Podcast

Biography

The podcasting of a life, by Matt Smith. “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” - Charles Dickens.

Episodes

  • Ned Kelly 4: Such is Life

    Feb 16 2018

    With his last desperate stand at an end, Ned Kelly will be tried and executed for his crimes in 1880, at the age of 25. His name and notoriety would only grow, and a surprisingly mixed reputation as a larrikin bushranger would develop. Many Australians would come to admire the legend and the myth, without necessarily understanding the man. Guest: Dr Doug Morrissey (Historian and author of Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life)

  • Ned Kelly 3: The Last Stand

    Dec 20 2017

    The Kelly gang they are broke and on the run, having ambushed and killed policeman and conducted bank heists. Their next plan is their most daring, or perhaps reckless, centring around the victorian town of Glenrowan. Guest: Dr Doug Morrissey (Historian and author of Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life)

  • Ned Kelly 2: A Short Life of Crime

    Oct 13 2017

    Ned Kelly came through a troubled upbringing and started a career as a horse thief, but is now on the run after shooting a policeman. With the authorities after him, he would only become more desperate and ruthless. Guest: Dr Doug Morrissey (Historian and author of Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life)

  • Ned Kelly 1: Australian Outlaw

    Sep 27 2017

    Ned Kelly is a legendary figure in Australian history. A bushranger, an outlaw, a convicted police murderer, and controversial figure. Despite his rap sheet, to some he was a rascal and a hero. Guest: Dr Doug Morrissey (Historian and author of Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life)

  • Gandhi 4: Father of the Nation

    Apr 13 2017

    When British India collapses, India embraces it’s state of free rule, but it isn’t the outcome Gandhi had campaigned for. Religious rivalries and disagreements lead to a split between Muslim and Hindi, dividing the territory in two. Guest: Dr Thomas Weber (Politics and Philosophy, La Trobe University)

  • Gandhi 3: Shaking the Foundations

    Mar 24 2017

    The salt march is the most iconic event from Gandhi's campaign of non-violent resistance. In 1930 Gandhi and his followers began a month-long march to the coast where he made salt, defiantly breaking a British law related to the taxation of salt production. Explaining his choice, Gandhi said that "Next to air and water, salt is perhaps the greatest necessity of life." Guest: Dr Thomas Weber (Politics and Philosophy, La Trobe University)

  • Gandhi 2: Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner

    Mar 03 2017

    Gandhi is a figure who is known across the world as the father of the nation, the man who achieved independence in the Indian subcontinent through non-violent resistance. He was also a thinker and a philosopher, and the name he was given, ‘Mahatma’, means great soul, and reflects the reverence with which he was seen. Guest: Dr Thomas Weber (Politics and Philosophy, La Trobe University)

  • Gandhi 1: A Good Seed is Sown

    Feb 10 2017

    Gandhi is a figure who is known across the world as the father of the nation, the man who achieved independence in the Indian subcontinent through non-violent resistance. He was also a thinker and a philosopher, and the name he was given, ‘Mahatma’, means great soul, and reflects the reverence with which he was seen. Guest: Dr Thomas Weber (Politics and Philosophy, La Trobe University)

  • Themistocles 3: Persuasion and Compulsion

    Dec 11 2016

    With his victory at Salamis, Themistocles is now the hero of the Hellenic world. he's recognised and lauded across the lands, but with this power comes jealousy and competition. The hero of Athens will have to turn to its greatest enemy for sanctuary. Guest: Professor Christopher Mackie (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University)

  • Themistocles 2: Indubitable Signs of Genius

    Dec 01 2016

    Themistocles has established himself as a respected politician within ancient Athens, but he isn't without rivalry. He has political enemies from within who hope to bring him down, and there's always the threat of Persia, readying itself to take on the Hellenic states. Guest: Professor Christopher Mackie (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University)

  • Themistocles 1: Great Light of the Greeks

    Nov 22 2016

    Themistocles lived during a time of change and progress in Athens. The monarchy was coming to an end, the republic was on the rise, and a self-made man from modest beginnings can make crucial contributions to an entire civilisation. Guest: Professor Christopher Mackie (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University)

  • Ely S. Parker

    Oct 19 2016

    Ely S. Parker was born to a prominent Seneca family on an Indian reservation near New York, and to many was considered a man between two worlds. Working first as a tribal diplomat, and later forming a close friendship with Ulysses S. Grant during the civil war, he came to be the first Native American to hold the position of Head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Guest: Dr Claudia Haake (History, La Trobe University).

