This is a podcast put together by the moderators of the largest online history forum, askhistorians.reddit.com. Hear interviews with our experts and highlights from particularly excellent answers from the forums.
The AskHistorians Podcast showcases the knowledge and enthusiasm of the AskHistorians community, a forum of more than 400,000 history academics, professionals, amateurs, and curious onlookers. The aim is to be a resource accessible across a wide range of listeners for historical topics which so often go overlooked. Together, we have a broad array of people capable of speaking in-depth on topics that get half a page on Wikipedia, a paragraph in a high-school textbook, and not even a minute on the History channel.
The podcast aims to give a voice (literally!) to those areas of history, while not neglecting the more common covered topics. Part of the drive behind the podcast is absolutely to be a counterpoint to other forms popular media on history which only seem to cover the same couple of topics in the same couple ways over and over again.
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In this episode, u/EnclavedMicrostate interviews Brian Dott about the history of the chile pepper in China. This covers the pepper's introduction and spread, its integration into existing Chinese cuisine and understandings of culinary theory, its use as a medicine, as a cultural metaphor, and as a marker of regional identities.. . .
In this episode, u/Sunagainstgold interviews Keagan Brewer about atheism in the Medieval period. The interview covers examples of medieval atheists, their treatment by the church, and the historical controversy over their very existence.. . .
Guest-host Max (/u/Commustar) speaks with Reuben A. Loffman about his book "Church, State and Colonialism in Southeastern Congo; 1890-1962" (2019, Palgrave-MacMillan). This wide-ranging interview covers pre-colonial history of the Kongolo region; the role of White Fathers and Spiritan missionaries; and the experience of decolonization and the Katanga secession. You can find Reuben Loffman on twitter as @ReubenLoffman,. . .
This is the second part of the discussion between myself, /u/Steelcan909, and /u/EnclavedMicrostate, wherein we discuss the Opium Wars themselves, the actual role of opium in the wars, and the fallout that these events had on subsequent Chinese and European history.. . .
Welcome to the first of our two part series on the Opium Wars! Today I, /u/Steelcan909, am joined by /u/EnclavedMicrostate in a discussion about the development of the opium trade and the tensions between the Qing government and British merchants that erupted into two wars between these Imperial giants.. . .
We have the privilege to speak with Dr. Anya Jabour about her recent biography, "Sophonisba Breckinridge: Championing Women's Activism in Modern America." Breckinridge was a university professor in the early 20th century who played a major role in nearly every area of social activism you can fathom--and here, you have the chance to learn all about her, and to use her as a window into the history of social activism in the 20th century United States.. . .
In this episode, Jeremy (/u/EnclavedMicrostate) interviews then-flaired-user (now newly-minted moderator) /u/Steelcan909 on the matter of the Christianisation of England during the Early Middle Ages. What happened to Christianity after the Romans left? How did it come back? Were attempts made to syncretise Christianity with paganism? And where does horse meat come into it all? Find out all this and more on this episode of the AskHistorians Podcast.. . .
On January 4, members of the AskHistorians mod team spoke as a panel at the annual American Historical Association conference in New York City. We recorded that panel, "Historians on the Battleground of Social Media: Lessons from Eight Years of AskHistorians," to share with our listeners at home! (Some audience questions at the end were edited out, as they were too quiet to hear or amplify in post-production. The answers are still in the podcast, though!) You can read our papers here: https://askhistorians.com/conferences/aha2020.html. . .
Today /u/Drylaw talks with Professor Nicholas Buccola, author of "The Fire Is upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America" (Princeton University Press, 2017), about the important 1965 debate on race between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley Jr. We cover their influences on the civil rights and conservative movements respectively, and their ideas' continuing relevance. You can find Professor Buccola on Twitter as @buccola_nick.. . .
For his debut as an interviewer rather than as a guest on the podcast, Jeremy Salkeld (/u/EnclavedMicrostate) is joined by flaired user /u/dandan_noodles to discuss warfare and its changes and continuities from the mid-eighteenth century and the wars of Frederick the Great up to the early nineteenth century and the wars of Napoleon. Why were wars fought? Who joined the armies? How did they fight? Did the revolution in French politics create a revolution in French warfare? Find out all this and more in this episode. (Total length: 102 minutes) Follow @AskHistorians on Twitter and everywhere else!. . .
Cassidy Percoco is joined by Lyndsey Craig, MS candidate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to chat briefly about the study, "Pubic Hair Removal Practices in Cross-Cultural Perspective," of which she was lead author. The study's anthropological in nature, but involves some descriptions of historical practices! You can follow Lyndsey on twitter as @lyndseykcraig. You can follow Cassidy on twitter as @mimicofmodes and at A Most Beguiling Accomplishment. Follow @AskHistorians on Twitter and everywhere else!. . .
Today we're joined by Fraser Raeburn, our very own /u/Crrpit, to talk about the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War with a specific emphasis on Scottish volunteers. Who joined? Why did they join? What were the politics of the International Brigades? Hear about this, and much more, in this episode. You can find him on Twitter as @FraserRaeburn.. . .
Today we're joined by Professor Joshua Specht of Monash University to talk about his new book Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America (Princeton University Press, 2019). You can find him on Twitter as @joshspecht.. . .
