Presidential Lecture Series (at TU)

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we offer a discussion with the widely acclaimed American writer Dennis Lehane, who's well-known for his bestselling novels in the crime/mystery/thriller genre, among them "Darkness, Take My Hand," "Sacred," "Gone Baby Gone," "Mystic River," "Shutter Island," "Live by Night," and "World Gone By." Lehane has also written for "The Wire" and "Boardwalk Empire," two popular TV series that aired in recent years on HBO, and several of his novels have been adapted into award-winning films.

On this segment of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to chat with Elaine Pagels, a leading theological scholar in America who has taught at Princeton University since 1982. Pagels is also a bestselling author; her landmark book, "The Gnostic Gospels," analyzed more than 50 early Christian manuscripts that had been unearthed in Egypt in the 1940s -- and it won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and National Book Award.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Erik Larson, the bestselling nonfiction writer whose page-turning historical narratives include "The Devil in the White City," "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin," and (most recently) "Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania." This last named book -- exploring the events before, during, and after the 1915 sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania -- is the main thrust of our conversation, although Larson also speaks about how he locates, happens upon, researches, and writes his remarkable stories.

Why do some societies thrive while others fail? What makes certain societies more vengeful, more violent, or more war-driven than others? And what can we who live in the world's modern societies learn from those who dwell in -- or have dwelled in -- the world's traditional societies? Such are the questions we explore on this edition of StudioTulsa.

Each year, the University of Tulsa's Presidential Lecture Series hosts distinguished speakers on a range of fascinating topics; all lectures are free to the public. The Presidential Lecture Series is sponsored by The Darcy O'Brien Endowed Chair and supported by the University's Office of the Provost. TU's next Presidential Lecturer will be Frank Wilczek, the well-known theoretical physicist and mathematician who's also a professor at MIT. Wilczek's talk begins at 7:30pm on Thursday the 27th; it happens in the Reynolds Center, at 3208 East 8th Street, and reservations are not required.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who's well-known and widely celebrated for his drama, "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes," which first appeared in the early 1990s, and which was thereafter converted into an HBO-TV miniseries  that was directed by Mike Nichols.

On this installment of ST, we offer a conversation with P.J. O'Rourke, the well-known conservative American satirist and journalist who's been writing articles and books about --- and just basically poking fun at --- politics, economics, culture, and current events for nearly forty years now. O'Rourke's bestselling books include "Give War a Chance," "Holidays in Hell," "Parliament of Whores," and "The CEO of the Sofa" --- and his newest book, "The Baby Boom," is due out later this year.