Bob Jacobson, author of 'Les Paul: Guitar Wizard,' describes the many obstacles and inspirations that shaped Les Paul's amazing career as one of America's true musical giants. In addition to inventing the solid-body electric guitar, Paul pioneered the multi-track recording machine.
John DeMain, music director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Wisconsin Academy Fellow; Jane Simon, curator at the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida; and Valerie Laken, assistant professor of English at UW-Milwaukee and author of "Separate Kingdoms: Stories" consider how the arts can provide new ways of understanding tragedy.
Nancy C. Unger, an associate professor of history at Santa Clara University, examines how the unique environmental concerns and activism of women framed the way the larger culture responded. She also highlights the contributions of Wisconsin women to environmental history. Unger is the author of “Beyond Nature's Housekeepers: American Women in Environmental History.”
James Pearson, the exhibitions director at the Wright Museum of Art at Beloit College, joins University Place Presents host Norman Gilliland to discuss the lithographs created by George Bellows. Bellows was active in the Ashcan movement, which consisted of artists painting and drawing life on city streets, in tenement buildings and the rise of the working class.
Dan Fuller, a lecturer in the Department of Art History at UW-Madison joins University Place Presents host Norman Gilliland to explain the history of photographic methods before the invention of photography.
R. Bruce Allison, author of “If Trees Could Talk,” offers fascinating stories that introduce noteworthy trees, both past and present, across Wisconsin.
Anna Andrzejewski, an associate professor in the Department of Art History at UW-Madison, discusses vernacular buildings or “everyday spaces” through the perspective of anthropology, history, American studies, cultural geography, landscape architecture and history, folklore, and material culture to construct frameworks that help us describe the common buildings and landscapes of America.
Author Bob Kann, author of "Joyce Westerman: Baseball Hero," shares Kenosha native Joyce Westerman’s stories of growing up during the Great Depression, working at American Motors, and playing professional baseball. Westerman played for eight years in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League depicted in the movie, "A League of Their Own."
George Takei, an actor, talks with University Presents host Norman Gilliland about his life and his career. Takei discusses his childhood in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, his early acting jobs and landing the role as Sulu in “Star Trek.”
Jeff Sindelar, an assistant professor of Animal Sciences at UW-Madison, demonstrates and explains the important scientific principles of sausage (bratwurst and summer sausage) manufacturing while intertwining the history and art associated with these products.