Podcasts and Talks

Humanities professionals and public-facing scholars are increasingly appearing in the public sphere, sharing impactful ideas and projects that show the value of the humanities to transform society. Listen to inspiring podcasts where humanities majors talk about their pathways to fulfilling careers. Hear how academics engage in conversations across disciplines to join efforts in addressing the challenges of the 21st century. Learn about the engaged projects they are developing in partnership with communities around the world, celebrating history and culture, and activating art and creativity to develop innovative solutions for local and global issues. Watch the talks in which higher ed leaders are imagining new directions for the future of humanities education.

Podcasts

What Are You Going to Do with That?

This podcast from the National Humanities Alliance explores everyday folks’ decisions to study the humanities as undergraduates and their pathways to fulfilling careers. Each episode traces a unique pathway from a humanities major to careers in law, public health, finance, technology, museums, public relations, and high-end food production while emphasizing a broader theme that applies across humanities disciplines and industries.

Sara Guyer: The Humanities of Tomorrow (Connected Academics)

Sara Guyer talks about the humanities of tomorrow and her work as the director of the Center for the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Part of the Connected Academics Speaker Series at Georgetown University.

Careers in the Public Humanities

This podcast from the University of Rhode Island explores the broad range of positions and prospects open to PhDs beyond the tenure track. Each episode features an interview with a PhD alum, from URI and other universities, who uses their disciplinary knowledge in unique ways. The series aims to inspire current and prospective PhD students to embrace cross-disciplinary learning and to consider engaging in research that serves diverse literary and cultural publics.

Being Human Podcast

The Being Human Podcast, sponsored by the English department at the University of Pittsburgh, aims to create conversations between the humanities and other disciplines — conversations that let humanists and scholars in other fields learn from each other and create new forms of understanding as the 21st century unfolds.

PhD Futures Now!

A podcast about careers and career diversity for Humanities PhDs, produced by the Humanities Without Walls Consortium.

The 80,000 Hours Podcast

In-depth conversations about the world’s most pressing problems and what you can do to solve them.

Visit the 80,000 Hours website.

Porchtales

This is a new podcast network by the Humanities Council of Washington, DC (HumanitiesDC), where listeners get to experience the District through the eyes of those who make up the fabric of our nation’s capital. From the history, to the culture, to the arts, in each show we’ll dig deeper to learn and celebrate the unique experiences that shape this fascinating city.

Humanities Connection

Hosted by then Maryland Humanities Executive Director Dr. Phoebe Stein, this podcast explores the role of the humanities in our daily lives, and features lively reflections around topics like education, literature, health care, race, politics, religion, history, and more. Each segment includes a series of special guests, such as Maryland Humanities partners, board members, and local humanists. The result is a mix of stories and conversation designed to shed light on the human experience and stimulate the intellectual curiosity of our listeners.

With Good Reason

Each week on With Good Reason we explore a world of ideas with leading scholars in literature, history, science, philosophy, and the arts. Featured guests have included Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison discussing race in American, Mike Seeger exploring American folk music, Ruth Osorio on disability justice movements, Bruce Greyson sharing his study of near death experiences, and Nikki Giovanni reading from her poetry. You’ll discover LGBTQ families in Shakespeare’s plays, the ways we pre-judge others based on their accents, and the surprising history of Hawaiian shirts. From Virginia Humanities.

BackStory

Ever think there’s more to history than meets the eye? Or wondered how your ancestors experienced their own current events? There’s the history you had to learn, and the history you want to learn. That’s where BackStory comes in. This weekly podcast uses current events in America to take a deep dive into our past. Hosted by noted U.S. historians, each episode provides listeners with different perspectives on a particular theme or subject – giving you all sides of the story and then some. From Virginia Humanities.

Folklife Fieldnotes

Folklife Fieldnotes is a collaborative radio podcast series between WMRA and The Virginia Folklife Program at Virginia Humanities – celebrating the lives and experiences of artists, tradition-bearers, and musicians throughout the Commonwealth using field recordings collected by the Virginia Folklife Program.

