The following "Big Brains' podcast was published in UChicago News on January 6, 2022.
Prof. Jacqueline Stewart’s career has examined the histories of overlooked Black filmmakers and Black audiences. Last year, the University of Chicago film scholar Stewart won a prestigious MacArthur fellowship for “illuminating the contributions that overlooked Black filmmakers and communities of spectators have made to cinema’s development as an art form.”
Stewart also serves as the host of Silent Sunday Nights on Turner Classic Movies and is chief artistic and programming officer at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. On this episode, Stewart explores the history of Black cinema and explains how preservation and archiving are not neutral acts, but contribute to how we contextualize and understand Black history.
MacArthur fellowship for this Academy Museum film scholar brings shock and tears—Los Angeles Times
Chicago Born Film Scholar Awarded MacArthur Fellowship—WTTW
National Film Registry announces this year’s 25 inductees, including ‘Cooley High’ and other Chicago movies — as well as ‘Return of the Jedi’—Chicago Tribune
'Return of the Jedi,' 'Selena' and 'Sounder' added to National Film Registry—WBEZ
Transcript of Podcast:
Paul Rand: The history of American cinema is a reflection of American history itself.
Jacqueline Stewart: The moving image pervades our daily lives and has for decades, for generations.
Paul Rand: Movies are the shared space in which we tell our own stories back to ourselves, or try to envision new and better stories than the ones we’re actually living.
Jacqueline Stewart: Really thinking about how movies operate, not just as works of art, but also as a space of producing empathy.
Paul Rand: But who gets to control that space and who gets to occupy it? These are the questions that have shaped Jacqueline Stewart’s career, specifically when it comes to the histories of overlooked black filmmakers and black audiences.
Jacqueline Stewart: And over all these years, I can’t tell you the number of times that students have come up to me after a lecture or people who come to community based screenings that I’ve done, just mystified that they didn’t know this history. This has been part of a much longer problem of under narrating certain histories.
Paul Rand: Stewart is a professor of cinema studies at the University of Chicago. She’s also the host of Silent Sunday Nights on Turner Classic Movies and the Chief Artistic and Programming Officer at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. As if that weren’t enough, last year, she won a MacArthur Fellowship.
Jacqueline Stewart: What I was told is that the work that I’ve done to preserve the history of black cinema, to present it in a wide variety of ways is valuable. That really means a lot to me. Receiving the MacArthur really helped me to see the connections across the many different types of work that I’ve been doing.
Paul Rand: From the University of Chicago Podcast Network, this is Big Brains, a podcast about the pioneering research and the pivotal breakthroughs that are reshaping our world. On this episode, preserving the history of black cinema, I’m your host, Paul Rand. Jacqueline Stewart has been talking about movies for a very long time.
Jacqueline Stewart: I used to stay up late at night, watching movies with my Aunt Constance. She was born in 1921, so had these memories of going to see movies in the ‘20s, ‘30s, ‘40s. She knew all the stars and she used to just download all that information to me. We’d watch movies and there were commercial breaks.
Jacqueline Stewart: And during the commercials, we would have these conversations so I think that was a really early modeling of talking about movies. Watching them, but also having dialog about them. That just really meant a lot to me and I’m still doing that essentially to this day.
Paul Rand: When people talk about the history of black cinema, movies made by black creators, a lot of people start with Spike Lee in the ‘80s or the Blaxploitation films in the 1970s. But Stewart’s work has documented that the history of black cinema actually goes all the back to the early 1900s, during the heart of segregation.
Jacqueline Stewart: I have to say that I had the reaction when I learned about Oscar Micheaux, pioneering African American filmmaker, who made more than 40 films between 1918 and 1948. When I learned about Noble and George Johnson, who founded Lincoln Motion Picture Company in the 19 teens. When I learned about James and Eloyce Gist, they were kind of itinerant evangelists who made films that they would show along with their religious services in the ‘30s, that my reaction was why didn’t I know about these people? When Spike Lee came on the scene, it was so radical and he’s such a revolutionary filmmaker.
Jacqueline Stewart: He was not the first one. Even when I briefly sort of studied filmmaking, people would say, “Oh, you want to be Spike Lee?” It’s a wonderful connection. But to know that there had been generations of black filmmakers before him, it would just seem to me, I had been missing an essential component of my own cultural history. And it became really interesting to me to think about how our understanding of American film history, let’s say, is shifted when we think about a film like D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, alongside Oscar Micheaux’s Within Our Gates from 1919.
Jacqueline Stewart: But those films had not been preserved. They had not been studied. It completely reworks the ways that we understand the operations of silent film, that we think about narratives of victimization, like representational victimization, because it never was the case that black artists were not responding to their representation in mainstream media.
Paul Rand: And the representations of black people in the mainstream movies of this early period reflected the disturbing, overt racism of that period.
Jacqueline Stewart: Watermelon eating comedies of that era.
Paul Rand: Stewart’s cinema studies are unique in that they don’t only focus on black movie creators. She gives just as much attention to black audiences.
Jacqueline Stewart: Can we imagine black spectators taking that in? And then what kind of reaction would they have had? So to me, it’s a question of thinking about how the impact of these stereotypical sometimes quite viciously, racist representations. We often ponder how they impact white people, like how they faked perceptions of black people in a white imagination, but they’ve also had an impact on the black imagination. And for some, I think that it has meant turning away from these media.
Jacqueline Stewart: I really think that there have been ways that black audiences develop strategies for appreciating some components and rejecting others. There’s kind of an interacting that happens. I’ve called this reconstructive spectatorship, where you kind of pick and choose as a kind of engagement that recognizes the context in which these films are made, but still wants to have some pleasure in the social and the aesthetic dimensions of film.
Paul Rand: A clear example comes from one of Stewart’s favorite movies, It’s a Wonderful Life, which many of you probably just watched over the holidays.
Jacqueline Stewart: Well, we watch It’s a Wonderful Life every Christmas Eve without fail. I have it pretty much memorized. We are big Jimmy Stewart fans, no relation, I don’t think, but we love Jimmy Stewart like he’s related to us. But we love it too, because of this character, Annie, the maid, because she has a speaking role.
Tape: Annie, why don’t you draw up a chair, then you’d be more comfortable and you could hear everything that’s going on?
Annie: I would if I thought I’d hear anything worth listening to.
Jacqueline Stewart: There’s this little visual gag where this young man in the household, white guy, just slaps the maid on her ass as she’s going into the kitchen.
Speaker 3: Annie, my sweet, have you got those pies?
Annie: You lay a hand on me, I’ll hit you with this broom.
Speaker 3: Annie, I’m in love with you. There’s a moon out tonight.
Jacqueline Stewart: So it’s completely common and I think that there have been ways that black spectators have always recognized these moments and either sort of reject the entire system, whole sale, or develop a kind of viewing approach that almost it’s kind of an ironic enjoyment.
Paul Rand: But many Black creators, even in this highly oppressive moment, didn’t want to settle.
Jacqueline Stewart: Black artists and entrepreneurs became just as interested in the medium of film as others, and immediately began taking up the camera to not just correct the negative representations of black people that existed across all media, but also really interested to find new ways to speak to black publics. And so there were dozens and dozens of these race film companies, race movies, race films, as they were called, all over the country. Very much kind of regional enterprise in some ways. Oscar Micheaux was the most prolific of this group.
Paul Rand: You’ve mentioned him a few times. Give me a little background on Oscar.
Jacqueline Stewart: Sure. He had worked as a Pullman porter.
Paul Rand: Out of Chicago?
Jacqueline Stewart: Out of Chicago. Yeah. While working on the trains, he overheard white businessmen talking about the opening up of lands out west. And so he actually purchased property in South Dakota, became a homesteader.
Paul Rand: And what year is this, Jacqueline?
Jacqueline Stewart: 1907.
Paul Rand: Oh my gosh. Okay.
Jacqueline Stewart: So he’s the only black person in this entire region, very much influenced by the philosophies of Booker T. Washington, and the idea that you plant yourself in the soil that land ownership, farming could be a way of building up power, economic power and political power. And he was really proselytizing this, trying to convince other African Americans to do this. And then he recognizes, well, this could be a really compelling film.
Jacqueline Stewart: And he starts talking to some of the black filmmakers around the country and he’s so audacious. He wants this to be seven reels and he wants to direct it himself. And they’re like, “Well, no, we’re not going to work with you.” So he ends up raising the funds among his white neighbors in South Dakota, and makes the film himself, and shoots a lot of the film in South Dakota. So that’s his first film and he just continues to use this kind of hustle and dogged spirit to continue to produce films over the next 30 years.
