100 episodes

Interviews with Historians about their New Books

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    • Society & Culture
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Interviews with Historians about their New Books

    Elisa Pulido, "The Spiritual Evolution of Margarito Bautista: Mexican Mormon Evangelizer, Polygamist Dissident, and Utopian Founder, 1878-1961" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Elisa Pulido, "The Spiritual Evolution of Margarito Bautista: Mexican Mormon Evangelizer, Polygamist Dissident, and Utopian Founder, 1878-1961" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    The Spiritual Evolution of Margarito Bautista: Mexican Mormon Evangelizer, Polygamist Dissident, and Utopian Founder, 1878-1961 (Oxford University Press, 2020) provides the first full-length biography of a celebrated Latino Mormon leader in the U.S. and Mexico in the early twentieth century. Surprisingly little is known about Bautista's remarkable life, the scope of his work, or the development of his vision. Elisa Eastwood Pulido draws on his letters, books, pamphlets, and unpublished diaries to provide a lens through which to view the convergence of the evangelization efforts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mexican nationalism, and religious improvisation in the U.S. Mexico borderlands.
    A successful proselytizer of Mexicans for years, from 1922 onward Bautista came to view the paternalism of the Euro-American leadership of the Church as a barrier to ecclesiastical self-governance by indigenous Latter-day Saints. In 1924, he began his journey away from mainstream Mormonism. By 1946, he had established a completely Mexican-led polygamist utopia in Mexico on the slopes of the volcano Popocateptl, twenty-two kilometers southeast of Mexico City. Here, he preached an alternative Mormonism rooted in Mesoamerican history and culture. Based on his indigenous hermeneutic of Mormon scripture, Bautista proclaimed that the indigenous peoples of the Americas were a chosen race, destined to wrest both political and spiritual authority from the descendants of Euro-American colonists. This book provides an in-depth look at a man still regarded with cultural pride by those Mexican and Mexican American Mormons who remember him as an iconic and revolutionary figure.
    David-James Gonzales (DJ) is Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University. He is a historian of migration, urbanization, and social movements in the U.S., and specializes in Latina/o/x politics and social movements. Follow him on Twitter @djgonzoPhD.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Vanessa Mongey, "Rogue Revolutionaries: The Fight for Legitimacy in the Greater Caribbean" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2020)

    Vanessa Mongey, "Rogue Revolutionaries: The Fight for Legitimacy in the Greater Caribbean" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2020)

    The University of Pennsylvania describes Mongey's work as follows. "When we think of the Age of Revolutions, George Washington, Robespierre, Toussaint Louverture, or Simon Bolivar might come to mind. But Rogue Revolutionaries: The Fight for Legitimacy in the Greater Caribbean (U Pennsylvania Press, 2020) recovers the interconnected stories of now forgotten "foreigners of desperate fortune" who dreamed of overthrowing colonial monarchy and creating their own countries. They were not members of the political and economic elite; rather, they were ship captains, military veterans, and enslaved soldiers. As a history of ideas and geopolitics grounded in narratives of extraordinary lives, Rogue Revolutionaries shows how these men of different nationalities and ethnicities claimed revolution as a universal right and reimagined notions of sovereignty, liberty, and decolonization." 
    This book is an innovative transnational history drawn on multilingual sources. Review the digital companion that includes the cast of characters, original sources, maps, and an archive research guide available at https://mongey.fr/.
    Sharika Crawford is an associate professor of history at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis and the author of The Last Turtlemen of the Caribbean: Waterscapes of Labor, Conservation, and Boundary Making (University of North Carolina Press, 2020).
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Lenny A. Ureña Valerio, "Colonial Fantasies, Imperial Realities: Race Science and the Making of Polishness on the Fringes of the German Empire, 1840-1920" (Ohio UP, 2019

    Lenny A. Ureña Valerio, "Colonial Fantasies, Imperial Realities: Race Science and the Making of Polishness on the Fringes of the German Empire, 1840-1920" (Ohio UP, 2019

