61 episodes

An interview podcast about historic places for history lovers and travel enthusiasts.

Stephanie Craig is a history and travel blogger. She travels full-time and writes at historyfangirl.com.

The History Fangirl Podcast Stephanie Craig

    • History
    • 4.7 • 53 Ratings

An interview podcast about historic places for history lovers and travel enthusiasts.

Stephanie Craig is a history and travel blogger. She travels full-time and writes at historyfangirl.com.

    World History by the Numbers

    World History by the Numbers

    In this episode, I chat with Daniel Hoyer from Seshat about looking at history through a statistical lens. We discuss the Seshat Databank and his new book, Figuring Out the Past: The 3,495 Vital Statistics that Explain World History.
     
    Let's Stay in Touch!
    You can join the conversation in our Facebook Group, the History Fangirl Podcast Community, or come say hi on Instagram!
     
     
    My Travel Websites
    History Fangirl - Culture & History Travel Guides in the USA, Europe, and Beyond
    Sofia Adventures - Balkan Travel Blog
    Oklahoma Wonders - Travel in Oklahoma & Route 66
     
    The theme music for the podcast is "Places Unseen" by Lee Rosevere.
     

    • 34 min
    Veliko Tarnovo: Bulgaria's Medieval Capital

    Veliko Tarnovo: Bulgaria's Medieval Capital

    In this episode, I chat with Eric Halsey from the Bulgarian History  Podcast about the hidden gem of Veliko Tarnovo. This once-important Bulgarian city is one of the most picturesque in Europe, and yet not many outside of Bulgaria know much about it. You can find Eric's podcast here.
     
    Let's Stay in Touch!
    You can join the conversation in our Facebook Group, the History Fangirl Podcast Community, or come say hi on Instagram!
     
    More on Veliko Tarnovo:
    If you are planning to visit Veliko Tarnovo, here are our Veliko Tarnovo travel guides.
    Things to do in Veliko Tarnovo How to Get from Sofia to Veliko Tarnovo Best Instagram Spots What to Do in Winter  
    My Travel Websites
    History Fangirl - Culture & History Travel Guides in the USA, Europe, and Beyond
    Sofia Adventures - Balkan Travel Blog
    Oklahoma Wonders - Travel in Oklahoma & Route 66
     
    The theme music for the podcast is "Places Unseen" by Lee Rosevere.
     

    • 38 min
    Stalking Chernobyl

    Stalking Chernobyl

    Yes, it's been two years, and for that I'm very sorry! But I'm back with new episodes next week. In the meantime, enjoy this interview on Chernobyl I did a few weeks ago with Darmon Richter, the author of the new book Chernobyl, a Stalker's Guide.
     
    The theme music for the podcast is "Places Unseen" by Lee Rosevere.

    • 40 min
    The Great Kazakh Famine

    The Great Kazakh Famine

    On today’s episode of the History Fangirl Podcast, we talk with renowned travel blogger Megan Starr, whom we spoke to a few months back about Kiev. But this week, we’re talking in person, in Kazakhstan, at the site of the memorial to the Great Kazakh Famine, a historical event which not many people know about in the West but looms large in the history of Kazakhstan. And, we both have recovered from the Kazakhstani flu that has been going around, so we’re ready to get rolling!
    The Great Famine We’ve talked before about the Great Famine in Ukraine, but similar tragedies hit all over the Soviet region. There were actually two terrible genocides in the region. In 1919, many Kazakhs were killed by a drought. But due to the forced farm collectivization of the nomadic peoples in the region from 1931 to 1933, the Soviet Union ended up killing nearly 2 million people. It’s a terrible story, one not well-known outside the region, but one that everyone should hear.
    Outline of This Episode [1:57] The memorial in Almaty [3:45] What Kazakhstan was like in the 20th century [6:59] Why it’s a genocide [9:37] About the statue [11:34] Life in Kazakhstan after the famine [15:10] Why this genocide isn’t as prominent [17:54] How Megan fell in love with Almaty, Kazakhstan [22:00] What to see in Almaty and in the region [27:58] The biggest mistake people make when traveling to Kazakhstan Resources Mentioned Megan Starr Megan’s Facebook Group Info about the memorial Connect With Stephanie stephanie@historyfangirl.com https://historyfangirl.com Support Stephanie on Patreon Featuring the song “Places Unseen” by Lee Rosevere.

