City Arts & Lectures

By City Arts & Lectures

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Since 1980, City Arts & Lectures has presented onstage conversations with outstanding figures in literature, politics, criticism, science, and the performing arts, offering the most diverse perspectives about ideas and values. City Arts & Lectures programs can be heard on more than 130 public radio stations across the country and wherever you get your podcasts. The broadcasts are co-produced with KQED 88.5 FM in San Francisco. Visit CITYARTS.NET for more info.

Episode Date
Robert Sapolsky

This week, we are presenting an encore of a 2017 conversation with Dr. Robert Sapolsky. Sapolsky is a primatologist and neurologist with a unique gift for storytelling.  Oliver Sacks called him “one of the best scientist-writers of our time”.  Sapolsky has spent decades studying primate behavior.  One of his most consuming fascinations is how humans are both the most violent species on earth – as well as the most altruistic, cooperative, and empathetic. That paradox, and the factors behind it, are the subject of his most recent book “Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst”.  On May 22, 2017, Robert Sapolsky talked with psychology professor Dacher Keltner at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco. 

Jan 10, 2021
Ear Hustle

This week, a conversation with two of the creators of Ear Hustle, the first podcast created and produced in prison. The show features stories of the daily realities of life inside California’s San Quentin State Prison, shared by those living it. Ear Hustle was launched in 2017; at the time, Earlonne Woods was an inmate at San Quentin. His sentence was commuted in 2020.  Now, Woods co-hosts the podcast from outside the prison walls, along with Nigel Poor, a well-respected photographer whose work teaching inside prison changed the focus of her practice.  Today, Poor spends the majority of her time focused on, and working alongside, the incarcerated. On November 19, 2020, Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor.spoke with Alexis Madrigal about the making of the latest season of Ear Hustle.

Dec 27, 2020
Thomas Keller

Thomas Keller is the first and only American chef to have two Michelin Guide three-star-rated restaurants, The French Laundry and per se, both of which continue to rank among the best restaurants in America and the world. He is also the author of The French Laundry Cookbook, Bouchon, Under Pressure, Ad Hoc at Home, Bouchon Bakery, and his new book The French Laundry, Per Se. On October 26, 2020, Keller spoke with food journalist Amanda Hesser, co-founder and CEO of Food52.  They discussed diversity in restaurant kitchens, the difference between influence and inspiration in the culinary world, and the post-pandemic future of the industry.

Dec 20, 2020
Race, Storytelling, and the Future of Journalism with W. Kamau Bell and Chan’Cellore Makanjuola

In the past year, journalists have been out in the streets covering racial reckoning and protest.  Inside newsrooms – which are overwhelmingly white – media organizations are beginning to confront inequity in their own ranks.  When journalism is mostly led by a privileged class of white men, what does that mean for the kinds of stories that get covered, missed, or undervalued? On November 20, 2020, in a co-production with the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, cultural critic, comedian, and CNN docu-series host W. Kamau Bell joined graduate student Chan’Cellore Makanjuola for a conversation about race, storytelling, and the future of journalism.

Dec 13, 2020
Crosstalk Part Two: Genre is Cancelled

Crosstalk is a two-part series of compiled conversations between City Arts & Lectures guests from the previous three years, discussing literary identity and the sometimes pleasurable, sometimes painful, act of writing. Guests include Ocean Vuong, Zadie Smith, Marlon James, Ottessa Moshfegh, Tommy Orange, Eileen Myles, Rebecca Solnit, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Dec 06, 2020
Crosstalk Part One: Writing Identity

Crosstalk is a two-part series of compiled conversations between City Arts & Lectures guests from the previous three years discussing literary identity and the sometimes pleasurable, sometimes painful, act of writing. Guests include Ocean Vuong, Zadie Smith, Marlon James, Ottessa Moshfegh, Tommy Orange, Eileen Myles, Rebecca Solnit, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Crosstalk is produced by Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo.

Nov 30, 2020
Going Meatless: The Future of Sustainable Food

Our guests are a chef and a scientist who are tackling climate change through creating sustainable food.  Pat Brown is a biochemist and founder of Impossible Foods, a company at the forefront of making nutritious meat and dairy products from plants to satisfy meat lovers and address the environmental impact of animal farming. Traci Des Jardins is the chef-owner of several restaurants, from fine dining to casual eateries.  She was one of the first chefs to put the Impossible Burger on her menu and worked closely with the company on their new “Impossible: The Cookbook”.  On November 9, 2020, Pat Brown and Traci Des Jardins talked with Adam Savage via videoconference.

Nov 22, 2020
Yotam Ottolenghi

Our guest is chef and author Yotam Ottolenghi, whose best-selling cookbooks have earned him a cult following among home chefs around the world.  Born in Israel, Ottolenghi now lives in London where he operates six restaurants and delis.  On October 15, 2020, Ottolenghi spoke to Isabel Duffy from his test kitchen in London.  The two discussed his latest book, “Ottolenghi Flavor”, which includes more than 100 plant-based recipes, and how the chef is feeding his own family during the pandemic.

Nov 15, 2020
Alicia Garza and Megan Rapinoe

This week, we’re broadcasting a conversation with Alicia Garza and Megan Rapinoe, recorded four days before the presidential election.  Alicia Garza is an activist and writer.  In 2013, she posted a Facebook response to the murder of Trayvon Martin in which she used the hashtag “Black Lives Matter”, and it sparked a major social movement.  Garza has now written a book, “The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart”.   Megan Rapinoe is a soccer player, two-time World Cup champion and co-captain of the US Women’s National Team.  She’s also an outspoken advocate for social justice and the issue of equal pay for female athletes. On October 28, 2020, Alicia Garza and Megan Rapinoe spoke about activism, organizing, and tactics for achieving structural change.

Nov 08, 2020
Bruce Springsteen

This week, a conversation with Bruce Springsteen, originally recorded in 2016. The legendary rock star, referred to by his countless fans as “The Boss”, had just published his autobiography, Born to Run. It took Springsteen seven years to write the memoir, covering everything from his childhood and early days performing to his fear of failure and his ambivalence about success. Bruce Springsteen came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco on October 5, 2016, to talk about his life in rock and roll. Fans had traveled from around the country to attend, and the energy in the room was at a fever pitch more along the lines of a stadium concert than a literary talk. Still, the conversation with Dan Stone managed to be both intimate and deeply personal.

Nov 01, 2020
Alice Wong and W. Kamau Bell: Disability Visibility

This week, disability activist Alice Wong talks with comedian and journalist W. Kamau Bell. Wong is founding director of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated to creating and amplifying disability media and culture.  She has edited an anthology of personal essays by contemporary disabled writers to mark the 35th anniversary of the ADA, “Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century”.  On October 19, 2020, Alice Wong talked about the book with her good friend, comedian and journalist W. Kamau Bell.  The two also spoke about the extra challenges faced by voters during the time of COVID-19, the importance of abled allies advocating for the disabled community, and their shared admiration for Denzel Washington. 

Oct 25, 2020
Chanel Miller with Jia Tolentino

Chanel Miller was just twenty-seven years old when she published her memoir, Know My Name, the book recounts her experience as the victim of sexual assault. It’s a keen examination of gender, power, and the failures of our criminal justice system. It’s also exquisitely written. Among the book’s many fans is her interviewer for this program, Jia Tolentino, a contributor at the New Yorker and the author of Trick Mirror. On October 15, 2020, they discussed the challenges of becoming a public figure and the essential work of forging ones own identity. Miller and Tolentino also spoke about their creative processes, including Miller’s visual art, now on display at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum.

