Movers & Thinkers Movers & Thinkers takes you into the minds of some of the most interesting innovators in Nashville as they discuss everything from art to education, food to technology, and much in between. Each episode is produced by Nashville Public Radio from a live conversation and hosted by reporter Emily Siner.
Movers & Thinkers

Movers & Thinkers

From WPLN News

Movers & Thinkers takes you into the minds of some of the most interesting innovators in Nashville as they discuss everything from art to education, food to technology, and much in between. Each episode is produced by Nashville Public Radio from a live conversation and hosted by reporter Emily Siner.

Most Recent Episodes

The Funniest One In The Room

DJ Pryor was catapulted to national fame after a video of him and his young son went viral in 2019. It showed off his natural humor — DJ is a standup comedian — as well as an example of genuine parental love. But DJ's own childhood was far less positive. And his experiences of abuse and pain, told as comedy, have connected with audiences just as much. "You'd be surprised how many people walk up to me at the end of shows that had that experience and they say, 'I went through the same thing,' " DJ says.

I'll Have What Dolly's Having

Dolly Parton has long been an icon in Tennessee, her home state, where she's beloved for her philanthropy and raunchy wit. And in a moment when celebrities are almost expected to take political stances, Dolly is noticeable for her lack of controversy. How does she manage to charm everyone? What does that say about her as a person? No, this is not an interview with Dolly Parton. But it is an interview with Jad Abumrad, another native Tennessean who has spent months interviewing Dolly fans, Dolly experts and Dolly herself for his new podcast Dolly Parton's America.  "For me, what's fascinating about Dolly is not that she's liberal or conservative but that she defies all those categories," he says. Movers & Thinkers is a production of Nashville Public Radio. It's hosted and produced by Emily Siner, edited by Blake Farmer and Anita Bugg, and mastered by Carl Pederson. Find more in-depth interviews with fascinating Nashvillians at wpln.org/movers.

The Butcher, The Vegan Baker, The Potions Maker

When we decide what to eat or drink, we're making choices that go beyond flavor. What we consume can be a tool for social change, a connection with generations past, and a major influence on our well-being. In this lively episode, WPLN's Emily Siner talks to Chris Carter of Porter Road Butcher, Tiffany Hancock of The Southern V, and Leah Larabell of High Garden Tea — three food entrepreneurs who are merging innovation and tradition. How did they start down the paths of local meat production, veganism and herbalism? And how do they navigate pushback from skeptical customers? Support our podcasts by donating at wpln.org/give and noting that you listen to Movers & Thinkers.

Writing About Life, Death And Grief In The South

Margaret Renkl is a Nashville writer perhaps best known for her regular columns in the New York Times. "Late Migrations" is her debut book, and it's part-essay collection on coming of age and aging in the South, and part-observations of nature. Margaret began writing the book after the death of her mother, in an effort to process her grief. "If I forced myself to see this rat snake coming out of the chickadee nest box and the crow stealing the cardinal's babies ... then I would stop feeling so singled out for suffering," she says. In this poignant and powerful episode, Margaret talks to WPLN's Emily Siner about documenting complicated families, grieving with animals, and writing a book in 15 minutes. Support our podcasts by donating at wpln.org/give and noting that you listen to Movers & Thinkers. Hear previous episodes of Movers & Thinkers on our website, Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music.

The Scales Of Juvenile Justice

Judge Sheila Calloway sees children during some of the worst moments of their lives: right after they've been accused of committing a crime. * *But she holds fast to the philosophy that children are redeemable and should be given the opportunity to change. "We as a nation have to make a change from what we think about as justice," she says. "We use incarceration as the answer for almost everything, and it cannot be the answer." In this episode, she talks to WPLN's Emily Siner about the relationship between empathy and justice. Support our podcasts by donating at wpln.org/give and noting that you listen to Movers & Thinkers. Hear previous episodes of Movers & Thinkers on our website, Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music. Read the transcript of this episode here.

What's Jesus Got To Do With It?

Unlike most New Testament experts, Vanderbilt Divinity School professor Amy-Jill Levine is Jewish. Her lessons are sprinkled with Yiddish phrases, and she attends an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Nashville. That's given her a unique perspective on Judaism and Christianity — two religions that have diverged from the same source, took different interpretations of similar texts and collided repeatedly throughout history. "We are magnificent creatures in all our diversity," she says. "I want those differences to be celebrated, and I want people to have the ability of saying, 'That's not my tradition, but I see where you get it, and I see the beauty in it.' " Emily Siner interviewed Amy-Jill Levine in front of a live audience at Nashville Public Radio. Support our podcasts by donating at wpln.org/give and noting that you listen to Movers & Thinkers. Hear previous episodes of Movers & Thinkers on our website, Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music. Read the transcript of this episode here.

Inside The Mind Of A Cold Case Detective

How does a cold case homicide detective maintain faith in humanity? What makes him so sure that he's going after the right bad guy? And how can a case with no known suspects be solved? For more than 25 years, retired police detective Pat Postiglione solved some of the most gruesome murder cases in Nashville. This, he says, takes a toll: "If you stay in homicide long enough, it definitely has an effect on your personal life."

Thinking About The Brain

Every human is fortunate to have this organ inside our skull called the brain. It allows us to breathe, create art, develop new technology — and yet there's much that is undiscovered about how these masses of neurons work. Why is everyone's brain a different shape? When the brain starts to deteriorate, what's really happening? And what is thought? In this episode, we explore these provocative questions with three people who think about them often: Suzana Herculano-Houzel, a neuroscientist/biologist who has developed a method to count the number of neurons in the brain; Beverly Patnaik, a gerontologist who works with Alzheimer's patients; and Karl Sillay, a neurosurgeon who specializes in deep brain stimulation. The show's host and producer is Emily Siner. Its editors are Mack Linebaugh, Anita Bugg and Blake Farmer, and its engineers are Carl Pederson and Cameron Adkins. Music by Blue Dot Sessions courtesy of the Free Music Archive. To find more Nashville Public Radio podcasts, go to podcasts.wpln.org.

What Is Love?

Without a doubt, romantic love is a driving force in our culture — with countless movies, songs and books devoted to finding it, losing it or making it last. Falling in (or out of) love can feel so intense in our own lives, but our fundamental assumptions about what love really is are not always correct. In this episode of Movers & Thinkers, we talk to three guests who have seen a lot of love, heartbreak and romantic confusion: relationship therapist Jeannie Ingram, divorce attorney Siew-Ling Shea, and Alex Pollack, a writer who muses on modern dating culture. The show's host and producer is Emily Siner. Its editors are Mack Linebaugh, Anita Bugg and Blake Farmer, and its engineers are Carl Pederson and Cameron Adkins. Music by Blue Dot Sessions courtesy of the Free Music Archive. To find more Nashville Public Radio podcasts, go to podcasts.wpln.org.

The Disrupter

More than 50 years ago, Rip Patton's world changed. He started attending nonviolence workshops in Nashville and learned how to endure abuse during the Civil Rights movement without fighting back. Rip became a Freedom Rider, part of the movement that ended an era of legalized segregation in the South. Now, five decades later, he looks back on his role as a "disrupter" — sitting, standing and singing to make major societal change. The show's host is Emily Siner. Its editors are Mack Linebaugh, Anita Bugg and Blake Farmer, and its engineers are Carl Pederson and Cameron Adkins. Music by Blue Dot Sessions. To find more Nashville Public Radio podcasts, go to podcasts.wpln.org.

Back To Top