History Talk from Origins

Leticia Wiggins and Patrick Potyondy

Smart conversations about today’s most interesting topics - a history podcast for everyone, produced by Ohio State's Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective.

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Origins Podcast
10:22 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Two Popes and a Primate: The Changing Face of Global Christianity

As three Christian Churches recently elected new leaders, they confront a world in which global Christianity may be poised for the third major reorganization of its history. Here, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis in March 2013.

While the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to head the Roman Catholic Church as Pope Francis received widespread international attention, in fact the last six months have seen the elevation of three Christian clerics to fill the top position in their respective churches. This month historian David Brakke examines the different processes involved in electing these figures and explains how the Christian world came to have two popes and a primate in the first place.

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Origins Podcast
10:16 am
Mon April 15, 2013

A New World Order? Africa and China

Modern relations between Africa and China commenced during the 1950s. This Cold War-era poster carries the slogan "Chairman Mao is the great savior of the revolutionary peoples of the world" and an illustration of African freedom fighters reading a copy of Mao's little book of quotations.

For many Americans, the “rise” of China over the past two decades is primarily measured in economic terms and is seen by many as an economic threat. For many Africans, however, the rise of China has meant investments, loans, and an alternative path to economic development than the one offered by Western institutions. This month historian Ousman Murzik Kobo looks at the long-term relationship between China and Africa, examines its origins in the Cold War, and questions whether these ties with China are good for Africa or simply another form of colonialism

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Origins Podcast
10:49 am
Fri March 15, 2013

The Human Use of Human Beings: A Brief History of Suicide Bombing

Hamas claimed responsibility for this 1996 suicide bombing in Jerusalem that killed 26 Israelis in addition to the Palestinian bomber. The phenomenon of suicide bombing remains poorly understood by most Americans.

Since the attack on the World Trade Center in on September 11, 2001 the world has grown accustomed to reports of "suicide bombers." They are often portrayed as deluded or crazed, and they hold an almost lurid fascination for their willingness to kill themselves while killing others. This month, historian Jeffrey William Lewis puts what many of us see as a recent phenomenon in a longer historical perspective.

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Origins Podcast
2:13 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Who Owns the Nile? Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia’s History-Changing Dam

A rendering of the Grand Renaissance Dam under construction in Ethiopia on the Blue Nile. Its completion is expected to profoundly change the allocation of water resources in Africa.

Egypt and Sudan are utterly dependent on the waters of the Nile River. Over the past century both of these desert countries have built several dams and reservoirs, hoping to limit the ravages of droughts and floods which have so defined their histories.

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Origins Podcast
10:35 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Should Age Matter? How 65 Came to Be Old and Old Came to Be Ill

In 1942, when this photograph of an elderly Mennonite couple was shot in Pennsylvania, science and medicine were transforming the idea of old age by extending life expectancies and curing chronic disease.
Credit U.S. government photographer Marjory Collins

Baby boomers, 78 million strong, are turning 65 at a rate of 4 million per year. The press, the government, and the medical community claim, often and loudly, that these numbers augur a mass dependency crisis. Such spokesmen envision a world of decrepit elders afflicted with chronic disease slurping their way through the country’s resources. This month historian Tamara Mann explores how, in the United States, the so-called “geriatric crisis” is less related to age itself than to the relationship between old age and government funds, particularly Medicare.

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