Ask A Historian

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The Ask a Historian podcast is one way the Department of History gives meaning to the Wisconsin Idea—that education should transcend the walls of the classroom, and that the university’s work should benefit all those in the state and beyond. Every episode features an interview with a University of Wisconsin—Madison historian who answers a question about the past submitted by our listeners.

The generous support of the Department of History’s Board of Visitors helps make Ask a Historian possible.

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We want to hear from you! Record yourself on your phone asking a question for a historian or telling us why you love history, and send us the file at outreach@history.wisc.edu. We also welcome your comments and feedback.

Episode Notes and Transcripts

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S2E11 - What is the history of anti-vaccination beliefs?

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What is the history of anti-vaccination beliefs in the United States, and how has vaccine skepticism affected the way we fight disease?

Professor Sue Lederer and Professor Judy Houck trace the long history of vaccine hesitancy and resistance in the United States, demonstrating that as long as we’ve had vaccinations, we’ve had vaccination skeptics and refusers. They discuss how the vaccine hesitancy movement has always been diverse and heterogeneous, and how compulsory vaccinations have long raised issues concerning the state’s authority over individuals’ bodies.

Episode Links:  

Sue Lederer is the Robert Turell Professor of Medical History and Bioethics in the Department of History and the Department of Medical History & Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Judy Houck is Professor of History of Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with joint appointments in the Department of History and the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies.

Our music is “Pamgaea” by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian: outreach@history.wisc.edu

S2E10 - Are nursing homes for seniors a relatively new concept?

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Are nursing homes for seniors a relatively new concept? How did nursing homes become a key institution for elder care in the United States?

Professor Emeritus Tom Broman talks to Christina Matta (Ph.D. ’07) about the history of elder care in Europe and the United States. They discuss the origins of hospitals in medieval Europe, the 19th and 20th-century demographic and social changes that shifted responsibility for care of the poor and elderly to the public, and the federal policies that shaped the development of the nursing home industry in the United States.

Episode Links:

Tom Broman is Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he serves as co-director of the Wisconsin 101 public history project.

Christina Matta is the Career Advisor and Alumni Coordinator in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She received her Ph.D. in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from UW–Madison in 2007.

Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (London: Picador, 2014).

Karen Humes, “The Population 65 Years and Older: Aging in America,” in The Book of the States v. 37 (Council of State Governments, 2005), pp. 464-468. [Opens PDF]

Frank B. Hobbs with Bonnie L. Damon, 65+ in the United States (Bureau of the Census, 1996). [Opens PDF]

Our music is “Pamgaea” by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian: outreach@history.wisc.edu

S2E09 - Is the Game of Ur the oldest game in history?"

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Is the Game of Ur the oldest game in history? How and why do historians study games, and what can games tell us about the people who played them?

Professor Elizabeth Lapina talks to Professor Sarah Thal about the history of games. They discuss the different games people played in the past, including those still familiar to us today (like Snakes & Ladders and chess) and games that are less well-remembered. As Elizabeth explains, games were a means of self-improvement, demonstrating one’s status, showing respect, and winning friendship and love. Elizabeth says that games were important to people in the past, so they should be important to historians, too.

Episode Links:

Elizabeth Lapina is Associate Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Sarah Thal is the David Kuenzi and Mary Wyman Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Elizabeth’s newest book, which she co-edited with Vanina Kopp, is Games and Visual Culture in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (Brepols, 2021).

Our music is “Pamgaea” by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian: outreach@history.wisc.edu

S2E08 - How did missionaries in colonial India communicate with the people they were trying to convert?

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How did evangelical missionaries in India communicate with the people they were trying to convert? Professor Mitra Sharafi talks with Professor Mou Banerjee about the history of evangelical missionaries in colonial India, where the colonial and evangelical enterprises never fully overlapped as they did elsewhere in the world. Mou emphasizes that the history of Christian conversion in India has not been one of force. Rather, people converted for complex political, spiritual, and personal reasons.

Mou and Mitra also talk about the longer history of Christianity in India. Contrary to narratives that cast Christianity and Christians as alien to the Indian nation, the history of Christianity in India is nearly as old as Christianity itself. Across centuries, there has been a long history of peaceful side-by-side coexistence and fascination with the ethical precepts of Christianity.

Episode Links:  

Mou Banerjee is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Mitra Sharafi is Professor of Law & Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she is also affiliated with the Department of History and the Center for South Asia.

