Author Archives: Averill Earls

Farewell Episode

It is with great sadness and equally great excitement that we release this episode – our reflection on two years of History Buffing. In the fall, the show will be rebranded as Dig: A History Podcast, as a few of our founding members are putting podcasting into the backseat of their lives as they pursue careers and degrees, and Averill, Marissa, Elizabeth, and Sarah embark on a new iteration of what you’ve come to expect from the History Buffs.

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But FIRST – we won something really cool! The American Association of State and Local History is honoring us with a Leadership in History Award. Averill & Elizabeth will go all the way to Austin, Texas in September to receive the award officially, but we wanted to share the good news with all of you. Highlighting local history has been a goal of the podcast from the get-go, so we are so thrilled and proud that our work on Western New York is worthy of national recognition.

Thank you, dear listeners, for supporting us, listening to us, and journeying with us. Check back this summer for a few remastered episodes, and then tune in and subscribe to Dig in September!

As always, you can keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

We apologize for the sound quality here – we aren’t used to recording with five people at once – and promise that the fall launch of Dig will be more like the superior quality we’ve achieved in recent months.

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Bitter Sweet: Sugar, Slavery, Empire, and Consumerism in the Atlantic World

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Sugar has become ubiquitous in modern-day cuisine: it’s pretty much everywhere and in everything we eat.  But how did this White Gold earn its place in consumer culture?  Join Averill, Marissa, and Katie as they discuss the history of sugar cultivation and its relationship to empire and consumerism.

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Show Notes and Further Reading:

James Patterson Smith, “Empire and Social Reform: British Liberals and the ‘Civilizing Mission in the Sugar Colonies,’ 1868-1874,” Albion 27.2 (1995) 253-77

Philip D. Rotz, “Sweetness and Fever? Sugar Production, Aeses aegypti, and Dengue Fever in Natal, South Africa, 1926-27,” PSAE Research Series 12 (2014)

Bussa’s Rebellion,” UK National Archives 

Carol MacLennan, Sovereign Sugar : Industry and Environment in Hawaiʻi (University of Hawaii, 2014)

Alice G. Walton, “How Much Sugar Are Americans Eating?” Forbes (Aug 2012) 

Britain is built on sugar: our national sweet tooth defines us,” The Guardian (Oct 2007)

Karl Watson, “Slavery and Economy in Barbados,” BBC (2/2011) 

Barrie Cook, “Pieces of Eight,” History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC & British Museum) 

Emma George Ross, “The Portuguese in Africa, 1415-1600,” Met Museum 

Matthew Edel, “The Brazilian Sugar Cycle of the Seventeenth Century and the Rise of the West Indian Competition,” Caribbean Studies 9.1 (1969) 24-43.

Mark Johnson, “The Sugar Trade in the West Indies and Brazil between 1492 and 1700,” University of Minnesota Expansion of Empire Seminar 

Sidney W. Mintz, “The Culture History of a Puerto Rican Sugar Cane Plantation: 1876-1949,” The Hispanic American Historical Review 33.2 (1953) 224-251.

Heather Pringle, “Sugar Masters in a New World,” Smithsonian.com (January 2010)  

Feature image: Historia Naturalis Brasiliae (p51) modified by Averill Earls.

Communists and Uteruses: How the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China Sought to Control Women’s Reproduction

There is something fascinating about the history of reproductive rights, contraception, and abortion in every country and ideology that we’ve looked at in our women’s reproductive rights series. This week we’re turning to the impact of Communism on these issues, particularly in China and the Soviet Union. Here we have the complete range of reproductive control extremes – from hyper pro-natalist policies and criminalization of birth control and abortion in both China and the USSR; to the Soviet Union’s provision and regulation of abortion while simultaneously paying for extensive maternal support programming; to China’s one child policy, which included forced abortion and sterilization in an attempt to get control over an overpopulation problem. Averill and Marissa discuss all of these nuances and more in this episode on the impact of Communism on uteruses.

