American Culture

On this edition of ST, we learn about the first-ever Tulsa Lit.Fest, an impressive array of free-to-the-public events that will happen here in our community from tomorrow (the 19th) through Sunday (the 22nd).

(Please note: This show first aired back in December.) Artificial "machine" intelligence is, of course, a part of our lives now -- we have cruise control in our cars, automatic checkout services at the supermarket, and (most importantly?) those smartphones in our pockets. But what will life be like when artificial "sentient" intelligence becomes the norm? And when will that happen?

Our guest is the Tulsa-based author Joe Johnston, who's originally from Missouri, and who's written many books over the years on various topics. He joins us to talk about his newest publication, a folksy, far-ranging, and conversational history of Southern cooking -- from sun tea and fruitcake and vegetables to "the Colonel's chicken" and BBQ and beyond.

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, which is part of the National Park Service, will soon host a three-day symposium here in Tulsa regarding the preservation of roadside architecture and attractions. It happens April 10th through the 12th, and it will include 20+ invited as well as solicited papers, an evening neon-sign tour, and a half-day field session exploring local roadside attractions and issues related to their preservation.

The Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa will now be known as AHHA Tulsa. As per the AHHA website: "The organization's Board of Directors voted recently to change the name to something modern that encompasses the organization's mission to cultivate creativity in Tulsa, while also honoring its decades-long history.

On today's edition of StudioTulsa, we are listening to another installment in the Museum Confidential podcast series, which is co-created by Jeff Martin (with Philbrook Museum of Art) and Scott Gregory (with Public Radio Tulsa). In this episode, writer and Philbrook staffer Mark Brown speaks about his in-depth profile of Eugene Kingman (1909-1975) -- the first-ever Director of Philbrook, who was also a versatile painter and cartographer -- which appeared in that museum's newsletter in 2016.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with the Austin-based, Montana-raised filmmaker Alex Smith, who's currently visiting TU in order to screen and answer questions about his feature film, "Walking Out." (The film will be shown tonight, the 13th, at the Lorton Performance Center; the screening is free to the public.) Smith and his twin brother Andrew work together on various film and TV projects, and "Walking Out" is their most recent movie.

Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is Eric Schlosser, the well-regarded American journalist and filmmaker whose bestselling books include "Fast Food Nation" (2001), "Reefer Madness" (2003), "Chew on This" (2006), and "Command and Control" (2013). This last-named title reveals the details of America's ongoing efforts to prevent nuclear weapons from being stolen, sabotaged, or detonated by accident.

Our guest is Tom Clavin, the popular historian whose latest book, "Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West," is just out in paperback. As was noted of this book by the Houston Press: "Thorough, compelling, and entertaining.... Clavin sprinkles in fascinating tidbits about life and culture in the Old West.... In 'Dodge City,' Clavin vividly re-creates a time, a town, and an era that it seems incomprehensible occurred less than 150 years ago.

Louis Lamone, Photographer; Bill Scovill and Norman Rockwell, ca 1962; Inkjet print, Norman Rockwell Collection, ©1962 Norman Rockwell Family Agency.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about a new exhibition at Gilcrease Museum; "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera" is the first exhibition to explore in depth the famous illustrator's richly detailed study photographs, which he used, quite carefully, as reference points for his iconic paintings.

Americans are less and less in agreement these days -- polarization, as we all know, has become a buzzword...and an omnipresent reality. But if there's one thing everyone agree on, it's that Washington, DC, is broken. How can it be fixed? Our guest is Joseph A. Califano, Jr., who spent thirty years in Washington at the top of the Pentagon, on the White House staff as chief domestic advisor to the President, and in the Cabinet.

On this edition of ST, we learn about "Four Chords and a Gun," a newly created non-musical play that looks at the iconic punk band known as The Ramones -- and in particular, at their efforts to record an album with the eccentric yet legendary music producer, Phil Spector. The play was written by John Ross Bowie, an actor best known for his roles on TV's "Speechless" and "The Big Bang Theory." As we learn on today's show, "Four Chords and a Gun" focuses on the years 1979 and 1980, when The Ramones stood on the very edge of breaking into stardom.

(Note: This show originally aired back in November.) On this edition of ST, Robert Dallek is our guest; he's a well-regarded American historian whose books include "Camelot's Court" and "Nixon and Kissinger," among several others. He joins us to talk about his latest volume, "Franklin D.

The author and journalist Mark Whitaker is our guest on StudioTulsa. A former managing editor of CNN Worldwide, and a previous Washington bureau chief for NBC News, Whitaker has a new book out, which he tells us about. It's an "expansive, prodigiously researched, and masterfully told history" (Kirkus Reviews) called "Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance." As was noted in an appreciation of this book in USA Today: "Pittsburgh was one of the country's citadels of black aspiration in music, sports, business, and culture.

For a number of different (and often unsettling) reasons, issues of race and racism have by now come into focus in American life in a pervasive manner that we, as a society, have not seen in decades. Or maybe, actually, we as a nation have never been as racially aware -- or alert -- as we are at this moment.

Artificial "machine" intelligence is, of course, a part of our lives now -- we have cruise control in our cars, automatic checkout services at the supermarket, and (most importantly?) those smartphones in our pockets. But what will life be like when artificial "sentient" intelligence becomes the norm? And when will that happen? On this edition of ST, we're talking about various AI-related matters with Amir Husain, an inventor and computer scientist whose new book is called "The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence." As was noted of this book by Prof.

Our guest is the author and journalist Ted Genoways, who is a contributing editor at Mother Jones, The New Republic, and Pacific Standard. A fourth-generation Nebraskan, Genoways has a new book out that profiles a subject near and dear to his heart. "This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm" vividly documents the lives and labors behind a small family farm located in York County, Nebraska.

(Note: This show originally aired in August of this year.) Our guest is author Ladee Hubbard, who joins us to discuss her first novel. It's called "The Talented Ribkins." It's a creative and widely acclaimed book about race, class, politics, and America itself...and it focus on, of all things, a family of super-heroes. And per a starred review of this novel by Kirkus: "Crafty and wistful.... Hubbard weaves this narrative with prodigious skill and compelling warmth. You anticipate a movie while wondering if any movie could do this fascinating family, well, justice.

On this installment of ST, we hear about how people living and working here in Tulsa would be affected by the cancellation of DACA, which President Trump proposed earlier this year. The DACA (or "Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival") Program is an Obama-era federal statue allowing some children who entered the U.S. illegally to stay here as long as they meet certain criteria; there are now about 800,000 DACA recipients in this country. Our guests today are two young people based in Tulsa who are both DACA recipients, and who both came to the U.S. at a young age.

On this edition of ST, Robert Dallek is our guest; he is the well-regarded American historian whose books include "Camelot's Court" and "Nixon and Kissinger," among several others. He joins us to talk about his newest volume, "Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life." As was noted of this book in a Christian Science Monitor review: "[Dallek] believes that FDR was a born politician of ferocious and very nearly infallible instincts, and through a combination of extensive research and first-rate storyteller's gifts, [Dallek] makes the reader believe it, too.

On this edition of our show, we speak with Dr. Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley, where he directs its Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab. Dr. Walker joins us to discuss his new book, "Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams." As per The New York Times Book Review, this book is "a thoughtful tour through the still dimly understood state of being asleep.... [This] is a book on a mission. Walker is in love with sleep and wants us to fall in love with sleep, too. And it is urgent.

On this edition of our show, we speak with Rachel Keith, the Director of Collections and Exhibitions at Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa. She tells us about the newly-opened and totally original exhibition, "Museum Confidential," which will be on view at Philbrook through early May of next year. As noted of this show at the Philbrook website: "Visitors [to Philbrook] often ask what goes on behind-the-scenes.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Joseph Opala, an American historian who's known for his research on the so-called "Gullah Connection," i.e., the long historical thread linking the West African nation of Sierra Leone to the Gullah people of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. Opala, an Oklahoma native, first learned of the Gullah people while serving in the Peace Corps, just after college; by now, he has spent more than four decades making historical discoveries about these people, their language, their culture, their lineage, and so forth.

On this edition of ST, we chat with the New York-based author and journalist Jennifer Egan, whose newest novel, the much-praised "Manhattan Beach," is just out. As was noted of this book in a starred review in Kirkus: "After stretching the boundaries of fiction in myriad ways...Egan does perhaps the only thing left that could surprise: she writes a thoroughly traditional novel. Realistically detailed, poetically charged, and utterly satisfying: apparently there's nothing Egan can't do." And further, per Dwight Garner in The New York Times: "Immensely satisfying....

On this edition of ST, we chat with Jimmy Webb, who grew up in rural Oklahoma before going out to Hollywood, while still a teen, to break into the songwriting biz...and who eventually created such classic pop tunes as "Wichita Lineman," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," "Up, Up and Away," and "MacArthur Park." Webb will soon perform (on the 14th) with the Bartlesville Symphony, singing and playing his wonderful songs while also telling plenty of stories. He shares a few of those stories with us today -- many of which also appear in his recent memoir, "The Cake and the Rain."

What's a "typical day at the office" like for a reporter who's been assigned to cover the White House? How often do presidents traveling on Air Force One actually stroll to the back of the plane and chat with journalists? How much prep work goes (or doesn't go) into the annual White House Turkey Pardon, just before Thanksgiving? On this edition of ST, we listen to a "Public Radio Tulsa Give and Take" conversation that was recorded recently, on Saturday the 30th.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel about his new book, "High Noon." It's a detailed history focused on the making of one of Hollywood’s most popular, and most critically acclaimed, Westerns. It's also, as we learn on today's program, a quite deliberate if veiled parable about the then-current Hollywood blacklist.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, an interesting chat with the locally based filmmaker James Payne. His new movie, a feature-length, award-winning documentary called "Far Western," will have its Tulsa debut screening at the Circle Cinema on Thursday the 5th at 7pm.

On this edition of our show, an interesting chat with Ali Noorani, who's the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum (an advocacy organization promoting the value of immigrants and immigration) as well as the author of "There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration." Mr. Noorani will be giving a free-to-the-public, immigration-focused address tonight (the 28th) on the TU campus; his address, titled "Beyond the Headlines," begins at 7pm in Tyrrell Hall.

On this installment of our show, an in-depth discussion with the novelist Tom Perrotta, whose books include "Election" and "Little Children" (both of which were made into well-regarded films). Perrotta has a new novel out, titled "Mrs. Fletcher," and he tells us about it on today's program. As was noted of this book in a front-page appreciation in The New York Times Book Review: "[This book], Perrotta's seventh novel and first since 2011's "The Leftovers," operates and succeeds in ways that will be pleasingly familiar to his admirers.

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