On today's episode we're talking with Professor Tamara Walker (Assistant Professor of History at the University of Toronto), about her book Exquisite Slaves: Race, Clothing and Status in Colonial Lima (Cambridge University Press, 2017). You can find her book here.. . .
Today on the pod we're chatting with (tenured) Professor Daniel Bessner about the adjunctification of academic life: both its impact on academia and ways that people are fighting back. You can follow Professor Bessner on Twitter @dbessner. . .
Today on the AskHistorians podcast, we're joined by ante-bellum slavery expert, moderator and contributor extroardinaire Pat (or Freedmenspatrol), to discuss the Missouri Compromise of 1820. In this episode we look at the nature of slavery in the United States in the early 1800s, the explosive tension between pro- and anti-slavery advocates, and the enormous political battle which unfolded over slavery and the statehood of Missouri. You can follow Pat as /u/freemenspatrol on Reddit, or join us in the podcast discussion here! ~96 minutes. . .
Today we're talking with Dr. Roel Konijnendijk about the career of Victor Davis Hanson. Hanson began as a scholar of Ancient Greek warfare but in recent decades he has transformed himself into a pundit. We discuss the implications that this transformation had on his reputation and later work. You can follow Roel on twitter at @Roelkonijn or on Reddit as /u/Iphikrates. You can follow the conversation on the subreddit here.. . .
Today we are joined by /u/EnclavedMicrostate, who is a flaired user on AskHistorians on the Opium Wars and the Taiping Rebellion. Together with guest host Bernardito, we talk about a conflict with many misconceptions: The Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864). We explore the myths, the realities and the actual history behind the rebellion to explore this critical moment in 19th century Chinese history. Is it true that over 20 million people were killed in this conflict? Who truly was the leader of the Taiping? This, and much more, in this fascinating episode.. . .
Today on AskHistorians Aloud, just in time for Valentines Day, bigfridge224 reveals the secrets of Ancient Roman, Greek and Egyptian love magic--stop by here for a potion, doll, or spell for your beloved! Question and answer sourced from here.. . .
Today, the always-fantastic lcnielsen combines a number of his previous answers on Manichaeism to give us a fantastic overview of what it is and what it entails! See his answers on the topic here: Manichaeism is the only major world religion I could think of to be completely destroyed across multiple national boundaries as the result of severe persecution. What about Manichaeism was so terrifying to every single polity in late antiquity that caused such persecution? Why did Zoroastrianism stop spreading?, was it because the Persian Empire was conquered? Has there ever been a movement to unite Islam, Christianity and Judaism? If so, did any of its proponents draw a similarity between the Holy Trinity and the three branches of Abrahamism?. . .
(44:35) Today we talk with Dr. Edward J. Watts, author of Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell Into Tyranny (Basic Books, 2018) about how Rome transitioned from a republic to an empire, and the politics of economics and social accountability. You can find his book here. The /r/AskHistorians discussion thread for this podcast can be found here. . .
A special release podcast today: interviews that Brian Watson did with Brant Ellsworth of Children's Folklore Review and Willa C. Liburd Tavernier for Open Access week at Indiana University. This podcast episode is licensed under CC-BY.. . .
In this week's podcast, we talk to AskHistorians flaired user u/rusoved, a historical linguist with a special focus on Slavic and Albanian linguistics. We discuss how historical linguists work backwards from modern language and dialects to work out how things used to be, as well as how the field itself developed and where it may be going on the future.. . .
New interview episode on Friday! For now, enjoy an AH Aloud episode! I often hear people say that the Irish Potato Famine was more a genocide than a true famine. How accurate is this claim? Link to answer.. . .
In this episode of AskHistorians Aloud, we talk about conscription in the Ancient Greek world. Iphikrates answers "I'm a farmer in 500 BC in a typical Greek city-state. How often will I get called to mobilize for a battle?" Link to answer: here. Update: Someone has pointed out that a bit of the outro got recorded over the answer! Terribly sorry about that. Here is the missing text: How much of the time was wartime is an open question. But even during the Peloponnesian War, there were several uneventful years, in which Sparta did not call out the levy of the Peloponnesian League and Athens had only men from the Lists in various expeditionary forces. In such times you, as a regular farmer, might escape military duty altogether. And if your city-state wasn't a member of the League or a subject of the Athenian Empire, you might be fighting your own petty wars, but otherwise you'd be left mostly alone. It is anyone's guess how often you would actually be involved in a battle. Given all the factors I've mentioned, regardless of your city-state's foreign policy, I am of the opinion that the answer is probably closer to "once or twice in a lifetime" than "every year". However, given the lack of comprehensive source coverage, and the fact that historical accounts sometimes casually mention several battles in the course of a single campaign, my guess may well be wildly off the mark.. . .
In this episode of AskHistorians Aloud, sunagainstgold answers "Were women voters subject to vote suppression campaigns in the 1920s like those forced on African-Americans after Reconstruction?" Link to question and answer: here.. . .
Today we talk with Dr. Timo Schaefer, author of Liberalism as Utopia The Rise and Fall of Legal Rule in Post-Colonial Mexico, 1820–1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2017), about how Liberal projects and ideals affected the legal system in 19th century Mexico. You can find him on Twitter as @TimoHSchaefer You can find his book here.. . .