Our music is “Pamgaea” by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian: outreach@history.wisc.edu

S2E07 - Why do many young people lack basic knowledge about the Holocaust and how do we fix this?

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Recent studies conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany have produced concerning statistics on deficits in Holocaust knowledge among American millennials and Gen Z-ers. Why do many young people lack basic knowledge about the Holocaust, and how do we fix this?

Professor Dan Stolz interviews Professor Brandon Bloch about the historical development of Holocaust education, how recent literature reframes our understanding of the Holocaust as part of American history, and why it’s necessary to rethink the goals of Holocaust education within a multicultural United States.

For Brandon, Holocaust education today can be “a vehicle for thinking about the genocidal power of racism and racial thinking in ways that are not at all distant from our own national past and present in the United States.” He argues that doing a better job of teaching the Holocaust requires strengthening and deepening historical education more broadly.

Episode links:

Brandon Bloch is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he teaches the history of modern Germany and Europe and the history of human rights.

Dan Stolz is the Kemal H. Karpat Assistant Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he teaches Ottoman and modern Middle East history.

New study by Claims Conference finds significant lack of Holocaust knowledge in the United States,” Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, 2018.

First-ever 50-state survey on Holocaust knowledge of American millennials and Gen Z reveals shocking results,” Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, 2020.

Holocaust education organizations in the United States include the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute of Visual History and Education, and Facing History and Ourselves.

Our music is “Pamgaea” by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian: outreach@history.wisc.edu

HISTORY LAB 3 - How do historians determine what's true when working with primary sources?

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How do historians verify primary source documents? How do they account for bias and determine what’s true and what’s not?

Drawing on her experiences in the Soviet archives, Professor Francine Hirsch talks about how primary sources reveal both facts and perspectives, what fabricated evidence can tell us about the past, and why it’s important to incorporate primary sources from many actors when writing history. She also shares some key questions to ask about authorial intent, audience, and reception when evaluating a primary source.

Episode Links:  

Francine Hirsch is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she teaches courses on Russian and Soviet history, the history of human rights, and modern Europe.

Prof. Hirsch’s new book, Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg: A New History of the International Military Tribunal after World War II, was published this year by Oxford University Press.

Frederick C. Corney’s Telling October: Memory and the Making of the Bolshevik Revolution examines how the Bolshevik regime created a fabricated narrative of the October Revolution.

Learn more about National History Day at the website of the Wisconsin Historical Society, which organizes and hosts NHD contests in Wisconsin.

UW–Madison’s History Lab provides one-on-one support for undergraduates writing about the past as well as helpful online writing guides.

Our music is “Wholesome” by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Do you have a question about how to do history? Record a voice memo we’ll answer your question in an upcoming episode. Our email address is outreach@history.wisc.edu

S2E06 - How did undocumented immigrants come to dominate the workforce on U.S. dairy farms?

A dairy cow stands inside a barn on a Wisconsin dairy farm. Photo credit: Dustin Cohan
A dairy cow stands inside a barn on a Wisconsin dairy farm. Photo credit: Dustin Cohan.

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How did undocumented immigrants come to dominate the workforce on U.S. dairy farms? Professor David McDonald interviews PhD candidate Dustin Cohan about the history behind recent headlines that have highlighted Wisconsin dairy farmers’ reliance on undocumented immigrant laborers.

As Dustin explains, the agricultural transformation in America’s Dairyland that began in the 1970s shifted the scale and labor model of dairy farms across the state, creating a new demand for hired labor. This, in turn, reshaped the lives and work of Wisconsin dairy farmers, undocumented laborers working in the dairy industry, and the migrants’ communities of origin in Veracruz, Mexico.

Timestamps:  

03:13 Changes in the dairy industry from the 1970s-1990s

8:17 Why many migrant laborers on Wisconsin dairies are from Veracruz, Mexico

18:36 Why Americans aren’t doing this work in the dairy industry

21:15 What it’s like to work on a dairy farm

26:57 The relationship between Wisconsin farmers and migrant workers

31:33 How migrant labor in Wisconsin has transformed communities in Veracruz

Episode Links:  

Please send us your questions for a historian: outreach@history.wisc.edu

HISTORY LAB 2 - How much time has to pass before something is considered history?

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How long ago does something have to have happened to be considered history? Professor Richard Keller explains why he considers the very recent past to be history. He also talks about the research opportunities and challenges he encountered when working on his book on the 2003 Paris heat wave and shares how our present moment can inspire students’ historical research projects.