Making Meaning: Why Humanities Matter

The first-ever podcast of the Federation of State Humanities Council focuses on the role the humanities have played during the pandemic and in our recovery. The six-episode first season is in English and in Spanish translation. It includes 12 interviews and stories from African Americans, Asian Americans, Cuban Americans, Native Americans, and an immigrant from Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia and features humanities programming from 19 states and jurisdictional territories.

Amended

Most Americans learn one, specific version of the history of woman suffrage: that a few bold, white women led a movement for equal voting rights and achieved victory 100 years ago, when the United States ratified the 19th Amendment. That, we’re told, enabled all American women to vote. But history is never as simple as the stories we tell about it. After that historic milestone, more women could cast a ballot than ever before, and yet the fight for women’s equal voting rights was, and still is, far from over. This podcast from Humanities New York travels from the 1800s through to the present day to show us a quest for women’s full equality that has always been as diverse, complex and unfinished as the nation itself.

Reframing History

As the public debates around history grow louder, it seems there’s a gap between how history practitioners understand their work and what the public thinks history is. We need a more productive public conversation about history. But how do we get on the same page? Over the course of this series, we’ll be speaking to historians, history communicators, and educators from around the country about the language we use to communicate history to the public. Hosted by Christy Coleman and Jason Steinhauer, this six-part series delves deep into a new, research-backed communication framework developed by FrameWorks Institute in partnership with the American Association for State and Local History, the National Council on Public History, and the Organization for American History.

Examining Ethics

Everybody wrestles with questions about ethics. Some of those questions are easy to figure out. Should I murder someone? No! But other questions are more difficult to answer. This podcast doesn’t provide answers to these ethical dilemmas, but instead leaves listeners with tools and ideas from some of the biggest names in moral philosophy and ethics. Academic philosophy and ethics can sometimes be difficult to understand, and our accessible, open-minded content bridges the gap between scholars and everyone else. Examining Ethics is produced by The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University, and hosted and produced by Christiane Wisehart.

Augmented Humanity

The guests on this show are modern explorers working at the intersection of technology and the humanities who help us to understand ourselves and the worlds we create in this digital age. They are thinkers, creators, makers and academics, all working in diverse fields. Together we discuss what we can understand about ourselves and others with the use of this technology; how the technology changes us or advances us; the implications for public or academic humanities; and the best tools and practices for applying this technology. Augmented Humanity is produced by the New Mexico Humanities Council in partnership with KUNM.

A Matter of Facts

With so many sources of information, what is reliable and true can be hard at times to determine. The Delaware Humanities’ award winning podcast, A Matter of Facts, addresses this issue by selecting a topic, supplying reliable information and, more importantly, giving listeners the tools to discern the value of information on their own.

Democracy in Question?

Today, liberal democracies are under unprecedented strain from within and without. In each episode, renowned social anthropologist Shalini Randeria invites a leading scholar to explore the challenges and dilemmas facing democracies around the world. They investigate what needs to be done to ensure the future well-being of our democratic institutions and practices. Co-produced by the Central European University, the Geneva Graduate Institute’s Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy and the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) Vienna.

Off the Shelf: Revolutionary Readings in Times of Crisis

This is a podcast series featuring in-depth conversations with Black scholars on the University of Illinois campus and beyond. Each episode explores books and scholars they recommend we take “off the shelf” to help us understand these revolutionary times and creative agendas for the here and now. Hosted by Dr. Augustus Wood, a scholar of political economy and gentrification, labor, and social movements in late 20th and early 21st century African American urban history. From the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Meeting Street: Conversations in the Humanities

Host Amanda Anderson explores topics of vital societal interest through conversations with scholars and writers whose voices have helped define issues and shape debates. Special focus on the forms of knowledge that characterize the humanities. Produced by the Cogut Institute for the Humanities at Brown University.

Shakespeare Unlimited

Shakespeare turns up in the most interesting places—not just literature and the stage, but science and social history as well. This podcast from the Folger Shakespeare Library (the world’s largest Shakespeare collection) explores the fascinating and varied connections between Shakespeare, his works, and the world around us.

