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Open Stacks

A weekly Arts, Books and Society podcast
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Episodes of Open Stacks

This time on Open Stacks, with Philip Leventhal, Elizabeth Branch Dyson, Paul Yamazaki, and Dan Wells, we ask what makes a book "serious." Booksellers Amélie, Annie, and Artemie share scholarly favorites. We're releasing this episode during Uni
This time on Open Stacks: We explore the rabbit warren of the Co-op’s original location in the old Chicago Theological Seminary with manager emeritus Jack Cella and veteran bookseller Katy O’Brien Weintraub, then emerge from the underground wi
On this episode, authors, publishers, editors and booksellers reflect on the value of their work, and what it takes to make a great bookstore thrive. Plus, an out-of-the-way reading list from our bookseller Mrittika: queer historical fiction...
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, vi
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 t
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 Americ
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
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 connec
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
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 transfigurat
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 shif
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 aca
A new season of Open Stacks, coming soon from the Seminary Co-op Bookstores in Chicago, the first not-for-profit bookstores whose mission is bookselling. This teaser features music by Blue Dot Sessions.
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 nov
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 authorsh
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 ov
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
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 Proj
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 Comp
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 Someo
Not all cities are created equal, and on this week’s Front Table we go behind the scenes and un-seens of cities near and far, from the depths of London to the extravagant annals of Pyongyang’s “model” utopias.
At 82, May Sarton “made a dialogue out of what had been a soliloquy,” in her journal. On this entry of Open Stacks, we take the measure of our days in diaries and diaristic units of shared sense in conversations with Kathryn Scanlan and Devin J
A planet, a republic, a meal, and a question: what is the future of food? Specifically that which comes from animals. This week’s Front Table is serving up thick cuts of scholarship on “The Meat Question” and history of our relationship to meat
From the depths of Moby Dick to the light of something like poetry in author Etgar Keret’s new collection, Fly Already, we follow a line (or is it a fuse?) running between the past and present of contemporary literature on this episode of Open
It’s a long and winding road on this week’s Front Table from idea to book, career, and other forms of written livelihood. This episode of the Front Table features the voices of the Co-op's Colin McDonald and Alena Jones. It was produced by Jack
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