Episode 117: Albert Einstein – Separating Man from Myth

Host: Augusta Dell’Omo, Department of History
Guest: Alberto Martinez, Department of History

The subject of endless speculation, fascination, and laudatory writings, German physicist Albert Einstein captured the imaginations of millions after his discoveries transformed the field of physics. Hailed as a god, saint, a miracle, and even a canonized angel by his biographers and contemporaries alike, Einstein seems a figure worthy of his larger than life status. Not so fast says today’s guest, Dr. Alberto Martínez. We go deep into the personal life of Einstein, discussing his damaged relationships, intellectually incoherent views on pacifism and religion, and his own eccentric worldview.

Guest Dr. Martínez of the University of Texas at Austin joins us today to discuss who Einstein really was, and how science really is done – reminding us that Einstein was not Jesus Christ, not Harry Potter, but just a normal man.

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Episode 115: Violent Policing of the Texas Border

Host: Augusta Dell’Omo, Department of History
Guest: Monica Martinez, Brown University

Between 1910 and 1920, an era of state-sanctioned racial violence descended upon the U.S.-Mexico border. Texas Rangers, local ranchers, and U.S. soldiers terrorized ethnic Mexican communities, under the guise of community policing. They enjoyed a culture of impunity, in which, despite state investigations, no one was ever prosecuted. This period left generations of Texans with a deep sense of injustice, and representations of this period in popular culture still celebrate police violence against ethnic Mexicans. Yet families fought back, demanding justice for atrocities against Mexican-American communities.

Guest Monica Martínez of Brown University joins us today to discuss what happened on the Texas border a hundred years ago. She also reveals the striking similarities of the period to the Trump administration’s November 2018 decision to send military troops to the border.

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