Medieval History

Our guest is the British scholar Thomas Lockley, an Associate Professor at Nihon University College of Law in Tokyo, where he teaches courses related to the international and multicultural history of Japan and East Asia. He's also the co-author of a new biography titled "African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan," which he tells about. The book offers the remarkable life of history's first foreign-born samurai...and his astonishing journey from Northeast Africa to the heights of Japanese society.

(Note: This show first aired back in January.) We speak with Frances McCall Rosenbluth, a Professor of Political Science at Yale University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the co-author of a new book called "Forged Through Fire: War, Peace, and the Democratic Bargain," which she discusses with us. As was noted in a starred review of this book by Kirkus, this is a "sometimes-counterintuitive but always fascinating interrogation of the history and uses of war....

On this edition of ST, we speak with Frances McCall Rosenbluth, a Professor of Political Science at Yale University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the co-author of a new book called "Forged Through Fire: War, Peace, and the Democratic Bargain," which she discusses with us. As was noted in a starred review of this book by Kirkus, this is a "sometimes-counterintuitive but always fascinating interrogation of the history and uses of war....

On this edition of ST, we speak with the well-regarded Missouri-based printmaker, Tom Huck, who owns and operates a press called Evil Prints. Huck is known for his large-format, intricately detailed, and darkly humorous woodcuts -- many of which are also quite satirical or even raunchy -- that are inspired by the work of Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, as well as (much more recently) R. Crumb and various heavy-metal rock LP covers.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to an interview from March with Paul Strohm, who has taught medieval literature at Columbia University, was the J. R. R. Tolkien Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University, and remains a noted scholar of the life and work of Geoffrey Chaucer. When he appeared on our show, Strohm spoke about his newest book, "Chaucer's Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury." The year 1386, as Strohm explains, was probably the worst of Chaucer's life, but it's also when he began his best-known poem.

On this installment of ST, getting to know -- as best we can -- the rather mysterious figure (a/k/a "the father of English literature") who wrote "The Canterbury Tales." Our guest is Paul Strohm, who has taught medieval literature at Columbia University, was the J. R. R. Tolkien Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University, and remains a noted scholar of the life and work of Geoffrey Chaucer.

(Note: This interview originally aired in late October.) We speak with author and journalist Kirstin Downey, whose new book is "Isabella: The Warrior Queen." It's an engrossing biography of Isabella of Castile, the powerful Queen of Spain who sponsored Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World, established the Spanish Inquisition, and became one of the most influential female rulers in history.

On this edition of ST, we speak with author and journalist Kirstin Downey, whose new book, just out from Doubleday, is "Isabella: The Warrior Queen." It's an engrossing biography of Isabella of Castile, the powerful Queen of Spain who sponsored Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World, established the Spanish Inquisition, and became one of the most influential female rulers in history.