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City Arts & Lectures

PRX

Since 1980, City Arts & Lectures has presented onstage conversations with outstanding figures in literature, politics, criticism, science, and the performing arts, offering the most diverse perspectives about ideas and values. City Arts & Lectures programs can be heard on more than 130 public radio stations across the country and wherever you get your podcasts. The broadcasts are co-produced with KQED 88.5 FM in San Francisco. Visit CITYARTS.NET for more info.

Location:

United States

Networks:

PRX

Description:

Since 1980, City Arts & Lectures has presented onstage conversations with outstanding figures in literature, politics, criticism, science, and the performing arts, offering the most diverse perspectives about ideas and values. City Arts & Lectures programs can be heard on more than 130 public radio stations across the country and wherever you get your podcasts. The broadcasts are co-produced with KQED 88.5 FM in San Francisco. Visit CITYARTS.NET for more info.

Twitter:

@cityartssf

Language:

English


Episodes
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Victoria Chang

7/21/2024
Victoria Chang is the author of 8 books of poetry, including “Obit” and “Barbie Chang”, a work of creative nonfiction, and two children’s books. Her newest collection of poems is called “With My Back to the World.” It’s inspired by the art and writing of Agnes Martin, a painter who was an influential part of the abstract art movement beginning in the 1950s. On May 31, 2024, Chang came to the KQED studios in San Francisco to talk to Steven Winn about her creative process and some of the themes in her new collection, including feminism, mental illness, and creative expression.

Duration:00:38:50

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Serj Tankian

7/21/2024
Serj Tankian, lead singer of the heavy metal band “System Of A Down.” Tankian founded the group in 1997, releasing five studio albums, three of which debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. His solo career also includes work as a painter, composer and filmmaker. The musician’s new book is called Down with the System: A Memoir (of Sorts).On July 21st, 2024, Tankian came to the KQED studios in San Francisco to talk to Zack Ruskin about music and activism – particularly his work in support of Armenia, his ancestral homeland.

Duration:00:31:10

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Judith Butler

7/14/2024
Since their foundational philosophical critique of gender and sexuality, Gender Trouble, Judith Butler has been a singularly important contributor to our contemporary understanding of those categories, including what it can mean to be queer. Butler’s revolutionary cultural influence and constant drive towards better understandings of our world guarantee that they will remain a widely read canonical writer for decades to come. In recent years, Butler’s theoretical and activist work on gender performance and nonviolence has placed them in conversations around transgender rights, Black Lives Matter, and the Occupy Movement. Their forthcoming book, Who’s Afraid of Gender?, examines why recent authoritarian governments and transexclusionary feminists have focused so much of their energy and ire on gender. On June 13, 2024, Judith Butler came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater to be interviewed on stage by Poulomi Saha, the co-Director of the Program in Critical Theory at UC Berkeley.

Duration:01:22:58

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Kara Walker

7/7/2024
Artist Kara Walker has investigated race, gender, sexuality, and violence through her installations, paintings, silhouettes, and films. Walker’s art has won awards and is collected by museums around the world. Her work with stereotypes and the history of racial violence has pushed viewers to confront the continuing violence against Black people in America. With beloved writer Jamaica Kincaid, winner of the American Book Award, Walker is publishing An Encyclopedia of Gardening for Colored Children, a brilliant collection of essays and illustrations revealing the beauty of the natural world and the terrible history of colonialism. In July 2024, SFMOMA is releasing a site-specific installation by Walker, focusing on the global loss due to COVID-19, trauma, and technology. On June 6, 2024, Kara Walker came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to be interviewed on stage by New Yorker staff writer Doreen St. Félix.

Duration:01:03:06

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Miranda July

6/30/2024
Author and creator Miranda July isn’t bound by medium nor by expectations. From films like Me and You and Everyone We Know and Kajillionaire, to books like No One Belongs Here More Than You and The First Bad Man, to an iPhone app that reroutes text messages to strangers, July’s powers of creativity and observation are wise, surprising, and always delightful. Her second novel, All Fours, is the story of a woman’s artistic cross-country quest that has already won praise from George Saunders, Emma Cline, and Vogue for its intimacy, humor, and boundary defying freedom. On May 23, 2024, Miranda July came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to be interviewed on stage by Anna Sale, host of the podcast Death, Sex & Money.

Duration:01:15:43

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Percival Everett and Cord Jefferson

6/23/2024
Before his novel Erasure was adapted into the hit film American Fiction, Percival Everett was already one of the literary world’s most acclaimed talents, appreciated for his inimitable characters and storylines, as well as his uncommon variety of genres. Since Everett’s first novel in 1983, he has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, for Telephone, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for The Trees. His newest novel, James, is a reimagining of Huckleberry Finn, and has already been touted as “a canon-shattering great book.” Cord Jefferson made his feature writing and directorial debut with American Fiction, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. His television credits include Watchmen, The Good Place, Succession, Station Eleven, Master of None, and The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. On June 3, 2024, Cord Jefferson and Percival Everett came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to be interviewed by Jelani Cobb.

