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Berkeley Talks

Design anthropologist Dori Tunstall on decolonizing design

Ep. 12

Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall is a design anthropologist, public intellectual and design advocate who works at the intersections of critical theory, culture and design. As dean of design at Ontario College of Art and Design University in Canada, she is the first Black woman dean of a faculty of design. She leads the Cultures-Based Innovation Initiative, focused on using old ways of knowing to drive innovation processes that directly benefit communities.

Tunstall's talk, given on Jan. 25, 2019, is part of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation's design conversations.

Each semester, the institute invites a distinguished group of designers and thinkers to speak as part of Jacobs Design Conversations, Design Field Notes and its other public programs. This semester, these programs engage questions of inclusion, accessibility and justice under the title, For Whom? By Whom?: Designs for Belonging.

Read a Q&A with Tunstall and the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation's Robert Kett.

Learn more about upcoming events in the series.

Listen and read a transcript on Berkeley News.

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  • 194. Sociologist Harry Edwards on sport in society (revisiting)

    01:13:19
    In Berkeley Talks episode 194, Harry Edwards, a renowned sports activist and UC Berkeley professor emeritus of sociology, discusses the intersections of race and sport, the history of predatory inclusion, athletes’ struggle for definitional authority and the power of sport to change society.“You can change society by changing people’s perceptions and understandings of the games they play,” Edwards said at a March 2022 campus event sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (ISSI) and Cal Athletics.“I’m saying whether it’s race relations in America, whether it’s relations between the United States and the Soviet Union and China, whether it’s what’s going on in South Africa with apartheid, you can leverage sport to change people’s perceptions and understandings of those relationships. Change society by changing people’s perceptions and understandings of the games they play.”This episode is from our archive. It first ran on Berkeley Talks in April 2022.Listen to the episode and read the transcript on Berkeley News (news.berkeley.edu/podcasts).Music by Blue Dot Sessions.Photo courtesy of Harry Edwards.
  • 193. Sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson on the need for 'angry optimism'

    01:25:38
    In Berkeley Talks episode 193, science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson discusses climate change, politics and the need for "angry optimism." Robinson is the author of 22 novels, including his most recent, The Ministry for the Future, published in 2020.  "It's a fighting position — angry optimism — and you need it," he said at a UC Berkeley event in January, in conversation with English professor Katherine Snyder and Daniel Aldana Cohen, assistant professor of sociology and director of the Sociospatial Climate Collaborative. "A couple of days ago, somebody talked about The Ministry for the Future being a pedagogy of hope. And I was thinking, 'Oh, that's nice.' Not just, why should you hope? Because you need to — to stay alive and all these other reasons you need hope. But also, it's strategically useful.  "And then, how to hope in the situation that we're in, which is filled with dread and filled with people fighting with wicked strength to wreck the earth and human chances in it.  "The political battle is not going to be everybody coming together and going, 'Oh, my gosh, we’ve got a problem, let's solve it.' It's more like some people saying, 'Oh, my gosh, we’ve got a problem that we have to solve,' and other people going, 'No, we don’t have a problem.'        "They'll say that right down over the cliff. They'll be falling to their death going, 'No problem here because I'm going to heaven and you're not,' or whatever. Nobody will ever admit they're wrong. They will die. And then the next generation will have a new structure of feeling."In the meantime, how to keep your hope going, how to put it to use … I think all novels have a little of this, and then Ministry is just more explicit." This Jan. 24 event was sponsored by the Berkeley Climate Change Network and co-sponsored by Berkeley Journalism; Berkeley Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry, home to the Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative; and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.Read the transcript and listen to the episode on Berkeley News (news.berkeley.edu).Music by Blue Dot Sessions.Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr.
  • 192. The future of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

