Big Ideas

Big Ideas


Interviews with scholars promoting big ideas.

Aziz Rana, "The Constitutional Bind: How Americans Came to Idolize a Document That Fails Them" (U Chicago Press, 2024)

June 19, 2024

The Constitutional Bind

Aziz Rana
Hosted by Vatsal Naresh

In a pathbreaking retelling of the American experience, Aziz Rana shows that today’s reverential constitutional culture is a distinctively twentieth-c…

Daniel Scott Souleles et al., "People before Markets: An Alternative Casebook" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

June 16, 2024

People before Markets

Daniel Scott Souleles, Johan Gersel, and Morten Sørensen Thaning
Hosted by Robin Steiner

People before Markets:: An Alternative Casebook (Cambridge UP, 2022) presents twenty comparative case studies of important global questions, such as '…

Allison J. Pugh, "The Last Human Job: The Work of Connecting in a Disconnected World" (Princeton UP, 2024)

June 15, 2024

The Last Human Job

Allison J. Pugh
Hosted by Mark Klobas

With the rapid development of artificial intelligence and labor-saving technologies like self-checkouts and automated factories, the future of work ha…

Gordon C. Chang, "Revolution and Witchcraft: The Code of Ideology in Unsettled Times" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023)

June 14, 2024

Revolution and Witchcraft

Gordon C. Chang
Hosted by Michael Johnston

Ideas influence people. In particular, extremely well-developed sets of ideas shape individuals, groups, and societies in far-reaching ways. In Revolu…

Nivedita Menon, "Secularism As Misdirection: Critical Thought from the Global South" (Duke UP, 2024)

June 13, 2024

Secularism As Misdirection

Nivedita Menon
Hosted by Arnav Adhikari

In this episode, we speak to Nivedita Menon about her new book, Secularism as Misdirection: Critical Thought from the Global South (Duke University Pr…

Timothy Morton, "Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology" (Columbia UP, 2024)

June 12, 2024


Timothy Morton
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Hell on earth is real. The toxic fusion of big oil, Evangelical Christianity, and white supremacy has ignited a worldwide inferno, more phantasmagoric…

Jason Read, "The Double Shift: Spinoza and Marx on the Politics of Work" (Verso, 2024)

June 8, 2024

The Double Shift

Jason Read
Hosted by Geoffrey Gordon

Even as the rewards of work decline and its demands on us increase, many people double-down on their commitment to wage slavery – working harder, doin…

Mark Robert Rank, "The Random Factor: How Chance and Luck Profoundly Shape Our Lives and the World Around Us" (U California Press, 2024)

June 4, 2024

The Random Factor

Mark Robert Rank
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

It’s comforting to think that we can be successful because we work hard, climb ladders, and get what we deserve, but each of us has been profoundly to…

Weh Yeoh, "Redundant Charities: Escaping the Cycle of Dependence" (Koan Press, 2023)

June 2, 2024

Redundant Charities

Weh Yeoh
Hosted by Nick Pozek

Weh Yeoh's Redundant Charities: Escaping the Cycle of Dependence (Koan Press, 2023) presents a transformative approach to charitable work. Drawing on …

Chris Haufe, "Do the Humanities Create Knowledge?" (Cambridge UP, 2023)

May 28, 2024

Do the Humanities Create Knowledge?

Chris Haufe

There is in certain circles a widely held belief that the only proper kind of knowledge is scientific knowledge. This belief often runs parallel to th…

Bernardo Kastrup, "Analytic Idealism in a Nutshell: A Straightforward Summary of the 21st Century's Only Plausible Metaphysics" (Iff Books, 2024)

May 24, 2024

Analytic Idealism in a Nutshell

Bernardo Kastrup
Hosted by Raj Balkaran

Is reality more than the material? Raj Balkaran holds a fascinating interview with philosopher Bernardo Kastrup on this topic. At the vanguard of the …

Hippokratis Kiaris, "The End of the Western Civilization?: The Intellectual Journey of Humanity to Adulthood" (Vernon Press, 2022)

May 11, 2024

The End of the Western Civilization?

Hippokratis Kiaris
Hosted by Dessy Vassileva

Today I talked to Hippokratis Kiaris about his book The End of the Western Civilization?: The Intellectual Journey of Humanity to Adulthood (Vernon Pr…

Carl Zimmer, "Life's Edge: The Search For What it Means to be Alive" (Dutton, 2022)

May 10, 2024

Life's Edge

Carl Zimmer
Hosted by Renee Garfinkel

Carl Zimmer investigates one of the biggest questions of all: What is life? The answer seems obvious until you try to seriously answer it. Is the appl…

Donald Stoker, "Why America Loses Wars: Limited War and US Strategy from the Korean War to the Present" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

May 5, 2024

Why America Loses Wars

Donald Stoker
Hosted by Charles Coutinho

In this provocative challenge to United States policy and strategy, former Professor of Strategy & Policy at the US Naval War College, and author or e…

J. P. Messina, "Private Censorship" (Oxford UP, 2024)

May 1, 2024

Private Censorship

J. P. Messina
Hosted by Robert Talisse

When we think of censorship, our minds might turn to state agencies exercising power to silence dissent. However, contemporary concerns about censors…

Markus Vinzent, "Resetting the Origins of Christianity: A New Theory of Sources and Beginnings" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

April 30, 2024

Resetting the Origins of Christianity

Markus Vinzent

How do we know what we know about the origins of the Christian religion? Neither its founder, nor the Apostles, nor Paul left any written accounts of …

Teri Finneman et al., "Reviving Rural News: Transforming the Business Model of Community Journalism in the US and Beyond" (Routledge, 2024)

April 25, 2024

Reviving Rural News

Teri Finneman, Nick Mathews. and Patrick Ferrucci
Hosted by James Kates

Based on extensive research into weekly rural publishers and rural readers, Reviving Rural News: Transforming the Business Model of Community Journali…

Alexander Statman, "A Global Enlightenment: Western Progress and Chinese Science" (U Chicago Press, 2023)

April 25, 2024

A Global Enlightenment

Alexander Statman

Alexander Statman's book A Global Enlightenment: Western Progress and Chinese Science (U Chicago Press, 2023) is a revisionist history of the idea of …

Matt Qvortrup, "The Political Brain: The Emergence of Neuropolitics" (CEU Press, 2024)

April 24, 2024

The Political Brain

Matt Qvortrup
Hosted by CEU Press

In this episode of the CEU Press Podcast, host Andrea Talabér (CEU Press/CEU Review of Books) sat down with Matt Qvortrup (Coventry University) to dis…

Seth D. Kaplan, "Fragile Neighborhoods: Repairing American Society, One Zip Code at a Time" (Little, Brown Spark, 2023)

April 14, 2024

Fragile Neighborhoods

Seth D. Kaplan
Hosted by Renee Garfinkel

The neighborhoods we live in impact our lives in so many ways: they determine who we know, what resources and opportunities we have access to, the qua…