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Society & Culture
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Arts & Ideas

Updated 5 days ago

Rank #11 in Places & Travel category

Society & Culture
Places & Travel
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Leading artists, writers, thinkers discuss the ideas shaping our lives & links between past & present and new academic research.

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Leading artists, writers, thinkers discuss the ideas shaping our lives & links between past & present and new academic research.

iTunes Ratings

158 Ratings
Average Ratings
106
21
15
9
7

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By Horatio799 - Nov 04 2019
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A great program ruined now by repetitive ads. How I detest Mandarin Oriental. If there aim was to foster business well it has spectacularly backfired.

Please don’t shift to gotcha journalism

By Jefferson253 - May 23 2019
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Love getting access to this always wonderful podcast- especially from the US. However, whether accuracy was on his side or not - Michael sweets “gotcha” ambush of Naomi Woolf was way offbase and between the standards of the BBC. Very uncomfortable to listen to and not why I subscribe.

iTunes Ratings

158 Ratings
Average Ratings
106
21
15
9
7

Ads

By Horatio799 - Nov 04 2019
Read more
A great program ruined now by repetitive ads. How I detest Mandarin Oriental. If there aim was to foster business well it has spectacularly backfired.

Please don’t shift to gotcha journalism

By Jefferson253 - May 23 2019
Read more
Love getting access to this always wonderful podcast- especially from the US. However, whether accuracy was on his side or not - Michael sweets “gotcha” ambush of Naomi Woolf was way offbase and between the standards of the BBC. Very uncomfortable to listen to and not why I subscribe.

Listen to:

Cover image of Arts & Ideas

Arts & Ideas

Updated 5 days ago

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Leading artists, writers, thinkers discuss the ideas shaping our lives & links between past & present and new academic research.

Jordan B Peterson

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Self help, identity politics and the influence of postmodernists are on the agenda as Philip Dodd meets the YouTube star and Canadian clinical psychologist, Jordan B. Peterson.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson is out now.
Producer: Craig Templeton Smith

May 17 2018

44mins

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Anxiety and the Teenage Brain

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Worrying is a natural part of growing-up. And yet the incidence of serious anxiety and depression is rapidly increasing. Psychologist Stephen Briers from TV's Teen Angels, student Ceyda Uzun and Durham University's head of counselling Caroline Dower join Anne McElvoy at the Free Thinking Festival to explore the possible causes and the influence of digital technology and social pressures. The discussion was recorded with an audience at Sage Gateshead.

Caroline Dower is a psychotherapist and currently Head of the Counselling Service at Durham University. She has a special interest in the experience of psychological distress, and the experience of anxiety in young adults.

Ceyda Uzun is a student at Kings College London, currently in her final year studying English Literature. She is a former Into Film Reporter and Head Editor of The Strand Magazine who has written on topics including mental health, identity and youth culture.

Stephen Briers is a British clinical psychologist who took part in BBC Three's Little Angels and Teen Angels, working with Tanya Byron. He has presented the Channel 4 series, Make Me A Grownup, The 10 Demandments for Channel Five and appeared on GMTV. He has written a parenting book called Superpowers for Parents, Help your Child to Succeed in Life and contributes frequently to the Times Educational Supplement.

BBC Action Line 08000 155 998 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/actionline

Producer: Debbie Kilbride

Apr 02 2019

47mins

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Proms Plus: Re-working a Classic in Poetry

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A series of classical tales, from the Iliad to the Inferno have been recast by modern poets. Sean O’Brien has written a version of Dante’s Inferno, and, for the stage, Aristophanes’ The Birds; he is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

Sandeep Parmar’s poetry includes Eidolon, the classical rewrite Helen of Troy in America, and she is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool.

Catherine Fletcher invites them to reflect on how to find the right words and images when translating a classic work into a modern idiom and what it means to work on something which is well known as two Proms present new work inspired by Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.

Aug 06 2018

34mins

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Design

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A silent room and a design to encourage disobedience are amongst the exhibits that Matthew Sweet and Laurence Scott visit at the London Design Biennale as they consider the role of Design in the week the V&A opens a new museum in Dundee. New Generation Thinker Kylie Murray talks about her discoveries of scribblings in the margins of books and what they tell us about Dundee's connections with France in late medieval times. Plus film critic Peter Biskind explores the effect of superhero and zombie movies on the American psyche.
The Sky Is Falling: How Vampires, Zombies, Androids and Superheroes Made America Great For Extremism by Peter Biskind is out now.

Laurence Scott is the author of Picnic, Comma, Lightning: In Search of a New Reality; The Four Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World.

Kylie Murray is a Fellow, Lecturer, and Director of Studies in English at Christ’s College, Cambridge whose research specialism is the literature of Medieval and Early-Modern Scotland, c.1100-c.1625 in Scots, French, and Latin
The London Design Biennale runs until September 23rd.

The V&A in Dundee designed by Kengo Kuma opens with a 3D Festival this weekend.

