Podcast Points: Teaching History as a Storyteller with Military Historian Julie Anne Sweet

Historian discusses why - and how - she makes history come alive on the Baylor Connections podcast

June 27, 2024
Julie Sweet Ph.D.

Julie Anne Sweet, Ph.D., brings history to life with a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party. (Baylor University/Robert Rogers)

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WACO, Texas (June 27, 2024) – Baylor Connections is a weekly podcast introducing the people behind Baylor University’s teaching, research and distinct role in higher education. This week’s Baylor Connections guest – in honor of Independence Day – is Julie Anne Sweet, Ph.D., professor of history, director of military studies and an expert on colonial and revolutionary America and military history. 

Sweet is known for delivering passionate lectures on the American military and Revolutionary War in full colonial garb, which brings the history she is teaching to life for her students. Baylor Connections host Derek Smith and Sweet had a lively conversation that spanned from her original interest in the Civil War to her approach to teaching history as a storyteller. 

Podcast Points with Military Historian Julie Ann Sweet
  • Sweet strives to make history come alive for students. She does this through personal narratives from people who were living during that time, bringing historical artifacts to class and dressing in historically accurate costumes.
  • While working on her master’s degree, Sweet worked a summer job in Colonial Williamsburg as a “historical interpreter” – which inspired her to bring the same approach of dressing the part to teach history in a college classroom.  
  • Her unique approach attracted the attention of C-SPAN in 2019, inspiring and intriguing people across the country – including other educators. Clad in her colonial uniform, Sweet was filmed by C-SPAN Lectures in History as she taught her class on the American military during the Revolutionary War, including a look at the equipment and capabilities of both the Continental Army and militia troops.
  • Sweet’s teaching through storytelling and reenactment helps the students understand that everyone is human with the same basic needs and concerns – the only difference is the time period and the available options. Sweet said students begin to appreciate the human aspects and understand the history and that makes it magical.
How to Listen to Baylor Connections

Baylor Connections airs on Fridays at 11 a.m. CT on KWBU 103.3FM in Waco. The podcast also is available online or by subscribing to Baylor Connections on iTunes.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.