UMP podcast: Learning tools and syllabus suggestions

Teachable podcast episodes with suggested reading and recommended subject areas. Learning tools, course kits, syllabus suggestions.

Learning tool: University of Minnesota podcast

The University of Minnesota Press podcast is a place where 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 more detailed listing of subjects is below. 

The University of Minnesota Press podcast is available on the following platforms:

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Listen Notes  //  TuneIn

Whether you're looking for syllabus suggestions or whether you're an independent reader looking for continuous learning inspiration, here are free teachable podcast episodes and the books they pair with from University of Minnesota Press.

Subjects:

ANIMAL STUDIES

Art

Consumer culture

DISABILITY STUDIES

Economy

ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES, SCIENCE, AND ARTS

Literary criticism and publishing

LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION

Material culture 

MEDIA STUDIES

Mental health

NATIVE AMERICAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES

RACE AND CRITICAL RACE THEORY

RACE AND GLOBALIZATION

Race and Social justice

Transracial adoption


ANIMAL STUDIES

Podcast episodes:

-Saving Animals: On sanctuary, care, ethics with Elan Abrell (Saving Animals) and Kathryn (Katie) Gillespie on research ethics, witnessing, speciesism, and the politics of care practices in the US animal sanctuary movement.

-Art and Posthumanism with Cary Wolfe (Art after Nature Part 1)Cary Wolfe (Art and Posthumanism) talks with Art after Nature series editors Giovanni Aloi and Caroline Picard about the trajectory of posthumanism, deconstructing the blur between nature and culture, contemporary art and theory, biopolitics, philosophy, animal studies, and more. 

-Capture: The nineteenth-century landscape and wildlife in modernity. Antoine Traisnel (Capture) in conversation with Michelle Neely (Against Sustainability) about how the drive to contain and record disappearing animals was a central feature and organizing pursuit of the nineteenth-century US cultural canon. With references to Muybridge and Audubon, Poe and Hawthorne, Whitman and Thoreau.

Subjects: animal rights; animal studies; environment; anthropology; Anthropocene; ethnography; fieldwork; modern animal condition; biocapitalism; biopolitics; literary criticism; theory

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • A fascinating and unprecedented ethnography of animal sanctuaries in the United States
  • Illuminates the profound contingency of market life on animal figures and flesh
  • From pigeons to prairie dogs, reflections on reviled animals and their place in contemporary life
  • A sustained engagement between contemporary art and philosophy relating to our place in, and responsibility to, the nonhuman world
  • Reading canonical works of the nineteenth century through the modern transformation of human–animal relations


ART

Podcast episode: Who is welcome? Hospitality and contemporary art. Irina Aristarkhova (Arrested Welcome) in conversation with artist and art educator Jorge Lucero, with references to contemporary artworks and what they teach about hospitality, including Linda Hattendorf's documentary film The Cats of Mirikitani, Ana Prvački, Faith Wilding, Lee Mingwei, Kathy High, Mithu Sen, Pippa Bacca and Silvia Moro's Brides on Tour, and Ken Aptekar's exhibition Neighbours.

Subjects: art, hospitality, contemporary art, women's studies, feminist theory, performance studies, film, photography

-Eco Soma with Petra Kuppers (Art after Nature 2): Petra Kuppers (Eco Soma) talks with Art after Nature series editors Giovanni Aloi and Caroline Picard about art, performance, environment, awareness, attention, capitalism, language, identity, and disability culture.

-Art and Posthumanism with Cary Wolfe (Art after Nature Part 1)Cary Wolfe (Art and Posthumanism) talks with Art after Nature series editors Giovanni Aloi and Caroline Picard about the trajectory of posthumanism, deconstructing the blur between nature and culture, contemporary art and theory, biopolitics, philosophy, animal studies, and more. 

See also: Environmental Humanities

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • Arrested Welcome
  • Replacing Home
  • Unapologetic Beauty
  • Schizogenesis
  • A Capsule Aesthetic


CONSUMER CULTURE

Podcast episode: The case for taking objects seriously with authors Christine Harold (Things Worth Keeping) and Nicole Seymour (Bad Environmentalism).