Design Research for Change is a showcase of 67 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Design research projects at Truman Brewery, London from 20th – 23rd September 2018.
Producer: Craig Smith

Sep 11 2018

45mins

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Marxism

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Anne Applebaum, Gregory Claeys, Jane Humprhies and Richard Seymour join Rana Mitter to assess the legacy of Marx 200 years after his birth. Do his ideas have currency and if so where is he an influence in the world? Academic Emile Chabal reports on researching Marxism in India and Brazil.
Gregory Claeys is the author of Marx and Marxism
Richard Seymour has written Corbyn - The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
Anne Applebaum's latest book is called Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine
Jane Humphries' book is called Childhood and Child Labour
Emile Chabal is writing a biography of Eric Hobsbawm and teaches at the University of Edinburgh.
Producer: Zahid Warley

May 02 2018

44mins

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The Digital Humanities

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What’s the connection between Jane Austen’s particular choice of words in an afternoon in 1812, the oldest manuscript of Beowulf, fake news in 17th century England, and high definition digital photography? Laurence Scott talks to Kathryn Sutherland of St Anne’s College, Oxford, Noah Millstone of the University of Birmingham, and Andrew Prescott of the University of Glasgow about new possibilities for research opened up by digital technology.

Producer: Luke Mulhall

Dec 21 2018

57mins

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Inside the 'Intellectual Dark Web'

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Commentator Douglas Murray, journalist Bari Weiss and writer Ed Husain join Philip Dodd to explore the 'Intellectual Dark Web'.
Their YouTube videos and podcasts receive millions of views and downloads. They sell out theatres across the US. But these aren't rock stars or the latest pop sensation. They are a collection of public intellectuals, scientists, political columnists, and stand up-comedians who are at the front line of the raging 'culture wars'. As two of its leading figures, neuroscience Sam Harris and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, prepare for a UK tour, Philip Dodd finds out more about this popular movement.
The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray is out now.
The House of Islam: A Global History by Ed Husain is out now.
Producer: Craig Templeton Smith.

Jun 13 2018

44mins

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Spike Lee

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The film-maker Spike Lee talks to Matthew Sweet about black power and prejudice, the politics of blackface, and the Oscars as his film BlacKkKlansman is nominated for six Academy Awards.

Since 1983, his production company has produced over 35 films. His first film in 1986 was a comedy drama She's Gotta Have It filmed in black and white which he turned into a Netflix drama in 2017. In 1989 Do The Right Thing was nominated for Best Original Screenplay in the Academy Awards. Best Picture that year went to Driving Miss Daisy. Spike Lee has been awarded Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2019 BAFTAs for BlacKkKlansman - which is on general release at UK cinemas certificate 15.
Producer: Zahid Warley.

Feb 12 2019

46mins

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Orwell's 1984. A Landmark of Culture.

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Peter Pomerantsev, Joanna Kavenna, New Generation Thinker Lisa Mullen and Dorian Lynskey join Matthew Sweet to debate George Orwell's vision of a world of surveillance, war and propaganda published in June 1949. How far does his vision of the future chime with our times and what predictions might we make of our own future ?

Dorian Lynskey has written The Ministry of Truth
Joanna Kavenna's new novel Zed - a dystopian absurdist thriller is published in early July.
Peter Pomerantsev's new book This Is NOT Propaganda: Adventures in the war against reality is published in August.
Lisa Mullen has published a book of criticism mid-century Gothic and is continuing her research on George Orwell. You can hear her Free Thinking Festival Essay about the role of Orwell's wife Eileen asking Who Wrote Animal Farm? https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000413q

Part of a week long focus Free Thinking the Future. You can find more interviews and discussions to download and catch up with on the playlist on our website
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03zwn4d

You can find more Landmarks of Culture from 2001 Space Odyssey to Zamyatin's We in our playlist https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01jwn44

Producer: Zahid Warley

Jun 06 2019

53mins

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Are we being manipulated?

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Who's pulling your strings - from advertisers and peer pressure to political campaigns and self-deception - hidden persuaders are everywhere. Journalist Poppy Noor, historian Sarah Marks, psychologist and magician, Gustav Kuhn, the philosopher, Quassim Cassam and Robert Colvile from the Centre for Policy Studies join Matthew Sweet to track them down. We're all confident that we know our own minds -- but do we? And if we don't, why not?
Producer: Zahid Warley

Quassim Cassam is professor of philosophy at Warwick University. He is the author of Self Knowledge for Humans and his new book, Vices of the Mind will be published next year.

Gustav Kuhn teaches psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His book Experiencing the Impossible : The Science of Magic will be published next year.

Sarah Marks is a post-doctoral researcher at Birkbeck College in London where she is one of the team involved in the Hidden Persuaders project.

Poppy Noor is a journalist and contributes to The Guardian newspaper.

Robert Colvile is the director of the Centre for Policy Studies.

Dec 06 2018

44mins

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How They Manipulate Our Emotions

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According to Madmen’s ad executive Don Draper, “what you call love was invented by guys like me… to sell nylons.” So how does advertising and gaming grab us by our emotions? Can we know when we’re being manipulated? And is there anything we can do about it? Presenter Shahidha Bari hosts a Free Thinking Festival debate at Sage Gateshead.

Ad man Robert Heath worked on campaigns including the Marlboro Cowboy, Castrol GTX Liquid Engineering, and Heineken “Refreshes the Parts”. He is the author of The Hidden Power of Advertising and Seducing the Subconscious: The Psychology of Emotional Influence in Advertising.

Claudia Hammond presents All in the Mind and Mind Changers on BBC Radio 4 and Health Check on BBC World Service. She is the author of Emotional Rollercoaster: A journey through the science of feelings and Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception and Mind over Money: the psychology of money and how to use it better.

Darshana Jayemanne is Lecturer in Games and Art at Abertay University. He is investigating the role of emotion in young people's digital play (collaborating with the NSPCC) and how this can be used to raise awareness of climate change (along with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research).

May Abdalla is co-director and founder of Anagram - a studio which won the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes Award for Door Into The Dark - a blindfolded sensory experience about what it means to be lost. They are working on a VR experience about the Uncanny with the Freud Museum and an immersive documentary about imagined realities exploring schizophrenia and online gaming.

Apr 09 2019

45mins

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Boredom

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Shahidha Bari, Josh Cohen, Madeleine Bunting, Lisa Baraitser, Rachel Long, and Sam Goodman explore the value of doing nothing and our wider experience of time.

Josh Cohen is the author of Not Working: Why We Have to Stop.
Lisa Baraitser is Professor of Psychosocial Theory at Birkbeck, University of London and co-creator of Waiting Times, a research project on waiting in healthcare http://waitingtimes.exeter.ac.uk/
Madeleine Bunting is a novelist and writer
Rachel Long is a poet
New Generation Thinker Sam Goodman from Bournemouth University has been studying the drinking culture in Colonial India.

You might also be interested in BBC Radio 3's Words and Music exploring the idea that we are Creatures of Habit https://bbc.in/2E72xV0

Producer: Luke Mulhall

Jan 10 2019

45mins

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Slavoj Žižek, Camille Paglia, Flemming Rose

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Can causing offence be a good thing? Philip Dodd explores this question with the Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, the American author, Camille Paglia and the Danish journalist, Flemming Rose.
Camille Paglia is a Professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia whose Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson was rejected by seven publishers before it became a best-seller.
Flemming Rose was Culture Editor at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten when in September 2005 it published a series of cartoons of Muhammad which caused controversy.
Like A Thief In Broad Daylight: Power in the Era of Post-Human Capitalism by Slavoj Zizek is out now.
Provocations: Collected Essays by Camille Paglia will be available from October 9th.
Flemming Rose is the author of The Tyranny of Silence, and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, Washington DC.

Our playlist looking at Culture Wars and Discussions about Identity can be found here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06jngzt

Sep 26 2018

51mins

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Slow Looking at Art

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As new shows featuring the Post-impressionist, Pierre Bonnard and the video artist, Bill Viola, open in London, Laurence Scott and his guests discuss the way we experience art from the current vogue for slow looking to the 30 second appraisal scientists say is the norm for most gallery goers. How do small details reshape our understanding of paintings? What about looking more than once? Does digital art require more or less concentration ?

Kelly Grovier's book A New Way of Seeing: The History of Art in 57 Works is out now.

Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory runs from 23 January to 6 May 2019 at Tate Modern. It will show 100 works of art by the French painter created between 1912 and 1947 and will include special evenings of "Slow Looking".

Bill Viola / Michelangelo Life Death Rebirth runs at the Royal Academy in London from 26 January — 31 March 2019

The Free Thinking Visual Arts Playlist with interviews including Tacita Dean, Chantal Joffe and Sean Scully amongst others is here https://bbc.in/2DpskGS

Producer: Zahid Warley

Jan 23 2019

45mins

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Landmark: Susan Sontag's Against Interpretation

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Lauren Elkin, Lisa Appignanesi and biographer Ben Moser debate Susan Sontag's life and ideas with presenter Laurence Scott, focusing in on her 1966 essay collection, which argued for a new way of approaching art and culture.

Ben Moser is the author of Sontag: Her life and work which is out now.
Lauren Elkin teaches at the University of Liverpool and is the author of Flâneuse: Women Walk the City. She is researching Sontag's time in Sarajevo in 1993 when she staged Waiting for Godot during the Siege following the declaration of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s independence from Yugoslavia.
Lisa Appignanesi is a Visiting Professor in the Department of English at King's College London and Chair of the Royal Society of Literature Council . Her books include Everday Madness, Simone De Beauvoir, Freud's Women.

You can hear more from Lisa including her BBC Radio 3 interview with Susan Sontag if you search for the Sunday Feature Afterwords: Susan Sontag
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00022p1

Producer: Luke Mulhall

Sep 18 2019

51mins

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Patti LuPone

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How loud should you be? Italian American performer Patti LuPone talks to Philip Dodd about why she doesn’t consider herself an American, her politics, unsuccessful auditions, backbiting, corporate entertainment, #Me Too. Her career has taken her from a Broadway debut in a Chekhov play in 1973 to performances in the original productions of plays by David Mamet and musicals including Evita on Broadway and Les Misérables and Sunset Boulevard in London’s West End. She won a Tony award for her role as Rose in the 2008 Broadway revival of the musical Gypsy. She’s currently taking the role of Joanne in the production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company in London’s West End. The show directed by Marianne Elliott runs until March 30th 2019 Patti LuPone: A Memoir was published in 2010. Producer: Debbie Kilbride

Feb 19 2019

44mins

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Camille Paglia

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Writer, feminist and author of such books as Sexual Personae and Provocations, Camille Paglia joins Philip Dodd to talk about feminism and free speech in the 21st century, and how her Italian heritage has contributed to her character.

Producer: Craig Templeton Smith

Jul 16 2019

45mins

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Healthy Eating Edwardian Style

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Elsa Richardson uncovers the early history of the wellbeing industry and introduces Eustace Hamilton Miles, a diet guru who made his name selling health to Edwardian Britons. Reformers promoted the ‘simple life’, one that emphasised fresh air, exercise and the consumption of ‘sun-fired’ foods such as wholegrains, fruits and vegetables but this ‘simple life’ was also a highly profitable enterprise.

