Host: Augusta Dell’Omo, Department of History
Guest: Eddie Watson, Department of History
The Beatles arrived for their first concert in the United States on February 11, 1964 to rabid fanfare. Legions of screaming women greeted John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr on every stop of the U.S. tour, leading to observers dubbing the period as “Beatlemania.” As one of the most commercially successful and influential musicians of all time, almost every pop music artist cites their influence over their music. Yet who were the Beatles? What was their music like? And why were they so popular?
Ph.D. student in history Eddie Watson takes us deep into the history of the Beatles first tour in the United States, and reveals why we should understand these popular cultural movements. But perhaps most importantly, Eddie tells us who is the best Beatle, reveals their greatest hits, and regales us of his own attempt at the Beatle bowl cut.
Host:Joan Neuberger, Editor, Not Even Past and Professor, Department of History Guest:Frank Guridy, Professor, Department of History and Director, John L. Warfield Center for African and African-American Studies.
In the early 20th century, an unprecedented cultural and political movement brought African-American culture and history to the forefront of the US. Named the Harlem Renaissance after the borough where it first gained traction, the movement spanned class, gender, and even race to become one of the most important cultural movements of the interwar era.
Guest Frank Guridy joins us to discuss the multifaceted, multilayered movement that inspired a new generation of African-Americans—and other Americans—and demonstrated the importance of Black culture and its contributions to the West.
Anyone who’s been to the music store lately (or shopped for digital downloads) is probably familiar with the concept of music categorized not only by genre, but also more subtler categorizations that might make us think of country music as “white” or hip-hop as “black.” It might be surprising that such categorizations were a deliberate mechanism of the music industry and that, even at a time when American society was as racially divided as the late 19th century, such distinctions were usually neither considered nor proscribed onto genres of music.
Guest Karl Hagstrom Miller has spent a career using popular music to explore the economic, social, legal, and political history of the United States. In this episode, he helps us understand how popular music came to be segregated as artists negotiated the restrictions known as the “Jim Crow” laws.
Slavery marks an important era in the history of the United States, one that is often discussed in terms of numbers and dates, human rights abuses, and its lasting impact on society. To be sure, these are all important aspects to understand, but one thing that is often given relatively short shrift is what it was like to actually be a slave. What were the sensory experiences of slaves on a daily basis? How can we dig deeper into understanding the lives of slaves and understand the institution as a whole?
Guest Daina Ramey Berry has given this question serious thought. In this episode, she discusses teaching the “senses of slavery,” a teaching tool that taps into the senses in order to connect to one of the most important eras in US history and bring it to the present.