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Histories of the Unexpected

History Podcasts

Histories of the Unexpected explores the past in ways that you never dreamt possible. Surely there’s nothing unexpected about the past? About History? Aha, well Histories of the Unexpected adopts a new approach to exploring our past. Gone is the traditional linear plotting of battles, monarchs and political movements. Histories of the Unexpected argues that everything has a history, even the most unexpected of subjects. Like SLIME. Or COURAGE. or APPLAUSE.... Presented by Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell.

Histories of the Unexpected explores the past in ways that you never dreamt possible. Surely there’s nothing unexpected about the past? About History? Aha, well Histories of the Unexpected adopts a new approach to exploring our past. Gone is the traditional linear plotting of battles, monarchs and political movements. Histories of the Unexpected argues that everything has a history, even the most unexpected of subjects. Like SLIME. Or COURAGE. or APPLAUSE.... Presented by Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell.

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

Histories of the Unexpected explores the past in ways that you never dreamt possible. Surely there’s nothing unexpected about the past? About History? Aha, well Histories of the Unexpected adopts a new approach to exploring our past. Gone is the traditional linear plotting of battles, monarchs and political movements. Histories of the Unexpected argues that everything has a history, even the most unexpected of subjects. Like SLIME. Or COURAGE. or APPLAUSE.... Presented by Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell.

Language:

English


Episodes

Snakes!

2/18/2021
In this latest episode, the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, slither into the archives to capture the unexpected history of SNAKES! Which is all about fear and phobia, mythology (via Medusa, St Patrick, Jormungand, the Viking sea serpent and many more); it's also all about dreams and the US civil war, the Hopi Snake Dance, weaponizing venom for military uses, and also the invention of anti-venom. Who knew! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:36:57

Hugs!

2/13/2021
In this latest episode, the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, get all feel good and investigate the unexpected history of HUGS! Which is all about the science and psychology of hugging, babies and upbringing, greetings and the gendering of hugs, US Presidents and the politics of hugging; it's also all about free hugs, tree hugging and the Khejarli Massacre in September 1730. Who knew! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:31:17

Tongues!

2/8/2021
In this latest episode, the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, investigate the fascinating unexpected history of TONGUES! Which is all about licking earthenware and the tongue as an important archaeological tool, Mary Bateman and tongue collecting, the removal of tongues, it's also all about tongue twisters and the history of elocution, and the cultural politics of sticking out tongues, as a greeting, an act of aggression or rudeness, or even a gesture of flirtation. Who knew! See...

Duration:00:34:55

Ladders!

2/6/2021
In this latest episode, the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, climb the rungs of the past to reach the unexpected history of LADDERS! Which is all about prehistoric cave art, the Crusades and the capture of Constantinople in 1204 (using flying ladders), lamp lighters in eighteenth-century Dublin; it's about accidents and superstition (falling off and walking under ladders); and it's about Ancient and medieval sieges, a attacking fortified castles with ladders; and of course it's all about the...

Duration:00:39:45

Meetings!

2/5/2021
In this latest episode, the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, wade their way through the paperwork and bureaucracy of the past to action the unexpected history of MEETINGS! Which is all about campus novels of the twentieth century, state sponsored sabotage by the CIA's precursor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the history of secret meetings and the Ku Klux Klan, Nelson and naval warfare and the court of Elizabeth I. Who knew! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:40:56

Cheese!

2/3/2021
In this episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, stir the whey of history as they unwrap the unexpected history of CHEESE! Which is all about Samuel Pepys and the Great Fire of London of 1666, witches and magic (via fortune telling, love potions and malevolent acts with cheese!), Homer's Odyssey and a cheese-making cyclops, the Flemings, ethnic cleansing in the Middle Ages, the Peasants' Revolt in 1381 and lost knowledge! Who knew! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and...

Duration:00:35:50

Uncles: Homeschooling the Reign of Edward VI

2/2/2021
In this Homeschooling History episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, explore the fascinating history of UNCLES. From discussions of the Richard III and the Princes in the Tower to seventeenth-century kinship networks in the diary of Samuel Pepys and the personification of the US state in the figure of Uncle Sam, James and Sam rampage around history of uncles before settling on the fascinating history of the reign of Edward VI (1537-1553), who ascended to the throne of...

Duration:00:31:20

Falcons!

1/31/2021
In this BONUS episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, tackle the expected history of FALCONS! Which is all about medieval and Tudor society, from Kings to knaves via The Book of Hawking, Hunting, and Blasing of Arms; it's also all about Barry Hines' 1968 novel, A Kestrel for a Knave, and it includes a SPECIAL INTERVIEW with Paul Manning, the falconer at Beaulieu, the first official falconer at the house from three centuries! This is living history - and the role of the...

Duration:00:35:02

Birds: The Return Flight

1/30/2021
In this BONUS episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, once again take to the skies to swoop upon the expected history of BIRDS! Which in this episode is all about it's also all about homing pigeons in WWI and WWII, the Dickin Medal and honouring of animals during the Second World War, including super pigeon hero William of Orange. It's also all about Viking culture, which fluttered with birds from the evidence of osteoarchaeology (the study of animal bones from...