    • 31 min
    The World Nomad Games

    The World Nomad Games

    This week’s episode is something a little different. I am in Isyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, covering the World Nomad Games, a festival of sports that’s sort of like the Olympics for nomadic peoples. The sports, though, are way more interesting than, say, basketball. My first interview this episode is with the co-captain of the American Kok Boru team (I’ll explain later), and the sports include horse archery, tug of war, arm wrestling and more. I have a whole slew of interviews in this week’s episode, and next week we’ll dive into what makes these games so special, and what importance the history of this event has to the people who play in it.
    The Blue Wolf My first interview is with Garrett, the co-captain of the U.S.’s Kok Boru team, who describes playing in these games as a “wild ride.” Kok Boru is the national sport of Kyrgyzstan, and translates to the Blue Wolf. As Garrett says, it’s not a game, it’s “one of the most intense competitions” you could ever take part in. As he says, it’s essentially rugby on horseback, but it dates back centuries in Kyrgyzstan, and stems from a time when men would chase away wolves who were attacking livestock, and pick up the wolves and toss them from one horse to the other. So yeah, a little different than baseball.
    World-Class Mangala One of the many things that distinguish the World Nomad Games from the Olympics is that it includes intellectual games. Imagine if chess was in the Olympics, that’s the place that the Turkish game of Mangala (mancala in the U.S.) holds in the World Nomad Games. As the competitor I interviewed said, he was drawn to the sport because he could sit down. I also had the opportunity to speak with the president of the Turkish horse archery federation.
    Next-Level Tug-of-War One of the American teams I was able to interview were a man and woman who compete in mas wrestling, a sort of tug-of-war competition between two people who grasp a stick, and try to pull their opponent over a board. I also was able to chat with Kyle, a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, about the cultural traditions of the country. One of the fascinating aspects of the culture that Kyle mentioned is that younger men must approach an older gentleman they encounter and introduce themselves, as a sign of respect. I also got to speak with Ashley, another Peace Corps volunteer, who is actually Kyle’s teammate on the American arm-wrestling team.
    We Are the World (Nomad Games) The World Nomad Games are an incredible experience, filled with unbelievable characters (as you can tell from my interviews) from all across the country. Whether it’s the Scottish caber tosser who’s skeptical of Americans’ tartans or the Pakistani representative calling for World Peace, it’s an amazing competition. Make sure you tune in next week as we dig into the history of the games.
    Outline of This Episode [3:05] USA Kok Boru team [6:44] Tajikistani game of men and women [9:30] Turkish Mangala [14:57] Mas wrestling [23:29] Pakistani competitors [26:45] The Great Britain delegation [31:15] Antigua and Barbuda [34:21] Iran’s team [38:05] USAID representative Resources Mentioned The World Nomad Games Stephanie's Kyrgyzstan Travel Advice How to Get a Sim Card in Kyrgyzstan  
    Connect With Stephanie stephanie@historyfangirl.com https://historyfangirl.com Support Stephanie on Patreon Featuring the song “Places Unseen” by Lee Rosevere.

    More info and photographs for this episode at:
    https://historyfangirl.com/the-world-nomad-games/

