Arts & Culture of interest to Northeastern Oklahoma

(Note: This interview first aired last fall.) How long has atheism been a part of human experience? Most people today regard the sustained, intellectually rigorous adherence to non-religion as an invention of the European Enlightenment -- or, more recently, of modernity. But as our guest argues on this edition of ST, atheism is actually -- like so many other aspects of Western life and culture -- a phenomenon with origins in the societies of the ancient Mediterranean.

(Note: This show originally aired in December of last year.) On this presentation of ST on Health, an interesting chat with Theresa Brown, a clinical nurse who also writes regularly about nursing for The New York Times,, and other national media. Brown's new memoir is "The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives," and Publishers Weekly (in a starred review) called it a "meticulous, absorbing shift-in-the-life account of one nurse's day on a cancer ward [which] stands out for its honesty, clarity, and heart.

On Thursday of last week, the State Legislature arrived at a deadline for moving legislation forward -- and thus many bills advanced in the Oklahoma Legislature from one chamber into the other, while many other bills were, in effect, killed. On this edition of ST, we discuss several of the bills now moving forward while also offering a review of several of the troubling issues facing state lawmakers more generally (such as the state budget gap, of course). Our guest is Gene Perry, the Policy Director at the non-profit, non-partisan Oklahoma Policy Institute.

(Please note: This interview originally aired last fall.) Our guest on today's StudioTulsa is the Oregon-based author Craig Ryan, who tells us about his book, "Sonic Wind: The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man on Earth." This engrossing biography offers readers, per a starred review in Kirkus, the "remarkable, almost-forgotten story of an aerospace pioneer....

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Benjamin Zander, the noted conductor, music educator, public speaker, and author of "The Art of Possibility." Maestro Zander is here in town to give a sold-out address to the Tulsa Town Hall tomorrow morning, Friday the 11th, and also to conduct the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night (the 12th; beginning at 7:30pm) in a performance of Mahler's magnificent Resurrection Symphony (a/k/a Symphony No. 2).

On this edition of ST, we offer a discussion of the life and work of Thomas Nast (1840-1902), who is commonly thought of as "the father of American political cartooning." Highly influential in his time and still admired by artists, columnists, writers, and cartoonists today, Nast might be best known for his work -- done before, during, and after the Civil War -- for Harper's Weekly. He also, quite famously, created the modern illustrated version of Santa well as the elephant as a symbol for the G.O.P. Our guest is Dr.

This evening -- Tuesday the 8th -- beginning at 6pm, Oklahoma Watch, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to both in-depth reporting and investigative journalism vis a vis public-policy issues, will host a free-to-the-public forum on the future of mass transit in the greater Tulsa area. The event will take place at the Central Center, near 6th and Peoria.

Last week on our program, we spoke with two members of the Tulsa City Council about the Vision program, which was recently approved by the Tulsa City Council in unanimous vote and is likewise supported by Mayor Bartlett.

You might call it "adding insult to injury," as the old saying goes. Yesterday's announcement that the State of Oklahoma has authorized an additional 4% cut to state expenditures will hurt all agencies statewide, but perhaps especially school districts, since their school year is now almost 3/4 complete. This cut comes at a time of extreme uncertainty for public school leadership all across Oklahoma regarding the shape of next year's appropriation, given the $1.3 billion shortfall in the state budget.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we get to know Laura Fry, who began her tenure as Curator of Art at the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa back in December. Fry previously worked at the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, Washington, where she was the inaugural Haub Curator of Western American Art. Prior to that post, she served at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming -- first as an education and curatorial assistant, then as a Frederic Remington research assistant.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with Geoffrey Harris, a noted expert on European history, politics, and culture. Last night, Mr. Harris gave a private address to the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations entitled "The European Union: Domestic and International Challenges," and he expands on his remarks on our program today. As noted at the Tulsa Committee's website: "Mr. Harris is currently the Deputy Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office with the U.S. Congress.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the highly regarded theatrical director David Schweizer, who's currently in town to direct Tulsa Opera's staging of Andre Previn's "A Streetcar Named Desire" (happening on Friday the 4th and Sunday the 6th).

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we are talking about the Vision program, which was recently approved by the Tulsa City Council in unanimous vote, and which is now slated to appear on the April 5th ballot. Our guests are City Councilors Karen Gilbert (of District 5) and G.T. Bynum (of District 9), who both describe the Vision program in detail why also explaining why they think it's vitally important for voters to approve this program.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in September.) Our guest is Erika Lee, who teaches history at the University of Minnesota, where she's also the Vecoli Chair in Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center. Lee tells us about her widely acclaimed book, "The Making of Asian America: A History" (Simon & Schuster). As was noted of this volume in the pages of The New York Times Book Review: "Sweeping....

