What'sHerName

What'sHerName

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Women’s History Podcast


POET Hester Pulter
May 6 • 41 min
In 1996, a graduate student working in a library in England discovered the manuscript of a novel and 120 poems by completely unknown 17th century woman writer. Hester Pulter had been hiding in plain sight for four centuries. Now a dedicated team of…
GIRL OF IRON Mary Peterson Ipsen
Apr 22 • 40 min
The story of America’s transcontinental railroad is a masculine saga. But today we present the story of Union Pacific’s most unlikely employee: a 12-year-old Mormon girl. Mary Peterson Ipsen was a railroad cook. An immigrant from Denmark, she had walked…
TRANSLATOR Malintzin
Apr 8 • 39 min
Malintzin has been one of Mexico’s greatest villains for 500 years. A native of Veracruz, she translated for Hernan Cortes, the conquistador who destroyed the Aztec Empire. But she did more than translate: she birthed his children, helped him win battles,…
WHITE ROSE Sophie Scholl
Mar 25 • 40 min
In Nazi Germany, resistance was not just forbidden, it was deadly. But in 1942, a group of young college students went from enthusiastic supporters of the Third Reich to some of its most vocal opponents, publishing thousands of leaflets calling Hitler a…
WARRIOR Zenobia
Mar 11 • 37 min
In 3rd century Palmyra (modern-day Syria), the bold and brilliant queen Zenobia defied the Roman Empire and launched a wildly successful campaign of expansion, eventually ruling Arabia, Egypt, and parts of Asia Minor. But at her final defeat in 272, her…
OPTIMIST Émilie du Châtelet
Feb 25 • 43 min
Do we live in the best of all possible worlds? Émilie du Châtelet thought so, and set out to prove it with empirical evidence three hundred years ago. Raised at the lavish court of Louis XIV, she stood out like a sore thumb: while the women around her…
MUSE Carolyn Cassady
Feb 11 • 42 min
Carolyn Cassady was an artist, costume designer, writer, and critical influence on the members of the Beat Generation. Her marriage to Neal Cassady and her friendships with Jack Kerouac and other prominent members of the Beats have long overshadowed her…
SCULPTOR Edmonia Lewis
Jan 28 • 38 min
What if you had a vision for your life, but absolutely everyone around you told you it was impossible? Edmonia Lewis lived a life so improbable, that if we didn’t have the actual evidence that she really existed, we’d never believe it! The orphaned…
FLY GIRL Ruth Nichols
Jan 14 • 39 min
Ruth Rowland Nichols was a pioneer of early aviation, the only woman yet to hold simultaneous world records for speed, altitude, and distance, the first woman to attempt a solo flights across the Atlantic Ocean, the founder of the Relief Wings branch of…
CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Ursula Bloom
Dec 17, 2018 • 26 min
Ursula Bloom wrote over 560 books, earning her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most prolific female writer. Born in 1892, Ursula spent her early years in Shropshire, England, the daughter of a clergyman. Her memories of…
AERONAUT Sophie Blanchard
Dec 3, 2018 • 34 min
On land, Sophie Blanchard was a timid, anxious woman who could hardly stand the noise and commotion of 18th century Paris. But after her first flight in a hot-air balloon, she was hooked, and would spend the rest of her life chasing the peace and freedom…
EMPRESS Nur Jahan
Nov 19, 2018 • 33 min
Nur Jahan was the only Empress in the history of the Mughal Empire. Reigning as an equal with her husband Jahangir, she was the only woman to issue executive orders, mint coins, or lead an army — and her tiger-hunting skills were legendary. Though she was…
AMBULANCE DRIVER Maud Fitch
Nov 5, 2018 • 37 min
During the height of WWI, Maud Fitch, a cowgirl from the desert between Nevada and Utah, wanted to join up when America entered WWI. Unable to enlist as a soldier (she was a woman, after all!) she purchased an ambulance and shipped it at her own expense…
WITCHES & MEDIUMS & GHOSTS, OH MY! The Halloween Special
Oct 22, 2018 • 51 min
The What’sHerName Halloween Special brings you stories of witches, ghosts, mediums and mysterious deaths from some of our favorite former (and future) guests. Join Paul Draper, Mary Sharratt, Charlotte Bumgarner and Sharon Wright for some…
