How Friendship Fights Authoritarianism with Alissa Wilkinson

Senior culture reporter for Vox.com, Alissa Wilkinson, talks art, algorithms, and how Hannah Arendt said friendship fights authoritarianism.
How Friendship Fights Authoritarianism with Alissa Wilkinson
Published February 21, 2023
Social media has warped what it means to be in relationship to other people, their experiences, and their opinions. Algorithms force-feed us predictable content based on what they predict we will consume. How do we break the cycle—and rethink what division means in 2023?
Can disagreements, governed by shared values, actually save us—and democracy, itself?
Alissa Wilkinson is a senior culture reporter and critic at Vox.com, where she writes about film, TV, and culture. She is also an associate professor of English and humanities at The King’s College in New York City, where, since 2009, she has taught courses on criticism, cinema studies, literature, and cultural theory. She joins us to discuss her book, Salty: Lessons on Eating, Drinking, and Living from Revolutionary Women, which features the biographies of nine, 20th-century figures who challenged norms and defied conventional wisdom, including Ella Baker, Alice B. Toklas, Hannah Arendt, Octavia Butler, Agnes Varda, Elizabeth David, Edna Lewis, Maya Angelou, and Laurie Colwin. In this discussion, Alissa shares how one figure in her book, Hannah Arendt, viewed friendship and disagreement as an anti-authoritarian tool that was necessary for a healthy and functioning democracy. She shares how culture has changed since she started writing in 2009, and how we might challenge ourselves outside of Netflix-driven comfort zones by dining solo. Please rate and review our show on Apple Podcasts and Spotify to help other listeners find our work! Visit TheNewStory.is to listen to our full catalog of interviews. Support our partners and affiliates for exclusive discounts:
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