Nerds Cast

Podcasts made by University of York students

Welcome to the part of the site where University of York history undergraduates post podcasts for school history students. In this section you will find links to sound files. You will also find transcripts and ideas for places to go to find out more. Each podcast is designed to complement a topic that is often taught in school and is designed to develop your knowledge and thinking further.

More information!

Welcome to the History Nerds podcasts! We are second year students at the University of York, and we have created these podcasts with the aim to inspire the next generation of history enthusiasts to pursue their interests, and show that history is more than just what is presented in the school curriculum. We are individuals who love history, either doing history at degree level or studying history and learning about the past as a hobby, and hope that this comes across in these podcasts..

Each podcast episode deals with a different topic and period of history.

Our first podcast, on the Tudor and Stuart period, focuses on art and literature as a means of exploring the power of the monarchy. We look at contemporary and modern sources to help illustrate how mediums such as the fashion of the time period were a source of propaganda for the royal houses of the Tudors and Stuarts. On top of this we examine the exploration of the so-called “New World” which was an emerging power for the monarchy, as well as international perspectives of the English royalty, more specifically Anglo-Spanish and Anglo-Dutch relations at a turning point of colonialism within these Empires. Later on in this episode we also discuss some academic arguments regarding colonialism during the Tudor and Stuart period, as well as fashion with some contemporary sources for the listeners to explore.

Our second podcast takes a look at the development of film in Germany and Russia between the first and second world wars. We explore how these countries both experienced ‘golden ages’ of cinema in the 1920s, before the artistic freedom of the cinema was crushed by the totalitarian impulses of the Nazi and Soviet regimes. Throughout the episode we address important questions, such as can propaganda be art? And how do historical developments shape the film industry? Our podcast does not provide definitive answers to these questions. Rather, we encourage listeners to explore these questions for themselves.

Our third podcast focuses on the Vietnam War, along with America’s role, and the Chinese Communist regime under Mao Zedong in the twentieth century as a backdrop for an exploration of two women - Jane Fonda and Jung Chang - who have made a significant contribution to the way that these areas of history are written about and studied, highlighting the need for female narratives to be included in the wider historiography. It also features an interview with Jon Howllet, a lecturer in modern Asian studies at the University of York and specialises in the Chinese communist regime, which intends to see how historians look at this area of history.

These podcasts can be listened to in order, as well as treated as individual enquiries about each topic. These resources can be used as teaching materials in a classroom setting by providing another side to history that is not touched on by the syllabus. We have provided supplementary materials that make a great exercise for the classroom setting. Alternatively, they have also been designed for individual students who wish to broaden their historical knowledge beyond the classroom walls.

We hope that you find the podcasts as interesting and thought provoking to listen to as we did to create, and that they show you just how fun history can be!