Elsa Richardson teaches on the history of the emotions and is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. The Essay was recorded at this year's Free Thinking Festival with an audience at Sage Gateshead.

New Generation Thinkers is a scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to select ten academics each year who can turn their research into radio

Producer: Zahid Warley

Apr 05 2019

20mins

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Learning from Sweden

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What do meatballs, The Square and Henning Mankell have in common? The answer is Sweden as you’ve no doubt guessed. As ABBA’s Cold War musical, Chess, is poised to return to the British stage Matthew Sweet considers what Sweden’s taught us – whether in films such as I am Curious Yellow or in the aisles at IKEA - and what the Swedes might have gained from their brushes with Britain. His guests include Anders Sandberg from the Future of Humanity Institute in Oxford, the Swedish cultural attache, Pia Lundberg, Lars Blomgren, one of the people behind The Bridge, the social scientist, Tom Hoctor and Kieran Long - once of the V&A but now the director of the Swedish centre for Architecture and Design.
Chess runs at English National Opera from 26 Apr - 02 Jun 2018
Producer: Zahid Warley

Apr 19 2018

45mins

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What to Believe

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Rana Mitter and guests look at the history of atheism and morality. Alec Ryrie's new book 'Unbelievers: an emotional history of doubt' argues that the rationality arguments for non-belief developed after congregations began to doubt the church. The Barber Institute in Birmingham begins a new exhibition into one of the more enigmatic sacred artists of c15 Antwerp, Jan de Beer. Sarah Wise has contributed a chapter on Morality to a new imprint of Charles' Booth's notorious London Poverty Maps. Jenny Kilbride lived and worked in the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic in Ditchling, Sussex where her father had moved as a weaver to work in an Arts and Crafts community in the 1920s. A new Exhibition in the Ditchling Art and Craft Museum explores the legacy of the group - their faith, social creed, and wares.

Charles Booth's Poverty Maps have been republished and a project at LSE allows you to search them https://booth.lse.ac.uk/
Sarah Wise is the author of The Italian Boy, the Blackest Streets, Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad Doctors in Victorian England
The Barber Institute in Birmingham is showing Truly Bright and Memorable: Jan de Beer's Renaissance Masterpieces from October 25th to January 19th.
Alec Ryrie is a Professor at Durham University whose books include Protestants: the Faith that Made the Modern World, the Age of Reformation and his most recent Unbelievers: An Emotional History of Doubt.
Jenny Kilbride still weaves, and Disruption, Devotion + Distributism is at the Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft until April 2020.

You can find a collection of programmes Free Thinking on religious belief on the programme website. All are available as Arts & Ideas downloads https://bbc.in/2N2g3fk

Producer: Alex Mansfield.

Oct 23 2019

1hr 1min

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The shadow of empire and colonialism

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Historian William Dalrymple, Wasafiri editor Susheila Nasta and novelist Romesh Gunesekera join Rana Mitter for a conversation looking at the East India company, the socialist economic policies and language battles in Ceylon in the 1960s before it became Sri Lanka and the way writing from around the world has reflected changes of attitude to post colonial history.

Sri Lankan-born British author Romesh Gunesekera has just published his ninth novel, Suncatcher, depicting two boys, Jay and Kairo, growing up in 1964, who overcome their different backgrounds to become friends at a time when Ceylon is on the brink of change.

Wasafiri, the magazine of international contemporary writing, has just published its 100th edition, which includes an interview with Romesh Gunesekera. The publication derives its name from a KiSwahili word meaning "travellers" that is etymologically linked with the Arabic word "safari". Susheila Nasta, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literatures at QMUL, was the founding editor, the recipient of the 2019 Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature and is now handing over the reins to Malachi McIntosh. She has just edited a collection of essays called Brave New Words: The Power of Writing Now and has completed compiling, with Mark Stein, The Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing, due out in 2020.

William Dalrymple has published The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company which you can find as a Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000b4pz
He has curated an exhibition at the Wallace Collection in London, Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company, which runs from Dec 4th to April 19th 2020

Producer: Torquil MacLeod

Dec 05 2019

49mins

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Feasting, fasting, hospitality, and food security

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Author Priya Basil and curator Victoria Avery look at food, fasting and feeding guests. Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough is their host as the FitzWilliam Museum in Cambridge opens an exhibition and Priya Basil publishes reflections on hospitality which link the free meals offered to all which is part of Sikhism to food clubs in Germany which have welcomed refugees. Maia Elliott of the UK's Global Food Security programme, describes her work to try to make future food supply more reliable for all. She describes her own food habits and the possible ways all of our diets might have to change in the future.
Be My Guest: Reflections on Food, Community and the Meaning of Generosity is out now.

Feast & Fast: The art of food in Europe, 1500 –1800 runs at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge until April 26th 2020 and features food creations and sugarwork from food historian Ivan Day.

Global Food Security publish their research here: https://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/

You can hear more discussions about food by searching for
Free Thinking Food to hear philosopher Barry Smith and critic Alex Clark with Matthew Sweet https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08wn51y
The Working Lunch and Food in History https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b7my5n
New Generation Thinkers Food: We Are What We Eat a Radio 3 Essay from Christopher Kissane which looks at Spanish Inquisition stews & Reformation sausages to pork in French school meals https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07xhr60
Healthy Eating Edwardian Style - an Essay from Elsa Richardson https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p075d3hy

Producer: Alex Mansfield

Dec 04 2019

56mins

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When TV & the information superhighway were new

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Nam June Paik made art with TV sets and imagined an information superhighway before the internet was invented. John Giorno organised multi-media and dial-a-poem events. Poet and New Generation Thinker Sarah Jackson joins Matthew Sweet to look at the visions of the future conjured up by these artists who were both interested in the influence of mass media and Buddhism. She's joined by artist Haroon Mirza and Tate curator Achim Borchardt-Hume. We dial a poet Vahni Capildeo and hear from Vytautus Landbergis, former Lithuanian Head of State and former comrade of Nam June Paik as a Fluxus artist.

