title

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Colin Woodward

2
Followers
9
Plays
American Rambler with Colin Woodward
American Rambler with Colin Woodward

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Colin Woodward

2
Followers
9
Plays
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About Us

A Virginia-based podcast that discusses history, music, and film.

Latest Episodes

Episode 149: John Sacher

John Sacher is the head of the history department at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is also the author of A Perfect War of Politics: Parties, Politicians, and Democracy in Louisiana, 1824-1861. John has been on a steady career path, but as he tells Colin, he had his doubts about staying in the history game while he was in grad school. John attended Notre Dame as an undergraduate. As much as he loved it there, he went to LSU for grad school. In Baton Rouge, he studied with William J. Cooper (a previous podcast guest). John completed a master's thesis and dissertation on Louisiana politics, which became the basis of his first book. After spending some years in Kansas, he is back in his home state of Florida. Now, he is finishing a book on conscription in the Confederacy, the first full-length scholarly book on the subject in many decades. As John and Colin discuss, even for the most committed students, graduate school can be daunting. Also challenging is the move fro...

71 MIN4 days ago
Comments
Episode 149: John Sacher

Episode 148: Matt Hulbert

Matt Hulbert was "born in the shadow of Stone Mountain," but it wasn't until much later in life that he knew the place's controversial history. By then, he was well on his way to becoming a Civil War historian. First, though, he had to lay aside his dream of becoming a cowboy. Matt completed his doctorate at the University of Georgia, where he studied with John Inscoe. His dissertation won the C. Vann Woodward Prize. A year later, it was published as The Ghosts of Guerrilla Memory and won the Wiley-Silver Prize for best first book. He is now working on a biography of Virginia editor turned Missourian John Newman Edwards. Matt and Colin talk about the eastern vs. western theaters as well as the violence that characterized both. Also, a certain recent article on the Civil War and the merits of social media came up. This is by far the best podcast recorded this year in a basement office at Hampden-Sydney College. And they raise the question: who would you rather have dinner with, Natha...

81 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Episode 148: Matt Hulbert

Episode 147: Movies on the Big Screen, Part I: Jaws

EIn this mini-series, American Rambler talks about one of the two classic movies he saw on the big screen this summer. Jaws is one of Colin's favorite movies, but he had never seen it at a theater before. What did he notice this time around? Does it matter, when you've seen a movie dozens of time on TV, VHS, DVD, and even have read the book? Yes, of course! So if you're a Jaws fanatic, you might want to give this one a listen. If you've never seen it, warning: spoilers abound!

26 MINSEP 18
Comments
Episode 147: Movies on the Big Screen, Part I: Jaws

Episode 146: James Morrow

A self-described blasphemer and bewildered pilgrim, writer and novelist James Morrow was doing long-form fiction at age seven. But it was a high school literature class in his native Abington, Pennsylvania, that changed his life. There, he read greats such as Dostoevsky, Flaubert, and Camus. He went on to study at Penn and Harvard. After dabbling in film-making, he began publishing novels in the early 1980s. In such books as Blameless in Abaddon. The Last Witchfinder, and Shambling towards Hiroshima, Jim's fiction has made religion and history central themes, while incorporating elements of sci-fi and fantasy. He has also taken a Vonnegut-style approach to lampooning the absurdities of capitalism, mass media, politics, and modern American life. His latest novel is Lazarus is Waiting, which he is hoping to get published soon. A disciple of Jonathan Swift, and a man who had the good fortune to take a class with Joseph Heller, Jim's work has woven together philosophy and satire while t...

