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15 Minute History

15 Minute History is a history podcast 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.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 meant to be a resource for both teachers and students, and can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in history.For more information and to hear our complete back catalog of episodes, visit our website!Texas Podcast Network is brought to you by The University of Texas at Austin. Podcasts are produced by faculty members and staffers at UT Austin who work with University Communications to craft content that adheres to journalistic best practices. The University of Texas at Austin offers these podcasts at no charge. Podcasts appearing on the network and this webpage represent the views of the hosts, not of The University of Texas at Austin.

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Episode 136: Afro-Indigenous Histories of the US

Afro-Indigenous histories are central to the history of the United States, tribal sovereignty, and civil rights. Today, Dr. Kyle Mays (Saginaw Chippewa) author of An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States and Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America, discusses the intersections of Black and Indigenous history through the lens of individuals whose lives existed at those intersections.


9 Feb 2022

Rank #1

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Episode 135: Connected Histories of Cuba and the United States

While the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War are important aspects of the United States and Cuba's shared history, they are not the only elements the two share. According to today's guest and author of Cuba: An American History, Professor Ada Ferrer, there are the centuries of interconnected history between Cuba and the US.


26 Jan 2022

Rank #2

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Episode 134: Austin’s Black History

To kick off the new season of 15 Minute History, we sit down with Dr. Javier Wallace, founder and guide of Black Austin Tours. While those familiar with Austin know the George Washington Carver Museum as well as historically Black East Austin, Dr. Wallace unpacks other hidden, and not-so-hidden elements of Black history in the Texas capital. Learn more about Black Austin Tours at https://blackaustintours.com/ and follow them on social media at BlackAustinTours.


18 Nov 2021

Rank #3

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Episode 133: The 1844 Philadelphia Riots

In 1844, Philadelphia, a hub for Irish immigration to the United States, witnessed a series of violent Nativist riots that targeted Irish Americans and Roman Catholic churches. In our season finale, Zachary Schrag discusses the events leading up to the Philadelphia Nativists Riots of 1844, who was there, and how it fits into the broader history of the century. Professor Schrag's most recent book, The Fires of Philadelphia: Citizen-Soldiers, Nativists, and the 1844 Riots Over the Soul of a Nation (Pegasus Books, June 2021) is an account of the moment one of America's founding cities turned on itself, giving the nation a preview of the Civil War to come. In the aftermath, the public debated both the militia’s use of force and the actions of the mob. Some of the most prominent nativists continued their rise to political power for a time, even reaching Congress, but they did not attempt to stoke mob violence again. This episode of 15 Minute History was mixed and mastered by Harper Carlton, Amanda Willis, and Will Kurzner.

26 May 2021

Rank #4

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Episode 132: History of the Second Ku Klux Klan

Historians argue that several versions of the group known as the Ku Klux Klan or KKK have existed since its inception after the Civil War. But, what makes the Klan of the 1920s different from the others? Linda Gordon, the winner of two Bancroft Prizes and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, writes in The Second Coming of the KKK The Ku Klux Klan: of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition that the KKK of the 1920s expanded its mission to include anti-Black racism, anti-Catholicism, and anti-Semitism, electing legislators and representatives in government, and were hyper-visible. "By legitimizing and intensifying bigotry, and insisting that only white Protestants could be "true Americans," a revived and mainstream Klan in the 1920s left a troubling legacy that demands a reexamination today." With more than a million members at its peak, the Second coming of the KKK was expansive, to say the least. Resources: The Second Coming of the KKK The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition by Linda Gordon (2017) This episode of 15 Minute History was mixed and mastered by Alejandra Arrazola, Karoline Pfeil, and Morgan Honaker.

28 Apr 2021

Rank #5

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Episode 131: Climate and Environmental History in Context

How do historians teach Environmental History in an age where climate catastrophe fills the headlines? Megan Raby and Erika Bsumek, both History Professors and Environmental Historians discuss what drew them to the field, how they talk about environmental history with their students, and the 2021 Institute for Historical Studies Conference, "Climate in Context: Historical Precedents and the Unprecedented" (April 22-23). "Among many other questions, the conference will ask: Can history offer an alternative to visions of the future that appear to be determined by prevailing climate models, and help provide us with new ways of understanding human agency?" Mentioned in today's episode: Institute for Historical Studies (https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/historicalstudies/) "Annual Conference examines climate crisis through lens of historical scholarship, culminates year-long discussion on "Climate in Context" theme" (https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/historicalstudies/news/annual-conference-examines-climate-crisis-through-lens-of-historical-scholarship-culminates-year-long-discussion-on-climate-in-context-theme) Radical Hope Syllabus (http://radicalhopesyllabus.com/) This episode of 15 Minute History was mixed and mastered by Alejandra Arrazola and Will Kurzner.

