Conversations in World History

Conversations in World History

Conversations in World History is a bridge to the past connecting scholars to people interested in the deeper meaning of history. Here, my informal chats with historians open up the past, their research, and major questions and debates in the field. These episodes should help us all engage in the fascinating conversations of world history and to hear from the people who are writing the next pages. The host, David Sherrin, is an author and award-winning social studies teacher. Check out other episodes and his books at


March 14, 2023 51 min

Today I’m speaking with Professor Christopher Ebert of Brooklyn College and Professor Thiago Kause of UNIRIO, which is the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. They are co-authoring a book about the history of the city of Salvador da Bahia, the first capital of colonial Brazil. Chris was my master’s thesis advisor about a decade ago and he previously wrote a book called Between Empires: Brazilian Sugar in the Early Atlantic Econom...

Mark as Played

I’m speaking with the author of The Island at the Center of the World, Russell Shorto. Russell is a narrative historian who tells a story like no other, but he also makes thought-provoking and compelling arguments. Along with The Island at the Center of the World, we discuss his book Amsterdam about the important history of the Dutch capital. He recently came out with another book Smalltime about the mobster hiding in his family’s ...

Mark as Played

I speak with Christian Bailey, professor of Modern European History at SUNY Purchase. Christian recently published the book German Jews in Love: A History, which traces the experience of Jewish marriages from the 1870s until the post-WWII era. He uses diaries, love letters, and other sources to connect the personal to the political and illuminate the German Jewish home and notions of love. 


Books recommended by Christian:


Mark as Played
February 27, 2023 26 min

Today I’m speaking with Professor Yuma Totani about the post-WWII war crimes trials that the allies held against the Japanese. You may have heard of the more famous Nuremberg Trials against Nazi war crimals, which we mention, but here we will delve into the lesser known Far East trials. From 1946-1948, 11 countries including the United States prosecuted thousands of Japanese for charges ranging from Cimes against Peace to rape and ...

Mark as Played

I speak to John Shekitka about what is worth knowing in social studies education. We begin with a discussion of the Neo-Confucian philosophers' and their view on moral vs. intellectual learning and then we branch off from there in a fun, lively, thought-provoking conversation about history education. John is a professor of social studies education at Manhattanville College and after teaching high school and serving as a principal h...

Mark as Played

What is Confucianism? How could Confucianism help us grow moral? Stephen Angle is a professor of East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University. He specializes in Chinese Philosophy, Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism, and comparative philosophy. He is the author of a fantastic little green book called Growing Moral: A Confucian Guide to life. It is insightful, friendly, accessible, and hits the sweet spot of 230 engaging pages. He is the c...

Mark as Played
February 14, 2023 32 min

Massimo Pigliucci is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He has written many books, including How to Be A Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life (Basic Books) as well as Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk (University of Chicago Press). Here, I speak with him about the ancient Greeks and their teachings on character, virtue, politics and other ideas that can be found ...

Mark as Played
February 7, 2023 31 min

Professor Chuck Walker and I discuss the Tupac Amaru Rebellion in colonial Peru as well as connections to the unrest in Peru in 2023. We delve into women's roles in the rebellion, conceptions of Latino identity, racism against indigenous Quechua speakers, and much more.


Chuck is a professor of history at UC-Davis and the author of many acclaimed books on Peruvian history including The Tupac Amaru Rebellion and the recent graphic ...

Mark as Played

I speak with Professor Merry Wiesner-Hanks, Distinguished Professor Emerita of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and former president of the World History Association. Merry has written books like A Concise History of the World and Early Modern Europe. We talk about women's history in general and the misconceptions about the lives of women in the past. 


See here for a teaching worksheet for this episode at my website


Mark as Played

I speak with World History Association president Jonathan Reynolds about the Cold War in Africa. Jonathan is a professor of African History at Northern Kentucky University. He's the type of teacher we all wish we'd had. Jonathan has written a number of books, including Sovereignty and Struggle: African and Africans in the Cold War. This short book has a ton of flair and the same vibrant voice that you will hear in the podcast comes...

Mark as Played

Trevor Getz is a professor of African History at San Francisco State University. We discuss the what constitutes Africa, the tools for studying African history, misconceptions about Africa, and more. Trevor has written a number of books including Abina and the Important Men, Cosmopolitan Africa, and A Primer for Teaching African History. He is also Vice-President of the World History Association.


See here for a teaching worksheet...

Mark as Played

"Teacher's Corner" episodes are conversations with K-12 educators about how they bring topics in world history to life. Here, I chat with Andy Snyder about The Good Life (or "Living your Best Life"), his high school philosophy class. Andy was my former colleague at Harvest Collegiate, a public school in New York City, and he is one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking teachers I have had the chance to work with. 

Mark as Played

I talk with Professor Matthew Restall of Penn State University about his book When Montezuma Met Cortes. We discuss the problems with the traditional narrative and the ways that an approach centered on the actions of indigenous Mexicans is more accurate and more interesting. Did Montezuma really surrender? Did he give away his empire in his speech to Cortes? Did Cortes kidnap Montezuma? Did Aztecs really believe Cortes was a return...

Mark as Played
January 18, 2023 27 min

Ian Barrow is a professor of South Asian history at Middlebury College in Vermont. He has written three books, the latest being a history of the British East India Company. Ian is currently working on a new book about the history of the independence struggles in South Asia. 

We discuss the meaning of India, power and resistance in colonial South Asia, the myth of Gandhi, causes of Indian independence, major issues in India between ...

Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Crime Junkie

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.


    It’s a lighthearted nightmare in here, weirdos! Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist. Join us for a heavy dose of research with a dash of comedy thrown in for flavor.


    New episodes come out every Monday for free, with 1-week early access when you join Amazon Music or 1-week early and ad-free for Wondery+ subscribers "SmartLess" with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, & Will Arnett is a podcast that connects and unites people from all walks of life to learn about shared experiences through thoughtful dialogue and organic hilarity. A nice surprise: in each episode of SmartLess, one of the hosts reveals his mystery guest to the other two. What ensues is a genuinely improvised and authentic conversation filled with laughter and newfound knowledge to feed the SmartLess mind.

Advertise With Us

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


    © 2023 iHeartMedia, Inc.