Episode Links:

Richard C. Keller is Professor of the History of Medicine and Associate Dean of the International Division at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The book that Prof. Keller discusses in this episode is Fatal Isolation: The Devastating Paris Heat Wave of 2003, which published in 2015 by the University of Chicago Press.

Learn more about National History Day in Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s website. UW–Madison’s real-life History Lab offers one-on-one advice and helpful online writing guides for undergraduates writing about the past.

Do you have a question about how to do history? Record a voice memo we’ll answer your question in an upcoming episode. Our email address is outreach@history.wisc.edu

Our music is “Wholesome” by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

S2E05 - How has the United States used the category of citizenship to target people for mistreatment and exclusion?

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Where did the idea of citizenship come from, and how has the United States government used the category of citizenship to target people for mistreatment and exclusion?

To answer these questions submitted by a listener, Professor Marla Ramírez explains the origins of the concept of citizenship in the United States and how access to U.S. citizenship has been—from the nation’s founding—contingent on race, class, and gender.

She also shares the history and generational consequences of Mexican American banishment during the Great Depression, when the U.S. government forcibly removed the U.S.-citizen families of Mexican laborers from the United States. As Marla explains, these Mexican Americans’ citizenship was “invalidated or ignored or not valued equally as [that of] other U.S. citizens during this time.”

Timestamps:  

02:10 The origins of citizenship in the West and in the United States

11:03 Mexican Americans banishment during the Great Depression

24:42 How the history of banishment sheds light on ongoing immigration debates

27:52 How race, class, and gender continue to shape access to U.S. citizenship today

Episode links: 

Marla A. Ramírez is Assistant Professor of History and Chican@ and Latin@ Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Her recent publications on the history of immigration and citizenship include “The Making of Mexican Illegality: Immigration Exclusions Based on Race, Class Status, and Gender” in New Political Science, and “‘The ‘Immigrant Problem’: A Historical Review and the New Impacts under Trump,” in the journal Social Justice.

Our music is “Pamgaea” by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian: outreach@history.wisc.edu

HISTORY LAB 1 - How do I know if a website is a reliable source?

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As middle and high school students across Wisconsin work on their National History Day submissions, we’re answering their questions about how to do history in our History Lab mini-series. This episode, Professor Sarah Thal talks about her criteria for a reliable website, whether Wikipedia is good source for historical research, and her favorite online history resources.

Episode Links:  

Sarah Thal is Associate Chair, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and the David Kuenzi and Mary Wyman Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Libraries and archives

Digital exhibitions and projects

Commentary or articles written by historians 

Videos

Learn more about National History Day in Wisconsin through the Wisconsin Historical Society.

UW–Madison’s History Lab offers one-on-one meetings with writing tutors and helpful online writing guides for undergraduates studying the past.

Do you have a question about how to do history? Record a voice memo we’ll answer your question in an upcoming episode. Our email address is outreach@history.wisc.edu

Our music is “Wholesome” by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

S2E04 - SPECIAL: Florence Robinson, Gerda Lerner, and Women's History at UW-Madison

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Gerda Lerner headshot
Portrait of Gerda Lerner. Image courtesy of the UW-Madison Archives #S05704

In this special episode of Ask a Historian, guest host Tyler A. Lehrer examines how Gerda Lerner—Holocaust survivor, feminist organizer, mother, and distinguished historian—came to establish the pathbreaking Ph.D. Program in Women’s History at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

As Tyler explains, the history of women’s history at UW-Madison began not in the heyday of the women’s movement of the late 1970s but with the story of Dr. Florence Robinson. In the 1920s, Robinson’s family created the Robinson-Edwards Chair in American History, to be held by a woman historian at UW-Madison. Why did this professorship go unfilled until 1978, when Gerda Lerner arrived at Madison?

Through her archived oral history interviews, Gerda Lerner leads the way as Tyler tells the fascinating story of how Lerner came to Madison, how she realized her ambition to create a women’s history doctoral program, and how her feminist commitments shaped her approach to mentorship, shared governance, and teaching.

Episode links:  

Florence Robinson Yearbook photo
Yearbook photograph of Florence Robinson. Image courtesy of the UW-Madison Archives #1889 .UW.PhotoAlbum18892.i0020.

