Rochelle Johnson: Living in an Amputated World

The evening before the operation, she sat alone on the floor of her living room, held her left leg in her hands and silently said goodbye. The doctors had mentioned that, after the operation, she might have some kind “phantom” syndrome in which her young, twenty-year-old body would forget to remember that part of her was missing. A kind of “tingling” feeling might be left in place of her leg, they foresaw. What the doctors didn’t anticipate were the screams of pain Rochelle would endure long after the operation; they continued to cry out in the days, weeks and years thereafter. Her body struggled to accept the loss of her left leg. Since that evening when she last held her leg, she has become a leading scholar of the Environmental Humanities and a fierce opponent of the industrial desecration of natural habitats. Professor Rochelle L. Johnson, Chair of Environmental Studies at the College of Idaho and President of the Thoreau Society, joins Vienna Live to talk about how the climate crisis is more than just the “tingling” response of an amputated biosphere.


  • Wednesday, February 15th, 2023, at 19:00 Central European Time / 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time / 10:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time


  • Join Professor Johnson (you can interact with her and participants from around the world) in the Vienna Live Zoom Meeting

Photo: Fimiston Open Pit gold mine, Australia, in August, 2019 [Credit: Alexey V. Kurochkin])

Mark Smutny: Radically Inclusive Business Meetings

Are some people more intelligent than others?  If so, should their thoughts be more seriously considered at a business meeting? I say yes and no: the near-universal consensus among Western management scholars is that, by definition, managers should have more intelligence available to them than any other employee of an organization.  It’s upon that intelligence “collection” that managers should base their decisions.  And the “no” part?  Managers are in no way more intelligent than other employees, except (hopefully) concerning aspects of their own management domain.  That’s why Mark Smutny’s concept of radically inclusive (business) meetings is so powerful.  Presumably, every invitee has been invited to bring their intelligence to a meeting – that is, proprietary intelligence presided over by no other meeting participant – and share it to the benefit of all others.  But, in practice, that doesn’t happen very often; it’s more common that one or two participants speak while all others – for a myriad of reasons – silently keep their intelligence to themselves.  Of course, when it’s breaktime, everyone goes outside and boisterously talks about what’s not being shared at the meeting.  Mark Smutny, author of Thrive: The Facilitator’s Guide to Radically Inclusive Meetings, now published in its second edition, joins us to present his step-by-step guide to unleashing the power of radically inclusive business meetings.


  • Wednesday, February 8th, 2023, at 19:00 Central European Time / 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time / 10:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time


Vienna’s Opera(s)

Left: The Vienna Volksoper in 1898 | Right: The Vienna Staatsoper circa 1898 by Josef Löwy

Vienna: city of both serious and light music, of opera & operetta.  Vienna was the music workshop of both Johann Strauss, father and son, and Richard Strauss, the legacy of which, may be heard any matinée and/or evening of the week at the Staatsoper – which focuses on opera, the Volksoper – which focuses on operetta, and the three “united” theaters: Raimund, Ronacher and Theater an der Wien, which cover everything else, including hit Viennese musicals.  Last year, Professor Michael Werba, Member of the Staatsoper since 1975 and the Vienna Philharmonic since 1978, shared with us his father’s tireless efforts to bring music to Vienna’s devastated residents in the immediate aftermath of World War II.  For this Vienna Live episode, Professor Werba is joined by Johannes Wildner, Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna and will give us an exclusive introduction to the uniquely Viennese way to go to the opera(s).


Philip Auslander: Performance in a Mediatized Culture

Screens.  At one time, their sole purpose was to shield one’s private life from public glances.  Now, screens are the omnipresent medium through which we spend an astonishing part of our private lives viewing public “performances.” The same multimedia distribution and recording technology that first permitted us to “go to the theater” in our slippers and pajamas – aka the “home theater” – has ended up reconstituting our understanding of live performance.  For example, whereas multimedia first attempted to “televise” the experience of a live theater performance, the theater performance now tries to emulate the screen experience.  So, why do all live performances now kowtow to the screen?  Because if it doesn’t look like the screen, we don’t perceive it to be truly live.  And why does any of this even matter?  Because the screen subtly takes control of our reality while not permitting dialogue or even exit (who leaves their most intimate space because they don’t agree with what they see on their smartphone?).  Small wonder, then, that advertisers pay exorbitant fees to get onto our screens.  “Hyperreality”, as one theorist calls it, is a force that humanity has yet to come to terms with and may be a cultural challenge in need of urgent attention.  Philip Auslander, Professor of Performance Studies and Popular Musicology at Georgia Tech, know the perils of the screen better than anyone else.  He first published his research on this phenomenon in Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture during the television era and, now, in the middle of the smartphone era, has just released the book’s Third Edition.  Come welcome Philip to our show and he will be our guide to understanding how the screen usurped reality.

WATCH IT ON: YouTube / Facbook