    In Colonial Fantasies, Imperial Realities: Race Science and the Making of Polishness on the Fringes of the German Empire, 1840-1920 (Ohio University Press, 2019), Lenny Ureña Valerio offers a transnational approach to Polish-German relations and nineteenth-century colonial subjectivities. She investigates key cultural dynamics in the history of medicine, colonialism, and migration that bring Germany and Prussian Poland closer to the colonial and postcolonial worlds in Africa and Latin America. She also analyzes how Poles in the German Empire positioned themselves in relation to Germans and native populations in overseas colonies. She thus recasts Polish perspectives and experiences, allowing new insights into identity formation and nationalist movements within the German Empire.
    Crucially, Ureña Valerio also studies the medical projects and scientific ideas that traveled from colonies to the German metropole, and vice versa, which were influential not only in the racialization of Slavic populations, but also in bringing scientific conceptions of race to the everydayness of the German Empire. As a whole, Colonial Fantasies, Imperial Realities illuminates nested imperial and colonial relations using sources that range from medical texts and state documents to travel literature and fiction. By studying these scientific and political debates, Ureña Valerio uncovers novel ways to connect medicine, migration, and colonialism and provides an invigorating model for the analysis of Polish history from a global perspective.
    Lenny A. Ureña Valerio received her BA in history at the University of Puerto Rico and her PhD in Central/East European history from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her dissertation, “The Stakes of Empire: Colonial Fantasies, Civilizing Agendas, and Biopolitics in the Prussian-Polish Provinces, 1840-1914,” was awarded the Distinguished Dissertation Award in Polish Studies by the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PIASA) in 2010.
    Colonial Fantasies, Imperial Realities is the winner of the 2020 Kulczycki Book Prize in Polish Studies and honorable mention for the 2020 Heldt Prize for the best book by a woman in Slavic/East European/Eurasian Studies, awarded by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies.
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    • 52 min
    Andrew Jewett, "Science Under Fire: Challenges to Scientific Authority in Modern America" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    Andrew Jewett, "Science Under Fire: Challenges to Scientific Authority in Modern America" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    Americans today are often skeptical of scientific authority. Many conservatives dismiss climate change and Darwinism as liberal fictions, arguing that "tenured radicals" have coopted the sciences and other disciplines. Some progressives, especially in the universities, worry that science's celebration of objectivity and neutrality masks its attachment to Eurocentric and patriarchal values. As we grapple with the implications of climate change and revolutions in fields from biotechnology to robotics to computing, it is crucial to understand how scientific authority functions--and where it has run up against political and cultural barriers.
    Science Under Fire: Challenges to Scientific Authority in Modern America (Harvard UP, 2020) reconstructs a century of battles over the cultural implications of science in the United States. Andrew Jewett reveals a persistent current of criticism which maintains that scientists have injected faulty social philosophies into the nation's bloodstream under the cover of neutrality. This charge of corruption has taken many forms and appeared among critics with a wide range of social, political, and theological views, but common to all is the argument that an ideologically compromised science has produced an array of social ills. Jewett shows that this suspicion of science has been a major force in American politics and culture by tracking its development, varied expressions, and potent consequences since the 1920s.
    Looking at today's battles over science, Jewett argues that citizens and leaders must steer a course between, on the one hand, the naïve image of science as a pristine, value-neutral form of knowledge, and, on the other, the assumption that scientists' claims are merely ideologies masquerading as truths.
    Claire Clark is a medical educator, historian of medicine, and associate professor in the University of Kentucky’s College of Medicine. She teaches and writes about health behavior in historical context.
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    • 41 min
    Jason Berry, "City of a Million Dreams: A History of New Orleans at Year 300" (UNC Press, 2018)

    Jason Berry, "City of a Million Dreams: A History of New Orleans at Year 300" (UNC Press, 2018)

    In City of a Million Dreams: A History of New Orleans at Year 300 (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), Jason Berry delivers a history of New Orleans at its tricentennial. Beyond its ancient streets, jazz, and Carnival lies a richer, more textured New Orleans than anyone imagined. Berry spotlights the tension between a culture of spectacle, rooted in African burial dances, and a city of laws anchored in white supremacy. Discussing how culture and law grind against each other, the narrative is a parade of New Orleanians faced with these tensions.
    Learn more about the forthcoming documentary City of a Million Dreams here.
    Jason Berry is an independent writer, documentary film producer, and journalist living in New Orleans.
    Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama’s Carnival celebrations.
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    • 55 min
    L. Ferlier and B. Miyamoto, "Forms, Formats and the Circulation of Knowledge: British Printscape’s Innovations, 1688-1832" (Brill, 2020)

    L. Ferlier and B. Miyamoto, "Forms, Formats and the Circulation of Knowledge: British Printscape’s Innovations, 1688-1832" (Brill, 2020)

    Forms, Formats and the Circulation of Knowledge: British Printscape’s Innovations, 1688-1832 (Brill, 2020) explores the printscape – the mental mapping of knowledge in all its printed shapes – to chart the British networks of publishers, printers, copyright-holders, readers and authors. This transdisciplinary volume skilfully recovers innovations and practices in the book trade between 1688 and 1832. It investigates how print circulated information in a multitude of sizes and media, through an evolving framework of transactions. The authority of print is demonstrated by studies of prospectuses, blank forms, periodicals, pamphlets, globes, games and ephemera, uniquely gathered in eleven essays engaging in legal, economic, literary, and historical methodologies. The tight focus on material format reappraises a disorderly market accommodating a widening audience consumption.
    Louisiane Ferlier, Ph.D. (2012, Université Paris Diderot), is the Digital Resources Manager at Centre for the History of Science at the Royal Society. She has published articles on John Wallis, the Bodleian Library and cross-Atlantic circulation of books.
    Bénédicte Miyamoto, Ph.D. (2011, Université Paris Diderot), is Associate Professor of British History at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. She has published on eighteenth-century drawing manuals, sales catalogues and art markets.
    Alexandra Ortolja-Baird is Lecturer in Early Modern European History at King’s College London. She tweets at @timetravelallie.
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    • 1 hr 2 min

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