The Food that Built America

This post originally appeared on the Critical Studies in Television blog. Despite the confidence of its title, History’s recent miniseries The Food That Built America (2019) seems to invite questions about its own premise. What, we might ask, does it mean to say that a particular food has built America? Do we mean “built” economically? Culturally? Politically? All of the above? […]

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Drunk History

This post originally appeared on the Critical Studies in Television blog. Incongruity, Immanuel Kant once observed, is an essential element of humor. “In everything that is to excite a lively convulsive laugh there must be something absurd (in which the understanding, therefore, can find no satisfaction). Laughter is an affectation arising from the sudden transformation of […]

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Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Television Crusade

This post originally appeared on the blog of the International Association for Media and History (IAMHIST) When it premiered on the ABC (U.S.) network in the spring of 1949, Crusade in Europe, the 26-part adaptation of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s best-selling war memoir was hailed as long-awaited confirmation of TV’s capacity for cultural enlightenment – proof positive […]

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Rethinking History Article – History bites: mashing up history and gothic fiction in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Abstract The premise of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling 2010 mash-up novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, is clearly ridiculous. Latching on to the popular fascination with all things vampire and the perennial marketability of Lincolnalia, the book serves up a twisted romp through the Great Emancipator’s well-trod biography, whose sole aim seems to be sheer ironic novelty – […]

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Journal of Radio and Audio Media Article – Podcasting the Past: Hardcore History, Fandom, and DIY Histories

Abstract This article discusses the podcast Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History as a work of fan (non)fiction and a significant intervention by an amateur, non-historian into a discourse typically dominated by scholars and professionals. Frequently listed among the top “Society and Culture” podcasts on iTunes, in Carlin’s hands podcasting technology has been used as a means of engaging […]

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Hardcore Historian: The Amateur as Expert

This post originally appeared on In Media Res. Curator’s Note In the past ten years, podcasting has often been characterized as a disruptive technology, capable of opening new digital spaces for independent, grassroots content production and distribution. But can podcasting also change the way in which we understand historical expertise and historical discourse? For Dan […]

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DIY Histories: Podcasting the Past

This post originally appeared on SoundingOut!   Was Alexander the Great as bad a person as Adolph Hitler? Will our modern civilization ever fall like civilizations from past eras? According to Dan Carlin’s website, these are the kind of speculative “outside-the-box” perspectives one might expect from his long-running Hardcore History podcast. In Carlin’s hands, the podcast is a vehicle […]

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