Christopher McKnight Nichols: Can those who know history avoid repeating it?

Professor of history Christopher McKnight Nichols is the Wayne Woodrow Hayes Chair in National Security Studies at the Ohio State University. He specializes in the history of the United States and its relationship to the rest of the world. He discusses with David Staley isolationism, internationalism, the impact of crises on societal change, the study of ideas and ideologies in history, and the concept of grand strategy in shaping national and international policies. He also draws parallels between the 1918 influenza and 2020 COVID pandemics.

States-in-Waiting: Professor Lydia Walker on Decolonization and Untold Histories

Lydia Walker, Assistant Professor and Seth Andre Myers Chair in Global Military History at The Ohio State University, researches histories of decolonization, nationalist insurgence movements, and the concept of “states in waiting”, which also serves as the title of her forthcoming book. She discusses the Nagas people, colonial historical and social structures in India, and the impact of the United Nations on nationalist movements with Voices of Excellence host, David Staley.

Sara Butler: Medieval Myth Buster

Sara Butler is the King George III Professor in British History and the Director for the Center for Historical Research at The Ohio State University. She specializes in medieval history and legal studies, with a focus on understanding ordinary people’s lives, particularly women, in medieval times. She challenges misconceptions about medieval society, arguing that women had significant roles and rights, especially in economic activities. Butler’s research covers diverse topics such as marital relationships, divorce, forensic medicine, and penitential justice. She also describes her archival research challenges, her childhood fascination with history, and the activities of the Center for Historical Research at Ohio State University.

Randolph Roth: “When You’re a Historian, You See the Civil War Everywhere”

Randolph Roth, Distinguished Professor of history and sociology at The Ohio State University, discusses the use of quantitative methods in historical research, patterns of adult homicide and child mortality, and the impact of political instability and social hierarchy on violence in America. Roth also talks on the role of women’s empowerment and gender equality in reducing child mortality and highlights the importance of historical insight in addressing current societal challenges.

OSU Going Overseas: Breyfogle and Elmore Discuss Dubai and COP 28

Nicholas Breyfogle, assistant professor of history and director of the Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching, and Bart Elmore, professor of history, discuss their recent visit to COP 28, which is the name for 2023’s United Nations Climate Change Conference that was held in Dubai. They talk about traveling across the globe with ten Ohio State students and the experience they had listening and talking to global leaders, activists, and scholars at the largest climate conference in the world.

Bart Elmore: Will Genetically Engineered Food Help Us Feed a Hungry Planet?

Environmental historian Bart Elmore has spent more than a decade studying the history of one of the largest seed sellers in the world: Monsanto. This St. Louis company, which German firm Bayer bought in 2018, launched a genetic engineering revolution in agriculture over 25 years ago, introducing the first Roundup Ready crops in 1996 that could tolerate Monsanto’s signature herbicide Roundup. Listen below to Prof Elmore discuss his findings with host David Staley, and then see Prof Elmore in person at ASC’s Science Sundays on February 18, 2024.

David Brakke Explains How the Gnostics Influenced “The Matrix”

David Brakke, Professor and Joe R. Engle Chair in the History of Christianity in the Department of History, studies and teaches the history and literature of ancient Christianity from its origins through the fifth century, with special interest in asceticism monasticism, Gnosticism, biblical interpretation, and Egyptian Christianity. He discusses why the Gnostics and their views were considered so dangerous and what the Gospel of Judas reveals about these beliefs.

“History Is Detective Work,” Says Historian Sam White

Sam White, Professor of History, studies environmental history and uses natural and human records to reconstruct past climate variability and extreme weather. He discusses the methods that historians use to get a more complete picture of the past, such as how an intense drought and famine impacted the Ottoman Empire in the 1500s.

David Steigerwald Asks, “How In Control Are You of Your Life?”

Professor of History David Steigerwald teaches courses in 20th-century American history from World War I through the 1960s. He also researches and writes about alienation, a composite term that refers to the sense people have of not really being in control of their everyday lives. His emerging book argues that post WWII power structures pushed toward a hyper organization of society that devalued individuals.

“What Was Reality in the Past?” Greg Anderson Asks

Greg Anderson, Professor of History, specializes in ancient Greek history, historical thoughts, and critical theory. In his most recent book The Realness of Things Past, he proposes a new way of doing history that is a fundamentally different way of thinking about reality for people who lived in the past.

A Passage Through India: How Scott Levi’s Study Abroad Trip Led to a Career Studying Central Asia

Scott Levi, Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Interim Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, specializes in the social and economic history of Central Asia. His most recent book is The Bukharan Crisis: A Connected History of 18th-Century Central Asia, which he describes as “the first time I’ve ever written a book by accident.”

“Our Annual Conference is Like the Bar in Star Wars,” Says Peter Mansoor

Peter Mansoor, Professor and General Raymond E. Mason, Jr., Chair of Military History, researches modern U.S. military history, World War II, the Iraq War, and counterinsurgency warfare. He discusses his most recent research on the 1944-1945 liberation of the Philippines, the five types of military history, and the surprising breadth of attendees at military history conferences on this week’s Voices of Excellence.

Robin Judd Describes What Military Marriages Were Like After the Holocaust

Robin Judd, Associate Professor of History, explores how European and North African Jewish women met and married American, British, and Canadian soldiers and officers after the Holocaust in her latest book, Love, Liberation, and Loss: Jewish Military Marriages after the Holocaust. Her research illuminates how these couples developed relationships, what policies regulated their marriages, and what happened to the women when they moved to other countries with their husbands to face acculturation in the aftermath of trauma.