Jul 31, 2016

Insanity on Trial

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The criminal culpability of people with mental illness has long been hotly debated. Recently, the "insanity defense" has received particular scrutiny as John W. Hinckley, who shot President Ronald Reagan and members of his staff in 1981, has been released from the inpatient mental facility where he has lived since 1982. Many, including Reagan's family members, think the insanity defense Hinckley used allowed him to get off without facing the consequences of his actions. This got us wondering: where did the insanity defense come from? Join Marissa, Sarah and Averill as they talk about crime, mental illness, and the law.

Jul 24, 2016

The Travels of Cabeza de Vaca

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Join Averill and Sarah this week as they trace the journeys of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, an early Spanish explorer to the southern United States. His writings leave us with a rich picture of his travels, one that complicates the ruthless picture of the Spanish conquistadores that many of us have previously learned.  

Jul 17, 2016

Jack of All Trades: Frederick Law Olmsted

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Frederick Law Olmsted is most well known for being the father of American landscape architecture, but he was also something of a jack-of-all-trades: a sailor, farmer, abolitionist, writer, reformer, public health worker, and conservationist. Join Elizabeth and Dan as they chat about Olmsted's fascinating life and work!

Jul 10, 2016

American Accents

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When you produce a podcast, you become hyper-aware of the ways that your fellow hosts speak - those nasally "a" sounds and dropped t's and g's really stand out when you're editing. Where did American accents come from? Dan, Sarah, and Marissa talk about the history of North American accents. (We apologize in advance for our terrible impressions!)

Jul 3, 2016

ASGA: Utopianisms

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Seas of lemonade, four simultaneous lovers for every woman, and perfectly formulated communities of 810 men and 810 women. Charles Fourier was an idealist, who believed Perfect Harmony could be achieved, if only we better engineered our society. Join Averill, Sarah, and Marissa as they discuss the utopian movements of the 19th century in the U.S., the final installment of our American Second Great Awakening series.