My 2020 History Chicks Podcast Binge

I picked a new binge project for 2020 – listening to all of the ‘History Chicks’ podcasts episodes.

This is for multiple purposes. First, it is obviously educational and enriching. Second, I’ve been tasked by my therapist to incorporate a new distraction tool into my daily life. Listening to a podcast in the car is perfect because my mind is split between driving and listening. Listening at home requires more active work. If I do something else, like surf the net, I lose track of the show. If I eat or fold clothes or do something monotonous like organize my online photos, that’s good. Luckily, I can just carry my phone around the house with me as I listen and take care of business. 

Long time readers know that I love history, especially that of real people. I have a blog series on my 2x great grandmas, for example. The #AMPLIFY archive is a curated history of modern day LGBTQ experiences. 

The History Chicks podcast aims to introduce us to female characters in history, factual or fictional via the podcast and shownotes. They launched in 2011 and currently have about 150 podcasts of varying lenths – this link shows you the subjects in their actual lived chronological order and it is an impressive span of time. The co-hosts are Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider. 

I’ve listened to them here and there, flipping around to find episodes that caught my attention or fit the moment. So plowing through chronologically seems like an organized way to make sure I haven’t missed anyone. 

My plan is to listen to the podcast (once or twice) and read through the show notes material where the hosts include links, images, videos, suggested further reading, etc. That’s how I found myself sitting at a Bob Evans yesterday afternoon eating lunch and reading a fascinating 2009 piece from The New Yorker about the Wilder Women. I realize I’ll probably need to bring my tablet along more often for easier reading of very long articles. 

I started at the beginning with Marie Antoinette and Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’ll post my log notes on those episodes very soon. I enjoyed both podcasts quite a bit, learned a lot, found myself surprised, and hope I can keep it up for the entire year. 

Several podcasts have been updated, but I am going to continue in the order in which they were posted to keep things simple. 

Who would I like to hear them profile? I have a few suggestions:

  • Female legacy characters from soap operas. There are so many to nominate, but the stories and the impact on the mid to late 20th century America is significant. So I’d suggest one female from each of the four soaps still on the air or simply a range of characters. The character of Robin Scorpio Drake grew up on-screen and has had many soapy stories. Dr. Marlena Evans has a long history and lots of infamous storylines as well as entanglements in show’s legacy. 
  • Francie Nolan from the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Dorothea Lange
  • Bertha Antoinetta Mason Rochester from Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea to examine women who play minor roles in other women’s stories, but deserve an intersectional approach
  • I’ll add to the list as I go … 

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