REVOLUTIONARY Mae Mallory
Oct 8, 2018 • 27 min
Mae Mallory was a radical civil rights activist, Black Power movement leader, school desegregation organizer and strong proponent of Black armed self-defense. Her passionate dedication to “solving Black peoples’ problems” changed the world, but her name…
TRUE LOVE Dorothy Osborne
Sep 24, 2018 • 36 min
In this episode, a 17th-century tale of true love and extreme patience. Dorothy Osborne and William Temple fell deeply in love, but her family forbade the match. For years, while Dorothy’s creepily overbearing brother presented her with suitor after…
SINGLE LADY Marjorie Hillis
Sep 10, 2018 • 33 min
Marjorie Hillis’ surprise bestseller Live Alone and Like It was a sensation when it was published in 1936. Determined to shift the narrative around singleness and encourage women to make active choices about their lives, Hillis used the insights gained in…
MARTYRS Perpetua and Felicitas
Aug 27, 2018 • 34 min
When your heart tells you to do one thing, and your parents tell you to do another, what do you do? 22-year-old Perpetua faced this dilemma 1,800 years ago in ancient Carthage. She faced a grisly death in an ancient Roman arena with her slave, Felicitas,…
LADY NOVELIST Constance Fenimore Woolson
Aug 13, 2018 • 39 min
Constance Fenimore Woolson was one of the most popular writers of the 19th century. Her friendship with fellow writer Henry James would last decades, and her life would carry her from the East coast of America to Florida to England, France and Italy, and…
ASTRONOMER Caroline Herschel
Jul 30, 2018 • 43 min
Hundreds of years ago, Caroline Herschel lived a real-life Cinderella story. Except instead of marrying a handsome prince, she became a world-renowned astronomer! Her brutal childhood was one of servitude, suffering and loneliness.Childhood diseases piled…
COMPOSER Alma Mahler
Jul 16, 2018 • 35 min
Alma Schindler Mahler was a brilliant composer, pianist, and “influencer” who has largely been remembered only for the men with whom she had relationships. Her musical compositions are finally beginning to be recognized for their brilliance and performed…
BAKER Sally Lunn
Jul 2, 2018 • 31 min
Sallie Lunn was born in France, but moved to Bath, England in 1680 to escape religious persecution. She brought with her a special skill: baking delicious brioche-style bread. Developing her own unique recipe, she sold her buns in the streets of Bath,…
JOURNALIST Claudia Jones
Jun 18, 2018 • 39 min
Claudia Jones (born Claudia Cumberbatch) was a journalist, Black Nationalist and prominent member of the American Communist Party. Emigrating from Trinidad to NYC at eight years old, she was an extremely well-known peace activist and worked toward civil…
SAXON: Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim
Jun 4, 2018 • 37 min
Living in Saxony 1100 years ago, in a culture much like the Vikings we are more familiar with, Hrotsvitha probably witnessed violence against women all the time. Violence was a part of society, and she retreated to an intellectual life. But there, too she…
FAIR LABOR LAWYER Bessie Margolin
Apr 23, 2018 • 37 min
Bessie Margolin grew up the New Orleans Jewish Orphan’s Home, was one of the first women to graduate from Tulane Law School and earned her PhD in Law from Yale University in 1932. Her groundbreaking work as Assistant Solicitor of Labor for the New Deal’s…
MAID OF MONTEREY: Maria Ruiz de Burton
Apr 16, 2018 • 33 min
What’sHerName Women’s History Podcast brings you fascinating women you’ve never heard of. Maria Ruiz de Burton was a writer, entrepreneur and businesswoman, and the first Mexican-American woman to publish a novel in English. Born in 1832 in Baja…
REVOLUTIONARY ACTRESS: Sahib Gizzatullina
Apr 9, 2018 • 36 min
A classic story of a young woman defying her parents to follow her heart, but with a fascinating Russian twist! Sahib Gizzatullina lived for the stage, introducing Russian audiences to theater for the first time in their lives. She and her penniless…
SISTERS: Jane and Anna Maria Porter
Apr 2, 2018 • 41 min
Sisters Jane and Anna Maria Porter were wildly popular writers—among the most widely-read writers in Regency England. (Yes, more popular than Jane Austen!) Their novels were on every British bookshelf, their poetry was popular and acclaimed, and Jane…