Duration:00:28:58

Birds!

1/29/2021
In this episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, take to the skies to swoop upon the expected history of BIRDS! Which is all about the Battle of Waterloo and plumed helmets, costume feathers, hats, the American Ornithologists Union and cruelty to birds; it's also all about canary resuscitators, John Scott Haldane and the use of canaries down mines and in the trenches during the First World War. Who knew! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:31:57

Bathtubs! Homeschooling Prohibition in the USA!

1/28/2021
In this Homeschooling History episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, explore the fascinating history of BATHTUBS!. From discussions of the 'eureka' moment of Archimedes in Ancient Greece and the discovery of displacement and bathtubs in ships to H.L. Mencken's fictitious tales of bathtubs in the White House, Sam and James rampage around history of bathtubs before settling on the fascinating history of Prohibition in the1920 and 1930s in the USA until it was ended by...

Duration:00:41:09

LEAVING HOME!: Homeschooling the Viking Invasions!

1/27/2021
In this Homeschooling History episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, explore the fascinating history of LEAVING HOME. From discussions of seventeenth-century boys leaving home to attend school and university (and letters home to mothers), going off to war and travelling around the world to the exact opposite, staying at home, lockdown and being under house arrest, Sam and James rampage around history of leaving home before settling on the fascinating history of the...

Duration:00:32:16

HACKING!: Homeschooling Codebreakers and WW2

1/25/2021
In this Homeschooling History episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, fathom the mind-numbingly difficult history of HACKING. From Guglielmo Marconi and magician and inventor Nevil Maskelyne, the history of Rene Carmille, who in 1943 was the first ethical hacker for sabotaging the computerization of data about French Jews during World War II to Joe "Joybubbles" Engressia, a blind 7-year-old boy with perfect pitch who was able to hack AT&T's telephonic system in 1957, Sam...

Duration:00:34:07

BLING!: Homeschooling Stuart Costume

1/21/2021
In this Homeschooling History episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, investigate the flamboyant history of BLING. From the history of opulence, luxury and ostentation via subjects as wide-ranging as HIP HOP and the Palace of Versailles, Sam and James rampage around history of bling before settling on the fascinating history of Stuart clothing. It starts by looking at Samuel Pepys's diary and his attitudes to clothing, before considering Tudor Sumptuary laws in the...

Duration:00:38:41

Micro-Histories 5: Fun!

1/20/2021
This is fifth episode in our new micro history series - where we take an historic subject and try to demonstrate how it has a history in just 15-20 minutes!! And without just talking at supersonic speed. Think of it as the historicaI equivalent of speed chess or speed dating. In this fifth foray into historical brevity the histories of the unexpected duo of James Daybell and Sam Willis tackle the intriguing subject of FUN, which is inspired by their book on the VIKINGS. Taking that as their...

Duration:00:24:40

Rats!: Homeschooling the Black Death

1/18/2021
In this Homeschooling History episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, investigate the unnerving history of Rats. From the history of infestation, pets, the medieval tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin and the honoured position of rats in eastern culture, Sam and James rampage around history of rats before settling on the fascinating history of the Black Death. It looks at the three different forms of plague (Bubonic, Pneumonic and Septisemic) and their symptoms, before...

Duration:00:34:44

Shopping 2! Back for more bargains!

1/17/2021
In this special BONUS episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, return to the high street of history and navigate their way around the boutiques and emporia of the historical archives to rampage once again like a bull in a china shop for more frenzied discussion of the expected history of SHOPPING! Which is all about early modern gloves, his and hers consumption, sixteenth-century Italianate gentlemen, it's about proxy shopping, the haptic experience of retail, and the...

Duration:00:27:38

SLUDGE: Homeschooling the Trenches and WWI!!

1/15/2021
In this Homeschooling History episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, investigate the fascinating history of Sludge. From the history of travel, festivals and Saxon house-building, Sam and James rampage around history of sludge before settling on the fascinating history of the trenches in WWI. It looks at the failure of the Schlieffen Plan August-September 1914, the digging of trenches and the creation of the Western Front, the nature of trench warfare and life in the...

Duration:00:33:00

Shopping!

1/15/2021
In this episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, hit the streets, and leisurely consider the expected history of SHOPPING! Which is all about ancient street vendors in Pompeii, peddlars, William Shakespeare's character Autolycus and The Winter's Tale, trade cards and the material culture of retail, extravagance and would you believe it.....early modern gloves! Who knew! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:31:32

Hitler and the Third Reich

1/13/2021
In this episode, the Histories of the Unexpected duo, James and Sam, investigate the unexpected history of Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party, and the Third Reich in Germany. After a rampage around the history of the Führer and Nazi Germany, Sam interviews leading expert on Hitler and the Third Reich, the wonderful Professor Frank McDonough, about his new book, The Hitler Years, Volume 2: Disaster 1940-1945 (2020). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:51:38