Past Present Podcast: Yale’s Confederate Past, Selfie Shaming, and Carly Fiorina, Feminist?


On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss Confederate history and memorialization, selfie shaming, and Carly Fiorina and conservative feminism.

Yale’s Confederate Past

Students at Yale have petitioned the university to rename the residential college named for John C. Calhoun, the South Carolina politician and ardent defender of slavery. (You can read the formal petition here.) Neil noted the recent book, Ebony and Ivy, by MIT historian Craig Steven Wilder explores the connection between northern universities and the institution of slavery.

Selfie Shaming

A group of sorority sisters being mocked for taking selfies at a recent Arizona Diamondbacks game quickly became a viral media sensation. Natalia referenced Christopher Lasch’s 1979 classic, The Culture of Narcissism, as one way to understand the “selfie” phenomenon, but suggested we might also recognize selfies as an act of female self-empowerment and self-expression in a culture with such demanding expectations regarding women’s appearance.

Carly Fiorina and Conservative Feminism

With her recent essay calling for “redefining feminism,” Carly Fiorina has joined the small ranks of conservative women who call themselves feminists. Other examples included the women of Feminists for Life, a pro-life organization founded in 1972 that believed it was a feminist duty to protect women from the atrocity of abortion.

What’s Making History

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