What role does the experience of urban life play in stimulating creativity? In his newest book, “The Muse of Urban Delirium,” author Blair Ruble writes about the challenges of urban diversity, conflict, and creativity by examining the emergence of artistic expression in a series of specific cities at particular times. His analysis provides the focus for this edition of Wilson Center NOW.


Blair A. Ruble is currently Vice President for Programs at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and Director of the Center’s Urban Sustainability Laboratory. Previously, he served as the Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies (1989-2012) as well as of the Center’s Comparative Urban Studies Program (1992-2014), and was Director of the its Program on Global Sustainability and Resilience (2012-2014). Dr. Ruble latest work –The Muse of Urban Delirium – examines how new forms of performing arts emerge at moments of uncertain social identity in cities undergoing rapid transformation. His earlier book-length volumes include: Washington’s U Street: A BiographyCreating Diversity Capital , and a trilogy examining the fate of Russian provincial cities during the twentieth century: Leningrad. Shaping a Soviet City ; Money Sings!; and, Second Metropolis.

John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program.