Blog

February 10th, 2019

On our Front Table this week, explore transformations in the arts. Start with the impact of technological developments like sampling and streaming. Then find the infusion of jazz into hip-hop, the new aesthetic possibilities of mathematics, the emergence of environmental fiction, a case for art as a human right, and a woman who drove abstraction to its limits a decade before Kandinsky or Constructivism. Find the following titles and more at ...

Front Table
February 3rd, 2019

Unwatchable, unreadable, or merely hard to find. It all adds up on this episode of Open Stacks as excesses of art and life are on (and off) display. Uncover your eyes and ears as editors Nicholas Baer, Maggie Hennefeld, and Laura Horak discuss our mediated era and contemporary modes of spectatorship in Unwatchable, and other books worth reading closely. From the front lines of the Front Table, Rachel Galvin's News of War examines early 20th century poetry's critical distance from cultures of war. And Co-op Manager Adam Sonderberg esteems value in books browsed and left behind.


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Open Stacks Podcast
February 3rd, 2019

On our Front Table this week, uncover the histories of struggle that constitute the present: waging peace and redefining the role of the state in postwar Chicago; fusing past and present in Japan's encounter with capitalist modernity; parsing historical and emergent forms of misogyny; forging a distinctive Iranian political order through revolution and international conflict; and reconstituting Native American identity through the struggles for its very existence. Find the following titles and more at ...

Front Table
January 28th, 2019

Yvan Alagbé browsed the shelves of our French Corner before the event for his new book, Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures.

Yvan recommends reading—or re-reading, in his case—Gargantua by François Rabelais, and delighting into the unparalleled language, humor, and intelligence of this unique Renaissance humanist. Praising the pleasure of re-discovering great lit, Yvan picked up Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro Black and Other Solar Myths by John Corbett—another unique character, whose visual work and music Yvan recently re-visited.

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January 27th, 2019

On our Front Table this week, start with new translations from two giants of critical theory. Then find disciplinary power in the historically intertwined institutions of the monastery, the penitentiary, and the surveillance state. Find the following titles and more at ...

Front Table
January 21st, 2019


We all have images that we find unwatchable, whether for ethical, political, or sensory and affective reasons. From news coverage of terror attacks to viral videos of police brutality, and from graphic horror films to transgressive artworks, man of the images in our media culture might strike us as unsuitable for viewing. Yet what does it mean to proclaim something “unwatchable”: disturbing, revolting, poor, tedious, or literally inaccessible?

With over 50 original essays by leading scholars, artists, critics, and curators, this is the first book to trace the “unwatchable” across our contemporary media environment, in which viewers encounter difficult content on...

Bibliographies
January 20th, 2019

 

To accept that truth and expression can be easily...

Open Stacks Podcast
January 20th, 2019

On our Front Table this week, explore the interrelation of power and knowledge with an inquiry into the birth of modern belief, a history of the links between image and empire, a narrative-in-verse on the incarceration of African American women, and an argument that our forms of knowing about oceans have been bound up with our detrimental impacts on them.


Picturing India: People, Places, and the World of the East India Company
(University...

Front Table
January 19th, 2019

 

Patricia Toht is a poet, picture book author, and school library associate. She once owned a children'ss bookshop before turning a love of books into a love of writing. She is the author of ALL ABOARD THE LONDON BUS, illustrated by Sam Usher, and PICK A PINE TREE, illustrated by Jarvis. She also has two upcoming books in 2019 – DRESS LIKE A GIRL and PICK A PUMPKIN. Find her online at patriciatoht.com and on Twitter as @PatriciaToht. Patricia Toht will discuss DRESS LIKE A GIRL on February 2nd at 10:30 AM at 57th Street Books

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Off-Topic
January 13th, 2019

On our Front Table this week, explore work at the margins, including art that is often not recognized as such by cultural institutions, a scientific quest for forms of matter deemed "impossible" by the physics community, and a history of the black working class from slavery through the decline of industrial capitalism. Find the following titles and more at ...

Front Table