Check here for new playlists to listen to every week. Most have a direct link to the things we’ll be reading, watching, and discussing in any given week, and all should offer you new ways to peer into the past and see it through the eyes of others. Simply click the link next to your preferred music service each week to start listening, and feel free to save them to your personal library too!

W2: Rise Up, Old Joe Hill!

This weeks playlist focuses on songs of the labor movement––songs of solidarity meant to bring workers together and keep them organized––and also songs that offer powerful comments on the impact of company politics on everyday people. Featuring all the greats: Woody, Pete Seeger, Cisco Houston, Hazel Dickens, Sarah Ogan Gunning, Aunt Molly Jackson, the Almanacs, and more. Listen on: Apple Music | Spotify

W3: Forward, Not Upward

“The way to think about the significance of the human adventure,” wrote philosopher Richard Rorty, citing the philosophies of Dewey and Whitman, “is to look forward rather than upward: to contrast a possible human future with the human past and present.” This week: songs encouraging us to get down to business and take the bull by the horns. Why wait around for deliverance when we can deliver a better world for ourselves? Listen on: Apple Music | Spotify

W4: The Open Road

Historian Frederick Jackson Turner, in 1893, formulated what came to be known as the “Frontier Thesis”: he argued that American democracy was “born of no theorist’s dream” and wasn’t transported to Virginia or Massachusetts or anywhere else fully formed. It was made on the frontier––and because it was, the frontier, according to Turner, has played a pivotal role in shaping the American psyche. The idea that there’s always a chance for a fresh start, a new place to go, an opportunity to rebuild is deeply embedded in the lives of many Americans. So this week we’ll take a slight detour from protest music to listen to some songs that speak to this impulse. Enjoy the ride. Listen on: Apple Music | Spotify