    58:03
    In Berkeley Talks episode 192, Sarah Deer, a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma and a University Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas, discusses the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a federal law passed in 1978 that aims to keep Native children in their families and communities. She also talks about the recent Supreme Court decision in Brackeen v. Haaland, which upheld ICWA, and explores the future of ICWA. “I want to begin by just talking about why ICWA was passed, and it has to do with a very tragic history in the United States of removing children from Native homes,” said Deer, chief justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals, at a UC Berkeley event in December 2023. “This issue really became a profound harm to Native people during the boarding school era, in which the policy of the federal government was to remove children from their Native homes and send them to boarding schools, sometimes thousands of miles away. At these boarding schools, the attempt was to civilize — so-called 'civilize' — Indian children, which was really a euphemism for destroying their identity.” Later in the talk, she continued, “We still see a need for ICWA because we still see a higher percentage of Native children being placed in out-of-home care. There may be a variety of reasons for that, but it took over a century to damage the relationship between Native children and their communities.”This Dec. 8 event was sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, part of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. Its co-sponsors were the Center for Race and Gender; Native American Student Development; and the Native American Law Student Association.Listen to the episode and read the transcript on Berkeley News (news.berkeley.edu/podcasts).Music by Blue Dot Sessions.Photo courtesy of Sarah Deer.
  • 191. Justice Sonia Sotomayor on fighting the good fight

    01:02:59
    In Berkeley Talks episode 191, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor talks about getting up every morning ready to fight for what she believes in, how she finds ways to work with justices whose views differ wildly from her own and what she looks for in a clerk (hint: It’s not only brilliance).“I’m in my 44th year as a law professor,” said Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinksy, who was in discussion with Sotomayor for UC Berkeley’s annual Herma Hill Kay Memorial Lecture on Jan. 29. “I’m teaching constitutional law this semester. I have to say that I’ve never seen some of my students as discouraged as they are now about the Supreme Court and about the Constitution. What should I say to them?”“What choice do you have but to fight the good fight?” Sotomayor responded. “You can’t throw up your hands and walk away. That’s not a choice. That’s abdication. That’s giving up.“How can you look at the heroes like Thurgood Marshall, like the freedom fighters, who went to lunch counters and got beat up? To men like John Lewis, who marched over a bridge and had his head busted open? How can you look at those people and say that you’re entitled to despair? You’re not. I’m not.“Change never happens on its own. Change happens because people care about moving the arc of the universe towards justice. And it can take time, and it can take frustration.”Listen to the episode and read a transcript on Berkeley News (news.berkeley.edu).Photo by Philip Pacheco.Music by Blue Dot Sessions.Read more about Sotomayor’s lecture on Berkeley Law’s website.
  • 190. Why so many recent uprisings have backfired

    01:11:55
    In Berkeley Talks episode 190, journalist and UC Berkeley alumnus Vincent Bevins discusses mass protests around the world — from Egypt to Hong Kong to Brazil — and how each had a different outcome than what protesters asked for. “From 2010 to 2020, more people participated in mass protests than at any other point in human history,” said Bevins, author of the 2023 book, If We Burn. “These protests were often experienced as a euphoric victory at the moment of the eruption. But then, after a lot of the foreign journalists, like me, have left (the countries), and we look at what actually happened, the outcome was very different than what was originally expected or indeed hoped for.”For his book, Bevins interviewed more than 200 people in 12 countries, all of whom were a part of the uprisings, whether they put the protests together or responded to them as government officials or lived through them. In closing, he said, “When you properly want to restructure the system or make real problems for powerful forces, the counterattack is going to come.”And, according to thinkers from around the world Bevins spoke to, including Berkeley sociology Professor Cihan Tuğal, instead of putting together an organization during an uprising, protesters should build in the off-season.“Build real structures that can allow human beings that want to reshape the world in the same way to act together in the moment of the uprising," said Bevins, "because it’s very difficult to put together an organization in the uprising.”This talk, recorded in October 2023, was moderated by Daniel Aldana Cohen, assistant professor of sociology at Berkeley and director of the Socio-Spacial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2. The event was co-sponsored by (SC)2 and Social Science Matrix.Listen to the episode and read the transcript on Berkeley News (news.berkeley.edu).Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy via Flickr.Music by Blue Dot Sessions.
  • 189. American democracy and the crisis of majority rule

