About Us

At Recall this Book, we seek to shed light on pressing contemporary topics with a backwards or sometimes sideways look: each episode draws on a book or books from the past or an unexpected quarter to look at a current topic in a new way. We bring on writers to talk about their own books, or scholars to talk about the books that are helping them navigate best the world in which we live. We have lively barstool discussions–a warm but involved and sometimes argumentative hashing out of difficult present-day issues.

Editorial Policy: Each episode is the shortened recording of a single conversation (unless otherwise noted). We edit only by removing sections of the original conversation, or by shortening questions and responses for clarity, flow and concision. The only time we change the order of the audio you hear is when we open with a “teaser” snippet from the body of the conversation. The introduction and credits are sometimes separately recorded; music is always added in post-production. That’s it.

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Elizabeth Ferry is Professor of Anthropology at Brandeis University. She is the author of Not Ours Alone: Patrimony, Value, and Collectivity in Contemporary MexicoMinerals, Collecting, and Value across the U.S.-Mexico Border , and with Stephen Ferry, La Batea, a book of photographs and writings about small-scale gold mining in Colombia. In addition to her academic work, she has written articles, poetry and flash fiction for, among other publications, Public Books, Living Anthropologically, Platypus, MiningWatch, Salamander Magazine and Flash Fiction Online.

John Plotz is Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanities at Brandeis University. His books include The Crowd: British Literature and Public Politics, Portable Property: Victorian Culture on the Move, and Semi-Detached: The Aesthetics of Virtual Experience since Dickens; he is at work on My Earthsea, a  book about Ursula Le Guin. He is editor of the Public Books B-Sides and a forthcoming collection from Columbia University Press, B-Sides Books: Essays on Forgotten Favorites. He co-founded the Brandeis Justice Initiative and co-hosts the podcast Novel Dialogue.