Footnoting History

This is a podcast that focuses on overlooked and underappreciated areas of the history, whether that means a topic completely unknown to most listeners or a new look at a well-known person, period, or event. Our hosts are all trained historians with a passion for sharing history’s complexities with the public. They research, write, and record their own episodes on topics that excite them — and we hope they excite you, too.

Aspen Ideas to Go

This is a show about big ideas that will open your mind. Featuring compelling conversations with the world’s top thinkers and doers from a diverse range of disciplines, Aspen Ideas to Go gives you front-row access to the Aspen Ideas Festival and other events presented by the Aspen Institute.

Hi-Phi Nation

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story-form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, and existence. We then seek answers with the help of academics and philosophers. The show is produced and hosted by Barry Lam of Vassar College. From Slate podcasts.

15 Minute History

This podcast series is devoted to short, accessible discussions of important topics in world history, United States history, and Texas history with the award winning faculty and graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin, and distinguished visitors to our campus. They are designed for historians, enthusiasts, and newbies alike. This is a joint project of Hemispheres, the international outreach consortium at the University of Texas at Austin, and Not Even Past, a website with articles on a wide variety of historical issues, produced by the History Department at the University of Texas at Austin.

What if Education… Podcast

Can we change the way we educate? Do we need to change? How about, do we even want change? Taking a slightly unorthodox approach, in each episode, teachers, students and experts share their ideas of how they think the future of education will unfold. The host, Monika Theron, evokes free-thinking by sneaking controversial topics into conversations with her guests. Monika wants to find out how comfortable educators and learners are with new and developing concepts in education. Expected outcomes: crazy ideas, humour and open-minded conversations. From the Centre for Innovation at Leiden University.

On Being

The On Being Project explores the big questions of meaning at the intersection of spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts: What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live? Who will we be to each other?

The Public Philosopher

Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel examines the thinking behind a current controversy. From the BBC Radio 4.

Witness History

History as told by the people who were there. From the BBC World Service.

More Perfect

A series about how the Supreme Court got so supreme. From Radiolab and WNYC.

Rough Translation

Rough Translation is a podcast about cultural mistranslations and what we can learn from them. From NPR.

Throughline

The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world. From NPR.

Talks

Reinvent the Humanities to Change the World

Georgetown’s Designing the Future(s) of the University Initiative partnered with the Reinvent media startup to develop a series of high profile conversations that open up the discussion on the value of the humanities in the modern world beyond academia. They asked leading scholars, innovators in the private sector, and working practitioners of the humanities to share their thoughts on the role the humanities can play in creating a sustainable and interconnected future. The conversations featured Sidonie Smith, Director of the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan; John O’Malley, Theology professor at Georgetown University; theoretical neuroscientist Vivienne Ming; Helen Small, Professor of English Literature at Oxford University; Alexander Rose, Executive Director of The Long Now Foundation; serial entrepreneur Brian Sager; John Markoff, technology and science reporter for The New York Times; Edward Maloney, Executive Director of Georgetown University’s Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship; Tim Kobe, founder and CEO of design firm Eight Inc.; Norberto Grzywacz, Dean of Georgetown University’s Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences; Elñora Tena Webb, President of Laney College; entrepreneur and venture capitalist Soraya Darabi; Kathryn Temple, English professor at Georgetown University; and Peter Leyden, Founder and CEO of Reinvent.

Scholarly Communication Symposium

Inspired by the Provost’s recent blog posts (The Great Recession and the Humanities and A Home for Humanities’ Scholarship, the Scholarly Communication Committee’s Spring Symposia examined how humanities research is communicated to both scholars and the public. Traditionally, the primary avenue of communication is peer-reviewed publication, either publishing a scholarly monograph or contributing an article to a journal. With monograph sales declining and university presses becoming increasingly cautious about publishing them, the burden falls to academic journals, and the results of humanities research and scholarship become less widely available. To improve the impact of humanities scholarship, the symposia explored how scholarship might be more broadly disseminated, thus allowing humanists to reach key audiences. In addition to the symposia, the Georgetown University Library continually sponsors events related to scholarly communication at the Library and learn more about how copyright impacts academia.

