My apologies to fans and followers of the Hour of History Podcast, who have undoubtedly noticed its absence for the last few months. A temporary reorganization and hiatus from the podcast was necessary after a great run of new content that dated back to the podcast’s origins in 2017.
This year, 2020, has been a challenging one for most people. For some, challenging is an understatement of the suffering, death, insecurity, and conflict they have faced in the past twelve months. I’ve outlined some of the changes that took place in the past year that led to the podcast hiatus below. I will blog on each issue in greater detail in the future. But first, here are a few words of thanks for those who helped with the podcast.
The podcast would not have been possible without the talented web-developer and good friend, James Auble. I hope you will check out his work and keep an eye on his future projects, which show great promise. James was the technological brains behind the operation and frequently sparked innovation with smart ideas and new conceptions. The whole podcast project originated from a conversation we had back in 2017, some of which you can hear in previous podcast episodes.
The early days of the podcast featured fellow PhD candidate Mathias Fuelling as co-host, who discussed pressing issues during his busy schedule and shed insight on all sorts of issues. You can hear him in the early episodes.
The guests on the Hour of History Podcast who showcased excellent new works of history were consistently a joy to speak with. I talked to established scholars, new and upcoming graduate students, writers and historians outside of academia, and all-around interesting people. In every case, I was able to learn a large amount from my guests, not only about history, but about life. I hope you will take the time to listen to some of those conversations at the Hour of History Podcast on YouTube, and subscribe and share so others can enjoy, as well.
As for me, I’ve had a busy year. After completing a research fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, traveling the Caucasus, and interviewing for jobs all over the United States, I joyfully returned to my career as a high school teacher. These events, as well as a shift in the way history is produced and consumed, led to a decision to stop producing new episodes on the podcast.
I look forward to using the current incarnation of the website to write at greater depth about some of the issues historians face today. I will also use this site to connect historians of similar mind to interesting work and perhaps even resurrect the podcast someday.
Until then, I hope you will understand that it was not an easy choice to stop the podcast, but rather one that was forced by a few key challenges in my life: a major lack of support from the establishment in academia; the disappearance of generalist history from the podcast world; lack of interest in professional history from the next generation of students; outrage culture and the historians who feed outrage culture by jumping from one scandal to the next; the disappearing usefulness of the university and the university degree; and, perhaps most importantly, a shift in my personal priorities in life.
History is fun. I want to share history that is fun and interesting and free of the absurdities put forth by the people who have been engineers of a disciplinary downfall that will continue for the foreseeable future. If you have missed history as it was, I hope to help share it with you again, here, at the Hour of History.