Radio Interviews

KCUR, Kansas City's local NPR station, hosts on its programs many of the authors and speakers that visit the Library. This page lists these interviews and provides links for you to listen to the programs.

  • KU professors Steve Goddard and Perry Alexander examine the world of computer pioneer Alan Turing, subject of Cryptograph, an exhibit now on display at KU’s Spencer Museum of Art.
    Steve Goddard & Perry Alexander - Cryptograph: An Exhibition for Alan Turing
    Thursday, May 17, 2012
    Central Library

    KU’s Steve Goddard and Perry Alexander explore the world of early computer scientist Alan Turing, the subject of Cryptograph: An Exhibition for Alan Turing now at the Spencer Museum of Art on the KU campus.

    Cryptograph examines the question that drove Turing’s research: finding meaning in patterns.

    Goddard is senior curator at the Spencer Museum and a professor of art history; Alexander is professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

  • The British Museum’s Roger Bland discusses the Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme, laws devised to protect the U.K.’s archaeological treasures from looting while compensating the individuals who discover them.
    Roger Bland: A License to Loot or Archaeological Rescue?
    Monday, April 16, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    The British Museum’s Roger Bland looks at the successes of the U.K.’s Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme, legislation aimed at curbing the looting of historic sites while guaranteeing that those who find treasure are compensated.

    Bland is head of the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasures of the United Kingdom and is the American Institute of Archaeology’s Metcalf Lecturer for 2011-2012.

  • Author Wade Sisson discusses the efforts of the R.M.S. Olympic, the near-identical sister ship of the Titanic, to rescue victims of the famous oceanic disaster in April 1912.
    Wade Sisson: Racing Through the Night
    Saturday, April 14, 2012
    Waldo Branch

    Author Wade Sisson discusses the Titanic’s sister ship, the R.M.S. Olympic, which steamed 300 miles in a desperate rescue mission to pick up survivors of the now legendary disaster. In his book Racing Through the Night, Sisson looks at the entwined fates of these two “unsinkable” vessels.

    A resident of Overbrook, Kansas, Sisson fell in love with the Titanic’s story when he was in the sixth grade. He joined the Titanic Historical Society just a few months before the wreckage of the ship was discovered in 1985.

  • Biographer Justin Wolff examines the life and art of Missouri’s Thomas Hart Benton, whose distinctive style and views made him the object of both veneration and scorn.
    Justin Wolff - Thomas Hart Benton: A Life
    Thursday, April 12, 2012
    Central Library

    Biographer Justin Wolff examines the life and art of Missouri’s Thomas Hart Benton, whose murals bejewel many a public building. From the 1930s to his death in 1973, Benton’s distinctive visual style and nationalistic views made him the object of both veneration and scorn. The issues raised by his art and attitudes dominated debate in the post-war world of painting.

    Wolff is an assistant professor of art history at the University of Maine. He is the author of Richard Caton Woodville: American Painter, Artful Dodger.

  • Nelson-Atkins conservator Paul Benson delves into the story behind some of Kansas City’s most popular fountains.
    Paul Benson - City of Fountains: Underneath the Water and Sculpture
    Thursday, March 29, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Fountains delight our eyes and our ears with their beauty and calming effect. And in all the world, only Rome has more public fountains than Kansas City. Nelson-Atkins conservator Paul Benson – who has often worked as a consultant in preserving and maintaining these watery jewels – delves into the stories behind some of our town’s most popular fountains.

  • Journalist and author Guy Gugliotta discusses his new book about the raising of the U.S. Capitol, a project meant to symbolize national unity even as the country slid ever closer to secession and Civil War.
    Guy Gugliotta - Freedom’s Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil War
    Thursday, March 22, 2012
    Central Library

    Guy Gugliotta discusses his new book about the raising of the U.S. Capitol, a process steeped in irony.

    Even as the majestic structure rose, the Union it represented was drifting toward Civil War. Among the historic characters in this drama was Jefferson Davis, a big supporter of the project – until he left Washington to become president of the Confederacy. (And the engineer in charge of construction, Montgomery Meigs, feuded bitterly with the architect, Thomas U. Walter).

  • Attica Locke discusses her novel Black Water Rising, about a Houston lawyer who saves a drowning woman and opens a Pandora’s Box of secrets that threaten the city’s power brokers.
    Attica Locke: Black Water Rising
    Wednesday, March 21, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Attica Locke discusses her novel Black Water Rising, set in Houston in the early 1980s. Former campus radical Jay Porter is now a lawyer running his practice out of a dingy strip mall. When he saves a woman from drowning, his act of heroism inadvertently opens a Pandora’s box of dangerous secrets that threaten the city’s corporate power brokers and place Jay at the center of a murder investigation.

  • Landon Rowland examines the railroad-building efforts of Arthur Stilwell, which allowed Kansas City to enter the 20th century as one of the nation's most important transportation hubs.
    Landon Rowland: The Role of Railroads in Kansas City’s Development
    Sunday, March 18, 2012
    Central Library

    Landon Rowland discusses the achievements of 19th century railroad developer Arthur Stilwell, who forever changed the Kansas City area’s business landscape with an ambitious program of railroad construction that made the region an important transportation hub. This is the centennial year of Stilwell’s retirement – a year in which the Google Fiber network, a different kind of economic game-changer, arrives in Kansas City.

    Rowland is the former president and chief executive officer of Kansas City Southern Industries and chairman emeritus of the Janus Capital Group.

  • Preeminent historian Robert Dallek examines why some presidents succeed and others don’t by zeroing in on the vision, pragmatism, and charisma of leaders from Theodore Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan.
    Robert Dallek: The Making and Unmaking of 20th Century Presidents
    Tuesday, March 13, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Offering the keynote address for this year’s series on the American presidency, presidential scholar Robert Dallek examines why some presidents succeed and others don’t by zeroing in on such determinants as vision, pragmatism, charisma, trust, consensus, and luck.

  • University of Kansas historian Shawn Leigh Alexander looks at the forgotten men and women who in the late 19th century took up the cause of civil rights for African Americans.
    Shawn Leigh Alexander - An Army of Lions: The Civil Rights Struggle Before the NAACP
    Tuesday, March 6, 2012
    Central Library

    Historian Shawn Leigh Alexander looks at the forgotten men and women who in the late 19th century took up the cause of civil rights for African Americans. Creating groups such as the Afro-American League, the Afro-American Council, the Niagara Movement, the Constitution League, and the Committee of Twelve, these pioneers developed the methodology of boycotts, propaganda, lobbying, and moral suasion that would bear fruit only long after they had passed on.

    Alexander is an assistant professor of African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas.