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Past Present

Updated about 9 hours ago

News
History
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Past Present brings together three historians to discuss what's happening in American politics and culture today. Natalia, Neil, and Niki bring historical insights to the news of the day, offering listeners an alternative to the reflexive and polarized world of punditry. Interested in the world around you but exhausted by rote reactions and partisan talking points? You've come to the right place.

Read more

Past Present brings together three historians to discuss what's happening in American politics and culture today. Natalia, Neil, and Niki bring historical insights to the news of the day, offering listeners an alternative to the reflexive and polarized world of punditry. Interested in the world around you but exhausted by rote reactions and partisan talking points? You've come to the right place.

iTunes Ratings

330 Ratings
Average Ratings
277
35
7
2
9

Solid Podcast

By therealmichaelscarn - Apr 25 2019
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So refreshing to hear smart people talk about current events

Wonderful, timely

By thekentee - Apr 02 2019
Read more
Learn something every week!

iTunes Ratings

330 Ratings
Average Ratings
277
35
7
2
9

Solid Podcast

By therealmichaelscarn - Apr 25 2019
Read more
So refreshing to hear smart people talk about current events

Wonderful, timely

By thekentee - Apr 02 2019
Read more
Learn something every week!

Listen to:

Cover image of Past Present

Past Present

Updated about 9 hours ago

Read more

Past Present brings together three historians to discuss what's happening in American politics and culture today. Natalia, Neil, and Niki bring historical insights to the news of the day, offering listeners an alternative to the reflexive and polarized world of punditry. Interested in the world around you but exhausted by rote reactions and partisan talking points? You've come to the right place.

Episode 78: The Graham Rule, the Nuclear Option, and Pepsi Protesting

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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.

Apr 11 2017

58mins

Play

Episode 116: Homeschooling, Government Shutdowns, and Tide Pods

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In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the role of homeschooling in an abuse case in California, the recent government shutdown, and why people are eating Tide Pods on social media.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Jan 30 2018

54mins

Play

Episode 45: Veeps, Beach-Going, and the Olympic Doping Scandal

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On this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the changing role of the vice presidency, the history of beach-going, and the Russian doping scandal overshadowing the Rio Olympics.

Aug 02 2016

57mins

Play

Episode 41: Pat Summitt, Hellerstedt, and the Democratic Sit-In

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In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate the legacy of basketball coach Pat Summitt, the place of Women's Whole Health v. Hellerstedt in America's abortion debate, and the House Democrats' sit-in over gun control.

Jul 05 2016

56mins

Play

Episode 13: The Sharing Economy, Affirmative Action, and American Fascism

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On this week’s Past Present podcast, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the sharing economy, affirmative action, and whether Donald Trump is a fascist.

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

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

Dec 15 2015

53mins

Play

Episode 202: Elijah Cummings, Homelessness, and Amusement Parks

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In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the life and legacy of U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, the rising trend of homelessness, and a new documentary about a dangerous New Jersey amusement park.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Oct 29 2019

49mins

Play

Episode 201: Automation, Male Baldness, and Paula White

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In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the anxiety over automation, new treatments for male baldness, and the controversial Trump spiritual advisor Paula White.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Oct 22 2019

50mins

Play

Episode 61: Trump University, Pence and Hamilton, and Turkeys Gone Wild

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In this week's episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate the Trump University fraud settlement, Mike Pence's reception at Hamilton, and the wild turkey's distaste for the wild. 

Nov 29 2016

55mins

Play

Episode 80: Universal Basic Income, Scientific Racism, and Malls

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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. 

Apr 25 2017

57mins

Play

Episode 26: Merrick Garland, Misty Copeland, and Contested Conventions

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In this week's episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia debate Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Misty Copeland and the future of ballet, and the history of contested conventions. 

Mar 22 2016

44mins

Play

Episode 36: Trump's Tax Returns, Hiroshima, and High Heels

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In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the history of presidential candidates and tax returns, Obama's visit to Japan, and feminism and footwear. 

