I recently joined BYUradio’s Top of Mind, the flagship current events show at Brigham Young University’s radio broadcast, SiriusXM and audio programming powerhouse, to discuss America’s contested founding narrative. Here’s the description:
“Americans struggle to agree on even the most basic parts of America’s founding story. Some say it was divine intervention. Others, a scheme to profit off slavery, or simply a pursuit of freedom. Can we ever really agree on national narrative? Do we even need to? People are complicated and so is history. But when it comes to national narratives and founding stories, we tend to assume only one story can be right – and it’s the version that most aligns with our own feelings about America. Simplicity might not be necessary, though. Can a founding story be complicated and contradictory and still do its job? In this podcast episode, a professor of classics [Peter Meineck of New York University] recounts how the myth of Romulus and Remus laid a narrative foundation for the rise of the Roman empire. A history scholar [that’s me]explores America’s unique need for a founding story and traces the contributions of George Bancroft, William Gilmore Simms and Frederick Douglass. And a history curriculum designer [Abby Reisman, Associate Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Pennsylvania] encourages us to think differently about teaching American history and the nation’s narrative.”
“Top of Mind” is available at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, and can be heard nationwide on SiriusXM Satellite Radio channel 143, byuradio.org or, in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, 107.9 FM. BYUradio is, of course, based in Provo, Utah.