This episode was produced and edited by guest host Tyler A. Lehrer, a PhD candidate in Southeast Asian History at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

The oral histories in this episode come from the Oral History Program of the University of Wisconsin—Madison Archives.

Learn more about the Program in Gender and Women’s History at its website.

Musical interludes in this episode are from Lobo Loco’s “Dream Softly Baby,” licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Do you have an idea for an episode of the podcast? Send your questions for a historian to outreach@history.wisc.edu.

S2E03 - How do podcasts enrich student learning in the History classroom?

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This past summer, graduate students Maggie Flamingo and Jeffrey Guarneri each designed and taught undergraduate History courses in which they asked students to create podcasts. How did these podcast assignments enrich their students’ learning?

As Maggie and Jeff explain, they set out with the goal of engaging their students in history and pressing students to think critically about the way historical narratives are constructed. We listen to excellent examples of student work that show how the podcast format encourages students to communicate effectively, analyze and integrate primary and secondary sources, and bring their creativity and personality to their work. Finally, Maggie and Jeff reflect on how their students’ podcasts enriched their experience as teachers and gave them a sense of connection to their students in the online classroom.

Time stamps:  

3:31 Why Maggie and Jeff decided to incorporate podcasts in their course

6:45 Listening to undergraduate students’ podcasts

29:32 Tips for teachers and how podcasts changed the way Maggie and Jeff think about teaching

Episode links:  

Maggie Flamingo is a PhD candidate in U.S. history at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Her research examines the history of 20th-century evangelicalism.

Jeffrey Guarneri is a PhD candidate in Japanese history at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. His research focuses on port cities in 20th-century Japan.

Our music is Pamgaea by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian: outreach@history.wisc.edu

S2E02 - How did Egyptian feminism develop between the Egyptian Revolution and the Arab Spring?

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During the Arab Spring, Egyptian women played particularly prominent roles as activists on Tahrir Square and in the political groups that mobilized to debate the future of the Egypt. How did Egyptian feminism develop in the decades leading up to the Arab Spring?

Professor Aaron Rock-Singer takes us through the 20th– and 21st-century history of Egypt to trace the ways in which the British colonial project, the secular nationalist state, and Islamist revival movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis sought to shape the role of women in Egyptian society. Aaron highlights the contradictions and characteristics of the project of feminism in Egypt’s authoritarian political environment. He also reflects on the possibilities and challenges for activists under the current Sisi regime.

Timestamps:  

03:05 Women in the Egyptian Revolution and the Abdel Nasser period

11:06 The British colonial project to create a quiescent population

16:08 The Sadat and Mubarak periods

22:24 Salafism, authenticity debates, and gender segregation

31:52 Comparing developments in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East

36:17 Reflections on the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the Sisi regime

Episode links:  

Aaron Rock-Singer is Assistant Professor of History and the University of Wisconsin—Madison. His first book, Practicing Islam in Egypt: Print Media and Islamic Revival, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019. You can follow him on Twitter @AaronRockSinger.

Our music is Pamgaea by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian: outreach@history.wisc.edu

S2E01 - What does it mean to reckon with the history of racism at the University of Wisconsin—Madison?

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When millions of people across the United States took to the streets in protest following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, they ignited a racial reckoning across all sectors of American society. This episode, we talk about the process of racial reckoning on our campus: what does it mean to reckon with the history of racism at the University of Wisconsin—Madison?

Kacie Lucchini Butcher, Director of the Public History Project, explains how the Public History Project fits in to the process of confronting racism and exclusion in the past and present at UW-Madison. One year into the Project, she shares the patterns and themes researchers have identified so far: the persistence of racism and discrimination at UW-Madison throughout its history; the dogged efforts of student activists to call out and resist exclusion; and the recurring justifications employed by university administration to defend its inaction.

Kacie emphasizes that the process of reckoning involves first establishing shared knowledge of what happened in the past, and then taking action to create a more just and equitable future. At UW, she contends, this requires enacting policy measures and—more importantly—social and cultural change throughout the campus community.

Timestamps:  

05:53 The genesis and goals of the Public History Project

16:37 The process of reckoning with the history of racism at UW-Madison

19:33 Themes and patterns the Public History Project has identified so far in this history

39:40 Taking action through policy, social, and cultural change

48:11 How to get involved with the Public History Project

Episode links:

The Public History Project was created in response to a recommendation in the Report to the Chancellor on the Ku Klux Klan at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. The full report is available online through the UW website.

