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Yes, there's actually a Vagina Museum. Located in London's Camden Market, the Vagina Museum is the world’s first bricks and mortar museum dedicated to vaginas, vulvas, and gynecological anatomy. We have a vision of a world where no one is ashamed of their bodies, everyone has bodily autonomy, and all of humanity works together to build a society that is free and equal. This is our podcast. Spoiler alert, it's about vaginas. In the first season of our podcast, you'll get six episodes that tak ...
 
I believe that museums are one of the best ways to discover a place, whether it’s your first time visiting or you’ve lived there your whole life. Join me on this adventure as I get to know the world….one museum as a time. I’m your host, Hannah Hethmon, and in each episode I visit a different museum to discover its stories, discuss challenges and triumphs with fascinating museum professionals (and volunteers), and get to know each season’s country, state, or region through it museums. Interes ...
 
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“Queer people and trans people have always existed and we will always exist.” In this episode, we’re exploring trans and gender-nonconforming saints, gods, and everyday people from the ancient and medieval past (and why their stories are so relevant to the present). Our guides on this journey are Dr Jonah Coman, a historian of medieval queer histor…
 
As you may know, some people advocate for eating one’s placenta after the birth of a child. The placenta can–according to proponents of the practice–be steamed, stir-fried, blended in a smoothie, or dried and encapsulated in pills. A whole host of benefits have been claimed, as has an ancient and global precedent. In this episode, we look for histo…
 
People with clitorises have been solo paddling the pink canoe since perhaps even before actual canoes were invented. Early on they invented tools to ease their burden. The greatest of these, the vibrator, has a wild origin story concerning Victorian doctors...which unfortunately isn’t true. In this episode, we explore the true history of the vibrat…
 
Coming to you from lockdown in London, this is Part III of a special mini-series on vagina myths! Myths busted in this episode: Periods are dirty; if you use a tampon you’re no longer a virgin; pubic hair is dirty and unhygienic; discharge means there is something wrong; vaginas are dirty and smelly–they need to be washed. (ALL FALSE.) COVID-19 has…
 
Coming to you from lockdown in London, this is Part II of a special mini-series on vagina myths! False pregnancy and contraception myths busted in this episode: You can't get pregnant if...the woman doesn’t orgasm; if you shower, urinate or douche right after sex; your partner pulls out before they ejaculate; it’s your first time having sexual inte…
 
Coming to you from lockdown in London, this is Part I of a special mini-series on vagina myths! Myths busted in this episode: 1. It's called a "vagina." 2. If you have a vagina then you are a woman. 3. The clitoris is impossible to find. 4. If you have lots of penetrative sex your vagina will get loose and your labia will get longer. (ALL FALSE) CO…
 
People have really strong feelings about “hair down there.” You could say it’s a “prickly” subject. But the way we talk about our pubic hair speaks volumes. In this episode, we part the bush of history to explore pubic hair preferences past and present. Dr. Kate Lister (Whores of Yore) gives us a history lesson on 18th century pubic hair wigs, the …
 
Gwyneth Paltrow is in the news again promoting scientifically dubious treatments for your vag. One practice that Goop has popularized is vaginal steaming. In this episode, we find out the history of V-steam and whether or not it’s actually good for you (Spoiler alert: It’s not! Don’t steam your vag!). OB/GYN Dr. Jen Gunter joins us to explain why y…
 
[A pilot for a new show I developed about living in London. I'm really proud of how it turned out, but I just don't have the time to make more episodes, so it's going to live here on the Museum in Strange Places feed. I meet up with escape room creator, museum professional, and self-proclaimed mermaid hunter Sacha Coward, who takes me somewhere tha…
 
Donald J. Trump has been active in business and media for fifty years, but his scandal-ridden presidency has overshadowed most of his history. Levi Fox's Pop-Up Atlantic City Trump Museum is an attempt to remedy this oversight for one specific chapter of the Trump story: his four Atlantic City casinos and the impact their short tenures and bankrupt…
 
He’s the master of macabre, the man who created mystery fiction, the face on the socks and beer bottles of everyday Baltimoreans. He’s Edgar Allan Poe, and he belongs to Baltimore. Join me on a visit to the Poe House in Baltimore, the tiny house where his career began, to learn about Baltimore’s devotion to Poe, his tragic life, and the future of h…
 
So much of Maryland was built on the back of enslaved Africans, yet it’s easy to avoid confronting the history of slavery in Maryland’s former plantation country. Historic Sotterley is trying to change that. The plantation was built in 1703 by a man who made his money off the slave trade, and the site was witness to 165 continuous years of slavery.…
 
About half of all museums in the US are in small towns in rural America. Each of these museums holds stories and objects that are worth preserving and sharing, but they don’t always have the funding and infrastructure they need to operate and innovate. That’s where Museum on Main Street comes in. This Smithsonian program brings traveling exhibits t…
 