Subjects: environmental governance; eco-narratives; consumer culture; materiality studies; design studies; maker culture; environmental rhetoric; thing theory

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • Things Worth Keeping (cover)
  • Bad Environmentalism (cover)
  • Alien Phenomenology (cover)
  • Shopping Our Way to Safety (cover)
  • The Platform Economy (cover)


DISABILITY STUDIES

-Eco Soma with Petra Kuppers (Art after Nature 2): Petra Kuppers (Eco Soma) talks with Art after Nature series editors Giovanni Aloi and Caroline Picard about art, performance, environment, awareness, attention, capitalism, language, identity, and disability culture.

Subjects: social justice, disability culture, environment, art, performance, embodiment, identity, encounter

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • Modeling a disability culture perspective on performance practice toward socially just futures
  • Revealing inequalities and sensory hierarchies embedded in the latest medical technologies and global biotechnical markets
  • A philosophical challenge to the ableist conflation of disability and pain
  • A pointed look at the state of tech-based mental healthcare and what we must do to change it
  • This vital addition to carceral, prison, and disability studies draws important new links between deinstitutionalization and decarceration


ECONOMY

Podcast episodes:

-Making creative laborers for a precarious economy. Josef Nguyen (The Digital Is Kid Stuff) in conversation with Carly Kocurek and Patrick LeMieux about constructions of creativity, childhood, entrepreneurialism, and technological savvy; also Minecraft, Make magazine, Instagram, and design fiction.

-The crime of black repair in Jamaica. Jovan Scott Lewis (Scammer's Yard) in conversation with Peter James Hudson, asking what constitutes a crime and questioning the fairness of a world economy that relegates Caribbean populations to durative sufferation, with focus on Lewis's ethnographic fieldwork in Montego Bay.

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • How popular debates about the so-called digital generation mediate anxieties about labor and life in twenty-first-century America
  • How and why video gaming culture became the domain of young men and boys
  • A playful and provocative call to stop playing videogames and begin making metagames
  • Why service-sector jobs have gotten worse—and what can be done to improve pay and working conditions for low-wage workers
  • Tells the story of Jamaican “scammers” who use crime to gain autonomy, opportunity, and repair


ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES, SCIENCE, AND ARTS

Podcast episodes:

-Eco Soma with Petra Kuppers (Art after Nature 2): Petra Kuppers (Eco Soma) talks with Art after Nature series editors Giovanni Aloi and Caroline Picard about art, performance, environment, awareness, attention, capitalism, language, identity, and disability culture.

-Art and Posthumanism with Cary Wolfe (Art after Nature Part 1)Cary Wolfe (Art and Posthumanism) talks with Art after Nature series editors Giovanni Aloi and Caroline Picard about the trajectory of posthumanism, deconstructing the blur between nature and culture, contemporary art and theory, biopolitics, philosophy, animal studies, and more. 

-Life in Plastic: Petrochemical Fantasies and Synthetic Sensibilities (Part 1): Caren Irr, Lisa Swanstrom, Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor, and Daniel Worden (Life in Plastic) talk plasticity and myth, stretchy superheroes, plastic as gendered, plastic as colonizing force, plastic in art and everyday life, and more.

-Life in Plastic: Plastic's Capitalism (Part 2): Caren Irr, Crystal Bartolovich, Christopher Breu, and Sean Grattan (Life in Plastic) talk postplastic utopias, affective politics, public health, temporality, globalism, class, geopolitics, literature, and activism.

-Attending to body and Earth in distress: Ranae Lenor Hanson (Watershed) joins Teddie Potter (clinical professor in the School of Nursing and Director of Planetary Health at the University of Minnesota) and Lena Jones (political science faculty member at Minneapolis College and connected to the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy) in conversation about how the health of our bodies and the health of the world they inhabit are inextricably linked.

-Planetary probiotics and Gaia's variants. Jamie Lorimer (The Probiotic Planet) and Bruce Clarke (Gaian Systems) discuss a range of topics including Lynn Margulis, science fiction, neocybernetics, and COVID-19, and ultimately seek insight into an environmental crisis of humanity's own making.

-Capture: The nineteenth-century landscape and wildlife in modernity. Antoine Traisnel (Capture) in conversation with Michelle Neely (Against Sustainability) about how the drive to contain and record disappearing animals was a central feature and organizing pursuit of the nineteenth-century US cultural canon. With references to Muybridge and Audubon, Poe and Hawthorne, Whitman and Thoreau.

