Bob Edwards Weekend – March 21-22, 2009



  • Public radio reporter Pat Duggins updates us on NASA and Space Shuttle Discovery’s launch. Part of its mission is to pick up astronaut Sandy Magnus from the International Space Station. She’s been up there since mid-November following the launch of Endeavour, which we covered on this program.Duggins’ latest book is Final Countdown. It’s now out in paperback and chronicles the history of the Space Shuttle program. Then Bob talks with astronauts Sandy Magnus and Mike Fincke as they orbit the Earth aboard the International Space Station.


  • Michelle Perchonok of the Space Food Systems Lab joins Bob to chat about how foods are prepared, stored, re-heated and eaten during space travel. Bob will also taste some of NASA’s astro-delicacies.


  • Scientist Alan Boss is a researcher at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism and one of the world’s leading scholars on the formation of stars and planets. His latest book, The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets, details the strides contemporary science has made in locating life on other planets.




  • Writer and literary commentator Elaine Showalter tackled the daunting task of compiling the first comprehensive history of American female writers from 1650 to 2000. A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx is a remarkable collection which includes the famous and the obscure.


  • The American Spiritual Ensemble was founded by Dr. Everett McCorvey in 1995 and is based in Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. McCorvey and twenty-five members of the Ensemble discuss and perform examples of the American Negro spiritual — music created by slaves with African roots and biblical text.




One Reply to “Bob Edwards Weekend – March 21-22, 2009”

  1. I’m a great admirer of Elaine Showalter’s scholarly contributions, and I certainly do hope her new book will start some conversations about whether women have been underrepresented in the canon of fiction.

    That said, it’s unfortunate that conversations about women’s contributions to non-fiction aren’t drawing the same kind of mainstream media attention. That’s not because an equivalent book hasn’t been written, either: my quickie Internet search came up with a very recent one, last year’s Women in American Journalism: A New History by University of Colorado journalism professor Jan Whitt.

    Perhaps that’s because non-fiction has long been a boys’ club, despite the disproportionately large numbers of women receiving a formal journalism education. (Since the late 1970s, women have made up a only a third of the full-time journalism workforce, despite that they comprise two-thirds of journalism school students nationally, according to the Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communications.)

    Women, I should point out, are in large part to blame for their own (self) exclusion from the genre. Looking around my own journalism M.A. program here at the University of Missouri, I see most of my talented female friends specializing in magazine editing and design — NOT in writing. The fact that so many of them will become editors is particularly ironic, given that it doesn’t seem to translate to them promoting women writers on women’s turf — that is, in women’s magazines.

    Take a look at this year’s National Magazine Award finalists for feature writing and profile writing. Although a whopping two out of the ten nominees are women, NONE of the nominated stories appeared in women’s interest magazines. (That’s in contrast to Esquire and GQ’s two nominations each.)

    In an especially ironic twist, your other featured guest on Thursday’s show, Sarah Thornton — an accomplished journalist by any measure — was profiled in Vogue last October in a piece that seemed to devote more column inches to analyzing her toenail paint color, her designer label clothing, and her “uncanny youthfulness and vitality” (imagine, at age 43!) than to her incisive new book, Seven Days in the Art World.

    So back to the Showalter-inspired question of whether female writers are similarly underrepresented in the non-fiction canon. (Or at least, the question of whether that conversation will be afforded real estate in the mainstream media.) The answer: when they muster up the courage to give themselves the prominence and respect they deserve.

    Emily W. Sussman
    M.A. Candidate, University of Missouri-Columbia
    Magazine Writing and New Media

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