show episodes
 
BackStory is a weekly public podcast hosted by U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly and Joanne Freeman. We're based in Charlottesville, Va. at Virginia Humanities. There’s the history you had to learn, and the history you want to learn - that’s where BackStory comes in. Each week BackStory takes a topic that people are talking about and explores it through the lens of American history. Through stories, interviews, and conversations with our listeners, BackStory makes histo ...
 
An English tourist in a small, rural town in the South of France discovers an ancient manuscript with a strange illustration on the last page. A young orphan is sent to live with his elderly cousin, a secretive man who is obsessed with immortality. A picture that tells stories that change according to who is viewing it. These and other delicious, goose bump evoking tales are part of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by Montague R James. A master of his craft, MR James was an academic and adminis ...
 
Two poets in a London park at sunset, debating on the attributes of poetry and whether it's really a metaphor for anarchy. A group that meets in secret, planning to overthrow the world order. Disguises and deceptions, ideals and ideology. A medley of themes and genres makes this a great read for anyone who's a fan of Chesterton and his iconic Father Brown. The Man Who Was Thursday includes Chesterton's favorite theme of Christianity with touches of delightful humor to enliven the twists and ...
 
First published in Blackwood’s magazine as a three part serial in 1899 and published in 1902, Heart of Darkness centers on the experiences of protagonist Charles Marlow as he is assigned the duty to transport ivory down the Congo River. Conrad cleverly uses foreshadowing as a technique to convey the novella’s themes of hypocritical imperialism, the contradictory views on civilized as opposed to barbaric societies, racism, and the conflict between reality and darkness. Set in the second half ...
 
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show series
 
Dancing the Dharma: Religious and Political Allegory in Japanese Noh Theater (Harvard UP, 2020) examines the theory and practice of allegory by exploring a select group of medieval Japanese noh plays and treatises. Susan Blakeley Klein demonstrates how medieval esoteric commentaries on the tenth-century poem-tale Ise monogatari (Tales of Ise) and t…
 
Erin Duncan O’Neill (Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma) speaks with Elizabeth Emery (Professor, Montclair State University) about Emery’s recent book, Reframing Japonisme: Women and the Asian Art Market in Nineteenth-Century France, 1853-1914 (Bloomsbury, 2020). Women figured prominently among the leading collectors and purveyors of Asian…
 
In an “other world” composed of language—it could be a fathomless Martian well, a labyrinthine hotel, or forest—a narrative unfolds, and with it the experiences, memories, and dreams that constitute reality for Haruki Murakami’s characters and readers. Memories and dreams in turn conjure their magical counterparts—people without names or pasts, fan…
 
In his pioneering study, Men in Metal: A Topography of Public Bronze Statuary in Modern Japan (Brill, 2020), Sven Saaler examines Japanese public statuary as a central site of historical memory from its beginnings in the Meiji period through the twenty-first century. Saaler shows how the elites of the modern Japanese nation-state went about constru…
 
Lasse Lehtonen speaks to Satoko Naito about his research on Japanese women singer-songwriters of the 1970s and 1980s. Focusing on popular pioneers like Yumi Matsutoya (Yūmin), Miyuki Nakajima, and Takako Okamura, Dr. Lehtonen discusses how the artists assert their agency and artistry, not necessarily through their lyrics but via what Matsutoya once…
 
Japan's Private Spheres: Autonomy in Japanese History, 1600-1930 (Brill, 2021) traces the shifting nature of autonomy in early modern and modern Japan. In this far-reaching, interdisciplinary study, W. Puck Brecher explores the historical development of the private and its evolving relationship with public authority, a dynamic that evokes stereotyp…
 
In this season Finale episode we are taking a dive into Vampire folklore. My friend David Joins me as he tells us about European Vampire Lore, and then in the second half we will be talking about American Vampires. Website: www.notanotherhorrorpodcast.com Murder Me Tinderly:https://www.podpage.com/murder-me-tinderly/follow/ Buy Me A Coffee and help…
 
John Person’s Arbiters of Patriotism: Right-Wing Scholars in Imperial Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 2020) narrates the struggle for ownership of the moral high ground of “patriotism” in the Japanese empire through a political biography of Mitsui Kōshi and Minoda Muneki, two of the most important Japanists of the empire, and the nationalist Gen…
 
This is a tale of love, obsession, madness, candy, and carnations. It is the story of Mother’s Day.The holiday was passionately promoted by Anna Jarvis (1864-1948), described by Michael Farquhar as “… a woman of fierce loyalty and tireless enterprise and a total raving lunatic.”In this episode we will explore crimes of mother's and also how some en…
 
