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American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Based in Richmond, Virginia, American Rambler discusses history, music, film, politics, and pop culture. The show is hosted by Colin Woodward, a historian, writer, and archivist. Episodes feature long form interviews that looks at people's upbringing, education, career path, and creative work. Along the way, Colin talks with guests about how artists and intellectuals must navigate the changing technological, creative, and political waters in America. it's a show that talks about everything from the Civil War to Netflix.
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American Rambler with Colin Woodward
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Now displaying: September, 2019
Sep 24, 2019

Matt Hulbert was "born in the shadow of Stone Mountain," but it wasn't until much later in life that he knew the place's controversial history. By then, he was well on his way to becoming a Civil War historian. First, though, he had to lay aside his dream of becoming a cowboy.

Matt completed his doctorate at the University of Georgia, where he studied with John Inscoe. His dissertation won the C. Vann Woodward Prize. A year later, it was published as The Ghosts of Guerrilla Memory and won the Wiley-Silver Prize for best first book. He is now working on a biography of Virginia editor turned Missourian John Newman Edwards.

Matt and Colin talk about the eastern vs. western theaters as well as the violence that characterized both. Also, a certain recent article on the Civil War and the merits of social media came up. This is by far the best podcast recorded this year in a basement office at Hampden-Sydney College. And they raise the question: who would you rather have dinner with, Nathan Bedford Forrest or Robert E. Lee? Give it a listen!      

Sep 18, 2019

In this mini-series, American Rambler talks about one of the two classic movies he saw on the big screen this summer. Jaws is one of Colin's favorite movies, but he had never seen it at a theater before. What did he notice this time around? Does it matter, when you've seen a movie dozens of time on TV, VHS, DVD, and even have read the book?

Yes, of course! So if you're a Jaws fanatic, you might want to give this one a listen. If you've never seen it, warning: spoilers abound!

Sep 3, 2019

A self-described blasphemer and bewildered pilgrim, writer and novelist James Morrow was doing long-form fiction at age seven. But it was a high school literature class in his native Abington, Pennsylvania, that changed his life. There, he read greats such as Dostoevsky, Flaubert, and Camus. He went on to study at Penn and Harvard. After dabbling in film-making, he began publishing novels in the early 1980s.

In such books as Blameless in Abaddon. The Last Witchfinder, and Shambling towards Hiroshima, Jim's fiction has made religion and history central themes, while incorporating elements of sci-fi and fantasy. He has also taken a Vonnegut-style approach to lampooning the absurdities of capitalism, mass media, politics, and modern American life. His latest novel is Lazarus is Waiting, which he is hoping to get published soon.

A disciple of Jonathan Swift, and a man who had the good fortune to take a class with Joseph Heller, Jim's work has woven together philosophy and satire while taking on subjects dealing with evil, human nature, and the meaning of life. His talk with Colin covers everything from St. Augustine and Martin Heidegger to Mad Men and The Good Place. Aspiring writers: take good notes!

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