26 episodes

Peoples & Things is a podcast in which host Lee Vinsel interviews scholars, practitioners, and activists about human life with technology.

Peoples & Things Peoples & Things

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 9 Ratings

Peoples & Things is a podcast in which host Lee Vinsel interviews scholars, practitioners, and activists about human life with technology.

    Inventing American Telecommunications

    Inventing American Telecommunications

    Historian Richard John, professor of journalism at Columbia University, talks about his book, Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications, with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. Network Nation is a history of the telegraph and telephone in the United States, and one of its key findings is that, from the very beginning of these technologies, thinking about the state, regulation, and ideas of political economy was at the heart of business strategy. John and Vinsel also talk about the nature of historical research and why it is so important to go back to primary sources.
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    • 1 hr 20 min
    War, Plague, and Confession in Fourteenth-Century Provence

    War, Plague, and Confession in Fourteenth-Century Provence

    Nicole Archambeau, associate professor of history at Colorado State University, talks about her book, Souls under Siege: Stories of War, Plague, and Confession in Fourteenth-Century Provence (Cornell University Press), with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. The book explores how the inhabitants of southern France made sense of the ravages of successive waves of plague, the depredations of mercenary warfare, and the violence of royal succession. Many people, Archambeau finds, understood both plague and war as the symptoms of spiritual sicknesses caused by excessive sin, and they sought cures in confession. Archambeau and Vinsel also discuss the important lessons historians can teach about working to understand people who are quite different from ourselves.
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    The History of Teletherapy

    The History of Teletherapy

    Hannah Zeavin, lecturer in the department of History and member of the executive committees of both the Center for New Media and the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society at University of California, Berkeley, talks about her book, The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy, with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. The book tracks the history of teletherapy, which Zeavin defines as therapeutic interaction over distance, and its metamorphosis from a model of cure to one of contingent help. The book starts with letters sent through the mail and ends in our current coronavirus catastrophe. Zeavin and Vinsel also talk about the complexities and potential harms of going back fully in-person, including how it will negatively affect disabled people.
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Collaborations between Cold War Scientists and Artists

    Collaborations between Cold War Scientists and Artists

    Patrick McCray, Professor of History at University of California, Santa Barbara, talks about his book, Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture, with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. The book shows how artists eagerly collaborated with engineers and scientists to explore new technologies and create visually and sonically compelling multimedia works after World War II. McCray and Vinsel also discuss how this history connects to more recent developments such as the creation of the MIT Media Lab and so-called “STEAM education.”
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    • 1 hr 16 min
    Business in Socialist Hungary

    Business in Socialist Hungary

    Philip Scranton, University Board of Governors Professor Emeritus of the history of industry and technology at Rutgers University-Camden, talks about his book, Business Practice In Socialist Hungary, Volume 1: Creating The Theft Economy, 1945-1957, with Peoples & Things host Lee Vinsel. Scranton’s book examines how leaders in socialist Hungary planned and developed business enterprises in the shattered post-World War II economy and how workers, farmers, and citizens both supported and resisted these aims. Scranton and Vinsel also talk about what this project means for business history, which has tended to focus far too often on Western, rich, capitalist nations.
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    The History of Electricity in Mexico

    The History of Electricity in Mexico

    In her detailed cultural history of technological change, Electrifying Mexico, Diana Montaño argues that ordinary Mexicans became electrifying agents who actively negotiated the extent and manner electricity entered their lives and lived spaces in Mexico City. An Assistant Professor of History at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Montaño's teaching and research interests broadly include the construction of modern Latin American societies with a focus on technology and its relationship to nationalism, everyday life and domesticity.
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    • 1 hr 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Pignoli ,

My new favorite podcast

I really enjoy the way the host engages with the guests on this show, setting up the themes to be accessible to audiences who might not be familiar with them, but inviting deep engagement as the conversation gets going. A nice range of thinkers and themes have been explored; I’m excited to discover what I will learn about with each new episode. Thank you!

_everynicknameistaken_ ,

STS in a dog walk

The format of this podcast is spot on. Host + STS author(s) chat about their past writings, academic bios, next projects and how those things are playing out in relation to current topics; all at the length of a long dog walk.

The highest praise I can give it that it makes me want to study STS - or at least buy more books.

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