100 episodes

Open Stacks brings you conversations with scholars, poets, novelists and activists on subjects as eclectic as the books on our shelves, from under-the-radar debates in the academy to pressing contemporary social issues, and from bestselling works of fiction to avant-garde poetics. 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. Turn up the volume, pull up a chair, and let's start a conversation.

Open Stack‪s‬ The Seminary Co-op Bookstores & UChicago Podcast Network

    • Books

Open Stacks brings you conversations with scholars, poets, novelists and activists on subjects as eclectic as the books on our shelves, from under-the-radar debates in the academy to pressing contemporary social issues, and from bestselling works of fiction to avant-garde poetics. 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. Turn up the volume, pull up a chair, and let's start a conversation.

    Narrative Threads: Jordan Alexander Stein & Jasmon Drain

    Narrative Threads: Jordan Alexander Stein & Jasmon Drain

    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. Plus, Jasmon Drain and Ben Austen discuss Drain’s novelistic collection of stories about the interconnected lives of residents of “the biggest concrete building on Chicago’s South Side,” Stateway’s Garden. And the Co-op’s Colin and Alena find humor in paying attention. You’ll never judge a book by its genre again.
    This episode was produced by Elliot Ducree, Veronica Karlin, and Jackson Roach. It features music by Andrei Pohorelsky, Kevin MacLeod, and Blue Dot Sessions. 

    • 49 min
    Books on Books: Craig Fehrman, Anna Kornbluh & Booksellers Off the Clock

    Books on Books: Craig Fehrman, Anna Kornbluh & Booksellers Off the Clock

    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 Wuthering Heights. Find books that break ground and more reasons to dig into what might be our most meta episode yet.

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Visual Memories: Berthold Hoeckner, Leila Taylor & Adam Sonderberg

    Visual Memories: Berthold Hoeckner, Leila Taylor & Adam Sonderberg

    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 to Sleepless in Seattle in his book, Film, Music, Memory, as Leila Taylor turns over our shared, if buried, history of racism in Darkly: Black History and America’s Gothic Soul. Plus, looking back with Adam Sonderberg on his tenure at the Co-op and the books that struck a chord.
    This episode was produced by Elliot Ducree, Veronica Karlin, and Jackson Roach. It features music by Andrei Pohorelsky, Kevin MacLeod, johnny_ripper, and Blue Dot Sessions,.

    • 58 min
    The Front Table: 2/13/20

    The Front Table: 2/13/20

    In his final hours as Manager of the Seminary Co-op, Adam Sonderberg sat down to let his favorite books speak (mostly) for themselves. Join us as we reminisce on Adam’s tenure at the Co-op, killing time with Kierkegaard, and coming to inhabit a world that books create on this week’s Front Table podcast.

    • 19 min
    Picture Book

    Picture Book

    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 Arcades Project and seeing Self-Help through the lens of Samuel Beckett. Fail better, read better on this episode of Open Stacks: The Seminary Co-op Bookstore Podcast.
    This episode was produced by Elliot Ducree, Veronica Karlin, and Jackson Roach. It features music by Andrei Pohorelsky, Kevin MacLeod, Blue Dot Sessions, and johnny_ripper.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    The Front Table: 1/29/20

    The Front Table: 1/29/20

    New year. New books. New you? The Seminary Co-op’s Colin and Alena search for Self-Help in the guise (and stacks) of literature, capitalist spirituality, ancient philosophy and more on this week’s Front Table.
    Featured Books:
    The Self Help Compulsion: Searching for Advice in Modern Literature by Beth Blum (from Columbia University Press)
    Aristotle's Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life by Edith Hall (from Penguin)
    McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality by Ronald Purser (from Repeater)
    How to be a Leader by Plutarch (from Princeton University Press)
    This episode features music by Kevin MacLeod

    • 20 min

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