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Geoff Dyer on The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand

Award-winning writer Geoff Dyer on how Garry Winogrand's photographs inspired him to use images as an agent of narrative. We chat with Geoff Dyer about the "visual novelist" and street photographer Garry Winogrand. Dyer highlights the wild humor of Winogrand's eye, how his photographs are packed with narrative potential, how Dyer approached writing short vignettes to complement Winogrand's images in the literary style of John Szarkowski’s 'Atget' or Mark Strand's 'On Edward Hopper,' and...


Brian “B+” Cross, Ghostnotes: Music of the Unplayed

Hip-hop/rap photographer B+ recalls a career mixing music and photography to evoke the exchanges and creators that shaped scenes and sounds from Ethiopia to Los Angeles. In this probing conversation, B+ digs into the intentions behind his project to reveal the rhythmic connections among people, cultures, and their creations, sharing stories of the record collector who shaped DJ Shadow’s sound, his close friendships with composers David Axelrod and Horace Tapscott, and more. We delve into...


Khalik Allah and Eli Reed: Souls Against the Concrete

Young photographer Khalik Allah talks with Eli Reed, award-winning Magnum photojournalist since 1988, about a life of photography and filmmaking. In this charming exchange, Khalik Allah and Eli Reed share their experiences navigating rough neighborhoods, earning the trust of their subjects, learning from their mistakes, and developing a unique style that stands out in the digital age. We also talk about Khalik's work with the Wu-Tang Clan, his experience working as a filmmaker on Beyoncé's...


Victor Emanuel and S. Kirk Walsh on One More Warbler

One of America’s foremost birders recalls a lifetime of birding adventures, including friendships with luminaries Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton. In this touching discussion, we talk with renowned birder and dyed-in-the-wool Texan Victor Emanuel and writer S. Kirk Walsh about the importance of taking the time to observe natural beauty, protect it, and the path Victor took from politics to a life of birding. We cover tips for a birding excursion, Victor's friendship with Laura Bush...


Carolyn Boyd and Jessica Lee on The White Shaman Mural

Carolyn Boyd and Jessica Lee, both of the Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center, describe the profound discoveries they’ve uncovered researching the ‘oldest known book in North America’, the White Shaman mural in Lower Pecos, Texas. In this fascinating discussion, we explore the significance of a massive, conceptually complex piece of rock art that was painted by hunter gatherers within a week to two week period between 400 BC and 400 AD. We cover the graphic vocabulary that...


Robert McNeely on The Making of Hillary Clinton

Bill Clinton’s official White House photographer talks candidly about documenting the political process without bias and gaining the trust of a very private woman. From a base camp darkroom in Vietnam to street photography in San Francisco to the political stage, this interview with Bob McNeely traces his life as a photographer and offers honest insight into Hillary’s personality and career, wrestling with both the promise of her capabilities and the problems of her political history. Hear...


Paul Youngquist on A Pure Solar World

Paul Youngquist unpacks how Sun Ra’s unabashed creativity challenged a history of racial confinement and fueled hope for the future. A Pure Solar World explores how Sun Ra was a master of jazz composition, a pioneer in electronic music, a major African American poet, and an expansively free-thinking teacher. Author Paul Youngquist talks to us about the philosophy behind Sun Ra's space music, how audiences first responded to his music and his message, and why his work deserves more...


Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece on The Tacos of Texas

Taco journalists Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece evangelize taco culture in Texas. Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece drove over 7,000 miles sampling tacos in 10 major Texas taco hubs to build a community of taco lovers. The culmination of their journey is the new indispensable guide, The Tacos of Texas. We talked to them about their road trip and the process of enlisting community leaders, knowledgeable locals, and abuelitas to delve deeper than Yelp reviews and capture authentic taco culture.


Kristin Hersh on Don't Suck, Don't Die

In conjunction with new paperback release of Don’t Suck, Don’t Die, singer-songwriter Kristin Hersh reflects on her relationship with the late musician Vic Chesnutt and her commitment to telling the truth through her art. This enriching conversation unpacks how creating art is like raising a child, how not to suck as a creative person, and how pain should be part of becoming a healer. Hersh honors Vic, sharing her favorite memories from the road and explaining why she finally agreed to...