Duration:01:31:21

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Maggie Nelson

6/16/2024
Our guest today is Maggie Nelson, an author and academic whose deeply personal and analytical writing has covered such topics as gender, sexuality, and freedom. She’s published nine books of poetry, essays, and memoir, including The Argonauts. Many of her books combine or re-imagine genres, like her 2009 work Bluets, a collection of 240 short pieces – ranging from the philosophical to the lyrical – about the color blue. On June 1st, 2024, Nelson came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco where she spoke to Frances Richard about the themes in her newest essay collection, Like Love.

Duration:01:17:00

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Amy Tan

6/9/2024
Amy Tan is best known for her novels of Asian American life, such as The Joy Luck Club, the Kitchen God’s Wife, and The Bonesetter’s Daughter. Now she’s written and illustrated a book inspired by her love of birding. The Backyard Bird Chronicles tracks the thoughts and lessons gathered through birding, mixing memoir with Tan’s own sketches of birds. Tan’s calm focus on watching and drawing the wild birds who visit her home makes for a brilliantly composed breath of fresh air. On May 18, 2024, Amy Tan came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk about her book with the teacher who guided her, artist and naturalist John Muir Laws.

Duration:01:41:03

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Justice Stephen G. Breyer

6/2/2024
Justice Stephen G. Breyer returns to the City Arts & Lectures stage to discuss his first book since retiring from the United State Supreme Court, Reading the Constitution: Why I Chose Pragmatism, Not Textualism During his 28-year tenure on the United States Supreme Court, which began with his appointment by President Bill Clinton in 1994, Justice Stephen G. Breyer authored 551 opinions. As a liberal voice in the federal judiciary, he has played a key role in reforming criminal sentencing procedures, protecting the environment, and preserving abortion rights. In 2022, Justice Breyer was succeeded by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, his former law clerk. The Justice credits his time at Lowell High School in San Francisco for helping to instill in him a commitment to civic engagement. Reading the Constitution: Why I Chose Pragmatism, Not Textualism is his first book since retiring from the Supreme Court. Sarah Isgur is a legal analyst at ABC News and a staff writer for The Dispatch. She was a leader in political campaigns for Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, and Mitt Romney, and was the spokeswoman for The Department of Justice under former President Donald Trump. Isgur now hosts the legal podcast Advisory Opinions and is the “R” panelist for KCRW’s Left, Right, & Center.

Duration:01:15:28

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Tiffany Haddish

5/26/2024
Our guest is actor and comedian Tiffany Haddish. Since her breakout role in the movie Girls Trip, she’s been stealing scenes in films like Night School and Bad Trip. Her comedy specials Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood! and the Grammy-winning Black Mitzvah are unfiltered, and deeply personal, from stories of failed comedy performances, to being unhoused, to remarkable perseverance. On May 15, 2024, Haddish came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco where she spoke to writer and KQED host Alexis Madrigal on the occasion of her new book, I Curse You With Joy.

Duration:01:12:54

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Dr. Vivek Murthy

5/19/2024
As the 19th and 21st U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy has faced some of the most difficult health crises in recent history. Murthy, appointed by Presidents Obama and Biden, shaped the federal response to the opioid epidemic, the rise of e-cigarettes, the Flint Michigan water crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. He also co-founded Doctors for America, which works to promote more affordable health care, and TrialNetworks, a biotechnology company that helps improve clinical drug trials. Murthy has pushed to reduce access to social media for young children, pointing out the harmful effects of bullying, a lack of in-person interactions, and harassment. Recently, Murthy has written about and spoken on the negative health effects of loneliness, calling it an “epidemic” that increases the risk of early death and other social problems. On April 16, 2024, Vivek Murthy came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk about how to combat loneliness with public radio journalist David Greene.

Duration:01:15:16

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Doris Kearns Goodwin

5/12/2024
Doris Kearns Goodwin is the preeminent scholar of American presidents. For more than 45 years, in books like the Pulitzer-Prize winning No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt The Homefront in World War II and Team of Rivals, the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln, Goodwin has informed millions of readers (and politicians) about the history and power of Executive branch. Before her career as a historian, Goodwin taught at Harvard for a decade, helped Lyndon Johnson draft his memoirs, and, in 1979, became the first woman to enter the Red Sox’s locker room. Her new book, An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s, uses the notes, journals, and letters of Goodwin’s late husband, Richard Goodwin, to tell a very intimate, and astute, story of the 1960s. On April 29, 2024, Doris Kearns Goodwin came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to be interviewed on stage by writer and critic Steven Winn.

