Created with Sketch.
UNC Press Presents Podcast
57 minutes | Jul 30, 2021
Susan Lee Johnson, "Writing Kit Carson: Fallen Heroes in a Changing West" (UNC Press, 2020)
In Writing Kit Carson: Fallen Heroes in a Changing West (UNC Press, 2020), Susan Lee Johnson braids together lives over time and space, telling tales of two white women who, in the 1960s, wrote books about the fabled frontiersman Christopher Kit Carson: Quantrille McClung, a Denver librarian who compiled the Carson-Bent-Boggs Genealogy, and Kansas-born but Washington, D.C.- and Chicago-based Bernice Blackwelder, a singer on stage and radio, a CIA employee, and the author of Great Westerner: The Story of Kit Carson. In the 1970s, as once-celebrated figures like Carson were falling headlong from grace, these two amateur historians kept weaving stories of western white men, including those who married American Indian and Spanish Mexican women, just as Carson had wed Singing Grass, Making Out Road, and Josefa Jaramillo.Johnson's multilayered biography reveals the nature of relationships between women historians and male historical subjects and between history buffs and professional historians. It explores the practice of history in the context of everyday life, the seductions of gender in the context of racialized power, and the strange contours of twentieth-century relationships predicated on nineteenth-century pasts. On the surface, it tells a story of lives tangled across generation and geography. Underneath run probing questions about how we know about the past and how that knowledge is shaped by the conditions of our knowing.
40 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
Kevin Waite, "West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire" (UNC Press, 2021)
The geography of American slavery was continental, argues Dr. Kevin Waite, an assistant professor at Durham University, in West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire (UNC Press, 2021). Rather than being confined to the South, the institution of slavery infected North America as the American empire expanded across the Mississippi River, including places often thought of as "free" states, such as California. Slaveholders saw territories in the far West as zones of political control, supportive of slavery in the South even when relatively small numbers of people were actually held in bondage in these places. Waite's history shifts how historians view the coming of the Civil War and the expansion of slavery - rather than quarantined, the "slave power" moved along railroads and roads, through networks of patronage and through alternate forms of unfreedom, such as peonage. The Civil War and Reconstruction are similarly continental events when viewed through this lens. Waite's book is a comprehensive examination of how southern elites saw their future, and in this way is an excellent example of historical contingency put into action.Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
55 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
Van Gosse, "The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War" (UNC Press, 2021)
It may be difficult to imagine that a consequential black electoral politics evolved in the United States before the Civil War, for as of 1860, the overwhelming majority of African Americans remained in bondage. Yet free black men, many of them escaped slaves, steadily increased their influence in electoral politics over the course of the early American republic. Despite efforts to disfranchise them, black men voted across much of the North, sometimes in numbers sufficient to swing elections. In The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War (UNC Press, 2021), Van Gosse offers a sweeping reappraisal of the formative era of American democracy from the Constitution's ratification through Abraham Lincoln's election, chronicling the rise of an organized, visible black politics focused on the quest for citizenship, the vote, and power within the free states.Full of untold stories and thorough examinations of political battles, this book traces a First Reconstruction of black political activism following emancipation in the North. From Portland, Maine and New Bedford, Massachusetts to Brooklyn and Cleveland, black men operated as voting blocs, denouncing the notion that skin color could define citizenship.Jessica Georges is a third year history PhD student at the CUNY Graduate Center.
41 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
Katherine Carté, "Religion and the American Revolution: An Imperial History" (UNC Press, 2021)
For most of the eighteenth century, British protestantism was driven neither by the primacy of denominations nor by fundamental discord between them. Instead, it thrived as part of a complex transatlantic system that bound religious institutions to imperial politics. As Katherine Carte argues, British imperial protestantism proved remarkably effective in advancing both the interests of empire and the cause of religion until the war for American independence disrupted it. That revolution forced a reassessment of the role of religion in public life on both sides of the Atlantic. Religious communities struggled to reorganize within and across new national borders. Religious leaders recalibrated their relationships to government.Religion and the American Revolution: An Imperial History (University of North Carolina Press and Omohundro Institute, 2021) is a nuanced and deeply researched examination of the religious "scaffolding" of the British empire and it offers a fresh perspective on the role of religion in the American Revolution. Lane Davis is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Program in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University where he studies American religious history. Find him on Twitter @TheeLaneDavis.