Today we talk with Dr. Roel Konijnendijk (@Roelkonijn on Twitter) about the myths surrounding the Battle of Thermopylae in popular culture. In particular, we compare scholarship on the battle with the mid-aughts film 300, Directed by Zack Snyder.. . .
Today we're talking about the ways in which 17th and 18th century Russia gathered intelligence on the Far East with Professor Gregory Afinogenov, who is currently Assistant Professor of Russian Imperial History at the University of Georgetown. He's on Twitter as @athenogenes.. . .
In today's episode we talk with u/CommieSpaceInvader about Marxist historiography and contemporary academia. This episode isn't a systematic analysis of the Marxist school within History so much as it is a broader reflection on the evolution of Marxist historiography and the ways it is perceived in contemporary academia and beyond.. . .
Today we chat with Dr. Keri Leigh Merritt about the topic of her new book, Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Dr. Merritt is on Twitter as @KeriLeighMerrit and her professional website is https://kerileighmerritt.com. You can join the discussion on the subreddit here.. . .
Today we talk with Dr. Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America. We talk about the decades long struggle between proponents of legalizing marijuana and those who defend laws criminalizing its possession and use. (56 min) You can find our guest on Twitter as @emily_dufton.. . .
In today's episode we hear from u/Sowser about resistance and rebellion in the British Caribbean. Using Jamaica as a case study, we talk about the different uprisings which shaped Jamaican history, both before and after the abolition of slavery. (81 minutes) Feel free to join the discussion of this episode on the mainsub here!. . .
In this episode we hear from Professor David Fouser (u/agentdcf on the subreddit and @journeymanhisto on Twitter) about what it is like to be an adjunct professor in today's academic job market. (62 minutes) Discussion thread. . .
Today we're joined by Professor Lorien Foote (Texas A&M University) to talk about Union prisoners in the Civil War South. Specifically, the prisoner exchange system, the role of 19th century concepts of honor, and how these prisoners escaped as the Confederacy broke down towards the end of the war. You can check out the discussion thread in the subreddit here.. . .
Today Doug Priest (u/TenMinuteHistory on the subreddit) will explain the 1905 Revolution. This less well known precursor to the 1917 Revolutions, illustrates how the repeated failure to resolve Russia's most pressing economic, political, and social issues would set the stage for the overthrow of the Tzar over a decade later. (61 minutes) You can find the discussion thread in the mainsub here.. . .
In light of the upcoming 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, Professor Peter Wilson talks with us about the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th century. You can find the discussion thread here.. . .
We talk with Dr. Matthew Nicholls, Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Reading, and the creator of the Virtual Rome project. We discuss the difficulties of creating a 3-D, street-level map of Ancient Rome, as well as the upcoming massive open online course based upon it. (33min) Dr. Nicholls' previous AMA on AskHistorians. The next session of the online course of Rome: a Virtual Tour of the Ancient City will begin October 9th. You can learn more and sign up for free here. Join the discussion on AskHistorians!. . .
On today's episode we have Professor Cindy Ermus, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Lethbridge, explaining the Plague of Marseille in terms of the (relatively) new field of Disaster History. (56 min) You can find the discussion thread on the subreddit here.. . .
This podcast is a recording of the AskHistorians presentation at the National Council of Public History this past April. You can read the full-text of the speeches here: https://redd.it/682ta1 As usual, here is the discussion thread for the episode on the AskHistorians subreddit. You can read our papers here: https://askhistorians.com/conferences/ncph2017.html. . .
In this concluding episode, we discuss the aftermath and fall-out from the Battle of Jutland, including the debate over the actions of the British commanders of the Grand Fleet. Also included is discussion over whether British ship designs at the time were flawed, leading to increased casualties. We conclude by putting the role of the battleship in naval warfare, particularly after WWI, in context. (37min). . .
In this first of two episodes we cover the lead-up and ultimately the clash between battleships at Jutland. We discuss the changing technologies and tactics of naval warfare at the time, before moving on to the battle itself. (51min). . .
Antonio Curet, archaeologist and curator at the Museum of the American Indian, in Washington, DC, talks with us about the Taíno civilization of the Greater Antilles. (99min) Please leave us your thoughts and questions in the discussion thread in the subreddit, which can be found here.. . .
Dan Howlett discusses the Salem Witch Trials and his approach to them using social network analysis. While the focus of the episode is on a digital humanities approach to historical research, the episode also covers the underlying social and political tensions, as well as the general atmosphere of paranoia, in the Salem area at the time. (36min). . .
We explore the life and legacy of the Classical Greek general, Iphikrates with AskHistorians user Iphikrates. Famous for his use of light troops and for military reforms related to those troops, we trace the surviving evidence of Iphikrate's life and career to investigate the timing, scope, and even existence of those reforms. Along the way, the conversation touches upon the Athenian socio-political system of the time, the non-hoplite parts of Greek warfare, and a tantalizing connection between Iphikrates and Alexander the Great. (71min) Join the Conversation!. . .
Snapshot52 joins us to discuss the concept of cultural genocide in the context of the US government’s American Indian policy. In particular, we look at the creation and evolution of obligatory boarding schools for American Indian children. (75 min). Join the discussion!. . .