What do Baltimore, Russian Jews, the third oldest synagogue in America, Eastern European Catholics, seances, and Harry Houdini have in common? You’ll find out in this episode, a visit to the Jewish Museum of Maryland, an institution that prioritizes storytelling (and is pretty good at it). Join me for a tour of the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue, …
 
S02/E07: Located in a waterfront 1860s oyster cannery in the Baltimore Harbor, The Baltimore Museum of Industry is trying to inspire and engage their visitors around the concept of work by telling the stories of historical workers. But in order to better fulfill this mission, the museum has to be constantly re-evaluating themselves and their assump…
 
The Sandy Spring Museum describes itself as “community-activated.” They want to be a secular gathering places, where people of different backgrounds can come together and build a sense of place and belonging. I visit the museum to speak with Executive Director Allison Weiss about the museum’s radically community-driven programming, the Quaker princ…
 
BONUS content from Episode 5, "The Lost City: Historic St. Mary’s City, Maryland." Dr. Regina Faden and I head down to Historic St. Mary's City's Waterfront exhibit, where we board the Maryland Dove, a replica 17th century sailing ship. The ship's Boatswain, Jeremy, talks to us about what it's like working on a historic ship and why old boats are l…
 
BONUS content from Episode 5, "The Lost City: Historic St. Mary’s City, Maryland." A brief stop at the active dig site of Historic St. Mary's City's Archeology Field School, where Dr. Travis Parno is guiding students from St. Mary's College in a dig to investigate the site of Maryland's first State House. Dr. Parno also tells me about his ongoing r…
 
In the early 17th century, 300 English settlers traveled to the new colony of Maryland in search of new opportunities and a place where they could practice their Catholic faith in peace. They built Maryland’s first capital, St. Mary’s City, and their city thrived...until its founders fell from power in England. Soon, St. Mary’s City was abandoned a…
 
BONUS CONTENT from Episode 4, “Museum Time Machine: The Peale Center.” The Peale Center’s Nancy Proctor shows me the museum’s Ring of Fire, explains the phenomenon of skeuomorphism, and tells me why gas lighting was such a game-changing technology in Baltimore. All the music in this episode is by Outcalls. Find more information on the museum and ph…
 
There’s a time machine in downtown Baltimore on Holliday Street. A time machine that will take you back to the origin of public collections of art, history, and science...and then zip you through the present and into the future of museums. The Peale Center, the oldest purpose-built museum space in the US, is starting its third century as a building…
 
Prince George’s County, Maryland is one of the wealthiest African American communities in the US, a suburban enclave of Black excellence just outside Washington, D.C. But it wasn’t always that way. At the small (but mighty) Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center, the passionate young Executive Director, Maleke Glee, tells me ab…
 
Tucked among other Maryland suburbs outside Washington, D.C., the cute little town of Greenbelt has a surprisingly radical history. It was one of three “green towns” built under the New Deal Era Resettlement Administration, and it was supposed to be a new way of living, a utopia. Was it really a utopia? And how did the model hold up over time? I di…
 
The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland is monument to outsider art, the creative spirit, and the search for truth. Step inside this glittering temple to intuition and inspiration to experience the museum’s marvelous “shows,” each of which comes from the singular mind of the museum’s founder and envisioner, Rebecca Alban Hoffberger…
 
In each season of this podcast, I explore a different country, state, or region through its museums. In Season 1, I traveled around Iceland. For season two, I decided to explore my native state of Maryland. I visited 22 of Maryland’s most interesting and unique museums, including America’s first purpose built museum, a historic synagogue, a black h…
 
Iceland has a lot of weird traditional foods, but nothing compares to fermented shark meat. The family at Bjarnarhöfn has been hunting and fermenting shark meat for nearly 400 years, although today they only process bycatch Greenland sharks. Many years ago, the family opened a Shark Museum at the farm to share their traditions and introduce the wor…
 
What would it look like if Indiana Jones was into volcanoes and created a museum in a small Icelandic village? The Volcano Museum in Stykkishólmur displays the art and geological specimens collected by volcanologist Haralður Sigurðsson from around the world during his many decades of exploration and research. I speak to museum manager, Filip Polách…
 
Walk into the War and Peace Museum, a small building sitting on a fjord north of Reykjavík, Iceland, and you're instantly transported into another era. Covering every wall are carefully arranged artifacts, photographs, and documents from the WWII years in Iceland. This is Guðjón Sigmundsson's personal collection, and it's full of surprises and unco…
 
Bonus! I go behind-the-scenes with Locatify's Steinunn Anna Gunnlaugsdóttir to talk about the making of Eldheimar's location-aware audio guide app (E19: Memorial to an Eruption). We chat about how Locatify joined the Eldheimar project, the beacon technology used in Eldheimar, and their new hyper-precise ultra-wideband system for museum apps. Locati…
 
On January 23, 1973, residents of the island town Vestmannaeyjar in Iceland were woken from sleep by the sounds of a huge fissure ripping open the earth. The Eldfell volcanic eruption that followed forced everyone to evacuate the island for six months. By the time the eruption stopped, 400 homes were covered by lava and the rest of the island was c…
 
No matter what happens on the Westman Islands off Iceland's south coast–invading pirates, mass Mormon exoduses, months-long volcanic eruptions, mysterious diseases, perilous fishing waters–the island people, Eyjamenn, always come back to rebuild and repopulate. That's what makes their home island, Heimaey, so unique. In this episode, I visit the lo…
 
After visiting the Icelandic Phallological Museum in Episode 16, I still didn't get what all the hype was about. So, I sat down with anthropology professor (and fellow Fulbright grantee) John Bodinger de Uriarte to talk about how the museum plays with our ideas of authority and reality, why gift shops in Reykjavík are "museums of imagined Icelandic…
 
I didn't really want to visit the Icelandic Phallological Museum, so to make it more fun, I invited along my Icelandic museum friend, Sig. Join us as we marvel at massive whale phalluses, question the motivation of human donors to the museum, and try to figure out why everyone loves this weird little museum in Reykjavík so much. (This episode conta…
 
For this episode, I'm back in Akureyri to visit The Industry Museum, a small museum formed from the enormous personal collection of one couple, who wanted to document the history of the many successful industries based in the "Capital of North Iceland" in the mid-20th Century. Deputy Director Jóna and I talk about nostalgia and relevance, and she s…
 
Tucked away in a narrow valley just below the town of Akureyri in North Iceland, Sverrir Hermansson's Museum of Sundry Objects is one eccentric man's spectacular collection of ordinary things. In this episode, I visit this beautiful little museum, get to know Sverrir, and have an experience that changes the way I think about museums. Music in this …
 
In this special episode about women's history in Iceland, I visit the Women's History Archive at the National and University Library of Iceland to speak to Rakel Adolphsdóttir about collecting women's history in Iceland and hunting for the women hidden in Iceland's archival collection. I also chat with the researchers behind the Hinsegin Huldkonur …
 
The Icelandic Aviation Museum in Akureyri is filled with great stories: locals crashing a Nazi glider into an open grave, the president's plane enlisted to beat the British in the Cod Wars, and a nineteen year search to find a missing WWII plane that crash landed in a glacier. The museum's Chairman of the board, Hörður Geirsson, gave me an insiders…
 
Just off the Ring Road in the north of Iceland, a small town once known for hunting seals has breathed new life into their community with a much more sustainable industry: seal watching. At the Seal Center in Hvammstangi, scientists and museum professionals are working together to study seal life in Iceland and help visitors engage more meaningfull…
 
The Icelandic music scene has produced a remarkable number of international stars like Sigur Rós, Björk, Kaleo, the Sugar Cubes, and Of Monsters and Men. You can learn more about them and discover new music at the Icelandic Museum of Rock 'n' Roll. It's a paradise for Icelandic music fans, but it will also impress museum-lovers and professionals wi…
 
How do you keep history fresh at a municipal history museum, even when many people in your audience have lived in that small town their entire lives? How do you best serve your local audience while still offering something interesting for tourists? These are the challenges the Hafnarfjörður Museum is trying to solve. The museum is housed in seven h…
 
How does a contemporary art institution–places that are notoriously elitist–provide a thriving cultural center in a town's that on the periphery of Iceland and the world? The Hafnarborg Centre of Culture and Fine Art is a contemporary art gallery and collection in the heart of downtown Hafnarfjörður, an old port town ten kilometers south of Reykjav…
 
Akranes is a coastal town in the southwest region of Iceland with a growing population of about 7,000. They have a unique heritage, as the area was settled in large part by Celts, not Norsemen. The charming Akranes Folk Museum has been around for almost 60 years, and is beginning a large project to revamp their exhibits to better serve the new resi…
 
Hafsteinn Thor has always been interested in geology, nature, biology, and philosophy...and acting and directing...and singing and learning new instruments. But when he met his wife's family, he was draw into their decades-old passion for stone and mineral collecting. Last year, he and his father-in-law finally set up a museum with the family's col…
 
I visit the Snorrastofa, a research and cultural center at Reykholt, the farm in southwestern Iceland where the great medieval Icelandic historian and writer Snorri Sturluson built his home, a church, and later a small fortress. Snorrastofa Project Manager Sigrun Guttomsdóttir Þormar and I talk about Snorri's dramatic life, his legacy, and his hot …
 
I visit the Reykjavík City Museum to talk with Museum Director Guðbrandur Benediktsson about museum mergers, historians as presidents, the state of history in Iceland, and the future of history museums in Reykjavík. The music in this episode is "Humble History Song" by the Icelandic singer/ songwriter Ceasetone. ________ Museums in Strange Places i…
 
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