Shawn Wen

Associate Producer, "The State of Things"

Shawn Wen joined the staff of The State of Things in March 2012 and served as associate producer until February 2014.

She is a writer and multimedia artist. Her radio work has aired on This American Life, Studio 360, Marketplace, Freakonomics, and Rhode Island Public Radio.

Her video work has screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Carpenter Center for Visual Art at Harvard University, and the Camden International Film Festival.

Shawn is the recipient of the Royce Fellowship and the Third Coast Scholarship. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in Literary Arts.

Kristen Capp Photo Essay / Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

In some ways, Molly Renda is an invisible artist. But it is likely you have seen her work. Renda is a graphic designer whose art appears all over the Triangle in magazine covers, logos and books.

Heightened consumer demand for design drives companies to focus resources on graphics, packaging and branding.  Host Frank Stasio talks with Renda about the art and growth of design.

This segment of The State of Things discusses issues that may be disturbing to some of our younger or more sensitive listeners.  

North Carolina ranks as one of the top 10 states for human commerce in the sex industry. Beginning October 1st, those convicted of trafficking in North Carolina will face harsher punishments under two new laws. 

John F. Blair

  

In the South, food has purposes beyond sustenance and certain items like biscuits, buttermilk, and bacon are sacred. 

http://www.piedmontlaureate.com/2013piedmontlaureate/biography.html

    

John Claude Bemis is the first ever Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature.  In the post-Harry Potter age, more critics consider children’s books valuable works of literature with a reach that extends beyond young audiences. 

Branford Marsalis, Arlie Petters, and Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abenyi join the State of Things for the roundtable conversation.
Laura Lee

On this week’s roundtable, a jazz great, a leading string theory mathematician and an accomplished writer share their diverse perspectives on the latest headlines. They’ll discuss a range of issues from the latest Middle East update to the challenges facing minorities in higher education. 

Jazz great Branford Marsalis joins the State of Things to speak about his work.
Palma Kolansky

Grammy-award winning artist Branford Marsalis is one of the world’s leading jazz artists. In a career spanning more than three decades, the saxophonist has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music across an array of genres. 

In the wake of a school shooting at Carver High School in Winston-Salem, parents and students are raising concerns about school safety. The school board will discuss the matter at their meeting this evening. Also, new healthy food guidelines are causing some schools to drop out of the federal school lunch program. But Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Schools are finding success in the new system. 

Beyond The Chinese Connection Contemporary Afro-Asian Cultural Production
http://www.upress.state.ms.us/books/1570 / University of Mississippi Press

    

In the 1970s, Kung Fu movies took America by storm and Bruce Lee became a household name.  Lee turned into an unexpected icon for African-American audiences, and his image especially resonated with black males.

Daniel and Lauren Goans of Lowland Hum
http://lowlandhum.com/ / Lowland Hum

    

Daniel Levi Goans is an experienced singer-songwriter with three solo albums. His wife Lauren used to sing harmony to his songs, but then they decided to become true collaborators, writing together under the band name Lowland Hum. Host Frank Stasio talks with the couple about their work and their new album Native Air.

Gross Ghost plays the main stage at the Hopscotch Music Festival in 2013.
Soleil Konkel

Before Mike Dillon and Tre Acklen formed the band Gross Ghost, they were friends and roommates.  They lived in a rural area on the outskirts on Raleigh and started creating music to combat boredom and cabin fever. Five years after the start of their friendship, they are releasing their second album, Public Housing.  

NC Legislative Building
Dave DeWitt

This week, the General Assembly overrode two of Governor McCrory’s vetoes on high profile measures. One measure requires drug testing for certain welfare recipients and the other loosens restrictions for seasonal workers. Host Frank Stasio speaks with WUNC's Capitol bureau chief Jessica Jones about the response to legislature's moves. In other political news, the State Board of Elections ruled yesterday on two controversial decisions by local elections boards. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC’s Raleigh bureau chief Dave DeWitt about the decisions. 

America's Music is a film and performance series at the North Regional Branch of Wake County Libraries.
http://www.wakegov.com/libraries/events/Pages/americasmusic.aspx

America’s Music is a film and performance series that traces the soundtrack of a nation. The program features documentary screenings and discussions about the history of 20th century American popular music from blues to Broadway and bluegrass to rock 'n' roll. 

The Nasher Museum brings Doris Duke's Islamic art collection in Hawaii to North Carolina.
Doris Duke Foundation

Doris Duke, heiress to the American Tobacco Company fortune, built a sprawling estate in Hawaii in the 1930s. She named her secluded getaway Shangri La and she spent the rest of her life filling it with Islamic art. After her death, Shangri La was opened to the public.

http://www.katharineashe.com
http://www.katharineashe.com / http://www.katharineashe.com

In Katharine Ashe's latest book, "I Married the Duke," the heroine Arabella takes passage on a ship through the English Channel and meets a rough and tumble sailor who is not what he seems. 

Secret identities and characters in disguise are some of Katharine Ashe's favorite tropes.  Perhaps because the writer herself is not what she seems.

Ashe has received acclaim and popular success as a romance novelist.  But she leads a second life as Katharine Brophy Dubois, a visiting assistant professor in the History Department and Religion Department at Duke University.

