About Us

Recall This Book is a podcast exploring important books on a pressing topic. Each episode focuses on a contemporary problem or event and zeroes in on a book or books that shed light on it. We look backwards to see into the future: we can understand things about the future by choosing texts that shed a sideways light on our present situation, and attempt to shake up the terms of present debate by showing how a topic was approached in earlier times when a different version of this question had come up before. We aim to have lively barstool discussions–a warm but involved and potentially argumentative hashing out of the best way to think through difficult present-day issues. 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.

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Elizabeth Ferry is Professor of Anthropology at Brandeis University, with interests in value, materiality, mining, and finance, and with fieldwork emphases in Mexico, Colombia, and the United States. She is the author of Not Ours Alone: Patrimony, Value, and Collectivity in Contemporary Mexico (2005) Minerals, Collecting, and Value across the U.S.-Mexico Border (2013), and with Stephen Ferry, La Batea, a book of photographs and writings about small-scale gold mining in Colombia (2017). 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.

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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.