Podcast Relaunch! Carol Stabile and The Broadcast 41

On this new relaunch of the Books Aren’t Dead podcast, Dr. Carol Stabile is interviewed about her book The Broadcast 41: Women and the Anti-Communist Blacklist.

To learn more about Dr. Stabile, please see her website.
To submit to the podcast, please contact co-producers Robin Hershkowitz@bgsu.edu and Emily Edwards at eldward@bgsu.edu.
Books Aren’t Dead is a project of the Fembot Collective.
A transcript of the interview is below.

Carol Stabile Interview Transcript

Books Aren’t Dead

Emily Edwards (EE): Hi. My name is Emily Edwards and I’m the co-producer of Books Aren’t Dead. Books Aren’t Dead is a podcast about media, technology, and feminism. We interview authors, creators and makers. We’re relaunching Books Aren’t Dead, which is affiliated with the Fembot Collective and today we’re going to be talking to Dr. Carol Stabile. Dr. Carol Stabile is a Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Oregon. She’s also the co-founder of the Fembot Collective, which was founded in 2011. Her book, The Broadcast 41: Women and the Anti-Communist Blacklist, has recently been published with Goldsmith Press in October 2018. We will be talking with her about her book today.

EE: Hello, Carol.

Carol Stabile (CS): Hey, Emily. How are you this morning? How are you doing?

EE: I’m good. Thank you. AWell, I guess to get started, first of all, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to speak with us about your book, The Broadcast 41: Women and the Anti-Communist Blacklist. I really enjoyed reading it and I’m definitely excited to talk to you about the work today. To start things off, I would just like to ask, how did you initially become interested in this topic off the blacklist and female writers, producers, artists, and actors and the television industry?

CC: That’s a great question. And thanks for talking to me today about the book and about the project in general. I think that I started, you know, I’m kind of embarrassed to talk about how long ago I started thinking about this book. But I gave a conference paper a long time ago, and I was thinking a lot about family values in the news media, and I was thinking more and more about the ways in which conservative politicians and by conservative, I also include Bill Clinton was back in the Clinton era by the way, in which conservative politicians talked about family and family values in ways that were really distinct from the experiences of many, many Americans. So, I was really initially interested in a kind of conjuring act where they would talk about family values and traditional families. But whenever they used images of the family, it was from, television in the 1950s, and so I started thinking about how those images had been produced in the conditions in which they’ve been produced. I gave a conference paper, I think there were, like, five people who came. It was one of those, you know, the coveted 8 a.m. conference session. And, one of the people who was there said, “Wow, this is really interesting. You should turn this into an article.” And so I started looking at the 1950s, and thinking about who was writing those shows and the conditions in which they were writing them and that really led me directly to the blacklist, into thinking about that moment in the 1950s that is a supremely repressive moment in the history of a new medium, and the ways in which, you know, the blacklist structured, the parameters of what could be considered for content and how that contributed to a particular version of American identity and American family becoming hegemonic. So, that was, that’s the short version of the genesis.

EE: Yeah, I think I mean, when I was reading this book, I mean, I was not familiar with the blacklist in the television industry. All I had heard of the blacklist is related to Hollywood. So, I guess, when you were writing this like, why did you find that there was this absence of scholarship on the blacklist specifically related on the television industry and if so, why do you think that is?

