Since the arrival of “audioblogging” in the 1980s and its transformative rise in popularity in the early 2000s, podcasts have been used to share stories and information all over the globe. History-themed podcasts in particular have grown in number, with content creators utilizing new and emerging media as platforms for dissemination of historical subjects. As a newer medium, podcasting was never specifically targeted to be an educational endeavor, yet it is sharing history through a widely accessible platform. This raises the question, are historically themed podcasts a form of public history? If they are, then how do they function as such? In this paper, I examine how history-themed podcasts function within the realm of public history by considering two podcasts, BackStory Radio and Hardcore History. Both of my selections fall under the history podcast umbrella, yet vary in terms of creators, modes of delivering content, public engagement, and goals. This examination of podcasts as a mode of public history demonstrates their viability and importance as a medium while drawing attention to the role of content creators as potentially operating beyond the traditional definitions of academic or public history. Further, this study opens questions about the relationships between academic and public history, their intersections, and evolving descriptions of historical practice.
Museum Studies (BS)
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Performing Arts and Visual Culture (CLA)
Serpikov, Alexandra, "Communicating History: Podcasts as Public History" (2018). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus