Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History seeks to connect non-specialist history enthusiasts with the work of professional historians. It is a weekly, interview-driven podcast for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the people and events that have shaped our present-day world. Guest appearances generate interest in books, documentary editing projects, digital history projects, and historic sites.
Ben Franklin’s World explores early American history in its broadest sense. Neither colonial North America nor the United States developed apart from the rest of the world, and as such, the show explores not just North American history, but aspects of European, African, Caribbean, Asian, and South American history that influenced the evolution of colonial North America and the early United States.
Ben Franklin’s World seeks engaging guests who can speak meaningfully to an audience of non-specialists about aspects of early American history and the work of historians. Topics can range in date from pre-contact to 1820. For a more complete list of previous topics, please scroll through our episode list.
What Guest Historians Can Expect
Each guest historian agrees to have a 60-minute conversation about their book, documentary editing project, history project, or historic site with host Liz Covart. The conversation will take place via a Google Chrome-based app called SquadCast. Each guest agrees to participate in a quiet room and use the provided headset during the interview.
A few days before a scheduled conversation, Liz sends her guest an email with the biographical information she will use to introduce them to the Ben Franklin’s World audience and questions she will use to guide their conversation. This e-mail provides guests with the opportunity to prepare their points. Depending on the course of the conversation, Liz may depart from the question sheet to ask follow-up questions based on information from her guests.
Book-Based Interview Requirements
The Omohundro Institute's Digital Projects Team requires at least 4 copies of each book featured on the show. The team will use 2 copies to prepare for the interview and will giveaway 2 copies to listeners.
Authors and presses are more than welcome to send more than the requested 4 copies. All copies can be mailed to: Ben Franklin's World, c/o Omohundro Institute, P.O. Box 8781, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8781.
How To Become a Guest Historian
Presses and organizations that would like their historians to appear as guests should send an email with the following information:
Book title, historic site, documentary editing project, or history project
Brief synopsis of their work and its historical significance
Phone Number where your historian(s) can be reached for a 5-10 minute chat about their work and convenient days and times to talk.
The best pitches will explain clearly and concisely the significance of the historian's work for an audience of non-historians.
All books pitched must have been published within the last calendar year. If you seek to arrange an air date that coincides with a book release, you should pitch the show at least 6 months in advance. All review copies should be mailed to: Ben Franklin's World, c/o Omohundro Institute, P.O. Box 8781, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8781
A top-ranked history podcast, Ben Franklin’s World receives more applications for guest historian appearances than it can accommodate.
The podcast seeks to bring well-researched, engaging history to an enthusiastic and discerning audience of history lovers. Every editorial decision is made with the show’s audience in mind.
Most episodes fulfill a listener request to hear about a topic. Other episodes expand and round out the topical and geographic scope of the show.
The show typically books guest appearances 2-3 months before an interview. Air dates after interviews depend on the needs of the editorial calendar.
Participating in an interview does not guarantee the publication of an episode.