  • Frida Kahlo 2: Acid and Tender

    Sep 07 2016

    Frida attains fame within her lifetime, and her relationship with Diego Rivera remains passionate and explosive. Since she died her fame has attained new heights, as people see the part of Frida they want to see - she now belongs to the world. Guest: Emeritus Professor Barry Carr (History, La Trobe University).

  • Frida Kahlo 1: A Ribbon Around a Bomb

    Aug 30 2016

    Frida Kahlo is considered one of Mexico's greatest artists but spent most of her career working in the shadow of her husband, the larger than life artist and muralist Diego Rivera. After a bus accident left her injured for life she took up painting, and became known for her surreal artwork and self-portraits which show a conflicted artist. Guest: Emeritus Professor Barry Carr (History, La Trobe University).

  • Douglas Mawson 3: Flaws in the Ice

    Jul 06 2016

    Douglas Mawson expedition across the ice has been met with tragedy. One of his men has fallen down a crevice and died, and with him the majority of the food stores and the good sleigh dogs. He and Mertz have little option but to turn back and try to make their way to the base. But the weather is against them, and they don't have enough food to make back. Guest: Dr David Day (Historian and Emeritus of La Trobe University). Books: Flaws in the Ice: In search of Douglas Mawson (Scribe, 2013) Ant...more

  • Douglas Mawson 2: The Home of the Blizzard

    Jun 29 2016

    Douglas Mawson has returned from the Shackleton Expedition in Antarctica, but he soon gets the urge to go back to the ice. He journeys to England to raise money for his own Antarctic mission - a scientific endeavour with the primary aim to discover new territory. Guest: Dr David Day (Historian and Emeritus of La Trobe University). Books: Flaws in the Ice: In search of Douglas Mawson (Scribe, 2013) Antarctica: A Biography (Oxford, 2012)

  • Douglas Mawson 1: The Pole Hunters

    Jun 22 2016

    Douglas Mawson is one of the great explorers of Antarctica, and regarded as a hero in Australia. His first journey to the frozen continent was as a member of the Shackleton expedition, and he was given the task of finding the magnetic south pole. Guest: Dr David Day (Historian and Emeritus of La Trobe University). Books: Flaws in the Ice: In search of Douglas Mawson (Scribe, 2013) Antarctica: A Biography (Oxford, 2012)

  • Confucius 2: The Master Says

    May 17 2016

    After his death, the teachings that are attributed to Confucius take on a life on their own. We now look at the philosophy of Confucius, the trouble with interpreting his teachings, and what Confucianism means in today's world. Guest: Professor John Makeham (Director, China Studies Research Centre, La Trobe University).

  • Confucius 1: The Man Who Moves the Mountain

    May 02 2016

    A philosopher, teacher, and political thinker, Confucius lived 2500 years ago, in the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. While his teachings and thinking has travelled worldwide, it is a hard task to separate the man from the myth. Guest: Professor John Makeham (Director, China Studies Research Centre, La Trobe University).

  • Catherine the Great 4: Without you, Felitsa

    Apr 19 2016

    By the end of her reign there was little doubt that Catherine had earned the 'Great' which was attached to her name. But what did Russia make of the empire she had built, and why is she most notably remembered for her sexual promiscuity? Guest: Associate Professor Adrian Jones (History, La Trobe University)

  • Catherine the Great 3: The Warrior Empress

    Apr 05 2016

    Catherine the Great took control of Russia, tried to make it a better place, and made sure the rest of the world couldn't ignore it's greatness. Guest: Associate Professor Adrian Jones (History, La Trobe University)

  • Catherine the Great 2: Patron and Collector

    Mar 22 2016

    Catherine the Great is well known for being a patron for a range of artists and intellectuals. Her art collection, now housed in the Hermitage in St Petersburg, is one of the most varied and valuable in the world. Guest: Laurie Benson (Curator, National Gallery of Victoria)

