Iconography

31 EpisodesProduced by Charles Gustine

How do we understand the places we visit (and even the places we’ve never been)? As a shorthand, we use agreed-upon touchstones - famous places, famous people famous foods, and, of course, dreams. Dreamed-up people and dreamed-up places and dreamed-up things. This podcast looks at a culture's icons … read more

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The Mayflower

December 22nd, 2018

57:37

The Mayflower is a foundational icon of the United States, but it was a British ship carrying British subjects to a British colony. So how does the …

The First Thanksgiving

November 22nd, 2018

39:59

Sarah Josepha Hale, editress of Godey's Lady's Book, dedicated years of her life to the crusade to make Thanksgiving a national holiday - she was …

The Crucible of Modern Salem

October 30th, 2018

1:05:51

The Witchfinder General of Salem, Eric Dwinnells leads us on a Halloween journey to the heart of Salem, Massachusetts. Find it questionable that the …

The Witch Hunt

October 20th, 2018

44:30

Can a witch hunt narrative be effective if it includes actual witches? In part one of a two part series on Salem and its Witch Trials, Iconography uses Hocus Pocus, Scooby Doo, and The Blair Witch Project to see how the …

Squanto

August 15th, 2018

57:50

As an icon, Squanto is known, but he isn’t really known. What Santa is to Christmas and the Easter Bunny is to Easter, Squanto is to Thanksgiving. He is a sense memory from childhood. He’s more than a man, or really …

Special Episode: Reaching Mars

July 18th, 2018

43:27

Look up. This month, July 2018, Mars is as close as he'll get for another 17 years. On a recent trip to Houston and the Johnson Space Center, this …

John Smith, Admiral of New England

July 4th, 2018

55:54

The story of how John Smith made New England, and how New England destroyed John Smith.

The Citgo Sign and the Boston Marathon

June 20th, 2018

43:26

Season 2 of Iconography begins with a look at the relationship between two New England icons - a marathon that's become not just the definitive marathon experience but perhaps the definitive Boston experience, and an …

Season 2 Preview

June 2nd, 2018

6:35

From England to New England. No I didn't move from London to Boston so I could have that catchy tagline, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in …

James Bond in 2015

February 27th, 2018

1:01:52

Revisit 2015, when the most recent Bond film came out on the tails of a series of revelatory spy films - and world events - that argued for 007's …

The Death of Hercule Poirot

February 11th, 2018

49:36

There are very few things in life that are truly once in a lifetime experiences. If you had picked up the New York Times on August 6, 1975 you would …

The Guy Fawkes Mask

November 16th, 2017

52:24

This is the story of Guy Fawkes, but it's also the story of the comic book that forever gave him rosy cheeks and a smile that taunts authority.

The Ghost Stories of M.R. James

October 23rd, 2017

34:32

You never know what your legacy is going to be.

There once was a scholar at Cambridge who dedicated probably 90% of his adult waking hours to …

Terry Pratchett's Discworld

October 1st, 2017

42:22

How does one map onto our world a fantasy world that rides around on the back of a turtle, where there is no London or England - or, to be more precise, where those places exist, but only in a magicless round world …

The Legacy of Dunkirk

September 3rd, 2017

1:00:24

What started as the second half of a series on Dunkirk turned into a meditation on Charlottesville, Nazis, statues, and symbols.

A Tapestry of Dunkirk

August 13th, 2017

58:32

It all feels immersive, especially in IMAX. But I’m having a wider screen experience when I watch Dunkirk. I imagine what’s just on the periphery; who else, besides Mr. Dawson, is setting off from England in a little …

Paddington

July 23rd, 2017

39:15

An episode dedicated to Michael Bond, and his little bear from Darkest Peru.

King John and the Magna Carta

July 2nd, 2017

37:34

To wrap up our three-part series on the turn of the 13th century, we take a look at King John - no longer a petulant prince - and how he transformed …

Richard the Lionheart

June 11th, 2017

59:10

This episode we consider the legacy of Richard the Lionheart - was he a disobedient son, a bad governor, a harbinger of death? This far out from the 1190s, does it matter anymore who he was, or does it matter who he's …

Robin Hood

May 21st, 2017

50:33

It might surprise you how much Robin Hood has been transformed by the way we want to see history; and by how much the way we see history has been transformed by Robin Hood.

The Full English Breakfast

April 23rd, 2017

42:42

This week, our first culinary icon. The Full English. The fry-up. What does it mean for a national cuisine - one that finds itself frequently derided …

Spice Girls (Part 2)

April 2nd, 2017

48:52

This episode: why Britpop orphaned the very British, very popular Spice Girls, and why feminists refused to adopt them.

Spice Girls (Part 1)

March 19th, 2017

46:06

20 years ago, in March 1997, our world was in truth, a Spice World. Revisit those heady days as we look back at Girl Power and its influence today.

Piccadilly Circus

February 19th, 2017

52:44

The lights are out in Piccadilly Circus, just the latest change for an icon that's characterized by change. We look to a lot of icons to tell us about the past - Piccadilly Circus is that rare icon we want to look like …

Crimson Peak and British Gothic

February 5th, 2017

1:01:30

This is the iTunes debut of the podcast that inspired Iconography. In this episode, I considered Crimson Peak within the context of American vs. British ghost stories, and within the context of Gothic Romance.

Four Weddings and a Funeral

January 22nd, 2017

49:33

In 1994, it became the highest grossing British film of all time. How Four Weddings and a Funeral changed Richard Curtis's career - for better and worse.

Twelfth Night

January 6th, 2017

40:33

What happens when an icon dies? It's not just people that pass away, or buildings that get demolished... ideas to can be weathered away by time. …

George Michael's Leather Jacket

December 30th, 2016

42:48

This is a special in memoriam episode of the podcast, dedicated to one the brightest stars in the constellation of British music, George Michael. And specifically, dedicated to his fascinating relationship with his most …

Ebenezer Scrooge

December 24th, 2016

48:57

Every day of the holiday season, there is probably someone in your neighborhood watching or reading some version of A Christmas Carol. If you think …

The Remembrance Poppy

December 11th, 2016

1:05:49

The poppy is an elegant symbol of remembrance - for soldiers who died and for those who came back; but there's a lot of conflict behind the story of …

The Many London Bridges

November 25th, 2016

46:58

The London Bridge you cross today may not be anything to write home about, but there have been many London Bridges, going back to Roman Times.

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