Stuart Kelter interviews Dorothy L. Hodgson, the recently retired Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Brandeis University. Previously she served as President of the African Studies Association, Chair and Graduate Director of the Department of Anthropology, and Director of the Institute for Research on Women, all at Rutgers University. She was also President of the Association for Feminist Anthropology and editor-in-chief of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia on African Women’s History. As a historical anthropologist, she worked in Tanzania, East Africa, for over thirty years on such topics as gender, ethnicity, and cultural politics; colonialism, nationalism, and the missionary encounter; and transnational organizing and the indigenous rights movement. She is the author of several books, and editor of others, about life and social structures in Africa, especially the Maasai in Tanzania. Her most recent book, Gender, Justice and the Problem of Culture: From Customary Law to Human Rights in Tanzania was published in 2017 and is the subject of today’s interview.
Sarah Lamb is a professor of cultural anthropology at Brandeis University, who focuses on how people construct their socio-cultural world and identity from the interlocking multiple dimensions of age, gender, the body, family, religion, and nation. From the points of view of those she studies, she explores the experiences and the often taken-for-granted assumptions of people in West Bengal, India and also among Indian immigrants as well as older white Americans in the San Francisco, Boston, and Bible Belt areas of the United States. Sarah is the author of several books and is the recipient of several major grants and awards, including a 2019 to 2023 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. Her most recent book — Being Single in India: Stories of Gender, Exclusion, and Possibility — is the subject of today’s interview.
Philippa Strum is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Center’s former Director of the Division of United States Studies. For two decades, she was a Professor of Political Science and is now Professor Emerita at the City University of New York, focusing on constitutional law; civil liberties and human rights, especially the intersection of women’s rights, law and politics. She has also taught at universities throughout the U.S. and abroad, lecturing in Australia, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, the West Bank, Great Britain, Mexico, Czechoslovakia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and China. She has been an expert lecturer in the Middle East and Central Asia for the Department of State and for the U.S. Supreme Court. She recently received a lifetime achievement award from the ACLU, where she devoted 40 years as a researcher and board member. Dr. Strum is the author of award-winning books on human rights struggles both in the U.S. and internationally. One of her books, Louis D. Brandeis: Justice for the People, published in 1984, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in biography. Her most recent book, On Account of Sex: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Making of Gender Equality Law, was published in the Summer of 2022.
Stuart Kelter interviews New Mexico State University physics professors, Boris Kiefer and Matthew Sievert, about the strange, yet fundamental, phenomena of quantum physics. Boris Kiefer has been at NMSU since 2003, following post-docs at Princeton. His research and teaching interests include Quantum Mechanics; Computational Physics; Materials Science, and even more esoterically, Quantum Telecloning. Matthew Sievert has been at NMSU since 2020, following post-docs at Brookhaven and Los Alamos National Laboratories. His research focuses on theoretical nuclear physics that makes use of observations of high energy sub-atomic particles at various accelerator facilities. He is also an advocate for the construction of a future electron-ion collider in the United States.
Stuart Kelter interviews Hilary Lips, Professor Emerita of Social Psychology at Radford University, where she founded the Center for Gender Studies, was its director from 1989 to 2015, and was also the chair of the Department of Psychology from 2003 to 2015. She is the author of a variety of books, including Women, Men and the Psychology of Power; Sex and Gender: An Introduction; A New Psychology of Women: Gender, Culture and Ethnicity; and Gender: The Basics. She also co-authored The Psychology of Sex Differences with Nina Colwill, published in 1978, which explored multiple contributors to sex differences, including genetics, hormones, and social learning, attributable in large measure to differential power dynamics, rather than stable inherited traits.
David Edmonds is a British philosopher and a Distinguished Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He is the author of many books, including The Murder of Professor Schlick, Would You Kill the Fat Man?, Caste Wars: A Philosophy of Discrimination, and Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time . He is also coauthor with John Eidinow, of the international best-seller Wittgenstein’s Poker: The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers, and co-author with Hugh Fraser, of the children’s book, Undercover Robot. He is an ad hoc columnist for the Jewish Chronicle, a former contributing editor to Prospect Magazine, and cohost with Nigel Warburton of the popular podcast series Philosophy Bites, which has had over 44 million downloads. He also runs two other blogs: Philosophy 247 and Social Science Bites. He was a multi-award winning presenter/producer at the BBC, host of The Big Idea, and a regular presenter on BBC Analysis. His latest book is entitled, Parfit: A Philosopher and His Mission to Save Morality, which is the subject of today’s interview.
DELVING IN: Samantha Barbas on New York Times v. Sullivan, the Case During the Civil Rights Era that Ultimately Protected Journalism from Libel Lawsuits
Stuart Kelter interviews Samantha Barbas, a legal and cultural historian and the author of several books on media history and legal history topics, with a focus on journalism, privacy, defamation, and the First Amendment. A Professor of Law at the University at Buffalo, she is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Award. Her latest book, Actual Malice: Civil Rights and Freedom of the Press in New York Times v. Sullivan, is the subject of today’s interview.
DELVING IN: Wladimir Lyra on Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Intriguing New Data from the James Webb Space Telescope
Stuart Kelter interviews Wladimir Lyra, an astronomer at New Mexico State University whose research focuses around high-end computer simulations of planet formation, both in our own solar system and beyond, i.e., exoplanets and their solar systems. In today’s interview we’ll be focusing mainly on the theory of the Big Bang, black holes, and the possible implications of new observational data recently made available by the powerful James Webb Space Telescope.
DELVING IN: Physician Ricardo Nuila on Putting Patient Care Above Profit at a Public Hospital in Houston
Stuart Kelter interviews Ricardo Nuila, a writer, physician, and professor of medicine, medical ethics, and health policy at Baylor College of Medicine, where he teaches the practice of hospital medicine and directs the Humanities Expression and Arts Lab. The son of Salvadoran immigrants and a native Houstonian, Ricardo has worked as an attending physician in the city’s largest safety-net facility, Ben Taub Hospital, for more than ten years. His fiction has appeared in the Best American Short Stories anthology and his journalistic pieces have been published on the website of the New Yorker, covering such subjects as the medical response to Hurricane Harvey and to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has won awards for his teaching and advocacy, as well as for his writing, including the New England Review’s inaugural Award for Emerging Writers. He recently published his first book, The People’s Hospital, which is the subject of today’s interview.
DELVING IN: Peter Frankopan on Past Cataclysmic Changes in Climate Across the World Since its Beginning, with Lessons for Today
Stuart Kelter interviews Peter Frankopan, a Professor of Global History at Oxford University with comprehensively wide-ranging interests, including the history and politics of the Mediterranean, Russia, the Middle East, ancient Persia and modern Iran, Central Asia, and China. Peter often writes for the international press and is the author of The First Crusade: The Call from the East, The Silk Roads: a New History of the World, and The New Silk Roads: The Future and Present of the World, which have been translated into forty languages, become international best-sellers, and garnered multiple, prestigious awards. His latest book, which is the subject of today’s interview, is The Earth Transformed: An Untold History, an environmental history of both the human and natural past, from billions of years ago until the present, across the entire planet.
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