Open Stacks Podcast

Find us on:   iTunes   |   Stitcher

Open Stacks is back! Download and subscribe, wherever you get your podcasts. 

Only have time for sample? Check out our season 4 teaser here. 

On Open Stacks, the podcast from the Seminary Co-op Bookstores, we dig through our shelves, cracking open new books and old, and speak with publishers, authors, and booksellers about the cultural value of their work. Available wherever you find your podcasts. Tune in and browse along with us. 

We'll be featuring listeners' voices throughout the season, and we'd love to hear from you! Share a notable passage with us, or respond to one of our occasional prompts. Find recording guidelines and a submission link here.

July 22nd, 2021


On this episode of Open Stacks: a prismatic exploration of new releases at the Front Table, an editorial dialogue with Elizabeth Branch Dyson and Eve Ewing, and Ann Kjellberg on a life in publishing, Joseph Brodsky, and how serious books connect us to one another and the world.


Elizabeth Branch Dyson is Assistant Editorial Director and Executive Editor at The University of Chicago Press. She also appears on the first episode of this season of Open Stacks...

Open Stacks Podcast
July 8th, 2021


On this episode of Open Stacks, a circle around the Co-op’s Front Table: from a post-war pioneer of Afrofuturism on Chicago’s South Side to the complex communal powers of games like spades, mahjong, and pickup soccer.


Thanks to Bryce Lucas for taking us on a tour of the Front Table this time. In this episode, you hear fragments of archival recordings of Sun Ra, including brief excerpts from his film Space is the Place and the track...

Open Stacks Podcast
June 24th, 2021


On this episode of Open Stacks, we celebrate the Co-op reopening its doors for in-person browsing – the first time since we closed 15 months ago. Browsers, booksellers, authors, and our own Clancey D'Isa and Bryce Lucas discuss the transfiguration of space, absence and presence, the "invisible" work of bookselling, and how reading needn't be a solo activity.


Have you read something recently (or over the last year) that moved you, that made you laugh, that you can't stop thinking about, or, simply, that changed you? We'd love to hear you reading an excerpt from the book. Click here to find everything you need to know to...

Open Stacks Podcast
June 8th, 2021


In this episode, Alena takes a tour around the Front Table, guided by Bryce Lucas, manager of 57th Street Books. Circling the table, they move from bald philosophy to the physics of crumpled paper, from an Icelandic fisheries museum to the shifting nature of observation itself.


Have a perspective to share? We'll be featuring listeners' voices throughout the season. This time: tell us about a book you loved on first reading, but hated the second time around – or vice versa. Share the story of your change in perspective, and your favorite (or least favorite) passage from the book. Find recording guidelines and send in your answer here....

Open Stacks Podcast
May 25th, 2021


In this first episode of the fourth season, we sit down with Elizabeth Branch Dyson, assistant editorial director and executive editor at the University of Chicago Press, to hear how she approaches acquiring widely accessible books for an academic press. Bryce (manager of 57th Street Books) takes us on a tour around the Co-op's Front Table, checking out a few recent releases. We're then joined by poet, author, and publisher Haki Madhubuti, who talks to us about his journey through books, the founding of Third World Press, and the draw of the Front Table. Throughout, we...

Open Stacks Podcast
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