Scott Krawczyk: Articulating the Value of the Humanities to the Larger World

In this lunch talk, that took place at Georgetown University on March 18, 2016, Scott Krawczyk discussed the value of the humanities to a larger world and new directions for doctoral curricula in the humanities.

2015 Reinvent PhD Retreat Panels

On the weekend of Oct. 23-24, 2015, the Reinvent PhD task force hosted a productive series of conversations focused on preparing humanities PhDs for public and professional life. The discussions revolved around the following questions: What is the value of the PhD in the humanities both within the academy and out in the world? Given the academic job market, what is the proper role of current and planned doctoral programs in the humanities? Are there programmatic changes that could better serve graduate students entering this market? Panels included the perspectives of key administrators, recent graduate students, alt-ac representatives, and contingent faculty.

Watch the panels at the Reinvent PhD website.

Ricardo Ortiz: TLISI Stories

Professor Ricardo Ortiz shares his experience as part of the The Public Humanities / Connected Academics team that participated in the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship’ Teaching, Learning, and Innovation Summer Institute (TLISI). Having focused time at Productive Open Design Spaces (PODS) enabled the team to move from planning implementation of their Mellon grant to drafting a Public Humanities PhD/certificate program to brainstorming for a Humanities center at Georgetown.

MLA’s Connected Academics – PhDs in the Workforce

The MLA’s Connected Academics videos provide an overview of what humanities PhDs are accomplishing in the workforce. The series included conversations with Amanda Licastro, back then a student at the Graduate Center, CUNY; Katina Rogers, then deputy director of the Futures Initiative and HASTAC@CUNY; and Rachel Bernard, then program officer at the American Council of Learned Societies.

Watch the PhDs in the Workforce videos at the Reinvent PhD website.

Humanities for All Winter Webinar Series

Panelists from a range of publicly engaged institutions shared how they built successful programs, distilled lessons learned along the way, and answered questions from the audience. Events featured in the series: “Starting Points: Higher Ed Perspectives on how to Begin a Publicly Engaged Humanities Practice”, “Supporting Humanities Faculty in Creating Engaged Courses”, “Scaling Up: Growing Public Humanities Projects Beyond Higher Ed” and “Measuring Impact: The Role of Assessment in the Publicly Engaged Humanities”.

Watch the recordings of the Humanities for All Winter Webinar Series.

Sidonie Smith: Manifesto for the Humanities: A 21st Century Doctoral Education

In this presentation of her book Manifesto for the Humanities: Transforming Doctoral Education in Good Enough Times, Sidonie Smith addresses the challenge of the conceptualization of a 21st-century doctoral education. It must be an education adequate to the lived realities of the academy now; to the energies of students who make the choice to pursue a doctorate; and to the intellectual, affective, and social attachments that drive the pursuit of excellence in scholarly inquiry and teaching. The imperatives are multiple: to be purposeful in sustaining passionate conviction about the value of advanced study in the disciplines of the humanities; to be flexible in adapting to the shifting environment in which that study will take place; to be strategic in addressing concerns about the high level of attrition, the continuing lack of diversity in the humanities professoriate, and the exploitative conditions of contingency in humanities disciplines; and to be responsive to the diverse aspirations, dispositions, and intellectual interests of those willing to do the time, find the funds, and endure the long haul.

Watch Sidonie Smith’s presentation.

Quit Your Technology Job and Get a Humanities Ph.D.

Philosopher and entrepreneur Dr. Damon Horowitz explored what is possible at the intersection of technology and the humanities. He discusses the value of a humanities Ph.D. in a world that is being continuously inundated with new technology, and how to apply the degree toward a successful career.

Why Tech Needs the Humanities

If you want to build a team of innovative problem-solvers, you should value the humanities just as much as the sciences, says entrepreneur Eric Berridge. He shares why tech companies should look beyond STEM graduates for new hires — and how people with backgrounds in the arts and humanities can bring creativity and insight to technical workplaces.

COVID-19: The Humanities Respond

Series launched by the UCI School of Humanities bringing humanistic perspectives to conversations about the pandemic.

Watch the series at the the UCI School of Humanities website.