31 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Katrinell M. Davis, "Tainted Tap: Flint's Journey from Crisis to Recovery" (UNC Press, 2021)
After a cascade of failures left residents of Flint, Michigan, without a reliable and affordable supply of safe drinking water, citizens spent years demanding action from their city and state officials. Complaints from the city's predominantly African American residents were ignored until independent researchers confirmed dangerously elevated blood lead levels among Flint children and in the city's tap water. Despite a 2017 federal court ruling in favor of Flint residents who had demanded mitigation, those efforts have been incomplete at best.Assessing the challenges that community groups faced in their attempts to advocate for improved living conditions, Tainted Tap: Flint's Journey from Crisis to Recovery (UNC Press, 2021) offers a rich analysis of conditions and constraints that created the Flint water crisis. Katrinell Davis contextualizes the crisis in Flint's long and troubled history of delivering essential services, the consequences of regional water-management politics, and other forms of systemic neglect that impacted the working-class community's health and well-being. Using ethnographic and empirical evidence from a range of sources, Davis also sheds light on the forms of community action that have brought needed changes to this underserved community.
70 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
Heather Berg, "Porn Work: Sex, Labor, and Late Capitalism" (UNC Press, 2021)
Every porn scene is a record of people at work. But on-camera labor is only the beginning of the story. Porn Work takes readers behind the scenes to explore what porn performers think of their work and how they intervene to hack it. Blending extensive fieldwork with feminist and antiwork theorizing, Porn Work: Sex, Labor, and Late Capitalism (UNC Press, 2021) details entrepreneurial labor on the boundaries between pleasure and tedium. Rejecting any notion that sex work is an aberration from straight work, it reveals porn workers' creative strategies as prophetic of a working landscape in crisis. In the end, it looks to what porn has to tell us about what's wrong with work, and what it might look like to build something better.Rachel Stuart is a sex work researcher whose primary interest is the lived experiences of sex workers.
60 minutes | May 24, 2021
Jessica Ordaz, "The Shadow of El Centro: A History of Migrant Incarceration and Solidarity" (UNC Press, 2021)
Bounded by desert and mountains, El Centro, California, is isolated and difficult to reach. However, its location close to the border between San Diego and Yuma, Arizona, has made it an important place for Mexican migrants attracted to the valley’s agricultural economy. In 1945, it also became home to the El Centro Immigration Detention Camp. The Shadow of El Centro: A History of Migrant Incarceration and Solidarity (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) tells the story of how that camp evolved into the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service Processing Center of the 2000s and became a national model for detaining migrants—a place where the policing of migration, the racialization of labor, and detainee resistance coalesced.Using government correspondence, photographs, oral histories, and private documents, Jessica Ordaz reveals the rise and transformation of migrant detention through this groundbreaking history of one detention camp. The story shows how the U.S. detention system was built to extract labor, to discipline, and to control migration, and it helps us understand the long and shadowy history of how immigration officials went from detaining a few thousand unauthorized migrants during the 1940s to confining hundreds of thousands of people by the end of the twentieth century. Ordaz also uncovers how these detained migrants have worked together to create transnational solidarities and innovative forms of resistance.David-James Gonzales (DJ) is Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University. He is a historian of migration, urbanization, and social movements in the U.S., and specializes in Latina/o/x politics and social movements.
82 minutes | May 21, 2021
Christine Walker, "Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain's Atlantic Empire" (UNC Press, 2020)
Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain's Atlantic Empire (Omohundro Institute/University of North Carolina Press, 2020) is the first systematic study of the free and freed women of European, Euro-African, and African descent who perpetuated chattel slavery and reaped its profits in the British Empire. Their actions helped transform Jamaica into the wealthiest slaveholding colony in the Anglo-Atlantic world. Starting in the 1670s, a surprisingly large and diverse group of women helped secure English control of Jamaica and, crucially, aided its developing and expanding slave labor regime by acquiring enslaved men, women, and children to protect their own tenuous claims to status and independence. Female colonists employed slaveholding as a means of advancing themselves socially and financially on the island. By owning others, they wielded forms of legal, social, economic, and cultural authority not available to them in Britain. In addition, slaveholding allowed free women of African descent, who were not far removed from slavery themselves, to cultivate, perform, and cement their free status. Alongside their male counterparts, women bought, sold, stole, and punished the people they claimed as property and vociferously defended their rights to do so. As slavery's beneficiaries, these women worked to stabilize and propel this brutal labor regime from its inception.Christine Walker is assistant professor of history at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.Jerrad P. Pacatte is a doctoral candidate and School of Arts and Sciences Excellence Fellow in the Department of History at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. His research and teaching interests examine the lives, labors, and emancipation experiences of African and African American women in early America.
