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University of the Air

174 episodes - English - Latest episode: 24 days ago - ★★★★★ - 28 ratings

Hosts Norman Gilliland and Emily Auerbach invite distinguished faculty guests from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to discuss topics in music, art, writing, theater, science, education, and history.

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Episodes

Fredric March

June 27, 2024 14:51

In recent years Wisconsin native Fredric March has been criticized for his participation in a questionable student organization at the University of Wisconsin. But in addition to being a brilliant […]

Banished Mexican American Women

June 19, 2024 19:54

New oral histories reveal that during the Great Depression, the U.S. government banished thousands of Mexican American women to Mexico, including many who were American citizens.

The Victorians and the Birth of Modern Britain

June 11, 2024 20:04

Britain in the 1840s was wracked by poverty, unrest, and uncertainty. There were attempts to assassinate the queen and her prime minister, and the ruling class lived in fear of […]

The Exciting Soil Under Your Feet

June 09, 2024 22:00

Jo Handelsman is the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Vilas Research Professor, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. She previously served as a science advisor to President Barack Obama as the Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Her lab focuses on understanding the genetic basis for stability of microbial communities, the role of a gut community as a source of opportunis...

The Art and Science of Presidential Rhetoric

May 29, 2024 14:40

One of the most famous of cold War speeches is JFK’s address to citizens of a divided Berlin on June 26, 1963-a speech epitomizing the divide between the US and its Allies on one side of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union and its buffer states on the other. During the Cold War, several US presidents used rhetoric to project US power and intentions to a world audience. What were their methods?

The Famous Trial of Joan Little

May 21, 2024 20:41

Accused of fatally stabbing her jailer with an ice pick, Joan Little became the first woman acquitted of murder because of her right to self-defense against sexual assault.

Chinese Literature of the Supernatural

May 17, 2024 19:33

Centuries of Chinese tradition have brought about tales of strange creatures and glimpses into the afterlife.

Grammar Is Not Your Enemy!

April 29, 2024 21:24

Why do so many people hate grammar? Find out which grammar "rules" are prescriptive gobbledygook with the Chair of the UW English Department

Coexisting with Wild Animals

April 29, 2024 21:11

Mountain lions, tigers, and bears--Wisconsin has them all in a shrinking habitat. Adrian Treves will provide some insights into which animals are thriving near humans and how best to interact with them.

Beyond the Reading Wars to the Science of Reading

April 28, 2024 19:08

In this rebroadcast, we ask, Why are so many American children failing to learn to read, and what can be done about it?

The Presidential Nomination Process

April 19, 2024 19:32

The process for nominating US presidential candidates has changed over the years—often in ways that are complicated, confusing, and not necessarily democratic. Nominations have become a shifting landscape of delegates, superdelegates, back-room party bosses, and late-night compromises that try to unite competing party factions. As the 2024 presidential election approaches, how will the nomination processes work and how will they be different from those in previous elections? Political scienti...

Why Do Birds Flock, Sing, and Play

April 12, 2024 19:06

Computers are dangerous enough for individuals. When nations are involved, the stakes are even bigger.

Evangelicals in American Politics

April 07, 2024 21:06

Ever since the days of Puritan New England, American governments have struggled to define the relationship between religion and a secular nation. In recent years, that struggle has become increasingly strident with the rise of the Christina Right. What is the relationship between the Christian Right and traditional evangelicals? At what point did the Christian Right become an influence in US presidential elections? And who were the key players in that development? Historian Dan Hummel will ta...

The Vulnerability of Public Education

March 26, 2024 20:26

Explore the increasing battles over academic freedom, tenure, and faculty governance at public universities today.

James Joyce

March 17, 2024 21:06

We delve into our archives for a conversation about one of Ireland’s celebrated writer James Joyce. We decode some of the more obscure meanings behind Joyce’s often ambiguous prose and […]

A History of U.S.-Israel Relations

March 10, 2024 21:06

Since the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, U.S. presidents have tried a variety of approaches to maintain balanced relations with Israel and the surrounding Arab states. In the years leading up to the Israeli-Hamas war, a series of conflicts have made the attempt particularly challenging.

Citizens of a Stolen Land: A Ho-Chunk History of the 19th-Century U.S

March 03, 2024 22:06

Explore how Wisconsin's Ho-Chunk people fought back against devastating attacks on their land and culture

The Devil’s Element

February 25, 2024 22:06

We can't exist without phosphorus. Until recently, there was a steady supply because it moved through a cycle, but now that cycle has been broken and what was life-sustaining is becoming scarce and dangerous.

