The C19 Podcast is a production by scholars from across the world exploring the past, present, and future through an examination of the United States in the long nineteenth century.
The official podcast of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists.
S05E04 | Public Memory and Los Angeles’ Latinx C19
It is likely that you walk past a road or building sign every day without the slightest thought about how the names listed on these spaces have rich ties to an activity that is popular in your town or city, important to the history of a particular group of people in your community, or to a historical event that a particular narrative has overlooked. This episode centers on Los Angeles’ Latinx communities as integral sites of C19 cultural production through its retelling of the historical significance of the Pico and Sepulveda intersection in West Los Angeles and the famous horse race that occurred there between Pío Pico and José Antonio Andrés Sepúlveda, two prominent figures in Mexican California, on March 20, 1852. Scholars Efren Lopez (SDSU-Imperial Valley), Marissa López (UCLA), and Gabriela Valenzuela (CSU-LA), as well as young poets from 826LA, a non-profit writing center serving K-12 youth, and the British-Guyanese writer Fred D’Aguiar, invite listeners to consider how digital tools can be used to spark conversations about our surroundings, literature, and public memory. Lopez, López, and Valenzuela produced this episode and DeLisa D. Hawkes (UT-Knoxville) provided additional production support. Check out this complete list of URLs related to these scholars’ work on public memory and Los Angeles’ Latinx C19 studies at https://bit.ly/LatinxC19Links. Full transcript at bit.ly/3Hod90e.
S05E03 | The First Book Celebration
This past February, the C19 Ad Hoc Committee on Events brought together eleven scholars to discuss the contributions their first books make to our understanding of nineteenth-century history, literature, and culture. Hosted by Crystal Donker (SUNY New Paltz), this live virtual event included individual presentations and a lively Q&A, where authors shared hard-won practical advice about the publishing process. On this episode of the C19 podcast, we share the excitement and intellectual curiosity of The First Book Celebration, introducing our listening audience to a new generation of scholars. This episode was produced by Rachel Boccio (LaGuardia Community College, CUNY) and Ashley Rattner (Tusculum University). The authors appearing on this episode include Ashley Barnes, Juliana Chow, Gordon Fraser, Melissa Gniadek, Reed Gochberg, Thomas Koenigs, Hannah Murray, Julie Pfeiffer, Crystal Webster, Xine Yao, and Elissa Zellinger. Full episode transcript is available at https://bit.ly/39L6SPq.
S05E02 | The Founding Mothers of American Adoption
In 1842, nine years before the first adoption law was passed in the United States, two sisters from Boston, Anstrice and Eunice C. Fellows, began what would be the first adoption agency—in the form of a reform periodical, The Orphans’ Advocate and Social Monitor. With only the aid of their pens, in a small office near the Boston Common, these women created a cultural shift regarding orphaned and displaced children.
In this episode, Sophia Hadley (Boston University) tells the story of the Fellows’ revolutionary work and their intervention into a surprisingly contentious discourse on orphan care in the nineteenth century. Amidst the rise of institutional care for orphans, the sisters promote the practice of adoption, specifically adoption within the local community. In the editorial and fictional works within the publication, the Fellows imagine varied members of the community—single, married, male, female, poor, and rich—as capable of having beneficial and empowering relationships with children among them, regardless of biological relation to them. Eschewing an individualistic or institutional approach to child-rearing, these authors imagine a collective responsibility in the care of children. This vision proves liberating for both the children and the guardians alike, shaping families in nontraditional ways. During our contemporary time in which the family unit is being productively reimagined, the forgotten story of the Fellows sisters and their incredible periodical can provide a priceless resource. This episode was produced by Sophia Hadley. Additional production support was provided by Lizzy LeRud (Georgia Institute of Technology). Full episode transcript available at https://bit.ly/FoundingMothersTranscript
S05E01 | Reconstructions: Looking Forward to the Seventh Biennial C19 Conference
“Reconstructions” is the theme and inspiration for the upcoming, in-person C19 conference, to be held in Florida’s Coral Gables/Miami region this March 31st - April 2nd. In this episode members of the podcast team interview the conference organizers as they prepare for the event and highlight what attendees can expect. Sarah Chinn (Hunter College, CUNY), Anna Mae Duane (University of Connecticut), Edlie Wong (University of Maryland), Martha Schoolman (Florida International University), and John Funchion (University of Miami) share behind-the-scenes insights as well as suggestions for potential conference attendees. For additional information, the conference program is available online at https://c19reconstructions.com/program/. This episode was written by Ryan Charlton (Auburn University) and produced by Ryan Charlton, Rachel Boccio (LaGuardia Community College, CUNY), Ashley Rattner (Tusculum University), Julia Bernier (Washington and Jefferson College), DeLisa Hawkes (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), and Lizzy LeRud (Georgia Tech). Background music is "Helges Friend Woke Up" by Lobo Loco, used under a Creative Commons license. Full episode transcript available: https://bit.ly/C19PodcastS05E01
S04E08 | Teaching Harriet Jacobs in the Archives
This episode highlights the ways that librarians and faculty can partner in designing assignments that draw on archival records to emphasize the cultural, political, and social significance of nineteenth-century literary texts. Specifically, we explore the affordances of using archival records, particularly bills of sale for enslaved people, to teach Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Wake Forest University English faculty and Special Collections and Archives librarians talk about the discoveries students make through assignments that allow them to incorporate nineteenth-century historical documents from slavery into their reading and analysis of Jacobs’s narrative. We also consider the significant emotional challenges that this kind of direct material engagement poses, discussing the ways we have presented and revised our assignments to account for potentially traumatic triggering. Episode produced by Carrie Johnston (Digital Humanities Research Designer), Rian Bowie (Associate Teaching Professor of English), Megan Mulder (Special Collections Librarian), Tanya Zanish-Belcher (Director of Special Collections and Archives) and Brianna Derr (Wake Forest University Information Systems). Additional production support from Doug Guerra (SUNY Oswego). Full episode transcript with additional links available here: https://bit.ly/C19PodcastS04E08
S04E07 | The Disease of Unemployment: Nineteenth-Century Perspectives on Today’s Ailing Economy
The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 resulted in not only a devastating loss of life, but a loss of jobs too. As the virus swept the United States, so too did unemployment. What Americans experienced last year during the pandemic was unprecedented in some ways, but the link between crises in health and employment is nothing new. To gain some historical perspective on our most recent epidemic of unemployment, this episode travels back to the depressions of the late nineteenth century to uncover how American economists and thinkers used metaphors of contagious disease to first conceptualize what it meant to be unemployed. Produced by Hillary Roegelein (University of Maryland, College Park), a specialist in nineteenth-century American literature and unemployment history, this episode raises historical and philosophical questions about the advantages of and limitations to thinking about unemployment as a disease. Roegelein is joined by two other scholars of nineteenth-century American culture. Sari Altschuler (Northeastern University) turns to the Cholera outbreak of the 1840s to offer insight into the way pandemics repeatedly give rise to major shifts in cultural, economic, and intellectual thought. And Historian Richard White (Stanford University) explains the history of unemployment and its conceptual development in the United States before 1930. Additional production support was provided by Paul Fess (La Guardia Community College, CUNY). Full episode transcript available here: https://bit.ly/C19PodcastS04E07