On this edition of ST, we are joined by Craig Jones, who is President of the Oklahoma Hospital Association. Given the recent cuts in both Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, large cuts in federal reimbursement costs for uninsured patients, as well as ongoing transformations in standards of care, medical technology, and qualitative outcomes, times are tough these days for hospitals, especially rural hospitals. Nationwide, 673 rural hospitals are considered "on the edge" -- and here in Oklahoma, it's estimated that more than three dozen rural hospitals are facing a troubled future.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Kevin Hazzard, a California-based writer who formerly worked as a paramedic. Indeed, he has a compelling new book out that details his adventures in the EMS trade, and that book is the focus of our discussion: "A Thousand Naked Strangers" was published last month by Scribner.

On this installment of ST, we speak with Frédéric Brenner, an internationally acclaimed photographer who's best known for this documentation of Jewish communities around the world. His photographs have been shown at (among other prestigious venues) the International Center of Photography in New York, the Musée de l'Élysée in Lausanne, and the Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we explore the topic of unsettling medical negligence in America's immigrant-only prisons. Our guest is freelance journalist Seth Freed Wessler, whose recent cover story for The Nation in this regard is entitled "This Man Will Almost Certainly Die." As noted in the tag line for this story: "Dozens of men have died in disturbing circumstances in privatized, immigrant-only prisons. The Bureau of Prisons itself says there's a problem.

On this edition of ST, we chat with Sarah Ioannides, who currently is the conductor for the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, and who's been described by The New York Times as a conductor of "unquestionable strength and authority." Ioannides will be the guest conductor for the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra tomorrow night, Saturday the 20th, when the TSO presents its next concert.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we're discussing an interesting new literary biography called "The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered In the Modern World." Our guest is the author, William Egginton, who is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and a Professor of German and Romance Languages and Literatures at the Johns Hopkins University. As was noted of this compelling study in the pages of Publishers Weekly: "Egginton weaves together Cervantes's life story with his development as a writer.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about a striking new show at the Philbrook Museum of Art, "The Essence of Things: Design and the Art of Reduction," which will be on view through May 1st. Our guest is Sienna Brown, who was appointed the Meinig Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Philbrook about six months ago. As noted of this exhibit at the Philbrook website: "This exhibition celebrates simplicity in design.

Just who are the Koch brothers -- and when, and why, did they decide to spend billions of dollars in order to change the direction of American politics? On this installment of our show, a conversation with the well-respected political reporter Jane Mayer, who is a staff writer for The New Yorker as well as the author of an acclaimed new book, "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right." It's a book that is, per The Washington Post, "deeply researched and studded with detail....

On this edition of ST, we speak with the two Michigan State University professors who will be jointly delivering the Cadenhead-Settle Memorial Lecture in History tonight (Monday the 15th) on the TU campus. The lecture is free to the public; it begins at 7:30pm in Helmerich Hall. Our guests are Lewis H. Siegelbaum and Leslie Page Moch, who are also the co-authors of "Broad Is My Native Land: Repertoires and Regimes of Migration in Russia's Twentieth Century" (Cornell University Press).

On this edition of ST, we learn about a novel called "The Unraveling of Mercy Louis," which has just recently appeared in paperback. Our guest is the author, Keija Parssinen, who grew up in Saudi Arabia and Texas before graduating from Princeton University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Parssinen is now an assistant professor of English at the University of Tulsa, and she tells us about the themes, experiences, and ideas that led to the creation of this (her second) novel.

On this edition of our show, we learn about a documentary film that will be screened tonight (Thursday the 11th) in Helmerich Hall on the TU campus. The screening is free to the public, and it will also feature a panel discussion; it begins at 7pm. The film is question is "Children of the Civil Rights," and our guest is Julia Clifford, who directed it. As noted of this film at the "Children of the Civil Rights" website: "No one knew a group of children in Oklahoma City were heroes; not even the children themselves.

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On this edition of ST, a discussion of business practices and sustainability goals in contemporary America -- and of where these two ideas do and don't (and might someday) overlap. Our guest is Bill Roth, a business-book author, green entrepreneur, and consultant on sustainability; he'll be speaking soon in our community.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we learn about the Blue Zones Project.

On this installment of ST, we welcome back to our program the well-regarded, Ohio-based choreographer Edwaard Liang, who is currently working with Tulsa Ballet on a production of his special version of "Romeo and Juliet," which will be staged February 12th through the 14th. Shakespeare's tragic tale of two passionate yet ill-fated lovers will be presented in the Tulsa PAC, with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra playing Prokofiev's immortal score.

On this edition of our show, we speak with the British economist Caroline Webb, who also works as a management consultant and executive coach; she is a former partner at McKinsey and Company, and she now has her own consulting firm, Sevenshift, which helps clients be more productive, inspired, and effective at work.

Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

On this edition of ST, we speak with two outstanding local citizens who were among the ten women recently given the Women of the Year - Pinnacle Award from the YWCA Tulsa collaboration with the Mayor'’s Commission on the Status of Women. Earlier this week, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett presented these awards in person, and in doing so recognized how each of this year's recipients has worked to eliminate racism and/or empower women.