Presidential Lecture Series (at TU)

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we revisit our fascinating 2017 conversation with David Grann, the bestselling author and staff writer at The New Yorker Magazine. At that time, Grann was promoting his then-new book, "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" (which has been optioned for a much-talked-about film version). Grann will deliver a free-to-the-public Presidential Lecture here at TU on Tuesday the 22nd; his talk begins at 7:30pm in the Reynolds Center.

Our guest is the well-known hacker, inventor, entrepreneur, and technology futurist, Pablos Holman. An internationally recognized expert in 3D printing, artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, automated manufacturing, and cryptocurrency, Holman has contributed to our vision of tomorrow in a way that few others have. At The Intellectual Ventures Lab, he's worked on a brain-surgery tool, a machine to suppress hurricanes, 3D food printers, and a laser that can shoot down mosquitos (in order to help eradicate malaria).

Our guest is Janna Levin, the noted scientist and author who's also a Guggenheim Fellow and a professor of physics and astronomy at Columbia University's Barnard College. On Tuesday night, October 2nd, she will deliver a University of Tulsa Presidential Lecture at 7:30pm in the TU Reynolds Center. Levin's latest book, now out in paperback, is "Black Hole Blues" -- and she'll draw from this book (musing on everything from the characteristics of black holes to the ageless union of art and science to the very nature of reality) when she gives her free-to-the-public talk at TU.

Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is Eric Schlosser, the well-regarded American journalist and filmmaker whose bestselling books include "Fast Food Nation" (2001), "Reefer Madness" (2003), "Chew on This" (2006), and "Command and Control" (2013). This last-named title reveals the details of America's ongoing efforts to prevent nuclear weapons from being stolen, sabotaged, or detonated by accident.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak by phone with Angélique Kidjo, the internationally acclaimed Beninese singer-songwriter and activist, who routinely speaks out for human rights and female empowerment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Named "Africa's premier diva" by Time Magazine and "the undisputed queen of African music" by The Daily Telegraph of London, Kidjo creates infectious music that draws upon Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Congolese rumba, jazz, gospel, and Latin styles; she has collaborated in the recording studio with (to name but a few) Alicia Keys, Bono, and Philip Glass.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with Evan Osnos, a staff writer at The New Yorker who's also a fellow at the Brookings Institution as well as a contributor to This American Life and Frontline. His widely acclaimed book, "Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China" -- based on the eight years he spent living in Beijing -- won the 2014 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Osnos speaks with us in detail about this book, which was called a "splendid and entertaining picture of 21st-century China" by The Wall Street Journal.

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.