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Cambridge American History Seminar Podcast

Cambridge American History Seminar Podcast

A weekly (term-time) podcast featuring brief interviews with the presenters at the Cambridge American History Seminar. We talk about presenters' current research and paper, their broader academic interests as well as a few more general questions. If you have any feedback, suggestions or questions, contact us via Twitter @camericanist or via email hrw48@cam.ac.uk . Thanks for listening!
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Back again after a long break, it's the podcast with the catchiest title and the freshest insights into some of the most exciting work in the field of American history. The Cambridge American History Seminar Podcast has returned for the 2019-20 academic year! In our first seminar of the year, Dr Noam Maggor (Queen Mary, University of London) and Professor Stefan Link (Dartmouth College) talk to Cambridge PhD student R.M Bates about their paper 'The United States as a Developing Nation: Revisiting the Peculiarities of American History'. They discuss the existing literature on the America's economic development in the second half and first half of the twentieth century, the importance of explaining the atypicality of this story without falling into exceptionalist potholes, and the usefulness of an existing literature on East Asian developmental states in reconfiguring our understanding of this period in American history. Of particular interest to the two is the emergence of the automobile industry in Southeast Michigan in the late nineteenth century. They also touch on the process of writing collaboratively, the influence of the 'New History of Capitalism', and the benefits of doing your research in what might be seen as less exciting places. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, get in touch via @camericanist on Twitter or ltd27@cam.ac.uk. Spread the word, and thanks for listening! See you next week! Schedule for the Cambridge American History Seminar- https://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/seminars/american-history-seminar
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Here's the second episode of Easter Term, which marks the midway point of our Easter seminars! Dr Michelle Chresfield, a lecturer in United States History at the University of Birmingham talks to Lewis Defrates about her paper 'It's in the Blood: Physical Anthropology, Genetics, and the Making of America's Triracial Isolates' and broader research on the role of social science, genetics and eugenics in the ongoing struggle regarding the recognition of triracial isolate communities in the eastern part of the United States of America. Dr Chresfield talks about the complicated relationship between triracial native people and the researchers who visited their communities, the ongoing utilisation of the results of this social research (which often used categories and methodologies that may seem outdated) in attempts to enshrine their status as native, and the work that historians have to undertake in grappling with the unfinished nature of topics such as these. All in all it's a fascinating area of research, and I feel that really comes across in the conversation here! Note: I have to apologise for the lack of reaction/awkward moment following the favourite album question- I had a bit of a coughing fit, and what you hear here is the result of my shoddy editing skills trying to cut it out of the recording! I'd like to state here, while i have the chance, that Songs in the Key of Life is an incredible album, and I meant no disrespect to Mr Wonder! If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, get in touch via @camericanist on Twitter or ltd27@cam.ac.uk. Spread the word, and thanks for listening! See you next week!
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Here is the last episode of term, and it’s a big one in every sense! Professor David Blight, the Class of 1954 Professor of American History, and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, Yale University, speaks to Cambridge PhD student Yasmin Dualeh about his new book ‘Frederick Douglas: Prophet of Freedom‘. Due to the richness of the book and the depth of conversation, this episode is significantly longer than our usual podcasts, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s absolutely worth a listen! Among the countless topics covered here, including a recap of several significant moments in Douglass’ life, Professor Blight touches on self-making through autobiography, the importance of public oratory as performance and work, and some of the interesting ways biographers have attempted to connect with their subjects. The book is widely available online and most likely in your local book store now. As of last week it is also the recipient of the Bancroft prize (for the years best books on diplomacy and the history of the Americas, which happens to be Professor Blight’s second), so you don’t have to just take my word for it when I say it is a truly incredible book. Thank you for listening this week and for the rest of Lent term. We’ll return for the final handful of seminars of the academic year beginning in late April. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, get in touch via @camericanist on Twitter or ltd27@cam.ac.uk. Spread the word, and thanks for listening!
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