Here are links to interviews with (or by) Nell Irvin Painter, including video, audio, and print media.
MacDowell-92nd Street Y
92nd Street Y is a world-class cultural and community center in NY, NY.
MacDowell-92nd Street Y—This partnership series between MacDowell and the 92nd Street Y will take place over the course of 2021 and is hosted by MacDowell Fellow, author, visual artist, and MacDowell Board Chair Nell Painter.
A Conversation on the Enactment of Identity: Andrea Martin, Indhu Rubasingham and Jacqueline Woodson. Moderated by Nell Painter.
How do these artists—a lauded novelist, theatre director, and actor—interpret the relationship between their personal lives and the art they generate?
Individual experience doubtless nourishes art, even as art is creation, not a reenactment of life. This conversation probes that relationship, as both something to exploit and something to avoid.
Recorded online December 16, 2020. Video.
MacDowell and 92nd Street Y Salon: The Enactment of Identity. Join Nell Painter, Chang-rae Lee, P. Carl, and Michael Chabon as they discuss the various relationships that interact with their art practice.
Moderator and MacDowell Chair Nell Painter, author Chang-rae Lee, author P. Carl, and author and former MacDowell Chair Michael Chabon discuss the relationship between the artist’s vision, the creation of character and story, and the ways their own individual and social identities (however they interpret them) interact with their art practice.
Recorded Thursday, May 6, 2021.
This partnership series between MacDowell and the 92nd Street Y will take place over the course of 2021 and is hosted by MacDowell Fellow, author, visual artist, and MacDowell Board Chair Nell Painter.
Across The MacDowell Dinner Table: On Memoir. T Kira Madden, Sally Field, Nell Painter, and Riva Lehrer in an on-line conversation showcasing how artists share their visions and challenges across every art form.
Moderated by MacDowell Executive Director Philip Himberg, this hour-long program from MacDowell and 92Y’s salon series will focus on memoir, particularly the animating impulse that drove these multidisciplinary artists to examine the arc of their lives, and what surprises awaited them as they put pen to paper.
Online Thursday, August 26, 2021, 7 pm ET.
Nell’s Video/Audio Interviews (recent)
Nell's video on NBC: Think—Opinion, Analysis, Essays “The complex history and an uncertain future of American whiteness” by Nell Irvin Painter, August 3, 2020. Video.
Video of Nell's interview with Carol Jenkins on CUNY Television’s Black America series “Black America – Through a Painter's Eye with Nell Painter.” April 26, 2017. Video.
Nell is interviewed as part of a podcast on NPR's "Invisabilia" series: "White v. White?" The podcast's subject is "A city council candidate says he's black. But his opponent accuses him of being a white man pretending to be black." Nell discusses race as a social construct, the meanings which change over time. March 27, 2020. Audio.
Nell is interviewed by MetroFocus: The Podcast host Jenna Flanagan on the social construction of race and Nell’s book “A History of White People.” MetroFocus: The Podcast – ‘A History of White People.’ Nell explains how the notion of race evolves with time and outlines her position on current racial frustration in the United States. January 24, 2018. Audio.
Nell's interview on Canadian radio: “There is no such thing as the 'white race' —or any other race, says historian.” CBC Radio, The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright, Sunday September 17, 2017. Audio and text.
Nell’s Video/Audio Interviews (2016 and older)
Nell’s videos on C-SPAN: This C-SPAN search page includes links to several videos. 23 videos with transcript text, dating from 1997 through 2016.
2010 National Book Festival. Nell talked about her book The History of White People in the History and Biography Pavilion.The 10th annual National Book Festival was held by the Library of Congress on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. C-SPAN’s BookTV aired live coverage of the day’s events, including authors speaking in the History and Biography Pavilion interspersed with interviews and viewer calls with featured authors. (Nell's talk begins at 1:40:25 into the video.) September 25, 2010. Video with transcript text.
Berkeley historian interview series: Video of Nell’s interview with Harry Kreisler, “Reflections of an Historian,” in the Conversations with History series at the University of California, Berkeley. Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes historian and artist Nell Irvin Painter for a discussion of her intellectual odyssey. Professor Painter discusses the influence of her parents, her work as a historian and the importance of art as a way to complement the traditional historical narrative. November 7, 2013. Video.
Interview on ABC News with Dianne Sawyer: Diane Sawyer and author Nell Irvin Painter discuss what it means to be ‘white’ in “The Conversation: The History of White People”
What does it mean to be ‘white’? Is it one race of people? Were people defined as ‘white’ hundreds of years ago? In her new book, “The History of White People,” author Nell Irvin Painter tells the story of what she considers a forgotten chapter in history: the story of whiteness. From antiquity to the modern era, Painter explores the concept and how the definition of ‘white’ has taken on many forms.
In this interview, Diane Sawyer asks Painter how notions of ‘whiteness’ came to be. They discuss how white beauty has affected definitions of beauty in general, the origin of ‘Caucasian’ and whether such a term can accurately describe someone. And Painter ponders the question of whether we live in a truly post-racial society. April 1, 2010. Video.
Big Think Interview With Nell Irvin Painter. A conversation with the professor of American history at Princeton. March 31, 2010. Video with text transcript.
The Colbert Report on Comedy Central with Stephen Colbert: Nell Irvin Painter debates the meaning of white people and arm-wrestles Stephen over the Scots-Irish. March 17, 2010. Video.
Nell’s Print Interviews
A profile on Nell by Sammy Gibbons for northjersey.com (part of the USA Today network), “It's never too late: Why this successful NJ historian changed career paths in her late 60s” Published December 14, 2020. Print.
Nell is interviewed by the Kansas City Star newspaper: "At 67, she could have retired, but instead she reinvented herself. It wasn’t easy." October 30, 2020. Print.
Also, the Kansas City Public Library streamed an on-line conversation with Nell, led by Kaite Mediatore Stover, the library’s director of readers’ services, featuring "Old in Art School" by Nell Painter, the Library's "book-of-the-moment selection". November 16, 2020. Video.
Nell is interviewed by Lauren O'Neill-Butler for the on-line publication November, "Nell Painter— In conversation with Lauren O'Neill-Butler," November Magazine, No. 5. (novembermag.com is a publication of interviews with thinkers about art, politics, media, architecture, and philosophy). The interview took place September 2020. Print.
Nell is interviewed in the Boston Review: "The Historian’s Art", Jonathan M. Square, Walter Johnson, Nell Painter.
Jonathan M. Square, the curator of Nell's two recent exhibits at Harvard University, introduces the conversation between Nell and Walter Johnson (Harvard historian and Nell’s former student). January 6, 2020. Print.