University of Minnesota Press

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.

Episodes

October 5, 2022 65 min

How is it possible that you are—simultaneously—cells, atoms, a body, quarks, a component in an ecological network, a moment in the thermodynamic dispersal of the sun, and an element in the gravitational whirl of galaxies? Joshua DiCaglio’s SCALE THEORY provides a foundational theory of scale that explains how scale works, the parameters of scalar thinking, and how scale reconfigures objects, subjects, relationships—while teaching u...

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In the 1960s, Christopher Isherwood gave an unprecedented series of lectures at California universities about his life and work. During this time, Isherwood spoke openly for the first time about his craft and spirituality. The release of the updated edition of ISHERWOOD ON WRITING includes the long-lost conclusion to the second lecture, including its discussion of A Single Man and A Meeting by the River. This conversation brings th...

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In a time when online classrooms and meetings have become both indispensable and mundane features of the university, STUDIOUS DRIFT asks: What kind of university becomes possible when digital tools are not taken for granted but hacked into and tinkered with in order to set study adrift? In part a meditation on the essence of the studio space, this book looks at ways we can creatively and critically muddle through the rise of e-lear...

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The new book ‘Cacaphonies’ takes fecal matter and its place in literature seriously. In a stark challenge to the tendency to view 20th- and 21st-century French literature through sanitizing abstractions, Annabel L. Kim argues for feces as a figure of radical equality. ‘Cacaphonies’ reveals the aesthetic, political, and ethical potential of shit and its capacity to transform literature and life. Here, Kim is joined in conversation b...

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ON THE WANDERING PATHS is Sylvain Tesson’s literary adventure and philosophical reflection during a three-month journey of solitude and personal contemplation while walking along vast stretches of mountain ranges and rivers, ancient bridges and villages, of France’s countryside. This exquisite chronicle through landscapes that continue to resist urbanization and technology is a thoughtful and thought-provoking glimpse into a poet’s...

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Exploring new concepts of the relationship between form and function while thinking through object-oriented ontology (OOO), Graham Harman (ARCHITECTURE AND OBJECTS) deepens the exchange between architecture and philosophy, providing a new roadmap to OOO’s influence on the language and practice of contemporary architecture.


Art after Nature is a series from University of Minnesota Press that engages with the politics and contradictio...

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How do educational policy studies need to shift to remain adequate to the emergence of powerful forms of technology? In ALGORITHMS OF EDUCATION, Kalervo N. Gulson, Sam Sellar, and P. Taylor Webb explore how, for policy makers, big data creates the illusion of greater control over educational futures. They propose that schools and governments are increasingly turning to “synthetic governance”—where what is human and what is machine ...

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“Capitalism defeated traditional societies because it was more exciting than they were. But now there is something more exciting than capitalism: its destruction.” In the face of things with true power (capitalism, the law, public opinion, etc.), philosophy is not provisioned to battle them head-on. But it can wage “a guerrilla campaign against them,” writes Andrew Culp (referencing Deleuze) in his new book A GUERRILLA GUIDE TO REF...

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In SIDE AFFECTS, Hil Malatino opens a conversation about trans experience that acknowledges the reality of feeling fatigue, envy, burnout, numbness, and rate amid the ongoing onslaught of casual and structural transphobia in order to map the intricate emotional terrain of trans survival. In May 2022, Malatino was joined in conversation by Zena Sharman, author of The Care We Dream Of: Liberatory and Transformative Approaches to LGBT...

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What are we leaving behind, forgetting, and obscuring as we remember AIDS activist pasts? VIRAL CULTURES is the first book to critically examine the archives that have helped preserve and create the legacy of AIDS activism of the 1980s and 1990s. Marika Cifor charts the efforts activists, artists, and curators have made to document the work of AIDS activism in the US and the infrastructure developed to maintain it, with attention o...

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Land privatization has been a longstanding and ongoing settler colonial process separating Indigenous peoples from their traditional homelands, with devastating consequences. ALLOTMENT STORIES is an edited collection that dives into this conflict, creating a complex conversation out of narratives of Indigenous communities resisting allotment and other dispossessive land schemes. The volume’s editors, Daniel Heath Justice and Jean M...

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Elan Abrell is author of SAVING ANIMALS: the first major ethnography to focus on the ethical issues animating the establishment of animal sanctuaries and animal rescue facilities. Abrell has done fieldwork at such facilities across the US, and here asks what “saving,” “caring for,” and “sanctuary” actually mean, exploring ethical decision making around sanctuary efforts to unmake property-based human-animal relations and adapt to t...

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Josef Nguyen’s THE DIGITAL IS KID STUFF questions constructions of creativity, childhood, entrepreneurialism, and technological savvy, toggling between techno-pessimism and techno-utopianism in the process. The book narrates the developmental arc of a future creative laborer: from playing Minecraft, to DIY innovation with Make magazine, to selfies on Instagram, to the Creative Science Foundation and imagining technological innovati...

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Eco Soma proposes an art/life method of sensory tuning to the inside and the outside simultaneously. Petra Kuppers asks readers to be alert to their own embodied responses to art practice, reading contemporary performance encounters while modeling a disability culture sensitivity to living in a shared world, oriented toward socially just futures. In this episode, Kuppers joins Giovanni Aloi and Caroline Picard, coeditors of the Art...

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How do contemporary art and theory contemplate the “bio” of biopolitics and bioart? One of the foremost theorists of posthumanism, Cary Wolfe argues for the reconceptualization of nature in art and theory to turn the idea of the relationship between the human and the planet upside down in his new book, ART AND POSTHUMANISM. This is the inaugural volume in the new series ART AFTER NATURE, edited by Giovanni Aloi and Caroline Picard....

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Plastics have been a defining feature of contemporary life since at least the 1960s. Yet our proliferating use of plastics has also triggered catastrophic environmental consequences. In this second episode of a two-part series, literary scholars and contributors to the volume LIFE IN PLASTIC: ARTISTIC RESPONSES TO PETROMODERNITY discuss public health, affective politics, postplastic utopias, temporality, globalism, class, geopoliti...

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Plastics have been a defining feature of contemporary life since at least the 1960s. Yet our proliferating use of plastics has also triggered catastrophic environmental consequences. Plastics are derived from petrochemicals and enmeshed with the global oil economy, and they permeate our consumer goods and their packaging, our clothing and buildings, our bodies and minds. In this first episode of a two-part series, contributors to t...

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In inspired and incisive writing the contributors to WE ARE MEANT TO RISE speak unvarnished truths not only to the original and pernicious racism threaded through the American experience but also to the deeply personal, bearing witness to one of the most unsettling years in the history of the United States. This episode features Carolyn Holbrook, David Mura, Douglas Kearney, Melissa Olson, Said Shaiye, and Kao Kalia Yang. It is a r...

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Outsiders Within is a volume of essays, fiction, poetry, and art by transracially adopted writers from around the world who tackle difficult questions about how to survive the racist and ethnocentric worlds they inhabit. The volume was first published in 2006 and released in a new edition in 2021: a year in which reproduction and adoption politics have been spotlighted anew.


In this episode, three transracial adoptees talk about wha...

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SICKENING is a book that examines the unconscionable disparity in health outcomes between Black and white Americans. Author Anne Pollock of King’s College London takes readers through anti-Black racism operating in healthcare: from the spike in chronic disease after Hurricane Katrina to the lack of protection for Black residents during the Flint water crisis—and even the life-threatening childbirth experience for tennis star Serena...

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