American Culture

He's a familiar and award-winning Hollywood actor, as well as an acclaimed director and producer. He's also (who knew?) a highly successful children's book author. Our guest on ST is Bob Balaban, who tells us about his newest book, "The Creature from the Seventh Grade: Boy or Beast" (Penguin Young Readers Group). In this funny, tween-friendly tale, we meet Charlie Drinkwater, a middle-school kid who's probably among the least popular --- and least noticed --- boys in his class.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak by phone with Matthew Yglesias, one of the nation's most widely-read political bloggers and columnists. Yglesias is a business and economics correspondent for Slate in Washington, DC, where he writes the Moneybox blog. He was previously a fellow at the Center for American Progress, an associate editor at The Atlantic, and a staff writer for the American Prospect.

The 2012 National Zarrow Mental Health Symposium and Mental Health America Annual Conference is a joint collaboration between the Mental Health Association in Tulsa and Mental Health America. It began here in Tulsa yesterday (the 19th) and concludes tomorrow (the 21st); it's happening downtown, at the Tulsa Convention Center, and this year's conference/symposium is entitled "From Housing to Recovery." Our guest on today's edition of ST is Jeffrey Olivet, who's the CEO of the Center for Social Innovation in Needham, Massachusetts (which is near Boston).

Our guest on this edition of ST is Dr. Michael L. Wehmeyer, a Professor of Special Education and Director of the Center on Developmental Disabilities at Kansas University. He's published more than 25 books and 250 scholarly articles and book chapters on topics related to special education, understanding intellectual disability, eugenics, and self-determination --- and he is the co-author of a new book, "Good Blood, Bad Blood: Science, Nature, and the Myth of the Kallikaks." A former Tulsan and University of Tulsa graduate, Dr.

Today we speak by phone with Kurt Anderson, the widely acclaimed writer whose novels include "Heyday" and "Turn of the Century," among other books. Andersen writes for television, film, and the stage, contributes to Vanity Fair, and hosts the PRI program Studio 360 (which is heard every Thursday at 8pm on Public Radio 89.5-1 KWGS).

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak by phone with the widely acclaimed author Arlie Russell Hochschild. Her most recent book is "The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times." It's a readable and engaging --- and sometimes rather unsettling --- exploration of how, in so many different ways, the market enters (and profoundly alters) contemporary American life, particularly in this Internet Age.

Last week, the GOP held its National Convention. This week, the Democratic Party will have its turn. And with the presidential campaign now in full gear, American politics --- and the two-party system at the heart of those politics --- is now, more or less, on just about everyone's mind.

(Note: This edition of ST first aired back in April.) A century ago, women could not own property or vote. Today, women are the primary wage earners in about 40% of American households, and are poised to be a majority within twenty years if current trends continue. Washington Post staff writer Liza Mundy calls it "The Big Flip" and examines this huge cultural shift and its impact on gender roles, relationships, and social dynamics.

(Please note that this show first aired back in May.) What do we mean when we call someone an "amateur"? What are we saying? As it happens, there are many answers to this question. On this edition of ST, we speak with Jack Hitt, a contributing editor to The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and public radio’s This American Life.

On this edition of ST, we speak with James Pace, an Oklahoma-born, Texas-based artist who has an exhibit on view at the University of Tulsa's Alexandre Hogue Gallery through September 20th. The show is called "Emblems from the Margin" --- and it includes mixed-media pieces as well as prints depicting various icons and recurring images. A professor of Visual Art at the University of Texas at Tyler since 1985, Pace is an artist who seems to emphasize symbolism, tactility, the American wilderness, and the narrative process itself in his work.

The automobile thrived, of course --- in fact, it flourished --- in the 20th century. Especially in America, where entire cities were developed around the car. People bought houses, planned vacations, and chose their schools and supermarkets (and so forth) around their autos --- and we still do so today, obviously. But it seems highly unlikely that cars will have quite so great an influence on our lives (and on cities) in the 21st century. So, what's next?

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with the Brooklyn-based children's and YA author, Jacqueline Woodson, who is the winner of the Tulsa Library Trust's 2012 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature. She's written more than 20 books thus far in her career --- many if not most of them concerning the modern African-American experience, especially from a young person's perspective --- and she's probably best known for "Miracle's Boys," her award-winning YA novel that filmmaker Spike Lee made into a mini-series in 2002.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Teddy Cruz, the acclaimed architect and scholar --- he's an associate professor of Public Culture and Urbanism in the Visual Arts Department at the University of California, San Diego --- who will appear at a "Third Thursday" event at the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa tomorrow night (the 16th) at 6pm. A 2010 profile of Cruz that appeared in T: The New York Times Style Magazine --- in which he was named as one of "the Nifty 50: America's up-and-coming talent" --- begins like so: "Most architects live to build.

On this encore edition of ST, we listen back to a conversation with Amy Wells, a Hollywood-based set decorator who's worked on several outstanding films and TV series over the years, among them the television programs "House," "Love Field," and "Mad Men," as well as the motion pictures "Clueless," "There Will Be Blood," and "A Single Man." Wells did an event here in Tulsa (at the Philbrook Museum of Art) back in May; at that time, she stopped by our studios to talk about her interesting work on AMC's "Mad Men" --- a critically acclaimed show that's routinely praised as much for its costumes

On today's edition of StudioTulsa, we're pleased to welcome back an old friend, Michael Hightower, who lived and worked in Tulsa for about two decades, starting in 1980, and who, for most of that time, owned and presided over Council Oak Books. Now based in Charlottesville, Virginia, Hightower joins us to talk about his new novel, "The Pattersons," a work of historical fiction as well as modern-day sociological commentary that occasionally draws on Hightower's own life story.

"Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger," the former President George W. Bush once remarked to an appreciative audience, "which, in Texas, is called 'walking.'" It's pretty clear to just about everyone that the State of Texas sees itself as a breed apart in many ways, and for many reasons; Texans, as a rule, seem to consider their home state an exceptional, singular, not-to-be-messed-with place.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we welcome back Scott Perkins, a curator at the Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville, who tells us about a fine exhibit currently on view at the Price Tower called "From Process to Print: Graphic Works by Romare Bearden." Bearden (1911-1988) is widely regarded as one of the most important African-American artists this country has produced; he made art works in a range of media and was also a gifted writer, a cherished mentor to younger generations of artists, a tireless arts advocate, and a prominent intellectual and collaborator within the artistic/cu

Earlier this month, in the pages of The New York Times Book Review, the acclaimed American historian Douglas Brinkley and the accomplished Hollywood actor Johnny Depp offered a co-written essay that made at least two rather surprising announcements.

How many cigarettes are sold each year, worldwide? Believe it or not, six trillion. Our guest, who calls the cigarette "the deadliest artifact in the history of human civilization," was the first-ever historian, several years ago, to testify in court against Big Tobacco. On this installment of our show, we speak by phone with Robert N. Proctor, Professor of the History of Science at Stanford University.

(Note: This show first aired back in April.) A century ago, women could not own property or vote. Today, women are the primary wage earners in about 40% of American households, and are poised to be a majority within twenty years if current trends continue. Washington Post staff writer Liza Mundy calls it "The Big Flip" and examines this huge cultural shift and its impact on gender roles, relationships, and social dynamics.

File Photo

"1913 Massacre" is the name of a song that Woody Guthrie wrote circa 1941; it recounts an early-20th-century tragedy that happened at the Italian Hall building in Calumet, Michigan, on Christmas Eve of 1913, when hundreds of miners, along with their families and friends, had gathered for a party. At that time, Calumet was at the heart of Michigan's then-lucrative copper-mining activity.

On this installment of ST, we're looking back on the life and music of the late Doc Watson, who died in May at the age of 89. Watson was a truly legendary guitarist and singer whose work in the realms of folk, bluegrass, country, blues, and gospel music won him several Grammy Awards and universal acclaim. Despite being blind from infancy, he had a long and highly influential career; his guitar-playing (and especially his flat-picking skills) as well as his vast knowledge of traditional American music were, and still are, considered unequaled.

Tomorrow, of course, is the Fourth of July, America's birthday. But, in the meantime, today (July 3rd) is the 149th anniversary of Pickett's Charge, the failed Confederate infantry assault on the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg: the unsuccessful attack (named for Maj. Gen. George Pickett) that's now basically seen as the beginning of the end of the Southern war effort.

Our guest on this edition of ST is Derry Noyes, an art diretor and graphic designer with the US Postal Service (you can read her bio here). Noyes was the art director a series of Forever US Postage stamps created in 2011 to salute such pioneering American industrial designers as Norman Bel Geddes, Russell Wright, Henry Dreyfuss, and Walter Dorwin Teague.

Our guest on this installment of ST is the widely celebrated NYC-based jazz pianist Aaron Goldberg (born in Boston in 1974), whose playing has been tagged by The New York Times as "versatile and impressive, and he swings hard.... [He's a] sharp young pianist with a superb rhythm section." He has been active on the national/international jazz scene since the early 1990s, playing with everyone from Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Al Foster, and Terry Gibbs, to Joshua Redman, Mark Turner, Ali Jackson, and Kurt Rosenwinkel.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we're joined by Elizabeth Chambers, the collections manager for the Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, and Gardens, who's currently in town to help set-up a show opening at the Gilcrease Museum on Sunday the 24th. It's a traveling exhibit, "Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon," that will be on view at Gilcrease through September 23rd. What do we know, for certain, about "the Father of Our Country"?

On this edition of StudioTulsa, Nancy Pearl, our longtime book expert and the author of four "Book Lust" volumes of recommended reading --- and now, also, the curator of Amazon.com's new series of reprints of classic, out-of-print books --- offers her summer reading list. (Summer arrives, officially, on Wednesday the 20th!) Here is Nancy's list:

"A Partial History of Lost Causes" by Jennifer Dubois

"After Life" by Rhian Ellis

"The Forgotten Waltz" by Anne Enright

"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" by Ben Fountain

"The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green

On this edition of our show, we speak with our old friend Jeff Martin, who occasionally contributes commentaries to ST, works as the Online Communities Manager at Philbrook Museum of Art, and is the founder/mastermind behind the ongoing (and non-profit) Book Smart Tulsa series of readings/signings. This always-active, ever-engaging literary series --- which has been popular with Tulsa book-lovers of all sorts since its inception three years ago (or so) --- will present its 100th event tonight, Tuesday the 12th, at 7pm at Dwelling Spaces in downtown Tulsa.

On this edition of our show, we speak with the artist Joseph Velasquez, who has an MA and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the co-founder of the Dirty Printmakers of America, is a curator at the SlingShot Gallery (in Madison, WI), and is one of the creators/participants/educators behind Drive-By Press (which, per its website, is on a "mission to share [its] enthusiasm for printmaking with audiences everywhere.") Now based in Austin, Texas, Velasquez tells us that he began Drive-By Press in order to give demonstrations --- from the back of his truck --- of relief printing,

On this edition of ST, which originally aired last fall, we welcome back Steven Johnson, the bestselling and award-winning author of several books on science and technology.

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