Recall This Book

Recall This Book

episodes

Free-ranging discussion of books from the past that cast a sideways light on today's world. Recall This Book is hosted by Elizabeth Ferry, Professor of Anthropology at Brandeis University and John Plotz, Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanities at Brandeis University and co-founder of the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative.

Vince Brown, Caribbean Vectors (EF, JP)

June 6, 2024

Caribbean Vectors

Vince Brown

The largest slave uprising in the 18th century British Caribbean was also a node of the global conflict called the Seven Year’s War, though it isn’t u…

Recall This Story: Steve McCauley excavates John Cheever's "The Five-Forty-Eight" (JP)

May 9, 2024

Steve McCauley excavates John Cheever's "The Five-Forty-Eight"

Steve McCauley

We debut a new feature: Recall This Story, in which a contemporary writer picks out a bygone story to read and to analyze. Surely there is no better n…

Helena De Bres on Life-Writing (JP, EF)

April 18, 2024

Helena De Bres on Life-Writing (JP, EF)

Helena De Bres

How does the past live on within our experience of the present? And how does our decision to speak about or write down our recollections of how things…

E. G. Condé / Steve Gonzalez on Hurricanes, Fiction, and Speculative Ethnography (EF)

April 4, 2024

Hurricanes, Fiction, and Speculative Ethnography (EF)

Steve Gonzalez

In this episode, Elizabeth talks with Steven Gonzalez, anthropologist and author of speculative fiction under the pen name E.G. Condé. They discuss th…

David Ferry, Roger Reeves, and the Underworld

March 21, 2024

David Ferry, Roger Reeves, and the Underworld

David Ferry and Roger Reeves

In Memoriam: David Ferry (1924-2023) In this Recall This Book conversation from 2021, poets David Ferry and Roger Reeves talk about lyric, epic, and …

The Reeducation of Race with Sonali Thakkar (JP)

March 7, 2024

The Reeducation of Race

Sonali Thakkar

NYU professor Sonali Thakkar’s brilliant first book, The Reeducation of Race: Jewishness and the Politics of Antiracism in Postcolonial Thought (Stanf…

Sheila Heti Speaks About Awe with Sunny Yudkoff (JP)

February 16, 2024

Sheila Heti Speaks About Awe with Sunny Yudkoff (JP)

Sheila Heti

In this fantastic recent episode from our colleagues at Novel Dialogue, Sheila Heti sits down with Sunny Yudkoff and John to discuss her incredibly va…

The Culture Trap, with Sociologist Derron Wallace (EF, JP)

February 1, 2024

The Culture Trap

Derron Wallace

In this episode, Elizabeth and John talk with Derron Wallace, sociologist of education and Brandeis colleague, about his new book The Culture Trap: Et…

Ajantha Subramanian on the Caste of Merit

January 18, 2024

Ajantha Subramanian on "The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India"

Ajantha Subramanian

Before she became the host and star of Violent Majorities, the RTB series on Israeli and Indian ethnonationalism, Ajantha Subramanian sat down with El…

A Roundup Conversation About Indian and Israeli Ethnonationalism with Ajantha Subramanian, Lori Allen (JP)

January 4, 2024

Violent Majorities: Indian and Israeli Ethnonationalism (Episode 3 of 3)

Ajantha Subramanian and Lori Allen

Ajantha Subramanian and Lori Allen turn from hosts to interlocutors in an episode that ties a bow on our Violent Majorities conversations about Indian…

Violent Majorities: Indian and Israeli Ethnonationalism. Natasha Roth-Rowland (with Lori, Ajantha)

December 14, 2023

Violent Majorities: Indian and Israeli Ethnonationalism (Episode 2 of 3)

Natasha Roth-Rowland, Lori Allen, and Ajantha Subramanian

Natasha Roth-Rowland is a writer and researcher at Diaspora Alliance, a former editor at +972 Magazine, and an expert on the Jewish far right. She j…

Violent Majorities, Indian and Israeli Ethnonationalism

December 7, 2023

Violent Majorities: Indian and Israeli Ethnonationalism (Episode 1 of 3)

Balmurli Natrajan, Lori Allen, and Ajantha Subramanian

"The Slippery Slope to a Multiculturalism of Caste" Professor Balmurli Natrajan has long studied questions of caste, nationalism and fascism in the I…

Laurence Ralph Reckons With Police Violence (EF, JP)

November 16, 2023

Laurence Ralph Reckons With Police Violence (EF, JP)

Laurence Ralph
Listen:

In the third episode of our Global Policing series, Elizabeth and John spoke back in 2020 with anthropologist Laurence Ralph about The Torture Letters…

"We are all latecomers": Martin Puchner's "Culture" (JP, EF)

November 2, 2023

"We are all latecomers": Martin Puchner's "Culture"

Martin Puchner
Listen:

Recall This Book listeners already know the inimitable Martin Puchner (Professor of English and Theater at Harvard, editor of more than one Norton Ant…

Sanjay Krishnan on V. S. Naipaul: To make the Deformation the Formation (JP)

October 19, 2023

Sanjay Krishnan on V. S. Naipaul

Sanjay Krishnan
Listen:

John Plotz of Recall This Book spoke in 2020 with Sanjay Krishnan, Boston University English professor and Conrad scholar about his marvelous new book…

John Guillory Professes Criticism (JP, Nick Dames)

October 5, 2023

John Guillory Professes Criticism (JP, Nick Dames)

John Guillory
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John Guillory (NYU English author of the pathbreaking Cultural Capital) is here to discuss his amazing new Professing Criticism: Essays on the Organiz…

David Cunningham, January 6th and Asymmetrical Policing (JP, EF)

September 21, 2023

January 6th and Asymmetrical Policing (JP, EF)

David Cunningham
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Recall This Book first heard from the sociologist of American racism David Cunningham in Episode 36 Policing and White Power. Less than a week after t…

Earthsea, and Other Realms: Ursula Le Guin as Social Inactivist (EF, JP, [UKL])

September 7, 2023

Earthsea, and Other Realms

John Plotz and Elizabeth Ferry
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To mark the publication of John's book Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea (My Reading), with Oxford University Press (2023), John and Elizabeth take to the a…

Samuel R. Delany, Neveryon and Beyond (JP)

August 17, 2023

Neveryon and Beyond (JP)

Samuel R. Delany
Listen:

John Plotz talked with Samuel Delany, living legend of science fiction and fantasy back in 2019. You probably know him best for breakthrough novels li…

Joshua Cohen’s "The Netanyahus" (JP, Eugene Sheppard)

August 3, 2023

Joshua Cohen’s "The Netanyahus" (JP, Eugene Sheppard)

Joshua Cohen
Listen:

In this episode (originally aired by our partner Novel Dialogue) John and his Brandeis colleague Eugene Sheppard speak with Joshua Cohen about The Ne…