Big Ideas

Big Ideas


Interviews with scholars promoting big ideas.

Poppy Wilde, "Posthuman Gaming: Avatars, Gamers, and Entangled Subjectivities" (Routledge, 2023)

March 2, 2024

Posthuman Gaming

Poppy Wilde

Posthuman Gaming: Avatars, Gamers, and Entangled Subjectivities (Routledge, 2023) explores the relationship between avatar and gamer in the massively …

Thomas J. Barfield, "Shadow Empires: An Alternative Imperial History" (Princeton UP, 2023)

March 1, 2024

Shadow Empires

Thomas J. Barfield
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

Empires are one of the most common forms of political structure in history—yet no empire is alike. We have our “standard” view of empire: perhaps the …

Vernon James Schubel, "Teaching Humanity:  An Alternative Introduction to Islam" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2023)

February 27, 2024

Teaching Humanity

Vernon James Schubel
Hosted by SherAli Tareen

In his splendid new book, Teaching Humanity: An Alternative Introduction to Islam (Palgrave MacMillan, 2023), Vernon Schubel makes a compelling case f…

Yanis Varoufakis, "Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism" (Melville House, 2023)

February 26, 2024


Yanis Varoufakis
Hosted by Louisa Hann

In Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism (Melville House, 2023), Yanis Varoufakis argues that capitalism is dead and a new economic era has begun. …

Jeffery D. Long, "Perspectives on Reincarnation: Hindu, Christian, Scientific" (MDPI Books, 2019)

February 22, 2024

Perspectives on Reincarnation

Jeffery D. Long
Hosted by Raj Balkaran

What happens after you die? The book brings together fascinating theological and religious studies perspectives on a controversial yet pervasive idea:…

Katharina Pistor, "The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality" (Princeton UP, 2019)

February 22, 2024

The Code of Capital

Katharina Pistor
Hosted by Keith Krueger

"Most lawyers, most actors, most soldiers and sailors, most athletes, most doctors, and most diplomats feel a certain solidarity in the face of outsid…

Look Again: The Power of Noticing What Was Always There

February 22, 2024

Look Again

Cass R. Sunstein

Today’s book is: Look Again: The Power of Noticing What Was Always There (Atria/One Signal Publishers, 2024), by Tali Sharot and Cass R. Sunstein, a b…

Neil Lee, "Innovation for the Masses: How to Share the Benefits of the High-Tech Economy" (U California Press, 2024)

February 21, 2024

Innovation for the Masses

Neil Lee
Hosted by Dave O'Brien

How can we build a more equal economy? In Innovation for the Masses: How to Share the Benefits of the High-Tech Economy (U California Press, 2024), Ne…

Robert Louis Wilken, "Liberty in the Things of God: The Christian Origins of Religious Freedom" (Yale UP, 2019)

February 20, 2024

Liberty in the Things of God

Robert Louis Wilken
Hosted by Ian Drake

Robert Louis Wilken, the William R. Kenan Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia, has written an intellectual…

Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper, "Post-Imperial Possibilities: Eurasia, Eurafrica, Afroasia" (Princeton UP, 2023)

February 18, 2024

Post-Imperial Possibilities

Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper
Hosted by Erika Monahan

How can territory and peoples be organized? After the dissolution of empires, was the nation-state the only way to unite people politically, culturall…

Jenna Ng, "The Post-Screen Through Virtual Reality, Holograms and Light Projections: Where Screen Boundaries Lie" (Amsterdam UP, 2021)

February 14, 2024

The Post-Screen Through Virtual Reality, Holograms and Light Projections

Jenna Ng
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Screens are ubiquitous today. Yet contemporary screen media eliminate the presence of the screen and diminish the visibility of its boundaries. As the…

Lehasa Moloi, "Developing Africa?: New Horizons with Afrocentricity" (Anthem Press, 2024)

February 12, 2024

Developing Africa?

Lehasa Moloi
Hosted by Anna Lindner

Developing Africa? New Horizons with Afrocentricity (Anthem Press, 2024) is written for those who are interested in theoretical debates as they relate…

Seth Zuiho Segall, "The House We Live in: Virtue, Wisdom, and Pluralism" (Equinox, 2023)

February 8, 2024

The House We Live in

Seth Zuiho Segall
Hosted by Jack Petranker

The values of liberalism, pluralism, and democratic governance are under sustained attack from right-wing Christian fundamentalists, white ethnonation…

Nick Romeo, "The Alternative: How to Build a Just Economy" (PublicAffairs, 2024)

February 7, 2024

The Alternative

Nick Romeo
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

Winners Take All meets Nickel and Dimed: a provocative debunking of accepted wisdom, providing the pathway to a sustainable, survivable economy. Conf…

Sabina Andron, "Urban Surfaces, Graffiti, and the Right to the City" (Routledge, 2024)

February 4, 2024

Urban Surfaces, Graffiti, and the Right to the City

Sabina Andron
Hosted by Victoria Lupascu

Sabina Andron's book Urban Surfaces, Graffiti, and the Right to the City (Routledge, 2024) focuses on urban surfaces, on exploring their authorship a…

Chrystin Ondersma, "Dignity Not Debt: An Abolitionist Approach to Economic Justice" (U California Press, 2024)

February 3, 2024

Dignity Not Debt

Chrystin Ondersma
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

American households have a debt problem. The problem is not, as often claimed, that Americans recklessly take on too much debt. The problem is that US…

Jon Paul Sydnor and Anthony J. Watson, "Nondualism: An Interreligious Exploration" (Lexington Books, 2023)

February 1, 2024


Jon Paul Sydnor and Anthony J. Watson
Hosted by Raj Balkaran

The time has come for nondualism. As a fundamentally unifying concept, nondualism may seem out of place in an age of rising nationalism and bitter deg…

Ismar Volić, "Making Democracy Count: How Mathematics Improves Voting, Electoral Maps, and Representation" (Princeton UP, 2024)

February 1, 2024

Making Democracy Count

Ismar Volić
Hosted by Mark Klobas

What's the best way to determine what most voters want when multiple candidates are running? What's the fairest way to allocate legislative seats to d…

Ankhi Mukherjee and Ato Quayson, "Decolonizing the English Literary Curriculum" (Cambridge UP, 2023)

January 28, 2024

Decolonizing the English Literary Curriculum

Ankhi Mukherjee and Ato Quayson
Hosted by Arnab Dutta Roy

George Floyd's death on May 25th 2020 marked a watershed in reactions to anti-Black racism in the United States and elsewhere. Intense demonstrations …

Daniel Peris, "The Ownership Dividend: The Coming Paradigm Shift in the U.S. Stock Market" (Routledge, 2024)

January 23, 2024

The Ownership Dividend

Daniel Peris
Hosted by John Emrich

We are on the verge of a major paradigm shift for investors in the U.S. stock market. Dividend-focused stock investing has been receding in populari…