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Past Present

Past Present brings together three historians to discuss what's happening in American politics and culture today. Natalia, Neil, and Niki bring historical insights to the news of the day, offering listeners an alternative to the reflexive and polarized world of punditry. Interested in the world around you but exhausted by rote reactions and partisan talking points? You've come to the right place.
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Now displaying: December, 2015
Dec 29, 2015

On this week’s Past Present bonus episode, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss life coaches. 

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

  • Life coaching is big business these days, but there’s still some confusion about what life coaches actually do. Natalia drew from the sociologist Arlie Hochschild’s work on the outsourcing of intimate labor to argue that life coaches are often stand-ins for a reliable friend or professional mentor. Niki noted this was most visible in new services like “Rent-a-Mom.”
  • Niki cited Julie Golia’s research on the rise of advice columns as a helpful way for understanding life coaches. Like Golia’s advice columnists, life coaches fulfill and professionalize social functions that once played out in close-knit communities. Neil noted that in a “Bowling Alone” era, life coaches provided an individualized experience of professional authority within a larger culture of community breakdown and anti-institutional sentiments.
  • Natalia recommended Susan Faludi’s Stiffed for thinking more about the gendered politics of self-help and Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided for a critical take on the life coaching industry. 
Dec 22, 2015

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss the war on Christmas, food politics, and political spouses.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

Dec 15, 2015

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the sharing economy, affirmative action, and whether Donald Trump is a fascist.

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

Dec 8, 2015

 

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s philanthropic gift, the history of baby names, and “prayer shaming.”

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

 

Dec 1, 2015

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss the history of refugees, the legacy of Woodrow Wilson, and Instamoms. 

Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

 

 

In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:

 

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