Blog

May 14th, 2021

On our Front Table this week, explore reexaminations of the quotidian: a new look at the surprisingly puzzling behaviors of birds; a history of a wildly popular mass-produced game; a biography of a modernist author preoccupied with all things inconspicuous and modest; and an exploration of an artist's use of found objects to create a sense of enchantment. Find the following titles and more at semcoop.com.


Assembling a Black Counterculture (Primary Information)
DeForrest Brown, Jr.

In Assembling a Black Counter Culture, writer and musician DeForrest Brown, Jr, provides a history and critical analysis of techno and adjacent electronic music such as...

Front Table
May 10th, 2021

On May 10, the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge will present "Translating the Global, Assembling the Social: The (Re-)Emergence of Community Mental Health in China" as the second installment of their Cultures and Knowledge Workshop series for Spring Term. This workshop will be presented by Professor Zhiying Ma.

Register HERE

About the Presenter: Zhiying Ma is an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, as well as a faculty affiliate of the University's Center for East Asian Studies and Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. She is a cultural and medical...

May 7th, 2021


On our Front Table this week, explore popular cultures past and present: a history of the Cold War exchange of ideas that raised international estimation of American culture even as the American government lost its moral prestige; an account of two great poets' complex relationship, bulwarked by weekly martini meetings at the Ritz; and an accessible, philosophically-informed approach to everyday cultural phenomena. Find the following titles and more at semcoop.com.


Bald: 35 Philosophical Short Cuts (Yale University Press)
Simon Critchley

The moderator of The New York Times’ Stone column and the...

Front Table
May 6th, 2021

On May 10, the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge will present "Translating the Global, Assembling the Social: The (Re-)Emergence of Community Mental Health in China" as the final installment of their Cultures and Knowledge Workshop series for Spring Term. This workshop will be presented by Zhiying Ma.

After its decay over the past two decades, community mental health has re-emerged in China since 2004. In the 1970s and 1980s, community mental health in China consisted of local experiments praised by the World Health Organization as models for developing countries. Nowadays, however, it consists mostly of programs that import...

Bibliographies
April 30th, 2021

On our Front Table this week, find fiction that explores artistic creation, including a story of two seemingly identical painters whose lives have taken markedly different paths; a semi-autobiographical novel about radically reclaiming one's language through writing; a coming-of-age story intertwined with the trajectory of a young painter's career; and a young man's use of writing to exert control over mortality. Find the following titles and more at semcoop.com.


Antiquities (Knopf)
Cynthia Ozick

Lloyd Wilkinson Petrie, one of the seven elderly trustees of the now defunct (for thirty-four years) Temple Academy for Boys, is preparing a memoir of...

Front Table
April 23rd, 2021

Friday, April 23, is the feast day of St. George, the dragon slayer, who killed the fearsome beast to save the king’s daughter. Catalans celebrate it as Sant Jordi, and for centuries Catalan gentlemen gave their beloved a rose on this day.

In the 1920s the Catalan booksellers’ association added books into the mix and the Sant Jordi Book Festival was born. No longer strictly gender based, lovers, friends, and family now give one another books and roses. Think of it as Valentine’s Day—for nerds. Fortified by these tales of knights and dragons and books and roses, as the world shuttered public gatherings, we chose to expand literature’s reach and come to you, onscreen.

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April 22nd, 2021

On our Front Table this week, explore the relations of capitalism and politics, from a new approach to the political-economic grounds of the French Revolution, to an analysis of the ways that deindustrialization and the absorption of labor into services and health care have transformed the nature of working class power. Find the following titles and more at semcoop.com.


Blow Your House Down (Counterpoint)
Gina...

Front Table
April 22nd, 2021

On April 26, the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge will present "Tropes and the Invention of Bureaucracy: Prosopopoeia, Bernard of Clairvaux, and the Art of Centralized Administration" as the second installment of their Cultures and Knowledge Workshop series for Spring Term. This workshop will be presented by Professor Julie Orlemanski.

This talk investigates how literary style can be a technique of bureaucratization: specifically, asking how literary tropes are entailed in the medieval history of institutional forms. Taking Bernard’s Sermons as a key text, this talk poses some new questions tying together theology, literature, and institutional history. Bernard of...

Bibliographies
April 16th, 2021


On our Front Table this week, explore the impacts of imperialism: a trans Muslim's inquiry into the ways that British rule shaped gender identity in South Asia; a history of Ghanian mortuary cultures spanning the slave trade and the introduction of Christianity; and an inquiry into the relation between contemporary imperialist logics and racial capitalism. Find the following titles and more at semcoop.com


Among the Eunuchs: A Muslim Transgender Journey (Hurst)
Leyla Jagiella

From an...

Front Table
April 15th, 2021

"The day Shaun Slifer’s research about Appalachian Movement Press first went live in 2017 (in a blog piece that would go on to become his tremendous article in Signal), it felt like half of Appalachia sent me the link. This was the good stuff—a detective story, an activist story, a story about books and publishing. Plus, everything looked so cool. Shaun and I exchanged emails and didn’t, at first, connect on turning his essay into a book. But I met him in person not long afterward, at an event for our edition of Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead hosted by White Whale Books near Shaun’s home in Pittsburgh, and good things—as they often do, when they’re based on conversations at bookstores—sprung into being. I’m so glad Shaun trusted us to publish...