The State of Things

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State of Things
12:20 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Pulphead

Book cover, ''Pulphead''

John Jeremiah Sullivan is a journalist, but not the kind who gathers the facts. His long form magazine pieces start with his personal obsessions and branch out from there. He has covered Michael Jackson, Axl Rose, post-Katrina New Orleans and his own house in Wilmington, North Carolina, which served a location for the popular teen TV melodrama "One Tree Hill." Sullivan’s work has been collected in a new book called "Pulphead" (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux/2011) and he joins host Frank Stasio today to talk music, television and other high parts of middle brow culture.

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State of Things
12:02 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Reflecting on the Clarence Thomas Confirmation Hearings

The publication of Anita Hill's new book, “Reimagining Equality,” has refocused the media spotlight on the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that took place on the floor of the U.S. Senate 20 years ago. In 1991, Hill, a former attorney-adviser to Thomas, publicly alleged that the judge sexually harassed her on many occasions during their time working together.

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State of Things
9:37 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Meet Deborah and Ken Ferruccio

Ken and Deborah Ferruccio are the accidental instigators of the Environmental Justice Movement. It all started in 1978, when the North Carolina government decided to build a landfill for toxic PCBs in Warren County. The Ferruccios were recent transplants to the area and were outraged at the proposal. They vowed to fight it. Along the way, they organized the community and tied environmental issues to race discrimination.

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State of Things
11:25 am
Fri October 21, 2011

The Queen of Rockabilly

Wanda Jackson
Credit WandaJackson.com

It’s been more than 50 years since Wanda Jackson first tore the paint off the walls with her signature rockabilly tune, “Let’s Have a Party,” and she’s still rockin’ today. These days, she’s getting some help from producer Jack White. Host Frank Stasio talks to Wanda Jackson about her rockabilly sound and her musical staying power.

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State of Things
11:18 am
Fri October 21, 2011

A Hollow Cup

A Hollow Cup
Credit chapelhillmemories.com

Alan Thompson grew up Chapel Hill, but not the one you know today. Alan was coming of age in the 1960s when the little college town was forced to confront its racism and dismantle segregation. He wanted to write a memoir about his time growing up in Chapel Hill, but that eventually morphed into his debut novel, “A Hollow Cup” (WingSpan Press/2011). It imagines a murder that takes place in a town that looks much like Chapel Hill, in the ‘60s. Host Frank Stasio talks to Alan Thompson about his novel and the history of Chapel Hill.

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State of Things
11:11 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Mallarmé Chamber Players

You never know quite what to expect from the Mallarmé Chamber Players. They’ve played songs by Bach and R.E.M., scored music for the silent film “Nosferatu” and teamed up with dancers and visual artists to create interdisciplinary art. This weekend, they will be performing at the Nasher Museum of Art Auditorium. Their performance is composed entirely by women, and is a companion piece to an exhibit at the Nasher Museum of Art that features all women artists. The Mallarmé Chamber Players join host Frank Stasio in the studio to play live and talk about some of their upcoming performances.

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State of Things
12:25 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

The Festival of the Black Christ

The Black Christ

Every October, tens of thousands of people make a pilgrimage to Portobelo, a quiet fishing town in Panama’s Colon Province, to visit El Cristo Negro – the Black Christ. It’s a life-sized figure of Jesus carved from dark mahogany. That powerful symbol, which has been in Portobelo since the 17th century, represents both the proud spirit and spiritual identity of this unique Central American community. Host Frank Stasio talks about the people of Portobelo, the Black Christ figure and the annual festival that celebrates it with Renee Alexander Craft, a writer and assistant professor of communication studies and global studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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State of Things
11:41 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Blue Ribbon Memories

Blue Ribbon Memories
Credit statefair.ncdcr.gov

Countless memories are made at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh every year, but now the State Library has created an easy way for people to share their fair experiences with others. A new Website called Blue Ribbon Memories allows people to submit writings and photographs about their fondest times at the fair. The site is also an interactive archive of documents related to the event’s long history. Lisa Gregory of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources State Library joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the online project and what the first state fair in 1853 was like.

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State of Things
11:27 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Who Wrote the Bible?

Forged

Most Biblical scholars recognize that many books of the Bible were not written by the authors commonly attributed to them. But academics often excuse this because they believe writing in the name of another was a commonly accepted practice in the ancient world. In his latest book, "Forged" (HarperOne Publishers/2011), Bart D. Ehrman argues that forgery was not sanctioned in the ancient world. What does this mean for our understanding of the Bible as a historical document and a theological text? Host Frank Stasio talks with Ehrman, head of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about the authors of the New Testament.

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State of Things
11:05 am
Wed October 19, 2011

The Tanning of America

The Tanning of America
Credit tanningofamerica.com

Steve Stoute has been in the middle of the hip-hop revolution since the early days, first as a music producer and promoter, then as a million-dollar marketer. He founded his own company, Translation, which has brokered deals between uber-corporations and megastars like Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and Justin Timberlake. In a new book, "The Tanning of America" (Gotham/2011), Stoute reflects on the power of hip-hop culture to transform not just what we buy and sell but how we see one another. Host Frank Stasio talks with Stoute in advance of his appearance on Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal's webcast “Left of Black” tonight at the John Hope Franklin Center in Durham.

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