History as It Happens – The News in Historical Context Playlist

Sometimes the headlines of the day are too interesting to let just pass by without the deep dive analysis of Historiansplaining, placing events in their historical context and lesser known implications for the future. Referendums on independence, cathedral infernos in context, pandemics, modern day palace intrigue, and more.

History as It Happens Episodes

Emergency Podcast: The Royal Crisis in Historical Context

The messy exit of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the royal family marks the third great crisis of the British monarchy in the past hundred years - following the abdication of Edward VIII to marry an American divorcee in 1936 and the breakup of Charles and Diana's marriage in the 1990s. Michael and I discuss the ramifications for the monarchy, Britain, the empire, and the world, situating the disaster in the context of the crown's central role in the long-running struggle to redefine Britain as it loses its imperial status. Since the reign of Victoria, the monarchy has lost its political "hard" power but has correspondingly gained in the "soft" power of social influence and celebrity, rising to become the primary symbol representing the British nation to itself, and forcing the monarch to navigate the tension between Britain's place at the head of the multi-racial Commonwealth and its connection to Europe. The appearance and quick departure of a bi-racial American woman in the royal family serves as a test of the monarchy's supposed embrace of a color-blind future. Link to beginning Vernon Bogdanor's lecture series at Gresham College on the monarchy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZUQd22OdVk

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Full Episode Details

History as it Happens: Notre Dame and the Nine Lives of Gothic Cathedrals

We put the disastrous fire at Notre Dame de Paris into historical perspective -- by considering the history of Gothic cathedrals, their cosmic religious meanings, and their remarkably powerful and mysterious construction. How did medieval builders create these massive, complex structures without steel, steam power, electricity, or even written plans? We also follow the tumultuous experiences of Notre Dame itself, the social and symbolic center of Paris--from religious riots and Revolutionary iconoclasm to malign neglect and controversial restorations. Finally, we consider the resilience of Gothic buildings through fire, lightning, earthquake, war, and revolution, and ask what other important monuments or community buildings we should support in our own communities.Please support this podcast, so that you can hear all of my patron-only materials, including a new special discussion of Game of Thrones and the magic of monarchy. Intro music: Domenico Scarlatti, "Fandango," played by Genoveva Galvez; used by permission of Ensayo Records. Image: Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, immediately after the 2010 earthquake. Suggested Further reading: John Fitchen, "The Construction of Gothic Cathedrals"; Otto von Simson, "The Gothic Cathedral"; Knoop and Jones, "The Mediaeval Mason"

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Full Episode DetailsRelated content: 8 episodes On the History of Christianity

Special Comment: The "Sokal Squared" Hoax and the Academic Cult

I have a conversation with a friend in the scientific field about the recently exposed "Sokal Squared" academic hoax, by which three junior professors concocted a series of intentionally absurd, nonsensical articles and had several of them accepted into respectable academic journals. What are the implications of their success? Is "theory" or "postmodernism" to blame? The lax standards of humanities journals? The drive to "publish or perish" in academia? Does the problem extend to social science or "hard science" fields? And what should be done about it? We try to sort through the confusing picture, and I recommend possible responses, such as the inclusion of non-academics in the peer-review process. The Hoaxsters' report on their "experiment" -- areomagazine.com/2018/10/02/acade…-of-scholarship/

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Full Episode Details

Goodbye to Catalonia?

What is going on in Catalonia? We trace the long history of the small region in Spain’s northeastern corner, considering how medieval rebellions, dynastic struggles, and radical anarchist unions all helped to lay the groundwork for the separatist movement that today is flirting with unilaterally breaking away from Spain. We also account for the refusal of neighboring countries or the EU to say anything about the Spanish crisis, since Catalan independence threatens the survival not only of Spain, but of almost every large nation-state in Europe and the liberal internationalist order that they have built.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Full Episode Details

The Confederacy -- Its Roots and Its Legacies

We explore the history behind the statues being destroyed across America in a wave of iconoclasm -- when and why they were erected, and what they represented. We consider the roots of the Confederacy, which lie in the rapid change in the American view of slavery -- from an embarrassing but necessary evil in the 1780s to a positive good in the 1850s -- that caused a sectional rift between North and South. We examine Confederates' own words to understand why so many Southerners fought for the Confederacy -- and why just as many of them refused.Please support these lectures -- http://www.patreon.com/user?u=5530632More importantly, support the fight against slavery in America and in our world today --www.freetheslaves.net/www.antislavery.org/

