Privacy Studies Podcast

Producer and host Natália da Silva Perez talks to guests about privacy from a historical perspective. Invited scholars come also from a range of disciplines beyond history, including law, social and computer sciences, communications, and philosophy. Lectures and seminars from the Centre for Privacy Studies are also featured in this show.

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Each episode is accompanied by a transcript for accessibility (The transcripts are machine generated and may contain typos).

Season 3


Financial Accountability in France during the Reign of Louis XIV - Interview with Jacob Soll

Jacob Soll is Professor of Philosophy, History and Accounting at the University of Southern California. In this episode recorded in the summer of 2020, we talk about financial auditing practices, state secrets, and tensions between state transparency and state security during the old regime. Check out two of his books that focus on these topics: The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations (2014), and The Information Master (2009).

Listen to the podcast episode here: Financial Accountability in France during the Reign of Louis XIV - Interview with Jacob Soll
Download the text transcript (PDF) of Financial Accountability in France during the Reign of Louis XIV - Interview with Jacob Soll pdf

Sex in an Old Regime City - Interview with Julie Hardwick

Julie Hardwick (University of Texas at Austin) talks about her newest book Sex in an Old Regime City: Young Workers and Intimacy in France 1660 - 1789, which came out with Oxford University Press in September 2020. In the book, she focuses on intimacy among young workers who lived in the urban environment of early modern Lyon, and makes extensive use of archival material to examine a topic highly relevant for privacy studies.

Listen to the podcast episode here: Sex in an Old Regime City - Interview with Julie Hardwick podcast
Download the text transcript (PDF) of Sex in an Old Regime City - Interview with Julie Hardwick

Season 2


Private Rights and the Common Good in Late Scholastic Though‪t

James Gordley argues that, in the writings of the late scholastics, private rights and the common good were in harmony, but modern liberalism disrupted this harmony. In his lecture, he explains how these ideas fit together.

Listen to the podcast episode here: Private Rights and the Common Good in Late Scholastic Though‪t
Download the text transcript (PDF) of Private Rights and the Common Good in Late Scholastic Though‪t pdf

Lutheran Theology and Contract Law in Early Modern German‪y‬

Paolo Astorri, winner of the RefoRC Book Award 2020 for his book Lutheran Theology and Contract Law in Early Modern Germany, talks about the influence of theological ideas in the development of contract theory in 16th century Germany. In this interview, we cover how ideas by Reformers Martin Luther and Philip Melanchton were expanded, developed, and sometimes even distorted by theologians and jurists that came in their wake.

Listen to the podcast episode here: Lutheran Theology and Contract Law in Early Modern German‪y‬
Download the text transcript (PDF) of Lutheran Theology and Contract Law in Early Modern German‪y‬ pdf

Locating the Private in the Roman World

Andrew Riggsby gives a talk titled "Locating the Private in the Roman World." He explains that, despite their common use of explicit terms for “private” (and “public”), the ancient Romans did little to theorize those categories. In his talk, Andrew supplies such a theoretical account and points out ways in which the “private” was used as a tool of social control. Drawing from examples from the realms of domestic space and of financial regulation, he attends especially to gendered aspects of this control.

Listen to the podcast episode here: Locating the Private in the Roman World
Download the text transcript (PDF) of Locating the Private in the Roman World here

Locating the Cubiculum: Early Christian musings on the Place of Prayer 

Mette Birkedal Bruun talks about the Gospel of Matthew, which presents Jesus introducing the Lord's Prayer with an injunction to enter into the chamber and close the door so as to pray in secret (Mt 6.6). For early Christian authors, this command elicited a series of questions: How to reconcile the entry into the chamber with the command to pray everywhere (cf 1 Tim 2)? Where and what is this chamber – not to mention its door? How are praying persons to comport themselves in the chamber under God's watchful eye? In this talk, Mette discusses third- and fourth-century expositions of Mt 6.6 and ponder their place in privacy studies.

Listen to the podcast episode here: Locating the Cubiculum: Early Christian musings on the Place of Prayer
Download the text transcript (PDF) of Locating the Cubiculum: Early Christian musings on the Place of Prayer here

From Rooftop to Chamber: Prayer in Jerome’s Rendering of the Book of Judith 

Florian Wöller discusses the biblical book of Judith in a Latin rendering (4th c. AD) by the church father Jerome. This book tells the story of a courageous widow who saved Israel from the Assyrians by killing the Assyrian general Holofernes. In the oldest versions of the story, Judith prays on the roof of her house, but in Jerome's translation, she prays in a cubiculum. In this talk, Florian investigates Jerome's move of Judith's place of prayer, contextualizing it with further late antique notions of cubiculum prayer, and suggesting a reading of Judith's cubiculum as a private-public place of prayer.

Listen to the podcast episode here: From Rooftop to Chamber: Prayer in Jerome’s Rendering of the Book of Judith 
Download the text transcript (PDF) of Prayer in Jerome’s Rendering of the Book of Judith here

Season 1


Privacy and Gender in Early Modern German Speaking Areas 

Heide Wunder explores the emergence of modern "privacy“ or “Privatheit“ as a new concept of personal rights during the early modern period. She inspects evidence from printed sources such as funeral sermons, autobiographies and novels, which speak both to the spatial as well as to the gendered aspects of privacy.

Listen to the podcast episode here: Privacy and Gender in Early Modern German Speaking Areas 
Download the text transcript (PDF) of Privacy and Gender in Early Modern German Speaking Areas here

Madame de Maintenon's "Petits livres secrets" 

Lars Cyril Nørgaard talks about the private devotional practices of Madame de Maintenon, Louis XIV's second wife, to whom the king was married in secret.

Listen to the podcast episode here: Madame de Maintenon's "Petits livres secrets" 
Download the text transcript (PDF) of Madame de Maintenon's "Petits livres secrets" here

Examining Privacy in Early Modern Letters 

Michaël Green talks about Dutch egodocuments and his research on privacy.

Listen to the podcast episode here: 
Examining Privacy in Early Modern Letters 
Download the text transcript (PDF) of Examining Privacy in Early Modern Letters here

Introducing the Centre for Privacy Studies

Mette Birkedal Bruun talks about her research on the history of privacy and the work at the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre for Privacy Studies at the University of Copenhagen.

Listen to the podcast episode here: Introducing the Centre for Privacy Studies 
Download the text transcript (PDF) of Introducing the Centre for Privacy Studies  here