Monday, September 3, 2007

The best History courses on podcast

The academic year has started and we podcast listeners can hook up to the courses as far as they are being put on line. Market leader in this world of lectures on podcast is the incomparable University of California Berkeley. Naturally also my favorite subject, history, has taken off. This year is better than others. We have a total of three course available.

First there is the classic History 5. European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present, this fall presented once again by Thomas Laqueur. I have followed these lectures already a couple of times. So I will be browsing them in search for bloggable items.

In the second we meet last season's lecturer of History 5: Margaret Anderson. She is delivering a course labeled History 167B. Here she will teach all there is to know about the rise and fall of the second reich. Yes, the second. Not the first and not the third. I have already run one lecture (more about that below) and can disclose with my, yet, limited knowledge, that the first is the Holy Roman Empire, and consequently the second is the German Empire as it became established by the Prussians. I expect we will be talking about Frederick the Great and Bismarck among others. And the fall will be either with Wilhelm the Second or the Weimar Republik.

The first lecture has low audio. In general the Berkeley lectures tend to be on the low side. I want to point out again that with free and easy to use utilities you can crank up the volume. The lecture was on ~70dB and on 90 it was much better to listen to on the iPod. Even 90 is a bit low; next I'll try 100. For this cranking up I use MP3Gain.

A third history course hasn't started yet. It is History 4A, allegedly about the history of the Ancient Mediterranean World. As one who lives in the modern Mediterranean world, I do not want to miss it. Well, I wouldn't want to miss it, even if I lived somewhere else. History is my thing.