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More Recent Episodes

June 21, 2024


Nanette Vonnegut with self portrait painted at 14

Nanette Vonnegut: Self-Portrait at 14

Nanette Vonnegut on painting and getting older, and the late writer Dan Wakefield on Indianapolis, spiritual writing, and his friend, Kurt Vonnegut.


June 14, 2024


Inside the Bybee Stone Mill

Joyce Jeffries and the Cutters

Limestone work used to be quite dangerous. Joyce Jeffries remembers workers, including her grandfather, dying or getting injured. It’s gotten safer though. This week, Joyce, and others, on limestone.


June 7, 2024


Stephen Deusner

Southern Rock, Midwestern Soul

Music critic Stephen Deusner on the book he wrote about the Drive-By Truckers, the South, and more. Plus, a review of a locally-born band that made President Obama’s best-of list.


May 31, 2024


Marabai Rose

Doubting Her Paralysis

When Marabai Rose was 38, a mysterious paralysis came over her. The challenges of getting diagnosed – and treated – in this episode, based on her book, Holding Hope.


May 24, 2024


Morning at the encampment at Dunn Meadow, May 2

Voices from the Encampment

What gets you out in support of a cause? Alex talked with some of the people at the Pro-Palestine encampment on the IU Bloomington campus, a week after it started.


May 17, 2024


Ross Gay in a pink shirt

Ross Gay on How We Can Change, Sentence By Sentence

We talk with Ross Gay about his new book (more delights!), how writing a sentence helps us see how we change, and protecting the sanctity of one’s interiority.


May 10, 2024


Artist Honey Hodges

If My Hands Could Look Like Hers

First, a conversation with artist Honey Hodges about immigrating to the U.S., and the opportunity to care for someone who has always taken care of you, and making collages. Then, naturalist Jim Eagleman reminds us why we should go outside in the winter, and at night.

April 26, 2024


Grier Carson

Does The Future of Libraries – or Narrative Itself – Include Books?

Intellectual freedom, the future of narrative, and what libraries are for in the 21st century, with Monroe County Public Library director Grier Carson

May 3, 2024


Indiana Dunes looking east to Michigan City

Indiana's Oil and Gas Boom Still Echoes Today

Scholar and writer Ava Tomasula y Garcia tells the story of the Calumet Region, how the gas boom started with a bang, brought major industry and new racial dynamics, and why “the Rust Belt” is a bit of a misnomer.

April 19, 2024


Orli Shaham

Orli Shaham On Where Music Is and Where It’s Going

Is classical music in trouble? Pianist Orli Shaham believes most people, “given half a chance,” will seek out deeper art forms at some point in their lives. This week, Orli Shaham on helping people find their way to classical music, and more.

April 12, 2024


Cassette tape

Mixtape: Stories of Love, Music, and More

It’s a mixtape! Five songs (okay, stories), by five different producers. Three are about being behind the scenes. One’s about your dad retiring. And an investigation into love.

April 5, 2024


Eric Deggans

NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans and Comedian Sara Schaefer Say What Needs to Be Said

Critic Eric Deggans says TV offers him a wide canvas for engaging with culture, and comedian Sara Schaefer decides Twitter isn’t the best place to address sexism in comedy. So she makes video sketches instead.

March 29, 2024


Yalie Saweda Kamara and her book, Besaydoo

How the Midwest Helped Yalie Saweda Kamara Write Her First Full-Length Poetry Collection

Yalie Saweda Kamara’s first full-length poetry collection, Besaydoo, has been getting attention – and for good reason. This week, we talk about the book, how moving to the Midwest changed her, and how teaching keeps her honest.

March 22, 2024


Jad Abumrad

Jad Abumrad on Talking with Humans

Radiolab founder Jad Abumrad has been interviewing interviewers lately: journalists, therapists, conflict mediators, salespeople. We talk about what it takes to have a meaningful conversation.

March 15, 2024


Ryder Founder Peter LoPilato

A Net Maker, and Remembering the Founder of the Ryder Magazine and Film Series

On this week’s Inner States, producer Violet Baron takes us to rural southern Indiana, where Danny Cain still makes fishing nets by hand. Then we listen to a 2016 interview with Peter LoPilato, who founded the Ryder Magazine and Film Series. He passed away on March 7.

March 8, 2024


Fire! An American Burning

Inner States presents Inferno at Whiting

This week, Inner States presents Episode 3 of Fire!: An American Burning. Inferno at Whiting is about the 1955 Whiting Refinery fire in Whiting, Indiana. It’s also about how oil – and fire - are at the heart of the modern world.

March 1, 2024


Author Tess Gunty

Why Set Your Novel in Indiana, and How Comedy Isn't Therapy

Comedian Mohanad Elshieky explains the difference between comedy and therapy, and novelist Tess Gunty tells us why she set her National Book Award winning novel in Indiana.

February 23, 2024


How to Survive the Future Ep3: McCormick's Creek State Park

A Nature Walk in the Future, a Cyclist in the Past

A walk in the woods with botanist Ellen Jacquart about 25 years in the future. And a conversation with the director of the new documentary, Major Taylor: Champion of the Race.

February 16, 2024


Bloomington's Skeleton Harvester in the studio

Your Neighborhood Shapeshifter

This week, a profile of the alien who roams downtown Bloomington, a werewolf, two witches, and the childhood that led to an article about the secret government facility under Bloomington's water treatment plant. Plus, a discussion about how shapeshifters help us think about gender.

February 9, 2024


The Indiana Slavic Choir

Singing for Ukraine

When Iryna Voloshyna started a Slavic choir at IU in 2021, she didn’t realize it would be a local expression of a political situation halfway around the world. But then, in February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, and suddenly the choir was in high demand.

February 2, 2024


Historian Cory Haala in a Midwest map shirt

Don’t Fight Your Political Enemies. Out-Organize Them.

It’s easy to want to fight our political enemies, but it’s often more effective to out-organize them. On this week’s Inner States, we look back to a time – not so long ago – when Midwesterners did just that. Historian Cory Haala tells us about Progressive Populists in the 1980s and 1990s.

January 26, 2024


Sam Shoaf

Becoming a Participant in the Landscape

Sam’s day job involves removing invasive plants and restoring native ones. Fire is one of the ways he does that. He’s a lifelong hunter, too - that’s what got him into landscape restoration. This week, a walk in the woods with Sam Shoaf.

January 19, 2024


Sam Shoaf

Don't Go Pro

Diana Hong practiced for 13 years to become a professional golfer. But at the last minute, she became a stand-up comedian instead. This week, stories about people who almost achieve their dreams, and then hook left.

January 12, 2024


Tomato Products Company

Postcard from Paoli

This week on Inner States, a postcard from Paoli, Indiana, where a tomato products warehouse has been transformed into a community space and enhanced the already existing magical realism of the town.

January 5, 2024


3 stills on a table from Fritz Lang's Metropolis

How to Watch Old Movies

Jack Lindner reminds us why we should watch old movies on film. Then IU Cinema Director Alicia Kozma talks about how to approach movies that have, shall we say, "outdated" attitudes about social issues.

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