Arts and Culture

man playing guitar

Famous for his stories of people with brain disorders, Oliver Sacks wrote a lot about neurological mysteries, like the way a song can activate parts of the brain that language can’t even touch.More

Oakwood residents and singers

"To the Best of Our Knowledge" producer Shannon Henry Kleiber shares a story about her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago, and the power of music.More

man reviewing photograph

Anne Basting has found asking people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia open-ended queries, rather than pointed yes or no questions that require remembering something specific, can create powerful connections.More

cello player

After a 40 year career as a psychologist, Francine Toder decided to start playing the cello. The experience convinced her that music – and in fact all the arts – may be the best way to stimulate the brain and improve well-being late in life.More

Thomas Page McBee

Thomas Page McBee achieved a first recently – he became the first transgender man ever to box at Madison Square Garden. He talked to Angelo Bautista about what he learned about male violence and why men fight.More

Start of an amateur boxing match, Rayne, Louisiana. 1938. Photographer Lee Russell

In light of recent boxing tragedies, Charles and Steve are grappling with the ethics of boxing. It’s a debate that’s probably going on in a lot of places and will – unfortunately – continue.More

Toni Morrison, via Penguin Randomhouse (Michael Lionheart)

In a conversation from 2003, Toni Morrison reflected on how the civil rights movement had the unintended consequence of magnifying class differences.More

Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin traced the history of feminist anger and power in their new book, “Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your Space.”More

Ronda Rousey

At the peak of her fighting career, Ronda Rousey blew through her competition, winning nearly all of her fights in under a minute. She told Charles Monroe-Kane she’s been fighting as long as she can remember.More

books

Can we ever know how people used to read, say, 500 years ago? Princeton historian Tony Grafton is obsessed with that question.More

Boxing gloves hung up.

Jonathan Gottschall's dangerous idea? Remove the padded gloves from boxers and other fighters. That will reduce the brain damage to fighters.More

When she moved back to Jordan, molecular biologist Rana Dajani realized that children there didn't read for pleasure. So she started a reading program at her local mosque. Since then, her reading program has reached more than 10,000 kids in Jordan and has spread across the Middle East.More

Jennifer Shahade is the author of "Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport." She tells Anne Strainchamps where the title of her book came from. More

James Wood is often called the best critic of his generation. He looks back at his own career, from writing brutal take-downs at the Guardian to his current perch at The New Yorker, and tells us why genre fiction makes him "anxious." 

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Shields (left) vs. Yenebier Guillén Benítez, 2015

Claressa Shields has been boxing since she was 11 years old. Today she’s the world middleweight champion — earning gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics — and is the subject of the documentary “T-Rex.”More

Why are so many women criticized for "vocal fry"? Anne Strainchamps talks to podcaster Ann Friedman and NPR pioneer Susan Stamberg about critiques of female voices.More

Woman waiting for moment to speak at a meeting

Veronica Rueckert, a vocal coach and public radio producer and host, shares the ways women are silenced and offers advice for how to best tap into the power of their voice.More

David Thorpe

David Thorpe is a filmmaker who went in search of his voice. For his documentary "Do I Sound Gay?" he investigated why he and many other gay men ended up with a "gay voice"—one with precise enunciation and sibilant "s" sounds.More

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