Oct 18, 2020
Claudia Rankine

This week, a conversation with poet and essayist Claudia Rankine. Rankine is the author of Citizen: An American Lyric and four previous books, including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. Her newest book, Just Us: an American Conversation, weaves together essays, poems, and images. Some of its most memorable scenes are those where Rankine examines the moments of discomfort between herself and those around her, urging us to begin discussions that might open pathways through this divisive and seemingly stuck moment in American history. On October 1, 2020, Claudia Rankine spoke to Stephen Best, Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. She also answered questions from teachers and students, offering advice to readers and today’s young poets.

Oct 11, 2020
Yaa Gyasi

This week, a conversation with novelist Yaa Gyasi.  Gyasi was just 26 years old when her debut, Homegoing, was published.  It spans eight generations, tracing the lives of two half-sisters and their descendants from eighteenth-century Ghana to present-day America.  The book garnered major critical acclaim and praise from fellow authors like Zadie Smith and Ta-Nehisi Coates.  Four years later, Gyasi has written another powerful work, Transcendent Kingdom.  The protagonist, Gifty, is a doctoral candidate in neuroscience.  Her mother, an immigrant from Ghana, suffers from depression and comes to stay with her.  The novel examines the challenges of addiction and grief, as well as the tensions between science and faith.  On September 22, 2020, Yaa Gyasi spoke with Courtney Martin about her work.

Oct 04, 2020
Jill Lepore

Jill Lepore is a professor of American History at Harvard University and also a staff writer at The New Yorker. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, her many books include the international bestseller These Truths and This America. Her latest book, If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future, is a revelatory account of the Cold War origins of the data-mad, algorithmic twenty-first century, unearthing from archives the shocking story of a long-vanished corporation, and of the women hidden behind it. She recorded this conversation on September 16, 2020, with Mina Kim, host of KQED's Forum.

Sep 27, 2020
The Science of Music with Indre Viskontas

This week, we present an encore of a 2014 conversation on the neuroscience of music and creativity with Dr. Indre Viskontas, a cognitive scientist and opera singer. Viskontas has published groundbreaking work on the neural basis of memory and creativity. She is the author of "How Music Can Make You Better" and co-host of the podcasts "Inquiring Minds" and "Cadence". Viskontas came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco in May of 2014 to speak with Dr. Kelly McGonigall about music's effect on and relationship with the brain.

Sep 06, 2020
Trevor Noah

From the City Arts & Lectures archives, a conversation with Trevor Noah originally recorded November 21, 2016…. just following Donald Trump’s election. Noah is the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” He first joined the show as a contributor in 2014 and succeeded Jon Stewart as host in 2015. 

Trevor Noah spoke in 2016 with Laurene Powell Jobs, the founder and president of Emerson Collective, an organization that supports social entrepreneurs, about growing up the son of a black South African mother and a white European father, in South Africa during one of the most turbulent times in the country’s history. They also discussed the role of comedy in speaking truth to corruption - and to process events taking place.

Aug 30, 2020
Whoopi Goldberg

From the City Arts & Lectures archives, a conversation with Whoopi Goldberg, originally recorded in 1987, just after Goldberg’s explosive performance in the film adaptation of The Color Purple. Even before Goldberg achieved celebrity status and critical acclaim, she never shied away from voicing her incisive and irreverent perspectives on race, sexism, the film industry, and American politics. In fact, many of the causes she discussed in 1987 with Mary Lou Manalli, a reporter for KGO radio in San Francisco, remain regrettably relevant. Whoopi Goldberg is currently one of the hosts of ABC’s The View.

Aug 23, 2020
Jeffrey Toobin and Preet Bharara

Our guests this week is Jeffrey Toobin, whose latest book is “True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump”.  How is it that so many close associates of President Trump have been convicted of federal crimes – some, like his campaign chair and personal lawyer, even going to jail – yet Trump himself has survived to run for reelection.  Toobin is a staff writer for the New Yorker, and the author of numerous best-selling books.  On August 6, 2020, he talked to Preet Bharara, former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, about his deep dive into the Mueller investigation, and how the legal and political battles surrounding Trump might affect the next election, and beyond.

Aug 16, 2020
The Buddhist on Death Row

For 30 years, renowned Buddhist thinker Jarvis Jay Masters has lived on Death Row at San Quentin State Prison. His spiritual practice has helped him deal with violent and difficult experiences in prison, inspiring Masters to teach meditation to many of his fellow inmates. In his new book, The Buddhist on Death Row, David Sheff explores Masters’ gradual transformation from a man consumed by violence to one who has helped those around him find meaning and peace in their lives. On June 11, 2020, Jarvis Jay Masters and David Sheff spoke with author and activist Rebecca Solnit, discussing among other issues how the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic were affecting incarcerated people.  Several weeks after the recording, Masters contracted the virus himself as it swept through San Quentin; he is recovering.

Aug 10, 2020
Maria Bamford

Maria Bamford uses comedy to confront her lifelong struggles with OCD, bipolar disorder, and suicidal thoughts. She is the star of “Lady Dynamite”, a surrealist series based on her life, as well as several comedy specials. Bamford’s deeply personal comedy goes well beyond self-deprecation, using genuine vulnerability to examine mental health issues rarely discussed. On November 15, 1999, Maria Bamford came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Cara Rose DeFabio.

Aug 02, 2020
Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr, head coach for the Golden State Warriors, is one of the most important figures in basketball today. A former NBA championship player, Kerr was named head coach of the Warriors in 2014, leading the team to win three championships in four seasons and set a new record for most wins in a season. Kerr is also an activist, who uses his platform to talk about politics and human rights issues like Middle East policy, national-anthem protests, and gun control.  On February 26, 2020, Steve Kerr came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Alexis Madrigal about the experiences that have led him to become the outspoken and effective coach and activist he is today.

Jul 26, 2020
Charlie Kaufman

One of the most acclaimed filmmakers of our time, Charlie Kaufman is best known for movies like Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. His unique style, sometimes labeled surrealist, features characters that reflect back on themselves, stories within stories that blur the boundaries between dream and event. Now, with his debut novel “Antkind”, Kaufman continues to explore the absurd – and often lonely – nature of human consciousness. On June 15, 2020, Charlie Kaufman spoke to Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novel Less, about the freedoms, and challenges, of writing a book.

Jul 19, 2020
The Science of Psychedelics with Robin Carhart-Harris

How might substances like LSD, psilocybins, and other hallucinogens provide relief to people suffering from conditions such as depression, addiction, and anorexia?  Robin Carhart-Harris is a neuroscientist and head of the Imperial Centre for Psychedelic Research, which builds on over a decade of pioneering work including a clinical trial that has kickstarted global efforts to develop psilocybin therapy into a licensed treatment for depression. On June 29, 2020, Dr. Carhart-Harris spoke with Dr. Mellody Hayes, an anesthesiologist and founder of a psychedelic wellness clinic, by videoconference during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jul 12, 2020
Anna Wiener

Anna Wiener is a contributing writer to The New Yorker, covering Silicon Valley, startup culture, and technology. In her mid-twenties,as the tech industry was rapidly transforming into a locus of wealth andpower, Wiener left a job in book publishing to join the startup workforce. Part memoir, part cultural analysis, her book Uncanny Valley, reflects on the absurdities, excesses, and aspirations of the startup world.  It’s also a coming-of-age story, with Wiener charting her own disillusionment with and complicity in work she frequently found empty and inauthentic. On March 12, 2020, Wiener came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Robin Sloan about her memoir, and where tech has – and hasn’t – taken us.

