Press Releases: Historiography Edition
Weber- Covart, Ben Franklin’s World
A Journey Into Early America- The Examination of the private lives of the Founding Fathers
Historical Connections: Social History, Everyday History.
Ben Franklin’s World focuses on the lesser known history of the founding fathers. Including their children, sex lives, and getting more in detail than is traditionally known on their politics, including the role their wives played. Though it does touch on politics, the main focus is on lesser talked about topics as previously mentioned, this keeps the listener engaged, as the topic will almost always be about something they did not know.
Citation for podcast
Covart, Liz. Ben Franklin’s World. “004 Thomas A Foster, Sex and the Founding Fathers” Podcast audio, September 30, 2014. https://open.spotify.com/episode/2wLGjckwYRSKXdprgDKxhx?si=9198e2da8bb84693
Covart, Liz. Ben Franklin’s World. “022 Vivian Bruce Conger, Deborah Read Franklin and Sally Bache: Benjamin Franklin’s Women” Podcast audio, March, 2015. https://open.spotify.com/episode/2daKxXJP67W1zblnf7HNpY?si=0a2d1ed2cf134939
Historian Liz Covart started Ben Franklin’s World due to a lack of fun, educational history shows that she was interested in. She decided to make Ben Franklin’s World as a way to reach people who may not have had much or any professional education in history, to reach an as of yet untapped audience for historical education. She was a professional historian for many years. After releasing her demographics, her show has been shown to be a massive success.
Ben Franklin’s world covers a myriad of topics about various characters through early America, I would venture to say no topic is off limits for this podcast. Topics range from the Jewish population in early America, to how merchant ships functioned. Liz Covart brings a new guest on in every episode and questions them about a recent book, documentary, or journal they’ve published and asks them questions about the media they published, but less so the actual topics.
Being a candid podcast, the methods Covart employs are mainly on the fly discussions with other historians, she has questions written out about the historians recently published material, and digs deep into the methods, inspiration, and challenges of completing the media. Covart also makes a point to thoroughly read or watch the published material in order to get a better understanding of it prior to the guest appearance, in order to ask more engaging and deep questions.
Covart has a habit of asking more about the process behind the writing of the media than the media itself. So, for example, if the topic is the private life of the founding fathers (as it is in episode 4) Covart went into more detail about the process of gathering the information and choosing what to include in the authors book, and less about the actual private life of the founders. This does appear to have lessened in the later episodes, most likely due to a natural increase in their length, but it is an issue that plagues the earlier episodes.
Impact on Historiography
Covart brings up historiography throughout some of her episodes, typically in the context of the visiting historians views on how their work has impacted the field, but, in Episode 4, her guest does state that he wants to emphasize the importance of Historiography in his work on the founding fathers sex lives. Covart herself also mentions how important history is to know for the average person, and bringing more awareness to historiography, and how it can positively impact the field.
- “Inside Ben Franklin's World: An Interview with Podcaster Liz Covart: Perspectives on History: AHA.” Inside Ben Franklin's World: An Interview with Podcaster Liz Covart | Perspectives on History | AHA, April 18, 2016. https://www.historians.org/research-and-publications/perspectives-on-history/april-2016/inside-ben-franklins-world-an-interview-with-podcaster-liz-covart. ↵