A baby olinguito in La Mesenia Reserve in Colombia.
Luis Mazariegos

A new carnivore was discovered in Latin America.  Bradley Manning was sentenced for leaking government secrets while Edward Snowden was on the run for a similar crime.  And a look back at the March on Washington sparked a conversation about civil rights in the Middle East.  Host Frank Stasio discussed a wide range of issues and their common threads with the news roundtable.

The Lost Bayou Ramblers play songs from their new album Mammoth Waltz on The State of Things.
Lost Bayou Ramblers

Last year's independent film Beasts of the Southern Wild was a surprise box office hit.  The movie garnered four Oscar nominations and near universal acclaim. The soundtrack to the swampland fantasy prominently featured the music of The Lost Bayou Ramblers, a band born in Louisiana’s Cajun country. Host Frank Stasio talks with band members Louis Michot, Andre Michot, Cavan Carruth and Pauly Deathwish about their blended sound and the film. 

Norman Rockwell’s Cousin Reginald Spells Peloponnesus (Spelling Bee)
Google Art Project

Last May, a 13-year-old boy won the Scripps National Spelling Bee with the word “knaidel.”  The Yiddish word, which means dumpling, was a controversial selection. But these bees are not just for kids. Adults enjoy the opportunity to wax nostalgic while showing their spelling skills. Flyleaf Books and the University of North Carolina Humanities Program are hosting an Adult Spelling Bee on Friday at 6:30pm.

Cover of the book 'Sounds of War: Music in the United States during World War II'.
Philip E Pascuzzo/National Archives / Oxford University Press

    

World War II was fought not only with guns and bombs but also with strings, brass, and percussion.

The American government used classical music as part of the war effort to demonstrate the cultural dominance of the Allies. The military also used songs to rally American troops.

creative commons
creative commons / creative commons

Scientists generally understand that healthy bodies and healthy minds are related, but the interaction between the two isn’t as clear.

Yoruba Richen a director, producer, and writer of 'The New Black.'
Luke Rattray

  

In November 2008, Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. That same night, Proposition 8 was passed in California, banning gay marriage in the state. 

Obama won by an astounding 24 points in California, leading some to ask if the mobilization of black voters was the critical factor in the passage of Proposition 8. 

Mark "Maki" Reynaldo

Allison Swaim spent a year at sea. She rode on eight different cargo ships, documenting life onboard and circumnavigating the world.

She came back a year ago with hours of tape and hundreds of photos from her adventure. When she returned, Allison opened up her collection to artists, who made their own art in response to her work. The show, “Hold Capacity/Trade Route Stories, Reimagined,” features the work of a group of local artists who collaborated with Allison. 

Amazon.com

  Originally broadcast March 13, 2013

The Pew Research Center released its annual State of the Media report for 2012, and television news viewership is down. Political coverage has declined, and on local TV news, 40 percent of the content is made up of traffic, sports and weather. Meanwhile, newspaper newsrooms in 2012 employed 40,000 people, the smallest number of full-time journalists since 1978.

Marianne LaFrance, a psychologist at Yale, makes a comparison between a genuine smile (left) and a fake smile (right).
Marianne LaFrance

Sure, it's more or less a given that we smile when we're happy and we smile when our picture is taken.  But do we also smile automatically throughout the day when we make eye contact with strangers?  How often do we smile in conversation? 

Police stand outside the capitol during a Moral Mondays protest.
Matthew Lenard

The North Carolina Legislature stayed up late last night to make a few last minute decisions before the end of session. The Senate finished it's business at 2 am, and the House reconvened this morning to squeeze a few final votes in. Now an abortion bill and an election bill are both headed to Governor Pat McCrory.

Three generations of women wearing clothing bought at Smitten Boutique.
http://thesmittenboutique.com/smitten_around_town

Food is like a religion in the South.  It’s well-known that Durham was named the "Tastiest City in the South" by Southern Living.  But the food scene here is relatively new.  Restaurants, food trucks, and coffee shops opened up in recent years to make Durham's cuisine what it is.

Protests taking place in Tahrir Square in 2011
monasosh / Flickr

Students involved in Duke University’s summer program in Cairo, Egypt  came home early.  They left as large protests and a changing political climate shook the country.

Photos from the Million Hoodies Union Square protest against Trayvon Martin's shooting death in Sanford, Florida.
David Shankbone

On Saturday, July 13, George Zimmerman was pronounced not guilty of second degree murder for the killing of Trayvon Martin. The jury acquitted him on the grounds of self-defense. What does self-defense mean in a case like this?

Before the trial began, Judge Deborah Nelson forbade use of the term “racial profiling” in the courtroom. How does race play into the criminal justice system? 

Host Frank Stasio speaks with a panel of experts to discuss these questions and what the Trayvon Martin case in Florida means for us in North Carolina. His guests are:

Implanting a Bioengineered Blood Vessel into a patient at Duke University Hospital
Shawn Rocco

A team of doctors implanted a bioengineered blood vessel into a patient with late stage kidney disease at Duke University Hospital in June.   

Camille A. Brown & Dancers
www.camilleabrown.org/the-company

Three years ago, Camille A. Brown made the decision to form her own dance company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers.

Tom Rankin served as director of Duke's Center for Documentary Studies for 15 years.
Duke University

The former director of Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, Tom Rankin, stepped down after 15 years at the helm.

The Center has a mission of being at the crossroads of documentary work and academia. CDS started the Full Frame Festival — though it was called Double Take at the time. 

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