Jul 05, 2020
Brian Greene

Brian Greene is one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists, widely recognized for his groundbreaking discoveries in the field of superstring theory. His ability to clearly communicate cutting-edge science - even bringing humor to abstruse mathematical concepts -- has made Greene a sort of rock star physicist. On February 25, 2020, Brian Greene came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk to Gina Pell about his newest book “Until The End of Time: Mind, Matter and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe”.

Jun 28, 2020
Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic.  Abdurraqib’s writing fuses cultural commentary
with intimate poetic language.  His subjects – everything from A Tribe Called Quest to his own childhood in Columbus, Ohio, Bruce Springsteen to Muhammad Ali.  Abdurraqib’s latest collection is “A Fortune for Your Disaster”, which wrestles with histories both personal and shared, the process of rebuilding after
heartbreak, and the people and things that helped us heal. On May 29, 2020, just as protests were breaking out across the country after the death of George Floyd, Hanif Abdurraqib spoke via videoconference with the journalist and music critic Jeff Chang.  

Jun 21, 2020
Ethics in Technology, with Ruha Benjamin and Meredith Whittaker

Ruha Benjamin studies the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine.  In books like “Race After Technology”, and “People’s Science”, Benjamin examines how racial inequality plays out in every corner of civic, scientific, and social life.  Meredith Whittaker co-founded the AI Now Institute, a
research center examining the social implications of artificial intelligence in criminal justice, law enforcement, housing, and education. 

On June 1, 2020, Ruha Benjamin and Meredith Whittaker spoke via video conference. The two talked about biases built into every day technologies, how COVID-19 disproportionately harms marginalized communities, and ethical concerns over the increased power tech elites now have over our educational systems.

Jun 14, 2020
Mary Karr and Kaveh Akbar

This week, a conversation between two of today’s most fearless writers, addressing topics of addiction, spirituality, and existence. Mary Karr is the author of "Lit" and "The Liars Club" -- memoirs that have come to define the genre as we know it today. Her poems bear the same markers of intelligent observation, humor, and visceral emotion. Kaveh Akbar is a major voice in contemporary poetry and author of the collections "Pilgrim Bell" and "Calling a Wolf a Wolf".

On May 20, 2020, Mary Karr and Kaveh Akbar spoke and read poems via video conference on the occasion of the paperback release of Karr’s newest poetry collection, “Tropic of Squalor.”

Jun 07, 2020
Rebecca Solnit and Britt Marling

This week, we present a conversation between two of today’s most incisive thinkers and creators. Rebecca Solnit is a writer, activist and public intellectual. Her broad curiosity has fueled over twenty books on topics ranging from the environment to feminism, literary criticism to social change. Brit Marling is best known as the star and creator of the television series, “The OA”. It’s just one among many projects Marling herself created as an alternative to narratives that diminish women’s worth, all too common in Hollywood.  On May 11, 2020, Rebecca Solnit and Brit Marling spoke via video conference on the occasion of Solnit’s newly published memoir, “Recollections of My Nonexistence.” 

May 31, 2020
Jia Tolentino and Jenna Wortham

This week, two phenomenally smart observers of culture, Jia Tolentino and Jenna Wortham.  Tolentino
is a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of the essay collection “Trick Mirror”. Wortham co-hosts the New York Times podcast “Still Processing”. On May 6, 2020, what was to be an on-stage conversation at the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco ended up being a far more intimate exchange about the
logistics and emotional realities of life in self-isolation.  The two spoke by videoconference, discussing
their new relationships to productivity, an urgent desire to do good in the world, and some of the lighter aspects of their pandemic lives – such as reality television.

May 24, 2020
Your Undivided Attention: Persuasive Technology with Tristan Harris

What are some of the insidious designs behind the technology we engage with? How are algorithms designed to convince you to keep scrolling? Tristan Harris, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology, is devoted to thinking about the tools built into technology that persuade us to keep returning to it. Harris believes the unmitigated race for our attention has multiple and profound negative consequences --- shortened attention spans, increased mental health issues, mass narcissism and other effects are among what Harris calls “human downgrading.”

On April 29, 2020, Tristan Harris spoke with Jacob Ward, technology correspondent for NBC News, via video conference while under orders to shelter-in-place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 17, 2020
FEMAIL: The Art of Sustainable Fashion

Our guests are Camilla Carper and Janelle Abbott, the co-creators of FEMAIL Forever, a project dedicated to sustainability and zero waste.  The two met in design school, and after graduation, returned to their respective homes of Oakland and Seattle. To continue their collaboration, Abbott and Carper mail garments back and forth through the US Postal Service. Each time that work passes from one to the other, new scraps and remnants are added, sometimes, things are taken away.

On April 29, 2020, befitting their long-distance process, the two spoke via videoconference with Avery Trufelman, who  produces original pieces about architecture and design for the award-winning podcast 99% Invisible by Radiotopia.  The three discussed how we can all commit to dressing more sustainably, wearing ugly clothing with confidence, and maintaining a collaborative friendship at a physical distance.

May 10, 2020
Miranda July

Miranda July is a multi-disciplinary artist with enormous output who has honed an entirely unique voice, one that provides unconventional perspectives on bizarre nuances of human connection. She is the author of "No One Belongs Here More Than You" and "The First Bad Man", and the writer-director of the movies "The Future", "Me and You and Everyone We Know", and the forthcoming "Kajillionaire". On April 20, 2020, she spoke via videoconference with Jenny Odell, a professor at Stanford and the author of "How to Do Nothing".

May 03, 2020
Remembering Oliver Sacks

The pioneering writer and neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks, who died in 2015, was beloved for his compassion and creativity. Sacks was deeply invested in the lives and well-being of his patients – people with neurological conditions that included Tourette’s, hallucinations, and autism.  He was a phenomenal storyteller, whose many case studies – he called them ‘neurological novels’ – include “The Man Who
Mistook His Wife For A Hat” and “Awakenings”.  On April 17, 2020, author Steve Silberman hosted a conversation with Sacks’ longtime collaborator Kate Edgar, and Temple Grandin, one of the world’s
best-known autistic adults.  Their memories of Sacks are interspersed with clips from a new documentary about his life and work, “Oliver Sacks: His Own Life”.  

Apr 26, 2020
Peggy Orenstein

Peggy Orenstein is the author of “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” and other books about the cultural constraints that affect young women.  Orenstein has now turned her attention to boys - conducting comprehensive interviews with young men, psychologists, and academics about consent, vulnerability, hookup culture, and many other issues relating to boys’ emotional lives. These are collected in her new book “Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity”. On March 19, 2020, Peggy Orenstein talked to author Daniel Handler via video conference, under orders to shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apr 19, 2020
Carmen Maria Machado and Namwali Serpell

Our guests are Carmen Maria Machado and Namwali Serpell. Carmen Maria Machado’s “In The Dream House,” is a memoir about queer domestic abuse, beautifully and meticulously told through an array of forms, entirely eschewing convention. Machado is also the author of the short story collection “Her Body and Other Parties.” Namwali Serpell is a professor of literature at UC Berkeley. Her debut novel “The Old Drift” tracks three Zambian families across three generations, from the pre-colonial past into the near future. ****

On April 8, 2020, Namwali Serpell and Carmen Maria Machado spoke via video conference, under orders to shelter-in-place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, the two reflected on writing post-apocalyptic narratives while they themselves live through a time of pandemic.

