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Cautiously, museums across the world are opening their doors. But there’s one place where, even during the pandemic, you always get to be up close – the virtual museum. In the digital environment, the museum can take on a new role, less a place of authority, more an agora of ideas. But we have to think outside the box to solve curatorial issues in …
 
The death of writer and activist Nawal el Saadawi has just been announced. In 2011 Tess Woodcraft interviewed her at a conference organised by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Right Organisation for Pod Academy. We reproduce it here. Typically, and at 80 years old, she had stopped off at the Occupy encampment around St Paul’s Cathedral on her way fr…
 
A Scottish Laird becomes Lord of the Bedchamber in the Abyssinian/Ethiopian court and finds the source of the Nile. Like many of his wealthy contemporaries in the 18th and 19th centuries, Lord James Bruce of Kinnaird made the grand tour of Europe (see the companion blog to this podcast). Unlike many of them he also ventured further afield. For thre…
 
Who is allowed to make things up? What does fiction writing have to do with life? Is a novel a document? This is the second lecture in the If Project series, Thinking Between the Lines: truth, lies and fiction in an age of populism. Dr Katie da Cunha Lewin (@kdc_lewin) explores what it means to ‘make things up’ in literature, especially looking at …
 
What is the real cost of IVF? As Louise Brown the world’s first “test tube” baby celebrates her 40th birthday – this seminar organised by the Progress Educational Trust explores not just the economic cost, but also the emotional and psychological costs. Worldwide there have been 60 million live births as a result of IVF, but it is still the case th…
 
This podcast is drawn from a Progress Educational Trust (PET) event called Putting Your Genome to Work: For the NHS, for Industry, for the UK Post-Brexit Chair: Sarah Norcross, Director of PET Speakers: Dr Eliot Forster, Chair of MedCity Dr Edward HockingsFounding Director of Ethics and Genetics Dr Athena Matakidou, Head of Clinical Genomics at Ast…
 
Hello, this is Pod Academy. Of late, there has been much talk of sexism, in particular sexual harassment, behind the scenes in the film industry. But what about the films themselves? Pod Academy’s Tatiana Prorokova took a look at the hit movie Beauty and the Beast. One of the highest grossing films this year, it has taken over $1bn worldwide. The r…
 
A radical vision for arts policy should be at the heart of any progressive government argue Professor Rod Stoneman and Adam Stoneman. Note: This is not a transcript of the podcast interview with Rod and Adam, but rather the text of a paper by them on arts policy. Restoring financial support for the arts would hardly amount to a radical transformati…
 
When you use a SatNav, or check a modern weather forecast, you’re using technology made possible by space exploration. Emerging space industries include tourism, and some tentative plans to mine asteroids, or the Moon, for rare materials. Space now has its lawyers, its policymakers, and even its ethicists. Robert Seddon went to King’s College, Lond…
 
Why and how should we interpret visual art? With a vast historical sweep – from early medieval art on the walls inside the Basilica of San Vitale to Banksy’s 2015 stencils of shipwrecked refugees on walls in Calais, by way of Caravaggio, Nevelson and Rothko – author, artist and film maker Gillian McIver looks at various theories of art criticism an…
 
They say a fish can fall in love with a bird, but where would they live? However, when it comes to fluid dynamics, birds and fish come from more similar neighbourhoods than you might think. This podcast is about the physics of fish schooling and bird flocking and how these animals use their fluid environment – and each other – to get around. That’s…
 
When the gun is replaced by the melody: how does music resist? ‘Even if they don’t have a message, the act of actually playing music itself is resistance,’ says Dr. Sara McGuiness, senior teaching fellow in Music at SOAS. Classical Thai musician Luang Pradit Pairoh fought through the melodies of his songs surrounded by oppression; Ahmed Maher signe…
 
This podcast is the second in our series on new concert music. New music can be unfamiliar and challenging – this series, written and presented by composer Arthur Keegan-Bole, is designed to present new music in a non-scary way or at least to explain that composers are making logical music – not trying to make weird, ‘difficult’ music to confound t…
 
How did we transition from candles to kerosene? or kerosene to electricity? What and when were the conditions ripe for energy transitions of our past? and what lessons do they have for us in the 21st century as we make a transition from high carbon intensity fossil fuels to renewable energy.. In this podcast Chaitanya Kumar from Sussex University t…
 
Science Fiction can often help us understand realpolitik in the real world. Is Tyrian Lannister a realist or a liberal? What would Mr. Spock have to say about rational choice theory? And what did Stanley Kubrick read to create Dr. Strangelove? Stephen Dyson is the author of Otherworldly Politics: The International Relations of Star Trek, Game of Th…
 
This is a podcast about music. A podcast about Nocturne. A podcast of a Nocturne inspired by the BBC’s nightly Shipping Forecast. Produced and presented by composer, Arthur Keegan-Bole A K-B: Oh dear, I crashed the pips. In the world of radio, crashing the pips – that is, talking over the six sine tone beeps that mark the hour on BBC radio – is a s…
 
Translational medicine is collaborative science that translates work in the laboratory into practical medical treatments – it is sometimes termed ‘bench to bedside medicine’. Because it often includes trials on animals it can be controversial. So can animal testing be justified? Scarlett MccGwire put on her wellies and met up with Francis Henson to…
 
“Originality doesn’t mean creation from nothingness…..it can also mean reusing something in a very creative and innovative way… if we took the standards of how people create that are implicit in a lot of copyright law cases, that basically say ‘you can’t copy’, most of what we consider to be great classical works couldn’t have been created…” In thi…
 
