End-of-Year Episode Roundup

Last year I talked about the podcasts I loved in 2020. This year, I wanted to call out specific episodes I’ve listened to that have impacted me in some way. These are in no particular order, except for the #1 episode that has had the most impact on my life this year. I’ll put that at the bottom. I listen to a lot of podcasts (I recently learned that my listening habits would put me…

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30 Days of Podcasts

Arielle Nissenblatt challenged folks on Twitter to do #podcast30, which is listening to one podcast every day and posting about it. Naturally I’m all in for such an endeavor. So I’ll be updating this post every day with my listen for that day, along with my brief comments (which I’m also posting on Twitter). Day 1: “Living,” from Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon (George Washington’s Mount Vernon) One of the most…

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A New Gig: R2 Studios

I have a new title: head of studio. At RRCHNM we’ve just spun off a new unit, which we’re calling R2 Studios. Its purpose is to create deeply researched historical audio stories, which you might call “history podcasts.” As the person at the Center with the most podcasting experience, I’ve been tapped to lead this effort. I’m very excited for all of the opportunities this new studio will bring to folks at the Center, particularly…

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A Difficult (Podcast) Undertaking

Eric Nuzum, whose podcasting work I greatly admire, wrote recently that he thinks that episode narrative podcasting might be on its way out. He means narrative podcasts that have a clear beginning and end, like a miniseries, rather than a series like Consolation Prize, which could theoretically go on indefinitely. He made some very compelling arguments for why these types of shows have a hard time getting off the ground, and why only a few…

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Wrapping Up Season 1

Today we released the final episode of Season 1 of Consolation Prize. The whole team is going to have a debrief session sometime later this summer, but I figured I should get my thoughts down while they’re still fresh. So here’s a few random thoughts about this first foray into narrative podcasting, for me and for the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. I’m a better writer because of podcasting. I was a…

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Why Assign Podcasts

I’m not a fully disinterested observer here; as you know, I am the host and executive producer of a podcast, so of course I want more people to listen to my podcast. But I think there’s a lot of value in assigning podcasts for students of history, of any age or schooling status. Here are a few reasons I think that. Reason #1: Audio literacy I wrote a whole blog post about this. Students receive…

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Not-Monograph History

(Yes, I’m avoiding doing work on my actual monograph right now, along with a hundred other things.) I’m deeply invested in the idea of creating (and learning) history through not-monographs. And in the past several months and years, I’ve been trying to put my money where my mouth is about this. I’ve been teaching not-monograph history for a while now, but this past year I’ve had a lot of opportunities to create my own history…

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Resources for Innovation in Graduate Classes

I have very little experience in teaching graduate classes. Maybe my inexperience breeds anxiety about teaching them. When I teach my undergrad classes, I feel very little anxiety, even when I’m less prepared than I intend. Grad classes are the exact opposite. I could prepare for hundreds of hours for a grad class and I’m still terrified when I walk in the door, every single class period. This coming fall, I’m teaching my second graduate…

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Flexibility in Asynchronicity

[Like my new word?] I’ve decided to stop posting Twitter threads and instead use the tool God intended: blog posts. I’m starting to knuckle down on course prep for the fall. You all know I’m 100% into asynchronous teaching, and I really don’t think there’s anything anyone could say to dissuade me. (This is, by the by, what I tell my students “bias” is: a belief that you hold, no matter what, even in the…

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Tools for Asynchronous Discussion

In the fall, I’m teaching both my undergrad and grad class online (thankfully, GMU and the history department made this an easy and non-controversial choice, despite GMU’s plans to offer in-person classes). So I’m on the hunt for ways to enhance my asynchronous discussions. This post isn’t about what I’ve decided to do, but rather about all the options I’ve found. I’d love feedback on any of them, whether they’ve worked for you or not…

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