John Giorno (December 4, 1936 – October 11, 2019)
Nam June Paik (20 July 1932, Gyeongseong - Died: 29 January 2006)
Tate Modern's exhibition of Nam June Paik's art runs until 9 February 2020.

Haroon Mirza's work is on show in an exhibition called Waves and Forms at the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton until January 11th 2020.
Vahni Capildeo's most recent collection is called Skin Can Hold.
Sarah Jackson's poety collection is called Pelt. You can hear Sarah Jackson exploring the human voice in a short feature if you look up this programme called New Generation Thinkers: Edmund Richardson and Sarah Jackson https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05pspzx
and Sarah Jackson delivers a short talk about the history of the telephone in a programme called The Essay Telephone Terrors
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07wrlf4

Or you might be interested in Matthew Sweet's Free Thinking discussion about future visions and technology in the TV series Quatermass
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000b03y
or our Free Thinking the Future collection of programmes https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03zwn4d

Producer: Caitlin Benedict

Dec 03 2019

44mins

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Resting And Rushing

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Should we take more breaks at during the working day? Claudia Hammond, Matthew Smith, Sarah Cook and Ayesha Nathoo discuss the art of rest and concentration with Anne McElvoy.

Nov 28 2019

48mins

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The future of universities

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Economist Larry Summers, former President of Harvard lays out his view of a university and Philip Dodd debates with the OU's Josie Fraser, classicist Justin Stover and NESTA's Geoff Mulgan. Has new technology and globalisation signed the death knell for traditional courses in humanities subjects like English literature and philosophy ?

You can find Philip talking to academic Camille Paglia here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0006t8t
to Niall Fergusson about the importance of networks here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b096gv0d
to David Willetts here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09gsxhq
about Nietsche's views of a university education in University Therapy or Learning? here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07gnj1b

Producer: Eliane Glaser.

Nov 27 2019

45mins

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Is the Shadow of Mao still hanging over China?

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Rana Mitter talks to historians of China - Jung Chang and Julia Lovell. Jung Chang's latest book Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister looks at the lives of the first Chinese girls to attend university in the USA. On their return to Shanghai one worked in business, one married a politician and one was involved in high society. Julia Lovell has been awarded one of the most significant history writing prizes - the Cundill - for her latest book Maoism: A Global History. Cindy Yu is a China reporter and broadcast editor at the Spectator.

Playwright Tom Morton-Smith discusses putting cold war tensions on stage in his new play Ravens: Spasky v Fischer which is inspired by the chess match that took place in Reykjavik, 1972. The play runs at the Hampstead Theatre in London until January 18th.

The winner of the biennial David Cohen prize for Literature is announced. You can find our playlist of In Depth Interviews here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04ly0c8

Film critic Agnes Poirer compares two crime caper films from 50 years ago The Italian Job featuring Michael Caine and Noel Coward and The Brain, which starred David Niven alongside Jean Paul Belmondo and comedian Bourvil.

If you want more programmes exploring China include this discussion of Patriotism Beyond the West: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08583zz
The Cultural Revolution https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b079mcg9
Rana talks to the leading Chinese thinker Zhang Weiwei in Japanese History, Chinese Democracy https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03q5gdy
Jung Chang discusses her book on Empress Dowager Cixi https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01hy158

Producer: Harry Parker.

Nov 26 2019

45mins

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New Thinking: George Eliot

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Shahidha Bari discusses the state of scholarship on George Eliot at her bicentenary with Ruth Livesey and Helen O'Neill, both at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Gail Marshall at the University of Reading.
Ruth Livesey's AHRC funded research project on George Eliot is ‘Provincialism: Literature and the Cultural Politics of Middleness in Nineteenth-Century Britain’ https://georgeeliotprovincialism.home.blog/
Gail Marshall's blog on reading Middlemarch is here https://middlemarchin2019.wordpress.com/
A Free Thinking discussion of Mill on the Floss with writer Rebecca Mead, actor Fiona Shaw and academics Philip Davis, Dafydd Daniel and Peggy Reynolds is here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07vsc2h

This episode is one of a series of conversations - New Thinking - produced in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UK Research & Innovation.
Producer: Luke Mulhall

Nov 22 2019

57mins

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The Mill on the Floss

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Writer Rebecca Mead, actor Fiona Shaw + academics Dafydd Mills Daniel, Philip Davis & Peggy Reynolds read George Eliot's 1860 novel portraying sibling relationships. Shahidha Bari hosts.

George Eliot was born on 22 November 1819.
Rebecca Mead is the author of The road to Middlemarch: my life with George Eliot.
Dafydd Mills Daniel is a New Generation Thinker on the scheme run by the BBC and AHRC to put academic research on the radio.
Professor Peggy Reynolds teaches at Queen Mary University London and has edited anthologies of Victorian poets, the Sappho Companion and the Penguin edition of George Eliot's Adam Bede.
Professor Philip Davis teaches at the University of Liverpool and is the author of The Transferred Life of George Eliot.