Apr 12, 2020
Dolores Huerta and Alice Waters

Our guests are Dolores Huerta and Alice Waters, legendary activists working in different, but complementary areas of our food systems.  Huerta is co-founder of the United Farm Workers Association, and one of the most influential labor activists of our time. Waters is a chef and owner of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California. A proponent of organic produce, and farm to table cuisine, Waters has brought a sustainable food curriculum -- and free, organic lunch -- to numerous schools through the Edible Schoolyard program.  On April 1, 2020 Dolores Huerta and Alice Waters talked to Davia Nelson of the Kitchen Sisters via video conference at their respective homes, under orders to shelter-in-place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apr 05, 2020
Robert Reich

Our guest is Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.  Contrary to what many politicians are saying, Reich believes that the global pandemic is a public health emergency - but not necessarily an economic crisis. And he believes that in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we must halt the economy, and assist the poor.

On March 23, 2020, Reich talked to filmmaker and activist Astra Taylor. Under shelter-in-place orders, the two spoke from their respective homes via video conference.

Mar 29, 2020
Ocean Vuong

Our guest is poet Ocean Vuong. His debut novel "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" takes the form of a letter written to the narrator's mother. The details closely mirror Vuong's own life. Vuong was raised by his mother and grandmother in Hartford, Connecticut. Born in Viet Nam, he was two years old when they left a refugee camp in the Philippines to immigrate to the United States. Ocean Vuong came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco on February 3, 2020, to talk with fellow writer Tommy Orange about making art, the power of language, and what it means to be an American.

Mar 22, 2020
Ottessa Moshfegh

Ottessa Moshfegh is the author of the novels "My Year of Rest and Relaxation", and "Eileen", and the novella "McGlue". Moshfegh is known for writing characters wracked with depression and neurosis - and for the care with which she tends to them. Dark subject matter like grief and alcoholism are tempered by Moshfegh's keen sense of humor. On January 13, 2020, Ottessa Noshfegh came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Isabel Duffy.

Mar 15, 2020
Dan Pfeiffer

Dan Pfeiffer was one of the first people to volunteer on Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency in 2008. He was one of the last people to leave, in 2015. Over those eight years, Pfeiffer served in the Obama Administration in a number of key roles, including White House Communications Director and Senior Advisor. Today Pfeiffer co-hosts the podcast “Pod Save America” with fellow Obama administration alumni. On February 27, 2020, Dan Pfeiffer came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk to Lara Bazelon about the Democratic primaries and his just-published book “un-trumping America.”

Mar 08, 2020
Sally Rooney

Not yet thirty years old, the Irish novelist Sally Rooney has quickly amassed an international following. In “Conversations with Friends” and “Normal People”, Rooney’s nuanced depictions of complex characters confront structures of intimacy, friendship, and class. On February 12, 2020, Sally Rooney and fellow writer Heidi Julavits had a conversation - originally scheduled before an audience at the Sydney Goldstein Theater in January, but postponed due to Rooney’s illness, the program was recorded in a New York studio.

Mar 01, 2020
Adam Mansbach and W. Kamau Bell

Adam Mansbach is a screenwriter and cultural critic whose books include “Angry Black White Boy,” and “The End of the Jews.” But he achieved his greatest commercial success with his first adult parody of children’s books, “Go the Fuck to Sleep”. He’s joined by political comedian Kamau Bell, host and executive producer of the CNN docu-series United Shades of America. On January 6, 2020,  Mansbach and Bell, friends and collaborators, came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk about writing, raising daughters, getting vasectomies. and more.

Feb 23, 2020
Raphael Bob-Waksberg

This week our guest is Raphael Bob-Waksberg, creator of the darkly funny animated series “BoJack Horseman,” now in its final season on Netflix.  The show has received wide acclaim for its concurrent hilarity and exploration of more serious themes like depression, failure, and alcoholism.  His new book, *Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory, *is a collection of short stories about love. On December 16, 2019, Rafael Bob-Waksberg came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with television critic Emily Nussbaum.

Feb 16, 2020
"Eating Alone in My Car" with Melissa Broder

Our guest is poet, podcaster, and novelist Melissa Broder. Broder’s sardonic humor and genuine vulnerability have garnered a loyal following through her twitter persona @sosadtoday - as well as her novel “The Pisces”, a story of a woman fleeing heartbreak and a failed dissertation, finding comfort and passion in a love affair with a merman.  On December 11, 2019, Melissa Broder came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to perform a live episode of her podcast “Eating Alone in My Car.”

Feb 09, 2020
Ibram X. Kendi

Our guest is historian Ibram X. Kendi, the author of “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.” Kendi’s newest book, “How to be an Antiracist”, tasks readers with identifying their own racism, and working to challenge racist policies that underlie society. On December 12, 2019, Ibram Kendi came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk to Jelani Cobb, staff writer for the New Yorker.

Feb 02, 2020
Ben Lerner and Maggie Nelson

Ben Lerner and Maggie Nelson are two of the foremost writers working at the intersections of poetry, nonfiction, and memoir. They talk about Lerner's book "The Topeka School", a semi-autobiographical work that examines language, masculinity, and today's political and cultural crises. This program was recorded at the Sydney Goldstein Theater on November 21, 2019.

Jan 26, 2020
Mo Rocca

Mo Rocca, humorist, history buff, and a regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!, is fascinated by obituaries. He coined the term "Mobituaries" as a second remembrance for people or things that didn't get a proper one the first time around - from obscure presidents to lawn darts to disco. On November 18, 2019, Mo Rocca came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Adam Savage.

Jan 19, 2020
Gloria Steinem

Our guest is writer, activist, and feminist organizer Gloria Steinem.  In 1971, when Steinem founded the groundbreaking “Ms.” women’s magazines focused on finding a husband, or the right lipstick. But Ms. carried articles on de-sexing the English language, abortion, and the real challenges women were facing. The feminist icon continues to fight for equality across race and gender. And at eighty-five years of age, her energy is undiminished.  On November 13, 2019, Gloria Steinem came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Amy Richards about today’s political climate, the need for organizing across generations, and her lifelong wish to be a stand-up comic.

Jan 12, 2020
Chris Hughes

Our guest is Chris Hughes. In May of 2019, Hughes published an Op-Ed in the *New York Times, *entitled “It’s Time to Break Up Facebook.” Hughes called for government regulation of the platform, and reflected on the troubling directions he believes Facebook has moved in since he co-founded the company. On November seventh, 2019, Chris Hughes came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with journalist and author Courtney E. Martin about his successes and failures as a young person working in tech, and the societal problems he sees Facebook and other large corporations contributing to. Hughes also talked about the notion of a universal basic income, and anti-monopoly fund he is working on right now.

Jan 05, 2020
Liz Phair

In 1993, Liz Phair flipped the indie rock landscape with frank lyrics about sexuality and anxiety on her debut album “Exile in Guyville.” In her memoir “Horror Stories,” Phair recounts the most transformative moments in her life as an unabashed musician and mother. On October 21, 2019, Liz Phair came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to sit down with photographer Tabitha Soren for a candid conversation about her sudden rise to fame, and the often unrecognized, universal experiences of shame and fear that make up our common humanity.

