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A place where University of Minnesota Press authors join peers, scholars, and friends in conversation. Topics include environment, humanities, race, social justice, cultural studies, art, literature and literary criticism, media studies, sociology, anthropology, grief and loss, mental health, and more.

A place where University of Minnesota Press authors join peers, scholars, and friends in conversation. Topics include environment, humanities, race, social justice, cultural studies, art, literature and literary criticism, media studies, sociology, anthropology, grief and loss, mental health, and more.


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A place where University of Minnesota Press authors join peers, scholars, and friends in conversation. Topics include environment, humanities, race, social justice, cultural studies, art, literature and literary criticism, media studies, sociology, anthropology, grief and loss, mental health, and more.








Ep. 23: The Migrant's Paradox

The Migrant’s Paradox connects global migration with urban marginalization, exploring how “race” maps onto place across the globe, state, and street. Suzanne Hall examines the brutal contradictions of sovereignty and capitalism in the formation of street livelihoods in the urban margins in five cities in Britain, in places where jobs are hard to come by and the impacts of historic state underinvestment are deeply felt. Hall is associate professor of sociology at the London School of...


Ep. 22: The Filing Cabinet: How information became a "thing"

Craig Robertson’s THE FILING CABINET explores how this now-neglected artifact profoundly shaped the way that information and data have been sorted, stored, retrieved, and used. Invented in the 1890s, the filing cabinet continues to shape how we interact with information and data in the digital age. In this episode, Robertson, who is associate professor of media studies at Northeastern University in Boston (also author of THE PASSPORT IN AMERICA), is joined by Shannon Mattern, professor of...


Ep. 21: Planetary probiotics and Gaia’s variants.

Jamie Lorimer’s THE PROBIOTIC PLANET calls for a rethinking of artificial barriers between science and policy and a sweeping overview of diverse probiotic approaches. Bruce Clarke’s GAIAN SYSTEMS is a pioneering exploration of the complex evolution of Gaia’s many variants. In a conversation that ranges from Lynn Margulis to science fiction, neocybernetics to COVID-19, Lorimer and Clarke ultimately seek insight into solving an environmental crisis of humanity’s own making. This conversation...


Ep. 20: Capture: The nineteenth-century landscape and wildlife in modernity.

CAPTURE is a book that reveals how the drive to contain and record disappearing animals was a central feature and organizing pursuit of the nineteenth-century US cultural canon. In a conversation that ranges from references to Muybridge and Audubon, Poe and Hawthorne, Whitman and Thoreau, environmental humanities and biopolitics, presentation and representation, capture and captivity, (with a cameo from Sylvester Graham of the Graham cracker), Antoine Traisnel (author of CAPTURE) joins...


Ep. 19: Who is welcome? Hospitality and contemporary art.

Amid xenophobic challenges to America’s core value of welcoming the tired and the poor, Irina Aristarkhova calls for new forms of hospitality in her engagement with the works of eight international artists. In ARRESTED WELCOME, the first monograph on hospitality in contemporary art, she employs a feminist perspective and asks who, how, and what determines who is worthy of welcome. With a focus on lessons that contemporary artists teach about the potential of hospitality, Aristarkhova looks...


Ep. 18: Outsiders Within: Korean adoptees Jane Jeong Trenka and Ami Nafzger share their stories.

“I may not be able to find my family but it always made me feel a step closer to help others.” OUTSIDERS WITHIN is a landmark publication that explores transracial adoption and the heavy emotional and cultural toll on those who directly experience it. The volume has many contributors who explore transracial adoption through essays, fiction, poetry, and art. OUTSIDERS WITHIN is coedited by Jane Jeong Trenka, Julia Chinyere Oparah, and Sun Yung Shin. This episode features Trenka in...


Ep. 17: Why art? On performance, theater, deep time, and the environment.

The urgency of climate change means it is not sufficient for environmental scholarship to describe our complex relationship to the natural world. It must also compel a response. TIMESCALES: THINKING ACROSS ECOLOGICAL TEMPORALITIES gathers scholars from different fields, placing traditional academic essays alongside experimental sections, to promote innovation and collaboration. This episode asks: Why art? Why art … at all? With climate change and environmental catastrophe looming large, what...


Ep. 16: The crime of black repair in Jamaica.

Scammer’s Yard is an ethnography that focuses on the stories of three young Black Jamaicans who strive to make a living in Montego Bay, where call centers and tourism are the two main industries in the struggling economy. Author Jovan Scott Lewis raises unsettling questions about the fairness of a world economy that relegates Caribbean populations to durative sufferation. This groundbreaking book asks whether true reparation for the legacy of colonialism is to be found only through...


Ep. 15: "The way you show up is everything": History-making expeditions and the women behind them.

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with your summer and considered (1) making history, (2) spending the whole thing on a wild 2,000-mile canoe trip, and (3) putting your relationship with your best friend to the ultimate test, then you know exactly what author Natalie Warren has experienced. In the summer after graduating college, Natalie and Ann Raiho set off on the banks of the Minnesota River with the ultimate goal of reaching the Arctic waters of Canada’s Hudson Bay in 90 days or less....


