Shawn Wen

Associate Producer, "The State of Things"

Shawn Wen joined the staff of The State of Things in March 2012 and served as associate producer until February 2014.

She is a writer and multimedia artist. Her radio work has aired on This American Life, Studio 360, Marketplace, Freakonomics, and Rhode Island Public Radio.

Her video work has screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Carpenter Center for Visual Art at Harvard University, and the Camden International Film Festival.

Shawn is the recipient of the Royce Fellowship and the Third Coast Scholarship. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in Literary Arts.


The State of Things
11:00 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Radio Documentarian Spends A Year Riding Cargo Ships

Crew of the ship the Kashmir.
Mark "Maki" Reynaldo

Allison Swaim spent a year at sea. She rode on eight different cargo ships, documenting life onboard and circumnavigating the world.

She came back a year ago with hours of tape and hundreds of photos from her adventure. When she returned, Allison opened up her collection to artists, who made their own art in response to her work. The show, “Hold Capacity/Trade Route Stories, Reimagined,” features the work of a group of local artists who collaborated with Allison. 

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The State of Things
11:50 am
Mon August 5, 2013

North Carolina Journalist Gives A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Local Media

I Never Promised Not To Tell by Grady Jefferys

  Originally broadcast March 13, 2013

Frank Stasio talks with journalist and author Grady Jefferys.

The Pew Research Center released its annual State of the Media report for 2012, and television news viewership is down. Political coverage has declined, and on local TV news, 40 percent of the content is made up of traffic, sports and weather. Meanwhile, newspaper newsrooms in 2012 employed 40,000 people, the smallest number of full-time journalists since 1978.

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The State of Things
11:51 am
Tue July 30, 2013

What Makes Us Smile?

Marianne LaFrance, a psychologist at Yale, makes a comparison between a genuine smile (left) and a fake smile (right).
Credit Marianne LaFrance

Frank Stasio discusses smiles with a panel of guests.

Sure, it's more or less a given that we smile when we're happy and we smile when our picture is taken.  But do we also smile automatically throughout the day when we make eye contact with strangers?  How often do we smile in conversation? 

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The State of Things
12:04 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Journalists Look Back On A Challenging Legislative Session

Police stand outside the capitol during one of the 12 Moral Mondays protests that occurred during the legislative session.
Credit Matthew Lenard

Journalists Review Latest Legislative Session

The North Carolina Legislature stayed up late last night to make a few last minute decisions before the end of session. The Senate finished it's business at 2 am, and the House reconvened this morning to squeeze a few final votes in. Now an abortion bill and an election bill are both headed to Governor Pat McCrory.

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The State of Things
12:10 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

How The Triangle Got Dressed

Three generations of women wearing clothing bought at Smitten Boutique.

Boutique owner Nancy McKaig talks about retail and community action

Food is like a religion in the South.  It’s well-known that Durham was named the "Tastiest City in the South" by Southern Living.  But the food scene here is relatively new.  Restaurants, food trucks, and coffee shops opened up in recent years to make Durham's cuisine what it is.

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The State of Things
12:11 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

An Early Return Home From Egypt

Protests taking place in Tahrir Square in 2011
Credit monasosh / Flickr

DukeEngage students join Frank Stasio to talk about their experience in Egypt.

Students involved in Duke University’s summer program in Cairo, Egypt  came home early.  They left as large protests and a changing political climate shook the country.

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The State of Things
12:15 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Trayvon Martin's Killing Reverberates In North Carolina

Photos from the Million Hoodies Union Square protest against Trayvon Martin's shooting death in Sanford, Florida.
Credit David Shankbone

On Saturday, July 13, George Zimmerman was pronounced not guilty of second degree murder for the killing of Trayvon Martin. The jury acquitted him on the grounds of self-defense. What does self-defense mean in a case like this?

Before the trial began, Judge Deborah Nelson forbade use of the term “racial profiling” in the courtroom. How does race play into the criminal justice system? 

Host Frank Stasio speaks with a panel of experts to discuss these questions and what the Trayvon Martin case in Florida means for us in North Carolina. His guests are:

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The State of Things
12:50 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Medical Milestone: Duke Surgeons Implant Bioengineered Vein

Implanting a bioengineered blood vessel into a patient at Duke University Hospital
Credit Shawn Rocco

Doctor Jeffrey Lawson and Doctor Laura Niklason discuss their development of the bioengineered vein

A team of doctors implanted a bioengineered blood vessel into a patient with late stage kidney disease at Duke University Hospital in June.   

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The State of Things
12:21 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Mr. Tol E. Rance Comes To Town

Camille A. Brown & Dancers

Coreographer Camille A. Brown and writer-critic Lightsey Darst talk about dance and the American Dance Festival

Three years ago, Camille A. Brown made the decision to form her own dance company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers.

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The State of Things
11:56 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Tom Rankin Steps Down After 15 Years Leading CDS

Tom Rankin served as director of Duke's Center for Documentary Studies for 15 years.
Credit Duke University

The former director of Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, Tom Rankin, stepped down after 15 years at the helm.

The Center has a mission of being at the crossroads of documentary work and academia. CDS started the Full Frame Festival — though it was called Double Take at the time. 

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