After the summer off, History for the Future is back with two developments. First, we are proud to provide an encore edition of a Oct. 2011 interview with Sophia Rosenfeld, a professor of history at the University of Virginia, and author of the book, Common Sense: A Political History. Rosenfeld shows how starting about one hundred years before Thomas Paine’s famous 1776 pamphlet, writers in England began to make arguments by appealing to readers’ “common sense.” Though obscure in its origin, she explains how “common sense” has become… well… a common sense way to make political arguments in Europe and the United States. In charting this history, Rosenfeld asks questions that continue to reverberate in our own political moment: Who does “common sense” benefit? And who does it exclude? In other words, who doesn’t have common sense?
The second piece of news is that HFTF has a new producer, Remapping Debate. After over two years at WRCT-Pittsburgh, HFTF is joining Remapping Debate, a public policy news publication. Over the coming months, Remapping Debate will be re-posting older shows while new interviews will also be added. Remapping Debate’s original reporting, commentary, and interviews are available at remappingdebate.org, and the whole HFTF catalog remains available on historyforthefuture.org.