Episode #2: Professor Marcus Anthony Hunter

On first seeing a photograph of the Philadelphia Tenement Collapse: "Something happened here. It was devastating to see, but for me, it was generative. Oh my goodness this happened. " 

Black Citymakers: How The Philadelphia Negro Changed Urban America by Marcus Anthony Hunter (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Black Citymakers: How The Philadelphia Negro Changed Urban America by Marcus Anthony Hunter (Oxford University Press, 2013)

 

Recorded on the one year anniversary of Professor Hunter's first monograph  (Black Citymakers: How the Philadelphia Negro Changed Urban America), this discussion expands on Professor Hunter's history of Philadelphia to address figures as wide ranging as Zora Neale Hurston, Bob Marley, and James Baldwin. Still, this interview is grounded in Professor Hunter's explanation of his relationship to the city of Philadelphia and the lines and trajectories of the city's development throughout the twentieth century.

Beginning with a discussion of the cover of Black Citymakers, Professor Hunter expounds on the complicated institutional politics of cities and how one goes about reconstructing a history which was lived, but seems relegated to reside under the dusty papers of the library. With an ear to popular culture and a sustained engagement with the sociological work of scholars such as W.E.B. DuBois, this episode engages with the politics of ethnography. Professor Hunter provides a brilliant analysis of life in the 20th century and black life worlds, all the while recounting how he decided to pursue sociology and graduate school.

Note: This interview was recorded in February 2014 when Professor Hunter was an assistant professor of Sociology at Yale University. In the Fall of 2014 Professor Hunter began a new position as an assistant professor in Sociology at UCLA.

Listen below:

Artwork provided by Claire Schwartz.

 

 

Music in this episode from ccmixter.org (licensed by Creative Commons)

Introduction: "What it takes to be me" by Reiswerk 2014 -- Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Transition: "Aren't You Worried feat. The Spinwires" by Rey Izain 2014 -- Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Outro: "Funky_Blitz" by Stefan Kartenberg 2014 -- Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)