Learning tools and syllabus suggestions

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

Learning tool: University of Minnesota podcast

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.


Consumer culture and the environment

Environmental humanities and arts

Literary criticism and publishing

Material culture 

Mental health

Race, reparation, and the world economy

Racial injustice


Podcast episode: 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: Jamaica, reparation, racial capitalism, ethnography, postcolonialism, world economics, Caribbean studies, globalization, geography, anthropology, criminal justice



  • Scammer's Yard (cover)
  • Answer the Call (cover)
  • Degraded Work (cover)
  • Gringolandia (cover)
  • The Art of Making Do in Naples (cover)


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



  • 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)


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; (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



  • 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)



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


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



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


Podcast episodes:
-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



  • What God Is Honored Here? (cover)
  • Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify (cover)
  • Digitize and Punish (cover)
  • As We Have Always Done (cover)
  • The Beginning and End of Rape (cover)



  • Hope in the Struggle (cover)
  • Nellie Francis (cover)
  • This Is Where I Am (cover)
  • Outsiders Within (cover)
  • The Denial of Antiblackness (cover)


Podcast episodes:

-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.
-On deep time, extinction, and reframing our relationship with geological time with David Farrier, author of Anthropocene Poetics, and Adam Dickinson, author of Anatomic.
-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, ecocriticism, deep time, extinction studies, ocean resource management



  • Timescales (cover)
  • An Ecotopian Lexicon (cover)
  • Anthropocene Poetics (cover)
  • Red Gold (cover)
  • A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (cover)



  • Stone (cover)
  • Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet (cover)
  • After Extinction (cover)
  • A Geology of Media (cover)
  • The Nonhuman Turn (cover)


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



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