Episode 122: The History of Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy in the U.S.

Host: Christopher Rose, Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Historical Studies
Guest: Chris Babits, Andrew W. Mellon Engaged Scholar Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow

Sexual orientation conversion therapy, the attempt to change one’s sexual orientation through psychological or therapeutic practice, has now been banned in 17 American states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, three Canadian provinces, one state in Australia and several nations in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Beyond the merits of sexual orientation conversion therapy as a medical practice, however, lies a social importance of what the practice represents for a segment of American society.

Today’s guest, Chris Babits, is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, where he researches the history of the practice and why so many people still support it, even in the face of opposition from medical and psychological professionals.

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Episode 74: The Changsha Rice Riots of 1910

Host: Christopher Rose, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UT-Austin
Guest: James Joshua Hudson, Visiting Assistant Professor, Knox College

HIS_8In the waning days of China’s Qing Empire, a riot broke out in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province. After two years of flooding, a starving woman had drowned herself in desperation after an unscrupulous merchant refused to sell her food at a price she could afford. Three days of rioting followed during which symbols of Qing power were destroyed by an angry mob, which then turned its sights on Changsha’s Western compound. Historians have long assumed the mob was controlled by the landed gentry, but as nearly every dictator knows, a crowd has a mind of its own.

James Joshua Hudson, Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Knox College, describes the riots and some surprising finds he made conducting fieldwork in Hunan that offer a glimpse into the deeply layered tensions on the eve of the downfall of the Qing dynasty.

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