Podcasts & Videos

Description: Penny Colman gave the keynote speech, “Celebrating the Women of World War II,” at an event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Bergen County and the County of Bergen, Hackensack, New Jersey, March 30, 2014

Description: Penny Colman remembers Social Security’s forgotten shepard, Frances Perkins on NPR.

Description: Pioneering Women War Correspondents

Description: Penny Colman reads from her new book: Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony – A Friendship that Changed the World.

Description: Penny Colman reads more from her new book: Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony – A Friendship that Changed the World.

Rosie the Riveter

Description: On March 23, 2009, I presented the keynote address, Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II, at the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Club of GFWC’s 101st Public Affairs Day. Two women war workers were in the audience–Ruth Siuta, who did what was called an “essential civilian” job at the Air Force Base in Rome, New York, and Rosalie Cutitta, a riveter who worked on bomber planes like the B-17 Flying Fortress and the Grumman Avenger at the Fleetwings Plant in Bristol, Pennsylvania. Despite suffering hearing damage, Rosalie says she would do it again. Here’s a video clip of her comments, including her story about driving across the Delaware River on the Burlington-Bristol Bridge from her home in New Jersey to the factory in Pennsylvania. Ruth Siuta is at the left in the video. On the right is, Anne H. Redlus, president of the New Jersey Federation, who organized the marvelous event. Rosalie and Ruth received a standing ovation from the appreciative audience.

Penny Colman speaks about Woodlawn Cemetery and the Heroines Buried there.

Penny Colman Talks about Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Penny Colman Talks about Martha Gellhorn.
Description:Martha Gellhorn’s D-Day Scoop (2:15)


Iowa Public Radio
Description: On Feb. 11, 2013 Penny was guest on Iowa Public Radio to talk about “The History of the Bathroom.” Her book Toilets, Bathtubs, Sinks, and Sewers: A History of the Bathroom (revised edition, 2012) is now available as an eBook.


The podcast of Penny’s book talk at the Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World was selected to be available through “Face-to-Face at the National Portrait Gallery.”

Description: Penny’s conversation with Melissa A. Rosati, host of 31 Voices on March 8, 2012, International Women’s Day.

Description:People frequently ask Penny where she gets her ideas. Here is her answer, which includes her reading the preface to Toilets, Bathtubs, Sinks, and Sewers: A History of the Bathroom.

Description: Penny shares her insight on The National Day of Mourning. From the radio interview with Dov Hirsch, executive producer of Crop to Cuisine.

Description: On November 28, 2009,  Penny was a Guest Blogger at “moonlightlacemayhem,” where the host, Carrie Hinkel-Gill asked questions that ranged from her favorite Thanksgiving movies to why she writes “true histories rather than fiction.”

Potential of Nonfiction

Description: Penny Colman’s speech, “The Potential of Nonfiction,” at the Master Class, The National Council of the Teachers of English (NCTE) Convention, San Antonio, Texas, November 22, 2008. She argues that the potential of nonfiction in classrooms is constrained by: the hegemony of fiction, definitional confusion, dichotomous teaching of fiction and nonfiction, and use of “information/informational” as catch-all terms for nonfiction. The widespread substitution of “information/informational” for nonfiction by many educators is particularly problematic because it: misrepresents many authors’ motives or purposes for writing nonfiction, miseducated students about what to expect from fiction as well as nonfiction, and skews instruction toward expository writing. Penny explains how this state of affairs prompted her to develop her Visual Model for Analyzing Fiction and Nonfiction Texts. From her perspective as a writer, she puts forth an unconstrained view of nonfiction that includes a variety of motives, topics, modes, media, forms, treatments, visuals, design, and uses.

Produced by Ben Manilla for The Loose Leaf Book Company.

Description: Tom Bodett explores the topic of death in a series of lively and illuminating conversations (in the following order): Katherine Paterson talks about her book Bridge to Terabithia; Amy Cohen discusses Margaret Wise Brown’s book The Dead Bird and Barbara Cooney’s Island Boy; Penny Colman talks about her book Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burial; a teenager reacts to Go Ask Alice; Natalie Babbitt discusses her book Tuck Everlasting; a commentator examines E.B. White’s lifelong fear of dying; two scholars with the help of some 4th and 5th grade students explore the treatment of death in Western folklore as represented in Sleeping Beauty; and, with a twist on the subject, Bodett discusses the question—What governs the life and death of children’s books?—with an out-of-print children’s book seller, Walter Mayes. With thanks to Ben Manilla for permission to post this program.

Description: Mary Glenny, host of Women’s Show, WMNF, Tampa, Florida, talks with Penny Colman about her book Where the Action Was: Women War Correspondents in World War II. Mary’s programs, co-hosted with Arlene Engelhardt, is an “eclectic feminist/womanist radio program that mixes music with multicultural features including interviews, film and book reviews. . . by and about women.” Penny’s book focuses on the actions, words, and photographs of 18 women war correspondents who found ways to get around the rules prohibiting women from covering combat in World War II and who managed to break some of the biggest stories of the war. Amply illustrated with powerful black and white photographs.

Description:Penny Colman’s speech on May 4, 2009, in Atlantic City, NJ, upon being named a 2009 Woman of Achievement by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of General Federation of Women’s Clubs. (Note:  The bronze cast of Susan B. Anthony’s and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s clasped hands was made for Elizabeth’s eighty birthday.)