92 MINSEP 3
Comments
Episode 146: James Morrow

Episode 145: Aaron Sheehan-Dean

Originally from Michigan, Aaron Sheehan-Dean now makes his home in Baton Rouge, where he is a professor of Civil War history at Louisiana State University. An undergraduate at Northwestern, he went on to do his master's and doctoral degree at the University of Virginia. A proud member of the "UVA Mafia," he worked with Michael Holt and Gary Gallagher (both of whom are previous podcast guests) in Charlottesville. He taught in Florida and West Virginia before moving to LSU, where he has Charles Royster's old job. Aaron is the author of Why Confederates Fought and The Calculus of Violence, the latter of which won the Jefferson Davis Award from the American Civil War Museum in 2018. But as Aaron tells Colin, he originally wanted to be in politics. Working in Congress for a few years, he saw the growth of partisan rancor. He also developed his speaking chops and realized he wanted to pursue history as a career. At UVA, he discovered that grad school isn't just for single people: he manag...

93 MINAUG 25
Comments
Episode 145: Aaron Sheehan-Dean

Episode 144: Stephanie McCurry

A native of Northern Ireland, Stephanie McCurry moved to Canada while in high school before settling in the United States. She studied under renowned slavery scholars Eugene and Elizabeth Fox Genovese as a grad student. She made a big splash with her first, prize-winning book, Masters of Small Worlds, which wove together politics, gender, and class relations in antebellum South Carolina. Her second book, Confederate Reckoning, published in 2010, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Now she has a new book, Women's War: Fighting and Surviving the American Civil War. Despite her success, Dr. McCurry is honest about the challenges she has faced. She talks about her rough road to settling in America, the often thorny nature of grad school politics, and producing scholarship amid changing jobs, moving across the country, and raising children. Through it all, she has focused on the role of women in 19th century American history and how she has tried to raise (and answer) new questions ab...

87 MINAUG 4
Comments
Episode 144: Stephanie McCurry

Episode 143: Once upon a Time in Hollywood: A Review

Colin saw the newest Quentin Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film explores the lives of a struggling actor, a stunt double, Sharon Tate, and the Manson family in a reimagining of 1969 Los Angeles. But is it any good? How does it carry on the Tarantino film tradition? And is it a comment of sorts about the Trump era?

30 MINJUL 28
Comments
Episode 143: Once upon a Time in Hollywood: A Review

Episode 142: Frank Kirkpatrick

Frank Kirkpatrick is a theologian and former religion professor at Trinity College, where he taught for 47 years. He was also Colin's advisor, overseeing his thesis on Soren Kierkergaard. Frank's class on major religious writers made Colin want to be a double major in religion and history as an undergraduate. Now, more than 20 years later, they talk about some major figures in American and European philosophy and how the United States is becoming a more secular country. It's an episode that takes on everything from Paul Tillich to Reinhold Niebuhr.

89 MINJUL 27
Comments
Episode 142: Frank Kirkpatrick

Episode 141: Jim Stramel

EOriginally from Iowa, Jim Stramel is a longtime resident of Richmond. As a college student in Florida, he hopped in a van bound for Virginia and hasn't looked back. Jim started making films on 16mm, work that culminated in his first full-length movie Thrillbillys (2001). Since then, Jim has moved on to making horror films, such as Degenerates Ink. His latest work is the webseries Reviled, which explores the dark world of zombie pit fighting. Over a couple of beers, Colin talks with Jim about how he got his start making films, his influences, "Old" Richmond, and why he likes working with musicians. Hopefully after this conversation, Sony will be calling soon!

76 MINJUL 1
Comments
Episode 141: Jim Stramel

Episode 140: Court Carney and Mad Men

Court Carney, a professor at Stephen F. Austin University, returns to the podcast to talk about a course he recently taught on the late, great AMC show Mad Men. As Court makes clear, the show is a rich text that tells us a lot about 1960s history. Mad Men first garnered attention for its stark portrayal of gender roles, but the series became iconic for its modernist look, sharp writing, morally and psychologically complex characters, and intricate plot lines. And because you can't have a conversation with Court without talking about music, Dr. Carney examines how the Mad Men soundtrack--using everything from the Beatles to Sergio Mendes--heightened the drama. Also, Colin and Court talk about 1980s synth pop and the memoir by Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy.

