Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed
David Thiel
February 24, 2014

Downton Abbey: Portraying Post-Edwardian Life

Are you a Downton fan? What did you think of season 4? Today on Focus, we’ll talk about the show and why it has captivated millions of viewers. Historian Sharon Michalove also joins us to talk about how realistic the show’s depiction of Post- Edwardian life is. 


Wikimedia Commons
July 30, 2013

Encore: Julia Sweeney

As a parent, how do you talk to your kids about the birds and the bees? That very conversation inspired Julia Sweeney’s new book “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother.” This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation she had with Jim Meadows earlier this year.


Rick Steves
February 27, 2013

Rick Steves

Do you experience wanderlust? Or do you have yet to catch the travel bug? This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talked with public radio host, TV personality and world-renowned travel writer and broadcaster Rick Steves.


a photo from the audience at the Oscars in 1988
Wikimedia
February 22, 2013

The Academy Awards and Focus’ New Host

Today on on Focus, host Craig Cohen talked with Time Out Chicago’s Film Editor about this year’s Oscar nominees and the politlcal statements they make. Then, during the second half of the program, he talked with Jim Meadows, who will be Focus’ new interim host starting Monday.


People playing a video game
January 25, 2013

Violence and Video Games

Do gory and graphic video games really affect behavior? How did games get to be so violent in the first place? This hour on Focus, host Craig Cohen talks with Craig Anderson, a professor at Iowa State University and the Director of the Center for Study of Violence about what the research shows us about the connection between violence and video games.


November 16, 2012

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution

Did video kill the radio star? If so, it was with a lot of help from MTV. It's hard to remember that the initials MTV, now better known for reality programming, actually stand for "Music Television." In its first decade, MTV lived up to its name - it played music videos all day, the way a radio station played records. Though music videos had been played on television since the 1960s, MTV was the first outlet specifically programmed around music videos. We'll talk with Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, authors of "I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution" about the tumultuous first decade of MTV and the videos that made the 1980s and early 1990s memorable.


November 06, 2012

Exploring JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit

This September marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of JRR Tolkien's novel The Hobbit. An estimated 100 million copies of the book have been sold since its publication, but interest in The Hobbit sees no signs of abating, as the first of a trilogy of Hobbit films by Peter Jackson opens this December. Author Corey Olsen, who produces a podcast called The Tolkien Professor, feels that The Hobbit has lived far too long in the shadow of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books. His idea is to turn attention back to what he calls "this brilliant little book." Olsen is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington College in Maryland and the President and founder of the Mythgard Institute, a new online teaching center for the study of Tolkien and other works of imaginative literature.


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