In All Sorrows Can Be Borne (Rare Bird Books, 2021), Loren Stephens tells the story, inspired by true events, of a Japanese woman who survives the bombing of Hiroshima, joins her half-sister in Osaka and gives up her dream of becoming a theater star. Later, she marries the man of her dreams and gives birth to a beautiful son. After her husband is d…
 
Although scholars have emphasized the importance of women’s networks for civil society in twentieth-century Japan, Women and Networks in Nineteenth-Century Japan (University of Michigan Press, 2020) is the first book to tackle the subject for the contentious and consequential nineteenth century. The essays traverse the divide when Japan started tra…
 
On the night of September 19/20, 1961, Barney and Betty Hill, returning from a honeymoon in Canada, encountered a large UFO in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The next thing they remembered was being thirty miles down the road with two hours elapsed that they could not account for. Both physical evidence and nightmares alarmed them. Later, th…
 
The Houston Decapitator On July 27, 1979, a man named Bob Smith showed up to the 900 block of Glenmont in the Gulfton area of southwest Houston to pick up a co-worker, secretary Alys Elaine Rankin while her car was being repaired. Smith approached the front door which was slightly opened and looked in to see Rankin laying naked on her bed with her …
 
Known for a tradition of Confucian filial piety, East Asian societies have some of the oldest and most rapidly aging populations on earth. Today these societies are experiencing unprecedented social challenges to the filial tradition of adult children caring for aging parents at home. Marshalling mixed methods data, Beyond Filial Piety: Rethinking …
 
Andrea Castiglioni and Fabio Rambelli's edited volume Defining Shugendo: Critical Studies on Japanese Mountain Religion (Bloomsbury, 2020) presents the newest studies on Shugendō-related practices and traditions from both Japanese and non-Japanese scholars. Contributors in their chapters explore how Shugendō constructed topologies and invented chro…
 
Ken Ruoff’s Japan’s Imperial House in the Postwar Era, 1945-2019 (Harvard UP, 2020), is a revised and expanded version of the author’s The People’s Emperor: Democracy and the Japanese Monarchy, 1945-1995 (2003). The book is an extensive and detailed treatment of the Japanese imperial institution as it enters a new era, Reiwa, with the abdication of…
 
Tropics of Savagery: The Culture of Japanese Empire in Comparative Frame (U California Press, 2010) is an incisive and provocative study of the figures and tropes of “savagery” in Japanese colonial culture. Through a rigorous analysis of literary works, ethnographic studies, and a variety of other discourses, Robert Thomas Tierney demonstrates how …
 
How did Japanese academics study their "fields" in places like Manchuria and Inner Mongolia in the transwar decades? How did they transform in the postwar, under the US Occupation, and after? Into the Field: Human Scientists of Transwar Japan (Stanford UP, 2019) is the first monograph on the collective biography of this cohort of professional Japan…
 
From frantic 911 calls to disturbing unknown numbers this episode has it all. With audio directly from the calls. Listening to this episode at night is probably not a good idea. Website: www.notanotherhorrorpodcast.com Murder Me Tinderly:https://www.podpage.com/murder-me-tinderly/follow/ Buy Me A Coffee and help support the show: https://www.buymea…
 
Jürgen Melzer’s Wings for the Rising Sun: A Transnational History of Japanese Aviation (Harvard UP, 2020) traces the history of Japanese aviation from its origins with hot-air balloons in the 1870s until the end of the Pacific War in 1945. Melzer’s narrative centers around three themes: transnational technology transfer and Japan’s efforts to attai…
 
Telling stories: that sounds innocuous enough. But for the first chronicle in the Japanese vernacular, A Tale of Flowering Fortunes (Eiga monogatari), there was more to worry about than a good yarn. The health of the community was at stake. Flowering Tales: Women Exorcising History in Heian Japan (Harvard University Press, 2020) is the first extens…
 
Transpacific Correspondences: Dispatches from Japan’s Black Studies, an essay collection edited by Dr. Yuichiro Onishi and Dr Fumiko Sakashita, introduces a little-known, but critical history of Black Studies in Japan. Taking the Black Studies Association (Kokujin Kenkyu no Kai) as its focus, the collection charts the history of members of the Blac…
 
On their way home to Yuba County, the men decided to stop at a gas station and buy some snacks. They had all piled into Jack M’s Mercury Montenegro. This would be the last time any of these five young men would be seen again. After they failed to return that night, the parents of the young men (most of whom lived at home) began to worry and filed p…
 
