Publicity was once the exclusive property of men of rank. They alone, by virtue of their stations, could make things public. During the 18th century it became meaningful to talk about “public opinion” as something formed outside the state. Today anyone with a Twitter account can make a public. In this series from the CBC Radio show Ideas, producer David Cayley examines how publics were formed in Europe, between 1500 and 1700, and how these early publics grew into the concept of “the public” that we hold today.
The series comes from the research project Making Publics, which is being made by McGill University in Montreal, Canada. The project’s field of study has been England and Western Europe during the period that scholars now call the early modern, or roughly 1500 to 1700.
Episodes - click on the title to listen
Episode 2 – The Reformation
Episode 3 – Forms of Nationhood
Episode 4 – The Print Revolution
Episode 5 – Painting Modernity
Episode 6 – Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre
Episode 7 – Theatre and Publics
Episode 8 – The Private Goes Public
Episode 9 – The Secret History of Domesticity
Episode 10 – Science and Its Publics
Episode 11 – Steps to a Public Sphere
Episode 13 – Publics and Counterpublics
Episode 14 – The Public Sphere Today