Interviews By Topic

"Religion always starts with mysticism," says David Steindl-Rast. Now 89, he's been a Benedictine monk since 1953. More

Getting a good night's sleep is hard for a lot of people, but imagine trying to drift off when you have terrifying hallucinations.More

When evangelical Christians say they talk to God, what do they mean? Anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann wanted to find out.More

The celebrated cartoonist Lynda Barry has a deep theory of creativity that she's explored through books and popular workshops.  More

water

WisContext — a reporting collaboration between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and the University of Wisconsin's Cooperative Extension —has done some exceptional reporting on water rights and the economics of water diversion in our home state of Wisconsin. We're sharing some of it here.More

Jeff Chang

Jeff Chang has long known that art can be a catalyst for social change. For Chang, a journalist and culture critic who’s written extensively about the political influence of hip-hop, artists play a pivotal role in helping society imagine new realities.More

Kerepunu women at the marketplace of Kalo, British New Guinea, 1885

A conversation with renowned biologist Jared Diamond, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Guns, Germs and Steel.” His new book is “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?”More

You'd never think a book about chopping and burning wood would turn into a runaway bestseller, but Lars Mytting's "Norwegian Wood" is a publishing sensation in Scandinavia. Lars gathers the collected wisdom on everything from how to build a smokeless fire to the art of choosing a husband based on his wood pile.More

Traditional knowledge can surface in the most unlikely places. Take La Crosse, Wisconsin, where many Hmong people settled after the Vietnam War. Master blacksmith Tong Khai Vang and his apprentice and translator Kong Mong Yang show us the art of turning hot metal into Hmong knives.More

Botanist Robin Kimmerer describes her field experiments as like interviewing a plant. She believes nature is full of living beings - rocks and water as well as plants and animals. As both a Ph.D biologist and a member of the Potawatomi Naiton, she's trying to reconcile modern science with the wisdom of her Native elders.More

Composer Philip Glass says he was transported by "The Wayfinders" - Wade Davis' celebration of indigenous cultures.More

Wade Davis has been called the Indiana Jones of anthropology. He's traveled deep into the Amazon rain forest to meet shamans; he's investigated Haitian zombies; he's climbed high into the Tibetan mountains to photograph snow leopards. He says indigenous people have a fundamentally different way of seeing the world than we do in modern society.More

Africa needs to reclaim its history and its technology, says Clapperton Mavhunga, a native of Zimbabwe who's a professor in MIT's Program in Science, Technology and Society. He says the traditional hunt is a great example of how Africans have passed on generations of knowledge.More

Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead’s novel "The Underground Railroad" won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Steve Paulson spoke with him about this powerful, sweeping epic.More

Rapper Xuman is the host of Journal Rappe  – a weekly news program in Senegal that is rapped in Wolof, French, and English. It’s serious, hard-hitting news – rapped.More

Chris Emdin is the author of “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…And the Rest of Y’all Too” He’s a professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at the Teacher’s College at Columbia University. He told Anne Strainchamps about the next frontier of hip hop: education.More

Octopus

Philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith says the octopus is "probably the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien.” It has no bones and most of its neurons are in its arms — not its brain. Can we ever fathom octopus consciousness?More

Gorilla

Elena Passarello created “Koko” from the one-thousand word vocabulary of a gorilla who uses sign language. Her book is "Animals Strike Curious Poses."More

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