In 1800, the Shogun’s chief minister wrote the following about the city of Edo: "Someone said that if Edo did not have frequent fires, then people would be more showy and flash. In the capital or in Osaka they do everything with lavish elegance: people hang up paintings in their homes or put out arrangements of flowers. But in Edo, even in the affl…
 
With the sheer empty remoteness of vast stretches of I-80 and the myriad options for disposing of bodies in the bleak desert wilderness, the highway is undeniably an attractive hunting ground for killers. This is some of the most remote land in the United States, where one can drive hours without seeing a single sign of civilization or another huma…
 
In this newly revised and updated 2nd edition of Voices of Early Modern Japan: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life During the Age of the Shoguns (Routledge, 2020), Constantine Nomikos Vaporis offers an accessible collection of annotated historical documents of an extraordinary period in Japanese history, ranging from the unification of warring stat…
 
In The Dutch Language in Japan (1600-1900): A Cultural and Sociolinguistic Study of Dutch as a Contact Language in Tokugawa and Meiji Japan (Brill, 2020), Christopher Joby offers the first book-length account of the knowledge and use of the Dutch language in Tokugawa and Meiji Japan. For most of this period, the Dutch were the only Europeans permit…
 
Dennis Frost’s More than Medals: A History of the Paralympics and Disability Sports in Postwar Japan is a history of disability sports in modern Japan. The 1964, 1998, and upcoming Paralympics are important case studies, but Frost’s interests go far beyond this pinnacle of international, competitive disability sports. More than Medals explores the …
 
In the seventeenth century, Japanese popular prose flourished as waves of newly literate readers gained access to the printed word. Commercial publishers released vast numbers of titles in response to readers’ hunger for books that promised them potent knowledge. However, traditional literary histories of this period position the writings of Ihara …
 
Las Vegas...a city almost synonymous with a good time. Millions of people flock to sin city every year. in 2019 alone Las Vegas received an estimated 42 Million visitors. Unfortunately Las Vegas is synonymous with something else...murder...cursed hotels...and suicide. In this episode we are going to explore some ghost stories and I'm even going to …
 
Sarah Kovner’s Prisoners of the Empire: Inside Japanese POW Camps (Harvard UP, 2020) is a nuanced look at the experiences, narratives―and the popular/historical memories of those experiences and narratives―of World War II-era Allied POWs in Japanese custody, especially in the English-language world. While never denying the horrors of war and the PO…
 
Nineteenth-century Japanese literary discourse and narrative developed a striking preoccupation with ninjō—literally “human emotion,” but often used in reference to amorous feeling and erotic desire. For many writers and critics, fiction’s capacity to foster both licentiousness and didactic values stood out as a crucial source of ambivalence. Simul…
 
Compiled around 1235, the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, or Ogura's 100 Poems by 100 Poets, is one of the most important collections of poetry in Japan. Though the poets include emperors and empresses, courtiers and high priests, ladies-in-waiting and soldier-calligraphers, the collection is far more than a fascinating historical document. As the translator…
 
You could never sell the story of Georgia Tann as fiction. Imagine trying to peddle a novel about a butch lesbian—in Depression-era Memphis, of all places—with a taste for fine cars and fancy houses, who makes a fortune stealing children from poor folks and selling them to anyone anywhere with sufficient cash. This she-devil is assisted by dozens o…
 
The Russian cultural presence in Japan after the Meiji Revolution was immense. Indeed, Japanese cultural negotiations with Russian intellectuals and Russian literature, art, theology and political thought, formed an important basis for modern Japanese transnational intellectual, cultural, literary, and artistic production. And yet, despite the dept…
 
The Global Education Effect and Japan: Constructing New Borders and Identification Practices (Routledge, 2020) volume investigates the "global education effect"--the impact of global education initiatives on institutional and individual practices and perceptions--with a special focus on the dynamics of border-construction, recognition, subversion, …
 
Religion is at the heart of such ongoing political debates in Japan as the constitutionality of official government visits to Yasukuni Shrine, yet the very categories that frame these debates, namely religion and the secular, entered the Japanese language less than 150 years ago. To think of religion as a Western imposition, as something alien to J…
 
Bacc after over a year, this week Chad returns for a special two part episode where he and Evan, the 3rd Host review some awesomely bad movies!First up: American Psycho...2. That’s right, those mother fuckers made a sequel. And yep, it’s awesomely bad. We buried the lead but 🤷🏽‍♂️By True Stories Based On Fiction
 
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