21 Apr 2021

Rank #6

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Episode 130: Black Reconstruction in Indian Territory

Nineteenth-Century Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma) was home to a wide array of groups including Native American Nations, enslaved Indian Freed-people, African Americans, White settlers, and others. In a conversation on Black Reconstruction in Indian Territory, Alaina Roberts discusses what Reconstruction might have meant for Black people in what is now called Oklahoma in the years immediately following the Civil War, and why it should be included in broader conversations about Reconstruction. Roberts' new book, I’ve Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021), ties African American and Native American history tightly together, revealing a western theatre of Civil War and Reconstruction in which Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians, their Black slaves, and African Americans and whites from the eastern United States fought military and rhetorical battles to lay claim to land in Indian Territory that had been taken from others. Resources: I've Been Here All the While Black Freedom on Native Land by Alaina E. Roberts https://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/16221.html "A Native American Tribe In Oklahoma Denied Black Citizens COVID-19 Vaccines And Financial Relief" by Joseph Lee (Buzzfeed News-https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/josephvlee/seminole-oklahoma-black-freedmen-vaccines ) "A timeline for Cherokee Freedmen" (The Cherokee Phoenix- https://www.cherokeephoenix.org/news/a-timeline-for-cherokee-freedmen/article_b22ddd23-1dfc-5da3-8258-b12ab7e010e7.html) This episode of 15 Minute History was mixed and mastered by Ean Herrera and Will Kurzner.

14 Apr 2021

Rank #7

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Episode 129: Slavery in the West

In the antebellum years, freedom and unfreedom often overlapped, even in states that were presumed "free states." According to a new book by Kevin Waite, this was in part because the reach of the Slave South extended beyond the traditional South into newly admitted free and slave states. States like California found their legislatures filled with former Southerners who hoped to see California and others align with their politics. "They pursued that vision through diplomacy, migration, and armed conquest. By the late 1850s, slaveholders and their allies had transformed the southwestern quarter of the nation – California, New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of Utah – into a political client of the plantation states." But it didn't end there. The "continental South" as Waite calls it, had visions of extending into Central and South America as well as the Pacific. In West of Slavery, Waite "brings to light what contemporaries recognized but historians have described only in part: The struggle over slavery played out on a transcontinental stage."   West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire By Kevin Waite (https://uncpress.org/book/9781469663197/west-of-slavery/) California Bound: Slavery on the New Frontier, 1848–1865 September 26, 2018 - April 28, 2019 curated by: Tyree Boyd-Pates, History Curator and Program Manager, and Taylor Bythewood-Porter, Assistant History Curator (https://caamuseum.org/exhibitions/2018/california-bound-slavery-on-the-new-frontier-18481865)

7 Apr 2021

Rank #8

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Episode 128: The Racial Geography Tour at U.T. Austin

For almost two decades, Edmund (Ted) Gordon has been leading tours of UT Austin that show how racism, patriarchy, and politics are baked into the landscape and architecture of the campus.  According to the now digitized tour's website, "What began as lectures about UT’s Black history turned into a more sustained research project about the broader racial history of the University—an approach less taken. Controversies around the Confederate statues that once lined UT’s iconic South Mall were key sites to explore the intersection of the physical and geographical campus with its racial history. This physical articulation became a framework for examining other parts of UT’s campus and history and thus, the impetus for the public history provided in the walking tour." Today, in a special episode recorded in April 2019, founding host, Professor Joan Neuberger and Professor Gordon discuss the history of the racial geography tour at UT Austin, the history of campus landmarks, and even the origins of the Eyes of Texas song. Learn more at racialgeographytour.org/ or read an illustrated transcript of this conversation at notevenpast.org/the-racial-geography-tour-at-ut-austin/

31 Mar 2021

Rank #9

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Episode 127: History of the U.S.-Mexico Border Region

In recent years, conversations about the US-Mexico border have centered around the border wall. However, according to today’s guest, C.J. Alvarez, the wall is one of many construction projects that have occurred in the border region in the last 30 years. "From the boundary surveys of the 1850s to the ever-expanding fences and highway networks of the twenty-first century, Border Land, Border Water examines the history of the construction projects that have shaped the region where the United States and Mexico meet." Resources: Border Land, Border Water: A History of Construction on the US-Mexico Divide.C.J. Alvarez. (University of Texas Press, 2019.) "Border Land, Border Water: A History of Construction on the U.S.-Mexico Divide by C.J. Alvarez (2019) Reviewed” by Alejandra C. Garza. Not Even Past, 2020.

24 Mar 2021

Rank #10