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Past is Present is a podcast stemming from the blog of the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), a national research library of pre-twentieth-century American history and culture. We explore the Society's collections, people, and programs through conversations with fellows, members, and other participants in the AAS community.

Past is Present American Antiquarian Society

    • Gesellschaft und Kultur

Past is Present is a podcast stemming from the blog of the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), a national research library of pre-twentieth-century American history and culture. We explore the Society's collections, people, and programs through conversations with fellows, members, and other participants in the AAS community.

    Interview with Tara Bynum

    Interview with Tara Bynum

    Tara Bynum has been assistant professor of African American literature and culture at Hampshire College since fall 2017. She previously taught at the College of Charleston and Towson University and has published articles on Phillis Wheatley in Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers and Common-place and other works of cultural criticism in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Tara was an AAS–NEH Fellow for the 2016–17 academic year with a project titled “Reading Pleasures.” In this interview Tara discusses her work on Wheatley’s poetry and why pleasure and joy were essential elements in the lives of African Americans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

    Interview with Gregory Nobles

    Interview with Gregory Nobles

    Gregory Nobles is professor emeritus in the School of History and Sociology at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia, where he first started teaching in 1983. Prior to that he taught at Virginia Tech. Dr. Nobles’s accomplishments are too many to list here, but he has received numerous research grants and fellowships, including two Fulbright professorships and several National Endowment for the Humanities and Mellon Foundation awards. In fact, he just finished a term as Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the American Antiquarian Society, where he was elected to membership in 1995. Dr. Nobles has been on the advisory council of SHEAR (Society for Historians of the Early American Republic) and has published and lectured widely on everything from early and revolutionary American politics to the American frontier to John James Audubon. His most recent book, John James Audubon: The Nature of the American Woodsman, was just published by University of Pennsylvania Press. His current work is tentatively titled “Betsey Stockton’s Mission: From Slavery to Freedom, From Princeton to the Pacific.”
    In this interview, Dr. Nobles talks about this newest project, tells us a bit about the history of social history, and discusses how his work as a historian has affected his personal life.

    • 45 Min.
    Interview with Susanna Blumenthal

    Interview with Susanna Blumenthal

    In this episode of the Past is Present podcast we speak with Susanna Blumenthal, a professor in the law school and the Department of History at the University of Minnesota and AAS-NEH Fellow at the Society during the 2016-17 academic year. Susanna’s most recent book, Law and the Modern Mind: Consciousness and Responsibility in American Legal Culture, was published in 2016 by Harvard University Press. Susanna has published widely on psychiatry, consciousness, and the law, and her current project is an examination of the ways that American capitalism is intimately tied to fraud. 
    In this interview Susanna discusses everything from her early years as a graduate student in the law school and History Department at Yale, where she worked with David Brion Davis, to the philosophical foundations of her first book. She also talks about the important role AAS played in her efforts to understand critical legal cases having to do with fraud in the nineteenth-century U.S.

    • 29 Min.
    Interview with Chris Phillips

    Interview with Chris Phillips

    Chris Phillips is associate professor of English at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and the author of Epic in American Culture, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2012. Chris has been a Lapides Fellow at AAS and is presently an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Fellow spending time at AAS researching his new book on reading hymns.
    In this interview Chris discusses his own epic adventures searching in libraries and archives for material that formed the foundation of his newest book, The Hymnal Before the Notes: A History of Reading and Practice, which Chris began working on at AAS several years ago. He also talks about his early years as a graduate student working with Jay Fliegelman, the nature of epic in America, libraries and reading, and even reads a little Milton poetry for us.

    • 39 Min.
    Past is Present podcast with Ezra Greenspan

    Past is Present podcast with Ezra Greenspan

    Ezra Greenspan delivering a talk at AAS on March 16, 2017
    The Past is Present podcast returns with an interview with Ezra Greenspan. Ezra is the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Chair in Humanities at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and author of George Palmer Putnam: Representative American Publisher (2000) and William Wells Brown: An African American Life (2014). During the past year, he’s been working on a new book titled The Lives and Times of Frederick Douglass and His Family: A Composite Biography. Ezra is a member of the American Antiquarian Society (elected 2003), was AAS Distinguished Scholar in Residence from 2009 to 2010, and is  an AAS-National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow for the 2016-17 academic year.
    In this episode, Ezra discusses the research and writing of his latest book on Frederick Douglass’s family; his work as editor of Book History, the annual journal from SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing); and his lifelong relationship with the printed word.
    You can listen to this podcast at the top of this post or subscribe to it through iTunes. Stay tuned for much more from the Past is Present podcast!

    • 29 Min.
    A new podcast from Past is Present!

    A new podcast from Past is Present!

    Last year on Past is Present we featured a series of interviews with American Antiquarian Society fellows in order to showcase their thoughts about writing history and work with the Society’s collections. This year we’ve decided that, instead of transcribing those interviews, we will make them available as podcasts. This will let our readers (and now listeners) hear all the nuances that are present only in the spoken word. Anyone looking for a new history podcast will want to subscribe to these half-hour interviews.
    For our first interview of the new year, we’re featuring Denise Miller, who has just completed a Charlotte and Robert Baron fellowship at the Society. Denise is a teacher, poet, activist, and chef who’s based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and also the American Book Award. Denise’s current project is called Travelogos: African Americans and the Struggle for Safe Passage. In addition to the podcast, we’ve also included a few bonus poems from Denise, which you can find below. Both are Pushcart-nominated poems, the first, “Libations,” from her first book CORE and the second, “Dear Spectators,” from her newest book Ligatures.
    You can listen to this podcast at the top of this post or subscribe to it through iTunes. Stay tuned for much more from the Past is Present podcast!
    “Libations” from CORE

    http://pastispresent.org/wp-content/uploads/Libations-poem-for-my-grandmother.mp3
     
    “Dear Spectators” from Ligatures
    http://pastispresent.org/wp-content/uploads/Dear-Spectators.mp3

    • 36 Min.

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