Paul Rand: Wow. Okay. And is there something in any of his movies, or scenes or anything else for him that really stood out for you?
Jacqueline Stewart: Well, I mentioned his film, Within Our Gates from 1920. This is a film that was released very shortly after the so-called Red Summer of 1919, when race riots had broken out all across the country, including just horrendous violence in Chicago. And this is a film that looks at the experiences of a black woman played by Evelyn Preer, who was the first lady of the black stage at that time. She’s a woman from the south, who really wants to uplift her race as a teacher and support a school where she’s teaching in the south.
Jacqueline Stewart: And there’s a scene in which we see her being attacked by a white man who’s trying to rape her. And it’s intercut with scenes of her parents being lynched. It’s just remarkable that he had the boldness to represent this kind of the two sides of racial violence, racially motivated violence, rape and lynching together. In other films, represents the Ku Klux Klan and he really didn’t shy away from issues that we’re still talking about with regard to racial violence and racial oppression.
Paul Rand: Movies have incredible, cultural power. They change the audiences that see them and thus change societies. But what effect do these early race films have on black audiences? And what effect could they have had if more white audiences had seen them?
Jacqueline Stewart: His films were banned and deeply censored. We never know when looking at a Micheaux print now how fully it reflects his vision, or if it’s exactly what audiences saw because censorship happened in kind of local and regional modes during that time. But that’s a sequence that’s been much written about with good reason. I think it’s a really important demonstration of his, again, audacity as a filmmaker and how he understood the movies to be not just like an entertaining art form, but one that could speak directly to the most pressing, black political issues.
Paul Rand: The cultural power of black cinema which slowly began to shift with the history of our country. But a major turning point happened in the ‘70s with the arrival of Blaxploitation films. And when people think about the beginning of the Blaxploitation films, they often think of Shaft.
Tape: Shaft, “Hotter than Bond. Cooler than Bullitt. Rated R. If you want to see Shaft, ask your mama.
Paul Rand: But the first Blaxploitation film was actually.
Jacqueline Stewart: It was Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song by Melvin Van Peebles.
Tape: This Sweetback.
Tape: Hey, looking for myself.
Tape: Never heard of what else do he go by?
Jacqueline Stewart: And that film was independently produced and shattered Box Office records across the country, even though it was given an X rating because it has some pretty graphic sexual and violent content. Melvin Van Peebles used that at as part of his publicity, actually, he had a tagline that said Rated X by an all-white jury.
Paul Rand: Okay.
Jacqueline Stewart: And used that to really galvanize black audiences to come and see this film, basically white people don’t want you to see. A lot of black revolutionaries of grassroots, really underground hero.
Tape: Bingo. We got him.
Tape: Is this Sweetback’s body?
Jacqueline Stewart: That film did so remarkably well at the Box Office, that other studios then started to try to replicate its success. This is a moment when the movie industry is failing because of white flight, the audiences that have been going to those large movie palaces and downtown areas fled to the suburbs, but who was still in the cities was black people. So these theaters, there’s a captive audience of black spectators, major studios, as well as independent studios really started to take advantage of this economic possibility of making films very cheaply. They could do really well with black audiences. The movie Shaft that you mentioned actually saved MGM from bankruptcy as of this identification of what had up to that point been untapped black market.
Paul Rand: And what effect did these films have on the black audiences that saw them? Did the portrayal of strong black men is leading action heroes change the culture? Stewart says absolutely.
Jacqueline Stewart: The character that Melvin Van Peebles plays in Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is a black male hero who is fully sexualized. This is also really important dimension of why black audiences, especially younger audiences, male audiences, responded so positively to these characters, not deferential, physical prowes both sexual and kind of tough violent. Then we get a whole series of other Blaxploitation heroes like Superfly, for example. That really are in some ways responding to the frustrations that many black people were feeling with the kind of slowness of the results of the civil rights movement.
Paul Rand: How do white audiences respond to these films?
