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Sparks Podcast

Reaching Across Illinois Library System

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Conversations about trends and issues affecting libraries. The Reaching Across Illinois Library System provides support services to about 1300 library institutions -- academic, public, school, and special -- in northern and western Illinois.
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Liminal State Productions is an award-winning production company based out of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Our projects include documentary and narrative video production, wedding videography, sound recording and engineering, puppetry, theatre direction, script writing, and more. If you can think of it, we've either done it or we're anxious to try it.
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All Things Local

Dr. Alicia M. Schatteman

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Hear ideas and challenges from people working in local government and nonprofit organizations. Hosted by Dr. Alicia Schatteman, Director of the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies at Northern Illinois University. We speak with public service researchers and workers across communities about topics and issues affecting their local towns, villages, cities, and neighborhoods.
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Cyclone Sports Commentary

Cyclone Sports Commentary

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Become a Paid Subscriber: https://anchor.fm/trevor-mcneil/subscribe Cyclone Sports commentary for Iowa State football and basketball games. Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/trevor-mcneil/support
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This week on the Hemp Podcast, Lancaster Farming talks with Kelly Burke from Kifcure, an Illinois-based hemp company that is focused on developing the hemp industry in the Land of Lincoln. Burke, along with her husband Jarett, have launched the Northern Illinois Hemp Hub, which recently hosted a hempcrete workshop in Maple Park, sixty miles west of…
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The names of Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, and Crazy Horse are often readily recognized among many Americans. Yet the longer, dynamic history of the Lakota - a history from which these three famous figures were created - remains largely untold. In Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power (Yale, 2019), historian Pekka Hämäläinen, author of The C…
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San Francisco began its American life as a city largely made up of transient men, arriving from afar to participate in the gold rush and various attendant enterprises. This large population of men on the move made the new and booming city a hub of what "respectable" easterners considered vice: drinking, gambling, and sex work, among other activitie…
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America’s waterways were once the superhighways of travel and communication. Coursing through a central line across the landscape, with tributaries connecting the South to the Great Plains and the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River meant wealth, knowledge, and power for those who could master it. In Masters of the Middle Waters: Indian Nations and …
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In Tip of the Spear: Land, Labor, and US Settler Militarism in Guåhan, 1944–1962 (Cornell University Press, 2023), Dr. Alfred Peredo Flores argues that the US occupation of the island of Guåhan (Guam), one of the most heavily militarised islands in the western Pacific Ocean, was enabled by a process of settler militarism. During World War II and th…
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This week on the hemp podcast we saddle up and gallop out to Gordonville, Lancaster County, for Horse Progress Days, a two-day celebration of all things horsepower. Nearly 40,000 people were in attendance July 5-6, mostly Amish and Mennonite farmers and families. The weather was hot, the air was thick with humidity and the sounds of horses whinnyin…
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This episode features a conversation with Dr. William Gow on his recently published book, Performing Chinatown: Hollywood, Tourism, and the Making of a Chinese American Community (Stanford University Press, 2024), focuses on the 1930s and 1940s Los Angeles–its Chinatowns, and “city,” as well as the Chinese American community’s relationship with Hol…
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Las Vegas is a place the American dream made; a city built in the middle of desert visited by millions of people every year hoping to make their dreams (big or small) come true. The essays in The Possibility Machine: Music and Myth in Las Vegas (University of Illinois Press, 2023) examines Las Vegas not as a kitschy, vaguely embarrassing American t…
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Throughout its history, the American West symbolized a place of hope and new beginnings, where anything was possible, especially for men. However, the history written until the 1970s and 1980s excluded women. In 'Gold Fever' and Women: Transformations in Lives, Health Care and Medicine in the 19th Century American West (Transcript, 2023), Sigrid Sc…
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In recent years, dozens of counties in North Carolina have partnered with federal law enforcement in the criminalization of immigration--what many have dubbed "crimmigration." Southern border enforcement still monopolizes the national immigration debate, but immigration enforcement has become common within the United States as well. While Immigrati…