55 minutes | May 21, 2021
Katrina Phillips, "Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History" (UNC Press, 2021)
As tourists increasingly moved across the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a surprising number of communities looked to capitalize on the histories of Native American people to create tourist attractions. Locals staged performances that claimed to honor an Indigenous past while depicting that past on white settlers' terms. Linking the origins of these performances to their present-day incarnations, Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) reveals how they constituted what Dr. Katrina Phillips calls "salvage tourism.” Across time, Phillips argues, tourism, nostalgia, and authenticity converge in the creation of salvage tourism, which blends tourism and history, contestations over citizenship, identity, belonging, and the continued use of Indians and Indianness as a means of escape, entertainment, and economic development.Dr. Katrina Phillips is assistant professor of American Indian history at Macalester College.Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama’s Carnival celebrations.
58 minutes | May 19, 2021
David Monod, "Vaudeville and the Making of Modern Entertainment, 1890–1925" (UNC Press, 2020)
Vaudeville is one of the most famous styles of theater in American history, a font of showbiz legend and the training ground for a generation of stars. It’s also one of the least studied. In his new book, Vaudeville and the Making of Modern Entertainment, 1890-1925 (UNC Press, 2020), Professor David Monod examines Vaudeville as both a cultural form and a for-profit industry, connecting the two to produce a remarkably cohesive portrait of a vast phenomenon. The genre, he argues, was related to a distinctly American form of modernity, offering its vast audiences an enjoyable respite from the pace of modern life—and a way to express and understand the world-shaking experiences of their era.Sam Backer is a PhD candidate in History at Johns Hopkins, where his work focuses on the intersection of art, culture, and capitalism. He is also a freelance journalist and a podcaster. He is currently a host on “Money 4 Nothing,” a podcast about music and capitalism.
52 minutes | May 10, 2021
Kate Dossett, "Radical Black Theatre in the New Deal" (UNC Press, 2020)
Kate Dossett's book Radical Black Theatre in the New Deal (UNC Press, 2020) turns conventional understandings of the Federal Theatre Project on its head. This book shines a light on the extraordinary work done by the FTP's Negro Units, which staged classic plays with Black casts as well as new plays by Black writers like Theodore Ward. These works reflected contemporary conflicts within the Black community, including the competing radicalisms of Garveyism and Marxism, the place of the folk tradition in contemporary Black culture, and the role of woman as leaders in the Black community. Far from dry propaganda pieces, these plays were a vital response to a period of profound upheaval. Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts.
64 minutes | May 10, 2021
Alison M. Parker, "Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell" (UNC Press, 2020)
Dr. Alison M. Parker’s new book Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell (University of North Carolina Press, 2020) explores the life of civil rights activist and feminist, Mary Church Terrell. Born into slavery at the end of the Civil War, Terrell (1863-1954) became one of the most prominent activists of her time -- working at the intersection of rights for women and African Americans, anti-colonialism, criminal justice reform, and beyond. Her career stretched from the late nineteenth century to the civil rights movement of the 1950s -- and she was able to see the result of the NAACP’s efforts in Brown v. Board of Education before she died. The first president of the National Association of Colored Women and a founding member of the NAACP, Terrell collaborated closely with other leaders such as Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Mary McLeod Bethune -- but she also was unafraid to disagree on principle and political strategy. Unceasing Militant, the first full-length academic biography of Terrell, integrates her extraordinary public activism with her romantic, reproductive, parental, economic, and mental health challenges. Understanding what she called the double handicap of sexism and racism, Terrell offered a nuanced and intersectional Black feminist political theory. Terrell insisted upon African American women’s “full humanity and equality” and -- honoring that legacy -- Alison Parker deftly weaves resources of all kinds, including privately held letters and diaries, to provide an account of a woman dedicated to changing the culture and institutions that perpetuated inequality throughout the United States -- but also a breathing, loving, nuanced woman navigating life.Alison M. Parker is Richards Professor of American History and Chair of the History of the Department at the University of Delaware. She researches and teaches at the intersections of gender, race, disability, citizenship and the law in U.S. history. Her earlier works include two books, Articulating Rights: Nineteenth- Century American Women on Race, Reform and the State (Cornell University Press, 2010) and Purifying America: Women, Cultural Reform, and Pro-Censorship Activism, 1873-1933 (Northern Illinois University Press,1997). Her most recent public facing scholarship is the 2020 New York Times op-ed, “When White Women Wanted a Monument to Black Mammies.”Madeline Jones assisted with this podcast.Susan Liebell is an associate professor of political science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Why Diehard Originalists Aren’t Really Originalists recently appeared in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage and “Retreat from the Rule of Law: Locke and the Perils of Stand Your Ground” was published in the Journal of Politics (July 2020). Email her comments at email@example.com or tweet to @SusanLiebell.