Jacqueline Stewart: In a variety of ways, I mean, I think that in some ways there was some folks had some anxiety about them and the anxiety wasn’t just about sort of presenting these militant heroes and still we see confusion if not kind of animosity when there are media products that are not for white people, like that’s still a thing. When I think back to Tyler Perry’s Emergence, for example. For years, articles about Tyler Perry would start with, you’ve never heard of this person or who is this guy when millions of black people have been following his plays and his films. So the idea that there could be something so popular and meaningful to like a different audience, it just, that shock registering that just went on for far too long.
Paul Rand: After the break, how the act of documenting and preserving films as itself steeped in racial politics, stay with us. With inflation in the US at its highest point in 30 years, in the great resignation, causing uncertainty for employers. What’s the future of the global economy in 2022? We’ll find out on January 12th at Economic Outlook, Chicago, a virtual event hosted by the University of Chicago Booth school of business, Chicago Booth professors, Austin D Goolsbee, Randall S. Kroszner and Raghuram G. Rajan will discuss inflation, labor markets and the future of the global economy, with moderator, Kathleen Hayes. Join us to get expert insights from these renowned economists. Register at chicagobooth.edu/eo. We’ve talked about movie makers and audiences, but when it comes to understanding the history of black cinema and its role in society, there’s another group of people Stewart says is equally important, the archivists and preservationists.
Jacqueline Stewart: Archival work preservation work is really kind of invisible and I think unfairly so.
Paul Rand: To understand why this work is so important, we have to travel back to the 1980s in a little town called Tyler, Texas.
Speaker 10: It was just another warehouse in Tyler, Texas, but inside that warehouse, a vibrant world of the 1930s and ‘40s waited to come alive again. These precious relics became known as the Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection.
Jacqueline Stewart: Yeah, The Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection was a really interesting case of film preservation. This is a group of films that was, “discovered in a warehouse” in Tyler, Texas in the early 1980s by an archivist named G William Jones who is a white archivist.
Tape: After receiving a tip from the warehouse manager, Dr. Jones went to the old building, there in a dusty forgotten corner. He found a stack of aging steel film canisters. Inside was the missing link to black cinema.
Jacqueline Stewart: But he immediately began to seek sort of black expertise and authentication because he recognized that it was important for black voices to attest to the importance of the Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection.
Tape: There were black directors, producers, screenwriters, black actors and actresses, all in control of their own destiny telling their stories as they saw fit.
Jacqueline Stewart: So that really led me on a trail of thinking about the racial politics of film art and preservation more broadly, who does that work? Why do they do it? How do we frame these discoveries? And just rethinking the idea that we can ever complete the archival record because we can’t, or that film preservation is always a kind of passive and celebratory activity rather than something that is just as grounded in social and historical circumstances as our scholarship. Right from our positionalities, the people who care for these cultural artifacts who work at memory institutions are doing incredibly important work. And even within the profession for a long time, people were sort of encouraged to see that work as a kind of neutral care taking, but it’s not the case. Every archive has, for example, a huge backlog of material, like things come in faster than they can be processed.
Jacqueline Stewart: And then decisions have to be made about what to process first. Like does it seem people most want to consult? What is collected? How it is prioritized in terms of processing, even thinking about the ways that in film preservation, decisions that we make about just how things look. How to fill in missing material. When films come in that are partial, this is true for some of Oscar Micheaux’s films, archivists would go back and create title cards that recap the missing scenes. There’s creative work happening here. There was a restoration of a Marian Anderson concert: The Lincoln Memorial Concert, very important moment for her and for the world.
Tape: 75,000 mass before Lincoln Memorial to hear Marian Anderson, make her capital debut at the great emancipator shrine. Refusal of the DAR to let her use their hall, find a countrywide controversy.
Jacqueline Stewart: And there are some historical reconstructions in that footage. So I just think it’s really important to recognize this work, not just to honor work that’s typically invisible, but also to give us a broader sense of the implications of these decisions and what gets preserved now might look different from the way that we could see the result of a preservation that happened 20 years ago.
Paul Rand: The importance of preservation and archiving was on full display in 2018 with the discovery of the first ever film of two black people kissing, believed to be from 1898.
Jacqueline Stewart: Well, I have to give credit to my colleague Allyson Nadia Field because she is the one who has really done so much to reveal the importance of that very early footage, Something Good-Negro Kiss.
Paul Rand: Was that the name of the movie, Something Good?