Listen out for Radio 3's weekly curation of Words and Music which broadcasts each Sunday at 5.30pm and is available to listen here https://bbc.in/2E72xV0
A special episode also featuring Fiona Shaw as one of the readers hears extracts from Eliot's fiction, essays and journal set alongside the music she might have had on her playlist - composers including Clara Schumann, Liszt, whom Eliot met in 1854; and Tchaikovsky, who said his favourite writer was George Eliot.

Producer: Fiona McLean

Nov 22 2019

45mins

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Are the arts saving Margate?

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Investigating regeneration and gentrification, the Turner Contemporary, the 2019 Turner Prize exhibition, writer Maggie Gee on her novel Blood, & the town in literature.

The seaside town of Margate has both struggled and thrived over the past two centuries – it thronged with holidaymakers from the Victorian era onwards but limped through the latter half of the 20th century and was one of the most deprived parts of the UK before the £17.5m Turner Contemporary opened in 2011. Many hoped that the new art gallery would spearhead change and eight years on there has clearly been growth – the town sometimes jokingly referred to as Shoreditch-on-Sea has been through a wave of gentrification, complete with the common trappings of independent cafés, vintage shops and yoga studios, frequented by an ever-growing artistic community bolstered by regular arrivals of Londoners fleeing the capital. Tourist numbers are up, with the Dreamland amusement park reopening and over 3.2m visitors to the Turner Contemporary reported since its launch. This narrative of a successful arts-led regeneration however ignores that fact that Margate remains in the top 1% of deprived communities in the country and in some wards around half of all children live in poverty. The painter JMW Turner once remarked of Margate that it had the ‘loveliest’ skies in Europe, but can they brighten prospects for the local community, as well as for the artists that flock there?

As this year’s Turner Prize comes to Margate for the first time, Philip Dodd looks at whether the arts are a successful driver of regeneration, with Turner Contemporary Director Victoria Pomery and the social artist Dan Thompson, who has looked at people, place and change throughout his career.

We reflect on the Turner Prize exhibition itself, and the work of shortlisted artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani. The exhibition runs at Turner Contemporary until January 12th and the winner is announced on December 3rd.

The author Maggie Gee’s new novel Blood is set in Margate and the surrounding area of Thanet. A darkly comic crime thriller set in Brexit Britain East Kent where the political atmosphere bleeds into the action. Her imposing protagonist Monica is accused of murdering the tyrannical patriarch of her family – a situation complicated by the fact she’s armed with an axe ready to do just that, when she finds her father’s body. Maggie tells us about Blood and how the local area is a perfect canvas for the story.

Margate is hosting several events as part of Being Human, the UK’s national festival of the humanities which runs from November 14th to the 23rd – you can find more information on their website https://beinghumanfestival.org/

Literary historian Professor Carolyn Oulton is hosting a Murder Mystery trail in Margate for Being Human, amongst other things, and has been studying seaside towns in literature during the railway age. She gives us a view of Margate from the Victorian era – a bustling, promiscuous, populist place full of tourists – and the kind of stories set there. Crime and romance reads for the beach did particularly well for the holiday market, with works like Love in a Mist and Death in a Deckchair key tomes in the Margate canon.

Producer: Karl Bos

Nov 22 2019

45mins

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Why We Need New News

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New research looking at at reporting secret assassinations, countering propaganda & how we could update TV news bulletins, from the Being Human Festival, an annual event which involves public events put on by universities across the UK, presented by Shahidha Bari.

Steve Poole teaches at the University of the West of England and is involved in a project - Romancing the Gibbet - that uses smartphone apps to evoke memories of C18th hangings hidden in the English landscape
Dr Clare George is Miller Archivist at the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies at the University of London. She is involved in recreating the Austrian political cabaret theatre that operated in London during WWII to counter Nazi propaganda.
Andrew Calcutt teaches at the University of East London and is part of a project which asks what new ways can we tell the news, putting forward experimental formats and asking for audience responses to them.
Luca Trenta teaches at Swansea University and is working on a project looking at Kings, Presidents, and Spies: Assassinations from Medieval times to the Present - asking what we are told and what is kept hidden from news reports.

You can find out more at https://beinghumanfestival.org/

You can find more insights from cutting edge academic studies in our New Research Collection on the Free Thinking programme website and available to download as the BBC Arts & Ideas podcast from BBC Sounds https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03zws90

Producer: Torquil MacLeod

Nov 22 2019

44mins

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The Legacy of the Trojan War

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Why do the legendary walls of a Bronze Age city in Asia still cast such a long shadow? Novelist and classics expert Natalie Haynes, Alev Scott author of Ottoman Odyssey, archaeologist Naoíse Mac Sweeney and medievalist Hetta Howes join Rana Mitter to share new perspectives on the conflict immortalised in Homer's Iliad as the British Museum opens an exhibition dedicated to Troy.

