May 24, 2013

Retellings: A New Series

Retellings: Preview

Creation doesn't happen in a vacuum. Artists and writers find inspiration in the world around them and in the work of their peers and predecessors. Today we offer a sneak peak into the new creative writing, summer podcast series, Retellings, which will explore the complex web of inspiration and influence in literature. For this preview, host Rebecca King will introduce the series and provide a clip of her interview with Washington University alumna and current Writer-in-Residence Anton DiSclafani, whose first novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, releases on June 4th.

The full interview with Anton can be heard on June 19th as the pilot episode of Retellings.

May 18, 2013

Up from Rust?

Cities: Episode #10

In a follow-up to the episode Global Cities, Carol Camp Yeakey, founding director of the Center for Urban Research and Public Policy at Washington University, shares her own work and describes some of the interdisciplinary issues that students and practitioners of Urban Studies confront today. Camp Yeakey's ongoing research projects include the forthcoming studies No Place to Be Somebody, about Detroit, and Up From Rust:? The Promise and Peril of Urban Renewal, about neighborhoods in Cleveland, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. 

May 13, 2013

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Attraction: Episode #4

With the help of scientists like Sophia Hayes, associate professor of chemistry, new technologies may make it possible to remove the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, turn it into a solid, and store it in a safe environment elsewhere. Hayes uses a technique called nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to understand the structure of materials, including carbon dioxide. Hear her describe this research project, explain how NMR works, and reveal how “the magic angle” – a Washington University innovation – changed the field.

May 6, 2013

The Genetics of Bee-havior

People, Places, and Ideas: Episode #5

In the late 1980s, Marla Sokolowski noticed that if she placed fly larvae on a pile of yeast in a petri dish, some would sit and eat the yeast which they sat upon, while others would move, creating wild trails through the yeast as they ate. What makes some larvae rove around, while others simply sit and eat? And what do these fly larvae have to do with bees? Yehuda Ben-Shahar, assistant professor of biology, returns to continue his discussion on how genes can affect behavior and the various ways the same genes express themselves across species.

April 29, 2013

Global Cities

Cities: Episode #9

In an increasingly global and interconnected world, cities across the world confront similar issues. Where and how will people live as urban centers become both larger and more dense? What are the effects of urban renewal on lower-income populations, and what types of government policies can help bridge the widening divide between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'? Carol Camp Yeakey, founding director of the Center on Urban Research & Public Policy and Interdisciplinary Program in Urban Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, shares her perspecives on urban studies in a global context.

April 22, 2013

Last House Standing

Cities: Episode #8

Between 1950 and 2000, some 60% of the built environment in St. Louis's Old North neighborhood was demolished, and the majority of its residents left the area. Abandoned buildings have fallen into disrepair, but should they remain standing? If the last houses on a block are torn down, leaving empty, litter-filled lots, how can we expect these neighborhoods to repopulate and rebuild? Michael Allen, architectural historian and director of the Preservation Research Office in St. Louis, describes the ambiguous role of historic preservation in neighborhoods like Old North, and challenges us to see declining urban landscapes both for what they are and what they might become.

April 15, 2013

A Tale of Dual Cities

Cities: Episode #7

Cities are often synonymous with modernity, but what exactly does modernity look like? In cities with a colonial history, such as Algiers and Cairo, often there are two city centers, two hearts: one with narrow alleys and courtyards, the other with broad boulevards and European-style storefronts. These separate architectural identities have led scholars and visitors to describe such places as “dual cities,” but Nancy Reynolds, associate professor of history at Washington University in St. Louis, questions whether this label truly applies to the complex city of Cairo.

April 1, 2013

In the Next Room

Attraction: Episode #3

In the Victorian era, just after the birth of the electric lightbulb, a novel remedy was developed for women diagnosed with a mysterious ailment called "hysteria." In 2010, Sarah Ruhl wrote In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) about a doctor who specialized in these treatments. Director Henry Schvey, professor of drama and comparative literature, talks about the power of attraction and the lure of technology within this comic play, which opens April 19 at Washington University's Edison Theatre.

March 19, 2013

City of the Big Shoulders

Cities: Episode #5

During the late 1800s, industrialization transformed cities across the United States. Things most of us take for granted, like sanitation, skyscrapers, and window shopping, were just starting to enter urban life. What did cities look like during this time of rapid growth and change? What was it like to walk down those streets? In the first of two podcasts devoted to turn of the century Chicago, Margaret Garb, associate professor of history at Washington University in St. Louis, brings the "city of the big shoulders" to life.

March 19, 2013

City of the Big Shoulders, Part II

Cities: Episode #6

As the face of Chicago changed during industrialization, so too did its workforce. The city became a bustling metropolis, but at what cost? Dangerous working conditions prompted the rise of organized labor and a progressive movement, championed by social reformers like Jane Addams and Florence Kelley. In the second part of our look at turn of the century Chicago, Margaret Garb, associate professor of history at Washington University in St. Louis, examines the social and political movements that took place in reaction to the rapid industrialization of the city.