Open Stacks Podcast

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 writers, publishers, editors, booksellers, and readers.

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Read something great lately? Read it out loud to us!

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.



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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.

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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.

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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.



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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 Brennen and Imani E. Jackson.

Special thanks to New Books Network for sharing their recording of Gershon for this episode. 

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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...

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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'.

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October 1st, 2017

This week on Open Stacks, we bring you a celebration of new fall literature, featuring rising star Camille Bordas, author of How to Behave in a Crowd and literary sensation Karl Ove Knausgaard, best known for the My Struggle novels, author most recently of Autumn, a collection of reflective essays addressed to the author's daughter. Plus, a smattering of fall literature recommendations from our booksellers.



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September 24th, 2017

This week on Open Stacks, we celebrate the new school year at our neighbor, the University of Chicago. We'll hear from Professors Catherine Zuckert and Nathan Tarcov on Zuckert's book Machiavelli's Politics, and Robert J. Richards and Michael Ruse on their new book, Debating Darwin. Plus, a very special interview with Co-op bookseller and UChicago instructor, Katy O'Brien Weintraub.


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September 17th, 2017

Hello, neighbor! This week on Open Stacks, we take a stroll around the neighborhood. Norman Bolotin discusses his book Chicago's Grand Midway: A Walk Around the World at the Columbian Exposition, detailing the park's role in the World's Fair of 1893. David Garrow discusses Obama's early political career on the South Side and his book Rising Star. Plus, Susan Eleuterio on the president's favorite local spot, Valois Cafeteria.


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