74 minutes | May 7, 2021
Susan Lee Johnson, "Writing Kit Carson: Fallen Heroes in a Changing West" (UNC Press, 2020)
The only constant in Western history is change. Susan Lee Johnson, Harry Reid Endowed Chair in the History of the Intermountain West at UNLV, knows this better than most. Author of the Bancroft Prize Winning "Roaring Camp," (2000), Johnson's new book is a testament to the changing nature of Western history. In Writing Kit Carson: Fallen Heroes in a Changing West (UNC Press, 2020) Johnson writes about shifting ideas about the region's meaning across the span of the twentieth century through the lens of two mid-twentieth century "minor historians" of Kit Carson: Quantrille McClung, a librarian at the Denver Public Library, and Bernice Blackwelder, a former CIA employee and radio entertainer. Johnson tells the history of these two women's often mundane, quintessentially American, lives in the urban 20th century West, and their fasciation with Kit Carson, the 19th century explorer (if you ask some historians) or colonizer (if you ask many others). Johnson's intensely personal book is less a history of Carson, and more a history of how history is written, and the practical facts of life - an uncomfortable desk, a pesky spouse - that go into creating knowledge and what happens when new knowledge hits the mainstream. As Kit Carson's tangled legacy shows, once knowledge is created, it's difficult to keep it corralled.Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
42 minutes | May 5, 2021
Susan M. Reverby, "Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and Its Legacy" (UNC Press, 2013)
Some books are new, others are newly relevant – and so worth looking at from a new, contemporary perspective. Such is the case with Susan Reverby’s book Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and its Legacy (UNC Press, 2013). When the book was published in 2009, our world was reeling from a global financial crisis that exposed how subprime mortgages disproportionately affected Black homeowners; today we reel from a global pandemic that has starkly exposed how Black Americans and other people of color are disproportionately affected by the virus SARS-CoV-2 and its effects. Another inequity connected to the pandemic relates to vaccine distribution and uptake: they are much lower among Black (and Latinx) than white Americans.Examining Tuskegee is a deeply researched work that ranges from the trial’s origins within a public health partnership between the Tuskegee Institute and the Public Health Service, to portraits of its protagonists – the researchers, the men who were its subjects, the complex Nurse Rivers, and the persistent Peter Buxton, whose efforts eventually exposed the full truth of the study after it ran for 40 years – to the ways it was portrayed in popular culture and the media, to matters of bioethics and presidential apologies. In our conversation, Susan Reverby explains what actually happened in the study – no, the men were not injected by the researchers with syphilis – what it meant 50 years ago, and how it pertains, or not, to issues such as vaccine hesitancy among African Americans today.Rachel Pagones is chair of the doctoral program in acupuncture and Chinese medicine at Pacific College of Health and Science in San Diego and a licensed acupuncturist. Her third book, an examination of the history of acupuncture as a means of social and political revolution, is under contract with the University of Michigan Press.
52 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
E. Patrick Johnson, "Sweet Tea: A Play" (Northwestern UP, 2011)
E. Patrick Johnson's Sweet Tea has been a monograph, a documentary film, a stage play, and now a published script from Northwestern University Press. This play weaves together interviews Johnson conducted with gay Black men from the South with Johnson's own recollections of growing up young, gifted, gay, and Black in Hickory, North Carolina. These stories are funny, heart-breaking, and inspiring, and reveal a collective portrait of gay Black Southern life that is much more complex than the simple narrative of repression and escape so often associated with this community. In this interview we discuss what keeps Johnson returning to these stories, his relationship to Black spirituality, and the techniques he used to embody these men when he performed Sweet Tea as a one man show.Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts.