 

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David M. Heer, “Abortion, Contraception, and Population Policy in the Soviet Union,” Demography, 2 (1965) 531-39

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Paula Michaels, “Motherhood, Patriotism, and Ethnicity: Soviet Kazakhstan and the 1936 Abortion Ban,” Feminist Studies 27, n2 (Summer 2001)

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Show Notes & Further Reading

Tomas Frejka, “Induced Abortion and Fertility,” Family Planning Perspectives v17 n5 (Guttmacher Institute, 1985) 230-234

Paula Michaels, “Motherhood, Patriotism, and Ethnicity: Soviet Kazakhstan and the 1936 Abortion Ban,” Feminist Studies 27, n2 (Summer 2001)

Yuliya Hilevych, “Abortion and Gender Relationships in Ukraine, 1955-70,” The History of the Family 20.1 (2015) 86-105

David M. Heer, “Abortion, Contraception, and Population Policy in the Soviet Union,” Demography, 2 (1965) 531-39

Jill M. Bystydzienski, “Women and Socialism: A Comparative Study of Women in Poland and the USSR,” Signs 14.3 (Spring 1989)

Scharping, Thomas. Birth Control in China 1949-2000: Population Policy and Demographic Development. Routledge, 2013.

Hemminki E, Z Wu, G Cao, and K Viisainen. 2005. “Illegal Births and Legal Abortions–the Case of China”. Reproductive Health. 2.

Nie, Jing-Bao, and Arthur Kleinman. Behind the Silence: Chinese Voices on Abortion. Lanham, Maryland [etc.]: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.


Feature image: “Glory to the Mother-Heroine!” 1944 propaganda poster on a Soviet mother’s duty to the state. (Boston University) & Carry out family planning, implement the basic national policy – 1986 poster of a painting by Zhou Yuwei. (SBS)

Fascism and Uteruses


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There are some fascinating parallels between the deployment of eugenic policies around reproduction and women’s bodies in twentieth-century Germany and Japan. In this episode, the fourth in the HBP’s work on reproductive rights and fights in history (from the US to the world). Marissa and Averill tackle eugenics, Nazis, legalized abortion and illegal hormonal birth control, marriage counseling, and more. It’s a story of governments trying to dictate how women can or cannot use their uteruses. Enjoy?


Show Notes & Further Reading

Anita Grossman, Reforming Sex (Oxford University Press, 1995)

Volker Roelcke, Sascha Topp, and Etienne Lepicard, eds., Silence, Scapegoats, Self-Reflection: The Shadow of Nazi Medical Crimes on Medicine and Bioethics (Göttingen: V&r Unipress, 2015).

Dagmar Herzog, Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in 20th Century Germany (Princeton University Press: Princeton; 2007).

Mark Roseman, Devin Pendas, and Richard F. Wetzell, Beyond the Racial State (Indiana University Press: Bloomington, IN; 2008).

Christiana A. E. Norgren, Abortion Before Birth Control: The Politics of Reproduction in Postwar Japan (Newark: Princeton University Press, 2001).

Samuel Coleman, Family Planning in Japanese Society: Traditional Birth Control in a Modern Urban Culture (Princeton University Press, 1992)

Takeda Hiroko, The Political Economy of Reproduction in Japan (Routledge, Sep 23, 2004)

Selling Vegetarianism

There’s a lot more to vegetarianism than meets the eye. In this episode, Averill, Sarah, and Tommy talk turkey – or, maybe tofurkey? – and graham crackers, the corpses of baby fawns, and the Beef-Steak Chapel. Listen, learn, and laugh with us today on the History Buffs Podcast.

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Show Notes & Further Reading

Berry, Ryan. “From cowherd to cornflakes: the religious roots of modern vegetarianism” Animals’ Agenda v18 i6 Nov 1998.

Collingham, Lizzie Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford, UK: University of Oxford Press, 2006.

