Professor Buzzkill History Podcast
Professor Buzzkill is an exciting blog & podcast that explores history myths in an illuminating, entertaining, and humorous way.
info_outline Gun Violence in the US and the History of the NRA - Encore 04/13/2021
Gun Violence in the US and the History of the NRA - Encore This encore episode from 2019 explains how the National Rifle Association become one of the most controversial and divisive organizations in American history. The NRA was once a sportsmen’s group. Since the 1970s, however, it has taken a very strict view of the US Constitution’s Second Amendment, and has gone to extremes in its defense of gun ownership. We explain how and why this happened, and dispel historical and cultural myths along the way.
info_outline Income Tax and Inequality in US History - Encore 04/11/2021
Income Tax and Inequality in US History - Encore Income tax is a troubling issue in American politics and history. We explain its long and complicated history, and delve into the even more complicated history of how personal income tax has related to the question of equality and inequality in US society. Professor Nash tells us how the American government has raised funds for peacetime needs and, of course, times of war. It’s not a simple tale of taxes rising as the country grew and the US government grew. Taxation is perhaps the most difficult thing to explain in American governmental history, but we make it easy to understand.
info_outline Immigration and The Deportation Machine in the United States 04/06/2021
Immigration and The Deportation Machine in the United States Professor Adam Goodman explains the unknown history of deportation and of the fear that shapes immigrants' lives in the modern United States. He explains how federal, state, and local officials have targeted various groups for expulsion, from Chinese and Europeans at the turn of the twentieth century to Central Americans and Muslims today. A very timely show! Episode #410
info_outline Woman Crush Wednesday: Qiu Jin - Encore! 03/31/2021
Woman Crush Wednesday: Qiu Jin - Encore! It’s a rare thing indeed to find someone in history who stands up and rebels against almost all the things she finds oppressive in society. Such a woman was Qiu Jin, the Chinese revolutionary whose short but dramatic life has led her to be called “China’s Joan of Arc.” She rebelled not only against the strictures placed on her as an individual, but also against the broader restrictions and repression against women in Chinese society in politics and society in the early 20th century. A great woman for a Woman Crush Wednesday!
info_outline Warfare, Technology, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World 03/30/2021
Warfare, Technology, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World Professor Linda Colley gives us the first full integrative, as well as literary, examination of the written constitution globally. Tracing their rise to the mid-eighteenth century and the emergence of hybrid warfare (cross-continental battles waged on land and at sea), constitutions addressed a growing concern for rulers during the Enlightenment: popular support. Episode #409.
info_outline Gloria Steinem "A Woman Needs a Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle" Quote or No Quote? 03/29/2021
Gloria Steinem "A Woman Needs a Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle" Quote or No Quote? The number of different images and different sayings or phrases printed on t-shirts exploded in the early 70s. And one of the most striking was the t-shirt from the women’s rights movement which said, "A Woman Needs a Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle," most famously worn by the feminist champion, Gloria Steinem. Did she coin the saying? We explain the history behind that great phrase.
info_outline Programmed Inequality: Women and British Computing - Encore! 03/28/2021
Programmed Inequality: Women and British Computing - Encore! Professor Mar Hicks joins us to talk about gender and employment in the emerging field of computing in Britain, and all the historical myths that surround them. In 1944, Britain led the world in electronic computing. By 1974, the British computer industry was all but extinct. We examine why this happened in the tense post-war world, as Britain was losing its role as a global leader and innovator. Professor Hicks calls this a story of gendered technocracy, and it undercut Britain's flexibility in the technology age. Listen and learn, Buzzkillers!
info_outline Breaking Protocol: America’s First Female Ambassadors, Part 2 03/27/2021
Breaking Protocol: America’s First Female Ambassadors, Part 2 Professor Philip Nash tells us the broader context of America's First Female Ambassadors, the "Big Six," and how they carved out their rightful place in history. He takes the story up to the present day to explain the trajectory of gender parity in US foreign relations.
info_outline Breaking Protocol: America's First Female Ambassadors, Part 1 03/26/2021
Breaking Protocol: America's First Female Ambassadors, Part 1 Professor Philip Nash tells us the history of America's First Female Ambassadors, the "Big Six," and how they carved out their rightful place in history. He explains how these trailblazers helped pave the way for more gender parity in US foreign relations!
