Womanica

Womanica

Thinking back to our history classes growing up, we had one question: Where the ladies at? Enter, Womanica. In just 5 minutes a day, learn about different incredible women from throughout history. On Wonder Media Network’s award-winning podcast, we’re telling the stories of women you may or may not know — but definitely should.

Episodes

April 12, 2024 7 mins

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593- c.1656) was an Italian Baroque painter. She was one of the most accomplished 17th century artists, painting naturalistic depictions of forms and figures. But, her achievements have often been overshadowed by scandals in her personal life.

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Marsha “Mudd” Ferber (1941-unknown) was a hippie, a back-to-the-lander, a revolutionary, and an outlaw. She was also the owner of The Underground Railroad, an alternative music haven in Morgantown, West Virginia that hosted the likes of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Grateful Dead. In 1988, she disappeared – and her whereabouts have remained a mystery to this day. 

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April 10, 2024 5 mins

Fanny Eaton (1835-1924) was a model and muse for dozens of iconic paintings from the pre-Raphaelite era. Her face can be found in museums around the world, and yet she remains unnamed and overlooked even today.

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April 9, 2024 6 mins

Jehanne D’Alcy (1865-1956) was the first French film actress. She was known for her work alongside illusionist and film director Georges Méliès. With the invention of the movie camera, she went on to star in his films - which included dozens of short, silent movies, across genres. The two are regarded as early pioneers of cinema, and remain inspirational to filmmakers even today. 

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April 8, 2024 7 mins

Ellen Craft (1826-1891) was an abolitionist and freedom seeker from Georgia. She disguised herself as a white enslaver to escape slavery with her husband, William. Their autobiography told the story of their relentless pursuit for freedom, and advocated against slavery.

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April 5, 2024 5 mins

Connie Converse (1924-unknown) was an American singer songwriter who was active in the 1950s New York music scene. Her recordings are some of the earliest known recordings of the singer songwriter genre but were lost after her 1974 disappearance. 

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April 4, 2024 6 mins

Gayl Jones (1949 - present) is a prolific author celebrated for her writing about Black womanhood, slavery, and the African Diaspora. She disappeared from public life by choice until very recently, when she reappeared in words with her 2021 novel, “Palmares.” 

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Helga de la Brache (c.1817-1885) was the secret daughter of exiled King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden. At least, that’s what she told people to earn their sympathies and money. But before there was Helga, there was Aurora Florentina Magnusson, a working class maid who transformed herself into a lost princess. 

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April 2, 2024 5 mins

Mary Carleton (c.1634-1673) was a fraudster who posed as a German princess to marry a man she thought was a lord. When his family discovered her true identity, she was put on trial for bigamy – a trial that catapulted her to fame. 

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April 1, 2024 7 mins

Anna Mae Aquash (1945-1975) was an Indigenous activist known for her advocacy for Indigenous rights during the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the 1970s. Her commitment to the cause made her a symbol of resistance against injustices faced by Native American communities. Her life was cut short in 1975 under mysterious circumstances, sparking ongoing investigations and debates about her death and the broader issues of Indigenous ri...

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March 29, 2024 7 mins

Jean Ritchie (1922-2015) was the mother of folk music. She was an instrumental voice in the American folk music revival of the 1940s and 60s, and introduced a traditional dulcimer sound to a wider audience. 

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March 28, 2024 6 mins

Margaret Watts Hughes (c.1847-1907) was a Welsh singer, songwriter and scientist. She invented the eidophone, which allowed her to observe and visualize the human voice.

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March 27, 2024 4 mins

Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831) was a virtuoso pianist, one of the first to perform solely from memory. She was known for her short, elegant salon pieces that were full of emotional depth. Her work was most likely an influence for Chopin. 

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March 26, 2024 5 mins

Aimé Painé (1943-1987) was a Mapuche singer-songwriter from Argentina. As she worked to rediscover her own identity, she became a symbol of resistance against oppression, advocating for the rights of her people through her music and activism. Painé's legacy endures as an icon of indigenous pride and cultural resilience in the face of adversity.

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March 25, 2024 6 mins

Daphne Oram (1925-2003) was one of Britain’s first electronic musicians. She co-founded the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, a leading sound effects unit known for experimental work in sound, and developed her own “drawn-sound” technique known as Oramics, which involved drawing on film strips to produce sound. 

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March 22, 2024 4 mins

Beryl Mortimer (c.1928-2001) was a renowned Foley artist that worked in British cinema from the 1950s to the 1990s. Her most acclaimed projects, though she went uncredited on many, include Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Gold Diggers (1983), and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). She was affectionately known as ‘Beryl the Boot’ for her expertise in recreating footsteps on the screen.

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Florence Violet McKenzie (1890–1982) was Australia's first female electrical engineer, and founder of the Women's Emergency Signalling Corps. 

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March 20, 2024 6 mins

Hilda Matheson (1888-1940) was the Director of Talks at the BBC for several years, greatly shaping the content and style of talk radio. She revolutionized the way people spoke into microphones on air and represented women and queer people in the broadcasting space.

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March 19, 2024 5 mins

Una Marson (1905-1965) was a Jamaican feminist, activist, writer, and broadcaster. She became the first Black producer at the BBC with her show Calling the West Indies, which connected West Indian migrants with family and loved ones during the turbulent wartime years.

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March 18, 2024 4 mins

Cordell Jackson (1923-2004) was a Memphis-based guitarist, songwriter and producer and an often-overlooked pioneer in early rock music. She was in her sixties by the time she received national attention for her masterful guitar skills, earning her the title “The Rock n’ Roll Granny.

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