The History Fangirl Podcast

The History Fangirl Podcast
A Global History Geek-Out

The Great Kazakh Famine
Sep 19, 2018 • 31 min
On today’s episode of the History Fangirl Podcast, we talk with renowned travel blogger Megan Starr, whom we spoke to a few months back about Kiev. But this week, we’re talking in person, in Kazakhstan, at the site of the memorial to the Great Kazakh…
The World Nomad Games
Sep 3, 2018 • 42 min
This week’s episode is something a little different. I am in Isyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, covering the World Nomad Games, a festival of sports that’s sort of like the Olympics for nomadic peoples. The sports, though, are way more interesting than, say,…
The Massacre at Srebrenica
Aug 27, 2018 • 63 min
Last year, Alex Cruikshanks came on the show to talk about Belgrade, a really detailed and wide-ranging episode. And we had such a great time, he’s back again to talk about more recent history in Yugoslavia, specifically the brutal massacre at Srebrenica.…
The Strangely Competitive History of the CN Tower
Aug 20, 2018 • 54 min
Every city has that one landmark that seems like a tourist trap and practically begs you not to visit. For me, that was the CN Tower in Toronto. I didn’t go near it the first time I visited the city, and the second time, this past July, I planned to steer…
Traveling the Green Book
Aug 13, 2018 • 51 min
In the first half of the 20th century, the automobile became a symbol of freedom to American families. Middle-class families able to afford their own car were no longer restricted to train or bus timetables, and the great American road trip was born. But…
The Best of The History Fangirl Podcast’s First Year
Aug 8, 2018 • 38 min
We did it! Next week will mark a full year of publishing The History Fangirl Podcast, and this week marks the 50th episode, so it felt like the right time to do a retrospective of the first 12 months of the show. My producer picked a handful of his…
Philadelphia’s Elfreth’s Alley
Jul 30, 2018 • 57 min
Philadelphia is by far one of my favorite American cities. I used to live there and run a photo-a-day website there, and it’s one of the best cities to live in if you’re a history buff. On today’s episode, we talk about the amazing Elfreth’s Alley, the…
Atlanta’s Ponce City Market
Jul 23, 2018 • 39 min
One of the fascinating things about the city of Atlanta, Georgia is how often it has had to change and adapt to forces around it. Sometimes it’s gone kicking and screaming, and sometimes it’s forged its own path. Because it’s arguably undergone more major…
Bonus! Petra
Jul 16, 2018
The last three weeks have been crazy, and I haven’t been able to record anything new. My apologies for the delay! As a quick explanation, I found out that I had to move out of my apartment with only ten days left in the country to deal with…
Bonus: Copenhagen!
Jul 2, 2018 • 51 min
I have a new show! Rick Steves Over Brunch is a podcast where Chris Mitchell (from travelingmitch) and I break down episodes of the classic travel tv show, Rick Steve’s Europe. The show launched on April 30, 2018, and new episodes drop every other Sunday.…
England’s Roman Baths
Jun 27, 2018 • 45 min
The town of Bath in England is famous for many things. It was the setting for one of Chaucer’s most famous stories from The Canterbury Tales, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,” it was a Georgian pleasure town and its hot springs have attracted people to it since…
Barcelona’s Groundbreaking Trans Monument
Jun 18, 2018 • 60 min
When traveling, or thinking of where to visit to memorialize civil rights events and advances, it’s all too easy for straight people to forget about LGBTQ monuments. That’s partially because of the lack of proper sites memorializing LGBTQ rights. But on…
The Lost History of the Black Pioneers
Jun 11, 2018 • 68 min
On today’s episode of the History Fangirl Podcast, we discuss an aspect of history that, I don’t mind saying, was a total blind spot for me. I was so honored to talk with Anna-Lisa Cox, an adjunct member of the History Department and fellow at Harvard…
What happened at Chernobyl?