CS: Well, I think you know the reasons for the absence in scholarship are multiple. First of all, television has always been a collaborative medium in ways that film hasn’t been understood to be a collaborative medium, even though I think that the both are collaborative in interesting and important ways. But you know, in terms of Hollywood, it’s been dominated by Auteur theory, right? And so, I think that, you know, the fact that there were individual writers, many of them men, directors and producers who were being targeted by the blacklist was a more compelling story. I think that the Hollywood 10 also you know, the kind of prominence of that case, you know, sort of ensured that that story would be told, and it would be remembered. But, you know, keep in mind, too, that television was a new industry in the 1950s. It was mostly located in New York City, you know, before they moved to Hollywood after the blacklist. And so, I think that it wasn’t as dramatic a story. That’s number one. I think number two is a devalued medium. So, it was mass culture, right? It’s opposed to film in Hollywood. So, it was seen as less aesthetically important or valuable. And I think the other thing that’s really important is that, the repression was so deep and so pervasive that the memory of that story was not kept alive in the industry itself. A lot of how we think about the history of television comes from television itself, telling stories about itself, creating a particular kind of thing. Michael Schudson calls it a tele-mythology. And so, because the blacklist was wiped so decisively from cultural memory, I think that that also contributed to the, you know, to the fact that that, you know, people weren’t thinking about writing about the blacklist. The third thing, you know, I’m just thinking about this now. I was talking to a scholar who had been working on the blacklist in the 1970s, Alan Muscle, and it was really interesting. I found him because I found his name again and again in the papers of women who had been blacklisted because he was writing to them because he was thinking about writing a book about red channels. And even in 1970, when I talked to him, he said, you know, this wasn’t a story that he could tell because it still felt like if he were to tell the story of the blacklist that he would be retaliated against. So, I think all those reasons meant that this wasn’t something that people paid a lot of attention to. The final thing is, I think it’s really, it’s much easier to analyze what appeared on screens and what’s readily available. But to do this kind of archival work, I think takes a lot more time. It’s something I could only do, for example, when I had tenure, and I was an established scholar and it’s a lot more expensive than analyzing the content that television actually produced.

EE: Going off of that, I’m very interested in, sort of like your research process studying the blacklist. Like, you know, that this is kind of like a politically hot thing to study or it was at certain times. Could you just speak to kind of any, like, your research process, doing this archival research, any kind of like challenges you encountered studying these governmental documents and also documents from the broadcast 41 themselves?

CS: Right, Right. Well, I think that, you know, my own process was, and my own method was one that was very processual in that it unfolded as I dug into the research. So, I started by thinking about the blacklist, and I was fortunate in a way that red channels, the report of communist influence on radio and television that was written by the American Business Consultants, I was lucky. I say that in scare quotes that that document was so important because it gave me a place to start. It gave me this list, which was really one of the first public lists of people who were being vilified as communists and fellow travellers. So, I started with that list of people, and it quickly became obvious to me that there were 151 people on that list, 44 of them were women, which is a really high percentage in an industry that was male dominated. So I started with those 44 women and began by tracking down the papers of of those of the women that had been archived, and so, you know, I began this very long, kind of laborious process of locating this paper, getting funding to go visit the papers and to read through them. And then, you know, almost independently of this, I started thinking about the links between the American Business Consultants in the FBI because you’ve read the book. So, you know that one of the reasons that the FBI was originally, you know, very angry at the American Business Consultants about was that they believe that they had stolen files from the FBI to start their business. So, it’s really interesting the traffic between the FBI and anti-communist organizations, and so I thought, well, I wonder and I see if you know, some other people have already requested the files of the women that I was writing about. In the case of those where they hadn’t been requested, I submitted Freedom of Information Act requests, and access to those files really transformed my thinking about this because the degree of surveillance became apparent. FBI files are also repositories of ephemera of materials you can’t find anywhere else. So, I found some speeches by the women, I found publications of the women. I found all this kind of movement ephemera that again is really hard to locate. So, I think the third part of the project was just also trying to immerse myself in the work that the women had produced. And that was very, very time consuming as well, because I wanted to you know, to piece together this counterfactual history, I wanted to know what they were working on, thinking about, and reading about in the 1930s in the 1940s as a way to understand what they might have gone on to contribute, because I knew in some cases I could find unpublished scripts and other artifacts. But the record of what they had contributed that has been suppressed was also really important to the project. Does that help answer that?

