A new U.S. history-themed weekly radio program was recently developed at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities in Charlottesville, Virginia, and launched on selected public radio stations in late spring. Hosted by U.S. historians Brian Balogh, Peter Onuf, and Ed Ayers, the program goes where few journalists dare to go: into the past. You can check out our website for stations, show times, podcasts, and more: www.backstoryradio.org.
Each week, the History Guys tear a topic from the headlines, and proceed to plumb its historical depths. Over the course of a show, the hosts are joined by fellow historians, people in the news, and callers who want to explore the roots of what’s going on now. Together, they drill down to colonial times and earlier, revealing the connections (and sometimes, the disconnections) between past and present. With its passionate, intelligent, and irreverent approach, the program targets specialists and non-specialists alike, and attempts to make history part of the national conversation again.
We think that one of our inaugural shows may be of interest to recipients of this listserv. It concerns the history of racial purity in the U.S., and the changing ways in which race has been imagined in this country. When did "race" become a defined concept rather than an unspoken assumption? How has racial purity been enacted by law, defended by science? What is the relationship between racial purity and cultural assimilation?
A significant portion of the program is devoted to listener calls. But because the show is still in development, we are relying on word-of-mouth to attract people interested in participating in the recording of the show. Please consider sending us your thoughts, observations, and especially questions related to the topic. If we think they work well for our purposes, we'll invite you to share them "on the air."
Also -- please feel free to pass this announcement along to your colleagues, students, and anybody else you think might be interested.
We will be recording this episode of the show on Saturday, June 28. If you're interested in participating, please email us with your thoughts/questions by this Friday (the 27th) at the latest.
Thank you very much...and stay tuned!
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
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