May 31 2016

50mins

Play

Episode 95: MS-13, R. Kelly, and Doctor Who

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In this week's episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil debate the place of MS-13 in the history of street gangs, R. Kelly's sex cult, and the controversy over the first woman actor to play Doctor Who.

Aug 08 2017

53mins

Play

Episode 146: Crafting, the 2008 Financial Crisis, and the Marshmallow Test

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In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the new reality show Making It, the 2008 financial collapse ten years later, and the death of Walter Mischel, the social psychologist who created the “marshmallow test.”

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Sep 18 2018

48mins

Play

Episode 43: Dallas, Conventions, and Vaccines

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In this week's episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate the police shooting in Dallas, the role of conventions in presidential politics, and the rise of anti-vaccine activism. 

Time stamps

Dallas: 4:13

Conventions: 19:33

Vaccines: 35:23

WMH: 46:36

Jul 19 2016

59mins

Play

Episode 23: Apple v. US, Michael Pollan, and Guantanamo Bay

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In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the government's attempt to hack the iPhone, Michael Pollan's new documentary "Cooked," and Obama's latest attempt to close Guantanamo Bay.

Mar 01 2016

44mins

Play

Episode 20: Clinton & Reconstruction, Curvy Barbie, and Bernie Sanders's (Un)Religion

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In this week's episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate Hillary Clinton's comments on Reconstruction, Mattel's release of a curvy Barbie doll, and Bernie Sanders's religious (non)affiliation.

Feb 09 2016

50mins

Play

Bonus Episode 2: Life Coaches

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On this week’s Past Present bonus episode, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss life coaches. 

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

  • Life coaching is big business these days, but there’s still some confusion about what life coaches actually do. Natalia drew from the sociologist Arlie Hochschild’s work on the outsourcing of intimate labor to argue that life coaches are often stand-ins for a reliable friend or professional mentor. Niki noted this was most visible in new services like “Rent-a-Mom.”
  • Niki cited Julie Golia’s research on the rise of advice columns as a helpful way for understanding life coaches. Like Golia’s advice columnists, life coaches fulfill and professionalize social functions that once played out in close-knit communities. Neil noted that in a “Bowling Alone” era, life coaches provided an individualized experience of professional authority within a larger culture of community breakdown and anti-institutional sentiments.
  • Natalia recommended Susan Faludi’s Stiffed for thinking more about the gendered politics of self-help and Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided for a critical take on the life coaching industry. 

Dec 29 2015

15mins

Play

Episode 72: Milo & CPAC, Professor Politics, and Momastery

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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.

Feb 28 2017

56mins

Play

Episode 90: Coconut Oil, Genetic Testing, and Porn

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In this week's episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil debate the American Heart Association's denunciation of coconut oil, the growing use of genetic testing for genealogy, and the history of porn. 

Jul 04 2017

58mins

Play

Episode 58: Standing Rock, the FBI, and Political Pundits

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In this week's episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil debate the standoff at Standing Rock, the political role of the FBI, and the role of political pundits.

Nov 08 2016

54mins

Play

Episode 207: Virginity Tests, International Achievement Tests, and the End of the 2010s

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In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss virginity tests, international achievement tests, and the end of the 2010s.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Dec 10 2019

49mins

Play

Episode 206: War Crimes, Controversial Food Takes, and Indigenous Land Acknowledgments

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In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss President Trump’s pardons of war criminals, controversial opinions about food, and the practice of indigenous land acknowledgments.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Dec 03 2019

50mins

Play

Episode 205: Pete Buttigieg, Groypers, and Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary

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In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the political ascent of Pete Buttigieg, infighting within the far right, and the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Nov 26 2019

52mins

Play

Episode 204: LIVE! With Emily Bazelon, Author of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration

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In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki interviewed Emily Bazelon about her new book, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