Jun 4, 2018 • 63 min
On today’s episode, we talk with a woman on a quest to visit every country on the planet, Jessica Elliott of How Dare She. And this week, Jessica and I talk about Chernobyl, a word that signifies a place, a devastating catastrophe, and a cultural moment…
Kiev: Beauty through Tumult
May 28, 2018 • 37 min
On today’s episode of the History Fangirl Podcast, we talk with renowned travel blogger Megan Starr, who has carved out a fascinating niche in the travel world as an expert in the post-Soviet countries, particularly Ukraine. As Megan tells me, Kiev is a…
No Place Like It: A History of Singapore
May 21, 2018 • 56 min
On today’s episode of the History Fangirl Podcast, we talk with Ravi Mehta, host of The Wealth of Nations podcast. If you’ve ever traveled through southeast Asia, you know the one place you do not want to stop is Singapore, unless you’re flush with cash.…
Josiah Henson and the Underground Railroad
May 14, 2018 • 33 min
My guest today, Jared Brock, author of The Road to Dawn: Josiah Henson and the Story That Sparked the Civil War, says that roughly one in three Americans live in close proximity to Civil War or Underground Railroad history, many never realizing it. On…
Roskilde: The Vikings Go to Denmark
May 8, 2018 • 41 min
On today’s episode of the History Fangirl Podcast, we talk with Noah Tetzner, host of the fantastic The History of Vikings Podcast. Vikings have come up a few times on this show, including their time in Iceland’s Thingvellir and their sacking of…
An Irreverent History of Disney World
Apr 30, 2018 • 48 min
On today’s very special episode of the History Fangirl Podcast, I, a Disney Skeptic, try to figure out why anyone over the age of nine would ever want to go to Disney World. And luckily, for this task I have Maggie Garvin on the show. Maggie is not only…
Space Tourism in Houston, Texas
Apr 23, 2018 • 35 min
While the History Fangirl Podcast has typically gone around the world to find the most fascinating stories, today we’re taking our eyes off the Earth and casting our gaze starward. Today’s guest is Valerie Stimac, an accomplished travel writer who has…
The Storied History of the Guinness Storehouse
Apr 16, 2018 • 36 min
On today’s episode of the History Fangirl Podcast, we’re talking with someone who has arguably the coolest job in the field of history, and one you may not have even known about. My guest today is Fergus Brady, the archives manager at the Guinness…
Penn Station: Sacrficial Lamb
Apr 9, 2018 • 48 min
If you’ve ever been to New York City, there’s a good chance you traveled through Penn Station at some point. And then you instantly regretted it. On today’s episode, my guest is Greg Young of the famous Bowery Boys podcast, and we talk about the sad…
The Colorful History of Lindisfarne
Apr 2, 2018 • 34 min
Maybe you’ve heard of the Book of Kells or the Gospel of Lindisfarne: These illuminated manuscripts are not only high works of religious text, but doors that open history to current scholars. Today on the show we’re talking about Lindisfarne, the island…
The Lost History of Angkor
Mar 26, 2018 • 70 min
Angkor, along with its most famous temple Angkor Wat, is one of the most unique places in the world. The French claim to have discovered it when Cambodia was part of French Indochina, but like so many “lost” places the locals always knew about it.…
Belfast and the Troubles
Mar 19, 2018 • 49 min
Belfast is many different things to many different people. It’s both the second-largest city on the island of Ireland and the capital of Northern Ireland. With Brexit looming, Belfast’s attachment to the United Kingdom grows ever more tenuous. But wasn’t…
Birmingham and the Civil Rights Movement
Mar 12, 2018 • 60 min
With just a week left in office, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation declaring the Birmingham, Alabama Civil Rights District a national monument. Birmingham played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement in America in the 1950s and ‘60s.…