The Legendary Paul Robeson

February 18, 2024 22:00

Explore why acclaimed African American singer, actor, and activist Paul Robeson became embroiled in controversy and denied a passport.

A History of the 20th Century Catholic Church

February 11, 2024 22:06

In the years following World War I, the Catholic Church was intent upon regaining lost ground and entered into a variety of political alliances to do so--some of them with unexpected outcomes.

The Joy of Dictionaries

January 30, 2024 19:50

Who decides which words make it into dictionaries and how to define them in non-biased ways? Professor Emeritus Marshall Cook looks behind the scenes at lexicographers such as Kory Stamper (author of Word by Word), and Derrick Allen (graduate of the UW Odyssey Project www.odyssey.wisc.edu) adds readings of “I Love Webster’s” by Tosumba Welch and […]

Cybersecurity, Part 1

January 29, 2024 20:36 - 53 minutes - 3.13 KB

Computers are dangerous enough for individuals. When nations are involved, the stakes are even bigger.

The Mental Health Crisis and the Problem of Misdiagnosis

January 21, 2024 22:00

Psychiatrists and insurance companies use the 300+ mental health disorders listed in the DSM to diagnose patients, but what if many of those labels are harmful and misleading? Psychiatrists and insurance companies use the 300+ mental health disorders listed in the DSM to diagnose patients, but what if many of those labels are harmful and […]

The Mental Health Crisis and the Problem of Misdiagnosis

January 21, 2024 22:00

Psychiatrists and insurance companies use the 300+ mental health disorders listed in the DSM to diagnose patients, but what if many of those labels are harmful and misleading? Psychiatrists and insurance companies use the 300+ mental health disorders listed in the DSM to diagnose patients, but what if many of those labels are harmful and […]

The Latest From Venus

January 14, 2024 22:00

Veiled in clouds, Venus is one of earth’s most mysterious neighbors, and yet those studying the planet continue to make discoveries about it. Is life possible on Venus? If not, was it ever possible? And what does it tell us about the future of earth? Astronomer Sanjay Limaye will share some answers.

Racist Love: Objectifying Asian Americans

January 07, 2024 22:00

Explore how Asian Americans evoke a strange mixture of anxiety and desire, manifested in objects such as cartoons, home decor, and AI robots.

Knowledge Turned Upside Down

December 24, 2023 22:00

How might we redefine what counts as knowledge, whether in a science classroom, an educational TV program, or a prison?

Counterfeiting

December 17, 2023 22:00

Counterfeiting has been used as a weapon of war, and it’s still very much with us in America today. But how practical is it to apprehend and who’s doing the counterfeiting? And how can game theory be used to track it?

“Kick Out the Jams”: Dave Marsh, the Sixties, and the Sound of Freedom

December 10, 2023 22:00

Exploring Dave Marsh’s Kick Out the Jams provides an exciting window into 20th century music and political activism.

"Kick Out the Jams": Dave Marsh, the Sixties, and the Sound of Freedom

December 10, 2023 22:00

Exploring Dave Marsh’s Kick Out the Jams provides an exciting window into 20 th century music and political activism.

Restorative Justice

December 03, 2023 22:00

At first, it may seem doomed to failure, but bringing together those most affected by a criminal act—the offender and the survivor–in a non-adversarial process has done much to repair the damage caused by the crime. The process is called Restorative Justice, and we’ll hear how it works from one of its practitioners.

Restorative Justice

December 03, 2023 22:00

At first, it may seem doomed to failure, but bringing together those most affected by a criminal act—the offender and the survivor--in a non-adversarial process has done much to repair the damage caused by the crime. The process is called Restorative Justice, and we'll hear how it works from one of its practitioners.

Traumatized Children and Emotionally Responsive Teaching

November 26, 2023 22:00

How can teachers, counselors, and parents work together to help traumatized children succeed?

The Fabulous Lady Gregory and the Irish Revival

November 12, 2023 22:00

Author, theater manager, and proto-feminist, the colorful Lady Gregory played a key role in Irish history.

The Life and Music of Al Jarreau

November 05, 2023 22:00

From his earliest days singing in the 1940s to the end of his career 60 years later, Wisconsin native Al Jarreau defied categorization, breaking music industry stenotypes on his way to winning Grammy Awards in three different categories-jazz, pop, and Rhythm and Blues. Biographer Kurt Dietrich will take us through Jarreau's life and career, from a humble Milwaukee childhood to international fame.