Dec 28, 2019
Andre Aciman and Andrew Sean Greer

Our guests are writers Andre Aciman and Andrew Sean Greer. Aciman is a memoirist, essayist, and scholar of seventeenth-century literature. His best-known novel, “Call Me By Your Name”, was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film. He’s just published a sequel to the book, “Find Me.” Andrew Sean Greer is the author of “The Confessions of Max Tivoli” and “Less,”  a comedy about a man fleeing the humiliations of love, middle-age, and failure. “Less” won last year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. On November 6, 2019, Andre Aciman and Andrew Sean Greer came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Steven Winn.

Dec 22, 2019
John Lithgow with Calvin Trillin

Our guest is actor, artist, and now - published poet John Lithgow, known for his television and film roles including “Third Rock From the Sun,” “The Crown,” and “The World According to Garp” - and numerous stage credits, most recently playing Bill Clinton in “Hillary and Clinton.” Lithgow plays Roger Ailes in the 2019 film “Bombshell” and he’s just published “Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse”. The book, featuring Lithgow’s own illustrations, chronicles the last few years in politics with his characteristic sharp wit. On October 30, 2019, John Lithgow came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with New Yorker staff writer and humorist Calvin Trillin.

Dec 15, 2019
Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith is known for her emotionally rich stories and unique perspective on contemporary culture. Smith wrote her widely acclaimed debut novel “White Teeth” as an undergraduate. She soon cemented her reputation as one of the most important voices of her generation with books like “Swing Time,” “The Autograph Man,” and "On Beauty.” On October 16, 2019, Zadie Smith came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Isabel Duffy about her debut short story collection, “Grand Union.”  Their far-ranging conversation ruminated on living abroad, maturing as a writer, and the catharsis of reading fiction and philosophy.

Dec 08, 2019
Ta-Nehisi Coates with Chris Jackson

Our guest is Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of today’s most respected voices on race relations in the United States. Catapulted to fame with the publication of “Between The World And Me,” Coates has maintained his focus on institutional injustice, as well as the very personal work of honing his writing craft. In his newest work, Coates tackles fiction. “The Water Dancer” merges slave narrative and fantasy, and draws on historical research. On October 15, 2019, Ta-Nehisi Coates came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater to talk with his editor Chris Jackson about writing his first novel.

Dec 01, 2019
Ta-Nehisi Coates with Michael Chabon

Our guest is Ta-Nehisi Coates. His debut novel, “The Water Dancer,” merges the slavery narrative with fantasy, and draws on themes, stories, and research from his past non-fiction, including from his books “Between the World and Me” and “We Were Eight Years in Power.” On October 14, 2019, Ta-Nehisi Coates came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater to talk with fellow writer Michael Chabon about craft, the role of the writer in public discourse, and much more.

Dec 01, 2019
Pico Iyer

Known to many as a travel writer,  Pico Iyer is not so much a guide to foreign lands as he is a sage interpreter of our interior lives. His many books include Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, and The Art of Stillness, a poetic investigation of the benefits of quiet contemplation and travel to “nowhere.” With his two newest works, Iyer turns his attention to Japan, his adopted home of thirty-two years. Autumn Light is a personal account of grief and family. A Beginner’s Guide to Japan looks outward, drawing on readings, reflections, and conversations to illuminate aspects of Japanese culture. On October 10, 2019, Pico Iyer came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco, to be interviewed by Dan Stone.

Nov 24, 2019
Susan Sontag: Her Life and Work

This week, we pay tribute to the activist, essayist, and critic Susan Sontag. 15 years after her death, Sontag's perspectives on language, sexuality, and politics still resonate. She elevated art forms like film and photography, and believed that dedication to high culture was in itself a form of activism. On October 2, 2019, biographer Benjamin Moser and writer and activist Rebecca Solnit came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to discuss the life, work, and legacy of Susan Sontag.

Nov 17, 2019
Governor Jerry Brown and Miriam Pawel

Our guests are former California governor Jerry Brown and journalist Miriam Pawel. In 1975, Jerry Brown became the youngest governor in modern American times. Three decades later, he returned as the oldest, to face unprecedented challenges, including rampant wildfires and a statewide financial crisis.  Miriam Pawel has just written a biography of the Brown family - a dynasty that led the state for nearly a
quarter of a century. 

On October 25, 2019, Brown and Pawel came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to
talk to Lara Bazelon.

Nov 10, 2019
Patti Smith

Poet, artist, and musician Patti Smith first gained recognition in the 1970s for her merging of rock and poetry. Later, she would become a punk icon and the author of numerous books including “Just Kids,” and “M Train.”  Her new memoir “Year of the Monkey” is a beautifully written account of loss and friendship -- over the course of a single year. On October 7, 2019, Patti Smith came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk to Dan Stone and perform a few songs.

Nov 03, 2019
Demi Moore

Demi Moore is an actress, producer, director and activist known for her roles in St. Elmo’s Fire, Ghost, A Few Good Men, Indecent Proposal, and G.I. Jane, among many others. For decades, Moore has been
synonymous with celebrity. From iconic film roles to high-profile relationships, Moore has never been far from the spotlight — or the headlines. In her memoir "Inside Out", Moore opens up about her career and
personal life – her tumultuous relationship with her mother, her marriages, addiction, her struggles with balancing stardom with raising a family, a skyrocketing career and at times negative public perception, and her journey toward open-heartedness.

Krista Smith is the host of the Netflix podcast “Present Company with Krista Smith”. Previously, Smith served as Executive West Coast Editor for Vanity Fair. On September 27, 2019, Demi Moore came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco for an onstage conversation with Krista Smith.

Oct 27, 2019
Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey

Our guests this week are Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the New York Times reporters who first broke the story of Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct. They’ll talk about the many obstacles Weinstein created to stop women from going public with their stories, and how he prevented reporters from investigating. Their new book, “She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement,” is an in-depth account of Weinstein’s incredibly disturbing treatment of women, and an unflinching look at the people and systems that aided and abetted this behavior.

On October 11, 2019, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk to Bernice Yeung. They were joined by Rowena Chiu, a former assistant to Weinstein who recently went public with her allegations of harassment and attempted rape.

Oct 20, 2019
Rachel Maddow

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow talks about the oil and gas industry’s impact on democracy around the world, tying in Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump, and more. On October 6, 2019, Rachel Maddow came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater to read from her new book “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth”. Maddow spoke to Dan Pfeiffer, a former advisor to President Barack Obama who now co-hosts “Pod Save America”.

Oct 13, 2019
Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for the New Yorker and has written numerous books at the intersection of sociology, economics, and behavorial science. Gladwell has now brought his passion for storytelling to the world of podcasting with two projects: the music podcast “Broken Record”, and “Revisionist History”, which reexamines the past and asks whether we got it right the first time. He came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco on September 19, 2019 to talk with Al Letson about the surprising lessons in his newest book “Talking to Strangers”.