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Between the mid-19th century and the start of the twentieth century, the Northern Paiute people of the Great Basin went from a self-sufficient tribe well-adapted to living on the harsh desert homelands, to a people singled out by the Native activist Henry Roe Cloud for their dire social and economic position. The story of how this happened is told …
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The Los Angeles shoreline is one of the most iconic natural landscapes in the United States, if not the world. The vast shores of Santa Monica, Venice, and Malibu are familiar sights to film and television audiences, conveying images of pristine sand, carefree fun, and glamorous physiques. Yet, in the early twentieth century Angelenos routinely lam…
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In this sweeping new history, esteemed University of North Carolina historian Kathleen DuVal makes the case for the ongoing, ancient, and dynamic history of Native nationhood as a critical component of global history. In Native Nations: A Millennium in North America (Random House, 2024), DuVal covers a thousand years of continental history, buildin…
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On this week’s podcast, we continue our coverage of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) annual conference, this year held in Prague, Czech Republic, June 5 to 7. As Lancaster Farming’s friendly neighborhood hemp reporter, I was invited to be part of an American delegation to the conference, funded in part by a grant from the USDA Market…
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If ancient Kyoto stands for orderly elegance, then Tokyo, within the world’s most populated metropolitan area, calls to mind–– jam-packed chaos. But in Emergent Tokyo: Designing the Spontaneous City (Oro Editions, 2022), Professor Jorge Almazán of Keio University and his Studio Lab colleagues ask us to look again—at the shops, markets, restaurants …
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Is involuntary psychiatric treatment the solution to the intertwined crises of untreated mental illness, homelessness, and addiction? In recent years, politicians and advocates have sought to expand the use of conservatorships, a legal tool used to force someone deemed “gravely disabled,” or unable to meet their needs for food, clothing, or shelter…
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Scholars working in archaeology, education, history, geography, and politics tell a nuanced story about the people and dynamics that reshaped this region and determined who would control it. The Ohio Valley possesses some of the most resource-rich terrain in the world. Its settlement by humans was thus consequential not only for shaping the geograp…
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On this week’s Hemp Podcast, I recap my recent visit to the Heart of Europe, the Golden City, the City of a Hundred Spires, the capital city of the Czech Republic and the historical capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia — Prague. The occasion for my trip was the European Industrial Hemp Association’s 21st annual Conference, this year held in the Czech …
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Tara López's Chuco Punk: Sonic Insurgency in El Paso (University of Texas Press, 2024), is an immersive study of the influential and predominantly Chicanx punk rock scene in El Paso, Texas. Punk rock is known for its daring subversion, and so is the West Texas city of El Paso. In Chuco Punk, Tara López dives into the rebellious sonic history of the…
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On this week’s hemp podcast we discuss a recent amendment to the House draft of the 2024 Farm Bill known as the Miller Amendment, which was introduced by Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill. The amendment effectively bans all hemp products with any amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the naturally occurring chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Th…
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For centuries, people who died destitute or alone were buried in potters’ fields—a Dickensian end that even the most hard-pressed families tried to avoid. Today, more and more relatives are abandoning their dead, leaving it to local governments to dispose of the bodies. Up to 150,000 Americans now go unclaimed each year. Who are they? Why are they …
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Join Gregg Thomas as he speaks with Gus Mantey, Peter Blicharz and Clayton Spiess all from the northwoods and all ready for opener. They talk patterns, tactics and what they expect to happen this weekend. www.llungenlures.com https://www.facebook.com/redoctoberbait https://sugsfishing.com https://www.facebook.com/clayton.spiess https://www.facebook…
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On this week’s hemp podcast, Lancaster Farming talks to Czech hemp farmer, consultant and advocate Hana Gabrielová, who started her first hemp company, Hempoint, in 2010 and has been instrumental in developing the hemp industry in the Czech Republic and Europe ever since. More recently, with several American partners she founded KonopiUS, which dis…
