One area of the media in which women are doing quite well is history documentaries. I was very pleased, therefore, to discover a new podcast series hosted by Dr. Janina Ramirez. Titled The Art Detective, it will feature a different piece of art each week, and use that to illuminate issues from history. (Yes children, art has always been political, from ancient sculptures to Star Wars movies.)
The series caught my eye because episode #2, released this week, features one of my historical heroes, Empress Theodora of Byzantium. Guesting on the show, because she’s just finished writing a book on Byzantium, is another star of history documentaries, Bettany Hughes. If you know anything about Theodora you can guess how much fun listening to two women historians talking about her is.
Janina has promised may more guest appearances as the series develops. It seems likely that will involve the likes of Mary Beard, Amanda Vickery, Lucy Worsley, Alice Roberts, Amanda Foreman, Carenza Lewis and so on. And some men, and hopefully some non-binary people, as well.
Of course I have now added to my bucket list getting an appearance on the show. I know exactly which piece of art I want to talk about. It is Sumerian (obviously), and if you turn up to one of my LGBT History Month talks in February you’ll get to see me enthuse about it.