EE: Yeah, definitely. I think that, you know, reading this book, you look at so many different actors, the FBI, the American Business Consultants, the broadcast 41. And it’s, really, it’s just amazing that you’ve been able to go through all these documents and to really not just analyse, but unearth, like you said, this counterfactual history, these unpublished scripts. Because I’m not, I’m not super familiar with the history of the blacklist, but to know that there were women writing about these progressive issues was really fascinating to me. As a reader, I was wondering if you could speak a little bit more about your decision to include this counterfactual history of television. You know, sort of how you, why you centralize that in your book, the significance of including a discussion of these unpublished works?

CS: Yeah, you know, the book was published after the 2016 election, in which many of these issues take on a new relevance and a new importance. And I was thinking as I was finishing the book about the #MeToo movement about the Hollywood Access tape, and about the fact that all these things have the sexism and racism in the industry, and media industries have histories that are really important, but they also have histories of resistance that are equally important. And I think that one of the things that these industries have been really successful at doing is suppressing the memory of resistance. So, we look at something like the #OscarsSoWhite and you know, that was, what, 2016 or 2015? And, you know, understanding that this has, you know, a nearly 100-year history is really relevant, really important. That there were people in Hollywood who were fighting against racist stereotypes in the 1930s and 1940s is really crucial, because otherwise we feel like we come to these struggles without a history, without a memory of the struggles that have come before us, and in doing that, we don’t honour, you know, the people whose resistance has, you know, kind of fueled some changes, right? Like, things might not be perfect in the television industry today, but I think we can agree that in terms of representations of race, there’s been a transformation, and my point in the book is that there could have been a transformation 70 years ago if the forces of white supremacy hadn’t been so powerful and hadn’t succeeded in eradicating all of the people who are poised to do that work from the industry. So, for me, documenting the fact that there had been people who were making what we would call today kind of intersectional content, right? Who dreamed of creating programming that was progressive, that was feminist, it was anti-racist, that’s really important, as was the history of the efforts to suppress that.

EE: Yeah, I know in your work, you connect the sort of, the rise of the American Business Consultants and the FBI, the rise of their power in the television industry directly to current patterns of conservative media programming as idyllic, as laying the groundwork for an explanation of of why television has been so male dominated, so white for so long. And so, you know, your book has such incredible relevance, I think to like the current cultural political moment, and I was wondering, if you could speak a little bit, to why it’s important for Media Studies scholars, for Feminist scholars to examine older media forms. You know, because I think I get caught up in looking at oh Twitter or Instagram, you know, there’s all these things going on. But, you know, the television industry in the 1950s there is a very clear history. So, I was just wondering if you could speak about that.

CS: Yeah, you know, I’ve always found the moments when new media get introduced to be really important moments for studying the history of struggle because they think went with the introduction of new media on, there are a lot of people who are kind of hopeful that the new media, will, if not resolve the problems of the past, at least provide opportunities for people who are excluded from those industries in the past. And so I think that that moment of television, you know, in the post-war era is this really important moment for seeing the kind of landscape of struggle and also because we’re you know, we have the better bit of living in 2019 just seeing how the particular configuration of institutional forces is successful in imposing their vision to the exclusion of a lot of others. Now, the question of the relevance today I was just thinking about this with Alex Jones in the big legal case against him right now and the terrible, terrible harassment of the families of the Sandy Hook victims. And I was thinking about the tolerance that’s allowed for white conservatives in media landscapes today that feels very reminiscent of what happened in the 1950s because everyone knew what these people were doing. You know, everyone knew it was it was totally unethical, most people knew that it was illegal. They were very well connected. They had the backing of, you know, they had the backing of organizations like, the American Legion. They had the backing of the FBI. They had the backing this whole array of conservative forces. So, it was really, really hard to fight them. I think that that’s also true today, but, with some important caveats, and that is that that the internet is much less easy to control than television was in the1950, right. It’s much more difficult to suppress rising voices of dissent in ways that the television seemed a kind of perfect medium of control in a lot of ways, because access to it was so limited.

