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.
A sketch of a Grecian figure with an ornate helmet | Wikimedia Commons
A painting in black paint on an orange Greek vase depicting a sword fight between Athena and Ares | Wikimedia Commons
Cleopatra VII | Wikimedia Commons
The cover of Black Athena | 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
Marissa and Sarah discuss Georgians’ and Victorians’ love affair with Tuberculosis and the tuberculean aesthetic in fashion and art. In Georgian London, some diseases started to seem fashionable, desirable even. Gambling was popular, elites were using snuff and drinking spirits, powdering their hair, whitening their faces with toxic creams, damaging their bodies with restrictive clothes and hairstyles. Ladies of fashion were perceived to be particularly vulnerable to disease and this made them even more attractive. This is the context where tuberculosis first began shaping beauty standards. The Victorians took this even further. Pre-Raphaelite painters, their models, and the discovery of the tubercle bacillus germ brought new classed and gendered meanings to the tuberculean chic.
A thank-you to Carolyn Day and Amelia Rauser whose work was invaluable in producing this episode.
Helsinger, Elizabeth. “Pre-Raphaelitism.” The Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature. Felluga, Dino Franco, Pamela K. Gilbert and Linda K. Hughes (eds). Blackwell Publishing, 2015. Blackwell Reference Online. 07 April 2017.
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
In the third episode in our series on women’s reproductive rights in America, we finally get to two of the most important turning points in our story: the invention of the hormonal birth control pill, and the Roe v. Wade case in 1973. The mid 20th century saw some critical turning points for women’s reproductive rights, but also created lasting political divides and moral dilemmas. Join Elizabeth and Sarah as they continue the conversation.
A bottle of the first hormonal birth control pill, Enovid | Public Domains / Wikimedia Commons
Transmission electron micrograph of a rubella virus | Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
Norma McCorvey, alias Jane Roe, in 1989 | Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
A card of thalidomide pills, ca. 1960 | Public Domain / WIkimedia Commons
Show Notes & Further Reading
Baker, Jean H. Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion. (New York: Hill and Wang, 2011).
Faux, Marian. Roe v Wade: The Untold Story of the Landmart Supreme Court Decision That Made Abortion Legal (New York: Cooper Square Press, 1988).
Gibbs, Nancy. “The Pill at 50: Sex, Freedom and Paradox,” Time, April 22, 2010.
Gibson, Megan. “One Factor That Kept the Women of the 1960s Away from Birth Control Pills: Cost,” Time, June 23, 2015.
Hubbard, Ruth. “Abortion and Disability: Who Should and Who Should Not Inhabit the World?” in The Disability Studies Reader, Davis, Lennard J., ed., (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2003).
Kaplan, Laura. The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997).
McFadden, Robert D. “Norma McCorvey, ‘Roe’ in Roe v. Wade, Is Dead at 69,” The New York Times, February 18, 2017.
Petchesky, Rosalind Pollack, “Fetal Images: The Power of Visual Culture in the Politics of Reproduction,” Feminist Studies 13 (1987).
Reagan, Leslie. Dangerous Pregnancies: Mothers, Disabilities, and Abortion in Modern America (Berkley: University of California Press, 2010).
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.