Open Stacks Podcast

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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. 

March 15th, 2020

Think you know how fiction works? Think again on this episode of Open Stacks with literary theorist Jordan Alexander Stein, who joins us in the stacks for a look at When Novels Were Books...

Open Stacks Podcast
March 1st, 2020

From our nation’s highest office to the uncharted territories of political formalism, we trust in books to take us in and out of the bookstore on this episode of Open Stacks, with journalist and historian Craig Fehrman on presidential authorship and literary theorist Anna Kornbluh on the future of social space and the novels on which it stands. Plus, booksellers off the clock, and what’s not to like about ...

Open Stacks Podcast
February 16th, 2020

On this episode of Open Stacks, Professor of Music Berthold Hoeckner spins a record of cultural memory made audible in films focused on the past, from Casablanca...

Open Stacks Podcast
February 2nd, 2020

Ahead of the Oscars, Open Stacks returns with a long red carpet full of books on Hollywood, Hitchcock, Hegel and more, with scholars Sharon Marcus on The Drama of Celebrity and Robert B. Pippin’s Filmed Thought. Plus, re-viewing The ...

Open Stacks Podcast
December 8th, 2019

 The pleasures of reading are often introduced at a young age, and on this episode of Open Stacks, we revisit young adulthood and the child in the 21st century, in Kim Brooks’ Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear and Julissa Arce’s Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for Her American Dream. Plus Children’s Book Specialist Franny Billingsley and Colin sit down with 2019’s best picture books.

Go in the stacks on this episode with Kim Brooks, author of Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear, with an ear toward...

Open Stacks Podcast
November 24th, 2019

Not days of anger 
but days of slow connection, 

Open Stacks Podcast
November 14th, 2019

 From the depths of Moby Dick to the light of something like poetry in author Etgar Keret’s new collection, Fly Already, we follow a line (or is it a fuse?) running between the past and present of contemporary literature on this episode of Open Stacks, featuring Etgar Keret, Jessica Laser, and Daniel Poppick.

Last year, our staff set sail on a Moby Dick reading group, and on this week's episode, you'll hear from a few of its...

Open Stacks Podcast
October 27th, 2019

 Award winning poet Ocean Vuong and journalist Rebecca Clarren turn a romantic and empiric lens on the art of fiction in their acclaimed debut novels, On Earth We’re Briefly...

Open Stacks Podcast
October 5th, 2019


A place like the Seminary Co-op is in some sense made of writing, but what can writing make? That question finds its way in conversations with Timothy Cresswell, Dani Shapiro and others on the first episode of the third season of Open Stacks.

"For decades, Maxwell Street was a place where people from all corners of the city mingled to buy and sell...

Open Stacks Podcast
June 9th, 2019


At the top of this episode, poet and translator Peter Filkins describes the Seminary Co-op as a Borgesian labyrinth, in reference to Jorge Luis Borges' purposefully disorienting literary landscapes. Borges' Labyrinths comes up again in conversation with the Co-op's Mark Loeffler and ...

Open Stacks Podcast