KUOW NPR

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A collection of lectures from respected academics, writers, public radio personalities and activists.

For five months, Timothy Pachirat worked undercover in a slaughterhouse in Omaha, Nebraska. This was a place where 2,500 cattle were killed each day, or one every 12 seconds. Pachirat intended to do research about violence and animals, but he wound up getting promoted: from liver hanger to cattle driver …
In her new book "Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power," Rachel Maddow argues that the United States has become a country strangely at peace with the concept of perpetual war. Maddow explores the root of this by ruminating on conflicts from Vietnam to today's war in Afghanistan. Maddow spoke …
Van Jones spent six months in the White House as the green jobs advisor for President Barack Obama. During that time, he helped oversee $80 billion in green energy recovery spending. Jones describes his time in Washington, D.C., as the best six months of his life — followed by the …
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is worried that mainstream gay culture has become too focused on consumerism, marked by designer products like jeans or vodka. Sycamore is the editor of a new anthology called "Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges To Masculinity, Objectification And The Desire To Conform." The …
Journalist Gayle Tzemach Lemmon traveled to Afghanistan in 2005 to report a story on female entrepreneurship. When she met her "fixer" — someone who engineers interviews in foreign countries — at the airport, he told her: "I don't know why you're going to stay here for a couple of weeks. …
Akash Kapur was born in India, but he was educated in the United States. In 2003, he left New York City and returned to live in his birth country. He was surprised by India's modernization and rapid economic growth, and he interviewed a variety of people from cities to the …
Over the past decade in the United States, there has been a purported rise of people who consider themselves spiritual but not religious. However, according to Diana Butler Bass, that percentage of Americans has actually remained static since the year 2000. The real story, Bass says, is the increasing number …
Though it was once the norm to get hitched right out of high school, marriage rates have declined throughout American society. This development is the most pronounced among African–Americans, and black women are more than three times as likely as white women never to marry. When black women do marry, …
The three major religions of the world are Christianity, Islam and Judaism. For this special best–of edition of Speakers' Forum, we hear unique perspectives on all three. In Jonathan Goldstein's telling of the Adam and Eve story, Eve describes Adam as a nimrod. She also laments about God: He's great …
What does it mean to be a feminist? And how have women's movements changed throughout the past half century? In this special best–of edition of Speakers' Forum, we look at feminism and female identity from three unique perspectives. First, we hear from Gloria Steinem, whose name has become synonymous with …
French kids don't throw their food. They don't throw tantrums in the supermarket or in the park. And their parents seemed a lot happier than their American counterparts. This was what journalist Pamela Druckerman observed when she moved to France in 2003. She has since raised a daughter and twin …
If there's one tradition that's never faded away in our history as people on this earth, it's storytelling. StoryCorps is a massive oral history project whose mission is to record, preserve and share the stories of Americans from all background and beliefs. It was founded in 2003 by radio documentary …
Pink is no longer just a color for young girls — it's a lifestyle. It celebrates girlhood, but more alarmingly, it fuses girlhood to an obsession with appearance, argues Peggy Orenstein. Orenstein, an author and the mother of a young girl, was shocked by today's "princess culture" that forces girls …
Kurt Timmermeister's farm began as a hobby, something he would do on the side while he ran large restaurants in Seattle for nearly two decades. In 1991, he moved to Vashon Island and bought four acres of land, much of it occupied by overgrown blackberry bushes and littered with rusted …
Amy Tan's mother wanted her to become a doctor and a concert pianist. Instead, Tan chose to write fiction, a career that was out of line with her Chinese immigrant parents' expectations. Tan's novels include "The Joy Luck Club," "The Bonesetter's Daughter" and "Saving Fish From Drowning," all of which …
What types of anti–capitalist narratives are hidden in Pixar films? Judith "Jack" Halberstam explores this and other notions of success and failure in her book "The Queer Art Of Failure," which dissects the role of winners and losers in capitalism and in the queer community, and how there is a …
Scientist Gary Marcus was never musical as a child. In the fourth grade, he stumbled through "Mary Had A Little Lamb" on the recorder, failing to understand that different notes had different durations. But at age 40, after being bested too many times by the video game "Guitar Hero," Marcus …
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed by President Obama last year, and polls still show most Americans are against health care reform — though many don't understand how it works or what's at stake. This worried economics professor Jonathan Gruber, who consulted with both the Obama and …