Digital Nomads

Digital Nomads

A podcast about nomadism and nomadic peoples, around the world and throughout history.

Episodes

May 31, 2022 30 min

The traditional folklore and animistic beliefs of the Sámi, the Indigenous nomadic peoples of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia, are under-studied and their cultural significance rarely acknowledged, even in the Scandinavian countries where Sámi traditions have intermingled with mainstream ones. The spread of Christianity and the influence of Christian missionaries in the Scandinavian north have especially distorted and ...

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Despite the box-office and critical success of Walt Disney Animation Studios' 2013 film Frozen, it also drew criticism and backlash for how it incorporated elements of the culture and heritage of the Sámi, the Indigenous people of northern Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Russia. Sámi representatives had not been consulted in the making of Frozen, and the film's use of elements of Sámi culture such as music and clothing came as...

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Despite being set in the distant future on a remote desert planet, the story of resource extraction, power, politics, ecology, and religion told in Frank Herbert's sci-fi series Dune bears distinct parallels to real-world history and events. One example of Herbert's real-life inspirations comes in the characters of the Fremen, who Herbert based on both the Bedouin in the Middle East and Native American peoples. How are noma...

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Roma figures have been an essential part of European folklore, myths, and literary traditions for centuries, with writers from Cervantes to Shakespeare to Victor Hugo drawing on the stereotype of the free-spirited, bohemian "Gypsy." Post-World War II, Roma characters began to appear in a new literary medium: American comic books. Roma heroes and villains alike fill the pages of DC and Marvel comics, with iconic characters l...

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Medieval Arabic sources are full of references to the Banu Sasan (Sons of Sasan) and the Ghuraba' (Strangers), an enigmatic but captivating group who begged, told fortunes, trained animals, and practiced medicine throughout the Islamic world from the mid-7th century onwards. These groups constitute peoples who would later come to be known as the Roma. Although they both produced their own texts and were written about by outside...

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December 16, 2021 73 min

Contemporary issues like the refugee crisis, climate refugees, and global restrictions on movement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought into stark relief the extent to which our movements, lives, and worldviews are governed by national borders and boundary-making. But these borders and their associated militarization and security infrastructures are a recent phenomenon, the legacy of 20th-century wars and colonialism. Moder...

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For most of human history, the Mediterranean was home to a significant number of pastoralists, who herded livestock along seasonal migratory routes. Today, traces of this pastoralist presence have all but disappeared. Dr. Andrea Duffy's book Nomad's Land: Pastoralism and French Environmental Policy in the 19th-Century Mediterranean World (University of Nebraska Press, 2019) seeks to answer the question - what caused the dec...

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The British occupation of Iraq after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire led to the creation of Iraq's national boundaries, a process with profound and long-lasting implications for the inhabitants of  Iraq's border regions. In his dissertation, "The Origins and Development of Iraq's National Boundaries, 1918-1932: Policing and Political Geography in the Iraq-Nejd and Iraq-Syria Borderlands" (University of Chicag...

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The "Black Desert" in the northern Arabian Peninsula is home to thousands of pieces of rock art - both written inscriptions and figural images - left there by the region's nomadic inhabitants during the Hellenistic and Roman periods ca. 2,000 years ago. Dr. Nathalie Brusgaard received her PhD (Leiden University, 2019) for her research into this rock art, exploring their content and themes and what they can tell us about...

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Eight women appear in Neo-Assyrian sources from the 7th and 8th centuries BCE with the ambiguous but intriguing title 'queen of the Arabs.' Despite providing a rare glimpse of power wielded by women in this period, these rulers remain under-studied and often misunderstood in Assyriology. Aiming to correct these misconceptions, 'the queens of the Arabs' formed the basis of Dr. Ellie Bennett's doctoral dissertatio...

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A conversation with Dr. Salah Hatem and Dr. Jaafar Jotheri, professors of archaeology at al-Qadisiyah University, about their research project documenting the intangible cultural heritage of the Bedouin in southern Iraq. 

This episode covers topics ranging from the lifestyle of the Iraqi Bedouin to their indigenous knowledge (how to find water in the desert; plants that can be used as medicine) to how cultural heritage can be a tool...

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April 24, 2021 25 min

A special bonus episode in honor of the 93rd Academy Awards on April 25, 2021! One of the most-nominated films at this year's Oscars is "Nomadland," adapted from a book of the same name by  journalist Jessica Bruder. "Nomadland" is about a 21st-century American phenomenon - the post-2008 increase in (mostly elderly) people who practice "vandwelling," living in vans, trucks, or other mobile housing and tr...

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April 18, 2021 25 min

What does the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible have to say about nomads and nomadism in the ancient Near East? This episode explores nomadism in the Judaic religious tradition through the eyes of the authors of the Old Testament.

Music in this episode:
Desert City by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3639-desert-city
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

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March 27, 2021 24 min

A bonus episode in honor of Womens History Month! Learn all about Samsi, one of the queens of the ancient Arabs, and what her story can tell us about gender and the status of women among nomadic peoples and empires in the ancient Near East.


Music in this episode:
Desert City by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3639-desert-city
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Wretched Destroyer by Kevin MacLeod
Link...

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March 20, 2021 21 min

This episode discusses the nomadic Arab tribes between about 850 and 450 BCE. What do we know about their lifestyles, cultures, and relationships with the empires around them?

Music in this episode:
Desert City by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3639-desert-city
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

All other sounds courtesy of the BBC Sound Archive.

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This episode looks at the main types and categories of nomads, how they live, and the similarities and differences between them.

Music in this episode:
Desert City by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3639-desert-city
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

All other sounds courtesy of the BBC Sound Effects Archive.

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January 24, 2021 5 min

Welcome to Digital Nomads! This episode introduces your host, Maggie, and gives a brief overview of the aims, future of, and inspiration behind this podcast.

Music in this episode:
Desert City by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3639-desert-city
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

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