Andres Pertierra joins us to discuss the interactions between Cuba and the United States starting in the Colonial Era and extending through the mid-20th Century with the Batista regime. Along the way we discuss Americans changing their names to fit in, the plantation economy, the problem of slavery, American shipping concerns, and the tensions between independence and annexation. (85min).. . .
AnnalsPornographie discusses morality and immorality in late 16th and 17th Century England, as urbanization, population increase, and a growing middle class combined to form new approaches to controlling the morality of society. We discuss the debauchery of the court of Charles II, the moral backlash of the Glorious Revolution, and finally delve deep into the workings of the Society for the Reformation of Manners before reflecting on more modern debates over obscenity. (63min). . .
The conversation with CptBuck continues as we move south from Anatolia and the new state of Turkey into the regions of Mesopotamia, Syria, and the Levant. The politics and conflicts which led to the borders and formation of the modern states of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Israel/Palestine are all discussed, as well as a quick digression into Egypt. We end with a discussion on whether the borders of these nations predestined them for future conflicts. (60mins) Join the discussion!. . .
CptBuck gives us the first of two episodes looking at WW1 in the Middle East, discussing the political intrigue and wrangling between the Ottomans, British, French, and Russians, among others. This episode focuses primarily on the Turkish area of the Ottoman Empire, and the various plans hatched both before and after Armistice to divvy up the Ottoman state. Along the way we talk about the Sykes-Picot, the Young Turks, the Greco-Turkish War, and Lawrence of Arabia. (59min) Join the Discussion!. . .
Snapshot52 discusses Federal Indian Policy in the United States, with a particular focus on the Termination Era of the mid-20th Century. The evolution of how the Federal government approached sometimes disparate goals of exclusion and assimilation, as well as Tribal sovereignty, over the decades are covered from pre-Dawes Act to the current day. (69min) Join the discussion!. . .
KoineLingua discusses the practices and purposes of sacrifice in the Ancient Near East. The conversation covers the various forms of animal sacrifice, as well as the understanding of the divine being sacrificed to, before turning to the question of human sacrifice in the region and Biblically. (50min) Join the discussion!. . .
The conversation on the Kansas-Nebraska Act continues with the political wrangling in Washington. The discussion moves from the passage of the Act on towards Bloody Kansas and the opposing sides (and constitutions) vying to be recognized at the legitimate government of the newly formed Kansas. We conclude with a brief historiographical commentary on the importance of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. (70min) Join the discussion!. . .
Freedmanspatrol discusses the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, which gave us "Bloody Kansas" and paved the way to the Civil War. The focus is on the political (and geographic) landscape as well as the Washington DC wrangling over the deal. Along the way we also discuss the transcontinental railroad, the Second Party System of the Whigs and Democrats, and the ambitions of Stephen Douglas and men of the F Street Mess. (77min) Read more from our guest at the blog Freedmen's Patrol: Exploring the Civil War Era. Join the discussion!. . .
DryLaw discusses the society of early Colonial Mexico (aka New Spain), particularly the interrelations between American and European peoples. The focus is primarily on the historical writings produced by Nahua and Mestizo writers producing histories of thier own societies and lineages, as well as those works by Spanish friars focusing on indigenous culture and history. Major literary works by Tezozomoc, Ixtlilxochitl, are Chimalpahin covered and put into context, as are works by Sahagun and Duran. (59min) Join the discussion!. . .
SunshineBag discusses the intersection of sport and nationalism, as we cover both the rise of Mussolini's Fascists and the growth of the sport of calcio in Italy. The ways the Fascists attempted to use football as a medium for building a national spirit and demonstrate Italian strength on the world stage is discussed, as is the backdrop of Italian national disunity and regionalism. (59min) Join the discussion!. . .
Alvise Falier discusses medieval communes, a term for a complicated and heterogeneous system of local rule in the 11th through 13th centuries. The focus is on the city of Milan, and northern Italy in particular, under the dominion of the Holy Roman Empire, but with a distinct political and cultural difference from that entity. In this conversation we trace the development of the communal system in Milan from the end of Charlemagne up through the end of the system with the establishment of the Duchy of Milan by the Visconti dynasty. Issues of Italian disunity, with local identification taking precedence over a singular national identity are discussed. (68min). . .
Historian of nuclear weapons and secrecy, Dr. Alex Wellerstein, discusses the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Specifically, the conversation focuses on the high level, and highly classified, debates over how best to employ these new weapons. From there, the episode segues into the inherent difficulties of doing historical research on classified materials and how that has shaped the historiography of the bombings. (75min) Dr. Wellerstein is the author of Restricted Data: the Nuclear Secrecy Blog, where his NUKEMAP can also be found (among many other items of note). He and his work have also appeared NPR, FOX News, and The Daily Show, as well as in The New Yorker, where his article, "Nagasaki: The Last Bomb," can be found.. . .
Tim Byron (aka /u/hillsonghoods) drops in to discuss the popular music of the mid and later 20th Century, tracing the development of guitar driven rock and roll from its diverse origins on through to its musical dominance. Included in the conversation is the changing physical and technological environment of the mid-20th Century, as well as the significance of the Baby Boom. (85min). . .
