Ah, the sounds of summer: the whine of mosquitoes, the coos of mourning doves, the occasional buzz of a cicada, and, if you’re anywhere in Michigan, the deafening roar of road construction. Sometimes it’s nice to drown it all out with a podcast. Whether your summer plans include reclining in a hammock, sweating through your work clothes as you walk to the office, driving your kids to day camps all over town, or traveling to glamorous locales, LSA has your listening needs covered.

From the brilliant minds of LSA, to your ears: Ten summer podcasts, ranging in topic from Persian myth to the science of shapewear to the art of making a “no-regrets” decision. These podcasts will entertain you, and, best of all, you’ll probably learn a thing or two. 

  • Lunch Poems is a weekly freeform radio show on WCBN-FM, written, hosted and mixed live by Lis Fertig, a current Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature. Fertig describes the show as “a place to think aloud, read poetry, play music, and more.” 
  • Writing is not easy. Even University of Michigan professors struggle to get their words on the page. Writer-to-Writer is a series of conversations between U-M professors and Sweetland Center for Writing faculty about their challenges, processes, and expectations as writers and also as readers of student writing. 
  • Luisa Sánchez, a Latina/o studies and political science student, created the Latinx@UMich podcast to celebrate and inspire the Latino community at U-M. Sánchez has hosted conversations with LSA experts about lowriders, media, and music. 
  • Each episode of Frankely Judaic presents the research of faculty, fellows, or students from the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies in creative, playful segments that range from discussions of translation and food to archaeology and early medicine. The show is hosted​ by ​​​alum Jeremy Shere from NPR’s A Moment of Science
  • On Think Like an Economist, LSA economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers illuminate big ideas in the field by applying economics to daily life. Supply, demand, inflation, game theory—you’ll find it all here. 
  • Co-written by LSA English and psychology alum Heather Huntington, A Mid-Semester Night’s Dream tells the story of how a group of graduate students discover a magical edition of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, causing people to fall in love with anyone who reads from it. 
  • Z. Lupetin, a Residential College and film, television, and media alum, hosts interviews and live performances with some of the country’s leading singers and songwriters on Show on the Road. Episodes feature everyone from Mary Gautier and Allison Russell to Keb’ Mo’ and fellow U-M alum Theo Katzman of Vulfpeck.
  • The hosts of Dope Labs, Ph.D. scientists and educators Titi Shodiya (formerly a postdoctoral researcher in the U-M Department of Chemistry) and Zakiya Whatley, want to empower listeners to discover their inner scientists so they can understand pop culture phenomena, from consumer DNA testing to why we lie. 
  • Established by chemistry Ph.D. students Bec Roldan and Geraldo Duran-Camacho, My Fave Queer Chemist highlights stories from LGBTQ+ chemists. Find it on Apple Podcasts here.
  • Behind the Scaffolding is brought to listeners by Angie Berkley and Gina Brandolino, lecturers in the English department and in Sweetland Center for Writing, where the hosts discuss everything from “teachers who haunt us” (spooky!) to developing structures of support for students. 

Editor’s note: We’d love to hear about your favorite podcasts, especially those that have a link to LSA faculty, staff, students, and alums! Email lsamagazine@umich.edu with suggestions.