info_outline Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All - Encore! 03/25/2021
Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All - Encore! Professor Martha Jones offers a new history of African American women's political lives in America. She recounts how they defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons. From the earliest days of the republic to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, Jones excavates the lives and work of black women -- Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Fannie Lou Hamer, and more -- who were the vanguard of women's rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals.
info_outline Woman Crush Wednesday: Alice Hamilton - Encore! 03/24/2021
Woman Crush Wednesday: Alice Hamilton - Encore! Alice Hamilton was a pioneer in occupational medicine and industrial toxicology. And it’s not an exaggeration to say that she was the most important person in helping to make the American workplace safer. She also campaigned for women’s rights, social and economic reform, and international peace. There are very few people who need more historical fame and glory than Dr. Alice Hamilton. Listen and be inspired!
info_outline Marilyn Monroe, "Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History" Quote or No Quote? 03/22/2021
Marilyn Monroe, "Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History" Quote or No Quote? Lots of people are credited with coining the great phrase, “well-behaved women rarely make history.” These include Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Roosevelt, Anne Boleyn, and our own Aunt Ginger from the Buzzkill Institute. Given time, any powerful woman with backbone and verve will get credit for this phrase and sentiment. Listen and learn who said it first.
info_outline When Women Won the Right to Vote: an American Fiction - Encore 03/21/2021
When Women Won the Right to Vote: an American Fiction - Encore Do women have a constitutional "right to vote" in America? Didn't the 19th Amendment resolve that issue? Professor Lisa Tetrault enlightens us about this very thorny issue in American history and politics. One of our best episodes ever!
info_outline The Myth of Seneca Falls - Women's History Month Encore! 03/20/2021
The Myth of Seneca Falls - Women's History Month Encore! Almost all history books, encyclopedia entries, and news items place the exact origin of the women’s rights movement in the USA to the meeting at Seneca Falls, New York in July 1848. But did a movement as big as women’s rights have one specific geographic origin at only one meeting? Professor Lisa Tetrault explains the complexity and the multiple histories of Seneca Falls and the American female suffrage movement.
info_outline The Munich Crisis, 1938 03/16/2021
The Munich Crisis, 1938 The Munich Crisis of 1938 had major diplomatic and political effects. It was also a "people’s crisis," and an event that gripped the world. Join Professors Richard Toye, Julie Gottlieb, and Daniel Hucker as they present new research and findings about this prelude to World War II. Episode #408
info_outline Irish Symbols and Hidden Hibernians 03/14/2021
Irish Symbols and Hidden Hibernians Ever wonder how the shamrock, the Celtic Cross, and the Claddagh Ring became symbols of Irish culture? And which Irish people deserve more historical attention and shouldn't remain "Hidden Hibernians"? Professor Edward O'Donnell explains all in this St. Patrick's Day episode!
info_outline Irish Things that are Actually British 03/13/2021
Irish Things that are Actually British The Professor seems to want to make enemies in this episode. He shows that many things central to Irish culture and identity are actually British in origin -- St. Patrick, “the craic,” and “Danny Boy” come under his withering analytical gaze. But he may surprise you with the ultimate conclusions he reaches. Maybe he’s not that much of a buzzkill after all.
info_outline Irish Slaves Myth 03/12/2021
Irish Slaves Myth The Irish slaves myth claims that Irish people were enslaved by the British and sent to the Americas (especially the Caribbean) to work on plantations. The history of Irish slaves has been buried by our politically-correct world, so the myth goes, and has been replaced by an over-emphasis on the enslavement of Africans in the New World. But is there any truth to it, Buzzkillers? Listen and learn.
info_outline The Pizza Effect and National Pizza Day 03/08/2021
The Pizza Effect and National Pizza Day Feb 9th is National Pizza Day in the USA! This is a good time to learn about the "pizza effect." It helps explain why assumptions about the history and development of certain cultural practices and traditions help build hardy historical myths. Learn about the "pizza renaissance" in Italy, the "Hindu renaissance across India, the "Cornish pasty renaissance" in south-west England, and the "Clancy Brothers" or "traditional music renaissance" in Ireland! Listen while enjoying your favorite pizza pie!
info_outline History of Concentration Camps 03/06/2021
History of Concentration Camps The development of concentration camps in world history is both compelling and distressing. Award-winning author and journalist, Andrea Pitzer, explains how and why human societies have come to use them so frequently. From 1890s Cuba to the detention camps in the 21st century USA, concentration camps have exposed the "savage practicality" used by governments and militaries. Episode #407.
