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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: 2020
Dec 22, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the popularity of Hallmark Christmas movies.

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

Dec 15, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the popularity of the global evangelical megachurch Hillsong.

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

Dec 8, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the Netflix series "The Queen’s Gambit."

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

Dec 1, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the enduring popularity of Dolly Parton.

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

 

Nov 24, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss this year’s “Covid Thanksgiving.”

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

Nov 17, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the announcement of a new coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer.

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

Nov 10, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

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Nov 3, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Borat movie.

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

Oct 27, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the hit Netflix series Emily in Paris.

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

Oct 20, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the debate over “court packing.”

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

Oct 13, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss how the White House became a coronavirus hot spot.

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

Oct 6, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the far-right, neo-fascist group, the Proud Boys.

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  • At last week’s presidential debate, President Trump drew attention to the all-male street gang, the Proud Boys, when he told them to “stand back and stand by.” Niki commented on the group’s founder, Gavin McInnes. Natalia discussed how the example of the early 20th century psychologist Stanley Hall provided a sort of erudite analogue to the Proud Boys. Neil mentioned Niki’s 2016 piece for Vox on the media’s interest in the alt-right’s aesthetics as a way to think about the Proud Boys’ Fred Perry uniform.

 

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

Sep 29, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Sep 22, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the controversial new Netflix film, Cuties.

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Sep 15, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the racial dissembling of historian Jessica Krug.

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Sep 8, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss new charges of sexual assault against porn actor Ron Jeremy.

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Sep 1, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the new HBO series, Lovecraft Country.

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

Aug 25, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

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Aug 18, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate.

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

Aug 11, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss the conspiracy theory known as QAnon.

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

Aug 4, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki discuss the continued unrest in Portland and the deployment of federal forces to quell it.

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

Jul 28, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the decision by the Planned Parenthood Federation of New York to disavow Margaret Sanger for her ties to eugenics.

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

Jul 21, 2020

In this episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the “Karen” meme.

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

Jul 14, 2020

In this episode, Neil, Niki, and Natalia discuss student visas and the most recent immigration restrictions put forth by the Trump administration.

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

Jul 7, 2020

In this episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil discuss the deplatforming of extremists by social media sites from Reddit to YouTube.

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

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