Spring 2018

David Wessel
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump campaigned on an economic platform that included such sweeping measures as overhauling the tax code, dismantling trade agreements, tightening restrictions on immigration, and repealing “Obamacare.” Now, a year into President Trump’s administration, fiscal and monetary policy expert David Wessel will examine the economic landscape thus far, help …
Elaine Pagels
As a doctoral student of religious studies at Harvard, Elaine Pagels found her own “forbidden fruit,” which came in the form of secret writings that were decreed heretical a very long time ago. As with Eve, the scholarly Pagels couldn’t resist the allure of learning all about these mysterious ancient texts that had been banned from the official church canon many centuries ago. She wanted …
James Esseks
James Esseks, director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project for the ACLU, will deliver the keynote address for the 13th annual Midwest LGBTQ Rights Conference. This year’s conference theme is “Queer and Present Danger: Advancing LGBTQ Rights in Difficult Times.” In his current position, Esseks oversees litigation, legislative lobbying, policy advocacy, organizing, and …
Joe Hagan
On November 9, 1967, a scrappy little paper that celebrated the ‘60s youth culture by flaunting a lifestyle fueled by sex, drugs and rock-and-roll, hit the newsstands. It was christened Rolling Stone Magazine, and from the outset, it was clear this was a radical departure from fanzines like Tiger Beat.  For half a century, the genius behind “Rolling Stone Magazine,” the young, ambitious Jann …
Michael Wysession
The following feature story has been reprinted with permission by author Rebecca King Pierce, Digital Communication Editor for Arts & Sciences Climate change: The monster of our own making Michael Wysession sees many connections between climate change and the novel Frankenstein. Next year marks the 200th anniversary of the classic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by …
Although the stigma attached to mental illness seems to be lessening, the fear of being discriminated against because of a mental disorder continues to have a stranglehold on society. Of all the reasons why sufferers do not seek treatment, stigma seems especially insidious as it creates a vicious cycle: the fear of being “found out” leads to secrecy, self-shame, and self-defeating behaviors, …
Rabbi Susan Talve and Reverend Traci Blackmon
Reverend Traci Blackmon Reverend Traci Blackmon became the first female pastor of Christ The King United Church of Christ in Florissant, Mo, after a distinguished 25-year-career as a nurse. As pastor, she leads with a broad vision of the church’s role in the life of her community. Her church doesn’t exist in a vacuum; rather, it serves as a launching pad for propelling positive change …
Shon Hopwood
By all accounts, Shon Hopwood was “a good kid from a good Nebraskan family,” but after high school he grew bored. By the age of 22, he had dropped out of college, spent two years in the Navy, then found himself back in his sleepy hometown, drinking and using drugs to help quell the boredom. When that didn’t work, he started robbing banks. He knocked over five, in fact, before the FBI caught …
Stefan Merrill Block
Just two years after graduating from Washington University,Stefan Merrill Block found himself with a rough and extraordinarily large first draft of a manuscript. He sent it to Bill Clegg, at the time with the William Morris Agency, who agreed to take on the project. After an intensive reworking of the novel, it was sent to publishers and went into auction. Another two years later, “The Story …