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 4: Calabresi’s murder: a new historical perspective
by Chiara Tiozzo Bon
The 1960s in Italy were a period of great economic growth in which many people experienced the benefits of the consumer society for the first time. The general atmosphere changed drastically from December 1969 on when the Piazza Fontana massacre in Milan marked the beginning of a season of terrorist attacks. It proved very difficult to identify those responsible. These were years of great tension and fear in which many people and parties tried to take justice into their own hands. Among the victims of these years was a police commissioner, Luigi Calabresi. He was unfairly accused of the murder of an anarchist railway man, who fell out of the window of the Milan police station. Gemma Calabresi, the wife of the murdered commissioner, says that the time has come to break the chain of hatred and violence that was binding everyone in the country. She thus introduces a new point of view to look at such a complex and controversial historical period known later as the "years of lead".
*Bild: "Unknown authorUnknown author [sic!]", Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons;
Letzter Zugriff: 05.07.22.
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