend toward lower interest rates? What was the picture of wealth and income inequality in the United …
 
On this episode, we examine the contested history of two holidays once observed on the Rice campus. One, announced in 1920, was organized to commemorate Confederate veterans, while the other, designed to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., was planned by leaders of the Black Student Union in 1972.Rice University's Task Force on Slavery, Segregation and Racial Injustice tarafından oluşturuldu
 
Covid-19 has reached global pandemic proportions and has altered our way of life significantly. Starting in China and spreading all across the world, it has exacted an enormous human and financial price. The United States is now facing a health and economic crisis without close parallel in our history. What is the current status of the pandemic in …
 
Managing its relationship with China is surely the most acute geopolitical challenge facing the United States today. How should we assess the Chinese threat to US interests? Is it likely to increase or decrease with time? What can the United States, by itself and in concert with allies, do to counter China’s play for hegemony in Asia and the Pacifi…
 
On this episode, an editorial in the Rice Thresher about the Office of Minority Affairs sparks a windfall of letters that give insight into the Black student experience at Rice and much more. And an interview in the Houston Chronicle with Rice President Kenneth Pitzer sends us back to the Woodson Research Center for a closer look at the Pitzer Pape…
 
Global oil markets are still reeling from the disruptions of the spring – especially the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. How are oil markets handling this turbulence? What is the situation with other energy sources, such as natural gas, coal, and renewables? What impact will a Biden Administration have on the US energy sector? And what can much-maligned…
 
On November 3, Americans elected Joe Biden president by substantial margins in the Electoral College and popular vote. But the political picture elsewhere is less clear. The Senate still hangs in the balance with all eyes on two January runoffs in Georgia. Elsewhere down-ballot, Republicans held their own. Texas Democrats, in particular, had a disa…
 
On this episode, we discuss two letters to presidents, written one hundred years apart. One letter, written by William Marsh Rice to U.S. President Andrew Johnson, raises questions about Rice’s loyalties during the Civil War. The other, written by Raymond Johnson to Rice president Kenneth Pitzer in 1965, opens a window onto the experience of the fi…
 
Education may be a great equalizer when it comes to economic mobility. But reality falls far short of this ideal. One reason: factors outside the school system can have a decisive impact on academic performance, particularly for students from poor households. The Baker Institute recently undertook an in-depth analysis of 80 Harris County schools to…
 
On this episode, we are joined by four special guests---two former and two current Rice students---to talk about four documents: a page from a business ledger belonging to William Marsh Rice; a survey of the courses that have been offered at Rice over time; and two application essays---one by Linda Faye Williams, a trailblazing Black student and sc…
 
On November 3, Americans are going to the polls for one of the most potentially consequential elections of our lifetimes. While much of media focus has been on the contest between President Trump and former Vice President Biden, voters will be casting their ballots in thousands of other races. How will Texans be voting next week? Can Joe Biden actu…
 
On this episode, we have an iconic photograph of Jacqueline McCauley, the first African American woman to enroll at Rice University. We also have a legal document that reveals one of the ways that William Marsh Rice, the university's founder, profited from slavery, and that also opens a window onto the culture and identities of African people forci…
 
The May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody triggered one of the most massive series of protests in U.S. history. Around the country, hundreds of thousands have marched for police accountability, law enforcement reform, and a dismantling of systemic racism in the nation writ large. What is the role of the war on drugs in deadly interactions …
 
At a September 15 White House ceremony, Israel signed agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize bilateral relations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain represented their respective countries. President Donald Trump – whose administration helped broker the deal – presided at the…
 
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