Jacqueline Stewart: Yes. That’s the title that, yeah, that’s the title of that really important snatch of footage of a black couple kissing, and she has talked quite a bit about the importance of this really early representation of black intimacy that is certainly rare for that time period, and then is rare over the decades to come.
Paul Rand: And why was this so important? What made it rare?
Jacqueline Stewart: Because so many black representations, the vast majority were purely comic and were really clearly oriented to a particular kind of white dismissive gaze. We could say that there are aspects of Something Good-Negro Kiss that are also kind of voyeuristic in a way that there might be just like some white attraction to a spectacle of black people kissing. They may not have seen that as a touching thing. White audience might have read that as a funny thing, but to know that it existed and that there was a moment of collaboration happening there. I think we’re learning more and more. There was also some rediscovered footage of the VAudevillian Bert Williams in which we see him and black cast interacting with white filmmakers. It started breaking down the idea that black artists didn’t have any kind of agency or that we fully understood the feeling, the context of how these early images were created.
Paul Rand: The importance of film preservation as a lens through which to recontextualize and find joy extends beyond Hollywood for Stewart. She’s also become fascinated with the power of home movies, which are the films we make for ourselves.
Jacqueline Stewart: The word joy comes up again and again when people are engaging with home movies. For some interesting reasons, I think some obvious, some not.
Paul Rand: To explore that idea, she started the South Side Home Movie Project.
Jacqueline Stewart: I founded the project in 2005. More and more film scholars and archivists have been paying attention to non-theatrical films, industrial films, training films, educational films, home movies are a part of that group of non-theatrical film making that actually outnumbers some commercial feature length films. And we look at the volume of films that have been made of across history and all around the world. I’m a native south sider. So just as kind of experiment, I put some flyers around, I worked with a group of students and said if you have theater old home movies, we’d love to digitize them. Being at the University of Chicago, I knew that I could take advantage of the sort of digital expertise at the university and maybe do some good to share these films back with people who might have them in their attics and their closets and so forth, but they don’t have projectors anymore, or projectors that work or digitizing them as a free service.
Jacqueline Stewart: I was really interested to interview the families to learn more about the footage, these films, these eight millimeters, super eight millimeter films, small gauge sounds, tend to be silent. There are some with sound, but for the most part they’re silent. So I wanted the voices of the families to help explain what are we looking at? We were immediately overwhelmed. People have so much of this material and it’s invaluable. I mean, not just from the perspective of reinstating, the importance of personal archives, seeing people engage with their own family histories emotionally. I mean it’s a really emotional process for many people to see their mothers moving. It’s different from looking at a photograph of someone who has passed away. It brings people to life in a different way, and that activates memories in a particularly intimate way. So developing kind of methodologies around how to recover that history in a respectful way has been a really important part of our process.
Jacqueline Stewart: But then it’s like you see buildings that no longer stand and models of cars and like the old CTA buses that we used to call the green limousine back when they were green and we’d do screenings and people would just yell out, “Oh, that’s so, and so that’s this place that’s,” and seeing people especially across the rigid racial segregation of the south side of Chicago, like family might have a films of Bridge Port, family from Bronzeville. And yet they’re looking at these films together and having conversations about Chicago history, about personal history that they never would’ve had without this kind of motivation. So the screenings have always been an incredibly important part of the project’s work.
Paul Rand: Stewart’s film preservation work doesn’t end with home movies. She’s also blending her preservation work with her love of Hollywood movies with a new role at The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
Jacqueline Stewart: Yes, I am working as chief artistic and programing officer at the newly opened Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
Paul Rand: And what is the Academy of Motion Pictures, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures?
Jacqueline Stewart: Oh, it is really the first of its kind of this scale in the United States. Film museums are very rare, but it's an institution that traces the long and diverse history of moviemaking because it's affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum that is working in very close collaboration with all of the branches of the Academy. So we have galleries that narrate every aspect of the filmmaking process, from writing to set design to editing to hair and makeup. And we do so in a way that is international in scope.
Jacqueline Stewart: There are a few moments across the museum that do deep dives into the work of particular filmmakers. We have a gallery that's collaboration with Spike Lee Gallery that's a collaboration with Pedro Almodovar, and we have a really robust program of film screenings and educational programs, public programs. So I was especially excited about this because it was a way to take. All of my interest in sharing film history and to do so in a physical space. And it's been really exciting to see how this is a space where the Academy, which is known primarily for the Oscar broadcast.
