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Interviews with Biographers about their New Books
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    • Society & Culture
    • 4.0 • 58 Ratings

Interviews with Biographers about their New Books
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    Elizabeth A. Povinelli, "The Inheritance" (Duke UP, 2021)

    Elizabeth A. Povinelli, "The Inheritance" (Duke UP, 2021)

    Elizabeth A. Povinelli’s inheritance was passed down not through blood or soil but through a framed map of Trentino, Alto Adige—the region where family's ancestral alpine village is found. Far more than a map hanging above the family television, the image featured colors and lines that held in place the memories and values fueling the Povinelli family's fraught relationships with the village and with each other. In her graphic memoir The Inheritance (Duke UP, 2020), Povinelli explores the events, traumas, and powers that divide and define our individual and collective pasts and futures. Weaving together stories of her grandparents' flight from their village in the early twentieth century to the fortunes of their knife-grinding business in Buffalo, New York, and her own Catholic childhood in a shrinking Louisiana woodlands of the 1960s and 1970s, Povinelli describes the serial patterns of violence, dislocation, racism and structural inequality that have shaped not only her life but the American story. Plumbing the messy relationships among nationality, ethnicity, kinship, religion, and belonging, The Inheritance takes us into the gulf between the facts of history and the stories we tell ourselves to survive and justify them.
    Dr. Suvi Rautio is an anthropologist of China.
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    • 1 hr 12 min
    Mary D. Garrard, "Artemisia Gentileschi and Feminism in Early Modern Europe" (Reaktion Books, 2020)

    Mary D. Garrard, "Artemisia Gentileschi and Feminism in Early Modern Europe" (Reaktion Books, 2020)

    Artemisia Gentileschi is by far the most famous woman artist of the premodern era. Her art addressed issues that resonate today, such as sexual violence and women’s problematic relationship to political power. Her powerful paintings with vigorous female protagonists chime with modern audiences, and she is celebrated by feminist critics and scholars.
    Artemisia Gentileschi and Feminism in Early Modern Europe (Reaktion Books, 2020) breaks new ground by placing the artist in the context of women’s political history. Mary D. Garrard, noted Gentileschi scholar, shows that the painter most likely knew or knew about contemporary writers such as the Venetian feminists Lucrezia Marinella and Arcangela Tarabotti. She discusses recently discovered paintings, offers fresh perspectives on known works, and examines the artist anew in the context of feminist history. This beautifully illustrated book gives for the first time a full portrait of a strong woman artist who fought back through her art.
    Allison Leigh is Assistant Professor of Art History and the SLEMCO/LEQSF Regents Endowed Professor in Art & Architecture at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research explores masculinity in European and Russian art of the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries.
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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Bethany Hicok, "Elizabeth Bishop and the Literary Archive" (Lever Press, 2020)

    Bethany Hicok, "Elizabeth Bishop and the Literary Archive" (Lever Press, 2020)

    What more can we learn about legendary American writer Elizabeth Bishop (1911-79), dubbed by Bethany Hicok “the most stunning poet of the twentieth century”, by exploring the wonderful archives of her life and work at Vassar? Why are literary archives coming back into vogue? How do new techniques in digital humanities create novel possibilities for archival-based research and publication? And how can we develop collaborative methods of studying and teaching in literary archives?
    In this lively, well-crafted podcast, leading Bishop scholar Bethany Hicok of Williams College completely fails to control her infectious enthusiasm for Elizabeth Bishop’s writings. She explains to Duncan McCargo why Bishop has become for her the poet of the pandemic, and above all what happened when she spent three weeks embedded in the Vassar archives with sixteen other scholars and poets – a project that resulted in this beautifully produced and copiously illustrated edited volume.
    Since Elizabeth Bishop and the Literary Archive is an Open Access publication, you can and should download it (free of charge), so you can read along here. 
    Duncan McCargo is an eclectic, internationalist political scientist and literature buff: his day job is directing the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen. 
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    • 34 min
    Nelson Johnson, "Darrow's Nightmare: The Forgotten Story of America's Most Famous Trial Lawyer" (Rosetta Books, 2021)

