Biography

Biography

United States

The podcasting of a life, by Matt Smith. “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” - Charles Dickens.

Episodes

Douglas Mawson 3: Flaws in the Ice  

Douglas Mawson expedition across the ice has been met with tragedy. One of his men has fallen down a crevice and died, and with him the majority of the food stores and the good sleigh dogs.

He and Mertz have little option but to turn back and try to make their way to the base. But the weather is against them, and they don't have enough food to make back.

Guest: Dr David Day (Historian and Emeritus of La Trobe University).

Books:
Flaws in the Ice: In search of Douglas Mawson (Scribe, 2013)
Antarctica: A Biography (Oxford, 2012)

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Douglas Mawson 2: The Home of the Blizzard  

Douglas Mawson has returned from the Shackleton Expedition in Antarctica, but he soon gets the urge to go back to the ice. He journeys to England to raise money for his own Antarctic mission - a scientific endeavour with the primary aim to discover new territory.

Guest: Dr David Day (Historian and Emeritus of La Trobe University).

Books:
Flaws in the Ice: In search of Douglas Mawson (Scribe, 2013)
Antarctica: A Biography (Oxford, 2012)

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Douglas Mawson 1: The Pole Hunters  

Douglas Mawson is one of the great explorers of Antarctica, and regarded as a hero in Australia. His first journey to the frozen continent was as a member of the Shackleton expedition, and he was given the task of finding the magnetic south pole.

Guest: Dr David Day (Historian and Emeritus of La Trobe University).

Books:
Flaws in the Ice: In search of Douglas Mawson (Scribe, 2013)
Antarctica: A Biography (Oxford, 2012)

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Confucius 2: The Master Says  

After his death, the teachings that are attributed to Confucius take on a life on their own. We now look at the philosophy of Confucius, the trouble with interpreting his teachings, and what Confucianism means in today's world.

Guest: Professor John Makeham (Director, China Studies Research Centre, La Trobe University).

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Confucius 1: The Man Who Moves the Mountain  

A philosopher, teacher, and political thinker, Confucius lived 2500 years ago, in the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. While his teachings and thinking has travelled worldwide, it is a hard task to separate the man from the myth.

Guest: Professor John Makeham (Director, China Studies Research Centre, La Trobe University).

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Catherine the Great 4: Without you, Felitsa  

By the end of her reign there was little doubt that Catherine had earned the 'Great' which was attached to her name. But what did Russia make of the empire she had built, and why is she most notably remembered for her sexual promiscuity?

Guest: Associate Professor Adrian Jones (History, La Trobe University)

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Catherine the Great 3: The Warrior Empress  

Catherine the Great took control of Russia, tried to make it a better place, and made sure the rest of the world couldn't ignore it's greatness.

Guest: Associate Professor Adrian Jones (History, La Trobe University)

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Catherine the Great 2: Patron and Collector  

Catherine the Great is well known for being a patron for a range of artists and intellectuals. Her art collection, now housed in the Hermitage in St Petersburg, is one of the most varied and valuable in the world.

Guest: Laurie Benson (Curator, National Gallery of Victoria)

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Catherine the Great 1: Rise of a German Princess  

Catherine the Great is one of Russia's most respected rulers, seen as raising Russia's reputation and building a powerful, cultured empire to rival Europe. It's almost hard to imagine that she was a little-known German princess, put into place by an elaborate power play.

Guest: Associate Professor Adrian Jones (History, La Trobe University)

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Vida Goldstein  

Vida Goldstein was a political activist in Australia, helping Australian women win the right to vote twenty years before Britain. Through tireless campaigning and rallying, she changed the perception of women in politics, and was held up as an example of what could be achieved for women around the world.

Guest: Associate Professor Clare Wright (History, La Trobe University)

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Martin Luther King Jr 2: I Have a Dream  

Martin Luther King's effectiveness in the civil rights movement made him the target of fierce opposition, but he was never swayed from protesting. His speech at the March on Washington is famous around the world, and became all the more important after his murder.

Guest: Professor Timothy Minchin (North American History, La Trobe University)

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Martin Luther King Jr 1: They Told Us We Wouldn't Get Here  

Issues around the segregation of African-Americans in the United States led to an increasingly active civil rights movement. The most influential figure in this movement was a Baptist minister named Martin Luther King Jr. His persuasive words and non-violent methods have made him one of the most revered Americans.

Guest: Professor Timothy Minchin (North American History, La Trobe University)

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Charles Darwin 6: So Many Barnacles, So Little Time  

With his work on natural selection and evolution now out in the public for debate, Charles Darwin changes the focus of his research and manages to keep himself busy for the rest of his days. He never manages to top the publication of 'On the Origin of Species' but there's no doubt that he's one of the most influential minds of the Victorian age.

Guest: Dr Alexis Harley (English, La Trobe University).

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Charles Darwin 5: Darwin's Warm Reception  

Charles Darwin's theories didn't just stir up controversy, it polarised society on every level. If Charles Darwin was right, where did that leave the work of God and creation? An ideal example of the reaction to Darwin is illustrated by a case of three stuffed gorillas in the Melbourne Museum.

Guest: Dr Rebecca Carland (Curator, History of Collections, Museum Victoria).

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Charles Darwin 4: How Evolution Works  

While Darwin has many theories and important scientific works, the one he is most remembered for is evolution and natural selection. Biography explores how evolution works, and how it has changed since Darwin published 'On the Origin of Species'.

Guest: Dr Andy Herries (Archaeology, La Trobe University).

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Charles Darwin 3: The Theories of Charles Darwin  

Darwin returns from his voyage around the world and spends the next twenty years sorting through specimens and writing about barnacles, plants, and geology. In 1859 he publishes On the Origin of Species, and the world comes to term with evolution.

Guest: Dr Alexis Harley (English, La Trobe University).

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Charles Darwin 2: The Voyage of the Beagle  

Having completed his studies, a young Charles Darwin looks set to continue his exploration of the natural world by joining a voyage around the world on the HMS Beagle.

Guest: Dr Alexis Harley (English, La Trobe University).

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Charles Darwin 1: Before Darwin  

Charles Darwin is such a large figure in the world of science that sometimes we forget how different our understanding of life was before he put forward his theories of evolution and natural selection. So how did Darwin grow up, and what did society think during that time?

Guest: Dr Alexis Harley (English, La Trobe University).

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Spartacus 3: The Death and Legacy of Spartacus  

Cornered in the toe of Italy, Spartacus and his followers make their final stand. They may lose the battle to Crassus, but thousands of years later it is Spartacus who is remembered.

Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University)

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Spartacus 2: Spartacus and the Third Servile War  

Spartacus escapes from the gladiatoral schools but isn't perceived of as a threat and has little plans on what to do next. Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University) discusses how becoming a movement is taken out of his hands.

Guest: Dr Rhiannon Evans (Ancient Mediterranean Studies, La Trobe University)

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