The Humanities Pod is a production of the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.
History wrapped up in song: “Singing Freedom” with Tsitsi Jaji, Lucy Fitz Gibbon, and Ed Baptist
History wrapped up in song: “Singing Freedom” with Tsitsi Jaji, Lucy Fitz Gibbon, and Ed Baptist.
Soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon, poet and associate professor of English at Duke Tsitsi Jaji, and Cornell professor of history Ed Baptist, talk with Annette about ’Singing Freedom,’ a multi-layered collaboration with leading Black American composers and performers to create musical responses to materials in the Freedom on the Move archive. They talk about how music might give voice to those self-liberators and their stories, exploring ways the creative arts might grapple with racism in the past and present across literary and musical genres.
This episode was recorded in September 2021 by Bert Odom Reed and produced by Eric Harvey. We are grateful to Shawn E. Okpebholo and Rhiannon Giddens for permission to reproduce their music. Excerpts heard in this episode are from: Rhiannon Giddens, “At the Purchaser’s Option,” performed by Rhiannon Giddens from the album “Freedom Highway” (2017); Shawn E. Okpebholo, “The Rain” from “Two Black Churches” (poem by Marcus Amaker), performed by Will Liverman, baritone, and Paul Sánchez, piano from the album “Lord, How Come Me Here” (2022); and Shawn Okpebholo, “Oh, Freedom,” sung by Will Liverman, with Paul Sánchez (piano) from the album “Steal Away” (2014).
Lucy Fitz Gibbon has recently taken a full-time position at Bard College and Conservatory.
“Above all nations is…”: The Fraught Legacy of Goldwin Smith with Joanne Lee and Angel Nugroho
Angel Nugroho and Joanne Lee, two undergraduate students from Cornell’s Humanities Scholars Program, sit down with Paul Fleming to discuss the fraught legacy of Goldwin Smith, Cornell’s first academic star. Through collaborative archival research, Angel and Joanne share their unique perspectives on Goldwin Smith’s misogyny against the backdrop of women’s burgeoning access to public, academic, and legal spaces in the Victorian Finger Lakes region.
Rural Poetics: Part 3 with Tim Earley
This third episode of the Rural Poetics podcast series features poetry author Tim Earley, visiting assistant professor of English at the University of Mississippi. Earley’s dynamic range of diction mixes the academic vocabulary of continental theory with his own roots of Appalachian vernacular English. Tim’s work directly confronts the class hierarchies of U.S. poetry communities, giving audiences a language to better understand the complexity of contemporary rural life.
Tweets of the Un-Mastered Class: Exploring the Freedom on the Move Database with Edward Baptist
Ed Baptist, Cornell history professor, joins Paul and Annette to discuss the Freedom on the Move database and related pedagogical projects. This work by Baptist and many other scholars, educators, and volunteers aims to shift the narrative surrounding slavery in America, bringing together tens of thousands of newspaper “wanted” ads for freedom seekers. These ads inadvertently bear witness to the names, lives, and personalities of self-liberators who otherwise have been effaced from history—while also highlighting the complicity of mainstream newspapers and their subscribers in attempting to subjugate “runaway property.”
Rural Poetics: Part 2 with Nancy Bereano
This episode features Nancy Bereano, founder of Ithaca’s groundbreaking, award-winning lesbian and feminist press, Firebrand Books (1985-2000). Speaking with Rural Poetics host, Alec Pollak, Bereano reflects on the heyday of feminist small-press publishing and her role bringing up notable authors such as Alison Bechdel, Leslie Feinberg, and Audre Lorde.
Rural Poetics: Part 1 with Nikki Wallschlaeger
In this episode, author Nikki Wallschlaeger reads 11 poems from her latest published collection of poetry-- Waterbaby (2021, Copper Canyon Press). Nikki also speaks with Rural Poetics host Marty Cain, to contextualize her work, sharing insights into her writing process and geographic inspirations.