    • 42 min
    The Massacre at Srebrenica

    The Massacre at Srebrenica

    Last year, Alex Cruikshanks came on the show to talk about Belgrade, a really detailed and wide-ranging episode. And we had such a great time, he’s back again to talk about more recent history in Yugoslavia, specifically the brutal massacre at Srebrenica. Yugoslavia, as anyone who was alive in the 1990s knows, was falling apart in the early part of the decade. The Bosnian War was raging, and in 1995, some 8,000 Bosniaks, mostly men and boys, were killed. What led up to this genocide, how could something like this happen in our recent history, and what has been the fallout since? Alex is the perfect person to about this, not just because of his podcast, but he just made a trip to participate in a peace march in the region.
    How the massacre began As Alex told me this episode, in the late 1980s, a sort of coalition-by-default formed as Yugoslavia held elections, as the parties that represented the various ethnic factions of the country won a majority. But they soon realized that all that was holding them together was an anti-Communist stance, so the coalition immediately began dissolving. In a referendum in 1992, Bosnians voted for independence, and in the Spring and Summer of 1992, Serbian nationalists begin staging coups throughout the country, placing Serbs in power, and begin massacring non-Serb populations.
    Srebrenica stronghold But while all of this was going on, there were pockets where Bosniaks were able to hold off the Serbian nationalists from taking over. One such stronghold was the small town of Srebrenica, which was able to maintain its autonomy for three years. As Alex says, it only had about 6,000 people before the war, but because so many have been killed or expelled throughout the region, it swells to an unsustainable population of 40,000. In 1993 a militia forms in Srebrenica to try to fight back, and the Serbian army takes notice, planning an invasion. But just as that was heating up, UN peacekeepers visited the town, and ended up putting a small force there, keeping the violence at bay for two years.
    How the UN peacekeepers couldn’t keep the peace But in 1995, Slobodan Milosevic decides it’s time to try to shut down the enclaves, and he issues what becomes known as Directive 7, which orders the separation of Srebrenica from the other enclaves and “by planned and well-thought-out combat operations, create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica.” That’s about as grim and awful as it gets, but as Alex says, it’s likely Milosevic was not thinking of massacre, but rather starving the residents until they give up. The Serb national army then takes UN peacekeepers as hostages to ward off UN airstrikes, and in July they begin their combat operations in earnest. Unfortunately, the Bosnian militia were not well-trained fighters, and they ended up falling back.
    How the massacre happened, and what happened after As the Serbian army advanced, many hoped the UN would step in and be able to save the Bosniaks. But many men and boys had a feeling that if they stayed, they would be killed. So they fled, but unfortunately, the Serbs were able to ambush them. It’s a truly horrific story of ethnic cleansing that happened not that long ago. But as Alex and I discuss in this week’s episode, the Bosnian people are actually some of the most liberal and optimistic people we’ve met. It’s an incredible story, and it’s important that we never forget it.
    Outline of This Episode [1:30] The beginnings of war [7:17] Bosniaks able to hold off Serbs [12:45] The difference between Croats and Serbs [21:09] How the massacre happened [35:00] Conditions during the war [40:45] How the conflict resolves [43:33] The war crimes tribunal [51:40] Alex’s trip to Bosnia Resources Mentioned The History of Yugoslavia Podcast Belgrade: The Rise of the White City Connect With Stephanie stephanie@historyfangirl.com https://historyfangirl.com Sup

    • 1 hr 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
53 Ratings

53 Ratings

Jen Pennoyer ,

Veileko Tarnovo: Bulgaria’s Midevil Capital

So very excited that Sephanie is back from hiatus! She does such an exceptional job really digging deep on such very interesting topics. She also has great guests such as Eric Halsey. They are all experts in their subject matter. I had not listened to his own pod cast in a while, which I learned about from a previous History Fan Girl” episode. I’ll have to revisit it now. If there is a negative to “History Fan Girl”, is that she’ll lead you down another rabit whole, and listening and studying anither pod cast on that specific subject with that guest. So make more pod cast time! 😂😂

Cornhusker55 ,

I like,like,like,like this show

I assume the host is in her late teens but still I think 50% of the show is the word “like”. What an embarrassment that she made it out of primary school with her lack of vocabulary.

TelzeyA ,

See beneath the surface of cool places to visit

Stephanie takes us way beyond the "touristy stuff" of some of the most fascinating places in the world, through her own experiences and knowledge of the places and their history, and through interviews with experts who love the places. The podcast is great for people who are planning their own travel and for people who can only travel vicariously.

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