EE: Yeah, and going off that, you kind of chronicle some of the tactics that the FBI would, particularly the American Business Consultants, use to harass and frighten the broadcast 41. Then you kind of trace the self-censorship, preventative censorship of television industry officials. And, you know, I was wondering if you could kind of explain sort of how these practices of boycotting, public harassment, rendered women particularly vulnerable, you know, more so than male progressives during this period.

CS: Yeah. You know, I think we see this, we see this with Twitter to right, the ways in which people perceive women and people of color. They understand them as targets for harassment and retaliation in ways that men aren’t perceived as vulnerable in the same ways. So, I think that there was this kind of general racialized engendered perception of vulnerability because their toehold in industries was very tenuous to begin with. So, I think in 1950, that was certainly true. I think that they were also very skillful in using people’s intimate relationships, to harass and intimidate them. And this speaks to the very, very different historical moment. So, in the case of, say, lesbians in broadcasting or magazine publishing, who are very much in the closet, you know, the FBI kind of knew that they had that over them and could use that to intimidate them because if they were outed, it effectively meant that, you know, they wouldn’t be able to work. Although, you know, there were places that, like theatre, where, queer women in particular continued to work after the blacklist. But that was one example of the FBI’s kind of hold over them. The other thing, you know, and I talk about this in the book is, you know, in 1950, you’re facing this powerful backlash against women in the industry anyway, and in society in general. And I think about all these women who had had incredible opportunities in the 1930s in the 1940s and who really thought after the war that this is their moment, right? They were at the top of their game. They had worked so hard to get to where they were. And then in 1950 that door just slammed shut. Because, first of all, a woman prioritizing a career over her family, is seen as unnatural. There’s this real push to force women and African Americans in particular back into kind of racialized and gendered roles in society. Yes, so think that all those things affect the vulnerable. The other thing with the women, when I was looking at a number of the women who were the first, the first victims of blacklisting, they were also married to powerful men, influential, progressive men. And so, they kind of knew that they would get more publicity, first of all, but also that women were really concerned about what would happen to their husbands and their families if they didn’t name names. If they didn’t back down, if they didn’t just in some cases go away.

EE: Going off of that, you know this notion of G-Man masculinity is is very central in your text. I was wondering if you could just talk a little bit more about G-Man masculinity and any kind of connections you see to the G-Man masculinity of, like, this post war 1950s period, to right now, and of toxic masculinity that we see today.

CS: Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, with G-Man masculinity, I was really trying to flag a particular historical formation that was created in the 1930s, in the 1940s and then became really culturally dominant in the 1950s. You know, as they say in the book, it privileged whiteness, it privileged being native born, it privileged aggression, it privileged anti-intellectualism. You know, all those all those things now, the connection between the alt-right and G-Man masculinity, I think is really interesting. And I could explain it best by talking a little bit about about Donald Trump, because Donald Trump is very much a product of that historical moment in that form of masculinity. It’s really hard for me not to think every day about the fact that this was a man who has been mentored by Roy Cohn, who was, you know, who worked for Joe McCarthy, who played a very important role in the blacklist. And it’s a form of masculinity that traffics in fear-based politics, it traffics in white nationalism. It depends on a particular view of women and women’s role in society, which you can see in the revelations about the Hollywood Access tape and Donald Trump’s affairs with Stormy Daniels and other people. I mean, it’s just it’s really that that link between those forms of masculinity that always also see themselves is under attack, you know, by all these others, and I would say that you know the kinds of politics that they both result in, like you think about the wall, right? And Donald Trump’s consistent drumming up of fear of the Migrant Caravan. I mean, that sort of anti-immigration rhetoric and those sorts of fear-based politics really flourished in the 1950s, as did this, you know, in the 1950s, anti-communists called them, they called it “factual information” to distinguish it from progressive propaganda, which came, of course, directly from the Soviet Union. But this emphasis on factual information seems particularly relevant today, too, that factual information was whatever reality you were invoking, whereas anything that challenged that version of reality was again, you know, some kind of conspiracy. In the 1950s, it was Communist in the 19 you know, in the 2000s, it’s, you know, it’s the liberal media, right?

