The American Scholar Podcast

The American Scholar is launching a new podcast, just in time for long summer drives to the beach. Smarty Pants, hosted by Scholar staffer Stephanie Bastek, just debuted this June. 

Tune in every two weeks to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, science, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books.

Our first episode features an interview with writer Mary Roach, whose latest book, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War (W.W. Norton, 2016), explores the world of military science. She dives deep into studies of exhaustion, the dangers of diarrhea, how cadavers keep soldiers safe, and the importance of sex therapy for wounded soldiers—along with more lighthearted subjects like how to build a better button.

We also chat with Charlotte Salley, who reports on the Folger Shakespeare Library’s newest crowdsourcing campaign to decipher the letters and recipes of the Bard’s contemporaries. Mutton, anyone? 

And finally, in further recognition of the 400th year since Shakespeare’s death, we’ve curated an excerpt from Andrew Dickson’s new book, Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare’s Globe (Henry Holt and Co., 2016), read by the author himself. Hear about the connection between China’s premier, Hamlet, and British pig semen.

We hope you’ll join us every two weeks—and keep listening!