McNeil Center Launches New Podcast Series

Podcast Launch

Early American Conversations available on Spotify

The McNeil Center is delighted to introduce its first ever podcast series. The new series, Early American Conversations, features in-depth conversations with authors of recent Penn Press publications. A collaboration between Penn Press, Penn Libraries, and the McNeil Center, the series aims to expand our community of scholars, public historians, students, and publishers.

Be sure to catch Episode #1 presenting a discussion with Kathleen Brown (pictured, left), David Boies Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, author of Undoing Slavery: Bodies, Race, and Rights in the Age of Abolition (Penn Press, 2023). Dr. Brown speaks about her new book with our inaugural podcast host, Anders Bright (pictured, right), 2022-2023 Marguerite Bartlett Hamer Dissertation Fellow at the McNeil Center and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Penn.

Available on Spotify, the series introduces audiences to the authors of the most recent publications in the Penn Press published book series on Early American Studies, as well as select authors from the series backlist and other special guests.

In addition to Dr. Brown’s interview, the first season will feature talks with Emma Hart, Richard S. Dunn Director of the McNeil Center and Professor of History at Penn; Elizabeth Ellis, Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University, author of The Great Power of Small Nations: Indigenous Diplomacy in the Gulf South (Penn Press, 2022); and Tara Bynum, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Iowa, 2022-2023 MCEAS Barra Sabbatical Fellow, and author of Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America (University of Illinois Press, 2023).  

In a nod to the long tradition of advancing scholarship through publications at the McNeil Center, the podcast will feature a special segment named after the Pig of Knowledge, the MCEAS logo that first made an appearance in an early iteration of Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. In this podcast segment, authors will reflect on an intriguing topic or source in their monograph, expand on a concept that did not make it into the book, and offer suggestions for further reading and research.

The motivation to develop a podcast series originated with Hart and Bright, with the support of Robert Lockhart, Penn Press Senior Editor, who consulted on the scope of the project; Cosette Bruhns Alonso, Penn Libraries’ and Penn Press' Contemporary Publishing Fellow, who helped the team with digital publishing strategies and editorial development; Francis Russo, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Penn, who composed music for the podcast and provided editing assistance; and Cassandra Hradil, Digital Humanities Specialist, Price Lab for Digital Humanities and Penn Libraries Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship, who designed the logo for the series. The McNeil Center wishes to extend its thanks to all of the partners who have helped launch the podcast.