William Hogeland on Founding Finance

William Hogeland describes the class conflicts in Colonial and Early Republican America. Refuting claims from both the political right and left, this dynamic narrative history brings to life the long-forgotten founding struggles over American finance, economics, and taxes and reveals their immense and startling relevance to political struggles today. About the book:


Margaret Guroff on The Mechanical Horse

Margaret Guroff reflects on how she synthesized a wealth of research on the bicycle into one narrative and how being a cyclist informed her writing. From the draisine to the latest carbon fiber frame, the bicycle has endured boom and bust to make a lasting impact on our lives. We talk with Margaret Guroff about how the bicycle helped to revolutionize urban infrastructure, technology, gender equality, mechanized aircraft, and more. Now that the middle class is returning to car-dominated...


Andrea Valdez on How to Be a Texan

Texas Monthly editor Andrea Valdez unpacks which Texas activities comprise the classic Texan identity and why they should be appreciated. Texas is very innovative in a lot of ways but also holds tight to its past and its traditions. Some Texan traditions are obvious, but others took some digging, like drawing on water dousing skills to find water during contemporary droughts. We ask Andrea Valdez what research she conducted to write an authoritative how-to manual on Texas life, how she...


David Cantwell on Merle Haggard: The Running Kind

David Cantwell talks about Haggard's roots, influences, music, and style. Focusing on the most prolific decades in the career of this complex, often contradictory icon of country music, David Cantwell explores the creation of many of Merle Haggard’s greatest hits and the life and times that inspired them. Check out Cantwell's Spotify playlist linked below and listen along to 'Merle Haggard: The Running Kind.' Spotify playlist:...


Sarah Bird on A Love Letter to Texas Women

Acclaimed author Sarah Bird gushes over the Texas women who taught her the pioneer principle of “neighboring”—fostering friendliness among women. Texas women have a uniquely global brand of strength, humor, and grace. We ask non-native Texan Sarah Bird what about the culture of friendly femininity won her over, what her mother taught her, iconic Texas women like Ladybird Johnson and Molly Ivins, and what it means to hunger for the companionship of other women. About the book:...


Lynne Adele and Bruce Lee Webb on As Above, So Below

Art historian Lynne Adele and fraternal object member and collector Bruce Lee Webb chart the fascinating history of America’s secret societies. This fascinating conversation illuminates the power, purpose, and imagery of freemason societies in America from their origins in ancient Egyptian mystery schools to the Grand Lodge of Texas sending Buzz Aldrin to claim the moon as Texas Masonic Tranquility Lodge #2000. Adele and Webb talk about how these groups functioned in communities, how they...


Toni Tipton‐Martin on The Jemima Code

Culinary journalist and activist Toni Tipton-Martin discusses her new book, offering listeners insight into what the "Jemima Code” actually is and the harmful stereotype that it has perpetuated over time. This moving conversation wrestles with two centuries of deeply ingrained racial tension born out of Southern plantation kitchens and the journey Toni Tipton-Martin embarked upon when she started one of the world’s largest private collections of African American cookbooks. About the book:...


Ray Benson: Comin' Right at Ya

Multi-Grammy award-winning frontman for the western swing band Asleep at the Wheel talks about his life as a musician, advice for young creatives, and why he keeps coming’ at ya, i.e.: touring every town in America! Ray Benson speaks honestly about utilizing his ADHD in his career, being Jewish in the music world, playing for the Klu Klux Klan, and the reality that becoming a successful musician has always been a hat trick. Read more about the book:...


Javier Auyero and Team: Invisible in Austin

An award-winning sociologist and his students discuss how they fought to expose the complexity of marginalized communities in one of America’s most economically segregated cities. The sociological study at the heart of Invisible in Austin seeks to correct stereotyping in similar studies that reduces people to “the drug dealer,” the single mother,” “the stripper.” The co-authors talk about tackling the politics of collaboration in academia, subjectivity, and intense debates on how to most...


Editor on Understanding the Middle East through Translated Literature

Wendy Moore, publications editor for UT Austin’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, discusses the art and value of translating works of literature. Our conversation with Wendy explores the difficulties, rewards, and impact of translation. She discusses what’s next for the CMES Modern Middle East Literatures in Translation series and how important it is to find cultural commonalities through translated literature. Browse books in the CMES Modern Middle East Literatures in Translation...


Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home

The first African American member of Magnum Photos in conversation with UT Press about starting out as a hospital orderly in New Jersey to taking pictures of history in the making, encountering racial discrimination, and more. About the book: With over 250 images that span the astonishing range of his subjects and his evolution as a photographer, this is the first career retrospective of Eli Reed, one of America’s leading contemporary photojournalists and the first African American member...