Interviews By Topic

listening

Valmont Layne grew up under apartheid in South Africa. Music, along with protest movements, radicalized him. He tells Anne and Steve that South African jazz became a musical current that’s traveled across oceans, spreading ideas about freedom.More

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

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

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

bars

"Just Mercy" author Bryan Stevenson believes in creating incentives to reduce the country's prison population.More

Demonstrators protest police brutality at a June 2 event in front of the White House.

At the heart of many Americans' fear of Black men is an ugly stereotype — the stereotype of the Black criminal. Historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad traces some of our current attitudes about race and crime to the late 19th century, when sociologists first began looking at crime statistics.More

Malcolm Gladwell

The narrative that police brutality is a question of a few "bad apples" is precisely the wrong way to think about police brutality, says journalist Malcolm Gladwell. More

Malcolm Gladwell

Journalist Malcolm Gladwell is famous for mining behavioral science for his work, and when it comes to better understanding the intersection of crime, violence, and policing, he turns over and over to criminologist Frank Zimring.More

Empty prison

Scholar and activist Ruth Wilson Gilmore says when you put mass incarceration in a larger context, it's pretty clear — you don't solve a problem by repeating the kind of behavior that brought you the problem in the first place.More

chess fight

Chess has a reputation as a highly-intelligent, elegant game. But sportswriter Brin-Jonathan Butler says it’s also addictive — and sadistic.More

Mahjong tiles

Board games are a tradition for a lot of us. But have you ever thought about where those traditions come from? Producer Angelo Bautista investigates the history of mahjong.More

Catan

Board game critic Eric Thurm argues that games carry subliminal messages — and that even some of the most innocuous games are often more political than we think.
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Women Who Rule

It's common in literary and historical accounts of powerful women to make them out to be villains — witches, demons, succubi, changelings — or erase them entirely. Historian Kara Cooney, author Madeline Miller, Religious scholar Serenity Young, and classics scholar Emily Wilson talk about why that might be.More

blurred man

College campuses have long been hotbeds of political activity, fervent debate and occasionally violence stemming from a war of words, but today, in this era of call outs and cancel culture, there is a renewed and controversial argument over free speech playing out at universities and colleges around the country.More

censored wall

After a polite HR representative called screenwriter and novelist Walter Mosley up to ask why he'd said the "N-word" during a story meeting, he realized how important it was to him to be able to have uncomfortable conversations as part of his work.More

In 2010, then-LAPD Chief William Bratton asked civil rights attorney Connie Rice to investigate the biggest police corruption scandal in Los Angeles history, and to train 50 LAPD officers in what she calls "public trust policing."More

The high profile deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have raised all sorts of questions about racial profiling and the use of force by law enforcement. For writer Emily Bazelon, the debate has also raised an ethical question: When do you call the cops on an African American man?More

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