Culture

Culture, Ideas, Religion

Friday morning, KUER brings you NPR special coverage of President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.

At 7:00 p.m., tune in to RadioWest for a conversation about eloquence. We all know it when we hear it. The skillful delivery of language delights us, captivates us, persuades and moves us. Most importantly, says the linguist David Crystal, speakers and listeners alike enjoy eloquent speech. Crystal has dissected the qualities and practice of eloquence. Partly, he wants to better understand how it's achieved. He also wants to show that eloquence is a talent everyone who uses words can possess. Crystal joins us to examine how the gift of gab works. (Rebroadcast)

Sundance 2017: Trophy

Jan 19, 2017
from film, Trophy

Thursday, we begin our coverage of Sundance with the documentary Trophy. Filmmakers Shaul Shwarz and Christina Clusiau followed hunters, breeders, and conservationists to ask what we do to save the great species of the world from extinction. The high cost of trophy hunting trips to Africa often fund conservation efforts and communities, but critics say there’s a danger in treating animals like commodities. Schwarz and Clusiau join Doug to talk about that relationship between hunting and conservation.

Biblical Literalism

Jan 17, 2017
Artondra Hall via CC/Flickr, http://goo.gl/qVxgS4, http://goo.gl/sZ7V7x

Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong presents a provocative idea in his latest book. Reading the Bible literally, he says, is heresy. He bases his argument on a close reading of the Gospel of Matthew, which he argues was written by Jews for Jews. Spong says the gospel was not written as a literal account of Christ’s life, but rather as an interpretative portrait of God’s love. Spong joins us to talk about biblical literalism and his uniquely progressive approach to Christianity. (Rebroadcast)

Tim Hetherington, http://www.timhetheringtontrust.org/

The journalist Sebastian Junger has noticed that for many veterans, and even some civilians, war feels better than peace, and he has a theory about why that might be. War, he says, compels us to band together and support one another in pursuit of a clear goal. But under the normal conditions of modern culture, we lose those connections, and we feel lonely and lost. Monday, we're rebroadcasting a conversation with Junger about why we’re stronger when we come together and what tribal societies can teach us about leading meaningful lives. (Rebroadcast)

Kino Lorber | TOWER

On August, 1, 1966, a lone gunman opened fire from the top floor of a tower at the University of Texas at Austin. It was America’s first mass school shooting, and civilians and law enforcement on the ground struggled to respond. When the gunshots were silenced, 16 people lay dead and dozens were wounded. In a new documentary film, director Keith Maitland revisits the events of that infamous day through the words of the people who lived it. Maitland joins us Thursday to talk about his film. It’s called TOWER.

 

Historian Pamela Haag says there’s a mythology around American gun culture. The conventional wisdom is that since the Revolutionary War we’ve had some primal bond with our firearms. But Haag argues that our guns were once just another tool of everyday life, and that the gun industry convinced us we needed to be armed. In her latest book, she follows the rise of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and the marketing campaign she says created our gun culture. We spoke with Haag about the story.

The psychologist Alison Gopnik is worried about modern day parenting, including her own. It’s too much like being a carpenter, she says, where you shape chosen materials into a final, preconceived product. Kids don’t work like that. In a new book, Gopnik suggests parents think less like carpenters and more like gardeners: creating safe, nurturing spaces in which children can flourish. Gopnik joins us to discuss how we can raise better kids by changing our approach to parenting. (Rebroadcast)

Where does genius come from? Some people say geniuses are born, or that they’re made by thousands of hours of work. But what if genius is actually grown, like a plant? Travel writer Eric Weiner has scanned the globe and come to exactly that conclusion. He says genius arises in clumps at particular places and times when certain ingredients are present. Think Ancient Greece, 14th-century Florence, or modern-day Silicon Valley. Weiner joins us to explain his theory of the geography of genius. (Rebroadcast)

How Eloquence Works

Dec 29, 2016
<a href="http://bit.ly/289uFxL">Jack Thielepape/jmt images, via <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">CC</a>/flickr

We all know eloquence when we hear it. The skillful delivery of language delights us, captivates us, persuades and moves us. Most importantly, says the linguist David Crystal, speakers and listeners alike enjoy eloquent speech. Crystal has dissected the qualities and practice of eloquence. Partly, he wants to better understand how it's achieved. He also wants to show that eloquence is a talent everyone who uses words can possess. Crystal joins us to examine how the gift of gab works. (Rebroadcast)

American Utopianism

Dec 22, 2016
Public Domain, http://bit.ly/1U56lcm

What should the future look like? That’s the question posed by ambitious, sometimes delusional Americans in the early 1800s who dedicated themselves to creating new ways of living. You had Mother Ann Lee’s Shakers; the Oneida community in New York; New Harmony, Indiana; intentional communities inspired by French socialist Charles Fourier; and the roots of a communist paradise in Texas. Thursday, the writer Chris Jennings joins us to explore the idealism and the lasting impact of these five utopian movements. (Rebroadcast)

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