80 MINJUN 14
Comments
Episode 140: Court Carney and Mad Men

Latest Episodes

Episode 149: John Sacher

John Sacher is the head of the history department at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is also the author of A Perfect War of Politics: Parties, Politicians, and Democracy in Louisiana, 1824-1861. John has been on a steady career path, but as he tells Colin, he had his doubts about staying in the history game while he was in grad school. John attended Notre Dame as an undergraduate. As much as he loved it there, he went to LSU for grad school. In Baton Rouge, he studied with William J. Cooper (a previous podcast guest). John completed a master's thesis and dissertation on Louisiana politics, which became the basis of his first book. After spending some years in Kansas, he is back in his home state of Florida. Now, he is finishing a book on conscription in the Confederacy, the first full-length scholarly book on the subject in many decades. As John and Colin discuss, even for the most committed students, graduate school can be daunting. Also challenging is the move fro...

71 MIN4 days ago
Comments
Episode 149: John Sacher

Episode 148: Matt Hulbert

Matt Hulbert was "born in the shadow of Stone Mountain," but it wasn't until much later in life that he knew the place's controversial history. By then, he was well on his way to becoming a Civil War historian. First, though, he had to lay aside his dream of becoming a cowboy. Matt completed his doctorate at the University of Georgia, where he studied with John Inscoe. His dissertation won the C. Vann Woodward Prize. A year later, it was published as The Ghosts of Guerrilla Memory and won the Wiley-Silver Prize for best first book. He is now working on a biography of Virginia editor turned Missourian John Newman Edwards. Matt and Colin talk about the eastern vs. western theaters as well as the violence that characterized both. Also, a certain recent article on the Civil War and the merits of social media came up. This is by far the best podcast recorded this year in a basement office at Hampden-Sydney College. And they raise the question: who would you rather have dinner with, Natha...

81 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Episode 148: Matt Hulbert

Episode 147: Movies on the Big Screen, Part I: Jaws

EIn this mini-series, American Rambler talks about one of the two classic movies he saw on the big screen this summer. Jaws is one of Colin's favorite movies, but he had never seen it at a theater before. What did he notice this time around? Does it matter, when you've seen a movie dozens of time on TV, VHS, DVD, and even have read the book? Yes, of course! So if you're a Jaws fanatic, you might want to give this one a listen. If you've never seen it, warning: spoilers abound!

26 MINSEP 18
Comments
Episode 147: Movies on the Big Screen, Part I: Jaws

Episode 146: James Morrow

A self-described blasphemer and bewildered pilgrim, writer and novelist James Morrow was doing long-form fiction at age seven. But it was a high school literature class in his native Abington, Pennsylvania, that changed his life. There, he read greats such as Dostoevsky, Flaubert, and Camus. He went on to study at Penn and Harvard. After dabbling in film-making, he began publishing novels in the early 1980s. In such books as Blameless in Abaddon. The Last Witchfinder, and Shambling towards Hiroshima, Jim's fiction has made religion and history central themes, while incorporating elements of sci-fi and fantasy. He has also taken a Vonnegut-style approach to lampooning the absurdities of capitalism, mass media, politics, and modern American life. His latest novel is Lazarus is Waiting, which he is hoping to get published soon. A disciple of Jonathan Swift, and a man who had the good fortune to take a class with Joseph Heller, Jim's work has woven together philosophy and satire while t...

