Shipping and Trading by Sea

On this installment of ST, we learn about a new exhibit at the Gilcrease Museum, "Chocolate: The Exhibition," which will be on view through January 8th. Our guest is Gary Feinman, the MacArthur Curator of Mesoamerican, Central American, and East Asian Anthropology at The Field Museum in Chicago; he's one of the curators of this interesting show, which was actually created over a decade ago.

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.

On this edition of ST, an interesting chat with political analyst Dean Cheng, who works at The Heritage Foundation as a senior research fellow on Chinese political and security affairs. A widely respected political writer and commentator, Cheng has appeared on National Public Radio, CNN International, BBC World Service, and elsewhere, and he recently gave an address to the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations.

On this edition of ST, a discussion of illegal trade on the global scale: from internet-driven piracy to the world's ports and shipping routes, from smuggling and trafficking to peddling counterfeit goods and knock-offs. Our guest is Dr. Suzette Grillot, Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma. She's served in this capacity since 2012, and she is also OU’s Vice Provost for International Programs as well as its William J. Crowe, Jr. Chair in Geopolitics.