-Why art? On performance, theater, deep time, and the environment: With Patricia Eunji Kim, art historian and assistant professor/faculty fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Studies at New York University; Kate Farquhar, landscape designer; and Marcia Ferguson, senior lecturer in theatre arts at the University of Pennsylvania.


-Time and the interplay between human history and planetary history: Carolyn Fornoff, coeditor of Timescales, in conversation with contributors Jen Telesca of Pratt Institute, Wai Chee Dimock of Yale University, and Charles Tung of Seattle University.


-Scientists and humanists talk timescales and climate change, featuring contributors to Timescales: Thinking across Ecological Temporalities: Bethany Wiggin, director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities; oceanographer Frankie Pavia; law student Jason Bell; and geophysicist Jane Dmochowski.


-Hope and art when the world is falling apart features contributors to An Ecotopian Lexicon: anthropologist and herbalist Charis Boke, visual artist Michelle Kuen Suet Fung, and Sam Solnick of the University of Liverpool. [Transcript.]


-On deep time, extinction, and reframing our relationship with geological time with David Farrier, author of Anthropocene Poetics, and Adam Dickinson, author of Anatomic. [Transcript.]


-During a time when 90% of the world's big fish are gone, Jen Telesca (Red Gold) illustrates the managed extinction of the giant bluefin tuna in a conversation with editor Jason Weidemann. [Transcript.Download: a Red Gold discussion guide.

Subjects: environmental humanities, climate change, the Anthropocene, ecology, sustainability, anthropology, environment and society, geography, philosophy, animal studies, art, photography, performance art, science, ecocriticism, deep time, extinction studies, ocean resource management, wildlife

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • Timescales (cover)
  • Modeling a disability culture perspective on performance practice toward socially just futures
  • Anthropocene Poetics (cover)
  • A sustained engagement between contemporary art and philosophy relating to our place in, and responsibility to, the nonhuman world
  • A vital contribution to environmental humanities that explores artistic responses to the plastic age

 

FURTHER READING

  • The Probiotic Planet
  • Presents thirty novel terms that do not yet exist in English to envision ways of responding to the environmental challenges of our generation
  • Reading canonical works of the nineteenth century through the modern transformation of human–animal relations
  • Illuminating the conditions for global governance to have precipitated the devastating decline of one of the ocean’s most majestic creatures
  • Watershed


LITERARY CRITICISM AND PUBLISHING

Podcast episode: Christopher Isherwood in Transit: A 21st-Century Perspective featuring authors and Isherwood scholars Jim Berg and Chris Freeman in conversation with University of Minnesota Press director Doug Armato on the book and Isherwood's history of publication in the US. [Transcript.]

Subjects: Christopher Isherwood; memoir and autobiography; travel writing; gay studies; Los Angeles; writers in exile

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • Isherwood in Transit (cover)
  • The American Isherwood (cover)
  • Isherwood on Writing (cover)
  • Kathleen and Christopher (cover)
  • Middlebrow Queer (cover)


LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION

Podcast episode: Balzac in translation: Portraits of a turbulent 19th-century France with remarkable contemporary resonances. Balzac translator Raymond MacKenzie (Lost Illusions, Lost Souls) in conversation with Press director Doug Armato.

Subjects: Honoré de Balzac, translation, Comedie Humaine, Human Comedy, France, 19th century, book-to-film adaptation

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • Lost Illusions
  • Lost Souls
  • Italian Chronicles
  • Diaboliques
  • Graziella


MATERIAL CULTURE

Podcast episode: Edith Wharton and the personal library with author Sheila Liming (What a Library Means to a Woman), Wharton scholar Donna Campbell, and Nynke Dorhout and Anne Schuyler of The Mount in Lenox, MA.

Subjects: Edith Wharton; book history; material and print culture; histories of collecting; late 19th and early 20th-century American culture; libraries and self-making; women's history; women's education; history of the book

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • What a Library Means to a Woman (cover)
  • The Death of Things (cover)
  • Playing with the Book (cover)
  • Picturing the Postcard (cover)
  • The Tears of Things (cover)


MEDIA STUDIES

Podcast episodes:

-Making creative laborers for a precarious economy. Josef Nguyen (The Digital Is Kid Stuff) in conversation with Carly Kocurek and Patrick LeMieux about constructions of creativity, childhood, entrepreneurialism, and technological savvy; also Minecraft, Make magazine, Instagram, and design fiction.

