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An internationally recognized historian whose work focuses on medieval Spain and Europe, Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz discusses knight-errants and the elitist world of fictitious warfare: tournaments, running and fighting of bulls, skilled equestrian games. He draws from his most recent book, "A King Travels: Festive Traditions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain," which was released earlier this month by Princeton University Press. The Faculty Research Lecture is the latest in what has been an incredible whirlwind of awards and achievements for Ruiz, who published another book just last September, titled "The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilization" (Princeton University Press). In February, he traveled to the White House to accept the prestigious National Humanities Medal, awarded to those whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities.

Kathleen Fraser's newest collection, m o v a b l e TYYPE, foregrounds texts from four recently produced Artist Books. Her collected essays, Translating the Unspeakable: Poetry and the Innovative Necessity, is in its second printing. She edited and co-founded the journal HOW(ever) and in 2001, launched its on-line version, How2. While director of The Poetry Center, Fraser founded The American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University where she taught in the Graduate Writing Program for 20 years. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and two NEA fellowships. She has published 16 volumes of poetry and seven collaborative Artist Books, recently collected by the Bienecke Library at Yale. Her work has been translated widely in Italian and French.

Lyn Hejinian is the author of numerous books, including most recently The Book of a Thousand Eyes and The Wide Road, written in collaboration with Carla Harryman. In fall 2012, Wesleyan University Press published A Guide to Poetics Journal: Writing in the Expanded Field 1982-1998, an anthology of works on key issues in poetics first published in Poetics Journal, co-edited by Hejinian and Barrett Watten. And in fall 2013 Wesleyan will republish her best-known book, My Life, in an edition that will include her related work, My Life in the Nineties. In addition to literary writing, editing, and translating, she has in recent years been involved in anti-privatization activism at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches.

Cancer is a lens in which to understand modern society and the acquisition of knowledge, argues Pulitzer-Prize winning author and oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee. In this wide-ranging interview with journalist Dean Nelson, Dr. Mukherjee goes on to describe himself as a "sober optimist" about the future of cancer research as he urges the cancer community to demand more public support for cancer therapies, treatments and prevention. He was presented as part of the Exploring Ethics series convened around his best-selling book, "The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer " by the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology and the Helen Edison Lecture Series at UC San Diego Extension.

Gabriele Wienhausen, the Associate Dean of Education in the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego, gives a rousing talk on the importance of being challenged in college, rather than choosing easy classes in pursuit of good grades. She argues that getting rattled out of one's comfort zone is also good for teachers as they strive to invigorate the process of learning.

Political theorist Fonna Forman and architect-urbanist Teddy Cruz explore the idea of human happiness as it manifests in patterns of urbanization, from the public architecture of the ancient polis to the modern suburban sprawl of the San Diego-Tijuana region. Cruz and Forman are co-directors of the Blum Cross-Border Initiative at UC San Diego and leaders of the new Civic Innovation Lab for the City of San Diego.

Cynthia Cruz's poems have been published in the New Yorker, Paris Review, Boston Review, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review and others. Her first collection of poems, RUIN, was published by Alice James Book and her second collection, "The Glimmering Room," was published by Four Way Books in 2012. She has received fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony as well as a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. Her third collection of poems, Wunderkammer, is from Four Way Books in 2014. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld, Professors at the Yale Law School, for a discussion of their new book, "The Triple Package." Chua and Rubenfeld explain the rise and fall of certain cultural groups, primarily, 2nd generation recent immigrants to the U.S. These groups which demonstrate high success rates manifest 3 characteristics - a superiority complex (rooted in theology, history, or imported social hierarchies), a sense of insecurity (driven by scorn, fear and family) and impulse control(resulting in a drive to work harder). Chua and Rubenfeld analyze the interface of these characteristics with American institutions and incentives to create high rates of success as measured by material goals, academic achievement, and prestige. They also offer a critique of recent US cultural trends that contribute to American relative decline. Recorded on 02/14/2014.

From the moment of birth, human infants require an inordinate amount of care and, unlike our nearest living relatives, remain dependent on a variety of caretakers during an unusually long maturation period followed by extraordinary adult longevity. How did such a distinctive pattern of development evolve and what other human features are linked to it? Katie Hinde (Harvard Univ) begins with a discussion about Breast Milk and Breastfeeding, followed by Sue Carter (Univ of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) on Oxytocin Pathways and Human Evolution, and Melvin Konner (Emory Univ) on Hunter-Gatherer Childhood and Human Evolution.
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