Windsor Castle
Mar 5, 2018 • 43 min
England’s Windsor Castle has been home to 39 British monarchs, with its history stretching back nearly 1,000 years to William the Conqueror. My guest today is Deborah Cadbury, the author of Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages That Shaped…
Bangkok and the Kingdom of Siam
Feb 26, 2018 • 51 min
In January I took a trip to Southeast Asia, and—somewhat arbitrarily—I decided to make Bangkok, Thailand my first stop. Ever since being entranced by the famed musical The King and I as a kid, I’ve been fascinated with the Kingdom of Siam, and have been…
How Bordeaux Got Its Wine
Feb 19, 2018 • 31 min
In September I got to go to Bordeaux with a friend who is a 100% certified wine snob. I figured she would enjoy all of the wine, while I mostly focused on getting work done. But I was surprised by how easily I fell in love with the city, one of France’s…
The Literary Pubs of Dublin
Feb 12, 2018 • 42 min
I recently got to take an amazing trip to Dublin, Ireland, working with the Irish tourism board. And one of the amazing things about working with a tourism board is that you get to see things that you might not normally see, or at least see them in a new…
A Very Special Q&A
Feb 5, 2018 • 53 min
This week marks the six-month episode of the podcast, and to celebrate I conducted a live Q&A with listeners and Facebook followers on Facebook Live. That last sentence is only half true, as the real reason this episode is a Q&A is because my shaky wifi…
The Hermit Kingdom of Albania
Jan 29, 2018 • 54 min
When you think of an isolated, walled-off country, your mind might immediately go to North Korea. But during the Communist era, Albania may have actually been even more secluded, despite the fact it shared a border with Greece. On today’s episode, my…
The Grand Place
Jan 22, 2018 • 44 min
Brussels, Belgium is an often-overlooked city, with neighboring capitals of Amsterdam and Paris stealing the spotlight. But Belgium is definitely much more than just great beer and chocolate. My guest today is Drew Vahrenkamp of The Wonders of the World…
The Oracle of Delphi
Jan 15, 2018 • 58 min
Visiting Greece can be overwhelming, with the number of historical landmarks to visit. But the Oracle of Delphi, high up in the mountains, is one of the most beautiful, and most memorable, places to visit. The history of the site is enthralling, the views…
The Brooklyn Bridge
Jan 8, 2018 • 35 min
The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge changed New York City forever, connecting the suburb to Manhattan, and establishing the borough as a vital part of the city’s life and culture. It’s easy to look at a bridge now and say, “Of course that bridge had…
Exploring Wartime Berlin
Jan 1, 2018 • 56 min
There is no shortage of history books covering World War II, and it’s even a joke that if you want to win an Oscar, just make a movie about the Nazis. But despite all of the attention paid to WWII and the years leading up to it, a lot of us don’t have a…
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Dec 25, 2017 • 56 min
Bethlehem may be the most famous small town on Earth. The town is of course known as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, but beyond its most famous citizen, what do people really know about the city? For me, the answer as “not much.” I had the chance to…
Belgrade: Rise of the White City
Dec 18, 2017 • 69 min
The former Republic of Yugoslavia, and specifically the city of Belgrade, occupies a dark space in our collective memory. The Civil War that broke out there in the 1990s, and the ethnic cleansing that ensued, serves as a crossroads between the past and…
The Boston Witch Trials
Dec 11, 2017 • 32 min
The Salem Witch Trials are one of the most (in)famous events in American history. There are plays, movies and books about it, and no American schoolkid made it to junior high without learning about them. But did you know that there were actually witch…
The Civil War Defenses of Washington, D.C.
