The By the Book author talk series brings big ideas and smart conversation directly to you. 

Join these book events via Zoom from the comfort of your favorite chair and engage with authors and experts 

on a variety of topics. Keep checking back for announcements of future events. 



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September 24 / 2:00 PM CT

Hanna Rose Shell, author of Shoddy: From Devil’s Dust to the Renaissance of Rags, will be joined in conversation with Emily Cockayne, author of Rummage: A History of the Things We Have Reused, Recycled and Refused to Let Go.

Shoddy is that rare book that takes you from the direct experiences you share with the author (what to do with your used clothes? the feeling of ‘doing good’ when you donate them to clothe someone ‘less fortunate’) to the larger social, economic, historical, and, yes, moral universe in which those experiences live.”—Sherry Turkle, author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age


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October 28 / 12:30 PM CT

David Herzberg, author of White Market Drugs: Big Pharma and the Hidden History of Addiction in America, will be joined in conversation with Nancy Campbell, Jeremy Greene, and Samuel K. Roberts

By showing how the twenty-first-century opioid crisis is only the most recent in a long history of similar crises of addiction to pharmaceuticals, White Market Drugs forces us to rethink our ideas about drug policy and addiction itself—ideas that have been failing us catastrophically for over a century.


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October 28 / 6:00 PM CT

Join us as we celebrate the launch of the first two volumes in the new Thinking Literature series. Books in this series are committed to the refinement of literary criticism as a mode of reasoning in and about the world. 

Andrea Gadberry, author of Cartesian Poetics: The Art of Thinking, and Dora Zhang, author of Strange Likeness: Description and the Modernist Novel will be joined in conversation by series editors Nan Z. Da and Anahid Nersessian. University of Chicago Press Editorial Director Alan Thomas will introduce the session.


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October 29 / 6:00 PM CT

Aaron Tugendhaft, author of The Idols of ISIS: From Assyria to the Internet in conversation with Bruce Lincoln, coauthor Old Thiess, a Livonian Werewolf: A Classic Case in Comparative Perspective

“[Tugendhaft’s] rich yet readable book puts ISIS’ smashing of ancient sculptures into historical and political context.… [it] is extremely relevant to America’s current debates about public sculpture, especially with regard to the role of violence in this debate.”—Erin L. Thompson, Los Angeles Review of Books Blog


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November 17 / 6:00 PM ET

Rachel Hope Cleves, author of Unspeakable: A Life beyond Sexual Morality, in conversation with Alexis Coe, author of You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George of Washington and Alice+Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis.

Unspeakable is the clear-eyed biography of Norman Douglas, a once beloved, now largely forgotten author—and an unrepentant and uncloseted pederast. Rachel Hope Cleves’s careful study of Douglas’s life opens a window onto the social history of intergenerational sex in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, revealing how charisma, celebrity, and contemporary standards protected Douglas from punishment—until they didn’t.



Previous events in the By the Book author talk series. 


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August 28 / 2:00 PM CT

Blake R. Silver, author of The Cost of Inclusion: How Student Conformity Leads to Inequality on College Campuses, in conversation with Laura T. Hamilton, author of Parenting to a Degree: How Family Matters for College Women’s Success

Young people are told that college is a place where they will “find themselves” by engaging with diversity and making friendships that will last a lifetime. But what really happens when students arrive on campus and enter this new social world? The Cost of Inclusion delves into this rich moment to explore the ways students seek out a sense of belonging and the sacrifices they make to fit in.  

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September 4 / 6:00 PM CT

Join us for a virtual launch celebration for Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History by Jaipreet Virdi. This event is produced in collaboration with Women and Children First bookshop.

Through lyrical history and personal memoir, Hearing Happiness raises pivotal questions about deafness in American society and the endless quest for a cure.

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September 15 / 12:00 PM CT

Margaret Schabas and Carl Wennerlind, coauthors of A Philosopher’s Economist: Hume and the Rise of Capitalism, in conversation with Don Garrett, author of Hume. The conversation will be moderated by Chad Zimmerman, Executive Editor for economics at the University of Chicago Press.

A Philosopher’s Economist offers the definitive account of Hume’s “worldly philosophy” and argues that economics was a central preoccupation of his life and work.  

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September 15 / 6:00 PM CT

Ellen Wayland-Smith, author of Angel in the Marketplace: Adwoman Jean Wade Rindlaub and the Selling of America, in conversation with Michelle Nickerson, author of Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right

Angel in the Marketplace, the compelling account of one of advertising’s most fervent believers, is the tale of a “Mad Woman” we haven’t been told.

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September 17 / 4:00 PM CT

Please join us for a Phoenix Poets conversation featuring Gail Mazur, author, most recently, of Land’s End: New and Selected Poems, and Rachel DeWoskin, author of Two Menus

Praise for Land’s End: “Mazur demonstrates a remarkable mastery of poetic technique as she depicts human relationships in all of their ambiguities.… It is this vulnerability, equipped and complemented with extensive erudition, that makes Mazur’s poems as poignant as they are accomplished in their craft.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Praise for Two Menus: “DeWoskin’s sophisticated, clever poetry, vacillating between soft and sonic, manages to break into the parts of the human story that so often seem inaccessible, or at least indescribable.”—NewCity Lit