Episode 14: Dr. Bill Fowler’s Academic Career in Early American/Maritime History

Join Bridget Keown, Matt Bowser, and James Robinson as we join Dr. Bill Fowler, Professor of Early American History and New England Maritime History, educator at Northeastern University from 1971 – 1998, and again 2005 – present (retiring), former President of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1998-2005), and a number of other positions in institutions around New England and elsewhere. He also lectures on cruise ships across the Atlantic.

Dr. Fowler tells us about his career, his thoughts on the place of New England in World History, his experiences at the MHS, being apart of the Boston part of the Bicentennial, being a park ranger in Lexington, and reflects on his plans after academia.

View Dr Fowler’s faculty profile: www.northeastern.edu/cssh/faculty/william-fowler

From This Episode

Books by Dr. Fowler: 

Under Two Flags: The Navy in the Civil War

Silas Talbot: Captain of Old Ironsides

America and the Sea: Treasures from the Collections of Mystic Seaport (co-author)

William Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of Admiralty

Rebels Under Sail: The Navy in the Revolution

Jack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy, 1783-1815

Samuel Adams: Radical Puritan

Empires at War: The French and Indian War and The Struggle for North America, 1754-1763

Books Discussed:

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail by W. Jeffrey Bolster

The Maritime History of Massachusetts 1783-1860 by Samuel Eliot Morison

The Breaking History podcast is a production of the Northeastern University History Graduate Student Association.

Producers and Sound Editors are: Matt Bowser and Dan Squizzero
Theme Music was composed by: Kieran Legg

Episode 13- Spatializing Blackness with Rashad Shabazz

Join historians Bridget Keown and James Robinson, with Sociologist Mia Renauld, as we are joined by Dr. Rashad Shabazz, who stopped by Northeastern University to promote his new book, Spatializing Blackness Architectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago”. We talk about Dr. Shabazz’s academic path and making connections between international carceral containments before arriving at racialization of carceral power in Chicago, and how it manifests from slavery to schools. He explores how masculinity is performed in poor black spaces.

Rashad Shabazz is an associate professor in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from Minnesota State University-Mankato, a master’s degree from the Department of Justice & Social Inquiry at Arizona State University, and a doctorate in the History of Consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

From this Episode

Books Discussed:

Spatializing Blackness by Rashad Shabazz

Live from Death Row by Mumia Abu-Jamal

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Slaves of the State: Black Incarceration from the Chain Gang to the Penitentiary by Dennis Childs

Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles by Mike Davis

Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault

Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California by Ruth Wilson Gilmore

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America by Elizabeth Hinton

Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson by George Jackson

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur

Schools Under Surveillance: Cultures of Control in Public Education
Eds. Torin Monahan and Rodolfo D. Torres

Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys by Victor Rios

  • For more on the works of Professor Dillon Rodriguez, please click here.

The Breaking History podcast is a production of the Northeastern University History Graduate Student Association.

Our Producers and Sound Editors are: Matt Bowser and Dan Squizzero
Our Theme Music was composed by: Kieran Legg

Episode 12- Soviet Silencing of Same Sex Desire with Feruza Aripova

Join Bridget Keown, Jackie Gronau, James Robinson, Matt Bowser, and Thanasis Kinias as we join PhD Candidate Feruza Aripova to discuss her research into the suppression of same sex desire in the Soviet Union, either through punishment in the Stalinist era to later pathologizing same sex desire as a disease to be treated. The 1930s saw the rolling back of both legalization of homosexuality and abortion that had been gained by the Revolution. Feruza guides us through what happened, how same sex desire continued in prisons and underground communities, and how her background growing up in Soviet Central Asia shaped her experience. How did same sex desire come to be defined as a threat to the Soviet state and Communist Party? Feruza guides us through her research in the archives in the Baltics, and private archives in Moscow. We round it up with talking about the Women’s Section of the Communist Party in exploring Soviet Feminism, specifically on Alexandra Kollontai.

Books Discussed:

What Is an Apparatus?: And Other Essays by Giorgio Agamben

Gay Life and Culture : A World History by Robert Aldrich

Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia : The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent by Dan Healy

The Keys to Happiness : Sex and the Search for Modernity in Fin-de-Siècle Russia, by Laura Engelstein

Of Other Spaces“, by Michel Foucault, trans. Jay Miskowiec, Diacritics 16, no. 1 (April 1, 1986): 22–27. (doi:10.2307/464648)

Selected Writings of Alexandra Kollontai by A. Kollonati, trans. Alix. Holt

The Sexual Revolution in Russia : From the Age of the Czars to Today, by I.S. Kon

Forced Underground: Homosexuals in Soviet Latvia, by Rita Ruduša, trans. Daina Ruduša


Brought to you by the Northeastern Graduate History Association

Sound editing: Matt Bowser

Produdcer: Dan Squizzero

Music by Kieran Legg

Feedback/love/hate/comments/concerns/suggestions: breakinghistorypodcast@gmail.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/breakhist/

Episode 11- Historians and the DH with Dr. Benjamin Schmidt

Join Bridget Keown, Dan Squizzero, James Robinson, and Thanasis Kinias, with our guest this week, Dr. Benjamin Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University and core faculty in the NuLab for Texts, Maps and Networks. We chat about his journey into Digital Humanities, from his initial research into the moral panics about attention-span discourse of the 20th century and the use of text mining for his research. Dr. Schmidt talks about the need for quantitative research in history using technological tools. Will historians hand over quantitative analysis to the social sciences?

