It’s a cross-over! This week we joined Cody Wheat from the Shots of History podcast to talk about that one time that George Washington sent the army to deal to force some country bumpkins to pay their taxes – in other words, the Whiskey Rebellion. How did we become a nation of whiskey-drinkers, why was whiskey taxed in the late 18th century, and what kind of legacy did the Rebellion leave? Join Marissa, Sarah, and Cody to learn all about it.
Gilbert Stuart, The Landsdowne Portrait of George Washington, 1796 | Wikimedia Commons
John Trumbull’s portrait of Alexander Hamilton, 1806 | Wikimedia Commons
In 1987, a historian of modern China wrote a book that was way outside of his field – a historiographical work about the classical world, which argued that argued a racist and imperialist Europe had written Egyptian and Phoenician origins out of Greek history — essentially whitewashing the African roots of Western civilization. The book caused a firestorm within the field of Classics, launching a series of rebuttals and re-rebuttals. Today’s episode is about the thesis that Bernal posed in his Black Athena, but it is also a peek behind the curtain of the academic world. It might get a little weird – because our discussion will be about the evidence Bernal used to support his assertion that Egyptian and Levantine civilizations significantly shaped ancient Greek civilization, but we will also dive into the backlash against Bernal’s work, and what that says about our profession, and how even historians are human and thus susceptible to the world in which we live. Join Averill and Sarah to learn more about Black Athena – and how the historical sausage gets made.
The cover of Black Athena | Wikimedia Commons
A painting in black paint on an orange Greek vase depicting a sword fight between Athena and Ares | Wikimedia Commons
A sketch of a Grecian figure with an ornate helmet | Wikimedia Commons
A Greek statue of a man in what is known as the “Oriental Style,” influenced in part by Phoenicia and Egypt | Wikimedia Commons
Things have been pretty political around here lately, so we wanted to dig into something that’s just fascinating and, frankly, creepy: anti-vivisection, or the 19th century campaign to end scientific and medical experimentation on living animals. Join Averill and Sarah as they talk about the practice of vivisection and the efforts to stop it. Also, a word of warning: we use some nineteenth century language when reading quotes, and also describe some pretty graphic events. You might want to turn it down if you’re sensitive or listening with kids.
Frances Power Cobbe | Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
Charles Darwin, ca. 1877 | Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
An anti-vivisection horse drawn billboard | Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
A Human Vivisection | Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
Immigration and migration have been pretty hot topics lately. This week a particularly interesting question has been bouncing around just about everywhere: were the people transported during the Atlantic Slave Trade immigrants? This got us thinking about forced migrations. In this episode, join Averill and Sarah as they talk about two particularly powerful examples of forced migration: the Atlantic Slave Trade, and Indian Removal. Also, a little chat at the end about the work we do, both as podcasters and as professional historians.
Show Notes & Further Reading
Ehle, John. The Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation (New York: Anchor Books, 1988).
Equiano, Olaudah. The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African (London, 1789).
Inskeep, Steve. Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, And A Great American Land Grab (New York: Penguin Books, 2015).
For more on the experience of the Atlantic Slave Trade, see this online roundtable of reactions to Sowande Muskateem’s Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage from Black Perspectives and the African American Intellectual History Society.
At the Women’s Marches across the U.S. on January 21st, there were hundreds–maybe thousands–of women in their 60s, 70s, and 80s who held up signs that conveyed their frustration with still needing to fight for rights like birth control and abortion. This is a battle that has waged for so, so long. On this episode, Sarah and Elizabeth look back at the late 19th and early 20th century struggle for women’s rights. After our country finally granted women the right to vote in 1920, the emphasis of the women’s rights movement shifted to focus on another issue: access to methods of family limitation.
America prides itself on being a country of immigrants – after all, everyone in the United States is the descendant of an immigrant, whether forced and free, unless they are Native American. Americans believe that we offer a place of welcome so much that we emblazoned it onto the Statues of Liberty in the form of Emma Lazarus’s poem, The New Colossus, with those famous lines about the poor, tired, and huddled masses. But like most things in history, the real story is a lot more complicated. Join Averill, Marissa, and Sarah as they talk about the history of those who were turned away at the gates.
Patent for the Statue of Liberty, August Bartholdi, 1879 | Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons
First Ellis Island Immigration Station, 1896 | Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island, where Mary Mallon lived and died. | CC-BY-SA / Wikimedia Commons
Show Notes & Further Reading:
Baynton, Douglas. Defectives in the Land: Disability and Immigration in the Age of Eugenics. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016).
Canaday, Margot. The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.
Canaday, Margot. “”Who is a Homosexual?”: The Consolidation of Sexual Identities in Mid-Twentieth-Century American Immigration Law.” Law & Social Inquiry, vol. 28, no. 2, 2003., pp. 351-386.
Leavitt, Judith Walzer. Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public’s Health. Boston: Beacon Press, 1997.
Last year we came to you with a bit of the history of the first American Thanksgiving. This year, we’re casting our net a bit wider. Join Averill and Sarah as they talk about the complicated history of corn, some insights into Haudenosaunee food culture, and some regional perspectives on Thanksgiving.