Saturday, August 13, 2011

Berkeley's disappeared lectures

What do we do now? Berkeley has removed its fantastic treasure trove from our favorite lecture podcast site and has drastically reduced what they offer on iTunes U...

Many readers have turned to me asking how they can lay their hands on old lecture courses. Very highly in demand are -and for good reason- lecture series by Margaret Lavinia Anderson, such as History 5 (European history from the Renaissance until today) and History 167b (History of the Second Reich).

There are some rumors that Berkeley are to share the archive, but how and where and to what extent is not at all clear. We will keep you posted (that is, not just me, also Dara from DIY Scholar is on the lookout).

In the mean time, not all consumers are patiently waiting for the shop to open up again and have gone looking for alternative sites where the files might be shared. One such place would be the Internet Archive. Here you can already find a score of courses from 2006 and 2007.

Listening ideas for 13 August 2011

New Books in Public Policy
Max Singer, “The History of the Future: The Shape of the World to Come Is Visible Today”
In his new book, History of the Future: The Shape of the World to Come Is Visible Today (Lexington Books, 2011), Max Singer, Senior Fellow and co-founder of the Hudson Institute, argues that the human race is undergoing an enormous transition, from an agrarian, violent past to a wealthy and peaceful future. Singer believes that all countries are on parallel paths to becoming modern states, albeit at different points in the process. As such, he tries to predict the future of the majority of countries that are still making this transitioning by examining the experiences of countries that have already completed the transition. In our interview, we talked about the rise of China, why Churchill thought that scuttling the British Navy would immediately end the British Empire, and how freedom is the key element to creating economic powerhouses. Read all about it, and more, in Singer’s wide-ranging new book
(review, feed)

New Books in South Asian Studies
Vinayak Chaturvedi, “Peasant Pasts: History and Memory in Western India”
The odds are that if you don’t figure in an administration’s records, you won’t figure in the historical record. But what do you do to get into those records? Raising a ruckus is one way. But that works only if someone else hasn’t managed to raise more of a ruckus than you can ever hope to – and this, as Vinayak Chaturvedi tells us in Peasant Pasts: History and Memory in Western India (University of California Press, 2007) was exactly the situation the peasants of Gujarat faced during the last century of British rule in India. The Dharala peasants lived and worked in the Kheda district, the stomping ground of the powerful Patidar community, who formed a support base for Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha campaigns. The Mahatma’s nationalism did not, however, attract the Dharalas, given that the Patidars had co-opted it for themselves. The Dharalas felt they stood nothing to gain by joining forces with groups that locally exercised economic power over them. But that is not to say they didn’t have their own ideas about the way they wished to live, as Chaturvedi shows. Peasant Pasts skillfully traces how the Dharalas, through many demonstrations employing traditional as well as more recent forms of protest, managed to form a distinct political identity of their own, one that is current and excites much debate in the region. And yes, they did manage to get themselves into the administrative records of the Indian state as well.
(review, feed)

BBC History magazine
BBC History Magazine - 12th August 2011
Susan Doran describes the reign of Elizabeth I, Dan Snow talks about his new TV series and Richard Noakes highlights the Victorian telegraph. To find out more, visit
(review, feed)