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Podcast: Salon B

Salon B is an aural gathering of scholars across disciplines, hosted by Berghahn Books—an award-winning academic press.

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Historically, salons followed Horace’s aim of poetry “either to inform or delight,” and we hope to do both as we bring you a gathering of academics and writers from a wide range of disciplines to discuss their work, read extracts, and talk about academic life, all tied to a different monthly theme.

Founded in 1994, Berghahn Books is an independent publisher of distinguished scholarly books and journals in the humanities and social sciences. Our program, which includes close to 40 journals and over 120 new titles a year, spans History, Social & Cultural Anthropology, Archaeology, Mobility Studies, Environmental Studies, and Film Studies. Our backlist has over 2,000 book titles and nearly 8,000 journal articles.

A family firm, the press is run by our founder Marion Berghahn in partnership with her daughter, Vivian, and her eldest son, Sascha. They are joined by over 20 staff across offices in Oxford and Brooklyn and together they channel a fiercely independent spirit in advancing the company's progressive mission.

As current – as well as historical – events remind us, the values of scholarly learning are vital for understanding the human condition and for promoting the ideals of equality and tolerance in both theory and application. To this end, the books we publish reflect a deep commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship that is concerned with the underlying social fabrics that span our diverse cultures.

Music © Chris Chappell

Episode 7


In celebration of International Workers' Day having taken place on May 1st and Karl Marx having been born on May 5th, our theme for this month’s episode is labor.

This episode features Stephanie Fortado, co-editor of Histories of a Radical Book: E. P. Thompson and The Making of the English Working Class; Raffaella Sarti, editor of What is Work?: Gender at the Crossroads of Home, Family, and Business from the Early Modern Era to the Present; and a poem from John Greening, whose most recent collection, A Post Card To, was published this year by Red Squirrel Press.

A reminder that both of today’s featured books can be found on our website, and the poem will be featured in an upcoming edition of Critical Survey.

Episode 6


In the spirit of the April Fool’s Day release date, this episode is themed around ‘humor,’ featuring conversations with Heidi Hakkarainen, author of Comical Modernity: Popular Humour and the Transformation of Urban Space in Late Nineteenth Century Vienna and Veronika Pehe, author of Velvet Retro: Postsocialist Nostalgia and the Politics of Heroism in Czech Popular Culture. We’ll close today’s salon with a reading of a poem by Colin James, “The Betrothal of a Semi Compliant Therefore Semi Coherent, Narcissus,” previously published in Critical Survey.

Episode 5


This month’s theme, appropriately enough, is transmission. We consider transmission in its many forms, from television transcending boundaries between West and East Germany, to the passing on of Aboriginal ceremonies in Australia. History speaks to us through the words of an Irish poet, and we look towards the future with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Guests on this episode include:

Episode 4


This episode is centered around the notion of ‘crisis,’ featuring moments of intensity that prompt change. We’ll be chatting with Karena Kalmbach, author of The Meanings of Disaster: Chernobyl and Its Afterlives in Britain and France, Mark Schuller, editor of the Catastrophes in Context series, and Jean-Paul Gagnon, editor of the Berghahn Journal Democratic Theory.

We will also share instructions on how to enter for the chance to win a $100 gift card to Blackwell’s Bookstore, “an Oxford family bookshop.”

Episode 3


Salon B Holiday Special

As many of us find ourselves reinterpreting the idea of intimacy in the face of pandemic isolation, we are delighted to invite you into our salon for a while as we gather with academics and colleagues from the press.

On this episode, we are featuring Selcen Küçüküstel author of the forthcoming title EMBRACING LANDSCAPE: Living with Reindeer and Hunting among Spirits in South Siberia, as well as Andrew Dawson and Simone Dennis, editors of this year’s special volume of the journal Anthropology in Action focusing on “Covid-19 and the Transformation of Intimacy.” And, in a special segment, a few of our colleagues share beloved holiday recipes and memories of family, friends, and food.

Episode 2


The study of youth transcends traditional disciplinary bounds. On this episode of Salon B, we discuss the reshaping of social relations among young males in post-Socialist Kyrgyzstan, the reinforcement of ideology through East German comic books, and how boyhood is represented in contemporary film.

Guests of the salon include Timothy Shary (author of Cinemas of Boyhood), Philipp Schröder (author of Bishkek Boys), Sean Eedy (author of Four-Color Communism), and the editors of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Our closing poem, “Another Shell,” was written and recorded by Sarah James and was first published in Critical Survey.

Episode 1


Welcome to the first episode of Salon B, the new podcast from Berghahn Books. We are happy that you could join us as we embark on this exciting project.

Historically, salons followed Horace’s aim of poetry “either to please or to educate”, and we hope to do both as we bring you a gathering of academics and writers from a wide range of disciplines to discuss their work, read extracts, and talk about their academic life, all tied to a different monthly theme.

This episode, in recognition of its Halloween release date, is themed around bones, and features bones both real and metaphorical, as well as the bone-like structure of a now ghostly bridge.

Guests of the salon include Brian Hoggard (author of Magical House Protection: The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft) and A.E. Garrison (contributor to Blurring Timescapes, Subverting Erasure: Remembering Ghosts on the Margins of History).

Our closing poem “Apple Trees” was written and recorded by Marion McCready and first published in Critical Survey Vol. 28, Issue 3.