Season 1, Episode 5: Heroes & Memory

What Memory? This episode introduces the ideas of “History” – “Memory” – “Collective Memory” to lay a foundation for more discussion about heroes. Sarah uses a story about a recent camping to try to break down the history, memory, collective memory concepts and then shares a brief example from the more distant past, the Battle of New Market.

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Season 1, Episode 4: Do We Need Heroes?

Do we need heroes? Well, they are a long-standing human tradition, going back to ancient times which suggestions there might be something deeply important to the concept. So…why do we need heroes? Perhaps they make us feel better about ourselves, and perhaps the concept of hero helps to reflect the changing values of individuals and society as they “make or break” their demigod heroes.

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Season 1, Episode 3: A List of Heroes?

As we’re digging deeper into the concept of heroes, Sarah shares about how she made a “list of heroes” in her childhood and how thinking back to that moment is important for considering the rise and fall of heroes. We’ll also explore definitions for the word “hero”, laying the groundwork for future episodes.

P.S. We know we missed a few weeks of posting in March, and we apologize. Sometimes, mental health and wellness is more important than the “next episode.” Things are better now, and we look forward to resuming our weekly podcast schedule. Thank you.

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Season 1, Episode 2: Heroines & History

It’s Women’s History Month, so let’s chat about the ladies of the past. Why aren’t there so many “legendary” women? How can we strive to include women’s stories into the conversation about history? Sarah Kay Bierle shares some examples, stories, and ideas in this new episode.


  • Women’s History Month! Let’s talk about women and history…
  • Where did the information come from that we know about women in the past?

[Cpt. Harville] “…but let me observe that all histories are against you, all stories, prose and verse…. I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon a woman’s inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman’s fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men.”

[Anne Elliot] “Perhaps I shall. —Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove any thing.”

Jane Austen, Persuasion, Chapter 23
  • Men have told the story of women in the past – sometimes accurately, but sometimes “less than accurate.”
  • How can we bring women and their stories into the “big picture” of history?
  • Story about The Generals Books! (Where are the women?)
  • Women’s Studies are often treated very separate from other areas of study of historical topics.
  • History is interconnected.
  • Looking at Gettysburg as a case study for “heroine” and visual, memorial representation.
  • Should we make historical women into legends? (No.)
  • *Generally speaking* there isn’t quite as much myth and legend to pull from women’s biographies.
  • For women who do have legends around their lives, let’s take another look at how and why that story evolved and if it stands up to historical facts.

Episode Questions:

  • Who are the women that you look up to in history? How have their lives been interpreted? How are you going to bring accurate women’s history into the larger historical conversation.

Season 1, Episode 1: Does History Really Inspire?

In this inaugural episode, Sarah Kay Bierle chats about her philosophy when approaching history, shares a couple of personal stories, and sets the stage for re-examining historical heroes, legends, myths, visual representations, and more in Season 1 of Historian Life Podcast!


  • The big question: does history really inspire?
  • “Paul Revere’s Ride” – an influential inspiration in Sarah’s childhood
  • How 2020 got this podcast started
  • Looking at biographies of people who had inspired me
  • Reading about struggles from the past
  • “Yes, I believe history inspires, but we need to understand the humanity of those who came before. We need to understand them as people, not as marble statues.”
  • Goal for the podcast? Shorter episodes!
  • Season 1 – looking at myths, heroes, legends, historiography, and getting a deeper grasp on real historical figures, and how to chat about these ideas with people around us.

Episode Question:

  • Did you have historical heroes when you were a child and were you as pleased with your heroes when you learned more?

Coming Soon (March 2, 2021 – To Be Exact)

Take a break. (We’re going to keep this short with podcast episodes around 20 minutes or less.)

Make a difference. (Why study history after-all?)

Have a Civil Conversation. (We’re always nice on the podcast. Even when the subjects are hard and controversial. And we’ll be sharing encouragement and ideas for having a meaningful chat about the past with those around you through examples that have been working for us.)

Sarah Kay Bierle, podcast solo host for Season 1, chose March as the podcast release month since it will be Women’s History Month. She’ll be chatting with listeners each week about myths and legends and ideas for stripping away those pesky memory sagas to get to the heart of understanding the past and the real people living through crises. Known for her friendliness and commitment to finding and sharing history accurate, Sarah is looking forward to sharing part of her thinking and research journeys.

As she often points out: “We don’t know everything we start on these history and research adventures. That’s the point. We’re learning. I make mistakes, you’ll make mistakes. That’s okay because we’re human and humans make mistakes. But the point is: why did we make the mistake and what do we learn from it. That’s history and that’s studying the past, too.”

Historian Life Podcast will be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other favorite listening apps, and there will always be links and extra materials available here on our website.