What's Old is News

by Sean Graham

Exploring how current events are shaped by history. Each week, Sean Graham will be joined by historians, journalists, and experts to discuss some of the biggest questions in history and how the connect to major policy and cultural decisions being made today. There's also our 'Historical Headline of the Week' segment, where we look at how old news continues to resonate.

Podcast episodes

  • Season 2

  • Women's Sports & Identity

    Women's Sports & Identity

    Sean Graham is joined by Michelle J. Manno, author of Denied: Women, Sports, and the Contradiction of Identity. They talk about Michelle's personal experience with collegiate basketball, how personal identity mixed with team identity in sports, and how players navigate contested spaces. They also discuss how coaches police players' identities, the role of Title IX, and how players assert agency within college sports. Historical Headline of the Week Shireen Ahmed, "WNBA's Toronto Expansion will help Amplify Culture of Women's Basketball in Canada," CBC Sports, May 15, 2024.

  • The Canadian Mind

    The Canadian Mind

    We're back with Season 2 of What's Old is News and to kick it off, Sean Graham is joined by Andy Lamey, author of The Canadian Mind: Essays on Writers or Thinkers. They talk about Canadian literature in the second half of the 20th century, where nationalism fits into the story, and the how literary critics treated Canadian writing. They also chat about questions related to identity, language, and legacies and major literary figures. Historical Headline of the Week Bob Weber, "Vast Digital Trove of Recordings by Canadian Literature Greats Nears Completion," Canadian Press, November 4, 2023.

  • Season 1

  • Disability Activism

    Disability Activism

    Sean Graham talks with Dustin Galer, author of Beryl: The Making of a Disability Activist. They talk about Beryl Potter's entry into activism, how the 1970s public debates influenced her campaigns, and the financial challenges faced by disability activists. They also chat about Beryl Potter's personality and public encounters, her television program, and how many of the challenges she fought against persist in 2023. For further context, be sure to visit some of the activist organizations that continue to push for disability rights and accessibility. Historical Headline of the Week Rhianna Schmiunk and Michelle Ghoussoub, "Air Canada Makes Changes After Passengers with Disabilities Share 'Dehumanizing' Experiences.' CBC News, November 9, 2023.

  • Food Security in the North

    Food Security in the North

    Sean Graham is joined by Kristin Burnett and Travis Hay, authors of Plundering the North: A History of Settler Colonialism, Corporate Welfare, and Food Insecurity. They discuss the geographic parameters of the 'North,' the challenges faced by northern communities, and the origins of food insecurity. They also chat about the colonial structures that have created the problem, how communities are trying to challenge these systems, and the resulting political and economic implications. Historical Headline of the Week "U.N. Reviews High Food Insecurity Rates in Canada's Northern Territories," APTN News, August 31, 2023.

  • Chaotic '35 Campaign

    Chaotic '35 Campaign

    Sean Graham talks with David MacKenzie, author of King and Chaos: The 1935 Canadian General Election. They talk about the value of studying elections in history, the economic conditions leading into the election, and the fractured political environment at the time. They also discuss the leadership of R.B. Bennett, William Lyon Mackenzie King, J.S. Woodsworth, and William Aberhart, how foreign policy influenced the campaign, and the election's legacy. Historical Headline of the Week Michael Gates, "History Hunter: Martha Black - Yukon Lady Parliamentarian," Yukon News, April 16, 2023.