I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 1-7 February 2020

Revolutionspodcast.com Back to the Russian Revolution.Episode 10.25 Senseless Dreams picks up again with Csar Nicholas II who was crowned in May 1896. He seemed to gather ill-omens as he went: marrying a week after his father’s funeral, after which everyone went back into their mourning weeds; his wife sleeping in Marie Antoinette’s bed when they visited Paris, and then the Khodynka Tragedy, a stampede during the coronation festivities that left 1389 (!!) people dead. After his coronation, he proved himself to be conservative and easily swayed.  Not a good start. Episode 10.26 The Far East takes us to the other side of Russia, where the Trans-Siberian railway ends up at Vladivostok, entangling Russia in the tensions between the Japanese, Chinese and Koreans. Add to this, Nicholas’ almost innate racism and this isn’t going to end well either.

Backdoor Broadcasting Another Australian voice recorded at the Birkbeck Institute, this time that of Professor Victoria Haskins from the University of Newcastle on 2 November 2017. In “Stories My Great-Grandmother Didn’t Tell Me or Family History and the Memories of Nations” she talks about her discoveries of her great-grandmother’s activism  when she herself was at a rather low and disspirited point in her academic career. For her great-grandmother, this activism within conservative circles on behalf of aboriginal people was deeply personal because of  family connections, and it propelled Haskins into a new research direction. I must look for her book One Bright Spot.



Werombi bushfires. Creator: Helitak430 Wikimedia Commons

Rear Vision (ABC) 2 Feb 2020 The story of fire in the Australian landscape is excellent, and should be compulsory listening for those who are calling for a quick, national, urgent response to this summer’s terrible bushfires. Notable historians Tom Griffiths, Steven Pyne, Bill Gammage and David Bowman talk about the history of fire in Australia- and yes, we have always had fire – and the differentiated response that is needed, especially in times of climate change. “Local, ecological and historical” are the watchwords, and I hope that the Royal Commission takes this advice on board.

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