Advertising (1/30) — The episode will focus on how things and ideas get sold to the American public, and how that’s changed over time. We’re looking for stories about: ads in the colonial period, how the U.S. sold itself to immigrants (and internal migrants), ads geared toward women, and the social psychology of commercial advertising, to name a few.
Women in the Workplace (2/6) — This one will look at the history of American women and their relationships with work. We’re looking for stories about: women’s labor movements, how reproductive rights have affected women in their work, women’s efforts to shape and change the workplace, wage equality, and the cultural debates over what counts as “work.” Though it’s tempting, we’ll probably avoid stories about awesome ladies who are awesome just for the sake of awesomeness. BackStory is keen to have great stories with a “Big Think” component.
Middle Class (2/27) — For this show, we’ll investigate how that elusive, powerful (and uniquely American?) group, the middle class, has operated in different centuries in American history. What has it meant to be middle class? Has the term always been positive? Why do so many politicians claim to champion it? How has mass media perpetuated myths about the middle class?
Historical Fiction (TBD) — For this show, we’d be looking for stories about children’s literature, historical re-enactments, movies, TV shows, musicals, graphic novels, the importance (or unimportance) of historical accuracy in fiction, historical fictions with big impacts (Gone With the Wind?), alternative histories, and big ideas like: what are the contours of historical fiction? When is it appropriate and when has it been more than a little dangerous? And what’s the point, anyway?
Here’s a link to the pitch page of our web site, for info about what makes a good BackStory pitch: http://backstoryradio.org/producers/
BackStory is especially interested in stories that get out of the studio — that is, site-specific and sound-rich stories from around the country. Include what, if any, sources you would use in your story and how you would produce them. Give us an idea about what you imagine your piece would sound like (field tape, scoring, effects, readings, etc.). We’re open to non-narrated features, written essays, and reported pieces. Three to 10 minutes in length is ideal.
Email Associate Producer Kelly Jones at <khjones at virginia dot edu>, with “PITCH:” in your subject line. We’ll do our best to be in touch with you within a week of receiving your pitch.