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

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 58 Ratings

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.

    What's There and What's Not: A Visit to the Front Table

    What's There and What's Not: A Visit to the Front Table

    On this episode of open stacks: a ghostly tour of the Co-op's Front Table, from the hauntings of american history to life (and death) advice from Spinoza.
    For a list of books featured in this episode, music and production credits, and more, visit our website.

    • 17 min
    Escape Tunnel: Philip Leventhal on The Front Table

    Escape Tunnel: Philip Leventhal on The Front Table

    This time on Open Stacks we hear from Philip Leventhal, editor at Columbia University Press and veteran Co-opian, about the history of the famous Front Table catalog, in its print and digital forms. Then we head to the Front Table (the actual table) for some recent titles on underground transformation.
    Philip Leventhal is Senior Editor at Columbia University Press, acquiring titles in Journalism, Film and Media Studies, and Literary Studies. He also worked at the Co-op for many years, and was the managing editor of The Front Table, the Co-op's print catalog and newsletter. Last year we revived The Front Table as a digital publication, featuring bookseller recommendations and notable titles, author interviews, news and numbers from the Co-op, and much more. You can read every issue of the digital Front Table here, and find many of the original print issues on display in the vestibule leading into the Co-op.
    Thanks to our Children's Marketing Manager, Thulasi, for sharing a passage from Inkheart for this episode, released only a week or so after the re-opening of 57th Street Books for in-person browsing. We'd love to hear something wonderful you've read recently. Find instructions for recording yourself and sharing your reading with us here.
    Open Stacks is hosted by Alena Jones and produced by Jackson Roach. This episode features music by Blue Dot Sessions, Loyalty Freak Music, Daniel Birch, Joni Void, and LJ Kruzer.
    Find a list of every book mentioned in this episode here.

    • 18 min
    Place to Place: Katarzyna Bartoszyńska & Reuben Jonathan Miller

    Place to Place: Katarzyna Bartoszyńska & Reuben Jonathan Miller

    On this episode of Open Stacks with Katarzyna Bartoszyńska and Reuben Jonathan Miller, we trace paths between: academia and bookselling; Poland and Ireland; animal navigation and interpersonal knowledge; the inside and the outside of the American prison.
    For a complete list of books mentioned in this episode, music credits, and supplementary materials, click here.
    Want to submit a passage you've dog-eared? Click here.

    • 48 min
    A Land Without Trees: A Visit to the Front Table

    A Land Without Trees: A Visit to the Front Table

    On this episode of Open Stacks, books from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun, where the hot springs flow. In the middle of the Summer, a stack of Front Table books from the heart(s) of Winter.
    Thanks to bookseller Joey for sharing a favorite passage from Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives. If you want to share something you read with us (and other listeners' like you), send us a voice memo. We'd love to hear about what you're reading.
    Open Stacks is hosted by Alena Jones, the director of buying and content. Bryce Lucas, the Co-op's manager, is our Front Table correspondent. Jackson Roach is the producer. This episode features music by Loyalty Freak Music, Gallery Six, and Keshco.
    Find a list of every book mentioned in this episode here.

    • 17 min
    Washing a Book: Elizabeth Branch Dyson, Eve Ewing, and Ann Kjellberg

    Washing a Book: Elizabeth Branch Dyson, Eve Ewing, and Ann Kjellberg

    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. Eve Ewing is a sociologist, activist writer, assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, and dear friend of the Seminary Co-op.
    Ann Kjellberg is an editor, publisher, writer and translator, the literary executor of the estate of Joseph Brodsky, and the creator of the book culture newsletter Book Post.
    Run into some great writing lately? Read it to us! We want to know what draws you in as a reader, and we're always excited to feature listeners' voices on the show. Find everything you need to send us a passage right here.
    Open Stacks is hosted by Alena Jones and produced by Jackson Roach. This episode features music by Keshco, Los Amparito, Lee Rosevere, Andrei Pohorelsky, and Loyalty Freak Music, as well as excerpts from a talk given by Kurt Vonnegut at Case Western Reserve University in 2004.
    Find a list of every book mentioned in this episode here.

    • 38 min
    Common Languages: A Visit to the Front Table

    Common Languages: A Visit to the Front Table

    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 "If You Are Not A Myth" from his album The Sub-Dwellers. You also hear Aleksandar Hemon reading at the 2012 Grand Opening of the Co-op's current location. If you'd like to hear more from Hanif Abdurraqib, you might start with his appearance on Open Stacks in May of 2019, and then check out his own podcast, Object of Sound, or his 1980-focused season of the KCRW show Lost Notes.
    This episode's passage of the week comes from Philip Roth, by way of Alex at the Co-op. Have you read something recently that moved you, surprised you, made you laugh, or that you couldn't stop thinking about? Tell us about it, or just read it aloud.
    Open Stacks is hosted by Alena Jones and produced by Jackson Roach. This episode features music by Daniel Birch and Blue Dot Sessions.
    Find a complete list of every book mentioned in this episode on our website.

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
58 Ratings

58 Ratings

Jonnyfyve ,

Outstanding!

Finally a way to hear the amazing conversations happening at one of the world’s best independent book stores, the cultural gem, Sem Coop!

Hufjyjhvjhvjh ,

One of a kind bookstore

Continue doing what you doing. It is great.

Jxconno ,

So glad this exists

Just found out about this podcast after a visit to the bookstore. As a north side resident I'm so glad I can conveniently tune in to the great events seminary co-op bookstore is having.

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