Episode 14: Time and the interplay between human history and planetary history

TIMESCALES is a book that explores how time has seemed to shift in the Anthropocene and examines the human inability to see and to witness time as an element of environmental catastrophe. The volume brings together humanities scholars, scientists, and artists to develop new ways of thinking about the world with its human and nonhuman entanglements and diverse systems of knowledge. Carolyn Fornoff is assistant professor of Latin American culture at the University of Illinois at...


Episode 13: On reading, solitude, Edith Wharton, and what a library means to a woman.

“Historically, women have had to frame their own intellectual advancement in alternative terms.” When writer Edith Wharton died in 1937, her library of more than five thousand volumes was divided and subsequently sold. Decades later, it was reassembled and returned to The Mount, her historic Massachusetts estate. WHAT A LIBRARY MEANS TO A WOMAN is a book by Sheila Liming that examines personal libraries as technologies of self-creation in modern America. For Wharton, a library meant a home,...


Episode 12: Scientists and humanists talk timescales and climate change.

When talking about climate change, what do an oceanographer and a literary scholar have in common? How might these distant disciplines begin to speak to each other? TIMESCALES: THINKING ACROSS ECOLOGICAL TEMPORALITIES is a volume that includes frictive chit-chats from scholars from far-flung disciplines and explores what they have to teach each other about the timescales of environmental change. Bethany Wiggin is one of three co-editors of this volume, along with Carolyn Fornoff and Patricia...


Episode 11: "Not just surviving, but thriving": On recovery. (Mental Health Series, Part 3)

On this podcast, Mindy Greiling, a mental health advocate and former state representative, has hosted a series of conversations around mental health care in Minnesota: the first was with Alisa Roth on the state’s criminal treatment of mental illness, and the second with Dr. George Realmuto on mental health and substance abuse. In this third and final installment in the mental health series, Mindy talks about recovery with John Trepp, who she calls a “maverick” and wishes there were more like...


Episode 10: Waste More, Want More: The case for taking objects seriously.

Consumption is on pause for a lot of people during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Whether that's given you cause to clean out your stuff or become closer with your stuff, we're here to talk about meaning we assign to the objects around us. Christine Harold is a professor of communication at the University of Washington. Her new book THINGS WORTH KEEPING: The Value of Attachment in a Disposable World, investigates the attachments we form to the objects we buy, keep, and discard, and explores...


Episode 9: On the intersection of mental illness and substance abuse. (Mental Health Series, Part 2)

Mindy Greiling was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for twenty years. She has served on state and national boards of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and is on the University of Minnesota Psychiatry Community Advisory Council. George Realmuto is a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Both George and Mindy are parents of children with brain disease. Mindy’s son, Jim, is 42 and was diagnosed with schizoaffective...


Episode 8: Hope and Art when the World is Falling Apart.

In the era of climate change, how can we imagine better futures? AN ECOTOPIAN LEXICON is a collaborative volume of short, engaging essays that offer ecologically productive terms—drawn from other languages, science fiction, and subcultures of resistance—to envision what could be. The book connects thirty authors and fourteen artists from a range of backgrounds and locations, and three of them are here in discussion today: anthropologist and herbalist Charis Boke, visual artist Michelle Kuen...


Episode 7: Mental health care and criminal justice reform. (Mental Health Series, Part 1)

In his early twenties, Mindy Greiling’s son, Jim, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. At the time, and for more than a decade after, Greiling was a Minnesota state legislator who struggled, along with her husband, to navigate and improve the state’s inadequate mental health system. Her book FIX WHAT YOU CAN is an illuminating and frank account of caring for a person with a mental illness, told by a parent and advocate. Greiling is joined here today by Minnesota Public Radio’s mental...


Episode 6: Anthropocene Poetics: David Farrier with Adam Dickinson

The Anthropocenic condition gives us “a sense of the proximity we have to things we might otherwise have thought very distant from us.” David Farrier, author of Anthropocene Poetics, discusses deep time, extinction, and intimacy, asking how poetry can help us think about and live in the Anthropocene by reframing our intimate relationship with geological time. David is professor of literature and the environment at the University of Edinburgh, and he is joined here in conversation by Adam...


Episode 5: "There's a life that the page gives": Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss

Miscarriage and infant loss are experiences that disproportionately affect Indigenous women and women of color. WHAT GOD IS HONORED HERE? is the first book of its kind, a literary collection of voices of these women coming together to speak about the traumas and tragedies of womanhood. "We are talking about equity. We are talking about racism. We are talking about all of the things that we’ve been needing to talk about. This work is only still beginning," says co-editor Kao Kalia Yang, who...


Episode 4: Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify: Carolyn Holbrook with Sherrie Fernandez-Williams

Once a pregnant sixteen-year-old incarcerated in the Minnesota juvenile justice system, now a celebrated writer, arts activist, and teacher who helps others unlock their creative power, Carolyn Holbrook has heeded the call to tell the story of her life. Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify is a memoir in essays in which Holbrook summons untold stories stifled by pain or prejudice or ignorance, and ultimately demonstrates how creative writing can be a powerful tool for challenging racism....