Oct 06, 2019
Dr. Jen Gunter

Jen Gunter is a physician who's been nicknamed "Twitter's resident gynecologist", whose new
book is "The Vagina Bible". Within the private confines of her examining room, women ask deeply personal questions and share intimate details about their bodies rarely discussed in public. How can it be that so many women can know so little about their own bodies? Dr. Gunter is determined to help them
know more, and frustrated by the dangerous myths and misperceptions perpetuated by online misinformation and wellness gurus. On May 21, 2019, Jen Gunter came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with writer Ayelet Waldman.

Aug 25, 2019
Privacy and Technology

This week, a conversation about privacy, ethics, and organizing in the world of technology.Who benefits from the lack of diversity in the tech industry? Does artificial intelligence reflect the biases of those who create it? How can we push for regulation and transparency?  These are some of the questions discussed by our guests, Meredith Whittaker, co-founder of AI Now at NYU and the founder of Google’s Open Research Institute; and Kade Crockford, Director of the ACLU Massachusetts’ Technology and Liberty Program. They appeared at the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco on June 7, 2019.

Aug 18, 2019
Amor Towles

Before Amor Towles became a bestselling writer, he spent two decades working for an investment firm, staying countless nights at luxury hotels. That’s where he had the idea for "A Gentleman in Moscow", the story of a Russian aristocrat who is sentenced by the Bolsheviks to a lifetime of house arrest in Moscow's Metropol Hotel.

Amor Towles came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco on June 4, 2019, to talk with Michael Krasny of KQED.

Aug 11, 2019
George Packer

A longtime staff writer for The New Yorker now writing for The Atlantic, George Packer has reported extensively on global unrest, from Bosnia, to the Iraq War, to the civil war in Syria. In his new book “Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century,” Packer writes about one of America’s greatest diplomats. He compares Holbrooke’s larger than life character, utterly self-absorbed, in turns revered and reviled, to an era of enormous global influence. On May 23, 2019, George Packer came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater talked with Clara Jeffrey about Richard Holbrooke, the slow deterioration of American influence, and the country’s retreat into nationalism.

Aug 04, 2019
Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond, the author of “Guns, Germs, and Steel” discusses his new book about the rise and fall of civilizations around the globe. "Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change" combines history, geography, economic, and cultural analysis. Its broad scope and vast historical sweep are what fans of Diamond have come to appreciate. On May 15, 2019, Jared Diamond came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Roy Eisenhardt.

Jul 21, 2019
Tom Sachs and Adam Savage

Maker Adam Savage, best known as the host of Mythbusters, and artist Tom Sachs have long been obsessed with outer space - from the engineering and aesthetics of NASA to the immensity of interstellar exploration. The gear, architecture, fashion, and dreams are all part of an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through January 2020, “Far Out: Suits, Habs, and Labs for Outer Space”. Sachs and Savage, and exhibition curator Joseph Becker, talked at the Fog Design and Art Fair.

Jul 15, 2019
Anand Giridharadas

In 2015, Anand Giridharadas delivered a speech at the Aspen Institute that took direct aim at the philanthropists and thought leaders in attendance. Giridharadas argued that the corporate world’s attempts at doing good, and many of the goals and deeds of philanthropy, actually do great harm by preserving a corrupt and unfair system of capitalism. The speech made waves, and inspired the book “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.”

On May 7, 2019, Anand Giridharadas came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Courtney Martin.

Jul 14, 2019
David Brooks

David Brooks is a columnist for the New York Times, and a regular on PBS News Hour and Meet The
Press. In his new book, “The Second Mountain,” Brooks writes about his religious and spiritual journey, our country’s current political state of detachment, and how he learned to move from a state of disengagement to one of fulfilling connection in his personal life.

On May 1, 2019, David Brooks came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco, to talk with Rabbi Ryan Bauer of Congregation Emanu-El.

Jul 07, 2019
Combating Climate Change with Bill McKibben and Mustafa Santiago Ali

In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report that served as a stark wake up call for many in the movement to combat climate change. Its key takeaway -- we only have about 12 years for aggressive action to keep global warming below one and a half degrees Celsius. Since then, the climate movement has experienced a surge of action, from school strikes in cities across the world, to the Sunrise Movement with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez leading the charge for a Green New Deal. On April 30, 2019, Bill McKibben and Mustafa Santiago Ali came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco, to talk to May Boeve of about the future of the climate change movement.

Jun 30, 2019
Samin Nosrat and Lindy West

Samin Nosrat and Lindy West join us this week to talk about how they developed their individual
voices, the process of adapting their work for television, and how to make delicious food. Samin Nosrat is author of the cookbook “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” and the executive producer of the Netflix series of the same name. Lindy West is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. Her essay collection “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman,” is now a critically acclaimed television series starring Saturday Night Live’s Aidy Bryant. On April 29, 2019, Samin Nosrat and Lindy West came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco, to talk with Allison P. Davis, senior culture writer for New York Magazine’s The Cut.  

Jun 23, 2019
Jelani Cobb

A staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, Jelani Cobb writes with eloquence and urgency on topics of race, politics, history, and culture. He is a professor of journalism at Columbia University, and the author of several books including “The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress” and “To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic.”

On April 16, 2019, Jelani Cobb came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco, to talk with New Yorker colleague Hilton Als.

Jun 16, 2019
Michael Lewis

Whether writing about the business of baseball, or the strange and surprising subcultures of the financial world, Michael Lewis has a penchant for iconoclasts of industry, and characters so fascinating they seem imagined. Several of his bestselling books, including “Moneyball” and “The Big Short,” have been made into movies.

On April 11, 2019, Michael Lewis came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater to talk with Jacob Weisberg about his career in journalism, from reading Tom Wolfe on the floor of his childhood home to the overnight success of his debut publication “Liars Poker.” The conversation was interspersed with clips from Lewis’ new podcast “Against
the Rules.”  

Jun 09, 2019
"Still Processing" Live, with Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris

Our guests are Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris, hosts of “Still Processing”... a culture podcast
from the New York Times. Each week, Wesley, a critic-at-large, and Wortham, a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, lovingly debate pop-culture products and people, from queerness to unpacking black male privilege, Michael Jackson to Marie Kondo.

On April 10, 2019, Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San
Francisco. The event was a co-presentation with The New York Times.

Jun 02, 2019
Stacey Abrams

In 2018, Stacey Abrams made United States history when she became the first black woman to be nominated by a major party for governor. Despite winning more votes than any other Democrat in Georgia’s history, Abrams lost the hotly contested election. But her impact can’t be understated. Abrams continues to work against voter suppression, and her plans to run for future office are a major source of curiosity among media and electorate alike.

On May 19, 2019, Stacey Abrams came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk to Alexis Madrigal about her family, her desire to build a template for future Democratic campaigns, and the question of whether or not she will run for president.

May 26, 2019
Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl served as restaurant critic for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, before becoming Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine during the Golden Era of print journalism. In her latest memoir, “Save Me The Plums,” Reichl reveals the realities of her time at Gourmet, and the lasting ways in which she innovated
food journalism as we know it.

On April 9, 2019, Ruth Reichl came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with arts journalist and fiction writer Steven Winn.  

May 19, 2019
Dr. Michio Kaku

Dr. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist and futurist, and the co-founder of string field theory, a branch of string theory. Thanks to his many books, regular television appearances, and robust Twitter presence, Dr. Kaku is one of the rare scientists with an enormous public following, particularly among young people. In his newest book, “Our Destiny Beyond Earth,” Kaku argues that human civilization can and will move to outer space.