SAGE: Gargi Vachaknavi
Mar 26, 2018 • 36 min
Are public debates like the feuds we see on Twitter and Facebook a product of modern society? Gargi Vachaknavi has long been remembered in India for her brilliant performance in a public debate 2,700 years ago. Her story offers a refreshing model for how…
RADICAL: Lola Ridge, Modernist Poet
Mar 19, 2018 • 31 min
Rose Emily Ridge was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1973. After spending her childhood in Australia and New Zealand, she fled an abusive husband for California in 1907. Arriving in America, she promptly changed her name, her age, her nationality and her…
VISIONARY: Hildegard of Bingen
Mar 12, 2018 • 38 min
Nine hundred years ago, Hildegard of Bingen was given by her parents to the Catholic Church as a child. She was literally “walled up” in a tiny convent, completely cut off from the outside world. But over the course of her long and varied life, she…
DISAPPEARING WOMAN: Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic
Mar 5, 2018 • 34 min
Adelaide Herrmann ruled the stage for fifty years as one the brightest stars of the Golden Age of Magic. After the death of her husband, renowned magician Herrmann the Great, Adelaide took center stage and toured for thirty years as one of the most famous…
MUSICIAN: Mary Lou Williams
Feb 5, 2018 • 42 min
Mary Lou Williams was one of the most innovative, creative, groundbreaking musicians in the history of jazz. She was a brilliant and prolific composer and uniquely gifted pianist whose influence spans nearly the entire timeline of jazz music, but her name…
PHILOSOPHER: Margaret Cavendish
Jan 29, 2018 • 40 min
Four hundred years ago, Margaret Cavendish dared to contemplate the biggest philosophical questions of her day. Brilliant and bold, she wrote 21 books despite being dismissed or mocked by the almost entirely male intellectual community. A famously…
UNSINKABLE: Margaret “Molly” Brown
Jan 22, 2018 • 41 min
Margaret Brown (who was renamed Molly after her death by the playwright Meredith Wilson) is often cited as the quintessential American rags-to-riches story. Born to poor Irish immigrants in Missouri, Margaret went on to become one of the wealthiest women…
PRINCESS: Te Puea Herangi, Maori Leader
Jan 15, 2018 • 39 min
Te Puea Herangi was one of the most important and influential Maori leaders of the 20th century. Born into the family of the Maori King, she was a tireless activist for her people. Her work to assure economic prosperity in the Waikato region, her fierce…
BOOK MISSIONARY: Mary Lemist Titcomb, Inventor of the Bookmobile
Jan 8, 2018 • 31 min
What’sHerName Women’s History Podcast: Mary Lemist Titcomb was a pioneering librarian at the turn of the 20th century, when public libraries were first appearing in America. Believing strongly in the power of books, especially for children in far-flung…
SINNER: Pearl DeVere, Legendary Madam of Cripple Creek
Jan 1, 2018 • 41 min
What’sHerName Women’s History Podcast: Pearl DeVere was one of the most famous and successful madams in the history of the American West. From a suitably mysterious background, Pearl built a thriving business that became one of the most famed “parlor…
SAINT: Margaret Clitherow, Martyr of the English Reformation
Jan 1, 2018 • 31 min
What’sHerName Women’s History Podcast: Margaret Clitherow’s life—and death—were shaped by the religious upheavals of the Protestant Reformation in Elizabethan (16th century) England. A devoted Catholic in a time and place where Catholicism was illegal,…
What’sHerName Women’s History Podcast #2
Dec 14, 2017
What’sHerName women’s history podcast tells the stories of fascinating women you’ve never heard of, but should have. Through compelling interviews with well-known and unknown history scholars, curators, authors and historians, hosts Katie Nelson and…
What’sHerName Women’s History Podcast Trailer #1
Dec 1, 2017
What’sHerName women’s history podcast tells the stories of fascinating women you’ve never heard of, but should have. Through compelling interviews with well-known and unknown history scholars, curators, authors and historians, hosts Katie Nelson and…