History Lab Season 2: Episodes 2 & 3

History Lab Podcast

History Lab PodcastTwo more episodes of 2SER 107.3’s hit podcast History Lab have recently been released, with Episode 2 investigating pattern-makers that have created some of the most recognisable designs in modern Australia culture. Episode 3 on the other hand, explores the first political endeavours to achieve international cooperation after World War One.

Season 2 Episode 2: Invisible Hands

Where do jelly babies come from?

Mass produced things are all around us. But they all start with a single object. In this episode, Olivia goes looking for the patternmakers, whose invisible hands create much of the stuff we use every day. They see a world no-one else can see. So why are they disappearing? And what will we lose when they are gone?

 Jesse Adams Stein, Design Researcher at UTS, said: “The story of workers being ‘deskilled’ by technology is a very old one, but that story is not over. In today’s economic framework, technology reigns triumphant, and anyone who doesn’t ‘keep up’ is simply branded as inflexible, a dinosaur from another time”. This episode of History Lab “makes us pause to think about the everyday objects around us, and ask – whose hands might have made those ‘original’ forms – and where are they now?” “We need to be conscious of the impacts of technological change, without necessarily taking an anti-technology, luddite view”, says Jesse. “We need to ask who benefits from new technology? What are its impacts? Is faster, cheaper, more efficient always better?”




Season 2 Episode 3: Skeletons of Empire

In the aftermath of World War One, nations came together in an attempt to ensure war on the same devastating scale could never occur again. The result? The League of Nations: a revolutionary idea to form the world’s first international organisation.

A century later we are still questioning our ability to come together. In this episode, Glenda Sluga and Ninah Kopel search for the ephemeral traces of a unified past. They find stories of hope, ambition but also skeletons lurking in the closet. Many say the League failed. But did the spirit of Geneva live on?

Glenda Sluga, Professor of International History at the University of Sydney, says this episode is: “all about the fervour aroused among Australians – men, women, and Indigenous people – for the new idea of an international organisation”. To Glenda, this story asks us to “cast . . . our minds back to a time, almost unimaginable now, when Australians thought international government was a radical new invention”; a time when people believed that “the League of Nations system, the predecessor of the more familiar UN, could make the world a fairer, more equal, and more democratic place.”



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