February 5, 2024: Question the Origin of Everything! Digitally explore the intersecting histories behind realities in everyday life.

Every aspect of our daily reality, whether the words we use, the pop culture we love, the technology that gets us through the day, or even the identities we give ourselves, emerges from thousands of intersecting histories. PBS Origins is the home of history shows from PBS Digital Studios that dive into inclusive, intersectional history content that helps us understand one another more deeply. This week in the mentoring circle, we will explore the 4 shows featured in PBS Origins about under-told histories and cultures that challenge our everyday assumptions. What sets their shows apart is their ability to connect historical dots, presenting complex ideas in an accessible and engaging way. If you’re curious about where everything comes from, then this is the place for you.

Historian’s Take is a PBS Origins show about pop culture and history co-hosted by Dolly Li, Adrian De Leon, and Dr. Danielle Bainbridge. It explores history through the lens of pop culture by unpacking iconic moments in media and analyzing their impact on today’s world. In each episode, these historians and their friends give their take on a piece of pop culture to add context and perspective to our favourite media. They unpack popular phenomena in movies, music, television, and even our favourite childhood cartoons. The show is curious, optimistic, and smart, and includes both explainers and conversations on topics that range from comical to controversial. In the following episode, Dr. Bainbridge takes a look at the history of queer representation to tell us why pansexuality has become so popular.

Indigenous representation in film and TV used to be confined to Westerns and storylines of defeat. Today, a new wave of Indigenous comedies, written and created by Indigenous peoples, are taking back their narratives. Shows like Reservation Dogs and Rutherford Falls challenge stereotypes and address big political movements like #LandBack. In the following episode of Historian’s Take, join special guests, Rutherford Falls writer, Taietsarón:sere ‘Tai’ Leclaire, and associate professor and author of “Picturing Indians: Native Americans in Film, 1941-1960s”, Liza Black, to trace the history of Indigenous  representation and tell us how Hollywood has progressed from grotesque stereotypes to nuanced characters — starting with the question: what is #LandBack?

A People’s History of Native America, hosted by comedian Tai Leclaire, is a series that explores the current social climate in Native America and the factors that have shaped contemporary circumstances. Laugh and learn with comedian Tai Leclaire and experts as they chronicle the accurate history with humour and brevity. In the following episode, learn about the controversy over Disney’s portrayal of Pocahontas. Are there parallels between historical myths and the plight of Indigenous women today? In this PBS Origins digital miniseries discover how settler culture, the white male saviour complex, racism in the media, and harmful stereotypes contribute to the ongoing MMIW2S crisis. Here is the truth behind the legend of Pocahontas…

It’s been said that history is written by those in power. But what about the outlaws, outcasts, and rogues? What if they had their say? Hosted by Joel Cook, Rogue History shakes the dust off the history books to unravel myths, unearth narratives, and discover fresh perspectives about outlaws, outcasts, and rogues. Joel Cook is a maritime archaeologist and historian who takes you through an irreverent and enlightening voyage that reveals hidden secrets and left-out stories. For instance. a Trans spy who blackmailed their King for legal recognition. In the following episode of Rogue History, learn about Chevalier d’Eon, a respected diplomat, trusted spy, and cunning secret agent. They were a master of their craft and a pioneer of publicly expressing gender fluidity in 18th-century France.

Origin of Everything is a show about the under-told history and cultural dialogues that make up our collective story. From the food we eat, to the trivia and fun facts we can’t seem to get out of our heads, to the social issues we can’t stop debating, everything around us has a history. Hosted by professor and history nerd Danielle Bainbridge, Origin of Everything is here to challenge our everyday assumptions and encourage us to question and think critically about the origins of societal constructs and their relevance today. While Origin of Everything doesn’t create any new videos, their show remains to better understand the world around us! For example, in the following episode, Dr. Bainbridge looks at the complicated history surrounding the European enslavement of Indigenous peoples.

The shows of PBS Origins unravel the fascinating backstories of our world and provide an invitation to embark on a journey of discovery, understanding, and continuous learning. All their digital series are an educational resource providing a springboard for further exploration and discussion. PBS Origins enriches, educates, and entertains, proving that knowledge is a path to a more enlightened, curious, and connected world. Their show allows us to explore the light-hearted and hilarious as well as the grim but incredibly important histories that define our world. In the following video, join Tai Leclaire to learn about the inconvenient truth of Smokey Bear and explore the importance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), cultural burns and traditional land stewardship in combating climate change.