On April 8, 2019, Dr. Michio Kaku came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with
Alexis Madrigal, a staff writer at the Atlantic.

May 12, 2019
Rachel Cusk

Rachel Cusk is a writer of considerable range and depth, and her most recent works —  dubbed the
“Outline” trilogy -- embody a new and distinctive style. The novels take the form of a succession of monologues delivered not by the protagonist, but by the people she encounters. Little is revealed about a central character who serves principally as a conduit for others. The themes and questions that arise from those stories are weighty, as is Cusk’s choice to subvert traditional positions and form. On April 8, 2019, Rachel Cusk came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Steven Winn about her unconventional work and its reception.

May 05, 2019
"Ear Hustle" with Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods

Started three years ago in the media lab of California’s San Quentin Prison, the podcast Ear Hustle tells the daily realities of life inside prison, shared by those living it. On March 29, 2019, two of the podcast’s creators, visual artist Nigel Poor and former inmate Earlonne Woods, came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk to Al Letson. After twenty-one years of incarceration, Earlonne Woods’ sentence had recently been commuted by Governor Jerry Brown. This was his first major public appearance since his release.

Apr 28, 2019
"The Whole Brain Child" with Dr. Daniel Siegel

Dr. Daniel Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry, and the author of multiple books on child-rearing, including “The Whole Brain Child” and “No Drama Discipline.” Siegel’s books are popular with parents and and teachers alike, with their strategies for cultivating calmer, happier children. While mindfulness techniques -- and patience -- help foster healthy brain development, Siegel also suggests that improving children’s health and well-being requires addressing our own problems.

On March 4, 2019, Dr. Daniel Siegel came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Steven Winn.

Apr 21, 2019
Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit is a writer and activist whose work addresses a wide range of issues, from climate change
to feminism, and literary criticism to police brutality. She is the author of over twenty books, including Hope in the Dark and  Men Explain Things to Me. On February 27, 2019, Rebecca Solnit came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco, to talk with Astra Taylor, a filmmaker and political organizer*. *


Apr 14, 2019
Tommy Orange

Among this year’s most acclaimed books is Tommy Orange’s debut novel “There, There”. The book begins with a poignant prologue describing the devastating history of genocide and violent removal of Native Americans from their lands, setting the stage for a contemporary story about the urban Native American experience in the city of Oakland. The characters’ lives are informed by their ancestors’ suffering, as well as the continued systematic discrimination against Native people.

On February 25, 2019, Tommy Orange came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater to be interviewed by Jeff Chang, author of “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” and the Vice President of Narrative, Arts, and Culture at Race Forward.

Apr 07, 2019
Preet Bharara

Preet Bharara served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of
New York from 2009 to 2017, before being fired by President Trump within a few
weeks of his inauguration. Bharara is the host of the podcast Stay Tuned
with Preet
, and author of the book Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s
Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law.
On March 26, 2019,
Preet Bharara came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk
with Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer at The New Yorker and a senior legal
analyst at CNN.

Mar 31, 2019
Marlon James

Marlon James is best known for “A Brief History of Seven Killings”, a sweeping, violent novel about the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in 1976, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2015. His new novel  “Black Leopard, Red Wolf”  is the first in the “Dark Star Trilogy,” a fantasy series which James describes as an African Game of Thrones.

On February 19, 2019, Marlon James came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with fellow author Jeff Chang.

Mar 24, 2019
Michael Tubbs

Michael Tubbs has devoted his political life to fighting economic inequality in Stockton -- the Northern California city where he was born and raised.  Elected Mayor in 2016, Tubbs has worked to reinvent the formerly bankrupt city. This past year, he spearheaded a universal basic income pilot program. Already identified as a rising figure in the progressive movement, Tubbs isn’t even thirty years old yet, making him the youngest mayor of an American city of more than 100,000 people.

On February 13, 2019, Mayor Tubbs came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk
with Dan Pfeiffer, co-host of Pod Save America and a former senior advisor to President Obama. Join me now for a conversation with Mayor Michael Tubbs.

Mar 17, 2019
Jad Abumrad

Jad Abumrad is the creator and co-host of Radiolab, a program with a unique brand of storytelling that explores science, philosophy, and the human experience. Abumrad is also the creator of “More Perfect,” a podcast about how the Supreme Court shapes everything from marriage and money to public safety and sex.

On February 8, 2019, Jad Abumrad came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to
talk with Alexis Madrigal, staff writer at “The Atlantic”.

Mar 10, 2019
Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister has spent her career writing about politics, media, and entertainment from a
feminist perspective.  In her most recent book, “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of
Women’s Anger,” Traister tracks the history of female anger as political fuel - from suffragists protesting outside the White House during the First World War, to office workers vacating their building after Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

On February 4, 2019, Rebecca Traister came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco, to
talk with Lara Bazelon, a professor of law at the University of San Francisco.


Mar 03, 2019
Meg Wolitzer

Author Meg Wolitzer brings readers deep into the lives of others. A feminist thread
runs through all of her work, including novels like “The Interestings” and “The
Wife,” but nowhere is the subject of power more deeply investigated than in her
newest book, “The Female Persuasion.” Campus assault, intergenerational feminism,
debate, mentorship and ambition make it an especially timely story. On January 24
2019, Wolitzer came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater to be interviewed by The
New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik.

Feb 24, 2019
BJ Miller

Dr. BJ Miller is a palliative care expert who has spearheaded a nationwide effort to change the way we approach death and dying. Rather than hospitalization and endless attempts at sustaining life, Miller advocates for a
mindful, human-centered model of care that embraces dying not as a medical event, but a universally shared life experience. On January 22, 2019, BJ Miller came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater to talk with author Pico Iyer.

Feb 17, 2019
Jeff Tweedy

It has been twenty-five years since Jeff Tweedy founded the seminal alt-country band Wilco. The band still performs together, while Tweedy contributes his talents to other projects too - musical,  and now literary, with the
publication of a 2018 memoir, “Let's Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc.” Tweedy’s newest solo album, “Warm,” is his most personal to date.

On January 11, 2019, Jeff Tweedy came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk
with the writer George Saunders, author of  “Lincoln in the Bardo.”

Feb 10, 2019
Angela Davis and Ibram X. Kendi

Our guests are activist and scholar Angela Davis, and historian Ibram X. Kendi.

Throughout her lifetime, Angela Davis has been a passionate voice for human rights, working from the position that the battles for African American rights, women’s rights, gay rights, and prisoners’ rights, are interconnected. Dr. Kendi profiled Dr. Davis in his book “Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.”

On January 10, 2019, Angela Davis and Ibram X. Kendi came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco, to talk with Jeff Chang about the connections between capitalism, racism and sexism, and ways that activists, and all citizens, can move forward.

Feb 03, 2019
James Forman Jr.

James Forman Jr., a legal scholar and author, has devoted his life to fighting institutionalized racism. In his book,  “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America,” Forman writes about the war on crime that began in the 1970s, examining the role that African American judges, prosecutors, and leaders played and how it contributed to the mass incarceration of people of color.

On December 13, 2018, Forman came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk with Lara Bazelon, a professor of law at the University of California San Francisco. Join me now for a conversation with James Forman Jr.

Jan 27, 2019
Nadine Burke Harris

This week on City Arts & Lectures, pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris talks about how exposure to violence and stress affects the developing brains and bodies of children - resulting in increased instances of substance dependence, and even heart disease or cancer. Harris is the founder of the Center for Youth Wellness and author of The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity. On December 3, 2018, Nadine Burke Harris came to the Nourse Theater in San Francisco to talk with Indre Viskontas.