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Full Episode Details

Emergency Podcast: The Royal Crisis in Historical Context

The messy exit of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the royal family marks the third great crisis of the British monarchy in the past hundred years - following the abdication of Edward VIII to marry an American divorcee in 1936 and the breakup of Charles and Diana's marriage in the 1990s. Michael and I discuss the ramifications for the monarchy, Britain, the empire, and the world, situating the disaster in the context of the crown's central role in the long-running struggle to redefine Britain as it loses its imperial status. Since the reign of Victoria, the monarchy has lost its political "hard" power but has correspondingly gained in the "soft" power of social influence and celebrity, rising to become the primary symbol representing the British nation to itself, and forcing the monarch to navigate the tension between Britain's place at the head of the multi-racial Commonwealth and its connection to Europe. The appearance and quick departure of a bi-racial American woman in the royal family serves as a test of the monarchy's supposed embrace of a color-blind future. Link to beginning Vernon Bogdanor's lecture series at Gresham College on the monarchy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZUQd22OdVk

Listen on SoundCloud

History as it Happens: Notre Dame and the Nine Lives of Gothic Cathedrals

We put the disastrous fire at Notre Dame de Paris into historical perspective -- by considering the history of Gothic cathedrals, their cosmic religious meanings, and their remarkably powerful and mysterious construction. How did medieval builders create these massive, complex structures without steel, steam power, electricity, or even written plans? We also follow the tumultuous experiences of Notre Dame itself, the social and symbolic center of Paris--from religious riots and Revolutionary iconoclasm to malign neglect and controversial restorations. Finally, we consider the resilience of Gothic buildings through fire, lightning, earthquake, war, and revolution, and ask what other important monuments or community buildings we should support in our own communities.Please support this podcast, so that you can hear all of my patron-only materials, including a new special discussion of Game of Thrones and the magic of monarchy. Intro music: Domenico Scarlatti, "Fandango," played by Genoveva Galvez; used by permission of Ensayo Records. Image: Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, immediately after the 2010 earthquake. Suggested Further reading: John Fitchen, "The Construction of Gothic Cathedrals"; Otto von Simson, "The Gothic Cathedral"; Knoop and Jones, "The Mediaeval Mason"

Listen on SoundCloudRelated content: 8 episodes On the History of Christianity

Special Comment: The "Sokal Squared" Hoax and the Academic Cult

I have a conversation with a friend in the scientific field about the recently exposed "Sokal Squared" academic hoax, by which three junior professors concocted a series of intentionally absurd, nonsensical articles and had several of them accepted into respectable academic journals. What are the implications of their success? Is "theory" or "postmodernism" to blame? The lax standards of humanities journals? The drive to "publish or perish" in academia? Does the problem extend to social science or "hard science" fields? And what should be done about it? We try to sort through the confusing picture, and I recommend possible responses, such as the inclusion of non-academics in the peer-review process. The Hoaxsters' report on their "experiment" -- areomagazine.com/2018/10/02/acade…-of-scholarship/

Listen on SoundCloud

Goodbye to Catalonia?

What is going on in Catalonia? We trace the long history of the small region in Spain’s northeastern corner, considering how medieval rebellions, dynastic struggles, and radical anarchist unions all helped to lay the groundwork for the separatist movement that today is flirting with unilaterally breaking away from Spain. We also account for the refusal of neighboring countries or the EU to say anything about the Spanish crisis, since Catalan independence threatens the survival not only of Spain, but of almost every large nation-state in Europe and the liberal internationalist order that they have built.

Listen on SoundCloud

The Confederacy -- Its Roots and Its Legacies

We explore the history behind the statues being destroyed across America in a wave of iconoclasm -- when and why they were erected, and what they represented. We consider the roots of the Confederacy, which lie in the rapid change in the American view of slavery -- from an embarrassing but necessary evil in the 1780s to a positive good in the 1850s -- that caused a sectional rift between North and South. We examine Confederates' own words to understand why so many Southerners fought for the Confederacy -- and why just as many of them refused.Please support these lectures -- http://www.patreon.com/user?u=5530632More importantly, support the fight against slavery in America and in our world today --www.freetheslaves.net/www.antislavery.org/

Listen on SoundCloud

Emergency Podcast: The Royal Crisis in Historical Context

The messy exit of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the royal family marks the third great crisis of the British monarchy in the past hundred years - following the abdication of Edward VIII to marry an American divorcee in 1936 and the breakup of Charles and Diana's marriage in the 1990s. Michael and I discuss the ramifications for the monarchy, Britain, the empire, and the world, situating the disaster in the context of the crown's central role in the long-running struggle to redefine Britain as it loses its imperial status. Since the reign of Victoria, the monarchy has lost its political "hard" power but has correspondingly gained in the "soft" power of social influence and celebrity, rising to become the primary symbol representing the British nation to itself, and forcing the monarch to navigate the tension between Britain's place at the head of the multi-racial Commonwealth and its connection to Europe. The appearance and quick departure of a bi-racial American woman in the royal family serves as a test of the monarchy's supposed embrace of a color-blind future. Link to beginning Vernon Bogdanor's lecture series at Gresham College on the monarchy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZUQd22OdVk