Falafel1066 discusses interactions between American communism (particularly the CPUSA) and Black workers against the Great Migration. The focus is on events in the Midwest, as Black workers and the CPUSA mobilized to claim labor rights, fight evictions, and obtain relief during unemployment. Special attention is paid to the role of women, both as laborers and as caretakers of the family. The episode concludes by tracing how a tradition of radicalism persisted through the early 20th into the 60/70s and on to modern day. (53min) Join the discussion!. . .
Jime Dorje discusses the founding of the modern state of Bhutan and its relationship to Tibet. The conversation covers the relationship between various sects of Buddhism, Mongol patronage, the political and economic role of monasteries, and ultimately the conflict which would lead the Zhabdrung to head south, putting in motion the events which would lead to the formation of Bhutan. (91min) Join the discussion!. . .
The conversation with AgentDCF continues, as pick up with talking about how milling and baking relates to the scientific revolution, before moving into to discussing the industrialization of mills and the connection to the golden age of microbiology. We then discuss adulteration and food purity and the role of The Lancet in reforming bakeries. The conversation concludes with a discussion of bread in the context of the British Imperial system. (60min). . .
AgentDCF discusses the changes in styles and technologies in how grain was milled and bread baked as Britain moved into the modern era. The conversation spans from feudal laws and privileges to industrialization and global shipping, as we examine how a basic staple like bread reflects the larger changes to society and the world. (65min). . .
ColeVintage talks about how people used to get clean and stay fresh. The conversation begins with bathing, then moves into hair care, deodorants, and underwear, before segueing into how personal hygiene transformed into both a social status marker and public health concern. (53min). . .
Iphikrates discusses the largest hoplite battle in known
history, after a substantive overview of hoplite tactics and
equipment. Covered are the changing interpretations of ancient
Greek warfare, the usefulness of the famous "push" and deep ranks,
the role of cavalry and auxiliaries, and the evolving equipment
used. Also discussed is the vaunted Spartan military prowess.
(68min). . .
Chris Stewart of The History of China podcast discusses the Three Kingdoms period of China. Specifically, the conversation focuses on Wei, also known as Cao Wei, the polity would eventually bring about an end to the Three Kingdoms, though that unification would not last. We discuss the rise of Cao Cao and the decline of the Han, as well as the famous northern expeditions of Zhuge Liang. Also covered is the ascent of the Sima family, who would eventually supplant the Cao lineage and conquer the rival states of Shu and Wu. (78min). . .
Sowser discusses the end of slavery in the British Caribbean. We cover ideas held now (and then) about the death rates in the area, misconceptions about the role of the Irish, the 1807 abolition of the slave trade, and the political movements leading up official emancipation. Also covered are the failure of the apprenticeship system, payments made to slave owners, and the lasting legacy of slavery in the Caribbean. (73min). . .
Yawarpoma explores the 16th Century colony in what is now Venezuela, granted by Charles V to a German banking family, the Welsers. The colony, established in the same period as Spanish successes in Mexico and Peru, struggled to meet those successes by searching for a quick route to the Pacific and for the fabled city of gold, always just one more valley over. Yet, at the same time, the Germans led some of the first European expeditions into northern South America, though they would occasionally race against and even clash with Spanish rivals in an attempt to stake a claim to wealth and territory.. . .
Commiespaceinvader explores the academic debate over the causes and the development of the Holocaust. We discuss the early steps taken by the Nazis to make Jewish life untenable within Germany, ghettoization, the Madagascar Plan, and finally, the transition to mass murder. These actions are viewed through the lens of the intentionalism and functionalism debate, which has at its core the question of not just of why the Holocaust came about, but also the question of assigning culpability for its development. (73min). . .
For those who missed the live stream (and for posterity), the presentation by AskHistorians at the 2016 American Historical Association meeting in Atlanta, GA is presented here in full. The title of the panel session was “AskHistorians”: Outreach and Its Challenges in an Online Space and featured five presentations on how AskHistorians has created, grown, sustained, and moderated an online space for historical discussion. See also, an article in the AHA's magazine about the panel. You can read our papers here: https://askhistorians.com/conferences/aha2016.html. . .
Ronald James, a historian and folklorist with 30 years of experience with the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office, Inductee into the Nevada Writer's Hall of Fame, former chair of the National Historic Landmarks Committee, and author of more than a dozen books, including The Roar And The Silence: A History Of Virginia City And The Comstock Lode and Introduction to Folklore: Traditional Studies in Europe and Elsewhere, takes some time to speak to the AskHistorians Podcast. This episode looks at the development and practice of folklore as an academic discipline, while also exploring folkloric traditions from Cornwall, particular those spirits known as "Knockers." The importance of folktales and legends in everyday life are discussed, as well how those tales can change over time and in different situations, such as immigration from Cornwall to the American West. (59min). . .
Shlin28 sheds light on the relationship between the eastern and western regions of Europe/Mediterranean in the centuries following the dissolution of the Western Roman Empire. This episode particularly focuses on the political nature of the interactions, while also discussing Justinian's restoration of Imperial control, religious schisms of the era, and the expansion of Muslim power in the latter part of the 7th Century. (70min). . .
