107 episodes

Four women historians, a world of history to unearth. Can you dig it?

Dig: A History Podcast Recorded History Podcast Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9, 14 Ratings

Four women historians, a world of history to unearth. Can you dig it?

    Slavery & Soul Food: African Crops and Enslaved Cooks in the History of Southern Cuisine

    Slavery & Soul Food: African Crops and Enslaved Cooks in the History of Southern Cuisine

    Food Series. Episode #4 of 4. In June 2020, Quaker Oats announced they were revamping their famous (infamous?) brand of breakfast products, Aunt Jemima. From the late 19th century to the late 1980s, Aunt Jemima products prominently featured the image of the Black mammy trope to sell the idea that all white families could have the comforting presence of a Southern Black cook in their homes. As always, there was immediately a backlash from Americans who appealed to the place Aunt Jemima holds in American nostalgia – but what many don’t realize is the way that the figure of Aunt Jemima was specifically created to provide that sense of nostalgia drawn from the long, racist history of Black women who were bound to serve white families. In this episode, we explore that history, and go back further to consider how even the staple foods of Southern cuisine originated in the horrors of slavery. 

    Find transcripts and show notes here: www.digpodcast.org.
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    • 1 hr 9 min
    The Black Panther Party and the Free Breakfast Program: Feeding a Movement

    The Black Panther Party and the Free Breakfast Program: Feeding a Movement

    Food Series #3 of 4. The Black Panthers are often misrepresented or their significance is minimized in popular thought and opinion. The everyday organizing is often lost and an overemphasis on the Panther’s clashes with law enforcement overshadow the substantial community programs, the Service to the People Programs, offered by the Black Panther Party on the local level. Additionally, the dominant narrative highlights the men of the Panther party, yet women made up 2/3 of the membership and set a community-focused revolutionary agenda. Instead of viewing Black power movements like the Panthers as the antithesis of the non-violent civil rights movement, it is important to recognize that civil rights and Black power movements such as the Black Panthers, both emanate from a centuries-long Black freedom struggle. As former Panther Ericka Huggins states, “We were making history. It wasn’t nice and clean. It was complex.”
    Get the transcript and complete bibliography at digpodcast.org
    Select Bibliography
    Austin, Curtis. Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party. University of Arkansas Press. 2008.
    Bloom, Joshua, Waldo E. Martin, Jr. Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party. University of California Press, 2016.
    Foner, Philip S. ed. The Black Panthers Speak. Lippincott. 1970.
    Harrington, Michael. The Other America: Poverty in the United States. New York: Macmillan, 1962.
    Jones, Charles E. , ed. The Black Panther Party (Reconsidered). Black Classic Press. 1998.
    Katz, Michael B. The Undeserving Poor: America’s Enduring Confrontation with Poverty. 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
    Levine, Susan. School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008.
    Newton, Huey P. Revolutionary Suicide. Penguin Classics. 2009.
    Orleck, Annelise. Storming Caesar’s Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006.
    Orleck, Annelise, and Lisa Gayle Hazirjian, eds. The War on Poverty: A New Grassroots History, 1964-1980. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011.
    Peniel, E.Joseph, ed. The Black Power Movement: Rethinking The Civil Rights-Black Power Era. Routledge. 2006.
    The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation. Black Panther Party : Service to the People Programs. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2009.
    Arinna Hermida. “Mapping the Black Panther Party in Key Cities.”
    An Oral History with Ericka Huggins, Interviews conducted by Fiona Thompson in 2007, Oral History Center University of California, The Bancroft Library.
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    • 46 min
    A History of Medicinal Cannibalism: Therapeutic Consumption of Human Bodies, Blood, and Excrement in “Civilized” Societies

    A History of Medicinal Cannibalism: Therapeutic Consumption of Human Bodies, Blood, and Excrement in “Civilized” Societies

    Food Series. Episode #2 of 4. Cannibalism gave imperial powers compelling justifications for their colonial endeavors; indigenous Americans and Australasians were backward, uncivilized, savage, and ritual cannibalism served as proof of their need for a guiding hand. But it’s not that easy. Why? Because right at the moment when Europeans were using cannibalism to demean indigenous cultures and justify their civilizing missions, they too were engaging in cannibalism. So were most of the ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Asia, but under the guise of therapeutics. This week’s episode will focus on cannibalism’s most “civilized” iteration, but also its most widespread, medicinal cannibalism. It’s true. For thousands of years, all over the world, the human body has been both the object of medical treatment AND an ingredient in its therapies.
    ** Thanks to my student Dan Hacker for piquing my interest about this topic! ~ Marissa Rhodes
    For transcripts and show notes see: www.digpodcast.org
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    • 1 hr 28 min
    Hot for Chocolate: Aphrodisiacs, Imperialism, and Cacao in the Early Modern Atlantic

