158 episodes

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

Dig: A History Podcast Recorded History Podcast Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 316 Ratings

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

    Omm Sety and Bridey Murphy: A History of Reincarnation and Past Lives in Britain and America

    Omm Sety and Bridey Murphy: A History of Reincarnation and Past Lives in Britain and America

    Spiritualism Series. Episode #4 of 4. You might think that the story of Pharaoh Sety I of Egypt's 19th Dynasty ends with his death. But you’d be wrong, at least according to one 20th-century British woman, Dorothy Eady. Dorothy, who believed herself to be the reincarnation of Sety's lover Bentreshyt, is the only reason we know about this story at all. Dorothy Eady’s past life, which she discovered piecemeal over time, became her obsession. It shaped everything about her. She spent the first half of her life searching for her spiritual home, Abydos, and the second half making amends for Bentrshyt’s sin. Perhaps most shockingly, Dorothy, now called Omm Sety, would resume Bentreshyt’s sexual love affair with King Sety 3200 years after their deaths! More on that in a bit. Today we’re using the story of Omm Sety as a gateway into the history of past lives in Britain and America.

    Find transcripts and show notes here: www.digpodcast.org
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    • 59 min
    Anna Howard Shaw: Doctor, Reverend, Suffragist Leader

    Anna Howard Shaw: Doctor, Reverend, Suffragist Leader

    Spiritualism Series. Episode #2 of 4. The years 1896-1910 of the American woman’s suffrage movement are sometimes referred to as the doldrums because of an apparent lack of progress during the years. However, revised scholarship has shown that these were in fact the years where a lot of uncelebrated work was done for the cause. Today we will focus on the life of Anna Howard Shaw, who was the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) from 1904-1915. Shaw oversaw the transition of NAWSA from a volunteer-based organization to a professional entity with headquarters in New York City and a paid staff.
    You'll find show notes and a transcript at digpodcast.org
    Bibliography
    Trisha Franzen, Anna Howard Shaw: The Work of Woman Suffrage (Uni. of Illinois Press, 2014). 
    Ellen Carol DuBois, Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote (Simon & Schuster, 2021).
    Wendy L. Rouse, Public Faces, Secret Lives: A Queer History of the Women's Suffrage Movement (NYU Press, 2022). 
    Anna Howard Shaw, The Story of a Pioneer (New York: Kraus Reprint Co, 1970).
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    • 42 min
    The Kingdom of Matthias: Sex, Gender and Alternative Belief in the Second Great Awakening

    The Kingdom of Matthias: Sex, Gender and Alternative Belief in the Second Great Awakening

    Spiritualism Series. Episode #2 of 4. Elijah Pierson was the embodiment of early 19th century Christian masculinity. So how did he end up, just a few years later, shambling along the streets of New York City with a scruffy beard, long hair, and dirty fingernails, following a wild eyed prophet? And - perhaps more disturbing - how did he end up at the center of a sensational murder trial? (And we mean literally at the center: he was the dead guy.) If you’re a historian of the United States, you’ve probably already guessed what we’re talking about. And chances are, if you ever had to take an American religious history class, or even an early America or Jacksonian America class, you may have read it. Those of you who haven’t, gee whiz, you’re in for a wild ride. Today, we’re talking about a book that is a true classic in the field of American religious history: Sean Wilentz and Paul Johnson’s 1994 book, The Kingdom of Matthias.

    Find transcripts and show notes at: www.digpodcast.org
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    Spectacle and Spiritualism in the Lives of Maggie and Kate Fox

    Spectacle and Spiritualism in the Lives of Maggie and Kate Fox

    Spiritualism Series, #1 of 4. The Fox sister’s story has been told hundreds of times, in autobiography, newspaper stories, biographies, histories of Spiritualism, Victorian entertainment, women’s rights movements, and many other contexts. Today we’re going to share some insights into Maggie and Kate Fox’s life, how their stories have been told, and why the way we tell these kinds of histories matter. For a complete bibliography and a transcript, visit digpodcast.org
    Select Bibliography
    Ann Braude, Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth Century America (1989)
    Simone Natalie, Supernatural Entertainments: Victorian Spiritualism and the Rise of Modern Media Culture (Penn State University, 2016)
    Barbara Weisberg, Talking to the Dead: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism
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    • 46 min
    Ghosting the Patriarchy: Spiritualism and the Nineteenth-Century Women’s Rights Movement