The podcast takes turn for the anthropological as Firedrops discusses Haitian Vodou, including some of her own fieldwork. This episode starts by asking what distinguishes it from "cousin" practices in the Caribbean and American South before moving into Vodou's role in Haitian society from the Colonial era to Independence and up through to today. We also look at the way American society has been exposed to Vodou, though the 1915 US Invasion of Haiti, sensationalist media, early scholarly works, and Haitian immigration. Zombies are discussed. (74min). . .
cordis_melum discusses the group led by Jim Jones known as the People's Temple. We explore its development from a integration minded church in Indianapolis with socialist tendencies to it's final chapter of mass suicide in the jungles of Guyana. This episode aims to look at the People's Temple not as an inexplicable cult, but as an extreme response to the social and political situation of America at that time, set against the backdrop of the Cold War. (83min). . .
We wrap up our conversation with Rhodes regarding Zimbabwe. This episode picks up in the mid-20th century, as decolonization sweeps across Africa. We examine the efforts of the white minority to hold on to power, leading to the Unilateral Declaration of Independence and onwards to the Bush War. We continue through the Lancaster Agreement into post-independence Zimbabwe, the rise of Mugabe, and the Gukurahundi. The disastrous land reforms and hyperinflation are also discussed in the context of Zimbabwe as a symbolic state as much as it is a new one. (89min). . .
ProfRhodes educates us on the history of the modern nation of Zimbabwe starting by introducing the Shona and Ndebele, and proceeding forward with Cecil Rhodes, the British South Africa Company, the Rudd Concession, and the Pioneer Column. This episode, the first of two, takes us through those late 19th Century events up until the formation of the Central African Federation and post-war decolonizations in Sub-Saharan Africa. (67min). . .
Mictlantecuhtli gives an archaeological perspective on the burial practices and monumental architecture of West Mexico, focusing particularly on shaft tombs and later on guachimontones. The discussion also digs into the current archaeological knowledge of West Mexico and gives insight into the processes of performing archaeology, including the problem of looting. (54min). . .
The aptly named CanadianHistorian gives a crash course in Canadian history, starting from the British seizure of New France in the Seven Years War and proceeding up until multiculturalism in "Trudeau's Canada." By covering the heavy drinking Charlottetown Conference, the symbolism of Vimy Ridge, and the traumatic October Crisis, this episode looks at the interplay of English and French groups and how a unique Canadian identity was forged out of their shared history. (90mins). . .
Vonadler discusses the French plans and preparations for World War 2. The purpose and efficacy of the Maginot Line, the problem of the "hollow classes," and the overall strategy are discussed along with side tangents into the French influence on American artillery tactics and geopolitics.. . .
Kittydentures goes in depth on the chemise à la reine, the dress worn by Marie Antoinette that was as scandalous as it was emblematic of the age. Starting from the background of the dress as coming to France via an Italian painter hired by the English to spy on the French West Indies, but who spent more time painting the local Creole women, this episode then segues into experimental archaeology and the importance of authenticity in historical depictions.. . .
ChocolatePot discusses clothing and the fashion scene in late 18th and early 19th Century France and England. Covering everything from links to the philosophy of Rousseau to nascent fashion magazines, this episode also examines how clothing and fashion fit into the overall discipline of history.. . .
Anthropology Nerd guests on the podcast to discuss topics anthropological. The conversation begins with discussing what bioarchaeology is, before moving to the methods used to identify human remains with regards to such traits as ancestry. The conversation then widens in scope to talk about the osteological paradox and preservation bias in using cemetery samples to draw conclusions about the past health of populations. A discussion of Inca Mummies concludes the talk, touching on isotope analysis and imaging technology in bioarchaeological investigations.. . .
Commustar gives co-host Jasfss a continent-wide, millenia-spanning overview of the development, influences, and functions of urban society in Africa. Starting in ancient Egypt and rolling down the coast and through time, the episode continues into the Horn of Africa, the Swahili Coast, Great Zimbabwe, and Ghana, before addressing the growing colonial influence of European states. The episode then doubles back to talk about Kongo, Kanem-Bornu, and the Hausa states.. . .
The conversation with Celebreth continues, picking up after the 2nd Punic War. This episode covers the 3rd Punic War, Marian reforms, and the ascent of Julius Caesar. The discussion ends, as did the Republic, with Octavian becoming Augustus and establishing the principate.. . .
Celebreth covers the history of the Roman Republic through its military development and campaigns, reflecting on how conquest, politics, and society are intertwined. With host Jasfss, they cover everything from the initial militias of the city of Rome, up through the battles against Hannibal in the Second Punic War.. . .
The conversation with Bernardito continues, picking up with the aftermath of the Phillipeville Massacre. This episode covers the rest of the Algerian War, including the quadrillage, the Battle of Algiers, and the coup that brought the 4th Republic to an end. Also discussed are the spiral of violence in collective reprisals, David Galula's writings on counterinsurgency, and the importance of air mobile tactics.. . .
Bernardito explores the rise of modern tactics of counter-insurgency through the lens of decolonialism and nationalist movements. Starting in French Indochina, the first half of this episode gives an overview of the efforts of the French to maintain colonial control in that region. Their defeat sets the stage for conflict in Algeria, where France was determined not to lose control of what they considered part of Metropolitan France. The latter half of the podcast covers key Algerian grievances, the formation of the FLN, and early actions on both sides, concluding with Phillipeville. Part 1 of 2.. . .
