Open Stacks Podcast

Find us on: iTunes   |   Google Play   |   Stitcher

From the Seminary Co-op Bookstores in Chicago... Open Stacks brings you conversations with scholars, poets, novelists and activists on subjects as eclectic as the books on our shelves.

Recorded live at Chicago's Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Open Stacks invites listeners to sit in on the kind of candid discussions and lively debates made possible by the participation of readers in a public space, with the aim of expanding and encouraging a broader community of ideas. Join the conversation. 

December 10th, 2017

This week, we explore modernist art and literature from Chicago to Paris to Tokyo.

Art critic Jed Perl talks about his new biography of Alexander Calder, Calder: The Conquest of Time. Liesl Olson shares revelations from Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis. Poet and translator Sho Sugita reads poems by Japanese futurist poet Hirato Renkichi.

The music from this episode is clipped from John Cage's Living Room Music, which you can hear in full here.

Below are his instructions for playing the piece. The lyrics are taken from Gertrude Stein's...

Open Stacks Podcast
December 3rd, 2017

This week on Open Stacks, a celebration of recent releases from University of Chicago creative writing professors. Baird Harper reads from Red Light Run and Augustus Rose shares an excerpt from The Readymade Thief. Plus, a Seminary Co-op seasonal gift to our listeners: booksellers share from their favorite reads of 2017. 

Sontag with books, ready to engage in some reading, rapturous reading.

The Susan Sontag essay quoted in this episode originally appeared in the New York Times on December 18...

Open Stacks Podcast
November 26th, 2017

This week on Open Stacks, we consider the centenary of the Russian Revolution, the many facets of Soviet life, and the future of Russia and the rest of the former Eastern Bloc. We 'll hear from Masha Gessen on The Future is History and Putin's Russia, Julia Alekseyeva on Soviet Daughter, and Franz Nicolay on The Humorless Ladies of Border Control. Plus, University of Chicago Professor William Nickell gives a crash course in the Russian Revolution and its legacy today.

Open Stacks Podcast
November 19th, 2017

This week, we explore the political side of hunger. Anti-hunger activist Andrew Fisher tells the story of his book Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups. Then, Modern Hungers author and historian Alice Weinreb explores the political uses of hunger in 20th century Germany.



Open Stacks Podcast
November 12th, 2017

This week we explore the power of grassroots activism in our Chicago and beyond. Featuring labor organizer Steve Early, activist and historian L.A. Kauffman, and three women who founded organizations in Chicago: Saadia Shah, Suzanne Akhras Sahloul and Page May.

Open Stacks Podcast
November 5th, 2017

This week, we hear from the current generation of classic Chicago literature. Eve Ewing reads from Electric Arches, Angela Jackson reads from Roads, Where There Are No Roads, and Kevin Coval reads from A People's History of Chicago.

Open Stacks Podcast
October 29th, 2017

Happy Halloween! This week on Open Stacks, Penguin Book of the Undead editor and medieval history expert Scott G. Bruce shares stories of ghosts, zombies and restless souls. Egyptologist and curator Foy Scalf shares spells from The Egyptian Book of the Dead: Becoming God in Ancient Egypt. Plus, a very spooky What's In the Box with the Co-op's own Jeff & Adam.



Open Stacks Podcast
October 22nd, 2017

This week on Open Stacks, we face the frontiers of work, data and technology. First, Ilana Gershon explores the future of finding a job in the information age, as discussed in her book "Down and Out in the New Economy." Then, Adam Greenfield speaks about his book "Radical Technologies," which explores the future of technology and data, from smart phones to Bitcoins.

Open Stacks is the official podcast of the Seminary Co-operative Bookstores. This episode was produced by Kit...

Open Stacks Podcast
October 15th, 2017

This week, we explore literature that traverses the sacred and profane, with Eileen Myles on Afterglow (a dog memoir), Jennifer Scappettone on The Republic of Exit 43: Outtakes & Scores from an Archaeology and Pop-Up Opera of the Corporate Dump and Peter O'Leary, who draws from his forthcoming work of criticism, Thick and Dazzling Darkness, to offer advice on how to be a religious poet.

Religious poetry is a kind of wilderness. Sometimes I think of it like the
Wilderness Act of 1964, which empowers the...

Open Stacks Podcast
October 8th, 2017

This week on Open Stacks, we celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day. First, we hear from Ramesh Srinivasan on Whose Global Village, as he discusses ways that new technologies can benefit or subject indigenous communities around the world. Then, an interview with activist and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States and All the Real Indians Died Off and Twenty Other Myths about Native Americans. Then, Virgilio Vicente and Andy Carter discussing Margarito's Forest, the story of one Mayan man whose conservation efforts continue to shape his village of Saq Ja'.

Open Stacks Podcast