Troy: Myth and Reality runs at the British Museum in London from November 21st to 8th March 2020.
Natalie Haynes is the author of novels which retell Greek myths including The Amber Fury, the Children of Jocasta and A Thousand Ships: This is the Woman's War.
Hetta Howes teaches medieval literature at City University and is a New Generation Thinker on the scheme run by the BBC and the AHRC to put research on radio.
Alev Scott is the author of Ottoman Odyssey and Turkish Awakening.
Naoíse Mac Sweeney is Associate Professor of Ancient History at the University of Leicester.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod

Nov 21 2019

45mins

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New Thinking: AHRC Research in Film Awards 2019

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Hetta Howes is on the red carpet at this year's AHRC Research in Film Awards at the British Film Institute on London's South Bank, where she talks to the winners:
Laura Hammond of SOAS, Benjamin Dix of PositiveNegatives, and director Osbert Parker, who won Best Social Media Short for their film Life On The Move
Shreepali Patel of StoryLab, Anglia Ruskin University, who won in theMental Health & Wellbeing category for The Golden Window
Ed Owles of the University of Leeds and his producer Kasia Mika for Intranquilities, which won in the Best Doctoral or Early Career Film category.
And Paul Basu whose film FACES/VOICES won the awards for Best Research Film.
There are more details and links to the films at the RIFA website https://ahrc.ukri.org/innovation/research-in-film-awards/previous-winners/
This episode is one of a series of conversations - New Thinking - produced in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UK Research & Innovation.
Producer: Luke Mulhall

Nov 16 2019

25mins

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Being Human: Love Stories

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Naomi Paxton assembles a squad of researchers to talk about dating, relationships, and what how we fall in love says about us from the National Archives to London's gay bars.

Dr Cordelia Beattie from the University of Edinburgh has unearthed two new manuscripts by the 17th-century woman Mrs Alice Thornton, which put her life, loves and relationship with God in a new light. Now they’re becoming a play in collaboration with writer and performer Debbie Cannon.

Dr João Florêncio is from the University of Exeter and his research on pornography, sex and dating in post-AIDS crisis gay culture is being transformed into a performance at The Glory in London.

Another queer performance space, London's Royal Vauxhall Tavern, is the venue for a drag show based on research into LGBTQ+ personal ads from a 1920s magazine done by Victoria Iglikowski-Broad as part of her work at the National Archives.

Professor Lucy Bland of Anglia Ruskin University has created Being Mixed Race: Stories of Britain’s Black GI Babies, an exhibition in partnership with the Black Cultural Archives, which features photography and oral histories from the children, now in their 70s.

Dr Erin Maglaque of the University of Sheffield explores the meanings of dreams in the Renaissance, and the strange erotic dreamscapes of a 1499 book written by a Dominican Friar.

A list of all the events at universities across the UK for the 2019 Being Human Festival can be found at their website: https://beinghumanfestival.org/

The festival runs from Nov 14th – 23rd but if you like hearing new ideas you can find our New Research playlist on the Free Thinking website, from death cafes to ghosts in Portsmouth to the London Transport lost luggage office: https://bbc.in/2n5dakT

Producer: Caitlin Benedict

Nov 14 2019

44mins

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The Changing Image of Masculinity.

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"Man Up". "He's Safe" "No Homo" How do men talk and write about masculinity? Laurence Scott talks to authors Ben Lerner, Derek Owusu and JJ Bola about crying, competitiveness, anger - and the pressure to perform.

Ben Lerner is the author of Leaving the Atocha Station, 10:04 and his latest novel is called The Topeka School. He holds a prize commonly called the "genius grant" as a MacArthur Fellow.
Derek Owusu's latest novel is called That Reminds Me. He has also presented the podcast Mostly Lit and edited Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space a collection of Essays which includes an Essay by JJ Bola.
JJ Bola has also written a novel No Place to Call Home, a poetry collection Refuge, and non-fiction book on masculinity, Mask Off: Masculinity Redefined.

You can find more Identity Discussions in a playlist on the Free Thinking website including Caryl Philips and Johny Pitts on Afropean identities https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0005sjw
Emma Frankland, June Sarpong on a panel asking Can There Be Multiple Versions of Me? https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p061zr74
Producer: Robyn Read

Nov 14 2019

53mins

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Weimar and the Subversion of Cabaret Culture

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Matthew Sweet, performers Lucy McCormick and Gateau Chocolat, curator Florence Ostende, New Generation Thinker Lisa Mullen and Gaylene Gould with an audience at London's Barbican Centre

From 1919 when the Weimar constitution said all were equal and had the right to freedom of expression, through to the Mbari Writers and Artists club in Nigeria, to the UK today, clubs and cabarets have always been spaces of creativity. The panel consider a series of moments in history to ask when and how club culture started to influence our wider society.

Florence Ostende is the curator of Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art which runs at the Barbican Art Gallery until January 19th 2020 curated and organised by Barbican Centre, London, in collaboration with the Belvedere, Vienna.

Le Gateau Chocolat and Lucy McCormick both performed in Effigies of Wickedness – a show from ENO and the Gate Theatre which was based on songs banned by the Nazis.

Le Gateau Chocolat is a drag artist and contemporary opera performer who has performed internationally from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to the Beyreuth Festival opera house.

Lucy McCormick's hit shows include Triple Threat and Post Popular. She’s been an Artist in Residence for the Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s DUCKIE nights, and a Research Fellow at Queen Mary University London.

Gaylene Gould is a cultural director and curator who has spearheaded a series of projects involving film, writing and art for Tate, the V&A and h club.

Dr Lisa Mullen teaches film and literature at the University of Cambridge and is the author of Mid Century Gothic. She is a New Generation Thinker on the scheme run by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to put research on the radio.

Producer: Caitlin Benedict.