EE: Yeah, going off that. You know that, like the American Business Consultants and the FBI are, they’re very masculine. But you also point to at certain times how white conservative women were involved in sort of orchestrating audience boycotts or they were involved tangentially with the American Business Consultants. Did you see white conservative women were, they were playing a role within this historical period? You know, with this kind of historical period, you know, within the conservative kind of landscape or was it G-Man masculinity? Was it really mostly just male-centered? Did white women play a role in the repression and the minimization of progressive voices?

CS: I’m glad you asked that because I had a whole chapter that was just on the role played by conservative white women that I ended up scrapping, but white women played a really important role, as foot soldiers in these anti-communist battles. I hint at it and talk about it a little bit in the book. But if you take the case of Elizabeth Dilling, who was a white supremacist based in Chicago, she published some of the first blacklists in the 1930s in the 1940s that were lists of people and government people in various industries. People in education, all of whom she claimed, were members of the Communist Party or fellow travelers. And she had an organization called the Patriotic Research Bureau out of Chicago that really fed a lot of information to both the American Legion and the FBI. So, it was kind of a non-profit research bureau, where they kept track of references, it kept track with appearances and lecturers. They kept their list and they share these lists with other anti-communist organizations. They were also really active in organizing boycotts. So, for example, Lawrence Johnson, who was a grocery store owner in Syracuse, New York, who played an important role in the broadcast blacklist, his daughter organized a wide range of boycotts of performers of television shows. She did a lot of speaking appearances around the country, appealing on the part of, you know, on the part of kind of white native-born maternity in arguing for the need to protect the nation from the incursions of immigrants and people of color. Another person is Hester McCulloch, and I talk about her a good bit in the book. She organized people in Greenwich, Connecticut to prevent two performers from appearing at a concert in town on and got a lot of publicity. I think that’s the other thing is that they used women you know, to garner publicity because that the figures of of white women speaking out on behalf of a white nation proved very newsworthy. So, women played such an important and unacknowledged role in the anti-communist movement. I wish I’d been able to say more about it in the book, because it certainly it certainly has its corollaries today, too. If you look at some of the apologists for, you know, the Trump administration’s anti-immigration and racist policies.

EE: And, you know, comparatively, the broadcast 41 obviously had a different vision of America and a different vision of the nation, as an intersectional progressive sort of a diverse community. And I was wondering, obviously you know, you trace these counterfactual histories; these unpublished scripts, you know, this different media content that had a different idea of the nation. Who do you think is, I guess, to blame for the destruction of this vision? Do you think that if the broadcast 41 had stronger institutional support in the television industry where they worked among, like CBS, for example, that these media programs would have gone to air? Or do you see this as a historical period, as this was unfortunate, but inevitable that this vision would not be broadcast?

