To deny our place in time is to imperil our perspective, says Marcia Bjornerud, professor of geology and author of TIMEFULNESS. This time on Open Stacks, we expand our view of the Seminary Co-op, with new looks at the Front Table, James Joyce’s time-intensive staff favorite ULYSSES, and Bjornerud’s poly-temporal thinking and reading to support the claim that, contrary to current trains of thought, time is on our side.
Unwatchable, unreadable, or merely hard to find. It all adds up on this episode of Open Stacks as excesses of art and life are on (and off) display. Uncover your eyes and ears as editors Nicholas Baer, Maggie Hennefeld, and Laura Horak discuss our mediated era and contemporary modes of spectatorship in Unwatchable, and other books worth reading closely. From the front lines of the Front Table, Rachel Galvin's News of War examines early 20th century poetry's critical distance from cultures of war. And Co-op Manager Adam Sonderberg esteems value in books browsed and left behind.
To accept that truth and expression can be easily conveyed is to become a ploy of dark forces, says poet, essayist, and scholar Charles Bernstein, whose "difficult" poems take on the opacity, adjacency, multiplicity and technology of language by "slipping on the banana of words." Picking up where our conversation in the stacks of the Co-op leaves off, James Bridle calls for new metaphors and questions to guide us through our new Dark Age of information.
It’s that most wonderful time of the year and our booksellers and books are here to help, surprise, challenge, and delight every reader on your list. From Biography to Cooking (of a sort), indulge in books worth giving and lives worth living, with Imani Perry on the radiant and radical life of playwright Lorraine Hansberry; Norman C. Ellstrand on the romance of plants and your food; and Co-op Booksellers' Top 5 favorite books of 2018.
A bookstore is more than a retail space, and on this episode of Open Stacks we welcome back old friends and longtime members of the Co-op for a celebration of community committed to a sense of time and conversation spoken across the ages. Poet David Ferry goes in search of a communal voice in his landmark translation of Virgil's The Aeneid; peace activist and Indologist David Shulman walks us through the West Bank in Palestine, retracing the "ambiguous grounds for action," freedom, and despair in territories that can't seem to coexist; and Hyde Park's own Michelle Obama returns to the Co-op to kickoff her tour for Becoming.
Our journey into other worlds continues on this episode of Open Stacks in preparation for the after and before-lives of great books, with lions, bears, and very hungry caterpillars (oh my!) that makeup and reveal the environmental wisdom of children's literature in scientist and poet Liam Heneghan's Beasts at Bedtime. Then eavesdrop on the great indoors of the neighborhood bookstore, with educator and activist Bill Ayers and Co-op Booksellers on Shaun Bythell's The Diary of a Bookseller.
This episode, an interview with fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes, Penguin Book of Hell editor Scott G. Bruce shares hell tales and lessons, and former Co-op Inventory Manager Conor Bean walks us through his reading list for confronting fearful times.
Just before the fantastic Epic Reads Meet-Up this past September at 57th Street Books, we sat down with celebrated YA author Kristen Ciccarelli and our own (National Book Award finalist) Franny Billingsley, who mentored Kristen through the completion of her first novel, The Last Namsara. And it was their first time meeting face-to-face! From why fantasy is an empowering genre to where writers choose to work (hint: bookstores are always close at hand), you can listen in on the conversation right here.
Stop by to pick up a signed copy of Ciccarelli's newest book, The Caged Queen, and receive a free Epic Reads tote bag (while supplies last)!
A trick-or-treat special: Penguin Book of Hell editor Scott Bruce tells a hell tale. Hear more from him, along with Jack Zipes and Conor Bean in our next episode of Open Stacks, out November 11.
Music: Zombie Lovesong by Apache Tomcat
Elastic thinking, says theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, isn’t about following but inventing rules, trading analytic for elastic thought, in order to adapt in an endlessly dynamic world, with non-linear approaches to life and work together. On this episode of Open Stacks, we pave new roads not taken, trajectories informed by social practice, social pressure, and the self at one remove, in conversations with Mlodinow on Elastic; art critic and historian Martin Patrick on books that stretched his notion of performance and identity in Across the Art/Life Divide; and booksellers on Canadian writer Sheila Heti's life-changing novel, Motherhood.