  • Catherine the Great 1: Rise of a German Princess

    Mar 07 2016

    Catherine the Great is one of Russia's most respected rulers, seen as raising Russia's reputation and building a powerful, cultured empire to rival Europe. It's almost hard to imagine that she was a little-known German princess, put into place by an elaborate power play. Guest: Associate Professor Adrian Jones (History, La Trobe University)

  • Vida Goldstein

    Feb 21 2016

    Vida Goldstein was a political activist in Australia, helping Australian women win the right to vote twenty years before Britain. Through tireless campaigning and rallying, she changed the perception of women in politics, and was held up as an example of what could be achieved for women around the world. Guest: Associate Professor Clare Wright (History, La Trobe University)

  • Martin Luther King Jr 2: I Have a Dream

    Feb 10 2016

    Martin Luther King's effectiveness in the civil rights movement made him the target of fierce opposition, but he was never swayed from protesting. His speech at the March on Washington is famous around the world, and became all the more important after his murder. Guest: Professor Timothy Minchin (North American History, La Trobe University)

  • Martin Luther King Jr 1: They Told Us We Wouldn't Get Here

    Jan 25 2016

    Issues around the segregation of African-Americans in the United States led to an increasingly active civil rights movement. The most influential figure in this movement was a Baptist minister named Martin Luther King Jr. His persuasive words and non-violent methods have made him one of the most revered Americans. Guest: Professor Timothy Minchin (North American History, La Trobe University)

  • Charles Darwin 6: So Many Barnacles, So Little Time

    Jan 18 2016

    With his work on natural selection and evolution now out in the public for debate, Charles Darwin changes the focus of his research and manages to keep himself busy for the rest of his days. He never manages to top the publication of 'On the Origin of Species' but there's no doubt that he's one of the most influential minds of the Victorian age. Guest: Dr Alexis Harley (English, La Trobe University).

  • Charles Darwin 5: Darwin's Warm Reception

    Jan 05 2016

    Charles Darwin's theories didn't just stir up controversy, it polarised society on every level. If Charles Darwin was right, where did that leave the work of God and creation? An ideal example of the reaction to Darwin is illustrated by a case of three stuffed gorillas in the Melbourne Museum. Guest: Dr Rebecca Carland (Curator, History of Collections, Museum Victoria).

  • Charles Darwin 4: How Evolution Works

    Dec 15 2015

    While Darwin has many theories and important scientific works, the one he is most remembered for is evolution and natural selection. Biography explores how evolution works, and how it has changed since Darwin published 'On the Origin of Species'. Guest: Dr Andy Herries (Archaeology, La Trobe University).

  • Charles Darwin 3: The Theories of Charles Darwin

    Nov 30 2015

    Darwin returns from his voyage around the world and spends the next twenty years sorting through specimens and writing about barnacles, plants, and geology. In 1859 he publishes On the Origin of Species, and the world comes to term with evolution. Guest: Dr Alexis Harley (English, La Trobe University).

  • Charles Darwin 2: The Voyage of the Beagle

    Nov 16 2015

    Having completed his studies, a young Charles Darwin looks set to continue his exploration of the natural world by joining a voyage around the world on the HMS Beagle. Guest: Dr Alexis Harley (English, La Trobe University).

  • Charles Darwin 1: Before Darwin

    Nov 04 2015

    Charles Darwin is such a large figure in the world of science that sometimes we forget how different our understanding of life was before he put forward his theories of evolution and natural selection. So how did Darwin grow up, and what did society think during that time? Guest: Dr Alexis Harley (English, La Trobe University).

  • Spartacus 3: The Death and Legacy of Spartacus

    Oct 20 2015

    Cornered in the toe of Italy, Spartacus and his followers make their final stand. They may lose the battle to Crassus, but thousands of years later it is Spartacus who is remembered. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University)

  • Spartacus 2: Spartacus and the Third Servile War

    Oct 06 2015

    Spartacus escapes from the gladiatoral schools but isn't perceived of as a threat and has little plans on what to do next. Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University) discusses how becoming a movement is taken out of his hands. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University)

  • Spartacus 1: Spartacus the Gladiator

    Sep 21 2015

    Who exactly is Spartacus? many of the sources are fragmentary, and provide little insight into the motives of the slave gladiator turned rebellious legend. Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University) explores the early years of Spartacus. Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University)