2016 Texas Tribune Festival

The Texas Tribune Festival, returns on Sept. 23-25! Students and educators will get the chance to engage with some of the biggest names and brains in politics and public policy at the University of Texas at Austin campus.

The registration desk for the 2016 Texas Tribune Festival is now open and are proud to announce the first 100+ confirmed speakers, with many more to come as we lead up to the Fest! Students and educators have a chance to register for the festival for $50.

Speakers at the 2016 Festival will include historian and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates, Jr., former President of Mexico Vicente Fox, energy magnate T. Boone Pickens, conservative commentator S.E. Cupp, former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and former Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, along with more from around the state and across the nation. Join more than 150 exciting speakers at compelling panels, as discussions take on issues near and dear to Texas and the U.S. Check out the full list of speakers here.

And don’t miss out on the special Thursday night feast at Franklin Barbecue, featuring a conversation with Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post and one of the subjects of Spotlight, the 2016 Oscar winner for Best Picture. An extra $250 ticket is required for the event, which includes all-you-can-eat barbecue and beer.

After the festival, stick around for Texas Tribune’s first-ever TribFeast, an evening gala following the Texas Tribune Festival’s full day of panels and programming on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who will talk about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the state of the 2016 election in conversation with Tribune Co-Founder and CEO Evan Smith will also be in attendance. Taking place at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center at The University of Texas at Austin, the evening will also include remarks by Larry R. Faulkner, former president of The University of Texas at Austin and Houston Endowment.

Texas Monthly Talks with Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

Christopher Hitchens passed away on December 15th. Evan Smith interviewed him for Texas Monthly Talks in 2007. Above is the full interview.

Here is what Evan said about him at the time: Christopher Hitchens is, as he was described recently in the New York Times, a “fervid athiest,” and has been since before he even knew to call himself one. And he doesn’t mind saying so…loudly. While the topic of one’s lack of faith would be, for most writers, too sacred a cow to punch, the famously provocative Hitchens has no problem lacing up his gloves for any reason, and oh-boy-has-he-has-done-so in his new book, the rapidly best-selling God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. As the title suggests, the 58-year-old doesn’t hold back in exploring the extent of his contempt for all things spiritual, including religion, organized and otherwise, which he views as a dividing, hectoring, bullying force. Of course, there are those who read Hitchens’ regular columns in Vanity Fair or Slate and see him as a divider, hectorer, and bully himself, and he might not disagree. The native of Portsmouth, England, and graduate of Oxford University has always laid it on the line, damn the consequences, whether the subject is women (whom he has written are not funny), Iraq (he passionately defends the war despite having once been a Marxist), Henry Kissinger (whom he brands a war criminal), or his friend Salman Rushdie (whose death threats by Islamic fundamentalists crystallized for Hitchens the point of view he is now expressing before throngs of fellow nonbelievers all over the country). But he also has a reputation for being hyperintellectual, bitingly witty, and extremely charming, and he did not disappoint when he stopped by for a chat in mid-May. ” – Evan Smith, Texas Monthly Talks, Broadcast 05.24.07