Studio 360

Sundays at 10 pm

Delve deep into the ever-changing cultural landscape with novelist and co-founder of legendary "Spy" magazine, Kurt Andersen. Studio 360 is public radio's smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy — so let Studio 360 give you new and different ideas for a movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. Studio 360 also gives listeners a chance to get their creative juices flowing with regular listener challenges.

Ways to Connect


  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017 8:00pm

    This is the novel about racism that America couldn't ignore.

    The story of a young man in the ghetto who turns to murder was an overnight sensation. Richard Wright set out to confront white readers with the most brutal consequences of racism, and finally lay to rest the stereotype of the passive Uncle Tom — “he literally wanted to create a bigger Thomas,” one scholar argues. But some think Native Son exploited the worst stereotypes of black youth. “Is this giving me permission to go kill white women?” wondered a young Carl Hancock Rux. “Is that what we’re supposed to be doing now?”

    We trace the line from Bigger Thomas to Notorious B.I.G., and visit a high school drama class acting out Native Son, and struggling to grasp the racism their grandparents experienced. With Nathan McCall, Carl Hancock Rux, and Richard Wright's daughter, Julia Wright.

    (Originally aired September 6, 2013)

    Thank you to the following for their time and research: Frankie Bailey, Timuel Black, James Campbell, The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, Thomas Cripps, Dolores Fish, Rebecca Hall, Margot McMahon, Gabriel Mendes, Bayo Ojikutu, Howard Pitsch and the Fort Greene Association, Tim Samuelson, and Malcolm Wright.


    Bonus Track: Nathan McCall on how Native Son changed his life
    Hear producer Amanda Aronczyk's full interview with Nathan McCall, author of Makes Me Wanna Holler.

    Video: Richard Wright's screen test for the original film of Native Son


    Photos: The Stivers High School for the Arts' production of Native Son

    Native Son American Icons Studio 360


    Bigger (Eric McCalister) writes a ransom note while Clara (Ashley Brooks) begs him to stop. (Tom Patterson)


    Native Son American Icons Studio 360
  • Wednesday, July 12, 2017 8:00pm

    This week, Kurt goes through the looking glass into the world of conspiracy thrillers. Plus, Matt Walsh breaks down how he improvises comedy on the set of “Veep.” And Jimmy Iovine explains how he sold music in the ever-shifting music industry. 

  • Wednesday, July 5, 2017 8:00pm

    Episodes of false identity, living large, and murder in the suburbs add up to the great American novel.

    The Great Gatsby Feature Card_Big

    Studio 360 explores F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and finds out how this compact novel became the great American story of our age. Novelist Jonathan Franzen tells Kurt Andersen why he still reads it every year or two, and writer Patricia Hampl explains why its lightness is deceptive. We’ll drive around the tony Long Island suburbs where Gatsby was set, and we’ll hear from Andrew Lauren about his film "G," which sets Gatsby among the hip-hop moguls. And Azar Nafisi describes the power of teaching the book to university students in Tehran. Readings come courtesy of Scott Shepherd, an actor who sometimes performs the entire book from memory.

    (Originally aired November 25, 2010)



  • Wednesday, June 28, 2017 8:00pm

    Should arts organizations accept money from the Koch brothers? Art critic Philip Kennicott weighs in. Plus, Oscar-winning director Errol Morris talks about interviewing Elsa Dorfman and Donald Trump. And Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein share music that inspired their new album. 

  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017 8:00pm

    This week, an episode about groundbreaking pop music: The music that preceded and followed Radiohead’s landmark album, “OK Computer.” Plus, an exploration of how the life of Tupac Shakur was mythologized — even by Tupac himself. And gospel punk band Algiers plays live in the studio.