81 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
Tamika Y. Nunley, "At the Threshold of Liberty: Women, Slavery, and Shifting Identities in Washington, D.C." (UNC Press, 2021)
The capital city of a nation founded on the premise of liberty, nineteenth-century Washington, D.C., was both an entrepot of urban slavery and the target of abolitionist ferment. The growing slave trade and the enactment of Black codes placed the city's Black women within the rigid confines of a social hierarchy ordered by race and gender. At the Threshold of Liberty: Women, Slavery, and Shifting Identities in Washington, D.C. (UNC Press, 2021) reveals how these women--enslaved, fugitive, and free--imagined new identities and lives beyond the oppressive restrictions intended to prevent them from ever experiencing liberty, self-respect, and power.Consulting newspapers, government documents, letters, abolitionist records, legislation, and memoirs, Tamika Y. Nunley traces how Black women navigated social and legal proscriptions to develop their own ideas about liberty as they escaped from slavery, initiated freedom suits, created entrepreneurial economies, pursued education, and participated in political work. In telling these stories, Nunley places Black women at the vanguard of the history of Washington, D.C., and the momentous transformations of nineteenth-century America.Adam McNeil is a third year Ph.D. in History student at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
43 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Amy B. Voorhees, "A New Christian Identity: Christian Science Origins and Experience in American Culture" (UNC Press, 2021)
In A New Christian Identity: Christian Science Origins and Experience in American Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) , Amy B. Voorhees contextualizes this American religious movement and argues that Christian Science allowed adherents to form new theological and spiritual identities in the technologically shifting landscape of the late nineteenth century. Through biography and deep textual analysis, Voorhees puts Christian Science into historical conversation with its context and shows that Christian Science was distinct not only organizationally, but was a singular expression of Christianity engaging modernity with an innovative, healing rationale.Lane Davis is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Program in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University where he studies American religious history. Find him on Twitter @TheeLaneDavis.
64 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Regina N. Bradley, "Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South" (UNC Press, 2021)
Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) pulses with the beats of a new American South, probing the ways music, literature, and film have remixed southern identities for a post–civil rights generation. For scholar and critic Dr. Regina N. Bradley, OutKast’s work is the touchstone, a blend of funk, gospel, and hip-hop developed in conjunction with the work of other culture creators—including T.I., Kiese Laymon, and Jesmyn Ward. This work, Bradley argues, helps define new cultural possibilities for Black southerners who came of age in the 1980s and 1990s and have used hip-hop culture to buffer themselves from the historical narratives and expectations of the civil rights era. André 3000, Big Boi, and a wider community of creators emerge as founding theoreticians of the hip-hop South, framing a larger question of how the region fits into not only hip-hop culture but also contemporary American society as a whole. Chronicling Stankonia reflects the ways that culture, race, and southernness intersect in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Although part of southern hip-hop culture remains attached to the past, Bradley demonstrates how younger southerners use the music to embrace the possibility of multiple Souths, multiple narratives, and multiple points of entry to contemporary southern Black identity.Dr. Regina N. Bradley is an alumna Nasir Jones HipHop Fellow at Harvard University and an Assistant Professor of English and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State UniversityCheck out Bradley's podcast about Southern hip-hop, Bottom of the Map. Bradley also has another OutKast book coming in August 2021, An OutKast Reader:Essays on Race, Gender, and the Postmodern South (UGA Press).
51 minutes | Apr 12, 2021
Julio Capó Jr., "Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940" (UNC Press, 2017)
Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940 (University of North Carolina Press, 2017)highlights how transnational forces—including (im)migration, trade, and tourism—to and from the Caribbean shaped Miami’s queer past. The book has received six awards and honors, including the Charles S. Sydnor Award from the Southern Historical Association for the best book written on Southern history.Dr. Julio Capó, Jr. is a transnational historian whose research and teaching interests include modern U.S. history, especially the United States’s relationship to the Caribbean and Latin America. He addresses how gender and sexuality have historically intersected with constructions of ethnicity, race, class, nation, age, and ability. He teaches introductory and specialized courses on all these subjects, as well as courses on public history.Leo Valdes is a graduate student in the History Department at Rutgers University. In addition to being a host for the LGBTQ Studies channel on the New Books Network, they are an oral historian with the Latino New Jersey Oral History Project at Rutgers University and Voces of the Pandemic, a collaborative oral history project with Voces Oral History Center at UT Austin. Their dissertation explores how criminalization and race shaped trans cultures and politics in the 20th century.
33 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
Elizabeth L. Jemison, "Christian Citizens: Reading the Bible in Black and White in the Post-Emancipation South" (UNC Press, 2020)
Elizabeth L. Jemison, who teaches American religious history at Clemson University, South Carolina, has written an outstanding new book, Christian Citizens: Reading the Bible in Black and White in the Post-Emancipation South (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). Focusing on the Lower Mississippi River Valley, and working from the 1860s to 1900, Jemison explains how white and African-American protestants developed strikingly different accounts of Christian citizenship. Paying attention to the variety of perspective within and between the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian and Episcopalian denominations, and to the perspectives of men and women, Jemison asks troubling questions about white violence and the religious character of the segregated society to which the white protestant counter-revolution eventually led.Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021