Hugo Chavez
Wikimedia Commons
March 12, 2013

Changing Politics in Latin American

This hour on Focus, we talked with Venezuelan native and Political Science Associate Professor Damarys Canache about Hugo Chavez’s death. Then for the second half of the hour, Theodore Piccone, Deputy Director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution joins the show to talk about what changes in Venezuela mean for Cuba.


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Jody Williams
March 11, 2013

My Name is Jody Williams

Jody Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her campaign to eradicate landmines. But she wasn’t always an activist. This hour on Focus, we talked with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams about her new memoir, “My Name is Jody Williams.”


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Gregory Mann
March 06, 2013

Peacebuilding in West Africa

Military coup, Islamic extremists, human rights violations and political unrest… all these things have been part of life for citizens in Mali for more than a year. During this episode of Focus, we talked with Associate Professor of History at Columbia University Gregory Mann about recent happenings in the country and the role the US should play in its recovery.


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Mariam Sobh wearing a white hijab
March 04, 2013

Miriam Cooke and Hijab Trendz

Have you ever used writing as an outlet? Today on Focus, we examined stereotypes about Arab women with Professor Miriam Cooke, who studies how Islamic women empower themselves through writing. Then, Mariam Sobh, a native of Champaign and the founder of the fashion blog Hijab Trendz joins the program. 


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Ambassador Michael Collins
February 12, 2013

His Excellency Ambassador Michael Collins

What's it like to be an ambassador to the United States? During this episode of Focus, Craig Cohen talked with H.E. Ambassador Michael Collins, Irish Ambassador to the United States.


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Portrait of Tamim Ansary and Book Jacket for Games Without Rules
December 12, 2012

Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan

Born in 1948, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tamim Ansary is a writer, lecturer, editor, and teacher based in San Francisco.  He directs the San Francisco Writer’s Workshop, teaches through the Osher Institute, and writes fiction and nonfiction about Afghanistan, Islam-and-the-West, democracy, current events, social issues, and as he says, "my cat, and other topics as they come up."


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October 18, 2012

The European Union’s Nobel Peace Prize

Dr. Stefanos Katsikas, Director of Modern Greek Studies, University of Illinois

João Vale de Almeida, The European Union Ambassador to the United States

John McCormick, Professor of European Union Politics, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

Host: Craig Cohen

A number of eyebrows were raised by the decision last week to give this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to The European Union. We’ll learn more about what was behind that decision, and discuss the history, complexity, and potentially challenging future of the European Union, including the fate of the Euro as a common currency, and the viability of economically struggling nations like Greece, with Dr. Stefanos Katsikas, Director of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Illinois; John McCormick, Professor of European Union Politics, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis; and João Vale de Almeida, The European Union Ambassador to the United States.


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September 19, 2012

Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America

Eboo Patel, Founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core and member of President Obama’s inaugural Faith Council

Host: Craig Cohen
Eboo Patel

Following the attacks last week on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya, which led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, we’ll talk about how there’s a tendency among some to lump violent Muslim extremists in with the Muslim community at large, in a way that we perhaps don’t do with other radicals who pervert other religions. We’ll consider how violent acts like this make it more challenging to bring peaceful people of various faiths together, as we talk with Eboo Patel, the founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core and a member of President Obama’s inaugural Faith Council. He’s the author of the book Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America.


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August 02, 2012

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

Katherine Boo, Staff Writer, The New Yorker; Pulitzer Prize Winner

Host: David Inge
image from book cover of

Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo has written about the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the 21st century’s great, unequal cities. Her book "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" is based on three years of uncompromising reporting.

This is a repeat broadcast from Monday, February 20, 2012, 11 am


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July 12, 2012

Haiti: The Aftershocks of History

Laurent Dubois, Ph..D., Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History, Duke University

Host: David Inge

In January of 2010 Haiti was devastated by a powerful earthquake, the worst in more than 200 years. As many as 300,000 people may have died. Now, over two years later, the country is still struggling to rebuild in spite of billions of dollars in aid promised by the international community.  We'll talk about Haiti with Laurent Dubois from Duke University, author of "Haiti: the Aftershocks of History." His book looks at the ways the country’s past continues to shape its present.

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, January 27, 2012, 11 am


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