Jan 20, 2019
Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand has represented New York in the US Senate since 2009, where her major accomplishments include leading the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and providing permanent health care and compensation to 9/11 first responders. She talks with KQED’s Marisa Lagos about her time in the Senate, being a mother and a legislator, the MeToo movement, and her new childrens’ book “Bold and Brave” profiling women suffragists.

Jan 13, 2019
Jonathan Franzen

Our guest is Jonathan Franzen, the author of celebrated novels including “The Corrections” and “Freedom.” On November 27, 2018, Franzen came to the Nourse Theater in San Francisco to read from his new essay collection, “The End of The End of The Earth.” Part social criticism, part personal examination, the essays consider Franzen’s love of birding, his writings and ruminations on climate change, and the underpinnings of family and friendship.

Jan 07, 2019
Al Madrigal

Our guest is comedian Al Madrigal, best known for his role as the "Senior Latino Correspondent" for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where he helped shed light on racism and anti-immigrant sentiment. The veteran of stand-up comedy has gone on to co-found the podcast network "All Things Comedy". Madrigal currently stars in Showtime’s “I’m Dying Up Here”. He was interviewed at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco by Adam Savage on November 10, 2018.

Dec 30, 2018
Peter Sagal

Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”, is an accomplished playwright, actor, and now - marathoner, and author of the new book “The Incomplete Book of Running”. Sagal came to the Nourse Theater on November 9, 2018. He talked to Michael Krasny about the work of putting together one of public radio’s most popular humor news programs, as well as his dedication to running.

Dec 23, 2018
Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles is the author of more than twenty books of essays, fiction, and poetry including “Chelsea Girls” and “I Must Be Living Twice.”  On November eighth, 2018, Myles came to the Nourse Theater in San Francisco to read from the new poetry collection, “Evolution,”and to talk with Stephen Best about struggling to be a writer in 1970s New York, running for president, and the experimental writing movement New Narrative.

Dec 17, 2018
Abbi Jacobson

Our guest is Abbi Jacobson, a comedian and author who’s best-known as half of the creative duo behind the series “Broad City” On November 3, 2018, Jacobson came to the Nourse Theater for a conversation with her longtime friend and fellow comedian, D’Arcy Carden. The two talked about friendship, collaboration, and Jacobson’s solo cross-country road trip last year on the heels of a devastating break-up - which forms the basis for her new book “I Might Regret This”.

Dec 10, 2018
Artificial Intelligence: The Problem with Bias, with Kate Crawford

Does artificial intelligence reflect the biases of those who create it? Can discrimination live on digital platforms and become part of the logic of everyday algorithmic systems? Kate Crawford, co-founder of the AI Now Institute at New York University and an expert on the social impacts of big data, discusses bias in artificial intelligence with Indre Viskontas.

Dec 04, 2018
Jill Soloway and Friends

This program presents a gathering of feminist thought leaders to celebrate the publication of Jill Soloway’s book “She Wants It: Desire, Power, and Toppling the Patriarchy.”  Soloway is the creator and showrunner of “Transparent” and “I Love Dick”. On October twenty-fifth, 2018, City Arts & Lectures hosted Hannah Gadsby, best-known for her comedy performance “Nanette”, Lili Loofbourow, Susan Stryker, and Faith Soloway, for an evening of comedy, music, debate and conversation, hosted by Jill Soloway, Favianna Rodriguez, and Cara Rose deFabio.

Nov 26, 2018
Barry Jenkins

Director, producer, and writer *Barry Jenkins *has received sweeping critical acclaim for his films, which notably depict black and queer experience through a nuanced and expressive lens. His 2016 film Moonlight received the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture — Drama. Jenkins is currently in production on The Underground Railroad, a series based on Colson Whitehead’s novel of the same name, and his forthcoming film, an adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk, will be released in late November.

Nov 18, 2018
Susan Orlean

A staff writer for The New Yorker since 1992, Susan Orlean has written with wit and endless curiosity about subjects ranging from umbrella inventors to origami artists, from the figure skater Tonya Harding to treadmill desks, gospel choirs, and taxidermy. She is the author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief, which was the basis for the feature film adaptation starring Meryl Streep. In her newest work, The Library Book, Orlean reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history. Weaving her life-long love of reading with the fascinating history of libraries and the sometimes-eccentric characters who run them, Orlean presents a uniquely compelling story of the legendary Los Angeles Public Library fire, to showcase the crucial role that libraries play in our lives.

Nov 13, 2018
Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s new book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, is a culmination of five decades of studying American Presidents. Combining her signature storytelling with essential lessons from four of our nation’s presidents—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson—Goodwin explores their unique journeys to recognize themselves as leaders, the ways in which they navigated adversity, and how they emerged to confront the challenges and contours of their times.

Nov 04, 2018
The New York Times Op-Ed Live

This week, City Arts & Lectures features Michelle Goldberg, Jennine Capó Crucet, and Roxane Gay, all of whom are contributors to the New York Times Op-Ed section. The program includes stand-up comedy, conversation, and a live version of Roxane Gay’s advice column. This co-presentation with The New York
Times was recorded at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco on October 19, 2018, and hosted by Rachel Dry, editor of the Times’ Sunday Review.

Oct 28, 2018
Fran Lebowitz

In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, Fran Lebowitz stands out as one of our most insightful social commentators. Often considered heir to the crown of Dorothy Parker, her essays and interviews have been featured in Interview and Mademoiselle. Her books include Metropolitan Life, Social Studies, the children’s book Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meets the Pandas, and the novel Exterior Signs of Wealth. Lebowitz has long been a talk show regular, appearing on those hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, and Bill Maher, among others. Lebowitz lives in New York City. She’s interviewed by Lawrence Rinder, Director and Chief Curator of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. 

Oct 21, 2018
Sally Field

Our guest is Sally Field. She got her start acting on TV in situation comedies like “Gidget" and “The Flying Nun”, before doggedly pursuing a career in film at a time when television talent was not always welcome in Hollywood. Against those odds, Field went on to portray dozens of iconic characters, in films including “Steel Magnolias,” “Norma Rae,” and “Lincoln.” Her new memoir is “In Pieces”. On September twenty-eighth, 2018, Sally Field came to the Nourse Theater in San Francisco and talked with Steven Winn about her life and career, and how her love of acting helped her find her way out of a difficult childhood.

Oct 14, 2018
"The Daily" from the New York Times, with Michael Barbaro, Annie Brown, and Kevin Roose
Oct 07, 2018
Mohsin Hamid & Pico Iyer
Sep 30, 2018
Gary Shteyngart

Gary Shteyngart reads from his latest book, "Lake Success", and talks with Isabel Duffy about his writing methods, his love of luxury watches and roadside diners, and Soviet humor.

Sep 23, 2018
Questlove & Boots Riley

This week, Questlove and Boots Riley join us for a conversation about art, activism, and the creative process. Questlove is a founding member of The Roots, a seminal hip hop band out of Philadelphia. Boots Riley is the writer and director of the film Sorry to Bother You and frontman of The Coup, a radical hip-hop band from Oakland. On April twenty-first, 2018, Questlove and Boots Riley were interviewed by Carvell Wallace at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.

Sep 14, 2018