Speakers Forum

Thursday, 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. on KUOW

Sarah Vowell, Gloria Steinem, Michael Pollan: you can't make it to every lecture in town but you can hear plenty here. We record talks all over the Puget Sound region, from uber–famous intellectuals to lesser–knowns. From soldiers to urban farmers to humorists; we tape it, then air it on Speakers Forum.

Daniel Siegel's book "Brainstorm."

The teenage brain can be a mystery to adults. UCLA psychiatry professor Daniel Siegel debunks myths about adolescence to show how teens learn new skills, connect with others and demonstrate limitless creativity.

Siegel is the author of “Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain.”

He spoke at Town Hall on December 13, 2013, in a lecture presented by ParentMap.

Dave Isay's book "Ties That Bind."

Ten years ago, Dave Isay began StoryCorps by building a soundproof booth in Grand Central Terminal. People arrived in pairs to interview each other about their lives.

Today, StoryCorps airs stories weekly on NPR, and more than 30,000 interviews have been recorded and archived in the Library of Congress. Isay has also compiled some of the stories into books. His most recent is called “Ties That Bind: Stories of Love & Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps.”

He spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on December 17, 2013.

In 1963, one of the most controversial books of the twentieth century was published. “Eichmann in Jerusalem” presented Adolf Eichmann not as a sociopath — but as an ordinary person who simply believed his actions were normal. The author of this book, political theorist Hannah Arendt, refers to this theory as the “banality of evil.” Arendt was a Jew who fled Germany in the early 1930s. 

Yale professor Seyla Benhabib offers an overview of the controversy surrounding Arendt’s book, and what lessons it can teach us about humanity. Benhabib spoke at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall on October 24, 2013 as part of the Graduate School lecture series.

Julia Serano's book "Excluded."

Julia Serano has challenged exclusion in the feminist and queer movements for years. As an activist and trans woman, Serano was shocked to see some people challenge one type of sexism while ignoring — and sometimes furthering — others.

In her new book, "Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive," Serano calls for a new, inclusive approach to battling sexism. She spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on December 4.

Joshua Greene's book "Moral Tribes."

As humans, we’re designed to work together with certain groups of people while fighting off others. In modern times though, our tribes have been forced closer to others, sparking clashes. What is a practical way to solve these problems? And how can different tribes move forward together?

Psychologist Joshua Greene traces the roots of morality and conflict in his new book, “Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them.” He spoke at Town Hall on November 15.

Flickr Photo/Randy Stewart

What would you say if you had five minutes onstage and a captive audience?

That's the premise of Ignite Seattle, a regular worldwide event where presenters get five minutes and twenty PowerPoint slides to get a point across. Speakers at November’s event touched on a variety of topics, including living in two cities, superbugs, and little-known facts about "Hamlet."

Ignite Seattle 22 took place at Town Hall on November 20. The talk was moderated by Seattle Times columnist Monica Guzman.

Flickr Photo/las-initially

If there's one tradition that's never faded away in our history as people on this earth, it's storytelling. StoryCorps is a massive oral history project whose mission is to record, preserve and share the stories of Americans from all background and beliefs. It was founded in 2003 by radio documentary producer Dave Isay.

People tell their stories in mobile booths all around the country, and selected stories air nationally on NPR. All of the stories are preserved in the Library of Congress, with the hope that it will one day become a public, searchable database. Isay spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on February 7, 2012.

Dean R. Owen's book "November 22, 1963"

November 22 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Journalist Dean R. Owen collected interviews from notable civil rights leaders, White House staff, and others connected to Kennedy for his book, “November 22, 1963: Reflections on the Life, Assassination, and Legacy of John F. Kennedy.”

Owen spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on September 14. He was joined by Patricia Baillargeon, a contributor to his book who served as assistant to Eleanor Roosevelt.

A. Scott Berg's book "Wilson."

It’s been a century since Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, and the president has a compelling history. He was 10 years old by the time he learned to read, and yet he ultimately became a scholar and the president of Princeton University.

He led the United States through WWI and helped establish the League of Nations. A serious stroke left his entire left side paralyzed, and his disability became the argument for the 25th Amendment.

A. Scott Berg’s new biography of Wilson came out earlier this fall. Berg spoke on September 18 at Town Hall in a talk moderated by KUOW’s Steve Scher.

China is listed as a country with one of the highest rates of suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mental health services often carry a stigma, though that’s starting to change. The government recently passed the country’s first national mental health law.

Michael Phillips has lived and worked in China since 1985 at the end of the Cultural Revolution. He discussed China’s mental health landscape at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall as part of the graduate school lecture series on October 15.

Sean Howe's book "Marvel Comics: The Untold Story."

Nearly half a century ago, a diverse group of characters began to capture children’s hearts: Spider-Man, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and the X-Men. The epic Marvel Comics universe has been a massive force in pop culture; inspiring countless books, films and becoming a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

Sean Howe chronicles the rise of this phenomenon in “Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.”  Howe spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on October 17, 2012.

Amanda Lindhout's memoir "A House in the Sky."

As a child, Amanda Lindhout dreamed about the exotic places she saw in National Geographic.

In her twenties, she traveled all over the world — usually alone, always on a shoestring budget with just a backpack. She trekked through more than 50 countries, and in 2008 she traveled to Mogadishu, Somalia, as a freelance journalist where she was abducted. For 15 months, she survived abuse by imagining herself elsewhere. 

After her release, Lindhout founded the Global Enrichment Foundation, a humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women in developing countries.

Lindhout spoke about her recent memoir “A House in the Sky,” along with her co-author Sara Corbett at Town Hall on September 16.

Flickr Photo/Armando Torrealba

WordPress.com is the 15th most-trafficked website in the world. It’s also a unique workplace. Everyone works from home, employees use blogs and chat instead of email, and there are no schedules.

Scott Berkun reports on his year at WordPress, including lessons he learned about leadership, productivity, and the evolution of business. He spoke at Town Hall on September 19.

Dean R. Owen's book "November 22, 1963: Reflections on the Life, Assassination, and Legacy of John F. Kennedy"

November 22 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Journalist Dean R. Owen collected interviews from notable civil rights leaders, White House staff and others connected to Kennedy for his book, “November 22, 1963: Reflections on the Life, Assassination, and Legacy of John F. Kennedy.”

Owen spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on September 14, 2013. He was joined by Patricia Baillargeon, a contributor to his book who served as assistant to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Erik Assadourian and Annie Leonard's book "State of the World 2013."

The buzzword “sustainable” has been around for years — so long that it’s nearly begun to lose its meaning. In order to chart a true sustainable future, we need to make changes to our lifestyles that are more drastic than simply composting or bringing reusable bags to the grocery store.

Erik Assadourian and Annie Leonard are co-authors of the book “State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?” They spoke on September 16 at Town Hall. The talk was moderated by Grist founder Chip Giller.

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