In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), the Rebecca Tuvel controversy, and commencement speeches.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

  • Donald Trump recently suggested that a federal program that finances construction projects on historically black college and university campuses may be unconstitutional. But a few days later, he expressed “unwavering support” for HBCUs. Natalia observed Trump’s various moves to reach out to African Americans followed an Obama presidency that was often criticized for not reaching out to African Americans enough, something that the former president acknowledged in David Remnick’s New Yorker profile of him. Natalia also recommended Catharine Stimpson’s Public Books essay on how Trump looks to steer federal education funding to conservative Christian universities. Niki noted that in his book Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates discussed how attending Howard University had uniquely shaped his life, something many graduates of HBCUs have argued. Neil drew parallels between the history of HBCUs and women’s colleges, and Natalia recommended Nancy Weiss Malkiel’s book, “Keep the Damned Women Out”: The Struggle for Coeducation, which traces the history of how elite universities opened their doors to women.   

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the causes of the Fyre Festival fiasco, the anniversary of the LA uprisings, and the history of US-North Korea relations.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate Trump's first 100 days, the history of Hawaii, and the rise of female genital mutilation in the United States. 

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

  • In the wake of Jeff Sessions’s calling dismissal of Hawai’i as an “island in the Pacific,” we discuss the long history of Hawai’i and how mainland Americans have exoticized it through the years.

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the push for universal basic income, the rising visibility of scientific racism, and the disappearance of shopping malls. 

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate United's rough treatment of its passengers, Trump's missile attack on Syria, and the White House Easter egg roll.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

  • The brutal forced removal of a passenger from a recent United Airlines flight is the latest evidence of the unfriendly skies of air travel today. Natalia noted how different the contemporary flying experience is from the glamorous early days of air travel depicted in the 1967 stewardess memoir, Coffee, Tea or Me?, laying some of the blame on airline deregulation in the late 1970s. Neil pointed to 9/11 as another transformative moment for air travel, and noted that the increasing prevalence of camera phones meant airplane incidents could be easily captured, such as videos taken aboard United Flight 3411. Natalia observed how those who have defended United, such as Matt Walsh of the conservative website The Blaze, have argued that the problem was a resistance to authority rather than an example of corporate negligence or police brutality, as most others have argued.

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate Mike Pence's rules for women colleagues, the end of the Senate filibuster, and Pepsi's attempt to coopt Black Lives Matter.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate the fate of the American Health Care Act, the constructed nature of children's sleep, and Pluto's place among the planets.

 

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate whether intersectionality is a religion, the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, and Trump's plan to defund the NEA and NEH.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil debate Harvard's decision to drop the LSAT, George W. Bush's newfound popularity, and corporal punishment.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate Trump’s wiretapping allegations, “wellness real estate,” and late-night TV.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the complicated politics of the women's strike, the rise of anti-Semitism in America, and humanity's relationship to robots.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate CPAC’s decision to disinvite Milo Yiannopoulos, legislation to require political balance in university faculties, and Christian blogger Momastery’s announcement of her lesbian engagement.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

  • An Iowa legislator has proposed a bill that would require faculty in the state’s university system to reflect a partisan balance. Neil outlined a history of conservative responses to universities as liberal bastions, including William Buckley’s 1951 classic, God and Man at Yale. Natalia mentioned Heterodox Academy, a project that advocates for more intellectual diversity on college campuses.

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorNicole Hemmer

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the history of “paid protestors,” the science of secondhand smoke, and the failing fortunes of Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. 

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the bawdy history of Valentine's Day, Obama's role in elevating black history, and the parallels between Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate American policy toward refugees, the politics of Uber, and the rising sales of dystopian novels.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate Betsy DeVos and school privatization, the uses of executive orders, and the growing call for more dangerous playgrounds.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

  • Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education has prompted strong opposition in large part because of her advocacy of privatizing public education. Natalia and Jonathan Kozol spoke about the privatization push and other trends in education at the Tucson Festival of Books last year. You can watch their talk here. Natalia has written about education controversies in her book Classroom Wars. Neil recommended Seth Dowland’s Family Values for understanding how conservative parents embraces “school choice” in the 1970s and 80s.

 

  • Donald Trump began his presidency with a host of executive orders on his first day in the White House. We discussed the history of executive orders. Niki recommended Graham Dodds’ Take Up Your Pen for a history of unilateral presidential directives.

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

 

 

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AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the dangers of plagiarism, the fate of the cirucs, and whether sugary drinks should be restricted for SNAP recipients.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

  • After nearly 150 years in business, the Ringling Bros. circus is shutting down. Neil argued the circus was closing because Americans objected to its mistreatment of animals, especially elephants, that has been well documented. Natalia observed the documentary Black Fish, which exposes Sea World’s abuse of its marine animals, had also increased Americans’ awareness. Natalia also argued that the 1966 movie Born Free had shaped Americans’ understanding of animals in the natural habitat as contrasted to zoos and circuses. Niki recommended the book True Vine which tells the story of two African-American albino brothers who were displayed as circus freaks in the late 19th century.  

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

Posted
AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate the women's march on Washington, US-Russian relations, and Obama's final speech to the nation.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

  • The Women’s March on Washington will take place the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration to protest the incoming administration. Natalia observed the march’s historical importance of mobilizing on a physical level in a social media age. Niki cited David Karpf’s argument in The MoveOn Effect of how slacktivism can become activism as the thin ties of social media grow into thick ties of political advocacy. Natalia lamented a recent Washington Post editorial that urged women marchers to not wear pink or sparkly items, and recommended Nan Enstad’s book, Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure, for understanding how the way women dress has often been used against them as political actors.

 

  • News that the Russian government had interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of Donald Trump brought a new dimension to U.S.-Russia relations, but we debated whether it represented a return of the Cold War. Natalia mentioned the New York Times op-ed from the former deputy director of the CIA, Michael Morell last year that endorsed Hillary Clinton in part because of his concern that Trump had become an “unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” Neil recommended Ekaterina Pravilova’s Public Books essay on how Vladimir Putin has sowed disinformation and confusion throughout Russian society by attacking journalists, scientists, and historians.

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorNicole Hemmer

On this week's show, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the decline of democracy in North Carolina, the trend toward legalization of marijuana, and the dominance of Alabama football.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

  • In a recent piece for U.S. News & World Report, Niki argued that North Carolina had become a “laboratory of illiberalism” because of recent measures to disenfranchise voters and strip power from elected officials. Natalia outlined North Carolina’s history as a state of “business progressivism.” Neil recommended Bill Chafe’s classic work, Civilities and Civil Rights, for how it complicates North Carolina’s legacy as a progressive state. 

 

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorNicole Hemmer

In this week's episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate the legacy of departing First Lady Michelle Obama.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

  • As her time as First Lady comes to a close, Michelle Obama recently sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey. You can watch the interview here.

 

  • Natalia noted a 2014 New Republic profile of Michelle Obama had criticized her for having exacting standards and an unambitious agenda as First Lady.

 

  • Natalia observed the therapeutic features of Oprah’s interview with Michelle Obama which Neil contrasted with interviews of other First Ladies, such as Jackie Kennedy in 1962, which focused on their role as hostesses and caretakers of the White House. Natalia remembered Betty Ford’s 60 Minutes interview that bucked this trend because of Ford’s outspoken views. Niki commented that Barbara Walters’ interview of Ford had famously removed clips that would have shown the First Lady was drunk.

 

 

Posted
AuthorNicole Hemmer