History Talk from Origins

  • Hosted by Jessica Blissit and Brenna Miller

Smart conversations about today’s most interesting topics - a history podcast for everyone, produced by Ohio State's Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective.

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In early June 2019, residents of Hong Kong took to the streets to protest proposed legislation by the Hong Kong government that would enable extradition from the city to mainland China. Over the ensuing months, heavy-handed tactics by the police only swelled the movement, which has grown to involve over a million residents of Hong Kong. The demonstrators' demands have also expanded to encompass an investigation into police brutality, the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the establishment of free democratic elections in the city.

History Talk: From Poll Taxes to Partisan Gerrymandering: Voter Disenfranchisement

Aug 1, 2019
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Voting is perhaps the most fundamental act of democratic citizenship. In a democracy, our political leaders receive their mandate, and the system itself derives its legitimacy, from the people who elect them. In the United States, however, the right to vote has never been extended universally. Although the franchise has expanded to include many more citizens since 1776, these gains have come haltingly and unevenly. Even as women gained suffrage, African Americans were kept from the polls in many parts of the country for decades.

Juntos Haremos Historia: AMLO and Mexico's Fourth Transformation

Jun 29, 2019
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Andrés Manuel López Obrador (a.k.a.AMLO) rode to the presidency in 2018 by promising Mexico "juntos haremos historia" ("together we will make history"). Pundits have fallen over themselves trying to categorize AMLO, refering to him variously as Mexico's Jeremy Corbyn and Mexico's Donald Trump. AMLO's keen sense of his country's history has found expression in his promise to inaugurate the country's "fourth transformation." In doing so, he has positioned himself squarely in the pantheon of Mexican reformers.

History Talk: Sudan: Popular Protests, Today and Yesterday

Jun 1, 2019
History Talk

In April 2019, four months of sustained protests throughout Sudan culminated in the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir, who had ruled the country since taking office in a 1989 military coup. Originally a response to the spiraling cost of living, demonstrators soon widened their criticisms to encompass the full impact of Bashir’s three decades in power: brutal political repression, economic stagnation, and civil war in the country’s west and south.

History Talk: Yemen: Inside The Forgotten War

Apr 23, 2019
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After more than four years of war, Yemen teeters on the brink of what the European Union has described as “the world's largest humanitarian crisis.” Conservative estimates count at least 10,000 civilian deaths in the ongoing conflict, with millions more threatened by disease and famine. Yet for many in the West, Yemen remains a forgotten war, despite the fact that the Saudi-backed forces fighting the northern Houthi rebels continue to deploy weapons produced in the United States and in Europe with devastating effect.

History Talk: The Catholic Church and Sexual Abuse

Mar 2, 2019
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Over the last two decades, the Catholic Church has been buffeted by a series of sexual abuse scandals. High-profile investigative reports have uncovered cases of sexual abuse of minors, both boys and girls, as well as nuns and adult women, by Catholic priests, bishops, and members of religious orders. But while clerical abuse has only recently become a news item, it has a much longer history.

HIstory Talk: Who Owns the Past? Museums and Cultural Heritage Repatriation

Jan 30, 2019
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In November 2018, a report commissioned by French President Emannuel Macron called for artifacts taken to France during the heyday of European imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to be returned to Africa, sending shockwaves throughout the museum world.

History Talk: HIV/AIDS: Past, Present and Future

Dec 31, 2018
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In the West, many think of HIV/AIDS  as a phenomenon that began in the 1980s, when news first broke of a mysterious and highly deadly disease. In reality, however, the history of HIV/AIDS stretches back more than a hundred years, and has been shaped by some of the most important trends of the 20th century: from European colonialism in Africa, to the proxy conflicts fought between allies of the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to the globalization and economic neoliberalism that transformed the global economy in the late twentieth century. On this episode of History Talk, hosts Eric Michael Rhodes and Lauren Henry speak with three experts — Thomas F. McDowKathy Lancaster, and Jesse Kwiek— about the origins, spread, and future of HIV/AIDS in both the United States and around the world.

History Talk: Brazil, Bolsonaro, and the Politics of Nostalgia

Dec 2, 2018

In October 2018, Brazil elected far-right ideologue Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency. Bolsonaro, a retired military officer often called the "Trump of the Tropics," campaigned on a platform that mixed anti-corruption with open nostalgia for the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985.

History Talk: Classics and the Alt-Right Conundrum

Jul 24, 2018
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Existential fears of “losing” what is seen as “Western Civilization” have animated many within what is considered the alt-right. However, the valorization of “western civilization” is often rooted in romanticized notions of ancient Greece and Rome, which alt-right groups have appropriated and promoted in recent propaganda. Why and how do nationalists in Europe and the U.S. draw contemporary connections to ancient Greece and Rome? What are the consequences of this for our understandings of the ancient era? And what should scholars in the Classics and History do about it?