Category Archives: What I've been listening to

I hear with my little ear: 1- 7 October 2018

Russia if you’re listening (ABC) Another Trumpdate- this time “Why Brett Kavanaugh matters to the Russia Investigation”

Mr Deakin – Judith Brett. Here historian Judith Brett discusses her book ‘The Enigmatic Mr Deakin’ with Kerryn Goldsworthy at the Adelaide Festival. Available on Soundcloud here for streaming but not download. It goes for nearly an hour, so it’s an expansive interview. What a fantastic resource the Adelaide Writers Week Soundcloud account is:-they’re all there!

News in Slow Spanish Latino Episode #277. I really enjoyed the segment about Spanish words for which there are no direct translations.  Like anteayer – the day before yesterday. Or friolentos– people who always feel cold. Or desvelarse when you’ve become over-tired and then you’re wide awake.  Or sobremesa which means the talking around the table after the meal has finished.  They didn’t mention this one, but I like it: consuegra– the mother-in-law of my child.

Revolutions Podcast 9.06 The Presidential Succession of 1910 Portfirio Diaz said that he welcomed a contested election but he was just joking.  9.07 Morelos looks at the province of what was to become Morelos as a microcosm of Mexican history so far, and introduces Emiliano Zapata (and his mustache)

I hear with my little ear: 24 Sept- 30 Sept

News in Slow Spanish Latino #275 and #276. Episode #275 had a fascinating section about why written Spanish uses punctuation marks at the beginning as well as the end of a sentence. Apparently in the 18th century the Royal Academy, which guards the purity of the Spanish language, decreed that long sentences should have ? and ! at the beginning and end so that someone reading it out loud would know what the intonation should be. The definition of a long/short sentence was vague, so they changed the rule so that the punctuation appeared on all sentences. ¡Up until 2014 an exclamation mark was known as a ‘sign of admiration’ which wasn’t always true, so they changed it to ‘sign of exclamation’!

The Thread Series 1. It might be story-telling but it sure ain’t history. As a historian, I feel a bit embarrassed admitting that I listened to The Thread first series because its approach to causality is very suss and some of the claims made had me snorting with derision. It’s better to think of it as a ‘Six Degrees of Separation’, as it moved from the shooting of John Lennon to Vladimir Lenin. On the way, it passed J.D.Salinger, Eugene O’Neill, Oona O’Neill and Louise Bryant and her husband John Reed (as seen as in the 1981 film ‘Reds’). The individual biographies were interesting, but the “if only…” history behind it is a bit of a stretch.

Rear Vision. (ABC) On the tenth anniversary of the GFC, this Rear Vision episode The legacy of the Global Financial Crisis gives a really good overview.

Russia if you’re listening (ABC). The series has officially finished, but Matt Bevan issues ‘Trumpdates’ if anything interesting comes along. And, with Donald Trump, something usually does. They are shorter episodes, generally featuring Matt Bevan discussing events with a (usually Australian) commentator  This time: Will Rosenstein lose his job?

I Hear with my Little Ear: podcasts 16/9/18 -23/9/18

In Our Time (BBC). At least Melvyn Bragg has stopped coughing. Making Montesquieu exciting is a big ask, but the two Richards and a Rachel did a fairly good job.  Even though he died in 1755, Montesquieu’s ideas about liberty and constitutions affected the compilation of the American constitution and provided an intellectual basis for Robespierre during the French revolution.

I Have to Ask (Slate). I’ve been reading Ta-Nehisi Coates recently, and this podcast suggested that it would be about his book ‘We Were Eight Years In Power’. It’s rather rambly, and there’s not really that much about the book as such. A bit disappointing.

Conversations (ABC) I always enjoyed listening to Bea Campbell (Communist, feminist, writer on Princess Diana) on Philip Adams’ Late Night Live, and in this episode she is interviewed by Sarah Kanowski.  Oh- it’s a repeat! Oh well.  Then there’s the interview with Tim Minchin, who has featured on this blog before here and here.  And finally, an interview with Gwynne Dyer, a journalist whose work I’ve enjoyed. Here he is not as pessimistic about democracy as one might have thought he would be.

Revolutions Podcast  Old Porfirio Diaz just kept on keeping on, until he said that he wouldn’t. Episode 9.05 The Creelman Interview.

News in Slow Spanish (Latino) Episode 273 had a fascinating segment on Blanca Luz Brum, who I’ve decided to talk about (in Spanish) at my Spanish class. The only problem is that everything on the internet is also in Spanish (hello Google Translate). Episode 274 had segments on NAFTA and the new figures for fatalities in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and the protests about labelling the drink mezcal.

I Hear with my Little Ear: Podcasts 8/9/18- 15/9/18

Sandra continues….but hold on! It just stops! Episode 7 then nothing! I haven’t felt this betrayed since the last episode of The Hour ( where I still don’t know -did Freddy die or not?) What ever happened to the obligation to round something off???

Revolutions. Episode 9.03 conservative-liberal-conservative (sounds a bit like Australian politics at the moment). No wonder Gabriel Garcia Marquez had so many clapped-out old generals to write about. But in Episode 9.04 all of a sudden – I remember from Revolutions 1 in first-year uni! Portfirio Diaz!

Russia If You’re Listening (ABC). Oh no! The last one in the series. Episode #17 Robert Mueller: ‘Trump’s Worst Nightmare’

The History Listen: (ABC). Plane Crash 1940: Living with the dead.  The plane crash ‘belongs’ to history and grandchildren now. What are the responsibilities in revisiting an event when the participants are still in living memory of a later generation?

