The Gray Area with Sean Illing

The Gray Area with host Sean Illing is a philosophical take on culture, politics, and everything in between. We don’t pretend to have the answers, but we do offer a space for real dialogue. Resist certainty, embrace ambiguity, and get some cool takes on a very hot world. Formerly the Vox Conversations podcast. New episodes drop every Monday.

News Commentary
The frightening fragility of America's politica...
Masha Gessen on whether American democracy can survive Donald Trump
63 min
Can artificial intelligence be emotionally inte...
A fun conversation about emotional intelligence, machine learning, and AI
72 min
Danielle Allen on the radicalism of the America...
The Harvard political theorist on democracy, prison abolition, and the American founding
67 min
Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect
Land of the Giants is a podcast from our friends at Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network that examines the most powerful tech companies of our time.
17 min
Nicholas Carr on deep reading and digital thinking
How technology literally changes our brains
70 min
Your questions, answered
Ask Ezra Anything 2020 edition
78 min
Which country has the world's best healthcare s...
Ezekiel Emanuel on healthcare reform, coronavirus response and presidential leadership
68 min
The transformative power of restorative justice
sujatha baliga on how to radically reimagine our criminal justice system
72 min
Ross Douthat and I debate American decadence
Ross Douthat on American decline, utopian ambition, and the Catholic right
89 min
A serious conversation about UFOs
A religion scholar on UFOs, belief systems, and purgatory
88 min
A former prosecutor's case for prison abolition
Paul Butler on how our criminal justice system is broken — and how to fix it
64 min
Why Ta-Nehisi Coates is hopeful
The award-winning author on police violence, protest, and "the public"
89 min
Are humans fundamentally good? (with Rutger Bre...
Rutger Bregman on human nature, hierarchy, and hunter-gatherer societies
94 min
From politician to priest
Why Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib is giving up elected office and joining the Jesuits
118 min
Robert Frank's radical idea
Using contagion economics to solve our hardest problems
69 min
Why “essential” workers are treated as disposable
Mary Kay Henry on essential jobs, organizing, and the future of work
66 min
"The world’s scariest economist” on coronavirus...
Mariana Mazzucato on her "plan to fix capitalism".
79 min
A mind-bending conversation about quantum mecha...
Sean Carroll answers my dumb quantum mechanics questions — and yours.
76 min
Why the coronavirus is so deadly for black America
David R. Williams on the science behind Covid-19’s massive racial disparities
76 min
Jenny Odell on nature, art, and burnout in quar...
A truly cathartic conversation with Jenny Odell
63 min
An unusually honest conversation about wielding...
Rep. Pramila Jayapal on stimulus negotiations, the economy, and progressive power.
81 min
What should the media learn from coronavirus?
Coronavirus exposed weaknesses in our media ecosystem. Can we fix them?
91 min
Bill Gates’s vision for life beyond coronavirus
Bill Gates saw coronavirus coming. Here’s his plan to beat it.
48 min
An epic conversation with Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller on myth, translation, and writing a perfect sentence
77 min
The loneliness pandemic/Betraying “essential wo...
We have something a bit different today. Two episodes from our extraordinary colleagues at Today, Explained, both of them close to my heart.
44 min