Smarty Pants

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Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Produced and hosted by Stephanie Bastek.

Have suggestions for projects you’d like us to catch up on, or writers you want to hear from? Send us a note: podcast [at] theamericanscholar.org


Episode List:

How to Save Farming From Itself

The “quiet emergency” created by industrial agriculture

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 11, 2020

How Architecture Shapes Our Emotions

Why we shouldn’t give up on how cities make us feel

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 04, 2020

Jeremy Irons Reads T. S. Eliot

The legendary actor on why poetry matters

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 28, 2020

Studying Stones

What rocks reveal about the stories we’ve lost and the stories we tell

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 21, 2020

All the Fish in the Sea

The story of a Senegalese fishing community on the brink

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 14, 2020

This Is How an Empire Falls

The discomforting parallels between our current moment and the end of Rome

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 07, 2020

I Want to Believe

Hunting down America’s favorite fringe stories, cryptids, and alien encounters

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 31, 2020

The Oldest Living Music in the World

One man’s quest to uncover the mysteries of Europe’s most enduring folk songs

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 24, 2020

Twin Pandemics

A conversation about Covid-19 and racism with Philip Alcabes and Harriet Washington

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 17, 2020

Preaching the Floral Gospel

How the Plant Messiah saves species from the brink of extinction

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 10, 2020
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