University Of The Air

University Of The Air

From Wisconsin Public Radio

On "University Of The Air," hosts Norman Gilliland and Emily Auerbach draw on the knowledge of faculty from Wisconsin universities, visiting professors and artists for conversations about a broad range of topics of enduring interest.More from University Of The Air »

Most Recent Episodes

Why the Family Matters

One of the greatest joys in life can be our children. But what rights do parents have over their children, and what fundamental rights do children have independently from their parents? Is it justified to feel a greater sense of duty toward one's own child than toward other children? The arguments may surprise you, as UW-Madison Professor of Philosophy and Education Policy Harry Brighouse joins us in an examination of the moral foundations of the family.

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A Conversation with the Chancellor

What is it like to oversee Wisconsin's largest and highest ranking university, with over 43,000 students, billions of dollars in research funding, and the "Wisconsin Idea" of serving the state? In this hour, Chancellor Rebecca Blank discusses the pleasures and challenges of her role as UW Chancellor.

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Social Media and the Law

Someone posts a violent threat on Facebook, but claims it is only an expression of free speech. What is the difference in the eyes of the law? In the age of instant communication, what should be taken seriously, and what is prosecutable? And, just what constitutes privacy from law enforcement on the Internet? Attorney Ann Jacobs discusses the tangled intersections between social media and the law.

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Is Your Baby Smarter than You Think?

Babies gurgle, coo, and respond in surprisingly sophisticated ways to the world around them. How and when do babies learn language? This hour’s guest is Jenny Saffran, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Infant Learning Lab at the Waisman Center.

The Influence of World Music

Today, the phrase “world music” can mean any number of musical genres with origins outside the United States. But how did the international sound come to permeate our musical culture? Ronald Radano, UW-Madison Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology, shares samples of music showing international influences at the onset of the modern era, and explains how these influences were crucial in shaping the sound of past and present music.

The Asian American Experience in the South

What was it like to be an Asian American in the segregated South? How did Asian Americans deal with situations where they did not fit within the traditional roles of black or white? How did ethnic minorities perceive the color line within the segregated South? In this rebroadcast from 2012, Professor of English Leslie Bow discusses her book "Partly Colored," in an examination of "third ethnicities" in the Deep South during the heart of Jim Crow-era segregation.

The Post-Colonial State in Africa

What effect has independence had on the citizens of post-colonial African states? What are the different paths that African nations have taken after gaining independence from colonial rule? In the fifty years since independence, why have some African countries succeeded in establishing secure states and others failed? UW-Madison professor emeritus Crawford Young discusses the modern differences and similarities between African states, from democratization and growing infrastructures, to civil strife and military rule.

Restorative Justice in Wisconsin's Prisons

Restorative justice seeks to heal the harm done to victims and to help offenders take responsibility for their actions in a transformative way that benefits the community. Three guests explore how they are using this approach in Wisconsin prisons: the Reverend Jerry Hancock, former Deputy District Attorney and now Director of the Prison Ministry Project; Jerome Dillard, former incarcerated individual who has spent decades working to help prisoners successfully reenter society; and former WPR distinguished broadcaster and host Jean Feraca, who has in her retirement passionately embraced Restorative Justice as a volunteer.

Faith and Seduction in the Writings of John Donne

The 16th and 17th century metaphysical poets were a group of British writers and lyricists who used extended, elaborate metaphors to explore topics at the heart of humanity. Today on the University of the Air, we’ll explore British author John Donne, who is perhaps the most familiar of these poets. He penned seduction poems and satires in his youth, and religious sermons and meditations in his later life, leaving us with some of the most well-known phrases in the English language. In this hour, UW-Madison Professor of English Joshua Calhoun discusses faith and seduction in the writings of John Donne. To see the works mentioned in this interview, visit the Digital Donne archive.

Bias in Hiring

If you give sample groups identical resumes from John Smith, Jane Smith, and Jamal Smith, why are they much more likely to interview and hire John Smith? How does our unconscious bias also make us less likely to hire someone who is obese or has a foreign accent? Eve Fine and Jennifer Sheridan, researchers from UW’s Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute, talk about minimizing bias in hiring, and why good intentions are not enough.

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