    Hot for Chocolate: Aphrodisiacs, Imperialism, and Cacao in the Early Modern Atlantic

    Food Series, Episode #1 of 4. When the Spanish conquered Mesoamerica, they conquered cacao. Mixing the bitter cacao seeds with sugar and other spices - spices that were often also obtained through European conquest - the Spanish created a commodity that stimulated the European comestible market. Its luxuriousness grew first out of its expensiveness and rarity in early modern Europe. The inaccessibility of chocolate to most early modern Europeans meant it has not featured strongly in the longer history of European “aphrodisiacs” specifically, but the story of the ways that Europeans adopted the bittersweet central American drink as a sex remedy says a great deal about the history of sexuality, medicine, gender, economics, race, and imperialism. 
    For the full bibliography and a transcript of this episode, visit digpodcast.org
    Select Bibliography
    Jennifer Evans, Aphrodisiacs, Fertility, and Medicine in Early Modern England, (Boydell & Brewer, 2014). 
    Kate Loveman, “The Introduction of Chocolate into England: Retailers, Researchers, and Consumers, 1640-1730,” Journal of Social History v. 47 n. 1 (2013) 27-46.
    Ed. Cameron McNeil, Chocolate in Mesoamerica: A Cultural History of Cacao (University of Florida Press, 2009).
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    • 45 min
    Sex & Soldiers: Combating Sexually Transmitted Infection in the US Military

    Sex & Soldiers: Combating Sexually Transmitted Infection in the US Military

    Commemorative Sex Series. Episode 4 of 4. Wherever you have a military, you will have sex. Whether it’s an occupied city, an encampment in a theater of war, or a military base here in the United States, anywhere you have a large population of young men, stationed away from their girlfriends and wives, you will soon have a booming sex trade – and the requisite STI outbreak. So how has the United States military dealt with this particular problem facing soldier health? For this episode in our anniversary series on sex, we’re talking about sex, sexually transmitted infections, and the US military. 
    Find transcripts and show notes at: https://digpodcast.org/
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    • 1 hr 15 min
    Steaming the “Nefarious Sin”: Bathhouses and Homosexuality from the Victorian Era to the AIDS Epidemic

    Steaming the “Nefarious Sin”: Bathhouses and Homosexuality from the Victorian Era to the AIDS Epidemic

    Commemorative Sex Series: Episode 3 of 4. When and where public baths have been popular, they’ve meant different things to different cultures. They might be sites for socializing, religious purification, spiritual/bodily cleanliness, relaxation/pampering, public health/hygiene, homosocialiality, and, of course, sex, or some combination of those things. At the start of the twentieth century, single-gender communal bathhouses were central to emerging gay communities all over North America and Europe. At the end of the century, those sites of community formation were associated with the rapid and devastating spread of HIV/AIDS. In 1984, the city of San Francisco ordered the closure of bathhouses, insisting that often anonymous and unsafe sex was at the heart of the bathhouse. But the closure of the gay bathhouses in AIDS-era America echoes the closure and backlash against queer bathhouse spaces in places like early twentieth-century Russia and Mexico. The bathhouse was a contested space because of its same-sex sexual activity, with or without the threat of the looming pandemic. For a complete transcript and bibliography, visit digpodcast.org

    Selected Bibliography

    Allab Berube, My Desire for History ,(University of North Carolina Press, 2011). 
    Ed. by Chris Bull, While the World Sleeps: Writing from the First Twenty Years of the Global AIDS Plague (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003). 
    Dan Healy, Russian Homophobia: From Stalin to Sochi, (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017).
    Victor M. Macias-Gonzalez, Masculinity and Sexuality in Modern Mexico, (University of New Mexicao, 2012).
    Ethan Pollock, Without the Banya we Would Perish, (Oxford University Press, 2019).
    Philip Tiemeyer, Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants (University of California Press, 2013).
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    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

mozzzzzzzzzzza ,

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one of my absolute favourite history podcasts to listen to! Always so well researched and both entertaining and educational to listen to. Thanks for producing so many interesting episodes and topics.

M.Wales ,

Very Excellent History Podcast

Extremely well researched, extremely charming presentation.

Miss_Mo ,

Beautiful and insightful.

Thank you for your beautiful insight connecting the historical to the modern. I look foreword to what topic you’ll delve into next- you’re both so lovely to listen to and learn from!

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