Blog

May 19th, 2019

On our Front Table this week, explore the relation of society to the natural world and the natural sciences, including the geopolitical effects of climate change; the consequences of applying positivistic and quantitative methods to human affairs; and a critique of attempts to cite the "natural" as a justification for the moral and political. Find the following titles and more at semcoop.com.


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Front Table
May 12th, 2019

What might 4th century BC philosopher Aristotle and 20th century celebrity chef Julia Child have to say to each other and to us? We’re in dialogue with renowned classicist Edith Hall, author of Aristotle's Way, and the New Yorker’s James Beard Award-winning roving food correspondent Helen Rosner on how ancient wisdom, practical advice, and a decided lack of elitism are key ingredients for eating and living well. Plus, a dash of good taste (and advice) in books our staff live by.


On January 15, 2019, professor and philosopher, ...

Open Stacks Podcast
May 12th, 2019

On our Front Table this week, explore institutions of art and culture with a minimalist who subverted assumptions about the economic value of artistic commodities, a novella that questions the psychic effects of stardom on its author, a history of reading that addresses the contingency of its modes and conditions, and new reflections on the relation of creativity and freedom to maternal symbolic orders. Find the following titles and more at ...

Front Table
May 12th, 2019

From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, Europeans struggled to understand their identity in the same way we do as individuals: by comparing themselves to others. In Savages, Romans, and Despots, Robert Launay takes us on a fascinating tour of early modern and modern history in an attempt to untangle how various depictions of “foreign” cultures and civilizations saturated debates about religion, morality, politics, and art. Robert Launay will join us on Sunday 5/19, 3pm at the Co-op to discuss Savages, Romans, and Despots: Thinking about others from Montaigne to Herder. He will be joined in conversation by Ada Palmer....

May 5th, 2019

On our Front Table this week, explore the intersections of class, race, and gender domination, and the role of the imagination in fighting them: from an argument that reimagined socialisms of the 21st century offer means to combat racism and sexism, to an exploration of the ways that women in punk interrogated money and identity, to Orwellian dialectics of utopia and dystopia, and a critique of the ways that young adult speculative fiction has addressed issues of race and diversity. Find the following titles and more at semcoop.com....

Front Table
April 28th, 2019

Rock musician and professor Florence Dore attunes to static in her research on "resonant silences" surrounding censorship and race in modernist literature of the early 20th century and its recapitulation of institutional norms in her new book, Novel Sounds, Australian poet and philosopher Luke Fischer joins us just in time for Poetry Month to read and discuss A Personal History of Vision, and Co-op staff Mark Loeffler and Alena Jones help us dig through the maze of jacket copy, also known as "blurbs." 


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Open Stacks Podcast
April 28th, 2019

On our Front Table this week, explore the making and the meanings of place. Start by rethinking the transformations of cartography as a form of knowledge. Then consider a case for the continuing vitality of landscape painting (including cartographic abstraction); a multigenerational story addressing race and family in Hattiesburg, Missisippi; and a demythologization of the American "heartland." Find the following titles and more at ...

Front Table
April 21st, 2019

On our Front Table this week, explore attempts to devise literary forms that are adequate to their objects, including new models for writing about place as an assemblage of meaning; assessments of speculative fiction and its capacities for imagining different futures; manifestos on independent publishing as art and as political practice; and a complex book format brought to bear on the complex history of the global textile trade. Find the following titles and more at ...

Front Table
April 17th, 2019

Éric Vuillard, Leïla Slimani, and Gaël Faye, three of this year's nominees for the Albertine Prize, which 'aims to highlight five new works by authors from the many countries where French is spoken,' recently stopped by the Co-op late last year to talk about their honored work and that of others on our blog. Browse the Co-op's display of Awards-finalists in store and online, and vote on Albertine website before April 30th.

Further reading:

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April 14th, 2019

Open Stacks returns with historian Pamela Toler on women for whom battle was not a metaphor, while positing the use of story in shaping shared history. Meanwhile, feminist-vegan advocate Carol J. Adams deconstructs the narrative surrounding hamburgers and other animal sourced foods, and how eating, like reading, is always political. Plus, Co-op booksellers weigh in on the glut, guilt, and glory of biting off more than most readers can chew when it comes to ARCs (aka, advance reader copies).


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Open Stacks Podcast