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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...


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.


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:


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...


Seamus McGraw on climate change

Award-winning writer Seamus McGraw in conversation with UT Press about what he’s learned from talking to the people on the front lines of climate change and how storytelling can help us come together to enact solutions. About the book: The award-winning author of The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone offers a lively, thought-provoking overview of climate change from the perspectives of people who are dealing with it on the ground....


Bill Witliff on The Devil's Backbone

Distinguished screenwriter Bill Wittliff talks about how he spun family-told mysteries into his engrossing first novel. About the book: Set in wild and woolly Texas and Mexico in the 1880s, this engrossing tale of a boy’s search for his missing Momma is as full of colorful characters, folk wit and wisdom, and unexpected turns of events as the great American quest novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.


Stephen Shames on Bronx Boys

Stephen Shames opens up about being a father figure to young men chasing girls and taking risks in the Bronx of the '70s. About the book: Bronx Boys captures the violence, resilience, and hope of young men growing up in what was one of the toughest and most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States.


Kate Shindle on Being Miss America

Kate Shindle offers her take on how the Miss America pageant could empower today's young women, if they'd only change. About the book:


Edwards, Midcentury Modern Art in Texas

Chris Gondek interviews Katie Robinson Edwards about the first book-length study of abstract art in Texas during the vital and canon-defining period in the mid-twentieth century. Hear more at:


Sterling, Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition

Chris Gondek interviews Chef David Sterling about the fiercely independent Yucatán region and how to bring its unique cuisine to your kitchen. Hear more at: