April 07, 2009
By Jessica Pritchard
From lectures to speeches, from the Revolutionary War to World War II and beyond, history enthusiasts everywhere are likely to find a podcast that suits their fancy. Download onto your computer and/or your MP3 player and away you go into yesteryear. Below are just a few podcast options you can find online. See also History Podcasts, and History Podcasts, Take 2, featured previously on AHA Today.
Journal of American History
The Journal of American History now offers podcasts of interviews with authors whose articles have been published in the journal. Because this is a fairly new web site, there are only two podcasts currently available (synopses taken from web site):
- Ed Linenthal, editor of the Journal of American History, speaks with diplomatic historian Thomas W. Zeiler about his article, “The Diplomatic History Bandwagon: A State of the Field.”
- Associate editor and professor of history at Indiana University John Nieto-Phillips speaks with Professor James Meriwether about his article, “‘Worth a Lot of Negro Votes’: Black Voters, Africa, and the 1960 Presidential Campaign.”
N.C. Museum of History
Explore different lectures given by history professors and curators across the country, featuring six posts from the Lincoln Symposium, a look at “North Carolina Indians Past and Present,” “A History of the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union,” and more.
Jennifer Burns, a history professor at the University of Virginia, recorded her lectures from History 7b in 2006 while teaching at the University of California, Berkeley. The class was an introduction to U.S. history from 1865-2005 with a spectrum of students, including many non-history majors, so Burns said that she tried to keep her lectures fairly basic as she surveyed the 140 years of history. She told her students to “view this class as a survey and overview, rather than the last word! My hope,” she continues, “is that a topic I cover briefly will capture your interest, inspiring you to more in-depth learning and understanding.” Starting with the Civil War and Emancipation, this web site touches on major historical events up through September 11th.
The Missing Link
This web site offers podcasts on the history of science, medicine, and technology and the author believes that “we really do seem to live in a world of two cultures: one that revels in the certainty and mystery of science, and another that views science as that scary monster under the bed whose features are only ever dimly realized.” Though host Elizabeth Green Musselman, a historian of science at Southwestern University, took an indefinite hiatus from this blogin October 2008, you can still listen to 14 episodes with topics ranging from how through history doctors have dealt with “pain without lesion” to how the Civil War and Cold War affect the acceptance of evolution in the U.S. Each of these podcasts come with an extensive list of further reading suggestions.
History on Air
Started in 2005, History on Air features over one hundred different podcasts on a wide range of historic people, places, and events, including: Benedict Arnold, John Brown, the Crimean War, the six wives of King Henry VIII, cave paintings, and more.
Though the Edwardian era typically spans from 1901 to 1910, the reign of King Edward VII, the creator of the Edwardian Promenade decided to expand the timeline a bit: 1880 to 1914. The web site says that “in terms of society, politics, technology, etc, the time span is accurate if you were to ignore the neat time limits of the reigns of Victoria and Edward VII.” The site has compiled a list of Edwardian-themed podcasts from the National Archives Podcast Series, the Boston Athenaeum, the Biltmore Estate, and the Preservation Society of Newport County.
San Francisco History
Richard Miller, a graphic designer by trade, calls San Francisco his “first and most heart-rending urban love affair.” In attempts to share his love of the city with others, he started Sparkletack, highlighting historic stories of San Francisco. In what he calls San Francisco Timecapsules, Miller touches on everything from English adventurer Frank Marryat paying a visit to a San Francisco Gold Rush barbershopto “Slumming the Barbary Coast.”
History According to Bob
Bob Packett, who teaches history at Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City, integrates his “conversational style, filled with anecdotes, quips, and humor” into each of his podcasts, making stories of the past come alive. Each podcast is under 20 minutes, so it’s easy to get your daily history fix. Topics range from the Treaty of Amiens to Czar Paul I to Renaissance Infantry Weapons.
Perhaps you’re interested in studying history through art? Listen to, watch, and read about some of the most renowned artistic masterpieces, from artists like Mary Cassatt and Poussin. Contributors include Beth Harris, director of digital learning at the Museum of Modern Art; Steven Zucker, dean of graduate studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology; and Juliana Kreinik, research assistant at the Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné project.