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The Artist in American History – Best of Seasons 1 and 2

Best of Seasons 1 and 2

First Time Visitors: The Artist in American History is an educational podcast series, featuring lectures and documentaries, by historian and Coventry University lecturer Dr. Darren R. Reid.  The series, now in its third season, examines how film makers, illustrators, writers, and musicians have influenced and helped to shape the American experience.

Returning Visitors: This Getting Started guide will highlight some of the best episodes from the past two seasons with this handy top 5. Discover new topics and discussions from the podcast’s past.


#5 – A Century of Charlie Chaplin: 5 Minute History  (Season 2)

Charlie Chaplin: 100 Years

In this “5 Minute History”, the debut appearance of Charlie Chaplin’s iconic Tramp is combined with a new audio commentary that explores Chaplin’s early work.  A great introduction to film studies.

Watch Now | iTunes


#4 – Deconstructing America: Examining the Beach Boys Lost Album (Season 1)

Lost Beach Boys Album

Smile by The Beach Boys was always meant to follow-up the band’s critical gem, Pet Sounds.  Instead, principle songwriter and producer, Brian Wilson, disappeared behind a fog of drug abuse and poor mental health. This lecture examines the recently released edition of the incomplete album.

Listen Now | iTunes


#3 – Wonder Woman: A Brief History of a Feminist Icon (Season 2)

Wonder Woman Feminist Icon

This lecture examines the strange story behind the creation of feminist comic book icon, Wonder Woman; from her creator’s unusual personal life to his belief that woman kind would inevitably rise up and take control of the human race.

Listen Now | iTunes


#2 – Silent Film Festival (Seasons 1 and 2)

Silent Film Festival

Bridging the 2013 and 2014 seasons, this series combined classic pieces of silent cinema with thoughtful audio commentaries examining their use of racism, gender, and class.  What is it about a piece of cinema that makes it culturally or historically interesting? This series explores that question. Includes film by Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith.

Watch Now | iTunes


#1 – Why “Redskins” is Racist (Season 2)

Redskins Wrong

2014 saw renewed entrenchment of the “Redskin’s” divisive choice of moniker.  In this popular lecture, we examine what it is, precisely, that makes the “Redskins” name offensive.

Listen Now | iTunes


Get Started with Season 3

Click to Listen to the Lecture

Listen to the first episode of the third season of The Artist in American History.  In this lecture we examine the modern history of Disney’s Princesses and how they have succeeded (and failed) to change for the twenty first century.

Listen | iTunes


Coming Soon

A new year brings an exciting new season of content for The Artist in American History.  This coming season will open with a series examining the social and cultural significance of cinema.  2015 will also see the renewal of the Comic Book Studies series with a new lectures examining gender and identity in the medium.  There are plenty of other potential episodes currently in the works – for a look at some of this season’s planned content see the highlights below.


#4 – Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight and Holy Terror

Miller Revisited

Status: Pre-Production

A new entry into the Comic Book Studies series, this lecture critically reexamines the increasingly controversial comic book legend, Frank Miller; from his seminal Batman graphic novel to his shameful commentary on the War on Terror.


#3 – 8-Bit History 

8-Bit History

Status: In-production

Building on a two-part YouTube series, this documentary will examine the rise and fall of the Atari 2600, the incredibly popular console that launched the home video game industry.


#2 – Love, Laughter, and Despair in the Silent Era (Series)

The Silent Era

Status: In-Production (Episode 1)

This planned three part series of mini-documentaries will examine how silent films used and appealed to the emotions of their audiences. A critical look at the role of emotion in the early years of cinema.


#1 – The Politics of Star Wars

Politics of Star Wars

Status: Pre-Production

Currently planned as a one-off episode, with the possibility to expanding into a series, this lecture will take a serious look at a less than serious science fiction classic. Taking George Lucas at his word, this episode explores the implications of the galactic politics that as they are described in the original Star Wars film.

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