History | Wisconsin Public Television



Frank Lloyd Wright's American System-Built Homes

Michael Lilek, Curator of the Burnham Block in Milwaukee, WI, discusses Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision to create homes which encompassed nature, brought the client serenity, and created a place to gather family. Wright created twelve models of homes that were mass marketed and sold through builders and dealers.

The Midwestern Meshugas of Mickey Katz

Jonathan Z. S. Pollack, Honorary Fellow at the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at UW-Madison, explores the popularity of Mickey Katz, a Jewish entertainer from Cleveland, Ohio, who parodied Yiddish songs in the mid-20th century.

A History of Birds and People in the Heart of America

Michael Edmonds, Author of “Taking Flight: A History of Birds and People in the Heart of America,” discusses how people in the Midwest relate to the birds around them. Birds have been worshipped, are the subject of folktales and fables, have been admired, and have provided food for humans.

Analyzing Stains in Medieval Manuscripts

Heather Wacha, Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Medieval Studies, and Leah Parker, PhD Candidate in the Department of English, both at UW-Madison, introduce the Library of Stains project which uses multispectral imaging and data analysis to determine the environment surrounding medieval manuscripts, parchment paper and bindings.

How to Make a Life: A Tibetan Refugee Family

Madeline Uraneck, Author of “How to Make a Life: A Tibetan Refugee Family and the Midwestern Woman They Adopted,” shares the story of a Tibetan family’s escape from their homeland and the journey which brought them to Madison. Uraneck discusses her friendship with refugee Tenzin Kalsang and the bond that they created.

In the Footsteps of Muir, Leopold, and Derleth

Robert Root, Author of “Walking Home Ground: In the Footsteps of Muir, Leopold, and Derleth,” shares the story of his journey toward understanding naturalists John Muir, Aldo Leopold and August Derleth. Root explored John Muir State Natural Area, Aldo Leopold’s shack and the Sac Prairie portrayed through the inspiration of August Derleth.

Debussy’s Piano Portraits

Catherine Kautsky, Professor of Music at Lawrence University, joins Wisconsin Public Radio host Norman Gilliland, to discuss the inspiration behind Claude Debussy’s piano works. Kautsky performs Debussy pieces and explains the history and structure of the works.

The Art of World War I Corporal Francis Webster

Darrek Orwig, Editor of Somewhere Over There: The Letters, Diary, and Artwork of a World War I Corporal, joins Norman Gilliland, Host on Wisconsin Public Radio, to discuss the life and work of World War I soldier and Iowa native Corporal Francis Webster. Webster documented the grim realities of combat as well as wartime French civilian life.

The War on Evolution

Ronald Numbers, Professor Emeritus in History of Science and Medicine at UW-Madison, discusses the historical and current resistance to evolution. Numbers addresses the opposition to teaching evolution in schools.

Wisconsin State Parks: Gateways to the Ancient Past

Scott Spoolman, Author of “Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History,” discusses the geologic history that hikers and travelers can observe while visiting the Wisconsin State Park system.


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