American 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.

On this episode of ST, we welcome Jared Johnson to the show. He's an active drummer on the Tulsa-area music scene as well as a drumset instructor at Northeastern State University. Jared gigs widely on the local scene, playing in all sorts of bands and musical settings, and mainly works as a jazz drummer.

(Note: This interview first aired back in May.) On this edition of ST, we chat with Michael Wallis, the best-selling Tulsa-based author of "Route 66" and "David Crockett" and many other books.

(Note: This show first aired back in February.) On this edition of our show, a discussion with Sue Klebold, whose 17-year-old son, Dylan, was of course one of the two teenage boys who committed suicide ­after their murderous attack on Colorado's Columbine High School in 1999. Klebold has a new book out about this incident -- and more to the point, about the behaviors that she did and did not see in her son in the months and years leading up to that terrible April day.

Our guest on this installment of ST is author Ladee Hubbard, who joins us to discuss her first novel, which is just out. 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.

(Note: This interview originally aired in October of last year.) Our guest is Alex Prud'homme, who is Julia Child's great-nephew as well as the co-author of her autobiography, "My Life in France" (which was adapted into the hit movie, "Julie & Julia"). Prud'homme joins us to discuss his book, "The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act." In this work, per a critic for Booklist, "Prud'homme deftly chronicles the years after Julia Child left France and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts....

(Note: This interview originally aired back in April.) On this installment of ST, the bestselling writer Jonathan Lethem is our guest. He's known for such celebrated novels as "Dissident Gardens," "The Fortress of Solitude," and "Motherless Brooklyn." He joins us to discuss his latest book, which is a gathering of nonfiction pieces. It's called "More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers," and it's an impressive collection of 50+ essays, some of them previously published and some newly written.

On this edition of ST, a discussion with Richard Rothstein, who is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Widely seen as a leading authority on U.S.

(Note: This program first aired back in January.) On this edition of ST, we speak with Randall Fuller, the Chapman Professor of English here at TU.

What can American motion pictures tell us about the American South, and what can the South tell us about the movies? Our guest is Robert Jackson, an Associate Professor of English here at the University of Tulsa.

On this edition of ST, we learn about a striking new show at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa; "Hope & Fear: Propaganda of the Great War" will be on view through November 12th. Our guests are the show's co-curators, Chief Curator Catherine Whitney and Librarian/Archivist Thomas Young. As noted of this exhibit at the Philbrook website: "To commemorate the 100th anniversary year of America's entry into World War I, Philbrook presents wartime propaganda art from the Museum's permanent collection.

Is America truly an "exceptional" nation? And what do we mean, really, when we assert this? Our guest on this edition of ST is Mugambi Jouet, who teaches at Stanford Law School, and whose writing has been featured in Mother Jones, Slate, The New Republic, the Huffington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He joins us to discuss his new book, "Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other." As was noted of this timely work by The Mercury News: "Thought-provoking....

(Note: This program originally aired in April.) On this edition of ST, we speak with Daniel Connolly, a reporter who has, for more than a decade, covered Mexican immigration into the Southern U.S. for The Associated Press in Little Rock, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal, and other outlets.

On this edition of ST, we chat with Michael Wallis, the best-selling Tulsa-based author of "Route 66" and "David Crockett" and many other books.

Lots of talk these days, as we all know, about "building that wall." But what about the borderwall that already exists between much of the U.S. and Mexico? And what about the cultures, events, art works, communities, and lives that are associated with this borderwall -- that is, with the various walls and fences running between these two countries? Our guest is Ronald Rael, an Associate Professor in the Departments of Architecture and Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley.

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