CS: Well, that’s a great question. You know, one of the things that was so interesting for me looking at this period is that you know, where we always think in political economic terms, that the industry is going to go in the direction of what makes them money, and I think in the early days of the blacklist, people in the industry really didn’t want to embrace the blacklist. They knew it would cost them good ideas. They knew it would cost the money. They had established performers who were making them a lot of money and who were really, really profitable. But they had to worry about their bottom line. And I think in the case of CBS, anti-Semitism also probably played a role. I don’t talk about this in the book, but I’ve been doing some new research on the FBI’s Common-Phil Program. Their investigation of communist infiltration of radio and television. But people like William Paley, who is the head of CBS, they thought he was a communist. I mean, from the perspective of the FBI, it’s a corporate head of CBS who was considered communist, so I think those people were really scared. I think they were scared both for themselves personally, but also for the bottom line and they knew that they couldn’t fight the FBI. So, I think for the networks at least, you know, they had to be induced to embrace the blacklist and they had to be persuaded to embrace the blacklist because initially they didn’t want to do that. I think the same was true. Cynthia Meyers does great research on the blacklist in advertising. And I think, you know, I think in advertising, they were quicker to concede to the blacklist because they were afraid of boycotts. They were panicked. I mean, don’t forget to it’s the beginning of the Korean War. So, they’re really concerned about about their brands and about corporate sponsors looking like they weren’t fully anti-communist. So, I think that there was a lot going on institutionally. There were some examples where people tried to stand up, but they weren’t successful. And I think that the industry was also looking to a series of lawsuits to see what would happen to some writers who brought a lawsuit against red channels. It proved unsuccessful. John Henry Faulk, who is a TV personality, filed a lawsuit, but it took it took eight years for him to win it, and at that point the blacklist had become institutionalized. So, I think that I think it was a combination of, of fear and also cowardice, because I think in the cases where they did stand up to the blacklist, there were no repercussions. But I think again people were so panicked that they just made those concessions. The other thing is that, you know, from the perspective the industry, many of these women were just troublemakers, right? I mean, they questioned sexism and racism. They fought over representation. They fought over working conditions. So, I think that there was also this sense on the part of the industry itself that, you know, the whistle blowers were the problem, which is a you know, a kind of constant, right. Instead of saying, oh, you know, this person has been complaining. Maybe we should fix it. You turn the person who’s complaining into the source of the problem and eliminate them. So, I think that there may have also been a collective sigh of relief that some of these women who, you know, were fighting against racist representations. Some of these women who are fighting against the color line that was being imposed in television that was just easier for them to go away.

EE: And I guess moving to kind of like the role in the place of the audience in this. You note that the audience boycotts were often staged, that it wasn’t necessarily that audiences were pressuring the industry to get rid of progressive women during this period. And so, I wonder if you could just speak a little bit about, like the role of the audience during this period. And if you think that the audience now in like the current contemporary moment has more of has more of a voice within the media production process?

CS: Well, and I hope that my answer to this encourages people to do the research that would help us better understand audiences and you know in broadcasting you know from the twenties onward. I think in the places where audiences could register their frustrations, they did. I don’t think that people in the 1930s, in the 1940s, you know, kind of willingly submitted to the representations on their screens, and I think one of the ways in which women were really successful in radio in particular was by listening to women audiences and respecting them and not condescending to them. I think that that’s one, you know Elaine Carrington, who is kind of, you know, one of the originators of the soap opera, Gertrude Berg, also Agnes Nixon, who comes along later. All of these people listen to women. They receive thousands and thousands of letters from women. I found these in, Gertrude Berg’s papers are in Syracuse, New York, and there are thousands and thousands of fan letters from audience members who were really defying the industry logic. At that point in time, there’s a kind of blackout on representations of Jews in the 1930s. And here’s Gertrude Berg, who’s broadcasting a Seder. Right, who’s talking about, you know, Jewish immigrant life in America, and people love it, people write from all over the country to say thank you so much for, you know, for teaching us about different cultures. Thank you so much for representing our culture, but I think that the industry preferred to impose its own vision of what viewers wanted on audiences that they spoke for. And so, all the ways in which people registered frustration and said, you know, look, I really loved that show, I really love this show. Or, you know, all the examples that go against the kind of gendered racialized logic of industries. The example I given the book, which I think is important, one is Margaret Webster’s production Othello 1943 which she has to self-finance because it stars Paul Robeson and Jose Ferrer in Othello, and people said, no one’s gonna come see that, no one wants to see a black man in the lead role of Othello and she produced it and it still holds the record for the most performances of a Shakespeare play on Broadway. So I think that they were doing all these things and they were challenging, you know, they were challenging the industry logic of audiences, but audiences didn’t have the ability to register, you know, their dislike or their criticism in the ways that they have today, which is one of the things I think is really interesting .

EE: I have kind of like a two-part sort of final question to wrap things up, if that’s okay?

CS: Sure.

EE: So, you’ve talked a little bit about this throughout our conversation today, like how we connect the blacklist phenomenon of the 1950s to the current state of television and broadcast media. I was just wondering if you had any final thoughts on the connection between media industries today and sexism and racism, transphobia, homophobia, etcetera towards the blacklist during the 1950s? And then on a more positive note, knowing these histories of resistance off the broadcast 41, what we should take from their stories as scholars and also media producers ourselves?

