Cover art for podcast Iconography


52 EpisodesProduced by Charles GustineWebsite

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

episodes iconAll Episodes

Miniseries Preview and Re-Release - Jaws: Amity Island Welcomes You

September 5th, 2022


Jaws is back in cinemas this week, so I wanted to do two things. First, re-release our 2020 episode on Jaws as a distinctly New England story; and second, let you know that Iconography is returning with a new miniseries …

Ebenezer Scrooge (Fifth Anniversary 2nd Edition)

December 24th, 2021


For Iconography’s fifth anniversary we’re remastering episodes from season one. This is a remastered 2nd edition of Iconography’s first Christmas episode, from December 2016, with a new afterward looking at the 2017 …

Fifth Anniversary Announcement: Season 1 Remastered

December 19th, 2021


It’s Iconography’s fifth birthday this month, and to celebrate the anniversary, we're announcing a series of remastered 2nd editions of episodes from season 1 of Iconography. 

Re-Release: Squanto

November 23rd, 2021


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, and Iconography ringing in its fifth birthday, it seemed like a great time to bring up a gem from the archives, out episode on Squanto from 2018.

As an icon, Squanto is known, …

Re-Release: The First Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2020


As we hunker down for what will be a very unconventional Thanksgiving, it seemed like the right time to re-release our 2018 episode exploring how the …

Jaws: Amity Island Welcomes You

September 30th, 2020


This episode, a deep dive into the 45 year old proto-blockbuster that has dominated the conversation in this lost pandemic summer - Jaws.

That deep …

A Tale of Two Bridges (3rd Birthday Special w/ Wade Roush of Soonish)

December 15th, 2019


Iconography started three years ago with an episode about two neighboring bridges in the heart of London. Now, for our third birthday, Wade Roush of fellow Hub & Spoke show Sooinsh brings us the story of two Boston …

The Old Man of the Mountain: A Story in Five Pieces

November 15th, 2019


How does a group of people hold onto an icon when… well, when that icon can no longer be held? In 2003, New Hampshire's state emblem, the Old Man of …

Interview w/ Brian Logan, Communications Director of Plymouth 400

August 28th, 2019


In this bonus interview episode, Brian Logan, Communications Director for the Plymouth 400 organization gives us insight into what goes into planning a quadricentenary commemoration.

Transcript here:

Plymouth Rock: A Pageant

July 19th, 2019


Visitors to Plymouth Rock tend to find the icon... underwhelming - a small, scarred rock in a cage.

Maybe the reason Plymouth Rock is so frequently seen as underwhelming is because all the fascinating stories of how …

Mayflower II

March 28th, 2019


In the 1950s, something must have been in the water, because all of a sudden, there was a movement afoot to put a replica of the Mayflower in the water. For one man to become obsessed with the idea of rebuilding the …

The Mayflower

December 22nd, 2018


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


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


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 21st, 2018


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 …


August 15th, 2018


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


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


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


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


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 28th, 2018


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 12th, 2018


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


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


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


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


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


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 …


July 23rd, 2017


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

King John and the Magna Carta

July 2nd, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 (Remastered 2nd Edition)

December 24th, 2016


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


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


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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