RioAbajo discusses the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, in which the indigenous people in what is now the Four Corners region drove out the Spanish colonizers. Starting with a discussion of Pueblo social, political, and religious organization we move from there into the arrival of the Spanish and the institution of the Mission system and encomiendas. Antagonism leads to a unified Pueblo force driving the Spanish from Santa Fe and initiating a decade without European intervention. The episode concludes with a discussion of how this event helped to shape a common and persistent Pueblo cultural identity.. . .
DonaldFDraper drops in to give a broad overview of how European politics and military tactics changed in the extended century running from the end of the 30 Years War up into the ascent Napoleon. Starting with Gustavus Adolphus, the development of line infantry, and the resuscitation of cavalry tactics, the episode progresses there into the War of Spanish Succession and the dynastic gamesmanship that dictated the pace of war and peace. The episode proceeds from there into the War of Austrian Succession, the rise of Prussia, the Diplomatic Revolution, the Seven Years War, new artillery tactics, and the relative merits of muskets vs. rifles.. . .
The conversation with Elos continues. The changing tactical nature of the Great War during and after the Somme is the focus of this episode. Increasing precision in artillery strikes and impletation of infiltration/stormtrooper tactics are covered as we progress towards armistice with stops at Ypres and the 1918 German counter-offensives along the way.. . .
Elos discusses some of the prominent and popular ideas about The Great War, particularly in the anglosphere. Covered are the notion of "lions led by donkeys" and the idea of marching lockstep into machine gun fire, as well as the expected time an average soldier would spend in a combat zone. Key, however, is challenging the idea that WWI was a static and senseless conflict, instead of a dynamic engagement whose tactics and strategy were rooted in practical considerations.. . .
Caffarelli composes a special episode on Alessandro Moreschi, the famous castrato opera singer whose voice was preserved by early recording technology. She discusses his life, his music, limitations on recordings, and the practice of musical castration. This solo episode is followed by a short Q&A session.. . .
Usual host 400-Rabbits takes a turn as the interviewee, speaking on the relationship between the sister cities of Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco. The early history of the Mexica, the founding of the cities, and their different trajectories in Mesoamerican history are covered, culminating in the 1473 CE war between the two polities. In the background of the episode is the problem of interpreting primary sources, their biases and inconsistencies.. . .
Dr. Jennifer Evans, lecturer in history at the University of Hertfordshire, and Dr. Sara Read, lecturer in English at Loughborough University, make a special appearance on the AskHistorians podcast to discuss women's health in England during the early modern era. Covering the medical schema and standard of care of the time, Drs. Read and Evans touch on fertility, infections, menstruation, and the lived experience of women at the time. More of their work can be found on their blog, Early Modern Medicine. In addition, both have works of interest: Dr. Evans' Aphrodisiacs, Fertility and Medicine in Early Modern England is available from Boydell & Brewer, and Dr. Read's Menstruation and the Female Body in Early Modern England is available from Palgrave-MacMillan.. . .
Cordis_Melum discusses the ambitious mid-20th Century modernization program in mainland China known as the Great Leap Forward. The ideology behind the push to establish a self-sufficient communist utopia; the steps and mis-steps taken in industry and agriculture; the political blowback; and the aftermath covered.. . .
Continuing the conversation with Husky54 about the Book of Daniel. In this episode we cover the later chapters of Daniel before moving on to chapters and additional text considered apocryphal in some traditions. Till 18:38 - Chapters 8-12
18:38 - Prayer of Azariah
26:28 - Susanna and the Elders
33:37 - Bel and the Dragon
43:14 - Interpretations of Daniel. . .
Husky54 returns to the podcast for an in-depth delve into Daniel, the Book of. Approaching the work as a historical text, this episode -- the first of two -- covers the relationship of Daniel to other works in the Hebrew Bible; the language and content of the first seven chapters; and situates the book within the historical context of the time it was written. 3:20 - Background and Dating the Text
16:50 - Chapters 1 & 2
33:35 - Chapter 3
41:17 - Chapter 4
48:53 - Chapter 5 54:20 - Chapter 6 & Darius the Mede
1:05:17 - Chapter 7. . .
James Brooks, city editor of the Juneau Empire and author of 9.2: Kodiak Island and the World's Second-Largest Earthquake, talks on four natural and manmade disasters in Alaska. Through the 1912 Katmai-Novarupta volcanic eruption, the 1925 Nome Serum Run, the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake, and the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, we get a picture of how the state of Alaska changed throughout the 20th century.. . .
Keyilan takes on the topic of official language policy in China (both PRC and Taiwan), North and South Korea, and Japan. Dispelling some myths about languages in East Asia, he goes on to cover efforts at character simplification; efforts to promulgate "proper" language; modern linguistic differences stemming from political divisions; and why Taiwan spoke Japanese for a while, among much more.
One of our longer single episodes, China takes up most of the show, with Korea being covered around minute 56 and the section on Japan around 1 hour 20 minutes in.. . .
AsiaExpert provides an overview of the politics and social unrest of South Korea since the end of the Korean War. Starting from the meteoric rise of Syngman Rhee and continuing up to the establishment of the 6th Republic, this episode covers everything from the April Revolution, to Park dictatorship, to the chaebol system, to some reasons why South Koreans today may be less familiar with the smell of tear gas than their parents and grandparents.. . .