CS: Yeah, I think that for me, the most important lesson right now is about the history of struggle and the need for continued struggle, I think I mentioned before. Television is really way more interesting today. You know that people talk about the golden age of television as is if it was in the 1950s, which I just think it is ridiculous. This really seems to me to be the golden age of television; however, it’s still haunted by these patterns from the past. And so, it’s hard for me not to look at police procedurals and shake my head or to think with season one of the True Detective, for example, really, do you have to start this show with a sexualized murder of a white woman? Right, how lazy is that? And how hackneyed a cliché is that? And can’t we think, can’t we be more imaginative about reinventing genres that have their roots in a kind of G-Man masculinity? I think it’s worse in Hollywood, you know, it’s worse in two levels, it’s worse in terms of representations of women and people of color. And it’s also still really awful in terms of who’s making those representations. And that’s the one thing I haven’t really talked about, that really runs throughout the book is that it’s really important to have lots of different perspectives represented in the making of media, and that’s, you know, the tragedy of the blacklist is it eliminates, you know, those different perspectives and elevates one to the exclusion of all the others. I feel like you know, that’s still true of Hollywood. The other thing that the book really made me think about it, you know, I think, continues to be a struggle today is, sexism and racism in media industries, right, and that the #MeToo movement really has driven that home. It’s not that, you know, any of this is new, these are behaviours and patterns that are baked into the industry. And we need to know the history of those to have a sense of, you know, the challenges of a struggle and the need to keep pushing the industry and trying to hold it accountable to those institutionalized routines and behaviours. The other thing I think about is it, you know, I think media industries and how we think and teach about media industries, I think we need to have a #MeToo moment for those. I keep thinking about, you know, the forms of genius that are still are elevated and how we talk about the history of film and the history of television. Think about Alfred Hitchcock, right? Or Woody Allen or people like that. You can’t tell me that their perspectives, that their misogyny isn’t part of the media that they produced. And so, I want to be able to talk about that. I want to be able to talk about the cannons in film history, in media history, is also being deeply misogynistic and racist. I think that that work, that’s the work that’s the work of your generation, maybe right, is to, is to think about, you know, about how we teach that history and whose voices get included in those histories. So, those were a couple of things. The other thing I would say. And this is something that grew out of the project for me, is just thinking about how to incorporate people who resisted into how we teach the history of media and even how we teach about the contemporary moment is really important. It isn’t as if intersectionality is something that was just invented, you know, in the 1990s, at some point, people were struggling over these complex representations in the 30s and 40s, and so being able to provide those examples, I think it’s really, really important. And then I’ll just stop with one last, last point about this because I get a little too excited. And that is that I learned in writing about these women that it was really important for them to locate people who had struggled before them. So, Shirley Graham, who I haven’t talked about, who’s just amazing, wrote a series of adolescent novels in the 1940s and into the 1950s when she stopped being able to publish them because of the blacklist. And the novels were about representing the contributions of people of color to American history. And it was really important to her, for children in particular of all races to have access to those histories. And there are other examples of people who are really interested in those who’d struggled before them because it makes you feel not alone right? It makes you understand that you’re not the first person to fight against the structures, but that you’re part of history of resistance. And I think that that can be inspiring and sustaining to people who struggle today.

EE: Yeah, well, I just wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. I really enjoyed reading your book, and I learned so much about about the television industry and just also like histories of feminism and media. So, I just want to thank you for writing the book, covering these histories, and thank you for talking with us about the book today. It was really nice to connect with you.

CS: Thank you both for taking the time to talk to me. I really enjoyed that. Those are great questions.

EE: Thank you for listening. If you’re interested in learning more about the Books Aren’t Dead podcast, please visit us at fembot.adanewmedia.org If you’re interested in becoming an interviewer or interested in getting interviewed about your own publication or book, please go to the website and fill out an application. And thank you for listening.

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