Learn more about the Public History Project at its website. Kacie and her student researchers also share their findings on Instagram, where you can follow them @uwpublichistoryproject.

If you have tips for the Public History Project or would like to get involved, you can get in touch with the researchers over email: publichistoryproject@wisc.edu

Kacie previously curated the exhibit “Owning Up: Racism and Housing in Minneapolis” at the Hennepin History Museum. The digital exhibit is available online at the exhibit’s website.

Our music is Pamgaea by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian: outreach@history.wisc.edu

S1E3 - Why have Asian Americans often been the target of xenophobic and racist attacks during disease outbreaks?

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by a spike in anti-Asian, especially anti-Chinese, racism. Why have Asian Americans often been the target of xenophobic and racist attacks during past disease outbreaks?

Professor Cindy I-Fen Cheng puts the past and present in conversation as she explains how Americans have historically used immigrant scapegoating to misdirect attention from larger structural issues in society. She tells us about the history of Chinese immigration exclusion, traces the development of racist ideas about Asian Americans, and reflects on the Cold War continuities she sees in the conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 virus originated in a Wuhan virology lab. Finally, she shares her hope that this moment produces increased discussion on the policies that have created structural racism, as well as a new commitment to creating policies that ensure greater equity for all people.

Cindy I-Fen Cheng is Professor of History and Director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Her book is Citizens of Asian America: Democracy and Race During the Cold War.

To read more about the scapegoating of Chinese immigrants during disease outbreaks in San Francisco, see Nayan Shah’s Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

For a history of Chinese immigration exclusion, Cindy recommends Erika Lee’s At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943.

Our music is Pamgaea by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian and/or tell us why you love history. You can record a voice memo and share it with us via email: outreach@history.wisc.edu.

S1E2 - What lessons can the history of Ebola in West Africa offer as we face the COVID-19 pandemic?

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As we face the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the past can shed some light on our moment of crisis. We speak with Professor Gregg Mitman about the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Liberia. How did people’s faith in or mistrust of their government shape the trajectory of the epidemic? What lessons can the history of Ebola offer in the context of COVID-19?

Gregg tells us about the long history of capitalism, politics, ecology, and medicine behind Liberia’s Ebola outbreak. He reflects on the unique geopolitical challenges of our current moment and the ways COVID-19 confronts racist Western assumptions about disease. Finally, he underscores the vital importance of building trust in order to successfully stem an epidemic.

Gregg co-directed and co-produced the 2015 documentary film In the Shadow of Ebola with Sarita Siegel, which you can view on the film’s website. His article in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Ebola in a Stew of Fear,” is available on NEJM’s website.

In the episode, Gregg speaks about African scholars’ commentary on COVID-19, including David Mwambari’s article “The pandemic can be a catalyst for decolonisation in Africa,” and Robtel Neajai Pailey’s “Africa does not need saving during this pandemic.”

Burial team workers handling a casket with the human remains of an Ebola victim in Monrovia. Photo credit: Alexander Wiaplah
Burial team workers handling a casket with the human remains of an Ebola victim in Monrovia. Photo credit: Alexander Wiaplah. Click to enlarge image.

Our music is Pamgaea by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian and/or tell us why you love history. You can record a voice memo and share it with us via email: outreach@history.wisc.edu

S1E1 - Why do racist incidents come as a surprise to many Americans?

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Professor April Haynes speaks with Professor Paige Glotzer about the history of race relations in the United States. Has there been a sudden spike of racism in the United States? Why do racist ideas and incidents come as a surprise to many Americans?

To answer these questions, Professor Glotzer explains the history of the racial wealth gap in the United States, the role of racist violence in maintaining structural inequalities, and the longstanding efforts of Black activists to communicate their experiences of racism to a white public.

To read the striking language of restrictive covenants for yourself, see below for an image of a restrictive covenant created for the Roland Park Company’s Homeland subdivision in Baltimore. The race clause—categorized under “Nuisances”—is circled. Image courtesy of the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Library.

Ask-A-Historian - Homeland Restrictive Covenant
Click to enlarge

Professor Glotzer’s new book, How the Suburbs Were Segregated: Developers and the Business of Exclusionary Housing, will be published by Columbia University Press on April 28, 2020.

Our theme music is Pamgaea by Kevin MacLeod, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Please send us your questions for a historian and/or tell us why you love history. You can record a voice memo and share it with us via email: outreach@history.wisc.edu