Johnson, James. The influence of tropical climates on European constitutions, including practical observations on the nature and treatment of the diseases of Europeans on their return from tropical climates. London, UK: Callow Medical Book Seller, 1815.

Maurer, Donna. Vegetarianism: Movement or Moment: Promoting a LIfestyle for Cult Change. Philadelphia: Temple U Press, 2010.

Marranca, Richard. “Vegging out with Kung Fu and Star Trek.” Vegetarian Journal i4 2007.

Sinha, Mrinalini. Colonial Masculinity: The ‘Manly Englishman’ and the’ Effeminate Bengali’ in the Late Nineteenth Century. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1995.

Streets, Heather. Martial Races: the Military, Race and Masculinity in British Imperial Culture, 1857-1914 (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2004), 19.

Whorton, James C. “Historical Development of Vegetarianism.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1994.

Remember the 5th of November

Dan, Averill, and Tommy ponder the meaning of a mask, political and religious oppression, and anarchy. Stuff your Fawkes effigy, we’re talking Bonfire Night / Pope Day / Guy Fawkes Day on the podcast!

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Show Notes & Further Reading

Gunpowder Plot,” The National Archives

Guy Fawkes,” The History Learning site

Ervin Beck, “Children’s Guy Fawkes Customs in Sheffield” Folklore, Vol. 95, No. 2 (1984), pp. 191-203

Lewis Call, “A is for Anarchy, V is for Vendetta: Images of Guy Fawkes and the Creation of Postmodern Anarchism,” Anarchist Studies 16.2 (2008): 154-172,105.

Damian Carrington, “Gunpowder Plot would have devastated London,” New Scientist, November 5, 2003 

Michael Cottrell, “Green and Orange in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Toronto: The Guy Fawkes’ Day Episode of 1864”  The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Jul., 1993), pp. 12-21

Antonia Fraser, Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot (New York: Doubleday, 1996)

Megan Lane, “If Guy Fawkes had Succeeded,” BBC News, November 4, 2005

John Pollock, The Popish Plot: A Study in the History of the Reign of Charles II (Duckworth: Great Britain, 1903)

James Sharpe, Remember, Remember: A Cultural History of Guy Fawkes Day Harvard University press, 2005

John N. Wall, Jr. and Terry Bunce Burgin. “This Sermon . . . upon the Gun-Powder Day”: The Book of Homilies of 1547 and Donne’s Sermon in Commemoration of Guy Fawkes’ Day, 1622. South Atlantic Review, Vol. 49, No. 2 (May, 1984), pp. 19-30

Latter-Day Saints in the Pacific


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Fun fact: the very popular Polynesian Cultural Center, which boasts six “villages” highlighting “traditional” dress, dance, music, arts and crafts, and other practices of indigenous Pacific Islander culture, is owned and operated by the Church of the Latter-Day Saints. Now, the LDS church was born and bred in the eastern United States, before ultimately setting up basecamp in Utah. Like many places in the US and the world, they sent missionaries to the Pacific Islands, but other than that, they don’t have any particular claim over Polynesian culture. So it might strike one as curious that this is what’s up. Join Averill and Katie as they talk about the particular efficacy of the Mormon spread, it’s growth in the Pacific Islands, and the fine line between educational tourism and exploitative mass culture.


Show Notes and Further Reading

Raibmon, Paige S., Authentic Indians: episodes of encounter from the late-nineteenth-century Northwest coast, Duke University Press, Durham, 2005.

Sonne, Conway B. Saints on the seas: a maritime history of Mormon migration, 1830-1890, University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, 1983.

All of Polynesia, Your WayPolynesian Cultural Center, accessed 10 Aug 2016

HistoryPolynesian Cultural Center,  accessed 10 Aug 2016

Part Time Job Openings,” Polynesian Cultural Center, accessed 10 Aug 2016

 

Feature Image: Front of Polynesian Cultural Center, Wikimedia Commons

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