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WKU Cultural Enhancement Series

michio kaku at wku- photo by jeff smith

2017-2018 Cultural Enhancement Series Event Information

Roxane Gay | February 8, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. CST in Van Meter Hall

Author of Difficult Women and Marvel's World of Wakanda

Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, and Difficult Women and Hunger forthcoming in 2017. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel.


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Robert Reich | October 18, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. CST in Van Meter Hall

Former Secretary of Labor (1993-1997) and author of Saving Capitalism

Robert B. Reich is one of the world's leading thinkers about work and the economy. Now Chancellor's professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, he has served under three national administrations, most recently as Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton. He also served on President Barack Obama's economic transition advisory board. In 2008, TIME magazine named him one of the ten most successful cabinet secretaries of the past century. Reich is the author of 15 books including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages, and several other national best sellers. He has a reputation for seeing where politics and the economy are going before they get there.

Video: Truth as a Common Good with Robert Reich

robert reich

 Yamato Drummers | February 2, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in Van Meter Hall

Japanese Wadaiko drums

Yamato was founded by Masa Ogawa in 1993 in Nara, ‘the land of Yamato” which is said to be the birthplace of Japanese culture. Presently based in Asuka Village, Nara Prefecture, Yamato travels all over the word with Japan’s traditional Wadaiko drums, putting its very souls into the unusual instruments, whose sound stirs the hearts of people everywhere.

yamato drummers

Paul Alan Cox Ph.D. | February 13, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in Van Meter Hall

Ethnobotany and the Search for new ALS & Alzheimer’s Drugs in Remote Villages

The ethnobotanical search for new drugs has succeeded, in the past, in facilitating the discovery of some of our most important pharmaceuticals, including Digitalis for atrial fibrillation, Vincristine for pediatric leukemia, and Pilocarpine for glaucoma. Recently, ethnobotanical explorations of island villages with high rates of ALS- and Alzheimer’stype diseases has yielded new insights into environmental toxins that trigger brain tangles and plaques in vulnerable individuals. Conversely, ethnobotanical analysis of island villages that have no record of neurodegenerative illness has yielded startling new insights into the role that diet can play in disease prevention. These ethnobotanical hypothesis have now been rigorously tested, both in vitro and in vivo, as well as in human clinical trials that show great promise for slowing and hopefully preventing these serious brain diseases.

Artwork by Jonathan Barlett


 Daniel Levitin | March 5, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in Van Meter Hall

 Neuroscientist, musician, and author of This is Your Brain on Music

Daniel Levitin is the author of three consecutive #1 bestselling books: This Is Your Brain on Music, The World in Six Songs and The Organized Mind. He is Founding Dean of Arts & Humanities at the Minerva Schools at KGI in San Francisco. He is also a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and James McGill Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience and Music at McGill University.

daniel levitin photo by peter prato

Top banner photo credit Jeff Smith.

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 Last Modified 10/19/17