Paul Rand: Right, right. I'd like to thank the Academy.
Jacqueline Stewart: Exactly what I'd like to think. The Academy has created this institution that is is a constant place of interaction between filmmakers and the public.
Paul Rand: And that interaction brings us to the last important piece in this story…we have history, we have preservation, but…like Stewart’s work at the museum…there’s also presentation. The way these films are contextualized and displayed to the public. This is something Stewart knows personally about in her role as a host at Turner Classic Movies.
Paul Rand: Any things or movies that stood it out to you from this period that you just looked at and thought, man, that was a great piece of footage.
Jacqueline Stewart: Yeah. Well, I mean, I discovered that my family had home movies, which I did not know until I founded the project that’s why I could selfishly talk about some of that, but I’ll say my dear friend Dion Foreman, to me and shared some films from his family, the Gene Patton Collection, it’s our largest collection over a hundred reels. And in one of the films, we see Robert Patton. We don’t see him, he’s filming his wife, Jean in their newly remodeled kitchen. She’s wearing these pants and the kitchen has this really gorgeous gold yellow appliances.
Jacqueline Stewart: And she’s smoking and she’s just so glamorous in her kitchen and so proud. And she kind of plays this very performative game of solitaire. Many people get excited about that kind of thing, because it just shows the black middle class, which is underrepresented. For me though, it’s also amazing just to see her being a star in her own environment and the love that her husband has for her and the life they’ve built for themselves and knowing that they were so motivated to document this, that they wanted to share this and have that be remembered, this one of my favorite moments across the archive.
Paul Rand: There’s one last piece to discuss, we have history and preservation, but there’s also presentation. The way these films are contextualized and displayed to the public. This is something that Stewart knows personally about in her role as a host at Turner Classic Movies.
Jacqueline Stewart: It’s been also very instructive for me to think about how to combine what might seem like kind of innocuous context or trivia about films with some of the deeper kinds of questions that these films raise, especially now that more people hopefully will continue to have heightened awareness of some of the problematic histories of representation and exclusion when it comes to the voices of folks who’ve been authorized to make feature films over the last 100 plus years. What’s interesting to me is to sort of disentangle different traditions of spectatorship.
Paul Rand: When HBO Max decided to continue running Gone with the Wind, the notoriously racially problematic classic depicting life in the civil war south, they asked Stewart to write an introduction for the film.
Jacqueline Stewart: What was running in the back of my mind, of course, as a result of all the research that I’ve done, is that people have had different reactions to Gone with the Wind. It’s not just that now this classic is understood to be problematic. First of all, now not everyone sees it as problematic still. And 80 years ago, people were raising the same concerns about Gone with the Wind that were emerging in the wake of George Floyd. So it’s not like we somehow now are looking back at films that were intended to be entertaining with an inappropriately critical eye, many spectators and groups, and not just African American spectators were raising concerns about Gone with the Wind as a novel, as a film in pre-production while it was being produced. And then when it was released. So recognizing that the movie going public is not a monolith and helping people to see that diversity of reaction, I think is incredibly important.
Paul Rand: These histories are complex and complicated. The story of American cinema is the story of American society. Gone with the Wind is surely problematic, but it was also the very first film for which a black actress Hattie McDaniel won an academy award, a historic moment.
Tape: Academy of motion picture arts and signs, fellow members of the motion, picture industry and honored guests. This is one of the happiest moments of my life. And I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of their awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very humble, and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be accredited to my race and to the Muslim picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel. And may I say, thank you, God bless.
Paul Rand: And yet we must also document and remember that at the Oscar ceremony, Hattie McDaniel was forced to sit at a segregated table on the side of the room, separated from the rest of Hollywood. If you’re getting a lot out of the important research shared on big brains, there’s another university of Chicago podcast network show. You should check out it’s called not another politics podcast. Not another politics podcast provides a perspective on the biggest political stories, not through opinions and anecdotes, but through rigorous scholarship, massive data sets and a deep knowledge of theory. If you want to understand the political science behind the political headlines, then listen to not another politics podcast, part of the University of Chicago podcast network.