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Onder Mediadoctoren podcast: the intersections of women, radio, and history

December 2, 2021

Last Monday, I went up to Amsterdam to record the 149th (!) episode of one of the longest-running podcasts in the Netherlands, Onder Mediadoctoren (Among/between Media Doctors), hosted by Linda Duits and Vincent Crone (both of whom I know from The Best University in the Netherlands) and devoted, appropriately, to media. That show has now gone live: https://ondermediadoctoren.nl/afl-149-vrouwen-en-radio/

It was a delightfully wide-ranging discussion, running from the 1920s and 30s, to the inimitable Nadine Shah remarkably unremarkably saying ‘fuck’ on her radio show a few years ago. We took in ways in which women have made places for themselves in the airwaves, the ways in which women’s voices are policed on radio as thoroughly as their bodies are on screen, and how programmes for and by women often end up outside of formal broadcasting archives. You can listen in full (in Dutch) here:

In talking about so many of my favourite subjects and scholars, I actually forgot to be nervous about speaking Dutch in a recording. (I speak Dutch all the time, including most of my teaching, but both in Dutch and in German – which I have spoken fluently since I was 16 – I get sometimes get overly self-conscious doing so on record, where my mistakes are not written on the wind as they are when I’m teaching.)

Here are some links and shout-outs mentioned in the show.

  • Nadine Shah’s Soho Radio show from March 12, 2018, as an example of what for many years was unheard (of): a woman of colour with a regional accent, chattily saying swearing on air (circa 39 minutes in). Seems unremarkable now, but made this radio historian literally stand up and cheer.
  • While we did not play a clip, I also talked about the fabulous podcast Dipsaus, made by three women of colour in the Netherlands. I find their combination of important topics, chatty, gossipy conversation, and slipping in and out of languages riotously joyful to listen to.

Besides these specific clips, please check out the resources section of the Women’s Radio In Europe Network (WREN), as well as the brilliant new online exhibition Forms, Voices, Networks: Feminism and the Media by Maya Caspari.

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