A new podcast by Trent’s Dr. Sally Chivers is giving “50 shades of grey” new meaning. Wrinkle Radio tells stories about aging, both personal and academic, as a way to mobilize knowledge in aging studies and showcase the application of humanities research.
“There is so much teaching us to be afraid of aging. There are no health concerns with grey hair but for some reason it is a sign of falling apart,” said Professor Chivers, a faculty member of English and Gender and Social Justice at Trent, and a founding member of the Trent Centre for Aging and Society (TCAS). “In this podcast, I’m trying to dig into what it is about aging that scares people. What is the meaning of aging? Why does aging matter? And how do we fight the forces that are telling us to be afraid of aging, rather than fight aging itself?”
Women Talking about Aging
An expert in the cultural politics of aging and disability, especially within film and literature, as well as gender and social justice, Prof. Chivers will offer a critical perspective on the gendered ageism that women face.
In the first episode of the podcast, Prof. Chivers shares the aging stories of fellow women scholars, particularly their experiences “going grey.” The stories also reference modern aging culture, such as revolutionary 19th century women’s athletic fashion, Lisa Laflamme’s departure from CTV News, the hairstyle of X-Men's Rogue, and even Wendy’s #KeeptheGrey campaign.
“Humanities research is always about meaning. I want that meaning-making to be more accessible,” said Prof. Chivers. “The podcast shines a light on the stories in our research. But age studies scholars also grow old—we too fear and celebrate that. So I also showcase our stories, rather than just share research findings.”
Funding to Explore Further
With funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through a $2.5-million Aging and Data Partnership Grant, Wrinkle Radio episodes will go beyond just grey hair and appearances. The podcast will cover a range of topics, from long-term care, to aging and friendship, to age-friendly communities, to aging and technology, in particular how data and the datafication of society enhances ageism.
Wrinkle Radio is also supported by Stephen Hurley from voicEd Radio, who is offering in-kind resources and advice to guide Prof. Chivers through this multimedia approach to research dissemination.
Listen to the first three episodes of Wrinkle Radio, which feature Dana Capell, Trent University’s Senior Education Developer, Dr. Andrea Charise, associate professor at University of Toronto Scarborough, and Dr. Ulla Kriebernegg, director of CIRAC at the University of Graz, Austria.