Listening to Women’s History

Back in 2015, I wrote my first blog post about history podcasts. I had recently become a podcast fan. I had found podcasts I loved about the craft and business of writing, with an occasional side trip into popular culture.* By comparison, the world of history podcasts was a barren wasteland.

That’s changed. And one reason it has changed is the people, mostly women, who podcast about women’s history. I introduced you The Exploress podcast  yesterday. Today I’d like to introduce you to a few more of my favorite by and/or about women. All of these are in regular rotation on my laptop during the dinner cooking hour and other times when I am doing things that require my hands and eyes but only a small part of my brain:

The What’s Her Name Podcast: Hosted and produced by academic sisters Dr. Katie Nelson and Olivia Meikle, Committed to reclaiming forgotten history, What’s Her Name tells the stories of fascinating women you’ve never heard of (but should have). Through compelling interviews with guest historians, writers, and scholars,*** Olivia and Katie bring to life the “lost” women of history. (The hosts were part of last year’s women’s History series. You can read their interview here.)

The Dead Ladies Show: If I ever make it to Berlin, going to a live performance of the Dead Ladies Show is on my list. (This would take careful planning because they happen about every two months on an irregular schedule.) Covering all walks of life – from ancient mathematicians to silent-movie stars to record-breaking athletes – the Dead Ladies Show is all about women who achieved great things against all odds. (In other words, some of my favorite people) Luckily for me, the producers use footage from the live shows to create podcasts.

Unsung Sluts:  Stacie Rasmussen and Tabitha Davis take a humorous and irreverent approach to feminism as they talk about lesser-known women in history. (If you object to raw language, you may find this one rough going.)

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls : This is the PG podcast to balance out Unsung Sluts: tough issues but no rough language. The show is based on Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, the best selling book series designed to help girls (little and all grown-up) to dream big.

Dolly Parton’s America : Not strictly a history podcast, or even a women’s history podcast, Dolly Parton’s America a deeply personal, historical, and musical rethinking of one of America’s great icons in nine episodes. Come to think of it, this is a women’s history podcast dang it. Just one with a very specific lens.

A lagniappe: The Year That Was looks at history one year at a time, from as many angles as possible. The podcast is currently focused on 1919, and it is consistently fascinating. This is not a women’s history podcast, but Elizabeth Lunday gets better with each episode. It would be a shame to miss it.

What are you listening to?

*Many of which are now gone, alas. Five years is an eternity in podcast years. Ultimately, podcasts, like blogs, are a labor of love. They are hard work and expensive to produce. At some point people run out of energy, money or ideas. If there is a podcast you love, find a way to support it. Even if it’s just leaving a review, sharing their tweets, or sending them a fan e-mail.**
**This is not a hint. Though I do love hearing from y’all.
***WARNING: Blatant Self-Promotion Ahead: I was a guest on their show, talking about Zenobia, the Syrian queen who conquered a big bite out of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century CE. Here’s the link if you’re interested: The Warrior.

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