About Intelligent Speech Conference

A virtual conference for intelligent listeners

This Year’s Intelligent Speech Conference

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For 2023, we have already secured some great names in history podcasting as Keynotes:

Daniele Bolelli of History on Fire
Rebecca Larson of Tudors Dynasty
Sebastian Major of Our Fake History

Alongside these, we have some new faces like Margaret Killjoy of Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff, Astrid and Chinny of It’s a Continent Podcast, and a whole lotta fresh-faced Rexypodders. Then of course we’ll have some repeat offenders who are well-known and loved by the Intelligent Speech community.

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Intelligent Speech 2019

intelligent speech 2019

Our first and, so far, only in-person event held in fair New York City.

Highlights:

  • Mike Duncan spoke about why make a history podcast.
  • Heather Teysko of Renaissance English History
  • Abishai Aziz Al-Doory of The History of Westeros

Intelligent Speech was set up by our Founder Emeritus, Roifield Brown, with the goal of forging stronger bonds between thoughtful online content creators and their community. The initial event was live and in person in New York City at the Centre for Social Innovation, a very cool event space in a renovated warehouse in Manhattan. This new project involved an all-hands-on deck effort from the members of the Agora Podcast Network, of which Roifield was then president. We were lucky enough to host Mike Duncan of the History of Rome and Revolutions that year, which still feels like we got away with something. And yeah, he genuinely is a really nice guy.

Mike Duncan

Intelligent Speech 2020: Hidden Voices

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For obvious reasons, we went virtual at this point.

Highlights:

  • Kevin Stroud of the History of English

  • Nia Clark of Dreams of Black Wall Street

  • Eric Marcus of Making Gay History

For obvious reasons, we went virtual at this point.

Highlights:

  • Kevin Stroud of the History of English

In March 2020, as Covid spread across the world, Benjamin “Ben” Jacobs, secretary of the Agora Podcast Network, suggested to Roifield that they should move the event online. Roifield replied that it might be a good idea, and mulled it over on his flight across the Atlantic back home to Birmingham. So it was from a quarantined hotel room that the decision was taken to start planning on exactly how to move an in-person intellectual podcast fan convention into an online environment. And we are proud to say, it worked! …despite some notable technical difficulties and more truck-related injuries than you would expect at an online conference, the result was a unique and loved event. Bringing together fans and creators from around the world, the day was intense, intimate and engaging.

Huge shout out to Zachary Davis and Ray Belli of the Sound Education conference, who had been tackling similar issues and helped us all enormously.

Between a panel discussing the use of testimony as a key part of history podcasting, and a fan favourite conversation between Ray Belli of Words for Granted and Kevin Stroud of History of English, the exploration of language seemed to permeate the event. Everyone seemed to enjoy it so much that we decided to do it again the next year

Intelligent Speech 2021: Escape

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At this stage everyone needed a bit of an escape from the trials and tribulations we were all going through.

Highlights:

  • David Crowther of the History of England Podcast
  • Liz Covart of Ben Franklin’s World
  • Marco Cappelli of Storia d’Italia

In 2021, Luke Baxter, Roifield’s collaborator on The Things that Made England, was brought in to help, as Zach and Ray went on to further challenges. Luke brought a key sense of stability to a very ‘chaotic good’ aligned event. The first year to feature structured and intentional keynotes, the day was again seen as a huge success by the attendees. Notably, David Crowther’s talk on the history of English beer left everyone thirsty. But the meat of the event was always about having personal conversations with podcasters, as happened in Issac Meyer of the History of Japan Podcast’s presentation on leaving academia; or about learning something new and important, as we did with Country Boi of One Mic: Black History and his presentation on the New Negro Movement of the 1920s.

We even had a very cool promo video:

2022

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The theme for 2022 was “Crossings,” and with keynote speeches by Jamie Jeffers of the British History Podcast, Graham and Ali from Rex Factor, and Jen and Genny from Ancient History Fangirl, the conference hosted some of the biggest names in thoughtful online content. But the day was more than just the keynotes; a horribly relevant session discussing Ukraine, Russia and Eastern Europe, and an expert panel discussing the Napoleonic Wars kicked off the day’s roundtables, and presentations about personal transitions, gumbo and spectroscopes highlighted our individual sessions.