How information became a "thing": exploring how the now-neglected filing cabinet profoundly shaped the way that information and data have been sorted, stored, retrieved, and used. Featuring Craig Robertson (The Filing Cabinet), Shannon Mattern (Code and Clay, Data and Dirt), and Lisa Gitelman (Modelwork).

Subjects: media studies; science and technology studies; design; media history; history of information; history of technology; twentieth-century American history; creativity; childhood; contemporary labor economy

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • The Filing Cabinet (cover)
  • Code and Clay, Data and Dirt (cover)
  • Modelwork (cover)
  • Archaeologies of Touch (cover)
  • How popular debates about the so-called digital generation mediate anxieties about labor and life in twenty-first-century America


MENTAL HEALTH

Podcast episodes: A three-part mental health series featuring author Mindy Greiling (Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Lawmaker's Fight for Her Son) in conversation with: (1) Minnesota Public Radio's Alisa Roth on the criminalization of mental illness [Transcript.]; (2) Dr. George Realmuto, psychiatry professor at the University of Minnesota, on mental illness and substance abuse; and (3) Jim Trepp, author of Lodge Magic, on recovery and better futures for persons with mental illness.

Download: A 30-page study guide with information on understanding symptoms, discussion questions, and resources.

Subjects: psychology, psychiatry, social work, mental health system, nursing, chemical dependency, criminalization of mental illness, public policy

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • Fix What You Can (cover)
  • The Crusade for Forgotten Souls (cover)
  • Thirty Rooms to Hide In (cover)
  • The Alchemy of Meth (cover)
  • Medical Necessity (cover)

 

FURTHER READING

  • Decarcerating Disability (cover)
  • Silent Cells (cover)
  • Solitary Confinement (cover)
  • Hikikomori (cover)
  • The Aesthetics of Disengagement (cover)


NATIVE AMERICAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES

Podcast episode: Diving into the longstanding and ongoing settler colonial process of land privatization, Daniel Heath Justice and Jean M. O'Brien (Allotment Stories) talk about the urgency of these conversations on dispossession and reposession as featured in the book's collected works; and also discuss considerations that go into publishing an edited collection.

Subjects: Native American and Indigenous studies; American history; American studies; settler colonialism; land privatization; edited collection; Dawes Allotment Act of 1887; McGirt v. Oklahoma; Cobell v. Salazar.

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • More than two dozen essays of Indigenous resistance to the privatization and allotment of Indigenous lands
  • Tracing the origins of the persistent myth of the vanishing Indian
  • Asserts the strength and diversity of Cherokee identity through its rich literary tradition
  • How to build Indigenous resistance movements that refuse the destructive thinking of settler colonialism
  • “A lesson in how to practice recognizing the fundamental truth that every inch of the Americas is Indigenous territory.” —Robert Warrior, from the Foreword


RACE AND CRITICAL RACE THEORY

Podcast episodes:

-How institutionalized racism shapes health in the 21st century: Anne Pollock (Sickening) speaks with Ruha Benjamin about the unconscionable disparity in health outcomes between Black and white Americans. 

Subjects: racism, health disparities, biopolitics, 2001 anthrax attacks, Hurricane Katrina, mass incarceration, Flint water crisis, liberatory imagination, Serena Williams, reproductive justice

-Race and the politics of precarity in the United States: Daniel Martinez HoSang and Joseph Lowndes (Producers, Parasites, Patriots: Race and the New Right-Wing Politics of Precarity) on the 1619 Project, the 1776 Report, and recent and ongoing attacks on critical race theory.

Subjects: critical race theory; race and politics; race, class, and gender; race and ethnic relations; American history; Introduction to American Studies; US political institutions; US political thought; politics and culture

-How the ordinary postwar home constructed race in America: Dianne Harris (Little White Houses) in conversation with Mabel O. Wilson about the construction and representation of racial identity in midcentury suburban housing.