Duration:01:15:31

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Astra Taylor and Leah Hunt-Hendrix

5/5/2024
Activists and organizers Astra Taylor and Leah Hunt-Hendrix have co-written a new book that presents a detailed examination of solidarity, and its potential for creating lasting change. They spoke with Kate Schatz about their book Solidarity: The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea at the KQED studios on April 17, 2024.

Duration:00:49:31

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Kohei Saito

5/5/2024
The concept of de-growth - purposefully moving away from an ever-growing gross domestic product as the definition of a successful economy - may seem like a tough sell to Americans. But Japanese philosopher Kohei Saito sees de-growth as part of a new and sustainable way of living that consumes less of the planet’s resources. His new book Slow Down: The Degrowth Manifesto, points an urgent, yet gentle path toward a more equal and less harmful society. On April 20, 2024, Saito talked to Astra Taylor about what a more sustainable economy and culture might look like.

Duration:00:52:42

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Anne Lamott

4/28/2024
Beloved for her enchanting, lyrical writing, Anne Lamott takes on the most complex, intimate parts of life with grace and precision. Lamott’s novels and memoirs have be awarded some of the most sought-after literary prizes, and her collection of essays on writing, Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, has become required reading for all authors. Her new book, Somehow: Thoughts on Love, delves into the struggles of love with her trademark honesty and humor, finding the transformative power of intimate relationships. Lamott’s faith and candor, perfected across her long career in literature, are on display as she discusses finding love late in life, the changing ways we love our children, and the ways love can keep us going in a painful world. On April 13, 2024, Anne Lamott came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to be interviewed on stage by Barbara Lane, the book columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle and the current director of events at Copperfield Books.

Duration:01:02:43

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Hanif Abdurraqib

4/21/2024
Since his 2016 debut poetry collection The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, Hanif Abdurraqib’s writing has earned him numerous accolades as a poet, essayist, and music critic. Easily moving from emotionally riveting examinations of Black identities to academic explorations of punk scenes to analyses of contemporary popular artists, Abdurraqib’s work is full of uninhibited curiosity, revolutionary honesty, and a singular intelligence. His first essay collection, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was named a best book of 2017 by NPR, Pitchfork, the Los Angeles Review, and Esquire. His new memoir, There’s Always This Year: On Basketball and Ascension, traces his relationship with basketball while uncovering how we decide who is deserving of success. On April 3, 2024, Hanif Abdurraqib came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Shereen Marisol Meraji. Meraji is a professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, and a founder of NPR’s award-winning podcast Code Switch.

Duration:01:15:28

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Matthew Desmond

4/14/2024
Matthew Desmond is a professor of sociology at Princeton University and the principal investigator at The Eviction Lab, a research group that published the first-ever dataset of evictions in America, going back to 2000. His Pulitzer-Prize-winner book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City quickly made Desmond one of America’s most important thinkers and activists. His new book, Poverty, By America, broadens the scope of his research, demonstrating how wealthy Americans keep poor people poor. On March 27, 2024, Matthew Desmond came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco for an on-stage conversation with Bernice Yeung, the managing editor of Berkeley Journalism’s Investigative Reporting Program. Her first book, In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers, was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize.

Duration:01:05:56

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Angela Davis

4/7/2024
Our guest today is Angela Davis, one of the world’s most important voices for justice. The philosopher and activist came to prominence in the 1960s. Six decades later, Davis is still on the front lines fighting for equality and freedom on a range of issues from prison abolition to racial justice to gender rights. On March 20, 2024, the iconic activist and scholar came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk about her new book "Abolition, Volume 1" with Hilton Als, New Yorker staff writer and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Duration:01:08:28

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Tommy Orange

3/31/2024
Our guest today is award-winning novelist Tommy Orange. Orange’s debut novel, There There, centered on a Native American experience that is less commonly featured in US literature - the lives of urban Native Americans. It was one of 2019’s most critically acclaimed books, and now, he’s written a followup. It’s called Wandering Stars. This new book features many of the same characters, while tracing the traumatic legacies of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 and government-run boarding schools, like the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. On February 27th, 2024, Orange came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk to author Dave Eggers. Hundreds of students and teachers attended - and among other things, Orange talked about what it’s like to have his book as assigned reading in schools.

Duration:01:14:00

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Tariq Trotter

3/24/2024
Our guest today is Tariq Trotter, also known as Black Thought. He’s a founding member of the seminal hip hop band, The Roots and the author of the memoir The Upcycled Self. Trotter’s released more than a dozen albums and these days, he can be seen every week on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. In his new memoir, Trotter paints a riveting portrait of his childhood in South Philadelphia and life as a young artist, from meeting Questlove in high school to finding his own path in the music industry. On February 24, 2024, Trotter came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk to Jelani Cobb, Dean of the Columbia Journalism School.

Duration:01:14:40