Humanities


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Screenwriter Mardik Martin, and the producer of "Baghdad to Hollywood," Ramy Katrib explore Martin Scorsese's film "Mean Streets," one of the pivotal films of the 1970s. Mardik co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese and is in the elite group of screenwriters on WGA's list of the 101 Greatest Screenplays ever written.

For more than a half century, John Lithgow has been delighting audiences on stage, in movies and on television. In a lively discussion with Peter Gourevitch, distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at UC San Diego, Lithgow reflects on his preparations for the wide diversity of roles that have shaped his career and influenced the larger culture, from his star turn in "The World According to Garp" to his SAG-award-winning role as Winston Churchill in the Netflix original series "The Crown." Recorded on 10/11/2017.

Author and legendary athlete Kareem Abdul-Jabbar describes the cultural and historical influences that led him to write several best-selling books, "along with some basketball on the side," in this introspective and wide-ranging conversation with veteran journalist Dean Nelson. Abdul-Jabbar shares stories from his most recent book, "Coach Wooden and Me," about his 50-year friendship with the late UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, in this event presented by the 2018 Writer's Symposium by the Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University.

The stars of the documentary, "I'll Push You," tell a remarkable story of sacrifice, spiritual awakening and transformation as Patrick Gray and his wheelchair-bound best friend Justin Skeesuck recount the emotional tolls of their 500-mile trek on the Camino de Santiago in Spain in this conversation with Dean Nelson, founder of the Writer's Symposium by the Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University.

One of the most important composers in jazz history, Charles Mingus documented his lively impressions of Tijuana in "Tijuana Moods," a rarely performed suite. Join grammy-winning jazz author Ashley Kahn; eminent alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, a longstanding member of Charles Mingus' band; Anthony Davis, UC San Diego professor of music and noted composer, pianist and improviser; and Steven Schick, UC San Diego professor of music, percussionist, and conductor, for an exploration of the legacy of African-American composer Charles Mingus and his historic Tijuana Moods album. Recorded on 01/20/2018.

What is spirituality and spiritual health? How can we effectively assess our own spirituality and identify spiritual distress in ourselves and others? Douglas Ziedonis, MD, MPH, Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego, discusses the link between healthy aging and spirituality.

Cosmologist and author of "Losing the Nobel Prize" Brian Keating tells the inside story of BICEP2's mesmerizing discovery and the scientific drama that ensued in this interview with science fiction author David Brin. Keating describes a journey of revelation and discovery, bringing to life the highly competitive, take-no-prisoners, publish-or-perish world of modern science. Along the way, he provocatively argues that the Nobel Prize, instead of advancing scientific progress, may actually hamper it, encouraging speed and greed while punishing collaboration and bold innovation. In a thoughtful reappraisal of the wishes of Alfred Nobel, Keating offers practical solutions for reforming the prize, providing a vision of a scientific future in which cosmologists may, finally, be able to see all the way back to the very beginning. Recorded on 04/25/2018.

Beth Shapiro, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, explains her work on using ancient DNA to infer evolutionary history and processes. She is the MacArthur Award-winning author of "How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction," which considers the feasibility and desirability of bringing back passenger pigeons, steppe bison, mammoth and other currently extinct species. This program is presented by the Institute for Practical Ethics in the Division of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego.

Behavioral economist Elizabeth Linos talks about how to implement good public policy by focusing on needs of the people who serve in government. In this conversation with Henry E. Brady, Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, Linos argues that diversity in recruitment leads to better outcomes, particularly in law enforcement, and that burnout can be avoided if staffers are appropriately supported in their work environments.

Emmanuel Jal, an internationally recognized hip-hop musician, former child soldier turned activist and entrepreneur, shares his story and music. Jal was born into the life of a child solider in the early 1980s in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan. He calls upon all of us to engage with our world and become global citizens through scholarship, leadership and service. Recorded on 04/12/2018.

Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy-nominated composer, Robert Kraft, talks with David Novak (Music, UCSB) about the power and influence of film scores and the unique challenges with the process. Recorded on 01/30/2018.

Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948) was adapted and directed by its star. Mark Rose (English, UCSB) and Jim Kearney (English, UCSB) discuss this cinematic treatment of Hamlet and examples of Shakespeare on film. Recorded on 02/15/2018.
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