Nov 19 2019

44mins

Play

Episode 203: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Rep. Katie Hill, and Booing

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In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the assassination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the scandal over Representative Katie Hill, and the booing of President Trump at a baseball game.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Nov 05 2019

48mins

Play

Episode 202: Elijah Cummings, Homelessness, and Amusement Parks

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In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the life and legacy of U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, the rising trend of homelessness, and a new documentary about a dangerous New Jersey amusement park.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Oct 29 2019

49mins

Play

Episode 201: Automation, Male Baldness, and Paula White

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In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the anxiety over automation, new treatments for male baldness, and the controversial Trump spiritual advisor Paula White.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Oct 22 2019

50mins

Play

Episode 200: Rudy Giuliani, Greta Thunberg, and Vaping

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In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss Rudy Giuliani’s political career, the climate activist Greta Thunberg, and the controversy over vaping.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Oct 15 2019

50mins

Play

Episode 199: Whistleblowers, Church Arsons, and Co-Working Spaces

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In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the role of whistleblowers in American politics, the recent string of church arsons, and the trend of co-working spaces.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Oct 08 2019

49mins

Play

Episode 198: Ukraine, Declining Bird Populations, and Luxury Parking

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In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss Ukraine’s connection to the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, the declining bird population of North America, and the high price of parking spaces in New York City.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Oct 01 2019

54mins

Play

Episode 197: Shane Gillis and Saturday Night Live, Saudi Arabia, and Telephone Calls

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In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss anti-Asian comments by comedian Shane Gillis, an attack in Saudi Arabia, and the not-so-lost art of the telephone call.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Sep 24 2019

46mins

Play

Episode 196: FBI on College Campuses, John Bolton, and Technology and Women's Voices

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In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss government surveillance of American universities, the political career of John Bolton, and the technological and cultural reasons women’s voices are often insulted as “shrill.”

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Sep 17 2019

47mins

Play

Episode 195: Franco Columbu, Kamala Harris, NYC's Gifted and Talented Program

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In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the legacy of late bodybuilder Franco Columbu, the candidacy of Kamala Harris, and a proposal to eliminate selective testing for New York City public high schools.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Sep 10 2019

51mins

Play

Episode 194: David Koch, Bedbugs, and Breaking Up

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In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the legacy of late billionaire David Koch, the menace of bedbugs, and why so many people are choosing to remain friends after a breakup.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Sep 03 2019

46mins

Play

Episode 193: Twins, the Equinox Boycott, and "The Hunt"

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In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss social media “twinfluencers,” a boycott of fitness brands Equinox and SoulCycle, and the controversy over the film The Hunt.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Aug 20 2019

47mins

Play

Episode 192: Anti-Latino Nativism, Ronald Reagan, and Sound Baths

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In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the history of anti-Latino nativism, newly discovered racist comments by Ronald Reagan, and the growing popularity of sound baths.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Aug 13 2019

46mins

Play

Episode 191: Baltimore, Marianne Williamson, and a National Service Requirement

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In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss President Trump’s insults to Baltimore, the presidential candidacy of self-help guru Marianne Williamson, and a proposal for a national service requirement.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Aug 06 2019

51mins

Play

Episode 190: Boris Johnson, Purity Culture, and Spaying and Neutering Dogs

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In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the death knell of “purity culture,” and new controversy over spaying and neutering dogs.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Jul 30 2019

51mins

Play

Episode 189: The Moon Landing's 50th Anniversary, "Go Back to Where You Came From," and Air Conditioning

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In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the history of telling immigrants and minorities to “go back” to where they came from, and whether or not air conditioning is sexist.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Jul 23 2019

51mins

Play

Episode 188: Women's World Cup, Ross Perot, and Jeffrey Epstein

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In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the Women’s World Cup, the life and legacy of Ross Perot, and the case against Jeffrey Epstein.

Support Past Present on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/pastpresentpodcast

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

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

Jul 16 2019

52mins

Play