Listen on YouTube

History as it Happens: Notre Dame and the Nine Lives of Gothic Cathedrals

We put the disastrous fire at Notre Dame de Paris into historical perspective -- by considering the history of Gothic cathedrals, their cosmic religious meanings, and their remarkably powerful and mysterious construction. How did medieval builders create these massive, complex structures without steel, steam power, electricity, or even written plans? We also follow the tumultuous experiences of Notre Dame itself, the social and symbolic center of Paris--from religious riots and Revolutionary iconoclasm to malign neglect and controversial restorations. Finally, we consider the resilience of Gothic buildings through fire, lightning, earthquake, war, and revolution, and ask what other important monuments or community buildings we should support in our own communities.Please support this podcast, so that you can hear all of my patron-only materials, including a new special discussion of Game of Thrones and the magic of monarchy. Intro music: Domenico Scarlatti, "Fandango," played by Genoveva Galvez; used by permission of Ensayo Records. Image: Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, immediately after the 2010 earthquake. Suggested Further reading: John Fitchen, "The Construction of Gothic Cathedrals"; Otto von Simson, "The Gothic Cathedral"; Knoop and Jones, "The Mediaeval Mason"

Listen on YouTubeRelated content: 8 episodes On the History of Christianity

Special Comment: The "Sokal Squared" Hoax and the Academic Cult

I have a conversation with a friend in the scientific field about the recently exposed "Sokal Squared" academic hoax, by which three junior professors concocted a series of intentionally absurd, nonsensical articles and had several of them accepted into respectable academic journals. What are the implications of their success? Is "theory" or "postmodernism" to blame? The lax standards of humanities journals? The drive to "publish or perish" in academia? Does the problem extend to social science or "hard science" fields? And what should be done about it? We try to sort through the confusing picture, and I recommend possible responses, such as the inclusion of non-academics in the peer-review process. The Hoaxsters' report on their "experiment" -- areomagazine.com/2018/10/02/acade…-of-scholarship/

Listen on YouTube

Goodbye to Catalonia?

What is going on in Catalonia? We trace the long history of the small region in Spain’s northeastern corner, considering how medieval rebellions, dynastic struggles, and radical anarchist unions all helped to lay the groundwork for the separatist movement that today is flirting with unilaterally breaking away from Spain. We also account for the refusal of neighboring countries or the EU to say anything about the Spanish crisis, since Catalan independence threatens the survival not only of Spain, but of almost every large nation-state in Europe and the liberal internationalist order that they have built.

Listen on YouTube

The Confederacy -- Its Roots and Its Legacies

We explore the history behind the statues being destroyed across America in a wave of iconoclasm -- when and why they were erected, and what they represented. We consider the roots of the Confederacy, which lie in the rapid change in the American view of slavery -- from an embarrassing but necessary evil in the 1780s to a positive good in the 1850s -- that caused a sectional rift between North and South. We examine Confederates' own words to understand why so many Southerners fought for the Confederacy -- and why just as many of them refused.Please support these lectures -- http://www.patreon.com/user?u=5530632More importantly, support the fight against slavery in America and in our world today --www.freetheslaves.net/www.antislavery.org/

Listen on YouTube

Things You Don’t Know

Did Columbus really think that he was going to reach Asia?
What little do we actually know about Shakespeare, the person?
Why is it misleading to apply the word “religion” to Judaism and Hinduism?
Are people really becoming less religious than they used to be?
How did Tisquantum (popularly known as Squanto) already know how to speak English before the Pilgrims had ever arrived?
What did Netflix’s “The Dig” miss about the most dramatic part of the whole Sutton Hoo discovery?
What does the English Civil War of the 1640s tell us about the American Civil War, and about the present?
What can we know about enslaved Africans who were held in a specific New England house, even without written records?
Who were the Freemasons of the 1700s? How did they grow from a local Scottish fraternity to a global network?
Could all of British history have turned out differently if the winds on the English channel had shifted direction on just one day in 1066?
What did followers of the ancient and secretive branch of Christianity, Gnosticism, actually believe?
Why can no one agree on what “capitalism” actually is? And why does a lack of clear definition call into question so many other myths of the modern world?
How – and why – did universities begin in the Middle Ages, long before the scientific revolution and the “Enlightenment”?
Was there really an Exodus from Egypt like the one described in the Bible?
How did changes in the climate in the 1600s lead people to think they were living in the Apocalypse? How did this help spur the creation of institutions and forces that still shape the world today?
How did accusing people of witchcraft further several political agendas of the time?
Why did every Renaissance-era ruler in Europe have a court astrologer?
Does a single coin prove that Vikings came all the way to what’s now the United States?
Why is the dramatic 2019 fire at Paris’ Notre Dame actually a common occurrence for cathedrals around Europe?
Why don’t US citizens directly elect their President? Or have a more proportional Senate?

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