For More Information on the Materials Discussed in this Podcast:

Dr. Schmidt’s webpage:

Twitters to follow to keep up with Digital Humanities:

Journal of Cultural Analytics

Debates in the Digital Humanities, edited by Matthew K. Gold



Brought to you by the Northeastern Graduate History Association
Sound editing: Beka Bryer
Produced: Dan Squizzero
Music by Kieran Legg


Episode 10: Viral Texts, Printing, and the Apocalypse with Ryan Cordell

Join James Robinson, Kyra Millard, Matt Bowser, and Thanasis Kinias as we interview Dr. Ryan Cordell as we talk about intersections between 19th century apocalyptic literature and digital humanities, and how Dr. Cordell has used DH in order to research his area of study. We talk about Print History of the 19th century. We then talk about the Viral Texts project and the potential for text mapping networks for historical research.

Why are newspapers named “The Telegraph”?

For More Information on the Materials Discussed in this Podcast:


Articles/Sites Discussed: 

19th Century Data Vizualization” by Lauren Klein

Literary Pattern Recognition: Modernism between Close Reading and Machine Learning” by Hoyt Long and Richard Jean So
(Critical Inquiry, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Winter 2016), pp. 235-267)

Shifting Scales: Between Literature and Social Science” by Ted Underwood and Jim English
(Modern Language Quarterly, Vol. 77, No. 3 (2016), pp. 277-295)

Brought to you by the Northeastern Graduate History Association
Sound Editing: Beka Bryer
Produced: Dan Squizzero
Music by Kieran Legg

Episode 9: Medicine in British-Ruled India with Nav Athwal

Join Bridget, James, and Matt as we interview Nav Athwal, an outgoing Masters Student of World History at Northeastern University, who focuses on the history of Medicine in the British Empire. We will talk about his academic journey from medical school to business to historian and his current process of applying to PhD programs. We talk specifically about his latest research on imperial medicine in British-ruled India and passive resistance vs active resistance. Nav also gives his thoughts on subaltern history, We then commiserate about trying to get into PhD programs. Nav tells us what he thinks of David Arnold. He links world history and subaltern methodology and problematizing Indian nationalist history.

Books Discussed:

Colonizing the Body: State Medicine and Epidemic Disease in Nineteenth-Century India by David Arnold

The Tropics and the Traveling Gaze: India, Landscape, and Science, 1800-1856 by David Arnold

Dominance Without Hegemony: History and Power in Colonial India by Ranajit Guha

Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference by Dipesh Chakrabarty

Modern India, 1885 – 1947 by Sumit Sarkar

Specters of Mother India: The Global Restructuring of an Empire
by Mrinalini Sinha

Ideologies of the Raj by Thomas R. Metcalf

Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World by Niall Ferguson

Brought to you by the Northeastern Graduate History Association
Sound editing: Beka Bryer
Produced: Dan Squizzero
Music by Kieran Legg


Episode 8: Misogynoir History with Dr. Moya Bailey

Join Bridget, James, and Thanasis as we are joined by Dr. Moya Bailey. Dr. Moya Bailey is an assistant professor in the Department of Cultures, Societies, and Global Studies and the program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Northeastern University. Her work focuses on Black women’s use of digital media to promote social justice as acts of self-affirmation and health promotion. She is interested in how race, gender, and sexuality are represented in media and medicine. She currently curates the#transformDH Tumblr initiative in Digital Humanities (DH). She is a monthly sustainer of the Allied Media Conference, through which she is able to bridge her passion for social justice and her work in DH.

Dr. Bailey is a graduate of the Emory University Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department. She is the founder and co-conspirator of Quirky Black Girls, a network for strange and different black girls and now serves at the digital alchemist for the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network.

She attended Spelman College where she initially endeavored to become a physician. She fell in love with Women’s Studies and activism, ultimately driving her to graduate school in lieu of medicine. As an undergrad she received national attention for her involvement in the “Nelly Protest” at Spelman, a moment that solidified her deep commitment to examining representations of Black women in popular culture.

We talk about the role of the academic in social change, DH and intersectional social change, the Allied Media Conference, the story of Quirky Black Girls, the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, the concept of “Misogynoir”. We touch on Dr. Bailey’s dissertation on how representations in medical school curriculums shape how doctors see different marginalized groups and how the Nelly protest shaped her research and activism, how problematic portrayals become international, and dismantling binaries. Dr. Bailey talks about the possibilities of linking activists, academics, and scifi writers at the Black To The Future conference.


Books Discussed:


News Items Discussed:


Websites Discussed:


Brought to you by the Northeastern Graduate History Association
Sound editing: Beka Bryer
Produced: Dan Squizzero
Music by Kieran Legg