Atlantic Studies Podcasts of Note: 2/8-2/15

Andrew Kettler's picture

H-Atlantic Subscribers,

This week, the Atlantic Studies Podcasts of Note blog offers numerous episodes for scholars to continue their pandemic listening programs. This week, episodes focus on medicine, slave ownership across classes, contradictory Enlightenment, Newburgh, and the Inca Empire.

The automation of American politics came to fruition once again, as the vote to convict the former President went as expected.

Still, better news arrives this week on the evil pandemic, as many diverse causes are combining to the effect of a subsiding third wave.

Double masking, vaccinations, more distance, and localized herd immunities are all possibly part of these changes. What is concerning, even in this lessening stage of a still exceedingly deadly pandemic, is that media voices are fighting over the cause of the lessening, frequently asserting that their ideas were correct all along. Instead of uniting behind a common good of saving more lives, what this backbiting shows is that even if this pandemic subsides, the contagion within discourse will not.

Automation will continue to penetrate media machines and political parties. The suffering ideal of a common good is battered and abused in this fragmented, reticulated, and automated society of predictable responses, especially among those that will be unwilling to accept the success of a possibly subsiding pandemic unless it was their actions and their voices that are the cause of such an imaginable achievement.

We are far from knowing whether the abating of this deadly plague will continue, but we already know that the causes of the subsiding, if it does come, will be used as political points for quarreling on the nightly news and increasingly ridiculous opinion shows, rather than provide any self-analysis of the commonweal or any healing for the public sphere.

What the pandemic and the former President showed the automated machines within the always changing Superstructure, is that even illogical divisiveness, even of an acrimony without any evidence, is profitable and electorally fruitful, and, as such, the incentive to be illogical, loud, expressive, and divisive will only accelerate, even if, god-willing, the deaths do subside.

When Politics is Aestheticized, as Benjamin outlined, can such discursive decay ever be reversed?

Be strong in the abnormal.

Wear masks (Double). Wash hands (Often). Get the Shots When You Can. Keep distance.

Stay safe.

Atlantic Studies Podcasts of Note:

1) BBC – Witness History – “A Ghanaian Nurse’s Story”

2) BBC – Witness History – “Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners, Part I”

3) New Books Network – “How Discrimination Haunts Western Democracy” – A Discussion with Michael Hanchard

4) Library Company of Philadelphia – Fireside Chat – “A Crisis of Peace” – David Head

5) New Books Network - R. Alan Covey - Inca Apocalypse: The Spanish Conquest and the Transformation of the Andean World

This Date in History:

2/12/1909 – NAACP Founded

Remembrance of Past Podcasts:

NPR’s Throughline offered an episode on “Marcus Garvey: Pan-Africanist.”

Stuff You Missed in History Class offered the second episode of their selections on “The Royal Philanthropic Vaccine Expedition.”

Stay safe.


Andrew Kettler

Co-Editor, H-Atlantic