Nov 12 2019

57mins

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The 2019 Free Thinking Imperial War Museum Remembrance Debate

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Who decides what’s worth saving and what is culturally significant to protect in wartimes and war zones? The panel, hosted by Anne McElvoy, are:

Sir Peter Bazalgette - Chairman of ITV and former Chairman of Arts Council England
Carrie Reichardt - International Artist and grassroots activist
Zahed Tajeddin - Syrian-born Artist and Archaeologist
Rebecca Newell - IWM’s Head of Art

Recorded with an audience at the Imperial War Museum, London on Weds November 6th.
What Remains, an exhibition with over 50 photographs, oral histories, objects and artworks, created in partnership with Historic England, explores why cultural heritage is attacked during war and the ways we save, protect and restore what is targeted. It runs until 5 Jan 2020. As does Art in Exile which puts on display for the first time documents revealing IWM’s plan for evacuating our art collection during the Second World War.

The 2018 Imperial War Museum Free Thinking Lecture looked at how we remember war and asked Why are we silent when conflict is loud?
Peter Hitchens; Rector Lucy Winkett; Neil Bartlett and Professor Steve Brown joined Anne McElvoy and an audience. https://bbc.in/2odyOUM
and on our website you can find a collection of Free Thinking on War https://bbc.in/32EK0bI which includes discussions about Trees, Catch 22, a conversation between an ex marine and a Gulf war government advisor and analysis of writing by Wilfred Owen, Celine, David Jones, Robert Musil and John Buchan.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Nov 07 2019

44mins

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Quatermass

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Dr Who collaborators Mark Gatiss & Stephen Moffat, academics Una McCormack & Claire Langhamer and Matthew Kneale join Matthew Sweet to celebrate Nigel Kneale's groundbreaking 1953 BBC TV sci-fi serial The Quatermass Experiment, which spawned two late 1950s sequels and an ITV final run in autumn 1979.

Producer Torquil MacLeod.

Nov 05 2019

55mins

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New Thinking: Rubble culture to techno in post-war Germany

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As the 30th anniversary of the Berlin wall falling is marked on November 9th we rummage for stories amid the rubble. What were school teachers in Berlin pre-occupied with when the checkpoints were overrun? What would happen to the dogs of British forces families if the Cold War kicked off? Why was the poet Stephen Spender tasked with the ‘de-Nazification’ of German universities? And how does any of this relate to a 90s techno club in an air raid shelter?

Our host, New Generation Thinker Dr Tom Charlton, weaves together new research on different aspects of post-war and post-wall Germany.

Professor Lara Feigel from Kings College London is the Principal Investigator of Beyond Enemy Lines – a project looking at British and American writers and filmmakers involved in the reconstruction of Germany, 1945-49. The project is supported by the European Research Council http://beyondenemylines.co.uk/

Dr Grace Huxford from the University of Bristol is leading an oral history project on British military communities in Germany (1945-2000), exploring the experiences of service personnel, families and support workers living in bases. In 2019-20, Grace is leading the project as an AHRC Leadership Fellow (early career) https://britishbasesingermany.blog/

Dr Tom Smith from the University of St Andrews is currently exploring experiences of marginalisation in Germany’s techno scene. The first stage of the project is entitled Afrogermanic? Cultural Exchange and Racial Difference in the Aesthetic Products of the Early Techno Scenes in Detroit and Berlin. The first stage of the project has been funded by a Research Incentive Grant from the Carnegie Trust. Tom is also a New Generation Thinker https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/modlangs/people/german/smith/

This episode is one of a series of conversations - New Thinking - produced in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UK Research & Innovation.

New Generation Thinkers is an annual scheme to showcase academic research in radio and podcasts. You can find more information on the Arts and Humanities Research Council website https://ahrc.ukri.org

Producer: Karl Bos

Nov 01 2019

43mins

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Halloween. Ghost Stories

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Shahidha Bari's guests include author Kirsty Logan and former League of Gentlemen writer and performer Jeremy Dyson, whose play Ghost Stories is back in the West End. Joining them is the film critic and author of a novella called Mothlight, Adam Scovell, poet Nisha Ramayya whose work States of the Body produced by Love speaks of goddesses who symbolise all the attributes of women and British Museum curator and expert on ancient Mesopotamian medicine and magic Irving Finkel.

Nov 01 2019

45mins

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Cars, Parking and Motorways

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Where are we? How did we get here, and where are we going?

Our relationship with the self-propelled small metal boxes in which we spend so much of our time is not as simple as it feels.

Why did we learn to need them? How did they shape our cities, our typewriters and our bacon slicers? Should we now redesign our roads, streets and even our skies for AI driven cars? What do we learn by looking at suburban car parks?
A discussion reflecting on speed, automobiles, AI and the 60th anniversary of the M1 motorway. Anne McElvoy presents.

Brendan Cormier is curator of the forthcoming exhibition Cars: Accelerating the Modern World, which opens in November. Nicole Badstuber of the University of Westminster studies our commuting habit and the trends in journeying that modern life inflicts on all of us. Jack Stilgoe is a senior lecturer at UCL who studies governance and oversight of emerging technologies, looking in particular at driverless futures. Gareth E Rees is author of Car Park Life, a journal of empty spaces and discarded moment, described as "A Retail Park Heart of Darkness".

M1 Symphony, a soundscape documentary telling the story of Britain’s first motorway, featuring a specially-commissioned composition from former BBC Proms Inspire composer Alex Woolf, performed by the BBC Philharmonic is available to hear if you search for BBC Radio 3's Sunday Feature.

On BBC.com/Ideas you can find a short film exploring the history of motorway service stations

Producer: Alex Mansfield.

Oct 30 2019

45mins

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