Chat 10 Looks 3 Ep. 88: A Square Inch of Unkissed Arse. Of course, Leigh Sales and Anabelle Crabb are talking about the Liberal leadership change. What else would they talk about?

I Hear With My Little Ear: Podcasts 31/8/18- 7/9/18

Another In Our Time podcast, this time about the Emancipation of the Serfs in 1861 in Russia. Not one of Melvyn’s better ones- he keeps coughing (most unpleasant because it’s so loud) and it was very top-down in its analysis.  It’s amazing to think that there were 40,000,000 serfs who were liberated. Some interesting links with Russian literature, parallels with the Emancipation of Slaves in British colonies in the 1830s (which they didn’t explore).

And yet another In Our Time, the episode about Bedlam, the ‘lunatic asylum’ that became a tourist attraction. Originally located at St Mary of Bethlehem in 1247 (thought to have been abbreviated into the epithet ‘Bedlam’), it later shifted to Moorfields in the 17th century.  Some of its practices were condemned for their cruelty, but they changed as the perceptions and explanations for mental illness altered over its 600 years of operation.

Billy Griffiths talking about his book Deep Time Dreaming on Episode #40 The Archaeology Show through the Archaeology Podcast Network.  A very low-tech podcast with mediocre sound quality with two young interviewers who obviously knew nothing about about Australian history or archaeology. Still, if you haven’t read the book it’s probably a good run-down on it, because I’m not sure that these interviewers had read it either.

Sandra. My husband mentioned this podcast after reading about it in New Scientist. It’s about a woman, Helen, who takes up a job being the voice of ‘Sandra’, a virtual assistant like Siri or Google. In Episode #1 Hope is a Mistake Sandra has her first day on the job and is assigned to the topic ‘birds’. In Episode #2 The User Experience, Sandra learns the ropes and receives some disturbing news about her ex-husband.  I’m not particularly keen that these podcasts are interrupted by advertisments of their other podcasts, but they’re well produced and even have actors I recognize- Ethan Hawke and Kristen Wiig.

Revolutions.podcast com  I’ve been listening to Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcasts for ages, following him through the English Civil War, the French Revolution and Simon Bolivar and independence in Latin America.  I’m taking him up again with the Mexican Revolution, something I did back in 1974 and can remember little about. Episode 9.01 New Spain reprises the Wars of Independence from the Spanish in Latin America in the early 19th century.  Episode 9.02 The Cry of Dolores looks at Father Hidalgo who rang the church bell in the small town of Dolores, calling the people to arms in what would become the Mexican War of Independence.

The History Listen (ABC) Plane Crash 1940: Menzies’ darkest hour. Just before 11am on 13th August 1940, a Hudson bomber carrying ten people, including three cabinet ministers and one army general, crashed into a ridge near Canberra airport. The crash had a great personal and political impact on P.M. Menzies, who lost his closest political supporters. Includes historians Judith Brett, Andrew Tink and Kim Beazley.

Rear Vision  (ABC).  As part of the ABC’s focus on China last week, this Rear Vision episode looks at Chinese immigration to Australia. I hadn’t been aware of immigration prior to the gold rushes, and the program gives valuable information about immigration after Tienanmen Square, and recent Chinese migration patterns.  Includes historians Kate Bagnall, Sophie Loy-Wilson

Russia If You’re Listening (ABC) Episode #16 Michael Cohen: The fixer with the hush money.  Hmmm…is this what will bring Trump down? What am I going to do when this series finishes after next week?

 

Podcasts: Wrongful

This is a series of Australian podcasts, produced by ABC Radio National for their Earshot program. They explore five cases of wrongful conviction that have occurred in Western Australia over recent decades.  They are well-produced and chilling.  Most of the time there was a journalist digging away in the background, sometimes for decades, and the wheels of justice creak very, very slowly.

You can download each of the podcasts from this link:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/earshot/features/wrongful-stories-of-justice-denied-and-redeemed/

 

Podcast: Tom Griffiths on ‘Radical Histories for Uncanny Times’

Tom Griffiths is one of my favourite Australian historians. He is the Director of the Centre of Environmental History ANU, and a fiercely intelligent and very human man. He’s a beautiful writer, who captures images so well in words, and he provides sharp insights and the telling anecdote. While listening to this program, we were driving through the bush around Marysville that had been ravaged by the 2009 bushfires, and it seemed particularly apposite to consider the anthropocene and the recuperative power of the earth that is so under threat through climate change.  His lecture at the Australian Museum is a clarion call for the humanities in a wide-ranging, erudite and thought-provoking podcast- well worth a listen.

Listen or download at http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/radical-histories-for-uncanny-times/9478670

UWA_Wheatbelt_Cover_RGB_1024x1024Griffiths was also featured briefly on Geraldine Doogue’s Saturday Extra (an excellent program!). He picked up on one of the points he made during the Australian Museum address: that of the emergence of new regional histories that combine the environment and emotion, history and literature.  He was followed by Tony Hughes-d’Aeth, speaking about his new book Like Nothing on this Earth, which Griffiths praised highly, and which looks at the Western Australian wheatbelt through the eyes of regional writers like Dorothy Hewett, Tom Flood, Albert Facey and Jack Davis.

Saturday Extra is going to feature a historian writing one of these new regional/environmental histories each week during March.