Subjects: critical race theory; race and architecture; architectural history; American history; US housing market inequalities; race and class politics

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • Producers, Parasites, Patriots
  • Little White Houses
  • Sickening
  • Sweetness in the Blood
  • Blood Sugar


RACE AND GLOBALIZATION

Podcast episodes:

-How might we understand borders and citizenship in a post-Brexit context? Suzanne Hall (The Migrant's Paradox) examines the brutal contradictions of sovereignty and capitalism in the formation of street livelihoods in the urban margins in five cities in Britain. Hall joins Tariq Jazeel, Huda Tayob, and Les Back in this conversation published in partnership with Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.

-The crime of black repair in Jamaica. Jovan Scott Lewis (Scammer's Yard) in conversation with Peter James Hudson, asking what constitutes a crime and questioning the fairness of a world economy that relegates Caribbean populations to durative sufferation, with focus on Lewis's ethnographic fieldwork in Montego Bay.

Subjects: sociology, geography, anthropology, ethnography, globalization, postcolonialism, migration, citizenship, racial capitalism, diverse economies, world economics, Caribbean studies, Jamaica, reparation, criminal justice

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • Scammer's Yard (cover)
  • Everyday Equalities
  • The Migrant's Paradox
  • Gringolandia (cover)
  • Arc of the Journeyman


RACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

Podcast episodes:

-Reflecting on the traumas we endured in 2020We Are Meant to Rise is a collection of Indigenous writers and writers of color who bear witness to one of the most unsettling years in the history of the US. This is a recording of a live event at Next Chapter Booksellers in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Nov. 29, 2021. Featuring Carolyn Holbrook, David Mura, Douglas Kearney, Melissa Olson, Said Shaiye, and Kao Kalia Yang.


-Miscarriage and infant loss are experiences that disproportionately affect Indigenous women and woman of colorContributors to What God Is Honored Here? speak about the traumas and tragedies of womanhood: co-editors Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang and writers Michelle Borok, Soniah Kamal, Jami Nakamura Lin, and Seema Reza. [Transcript.]


-Creative writing as a powerful tool for challenging racism: Carolyn Holbrook, author of Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify, in conversation with Sherrie Fernandez-Williams, author of Soft: A Memoir. [Transcript.]


-How digital technology has further entrenched the United States' racialized policing and punishment: author Brian Jefferson (Digitize and Punish: Racial Criminalization in the Digital Age) in conversation with editor Pieter Martin. [Transcript.]

Subjects: race, antiracism, structural racism, racial equity, social justice, women's studies, social work, nursing, creative writing, race and the criminal justice system

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • A brilliant and rich gathering of voices on the American experience of this past year and beyond, from Indigenous writers and writers of color from Minnesota
  • Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify (cover)
  • Native women and women of color poignantly share their pain, revelations, and hope after experiencing the traumas of miscarriage and infant loss
  • Tracing the rise of digital computing in policing and punishment and its harmful impact on criminalized communities of color
  • How to build Indigenous resistance movements that refuse the destructive thinking of settler colonialism

 

FURTHER READING

  • Hope in the Struggle (cover)
  • Nellie Francis (cover)
  • How to address widespread violence against Native women—practically, theoretically, and legally—from the foremost advocate for understanding and change
  • Outsiders Within (cover)
  • The Denial of Antiblackness (cover)


TRANSRACIAL ADOPTION

Podcast episodes: 

-What society gets wrong about transracial adoption: Outsiders Within 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. This episode features Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, and JaeRan Kim talking about what society often gets wrong about adoption.

-Korean and Vietnamese adoptees on the intimate racialized politics of transracial adoption: Three writers and artists who were adopted across geographic borders in the 1970s talk isolation, racism, identity struggle, adoption policy, and how the Internet has changed the ways connection can be found. Featuring Jane Jeong Trenka, Indigo Willing, and kimura byol-nathalie lemoine.

-"I may not be able to find my family but it always made me feel a step closer to help others." Jane Jeong Trenka (Outsiders Within) talks with Ami Nafzger. Both conversants were adopted to the midwestern United States from South Korea. Nafzger is founder of Adoptee Hub and Global Overseas Adoptees' Link

Subjects: transracial adoption, adoption, nonfiction literature, essays, globalization, identity, policy, childhood studies, race and ethnic studies, sociology, South Korea.

 

SUGGESTED READING

  • Outsiders Within
  • Claiming Others
  • Families Apart
  • From Orphan to Adoptee
  • Magical Realism for Non-Believers