    01:09:35
    In Berkeley Talks episode 189, Harvard Professor Daniel Ziblatt discusses how Americans need to do the work of making the U.S. political system more democratic through reforms that ensure that electoral majorities can actually govern.“If you're going to have a first-past-the-post electoral system, as we have in the United States, or one side wins and another side loses, then those with the most votes should prevail over those with fewer votes in determining who holds political office,” said Ziblatt, co-author How Democracies Die and Tyranny of the Minority. “No theory of liberal democracy can justify any other outcome. Put differently, office holding should reflect how voters vote.” This Dec. 6, 2023 talk was presented by UC Berkeley Graduate Lectures as part of the Jefferson Memorial Lecture series.Listen to the episode and read the transcript on Berkeley News (news.berkeley.edu/podcasts).Photo by Manny Becerra via Unsplash.Music by Blue Dot Sessions.
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    01:00:48
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  • 187. Protecting survivors of sex trafficking

    01:36:50
    In Berkeley Talks episode 187, Bernice Yeung, managing editor of Berkeley Journalism’s Investigative Reporting Program; public health journalist Isabella Gomes; and gender-based violence expert Holly Joshi discuss how sex trafficking can appear invisible if we don’t know where to look, and how doctors, nurses, police officers, hotel operators — all of us — can do more to protect victims and survivors. “If we're just looking at sex trafficking as the issue, then it's a bipartisan issue,” said Joshi, director of the GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice in San Francisco, and a nationally recognized expert on gender-based violence prevention and intervention. “But if we're really looking at the causes and the historical oppression and the ongoing systemic oppression of women and girls and immigrants and failure to create safe cities for immigrants and anti-Blackness, all of those things equal a failure to protect survivors of sex trafficking.“So … yes, it's a bipartisan issue if we're just talking about sex trafficking legislation, specifically. But we're not. We're really talking about American politics and the historic lockout of entire groups of people that is continuing to go on and is creating vulnerable victims in this country.” This Nov. 8 discussion, co-presented by the Pulitzer Center and Berkeley Journalism, was part of a forum focused on gender. It also included a keynote by New York Times journalist Michelle Goldberg on democracy and authoritarianism in the context of gender, race and identity in the U.S.Learn more about the speakers and watch a video of the conversation on Berkeley Journalism’s website.Listen to the episode and read the transcript on Berkeley News (news.berkeley.edu).Music by Blue Dot Sessions.
  • 186. The transformative potential of AI in academia

    01:12:01
    In Berkeley Talks episode 186, a panel of UC Berkeley scholars from the College of Letters and Science discusses the transformative potential of artificial intelligence in academia — and the questions and challenges it requires universities and other social institutions to confront. "When it comes to human-specific problems, we often want fair, equitable, unbiased answers," said Keanan Joyner, an assistant professor of psychology. "But the data that we feed into the training set often is not that. And so, we are asking AI to produce something that it was never trained on, and that can be very problematic. We have to think very carefully about how we're training our AI models and whether they'll be useful or not. I think there's so many awesome uses of AI, and I'm going to use it in my own work, and it's going to definitely infuse psychological science and social sciences more broadly." Panelists of the October 2023 Berkeley event included:Alex Saum-Pascual, associate professor of contemporary Spanish literatureKeanan Joyner, assistant professor of psychologyJosh Bloom, professor of astronomyModerated by Marion Fourcade, professor of sociology and director of the Social Science MatrixThis discussion is part of the L&S Salon Series, which showcases the diversity and range of academic disciplines embedded across the five divisions in the College of Letters and Science.Listen to the episode and read the transcript on Berkeley News (news.berkeley.edu). UC Berkeley photo by Brandon Sánchez Mejia.Music by Blue Dot Sessions.