There is a real passion for the writing of Jane Austen today. There are also the many movies and television series of Jane Austen novels, Jane Austen paper dolls, action figures and numerous Jane Austen “spin off” novels, one that even combines Pride and Prejudice and zombies. It is a veritable Jane-o-mania! But what is it about her novels, written long ago in Regency England that appeals to audiences today? Tonight’s guest on Inquiry is RACHEL M. BROWNSTEIN, Professor of English at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center. Her new witty and insightful book, WHY JANE AUSTEN?, answers what is uniquely special about Jane Austen’s writing and why she is such an easy author to fall in love with.
Every bird’s nest is a wonderful example of non-human architecture. Imagine trying to weave and intricate tight cup of moss, lichen and spider’s webs using only your mouth and sometimes your feet! Yet birds do this every breeding season. Tonight on Inquiry, we welcome PETER GOODFELLOW, retired English teacher and lifelong birder, who has written one of the most beautiful books on the nests that birds create and how they build them: AVIAN ARCHITECTURE: HOW BIRDS DESIGN, ENGINEER AND BUILD. From simple scrapes in the ground, to monumental platforms high in trees, from enormous mounds of sand to mind-boggling complex hanging woven baskets, birds create structures of stunning complexity and variety. If you have ever marveled at the nest of a robin or oriole, be sure to tune in.
Everyone knows how critical mathematics is to the hard sciences like physics. But how important is math to biology? Tonight’s returning guest is IAN STEWART, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and active researcher at Warwick University in England. Professor Stewart believes that we are now seeing a dramatic change in the role importance of mathematics; logic and topology plays in genetics; studying viruses and even looking for extraterrestrial; life. His latest book, THE MATHEMATICS OF LIFE, wonderfully illustrates this new “biomathematics” and declares it to be the next major revolution in the Life Sciences. Tune in for a surprising and thought provoking discussion on the maths of life.
Horror films have been made since the beginning of cinema. Thomas Edison made one of the earliest film treatments of the Frankenstein novel. And since those early days, horror films have had a long, complex multinational history . Tonight’s guest on Inquiry is Dr. WHEELER WINSTON DIXON the James Ryan Endowed Professor of Film Studies and professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. His latest book on film history is one of the most complete and far ranging histories of this genre: A HISTORY OF HORROR. Tonight we discuss the beginnings of the horror film and concentrate on the fascinating story of the British film company Hammer Films, which in the 1960s reinvigorated the cinema of horror with classic films like The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula, Prince of Darkness and made international stars of Peter Cushing and Christopher Leee. If you are passionate about horror films, don’t miss tonight’s show!
Joan Mitchell was one of the most original and passionate artists of the last half of the Twentieth Century. She painted her large abstract canvases with the precision of a fencer creating paintings that were “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”Mitchell may have called herself a “lady painter”, but she was a blunt, bawdy and bullying presence who mixed it up with the likes of Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and Phillip Guston. Our guest tonight is writer and curator PATRICIA ALBERS who has written one of the most complete, incisive and entertaining biographies of this great artist: JOAN MITCHELL: LADY PAINTER. A LIFE.
At the end of the Ice Age, an amazing number of species large and fantastic mammals went suddenly extinct. For a long time most paleontologists believed it was climate change that caused this mass extinction event.
RICHARD S. OSTFELD is the Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystems Studies. For many years now he has been studying the ecology of Lyme Disease. What he and his fellow researchers have discovered will change the way you view this disease.
On August 31, 1886 a powerful earthquake devastated Charleston, South Carolina leaving most of the city in ruins and most pf the residents living on the streets. Tonight’s guests, writer SUSAN MILLAR WILLIAMS and writer/editor STEPHEN G.
GORDON B. LANKTON is Chairman of the Board, Nypro Inc. An engineering graduate of Cornell University, in 2007 he founded the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, with the largest collection of Russian icons publicly displayed outside of Russia.
If you want to write that next great American novel, STANLEY FISH has a useful and counter intuitive recommendation for you. Don’t begin with the big idea, the grand conception. Instead begin with the sentence. Learn to love well written sentences.
Ever since people have been writing about birds, poets, playwrights and natural historians have been trying to translate the songs and calls of birds into the English language. Sometimes if has been as simple as a zeet or as complex as the mnemonic a little bit of bread and no cheese.
For most of his checkered career, J. Edgar Hoover considered women gangsters a special thorn in the side of the F.B.I. and set out to reconstruct the way the public viewed the likes of Bonnie Parker, Kathryn Kelly (wife of “Machine Gun Kelly”) and especially Ma Barker.
Tonight on Inquiry we welcome back artist; painter GUSTAVE BLACHE III, whose beautiful, painterly works have been described as “Contemporary Impressionist”.
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Nick DiBiasio’s passion for music began on the evening of Sunday, February 9, 1964, when The Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Against The Grain features Americana music by many local and international artists.
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