Jasfss continues our examination of the Mongols, this time on the Eastern side of Asia. We start with the socio-political -- even artistic -- state of China on the eve of the Mongol advance before moving on to Kublai's establishment of the Yuan Dynasty and the final fall of the Song. We then move on to how the Mongols dealt with finding themselves as the ruling dynasty of China and their eventual downfall.. . .
Rakony discusses the Ilkhanate, the portion of the Mongol Empire in Persia and the surrounding areas. The reasons for the Mongol push into the area, why it did not go farther, and how the local peoples and the Mongols accomodated to each other, somewhat ironically leading to a resugence of Persian culture. Also, a surprising amoung of digging up graves.. . .
Bemonk, host of the History of Alchemy Podcast (among others), speaks on how the practices and concepts of alchemy relate to the development of modern scientific methods and ideas. Covered in the talk are some basic pointers about what alchemy is, how long it has been around, differences between "Western" and "Eastern" alchemy, notable figures, and urine.. . .
l_mack relates the strange tale of the Principality of Outer Baldonia, a micronation founded off the coast of Nova Scotia in the mid-20th Century by an American businessman seeking freedom from "question, nagging, shaving, interruption, women, taxes, politics, and monologues," as well as the right to stay up all night drinking, swearing and gambling. The tiny island nation ended up recieving international notice, with write-ups in a California paper and a denunciation in a Soviet journal.. . .
Ambarenya wraps up the Komnenian dynasty, covering Alexios I finally securing the borders of the Empire, stabilizing the economy, and turning towards the West for help in the form of the First Crusade. The Crusader States, relations between the Byzantines and the Latins, and attempts to recapture lost territory are all covered as we move towards the bloody end of the Komnenian Dynasty.. . .
Ambarenya discusses with 400-Rabbits the two dynasties that formed the golden age of the medieval Byzantine Empire, albeit a golden age that was fraught with internal dissent and encroaching enemies on all sides. Part 1 covers the Macedonian dynasty, primarily examining their later period and decline, before seguing ino the turmoil that eventually gave rise to Alexios Komnenos as the first of the Komnenian dynasty.. . .
Daeres speaks to 400-Rabbits about a collection of cuneiform documents known as the Assyrian State Archives. The interview delves into texts relating to everything from high level political arrangements to land purchases to hectoring bureaucratic memos to one poor official who was simply not very good at spelling. Insights into Assyrian life and historiography occur amidst this textual conversation.. . .
Husky54 speaks to 400-Rabbits about the Hebrew Bible. They cover what exactly the "Hebrew Bible" really is, when it was written, who was doing the writing, the historical precursors, corresponding epigraphy, textual intricacies, and, of course, Richard Dawkins.. . .
DavidAOP and EternalKerri continue their talk on all things piratical. This second of two parts focuses more on the meta-conversation of the study of pirates, their portrayals in popular media, the place as cultural icons, and, of course, that famous accent, before wrapping up with why and how this era came to an end.. . .
400-Rabbits moderates a discussion with DavidAOP and EternalKerri over the Golden Age of Pirates. Did a Pirate Code exist? What about pirate cities? What did pirates actually do all day and how did they go about finding booty for plunder? Just how common was being made to walk the plank? Why is EternalKerri so excited about keelhauling? All these topics and more get covered. Part 1 of 2.. . .
AC_7 speaks to 400-Rabbits on the topic of the infamous early action of World War 2, the Battle of France. The preparations for the Nazi invasion of France, the vaious plans, opening moves, the motivations of both sides, and the ultimate aftermath are all covered.. . .
Snickeringshadow and 400-Rabbits continue their discussion on the topic of the Mesoamerican group commonly known as the Tarascans. In this second of two parts, the expansion of the Tarascan state, their clashes with Aztecs, and the eventual arrival of the Spanish are all covered.. . .
Snickeringshadow is interviewed by 400-Rabbits on the topic of the Mesoamerican group commonly known as the Tarascans. In this first of two parts, the origin of the Tarascans, their initial settlement in Michoacan, and their rise to power are outlined along with dramatic details and archaeological asides.. . .
Tas interviews Shakespeare-Gurl about a topic that has nothing to do with Shakespeare: Medieval Japan. The Heian period and particularly the "pirates" of that time are covered, along with the Tale of the Heike and some general notes about working with Japanese primary sources.. . .
Trying something new this week! Tas, AnOldHope, 400-Rabbits & caffarelli got together to talk alcohol, reddit, moderator lyfe and upcoming episodes. AnOldHope did an impromptu AMA too, which was hilariously informative.. . .
This week Tas interviews Margaret Harris from the ANZAC Remembered project at Monash University. They cover the Gallipoli Campaign and the different ways in which Australia, New Zealand and Turkey remember the events of WWI.. . .
User Algenon Asimov answers the (very) popular question: How did we decide what year it is? Also, some announcements! We move to a fortnightly production schedule, and Celebreth & 400 Rabbits are joining the host team.. . .
Welcome to the AskHistorians Podcast, created by the moderators of the largest history forum on the internet, AskHistorians.reddit.com. For the pilot episode, Artrw and Celebreth talk about Julius Caesar.. . .
Dedicated to helping listeners find new history podcasts.