Tricky narrators and learning spaces: Pulitzer Prize winning author Andrew Sean Greer takes listeners through a break up with an excerpt from Less, University of Chicago professor Malynne Sterstein parses Nabokov's Pnin, and Co-op booksellers recount some of their favorite campus novels (with expanded takes on the genre).
Open Stacks returns from summer break with fresh ears and shelf-browsings: Peter Coviello takes a walk through the stacks, Stephen T Asma speaks on Why We Need Religion, and the Co-op's eminent booksellers talk about Middlemarch.
This week on Open Stacks, the second episode of our occasional Biblio-files series, featuring Co-op friends and legends, with professor emerita and former University of Chicago president Hanna Holborn Gray.
This week on Open Stacks, we're celebrating Chicago's own legendary Gwendolyn Brooks on her 101st birthday. Reginald Gibbons, Angela Jackson, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Georgia Popoff, Troy Harden, and Cheryl Clarke join us for conversations and readings about her life and legacy.
This week on the program, cities shifting and shifted, and the people, institutions, and social structures that make it so. Ben Austen recounts the dissolution of Cabrini Green, America’s most iconic public housing project, on Chicago’s west side and tells a story of America’s public housing experiments and failures; LaDale C. Winling examines the role of universities on the shape of their neighborhoods and towns; and Gordon Douglas considers how DIY planning takes place, and who participates, within urban contexts.
This week on Open Stacks, French lit part deux. Join us for tete-à-tetes with translators Jonathan Larson on Francis Ponge's Nioques of the Early-Spring and Jordan Stump on Marie NDiaye's My Heart Hemmed In, as well as University of Chicago fellow Katie Kadue on Rabelais and domestic georgics.
This week, a further look at the mechanisms of incarceration. 2018 Pulitzer Prize winning professor, legal scholar, and author James Forman, Jr. discusses Locking Up Our Own and prisoners rights advocate Sarah Shourd recalls and contextualizes her own and others' experiences in solitary confinement.
This week on Open Stacks, the inaugural episode of our occasional Biblio-files series, featuring Co-op friends and legends, beginning with prolific author, esteemed anthropologist and professor, and publishing partner of the Co-op, Marshall Sahlins.
This week on Open Stacks, lit for the little ones: it's Children's Book Week! Writers Javaka Steptoe and Elizabeth Acevedo join us, Colin interviews Franny, special selections from storytime, and more.
This week on the podcast, we traverse the poetics of place and shared space with Andy Fitch, Miquel Àngel Llauger, Joshua Beckman, & Patrick Morrissey.
This week on Open Stacks, a look at poemthings that point to the truths beyond the given names of the things contained within them, with Cecilia Vicuña and Jen Bervin.
This week on Open Stacks, poetry and personhood. We hear a reading and conversation with Anthony Madrid and an interview with Duriel E. Harris.
On this week's episode, National Book Award Winner Daniel Borzutsky, discusses his new book, Lake Michigan, with Chicago poet Nate Marshall. They also talk politics, education, violence, and the state. Then we talk with historian Robert Darnton about the revolutionary potential of poetry in 18th Century France.
This week on the show, we're taking a multifocal look at translation processes. Come along as we consider its tectonic, idiosyncratic, and uncharted terrains in conversations with Haun Saussy, Yoon Sun Yang, and the Co-op’s own Jeff Deutsch and Adam Sonderberg. With Rosanna Warren, Saussy discusses translation theory and translations of Baudelaire into Chinese; Yang talks about the formation of the concept of the individual in early colonial Korean literature; and Jeff and Adam take a lap around another vista difficult to put in words: the Co-op’s Front Table.
This week on Open Stacks, discussions about two of the most fervently debated and scrutinized institutions: prisons and public schools.
First, Touissant Losier sits down with Michael C. Dawson to discuss the book Losier and Dan Berger co-authored, Rethinking the American Prison Movement. Then, Bill Ayers and Crystal Laura talk about Laura’s book, "You Can't Fire the Bad Ones!": And 18 Other Myths about Teachers, Teachers Unions, and Public Education, co-authored with Rick Ayers.