Public History is a rich and exciting discipline to teach, especially because it invites lecturers to offer less conventional assignments. As part of a seminar entitled ‘Napoleon vs. Bismarck. (De)constructing national heroes’ I taught last semester, I invited students to submit a podcast as a final work. By doing so, students had to approach their work differently. They had to question how we tell stories and learn how to create a narrative and discursive structure that works for a wider audience. In other words, they fully engaged with the ‘learning-by-doing’ approach, whose merits I have defended previously.
You will find below a selection of the works produced by the students. The topics and perspectives are varied, and the four examples show rather different approaches in dealing with the podcast format. For most of the students, this was the first encounter with audio production, but they brilliantly took on the challenge and produced convincing results.
A podcast selection by Richard Legay
Part 1: ‘Jesus – The Multiplicity and Potency of Iconography’
by Caleb White
This podcast explores differing portrayals of Jesus and what these portrayals can tell us about the people who create, view, and uphold them. Drawing from Prothero’s theory of Multiple Jesuses, this podcast argues that many heroic understandings of Jesus can be authentically arrived at. Each of them tells a different story through differing prioritisation of values. Visual aids are included and made reference to throughout the podcast. We will be looking at Warner Sallman’s ‘Head of Christ’, Daniel Louw’s ‘Cross-Road’s Jesus’, and Janet McKenzie’s ‘Jesus of the People’. Through examination of these three artworks, this podcast explores how the historical Jesus can be into multiple understandings of Jesus. Finally, implications of this are discussed.
The pictures discussed in the podcast are available via these links:
Warner Sallmann, Head of Christ: https://www.warnersallman.com/collection/images/head-of-christ/
Daniel Louw, Cross-Roads Jesus: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/My-God-my-God-why-have-you-forsaken-me-Mt-2745_fig1_344199861
Janet Mckenzie, Jesus of the People: https://janetmckenzie.com/joppage1.html
A direct integration of the pictures was not possible due to legal concerns. We exclude any liability for the provenance and security of the links. All links were last checked on 23.06.2022.
Content Warning: This podcast deals with themes of racism, discrimination, and violence that some listeners may find upsetting.
*Bild/ Picture: Heinrich Hofmann, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
Letzter Zugriff/ Last viewed 23.06.2022.
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