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:

A Good Time for Opera

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 03, 2020

Coronavirus vs. the Urban Commons

How can communal endeavors survive a pandemic?

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 27, 2020

What Zombie Movies Can Teach Us About Viruses

Dissecting how outbreak narratives infected our worldview

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 20, 2020

How Global Agriculture Grew a Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis was preventable—if only we’d listened to the epidemiologists sounding the alarm

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 13, 2020

All Your Friends Are Listening to This Podcast

How we can combine peer pressure and public policy to make the world a better place

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 06, 2020

Gimme Shelter

How housing became the foremost symbol of inequality, and what we can do about it

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 28, 2020

Past is Present

How violence, exploitation, and religion have ruled Latin America’s history—and might portend its future

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 21, 2020

The Meaning of Minimalism

Going beyond its glossy lifestyle image to the existentialism at its heart

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 14, 2020

The Global Garage Sale

What happens to all the stuff we downsize, declutter, and discard?

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, December 13, 2019

House of Mirrors

Carmen Maria Machado on her meta-memoir of a harrowing relationship

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, December 06, 2019
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