Thursday, October 21, 2010

5 Podcasts I listened to when I was away from the blog

First of all, allow me to apologize for not posting on the blog for such a long time. Off-line life caught up with me. Issues have still to be resolved, but at least I am back to some blogging again. In the mean time I have also not stopped listening to podcasts and here are 5 podcasts I have faithfully followed up to the last episode.

Geography C110 (Berkeley)
This is a course in economic geography. It kicks off with a lot of interesting history and slowly fades out of geography into economics. I got a comment at the feedback page from a reader thanking me for pointing at this course which he dubbed 'THE econ class' he had been looking for. In the last lecture (Lecture 15: Class Struggle in the U.S.A.: Neoliberalism and Capital Triumphant) it even moves out of economics and shows professor Richard Walker take the liberty of venting his left wing political views. (feed)

History 5 (Berkeley)
Unfortunately a couple of lectures were not properly recorded in this course. As a result we have had a bit of bumpy road from the Enlightenment to the Industrial Revolution, but whatever we did get had professor Laqueur in full swing. There are a bunch of general history courses that cover the last centuries and give an indispensable insight into modernity, but Berkeley's remains the best of them. (feed)

A brief history of mathematics (BBC)
Here is a podcast that I was directed to by a reader of the blog. In ten easy to digest episodes Marcus du Sautoy (whom we have heard also frequently on In Our Time) introduces us to the history of modern mathematics. (feed)

New Books in History
Here is my weekly treat. Marshall Poe interviews authors of recently published history books. Although one might get the impression this podcast jumps back and forth just as the subjects come up, the regular listener can surely discern a couple of themes that have special interest. The recent issue 'Stalin's genocides' fits into both the recurring them of genocide as well as that of modern Russian history and biographies of important political figures. Similarly, the interview with Fred Spier (Big History and the Future of Humanity) fits into a group of issues about meta- and mega-history. And so on. (feed)

Forgotten Classics
Julie Davies reads to you the books that are classics we might have forgotten about. She has now embarked on a most ambitious and titillating project: reading Genesis. This will be of course in English and this opens the door to a whole lot of preemptive deliberating about translation. The translation she has chosen (Robert Alter's translation of Genesis) contains a whole preface addressing the issues the translator faced and explanations and justifications for how he treated it. Julie has begun by reading that preface. (feed)