Dec 4, 2017 • 38 min
For American history buffs, the Civil War can feel like covered ground. But if you put aside the big battles and turning points, there are still so many smaller, fascinating stories deserving to be told. And there truly is no one better to dig into those…
Banqueting House: The Place to Kill a King
Nov 27, 2017 • 33 min
Visiting London can be overwhelming, with the list of must-see locations stretching as high as Big Ben. But my guest today, author Leanda de Lisle, takes us deep into a lesser-known but historically vital London locale: Banqueting House. We talked about…
The Painted Churches of Moldavia
Nov 20, 2017 • 32 min
At this point, there aren’t be too many “hidden gems” left in the world for savvy travelers and history geeks alike, but the Painted Churches of Moldavia may just be one of the last. My guest today is Ciprian Slemko, a guide with Hello Bucovina, which…
The Lost City of Cahokia
Nov 13, 2017 • 45 min
If you ask most Americans about the history of their country, they’ll start somewhere around 1492, or maybe even 1776. But before the pilgrims and before John Hancock, of course there were large, thriving civilizations of American Indians. One of the most…
New York’s Central Park
Nov 6, 2017 • 30 min
Though it may seem like Central Park has always been a landmark for visitors and native New Yorkers alike, that’s not actually the case. The park, like much of the city, was very carefully mapped and planned out. But unlike the rest of the city, which was…
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar
Oct 30, 2017 • 45 min
Traveling throughout Europe, you can find the legacy of the Ottoman Empire just about everywhere. But if you want to experience a place that has lived through the ebbs and flows of the empire, and connects us through more than 500 years of history, you…
The Beaches of Normandy
Oct 23, 2017 • 55 min
We all know the basic story of the Allied Forces storming the Beaches of Normandy in World War II. It’s one of the most dramatic and harrowing events in modern warfare. But my brain couldn’t comprehend the size and scale of the allied forces’ operation,…
Iceland’s Thingvellir
Oct 16, 2017 • 49 min
If you’ve ever visited Iceland, you know the natural beauty of the planes of Thingvellir is something special. But what you may not know, is that this open field was once home to perhaps the oldest governing body of Western Civilization. That’s why this…
The UNESCO World Heritage Site List
Oct 9, 2017 • 34 min
Gary Arndt is a renowned travel blogger and photographer who has made it his mission to travel to all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from the big names like the Great Wall of China to the most remote islands of the Pacific Ocean. In 2007, Gary sold…
The Walls of Constantinople
Oct 2, 2017 • 57 min
Patrick Wyman is a historian and podcaster I hold in great regard and I’ve invited him on the show today to discuss the history and prominence of the great Walls of Constantinople and the role they’ve played in the history of the city of Constantinople,…
The Acropolis and the Golden Age of Athens
Sep 25, 2017 • 71 min
Guest: Ryan Stitt of “The History of Ancient Greece” podcast.
Reinventing the Dragon City of Ljubljana
Sep 18, 2017 • 36 min
Dr Noah Charney
Discovering The Lost City of Petra
Sep 11, 2017 • 42 min
Guest: Jane Taylor, author of “Petra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataens”
Agamemnon’s Mycenae
Sep 4, 2017 • 39 min
Guest: John Bennet of the British School at Athens
The West Bank Separation Wall
Aug 28, 2017 • 54 min
This episode covers the history of the West Bank Separation Wall with Tamer Halaseh from Tamer Tours. We discuss the history of Israel and Palestine, the Wall, and what it’s like to travel Palestine’s West Bank. Stephanie Craig is an amateur historian and…
The Birthplace of “Gone with the Wind”
Aug 21, 2017 • 38 min
This episode covers the life of Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone with the Wind, and the history of the Margaret Mitchell House. The guest is Jessica Vanlanduyt from the Atlanta History Center. Stephanie Craig is an amateur historian and travel…
Rila Monastery
Aug 14, 2017 • 53 min
Eric Halsey - Bulgarian History Podcast
The Roman Forum
Aug 13, 2017 • 52 min
Ep. 1 covers the history of the Roman Forum with Mike Duncan from the History of Rome and Revolutions podcasts. We cover the forum’s history, its place in society, and Mike’s upcoming Roman history book The Storm Before the Storm. Stephanie Craig is an…
Start Here
Aug 12, 2017 • 2 min
This episode is a quick intro to the History Fangirl Podcast, an interview podcast about great historic places for the history enthusiast or future traveler. Stephanie Craig is a history and travel blogger. She writes at