Podcast: Under Review



How can an institution with so much history have so little memory?



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How can Harvard, an institution with so much history, have so little memory?

The racial reckonings and Black Lives Matter protests that swept the country this past summer brought attention to a trend in how Harvard seems to deal with student activism and concerns surrounding race, racism, and diversity: to commission a diversity review. These committees and reports long predate this summer, and reading them it can seem, at times, like some things have not changed at the University — in race relations, Harvard’s review process, or the findings and recommendations. What can these diversity reviews accomplish, and what can’t they?

“Under Review” is a podcast from The Harvard Crimson, hosted by Matteo Wong and Olivia Oldham, chairs of The Crimson’s weekly magazine, Fifteen Minutes. Over five weeks, they explore controversies and diversity reviews stretching across 40 years of Harvard history, speaking to dozens of students, activists, experts, and more, to try and understand how the Harvard diversity review works — or doesn’t. Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Transcripts are available at the link for each individual episode below.

“Under Review” is produced by Zing Gee, Thomas Maisonneuve, Lara F. Dada, Justin Y. Ye, and Jason D. Lam. Music by Ian Chan. Art by Meera S. Nair.

Trailer

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Episode page and transcript available here.

I. Yardfest

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In Episode 1 of Under Review, hosts Matteo Wong and Olivia Oldham explore an incident of police violence against a Black undergraduate from April 2018, the resulting review committee, and its reverberations to the present day.

Episode page and transcript available here.

II. A Strange House

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In Episode 2 of Under Review, hosts Matteo Wong and Olivia Oldham rewind 40 years to the story of the 1980 report, “A Study of Race Relations at Harvard College,” and ask why it seems to have been forgotten in recent University climate survey efforts.

Episode page and transcript available here.

III. The Presidential Taskforce

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In Episode 3 of Under Review, hosts Matteo Wong and Olivia Oldham try to understand what makes a diversity review successful — and what, exactly, defines success — by looking at the most important diversity review at Harvard from recent years.

Episode page and transcript available here.

IV. Dueling Reports: Part One

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In the first half of the finale of Under Review, hosts Matteo Wong and Olivia Oldham put two reviews of the Harvard University Police Department, one by University-hired consultants and the other by abolitionist activists, head to head.

Episode page and transcript available here.

V. Dueling Reports: Part Two

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In the final episode of Under Review, hosts Matteo Wong and Olivia Oldham continue to put competing reviews of racism and the Harvard police head-to-head, returning to the question: How can an institution with so much history have so little memory?

Episode page and transcript available here.

— Matteo N. Wong is the Magazine Chair of the 148th Guard. He can be reached at matteo.wong@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @matteo_wong.

— Olivia G. Oldham is the Magazine Chair of the 148th Guard. She can be reached at olivia.oldham@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @olivia__oldham.