92 MINSEP 3
Comments
Episode 146: James Morrow

Episode 145: Aaron Sheehan-Dean

Originally from Michigan, Aaron Sheehan-Dean now makes his home in Baton Rouge, where he is a professor of Civil War history at Louisiana State University. An undergraduate at Northwestern, he went on to do his master's and doctoral degree at the University of Virginia. A proud member of the "UVA Mafia," he worked with Michael Holt and Gary Gallagher (both of whom are previous podcast guests) in Charlottesville. He taught in Florida and West Virginia before moving to LSU, where he has Charles Royster's old job. Aaron is the author of Why Confederates Fought and The Calculus of Violence, the latter of which won the Jefferson Davis Award from the American Civil War Museum in 2018. But as Aaron tells Colin, he originally wanted to be in politics. Working in Congress for a few years, he saw the growth of partisan rancor. He also developed his speaking chops and realized he wanted to pursue history as a career. At UVA, he discovered that grad school isn't just for single people: he manag...

93 MINAUG 25
Comments
Episode 145: Aaron Sheehan-Dean

Episode 144: Stephanie McCurry

A native of Northern Ireland, Stephanie McCurry moved to Canada while in high school before settling in the United States. She studied under renowned slavery scholars Eugene and Elizabeth Fox Genovese as a grad student. She made a big splash with her first, prize-winning book, Masters of Small Worlds, which wove together politics, gender, and class relations in antebellum South Carolina. Her second book, Confederate Reckoning, published in 2010, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Now she has a new book, Women's War: Fighting and Surviving the American Civil War. Despite her success, Dr. McCurry is honest about the challenges she has faced. She talks about her rough road to settling in America, the often thorny nature of grad school politics, and producing scholarship amid changing jobs, moving across the country, and raising children. Through it all, she has focused on the role of women in 19th century American history and how she has tried to raise (and answer) new questions ab...

87 MINAUG 4
Comments
Episode 144: Stephanie McCurry

Episode 143: Once upon a Time in Hollywood: A Review

Colin saw the newest Quentin Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film explores the lives of a struggling actor, a stunt double, Sharon Tate, and the Manson family in a reimagining of 1969 Los Angeles. But is it any good? How does it carry on the Tarantino film tradition? And is it a comment of sorts about the Trump era?

30 MINJUL 28
Comments
Episode 143: Once upon a Time in Hollywood: A Review

Episode 142: Frank Kirkpatrick

Frank Kirkpatrick is a theologian and former religion professor at Trinity College, where he taught for 47 years. He was also Colin's advisor, overseeing his thesis on Soren Kierkergaard. Frank's class on major religious writers made Colin want to be a double major in religion and history as an undergraduate. Now, more than 20 years later, they talk about some major figures in American and European philosophy and how the United States is becoming a more secular country. It's an episode that takes on everything from Paul Tillich to Reinhold Niebuhr.

89 MINJUL 27
Comments
Episode 142: Frank Kirkpatrick

Episode 141: Jim Stramel

EOriginally from Iowa, Jim Stramel is a longtime resident of Richmond. As a college student in Florida, he hopped in a van bound for Virginia and hasn't looked back. Jim started making films on 16mm, work that culminated in his first full-length movie Thrillbillys (2001). Since then, Jim has moved on to making horror films, such as Degenerates Ink. His latest work is the webseries Reviled, which explores the dark world of zombie pit fighting. Over a couple of beers, Colin talks with Jim about how he got his start making films, his influences, "Old" Richmond, and why he likes working with musicians. Hopefully after this conversation, Sony will be calling soon!

76 MINJUL 1
Comments
Episode 141: Jim Stramel

Episode 140: Court Carney and Mad Men

Court Carney, a professor at Stephen F. Austin University, returns to the podcast to talk about a course he recently taught on the late, great AMC show Mad Men. As Court makes clear, the show is a rich text that tells us a lot about 1960s history. Mad Men first garnered attention for its stark portrayal of gender roles, but the series became iconic for its modernist look, sharp writing, morally and psychologically complex characters, and intricate plot lines. And because you can't have a conversation with Court without talking about music, Dr. Carney examines how the Mad Men soundtrack--using everything from the Beatles to Sergio Mendes--heightened the drama. Also, Colin and Court talk about 1980s synth pop and the memoir by Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy.

80 MINJUN 14
Comments
Episode 140: Court Carney and Mad Men