Fifteen Minute History Last year I did a U3A mini-course on the Ottoman Empire, and I listened to a very detailed series called “Empires of History – the Ottoman Series” that ran out of puff long before the Ottoman empire did. It was rather disconcerting listening to a podcast where the narrator pronounced “Anatolia” as Anna-toll-ee and pronounced “cavalry” as “Calvary”. But these two podcasts, called simply enough “History of the Ottoman Empire” are done by fair dinkum historians, and they’re detailed enough without being too detailed. Episode 26 is Part 1, talking about the rise of the Ottoman empire and Episode 27 is Part 2, where Barbara Petzen describes the concept of ‘fall’ in empire history, particularly in relation to the Ottoman Empire
And on a related, but not the same, topic, there is Carter Vaughn Findley, Humanities Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at the Ohio State University, in Episode 31: Who are the Turks?who points out that it is mainly language that unites ‘the Turks’, who are not one racial group at all. Which is a bit inconvenient for Turkish nationalists like Erdogan.
Boyer Lectures (ABC). I’m listening to the three-part 2019 Boyer Lectures, given by Rachel Perkins. She has a beautiful speaking voice, and as you might expect from the Boyer Lectures, these are beautifully crafted. Her lectures, subtitled ‘The End of the Silence’ refer back to the very first Boyer Lecture given by William Stanner, who spoke of the Great Australia Silence. In Episode 1 she talks about the genesis of the Uluru statement, and in Episode 2 about the succession of previous attempts to have an Aboriginal ‘voice’. (It makes me so cross: “tell us what you want” says the government, and then as soon as they do, in clear terms, the government says “well, not that”.) Episode 3 returns to the Uluru statement, and its call for a Makarrata Commission, and truth-telling about the Frontier Wars and the fundamental untruth that lies under European colonization. Very good.
History Listen (ABC) Another oldie from November 2019, The Brazen Women of Silent Film features two different stories. The first is of Annette Kellerman, the swimmer and film star, who actually appeared nude in a 1916 movie. She could hold her breath for over three minutes! See also the excellent NFSA online exhibition “Annette Kellerman: Australia’s Fearless Mermaid.” The second feature is about the McDonagh Sisters: Isabel, Phyllis and Paulette who formed their own film company and used Drummoyne House, which they were then running as an aged care hostel, as the setting for many of their films. I’d never heard of them, I must admit.