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Mexican Americans have often fit uncertainly into the white/non-white binary that has goverens much of American history. After Colorado, and much of the rest of the American West, became American claimed territory after the Mexican-Americna War in 1848, thousands of formerly Mexican citizens became American citizens. Flash foward a century to post-…
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Omar Valerio-Jiménez's book Remembering Conquest: Mexican Americans, Memory, and Citizenship (UNC Press, 2024) analyzes the ways collective memories of the US-Mexico War have shaped Mexican Americans' civil rights struggles over several generations. As the first Latinx people incorporated into the nation, Mexican Americans were offered US citizensh…
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A powerful analysis and call to action that reveals disability as one of the defining features of environmental devastation and resistance. Deep below the ground in Tucson, Arizona, lies an aquifer forever altered by the detritus of a postwar Superfund site. Disabled Ecologies: Lessons from a Wounded Desert (U California Press, 2024) tells the stor…
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Cyrus McCormick invented the revolutionary mechanical reaper in 1831...right? At least, that's how the story has been told for decades. In Harvesting History: McCormick's Reaper, Heritage Branding, and Historical Forgery (U Nebraska Press, 2023), National Park Service historian Daniel Ott argues that not only have textbooks and other sources of his…
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On this week’s Hemp Podcast, we talk to Guy Carpenter, founder of Bear Fiber in North Carolina, where he is spinning a blend of hemp and cotton into yarn and making garments like hats, shirts, and socks. “The vision was to incorporate sustainability and longevity into people’s lifestyle,” he said. Bear Fiber developed proprietary methods to produce…
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Apologies to Jimmy Stewart. I only went to Washington for one day. I took the train from Philadelphia May 6 to record a podcast episode at the Ag on the Mall event on the National Mall in D.C. The National Hemp Association and the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council invited me to spend time at their display. They had a tent set up with tables full o…
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In Mexican Exodus: Emigrants, Exiles, and Refugees of the Cristero War (Oxford University Press, 2019), Julia G. Young reframes the Cristero War as a transnational conflict, using previously unexamined archival materials from both Mexico and the United States to investigate the intersections between Mexico's Cristero War and Mexican migration to th…
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Herman J. (1897–1953) and Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909–1993) wrote, produced, and directed over 150 pictures. With Orson Welles, Herman wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane and shared the picture’s only Academy Award. Joe earned the second pair of his four Oscars for writing and directing All About Eve, which also won Best Picture. In The Brothers M…
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This week’s podcast takes us to a hempcrete workshop in Barto, Pennsylvania. That’s where Cameron McIntosh of Americhanvre Cast-Hemp hosted a four-day hands-on training session to teach the basics of the spray-applied method of hempcrete installation using the Ereasy system. Training began Saturday morning at McIntosh’s shop at a farm in Berks Coun…
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In 2022, the U.S. Mint released the first batch of its American Women Quarters series, celebrating the achievements of U.S. women throughout its history. The first set of five included Maya Angelou, Sally Ride…and Anna May Wong, the first Asian-American to ever appear on U.S. currency. Katie Gee Salisbury takes on Anna May Wong’s life in her book N…
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The Pacific Ocean is twice the size of the Atlantic, and while humans have been traversing its current-driven maritime highways for thousands of years, its sheer scale proved an obstacle to early European imperial powers. Enter Lope Martin, a forgotten Afro-Portuguese ship pilot heretofore unheralded by historians. In Conquering the Pacific: An Unk…
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Imagine an environmentalist. Are you picturing a Birkenstock-clad hippie? An office worker who hikes on weekends? A political lobbyist? What about a modern day timber worker? This last group is at the center of University of Oregon historian Steven C. Beda's new book, Strong Winds and Widow Makers: Workers, Nature, and Environmental Conflict in Pac…
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On this week’s hemp podcast, we listen to a panel discussion from the NoCo Hemp Expo that took place in Colorado earlier this month. The panelists were Rachel Berry, a farmer and founder of the Illinois Hemp Growers Association; Terry Moran, a sales rep from Kanda Hemp, an importer of Asian hemp varieties; Corbett Miteff from KonopiUS, an importer …
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In Code Work: Hacking Across the US/México Techno-Borderlands (Princeton UP, 2023), Héctor Beltrán examines Mexican and Latinx coders’ personal strategies of self-making as they navigate a transnational economy of tech work. Beltrán shows how these hackers apply concepts from the code worlds to their lived experiences, deploying batches, loose coup…
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