History

The Poisoner's Guide to Life

Deborah Blum, Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, UW-Madison, examines the history of poisons and the origins of chemical detection then invites the audience to solve a murder or two. Blum explores the way the lessons of forensics can help all of us navigate the maze of toxic chemicals in everyday life.

Limping through Life: A Farm Boy's Polio Memoir

Jerry Apps, Author and Professor Emeritus, UW-Madison, discusses his book, “Limping through Life: A Farm Boy’s Polio Memoir” with University Place Presents host Norman Gilliland. Apps, diagnosed with polio at the age of 12, shares the emotional and physical challenges he faced and explores how he has learned not only to cope, but to succeed.

50 years of Newborn Screening

Charles Brokopp, Director, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, offers the history of screening newborns which began 50 years ago with testing for PKU, phenylketonuria. Newborn babies in Wisconsin are now screened for more than 40 disorders with early detection saving lives, improving quality of life and cutting health care costs.

The History of the End of the World

Peter Sobol, Historian of Science, joins University Place Presents host Norman Gilliland to discuss the different cultures’ beliefs pertaining to the end of the world. Sobol presents a history beginning with the Egyptians and continuing to present day.

Celt, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian Encounters

Tom DuBois, Professor, Department of Scandinavian Studies, UW-Madison, joins University Place Presents host Norman Gilliland to delve into the art and history of encounters and connections among the Anglo-Saxons, Celts and Vikings in the years before 1066.

History of the Bicycle

David Herlihy, author of "Bicycle: The History," delves into the history of the bicycle, originally described as a “mechanical horse.” Herlihy discusses the invention of the bicycle, the freedom it provides, regardless of social class, and the passion surrounding this mode of transportation.

Fallout: The Making of a Radioactive Exhibit

Micaela Sullivan-Fowler, Curator, Ebling Library, UW-Madison, examines the use of radiation throughout history including: the use of x-rays in diagnosis and treatment, occupational hazards of working with radiation, the military use of x-rays, the history of tanning, a UW connection with Marie Curie, bomb shelters in the 1960s, the bombing of Hiroshima and concerns about nuclear accidents.

Thornton Wilder: Wisconsin Roots

Penelope Niven, author of "Thornton Wilder: A Life," and Tappan Wilder, Thornton Wilder's nephew, join University Place Presents host Norman Gilliland to discuss the life and work of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder.

Life, Death, and Archaeology at Fort Blue Mounds

Robert Birmingham, Author, offers a glimpse into the lives of the soldiers and settlers who sought refuge at Fort Blue Mounds, strategically located in southwestern Wisconsin, during an 1832 conflict. Fast forwarding to the present; Birmingham along with Wisconsin Historical Society archaeologists and volunteers search for the fort and unearth fascinating details into the lives of the inhabitants.

Genocide and Social Death

Claudia Card, Professor, Department of Philosophy, UW-Madison, explores genocide from a philosophical perspective. Card presents her hypothesis about social death and explains “the atrocity paradigm,” her theory of evil.

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