    Nelson Johnson, "Darrow's Nightmare: The Forgotten Story of America's Most Famous Trial Lawyer" (Rosetta Books, 2021)

    Today I talked to Nelson Johnson about his new book Darrow's Nightmare: The Forgotten Story of America's Most Famous Trial Lawyer (Rosetta Books, 2021)
    In 1911 the 26-year-span in which Clarence Darrow took on capital punishment, advocated for civil rights, and handled the Scopes trial was still before him. Those accomplishments might never have happened if he hadn’t survived two torturous years in Los Angeles. First, he sought to settle the case of labor activists bombing the Los Angeles Times building and killing 20 people. Then, Darrow on trial himself on charges of having tried to bribe a prospective juror in the LA Times case. Up against Darrow was the power structure of L.A. On Darrow’s side, was his wife and two brilliant attorneys, one of whom later drank himself to death (Earl Rogers) and another who was later committed to a mental institution (Horace Appel). In between, all sorts of legal and extra-legal connivances took place as touched on in this episode.
    Nelson Johnson is a retired N. J. Superior Court Judge who practiced law for 30 years prior to serving on the bench. Early in his career he represented the Atlantic City Planning Board. That experience resulted in “Boardwalk Empire,” which inspired the HBO series.
    Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of eight books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). To check out his related blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.
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    • 33 min
    Michael E. Lynch, "Edward M. Almond and the US Army: From the 92nd Infantry Division to the X Corps" (U Kentucky Press, 2019)

    Michael E. Lynch, "Edward M. Almond and the US Army: From the 92nd Infantry Division to the X Corps" (U Kentucky Press, 2019)

    Edward M. Almond belonged to the generation of US Army officers who came of age during World War I and then ascended to senior command positions during World War II. During WWII, Almond led the 92nd Infantry Division, one of only two African American divisions to see combat in the war. Yet, alongside his achievements, including a command during the Korean War, Almond was a fervent racist and a right-wing political zealot. In his book Edward M. Almond and the US Army: From 92nd Division to the X Corps, published by the University of Kentucky Press in 2019, Dr. Michael E. Lynch of the US Army Heritage and Education Center argues that Almond's racism, while very real, overshadows his accomplishments and contends that Almond played a significant role in the Army's history.
    Douglas Bell holds a PhD in history from Texas A&M University and recently completed a yearlong postdoctoral fellowship at the US Army Heritage and Education Center.
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    • 1 hr 51 min
    Julia Laite, "The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A true story of sex, crime and the meaning of justice" (Profile Books, 2021)

    Julia Laite, "The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A true story of sex, crime and the meaning of justice" (Profile Books, 2021)

    Lydia Harvey was meant to disappear. She was young and working class; she'd walked the streets, worked in brothels, and had no money of her own. In 1910, politicians, pimps, policemen and moral reformers saw her as just one of many 'girls who disappeared'. But when she took the stand to give testimony at the trial of her traffickers, she ensured she'd never be forgotten.
    In The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A True Story of Sex, Crime and the Meaning of Justice (Profile Books, 2021), historian Julia Laite traces Lydia's extraordinary life from her home in New Zealand to the streets of Buenos Aires and safe houses of London. She also reveals the lives of international traffickers Antonio Carvelli and his mysterious wife Marie, the policemen who tracked them down, the journalists who stoked the scandal, and Eilidh MacDougall, who made it her life's mission to help women who'd been abused and disbelieved.
    Together, they tell an immersive story of crime, travel and sexual exploitation, of lives long overlooked and forgotten by history, and of a world transforming into the 20th century
    Pamela Fuentes is an Assistant Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Pace University-NYC campus.
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    • 51 min

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58 Ratings

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