    Ghosting the Patriarchy: Spiritualism and the Nineteenth-Century Women’s Rights Movement

    Spiritualism Series, Episode # 4 of 4. When Ann Braude published her groundbreaking book Radical Spirits in 1989, critics did not like that Braude prominently linked the women’s rights movement, particularly during the antebellum period, with Spiritualism. And even now, thirty years on, many histories still gloss over these important connections. So today we are exploring the close association of Spiritualism and the women’s rights movement of the nineteenth century.

    Bibliography
    Braude, Ann. Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America. Second Edition. Indiana University Press, 2001.
    Cox, Robert S. Body and Soul: A Sympathetic History of American Spiritualism. University of Virginia Press, Reprint 2017. 
    Franzen, Trisha. Anna Howard Shaw: The Work of Woman Suffrage. University of Illinois Press, 2014. 
    Hewitt, Nancy A. Radical Friend: Amy Kirby Post and Her Activist Worlds. The University of North Carolina Press, 2018. 
    McGarry, Molly. Ghosts of Futures Past: Spiritualism and the Cultural Politics of Nineteenth-Century America. University of California Press, 2008. 
    Seeman, Erik R. Speaking with the Dead in Early America. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019.
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    • 49 min
    Plastic Shamans and Spiritual Hucksters: A History of Peddling and Protecting Native American Spirituality

    Plastic Shamans and Spiritual Hucksters: A History of Peddling and Protecting Native American Spirituality

    Spiritualism, Episode #3 of 4. In the late 20th century, white Americans flocked to New Age spirituality, collecting crystals, hugging trees, and finding their places in the great Medicine Wheel. Many didn’t realize - or didn’t care - that much of this spirituality was based on the spiritual faiths and practices of Native American tribes. Frustrated with what they called “spiritual hucksterism,” members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) began protesting - and have never stopped. Who were these ‘plastic shamans,’ and how did the spiritual services they sold become so popular? Listen to find out!
    Get the transcript and other resources at digpodcast.org
    Bibliography
    Irwin, Lee. “Freedom Law, and Prophecy: A Brief History of Native American Religious Resistance,” American Indian Quarterly 21 (Winter 1997): 35-55.
    McNally, Michael D. Defend the Sacred: Native American Religious Freedom Beyond the First Amendment. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020.
    Owen, Suzanne. The Appropriation of Native American Spirituality. New York: Bloomsbury, 2011.
    Urban, Hugh. New Age, Neopagan, and New Religious Movements: Alternative Spirituality in Contemporary America. Berkley: University of California Press, 2015.
    Bowman, Marion. “Ancient Avalon, New Jerusalem, Heart Chakra of Planet Earth: The Local and the Global in Glastonbury,” Numen 52 (2005): 157-190.
    Amy Wallace, Sorcerer’s Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda. Berkley: North Atlantic Books, 2013. 
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    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
316 Ratings

316 Ratings

Sensei Evan Hughes ,

Addictive

I discovered this podcast in July and have listened to about half the episodes by September 1. Good historians teach you about yourself, and I’ve learned a lot.

JGregV ,

Accidental find

I stumbled upon this podcast by accident. I was researching a subject (I can’t remember which one at the moment) and this podcast popped up. I downloaded the episode that I wanted to listen to and I was hooked. The amount of research that you all do for your podcast is incredible. I really enjoy the detailed information that you provide and I love the banter as well. Anyway, I ended up downloading all of the podcast and I have about 20 left before I’ve heard them all. Keep it up and I really think you’re students are lucky to have you as their professors.

TonyaNGM ,

Go Women Historians!

As a history teacher in a primarily male department, I love being able to feel like I’m part of your intellectual conversation (the outtakes and realness…OMG). Thank you for not just sharing great stories and sources, but doing it in such a conversational way. I can’t wait to use some episodes in a new elective next fall. 💛💜🤍

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