The Life and Music of Al Jarreau

November 05, 2023 22:00

From his earliest days singing in the 1940s to the end of his career 60 years later, Wisconsin native Al Jarreau defied categorization, breaking music industry stenotypes on his way to winning Grammy Awards in three different categories-jazz, pop, and Rhythm and Blues. Biographer Kurt Dietrich will takes us through Jarreau's life and career, from a humble Milwaukee childhood to international fame.

Gothic Novels

October 29, 2023 21:00

Haunted houses, dungeons, and demonic villains: why did a craze for gothic novels begin in the late 18 th century and persist until the present?

The State of the Great Lakes

October 22, 2023 21:00

The Great Lakes have suffered from a host of threats. Mercury, microplastics, nano plastics, sea lampreys, Asian carp, zebra mussels, and quagga mussels. How did those contaminants get there, and what are the challenges to getting rid of them? How much progress has been made since the environmental movement ramped up fifty years ago? And what’s causing the radically variable water levels in the lakes? Jim Hurley, the director of the UW Aquatic Sciences Center will give us some ideas about pin...

Families in a Media Age

October 15, 2023 21:00

Preschoolers often miss the lessons we think they learn from watching Clifford, Sesame Street, and other educational programs, while teens may use TV sitcoms to broach difficult topics with their parents. We explore the media's impact on us from childhood through adulthood.

The Art of the Novel

October 08, 2023 21:00

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Groff discusses the role of setting in her novels and short stories and explains why she chooses vastly different settings and timeframes for them. She focuses on her 2023 novel The Vaster Wilds and its place in the tradition of survival literature.

Why Patti Smith Matters

October 01, 2023 21:00

Explore the life and music of singer-songwriter, poet, feminist icon, activist, and revolutionary punk artist Patti Smith.

The Americas in Italian Literature 1700-1825

September 24, 2023 21:00

How did Europeans, Italians in particular, view the Americas during the colonial years, and how did Italian writers influence Benjamin Franklin and other leaders of the American Revolution? Professor of Italian Literature Stefania Buccini will tell us how Enlightenment ideas passed back and forth from America to Italy and influenced the response to repression in both places.

John Bascom and the Wisconsin Idea - with J. David Hoeveler

September 17, 2023 21:00

Explore John Bascom, the colorful President of the University of Wisconsin from 1874-1887 who championed women’s rights, worker’s rights, temperance, the pursuit of truth, and a notion that would go on to earn fame as “The Wisconsin Idea.”

The Elephant in the Room: The Role of Poverty in Child Maltreatment

September 10, 2023 21:00

What role do poverty and economic hardship play in child maltreatment and neglect? And how can child welfare systems prevent them? UW Professor of Social Work Kristen Slack will hare her research into programs designed to prevent child maltreatment. She'll discuss her work with coordinating services and benefits and detail improved strategies for preventing child neglect.

Preventing Alzheimer's Disease

September 03, 2023 21:00

The groundbreaking Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (WRAP) yields new data on this devastating disease, its generational impact, and pathways to treatment.

Tales from the Dugout

August 27, 2023 21:00

During its long history minor league baseball has produced a lot of bizarre occurrences. Sports announcer Tim Hagerty will share some of them from his vast collection of amazing and amusing happenings culled from newspaper archives and the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, New York. What was the call when the ball was shot out of the sky? Why did a manager disguise himself as the team’s mascot? Where do home runs hit in one state land in another? Why did angry fans throw books at ...

Tales from the Dugout

August 27, 2023 21:00

During its long history minor league baseball has produced a lot of bizarre occurrences. Sports announcer Tim Hagerty will share some of them from his vast collection of amazing and amusing happenings culled from newspaper archives and the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, New York. What was the call when the ball was shot out of the sky? Why did a manager disguise himself as the team’s mascot? Where do home runs hit in one state land in another? Why did angry fans throw books at ...

"Composering"

August 20, 2023 21:00

The Art of the Story

August 13, 2023 21:00

What goes into writing a great story? Award-winning author, essayist and critic Lorrie Moore will give us some insights derived from her years of teaching creative writing and experience as a novelist and celebrated short story writer.

Reducing Bias

August 06, 2023 21:00

Groundbreaking work in UW's Stereotyping and Bias Research Lab has found new, evidence-based ways to reduce bias, create inclusion, and promote equity.