info_outline "The Deviant's War": the Homosexual vs. the United States of America 02/23/2021
"The Deviant's War": the Homosexual vs. the United States of America Professor Eric Cervini tells us the secret history of the fight for gay rights that began a generation before Stonewall. Above all, it is a story of America (and Washington) at a cultural and sexual crossroads; of shocking, byzantine public battles with Congress; of FBI informants; murder; betrayal; sex; love; and ultimately victory. Episode #406
info_outline Appeasement and “Guilty Women” in Inter-War Britain 02/18/2021
Appeasement and “Guilty Women” in Inter-War Britain Professor Julie Gottlieb deepens our understanding of the crisis between World War I and World War 2 in Britain. She shows us how crucial female public opinion was to the development of foreign policy during this period. Chamberlain, Churchill, Munich, and appeasement are better-illuminated light by her new research and interpretations. Join us for a truly eye-opening examination of the crucial years leading up to the Second World War. Episode #405.
info_outline Presidential Impeachment — Encore Episode! 02/09/2021
Presidential Impeachment — Encore Episode! The Trump second impeachment trial has started. This is a good time to re-visit our episode from 2018. Why is impeachment so complicated, and what's the history behind each way to get a dangerous, criminal, or just plain crazy chief executive out of the highest office in the land? Join Professor Buzzkill and Professor Nash as they work through all the possibilities, and illuminate all the history and politics behind the various processes. Listen and learn, Buzzkillers!
info_outline Daughters of Yalta: the Churchills, the Roosevelts, and the Harrimans in 1945 02/02/2021
Daughters of Yalta: the Churchills, the Roosevelts, and the Harrimans in 1945 Catherine Grace Katz joins us to tell the story of three intelligent and glamorous young women (Sarah Churchill, Anna Roosevelt, and Kathleen Harriman) who accompanied their famous fathers to the Yalta Conference in February 1945, and how they affected the conference and its fateful reverberations in the waning days of World War II. Episode #404.
info_outline "Robert E. Lee and Me" - General Ty Seidule 01/28/2021
"Robert E. Lee and Me" - General Ty Seidule General Ty Seidule returns to the Buzzkill Institute to talk about his wonderful new book, "Robert E. Lee and Me: a Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause." This is required listening for every American, and all those interested in why our country continually struggles with racism, white supremacy, and false and ahistorical interpretations of the Civil War. Episode #403
info_outline The Unknown Martin Luther King - Encore Episode! 01/17/2021
The Unknown Martin Luther King - Encore Episode! Martin Luther King did so much more for American society, and wanted so much more from the US government and US elite, than most people realize. Popular history has airbrushed out far too much about his life and work. Professor Phil Nash reminds us of the importance of King’s work, especially during the forgotten period between his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech and his assassination in 1968. Listen and learn.
info_outline Presidential Transitions in American History 01/12/2021
Presidential Transitions in American History Even though nothing tops the 2020-2021 Trump-Biden "transition," presidential transitions have not always been smooth and stable in American history. Professor Philip Nash explains all and puts historical transitions in the context of what's happening now. Episode #402
info_outline Girls to the Rescue! American Series Fiction in WWI 01/05/2021
Girls to the Rescue! American Series Fiction in WWI During World War I, many young American women longed to be part of a larger, more glorious war effort. A new genre of young adult books entered the market, written specifically with the young girls of the war period in mind, and demonstrating the wartime activities of women and girls all over the world. Professors Emily Hamilton-Honey and Susan Ingalls Lewis explain the historical significance of this literature! Episode #401
info_outline Auld Lang Syne 2020 12/30/2020
Auld Lang Syne 2020 Should old acquaintance be forgot? What? Should we forget old friends? What does Auld Lang Syne actually mean? Why do we sing it every New Year’s Eve? Join the Professor as he waxes lyrical and sentimentally about Auld Lang Syne, Scotland, and good auld Robert Burns!
info_outline Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence 12/29/2020
Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence Dr. Kate Lemay from the National Portrait Gallery tells us about the popular historical exhibition, “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence.” She outlines the movement for women to obtain the right to vote as part of the larger struggle for equality, and tells us how that was shown in portraiture. A great show to finish the 1920-2020 centennial! Episode #400.