Category Archives: All


Tobacco Podcasts 1 & 2

 According to the World Health Organization, more than one billion people in the world smoke tobacco products (that is one out of every seven people!), and that number is increasing.  Most people living in developed nations understand the dangers of smoking and use is decreasing in these countries; however, tobacco use is becoming very popular in developing and third world regions like China and India, where lack of regulation and easy access have allowed tobacco to become the social norm.  In developed nations, plenty of people understand the modern issues associated with tobacco use, but rarely people look at how this commodity grew and developed into the powerful drug that it has.  Without tobacco, the United States, Europe, almost all of the world would be completely different!  In the first podcast, Buzzing Through History, we will analyze how tobacco affected trade, taxation, and slavery in a way that altered history for Europe, and sparked revolution in the United States.  This podcast will show you the aspects of tobacco that you never knew were so important to world history.  In our second podcast, we will focus specifically on slavery and its relationship to tobacco through the story of Henry Box Brown.  We are sure you knew about tobacco plantations and the slaves that worked on them, but do you know the whole story?  Stay tuned to see a perspective rarely viewed by people of modern times.  Both podcasts highlight the historical importance of tobacco, and both relate to us as modern citizens of the world.

Abbi Rohde, Ben Towle, Tyler Betley


 Hahn, Barbara. Making Tobacco Bright: Creating An American Commodity, 1617-1937. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.

Down in the Old Belt: Voices from the Tobacco South. Films Media Group, 2005. Retrieved from:

Mancall, Peter C. “Tales Tobacco Told in Sixteenth-Century Europe.” Environmental History 9, no. 4 (2004): 648–678.

O’Rourke, Kevin H., and Jeffrey G. Williamson. “After Columbus: Explaining Europe’s Overseas Trade Boom, 1500-1800.” The Journal of Economic History 62, no. 2 (June 1, 2002): 417–456.

Derthick, Martha A. Up In Smoke: From Legislation to Litigation in Tobacco Politics. Washington, D.C., Congressional Quarterly, 2002.


Silk Podcasts 1 & 2

When thinking about the word silk, we imagine a beautiful cream colored blouse or the tie your father wears to work. We imagine the silk pajamas we wear at night that create comfort and relaxation in our greatest time of need. But what we forget to acknowledge is the lasting impact this commodity had on the rest of the world and how exactly this commodity had evolved into the popular item we cherish today. Two students at UWL, Mariah and Elyssa, would like to help you better understand how important this commodity was to the world and demonstrate how exactly this fabric came to be. In the first podcast, we will discuss the historical significance of how this commodity had spread across the Northeastern region of the world over 4000 years ago thanks to the Silk Road. We will also go further into how silk impacted three particular areas: China, India, and the Roman Empire. Continuing on to the second podcast, this time we will go in depth as to how exactly silk is created and discuss a different aspect of silk that many tend to not think about. Not only that, but it will also explain the meaning of silk in European society during the medieval times and the imperative role it once played in the upper class. The story of silk is just as fascinating as the fabric itself, and we encourage you to listen further as we share that with you.

Elyssa Ammerman & Mariah Schaut


 Brothers, Cheney, James Chittick, Emanuel Anthony Posselt, and Berlitz Schools of Languages. A Glossary of Silk Terms, Including a Short History of Silk: Its Origin, Culture and Manufacture. London: Cheney Brothers, 1915.

Hansen, Valerie. The Silk Road: A New History. New York City: Oxford University Press, USA, 2012.

Liu, Xinru. The Silk Roads: A Brief History with Documents. First Edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012.

“Los Angeles herald. (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1900-1911, May 12, 1907, Image 30,” May 12, 1907.;words=Silkworms+silkworms+silkworm?date1=1836&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=&date2=1922&proxtext=silkworms&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&index=12.

Whitfield, Susan. Life Along the Silk Road. Oakland: University of California Press, 2001.


Beer Podcasts 1 & 2

Come join Max Thompson for an ice cold beer! Enjoy listening to two engaging podcasts with interviews of leading liquid gold expert Chuck Terch and brew master Ben Voss. Beer is the drink of choice for many tailgates, cookouts, and nights on the town enjoyed by college students, blue collar workers, and anyone that loves its rich flavor. If you fall into any of these categories, join us in exploring beer and its rich history. Our first podcast is all about how beer grew through time and evolved to the drink we have today. Beer’s history is an unknown topic to most but our liquid gold expert will drop a knowledge bomb on you that will blow your mind. He takes beer from its infancy in Mesopotamia, through its innovations of the middle ages and the Renaissance, up to its struggles during prohibition. With the vast and rich knowledge delivered in this short 5 minute podcast you will understand why it is liquid gold. Our second podcast focuses on the brewing of beer and how it has expanded through time. Brewing of beer has been an ever changing and adapting process that has had input from many great civilizations throughout history including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Europe, and the Unites States. Our resident brew master will take you on a journey to explore the entire fascinating, progressive transformation that brewing of beer has undergone. Enjoy taking this superb trip through history while learning about nice, cold, refreshing beer.


Max Thompson, Chuck Terch, and Ben Voss


D.Y. DeLyster and W.J. Kasper.  “ Hopped Beer: The Case for Cultivation.” Economic Botany, no 2, vol 48 (April -June 1994).

“How Beer Saved the World.” Top Documentary Films.

Schultz, Joseph. “Froth! The Science of Beer.” Technology & Culture 51, no. 3 (July 2010): 759–760.

Swierczynski, Duane. The Big Book o’ Beer: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Greatest Beverage on Earth. Philadelphia, PA : San Francisco, CA: Quirk Books ; Distributed in North America by Chronicle Books, 2004.

Unger, Richard W. Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.