As the Paris global climate negotiations get under way, we in Britain face the prospect of increased flooding. . What can we do about it? Gresham College in the City of London was founded in 1597 and over 400 years has provided a range of free lectures on different subjects to those who live and work in London. One recent lecture was The next big f…
 
The number of couples seeking fertility treatment is rising every year. But donor assisted conception poses huge ethical and human rights issues. Up until 10 years ago, sperm donors and women who donated eggs had a right to remain anonymous. Then the law was changed in 2005 giving donor conceived people the right to information about their donors. …
 
In this podcast, Tatiana Prorokova considers gender ambiguity in Vietnam War films. The Vietnam War takes a specific place in U.S. military history. Having influenced generations of Americans, the conflict unsurprisingly found a wide reflection in American cinema. The most famous, as well as the most significant ones were the films created in the 1…
 
‘A spindly shit coppice, with ghosts of plastic bags rustling in its branches.’ This week’s podcast, by artist Robin Bale, is an evocation of a windswept rubbish dump under the M11 motorway. It starts with the sounds of moving through undergrowth, traffic in the background. A twig snaps. Abstract and slow percussion fades in……. A burnt boot…crushed…
 
Podcast produced by Lee Millam Slang. In this podcast Tony Thorne, former Head of the Language Centre, now Visiting Consultant, at King’s College, London and author of the Bloomsbury Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, looks at what slang is, how it’s used, where it comes from and what words are being used as part of our everyday language. Slang shou…
 
Wilfred Bion (1897 – 1979) was an influential (if at times ‘gnomic’) psychoanalyst who spent much of his working life at the Tavistock clinic in London. He is perhaps best known for Experiences in Groups (London:Tavistock 1961), a key text in the emerging group psychotherapy and encounter group movements of the 1960s,and for Learning from Experienc…
 
“We know the jockey wants to win the race, and it is beguiling to imagine the horse knows what the challenge is, knows somehow the significance of the finishing post and therefore is a willing participant in this endeavour. If you buy into that framework you can imagine the horse views the whip strikes purely as a form of encouragement. ‘Thanks for…
 
New Zealand is an important place for thoroughbred breeding and racing. Most races are on the flat, but jumps racing is conducted in the cooler months. At the 2013 National Jumps Day at Te Rapa, Hamilton, two horses were put down after bad falls over the jumps. In this conversation Dr Siobhan O’Sullivan of the podcast show, Knowing Animals talks to…
 
In the ‘old game’, the analogue world of centralised knowledge institutions, knowledge was power. But now that knowledge is everywhere, the rules of the game have changed. In his essay “Digital tailspin: 10 rules for the internet after Snowden” writer and activist Michael Seemann (@mspro) examines how we’ve lost our ability to control the way infor…
 
14th January 1795 ANN HAWKINS was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 7th of January , a feather bed, value 20s. a flock and feather bolster, value 10d. two woollen blankets, value 3s. a linen sheet, value 2s. a linen counterpane, value 12d. a looking glass in a walnut-tree frame, value 4s. a pair of tongs, value 6d. a brass candlestick, valu…
 
There is well documented evidence that if you change how a stammerer hears they way they are speaking, they will stammer less. Using this finding, 10 years ago saw the introduction of new devices (especially in-ear devices) that purported to help people stop stammering. But these fluency aids have not lived up to early promise- indeed many people w…
 
The late Stuart Hall said cultural studies, within a Marxist tradition, enables us “to understand culture – cultural discourse – the place and relationship of the ideological.” In this podcast, which is part of our Marxism in the 21st Century series, Steve Edwards, Professor of History of Art at the Open University talks to Kieron Yates about Marxi…
 
Podcast produced and presented by Lee Millam “A chocolate hug”. That’s how one person we talked to describes her ‘addiction’ to sugar and chocolate. Sugar is everywhere. It is added to virtually all processed foods from pizza and curry sauces to soups, and fishcakes. The average person in the UK eats the equivalent of 15 teaspoons a day (that’s pro…
 
Podcast produced and presented by Lily Ames This podcast is part of our Feast for the Senses strand and is the first of a mini series on the study of Sound by Lily Ames. Mike Wyeld: It’s a new world, it’s like the sound is in the air as everybody jokes about at the moment and it really is, we have that ability now to have people who are dedicated t…
 
Podcast produced and presented by Lily Ames This podcast is part of our Feast for the Senses strand and is the first of a mini series on the study of Sound by Lily Ames. Mike Wyeld: It’s a new world, it’s like the sound is in the air as everybody jokes about at the moment and it really is, we have that ability now to have people who are dedicated t…
 
This podcast about urban smellscapes was produced by Jo Barratt and first aired on Life in Scents. It is part of our ‘Feast for the Senses’ series. Have you ever stepped off a plane and been aware of a different smell in the air – the smell of a country, a city, a terrain? This podcast is a fascinating exploration of our urban smellscapes. We are a…
 
This podcast about urban smellscapes was produced by Jo Barratt and first aired on Life in Scents. It is part of our ‘Feast for the Senses’ series. Have you ever stepped off a plane and been aware of a different smell in the air – the smell of a country, a city, a terrain? This podcast is a fascinating exploration of our urban smellscapes. We are a…
 
This podcast on the rainforest music of the BayAka was produced and presented by Jo Barratt It is part of our series on ethnomusicology made with the sound archive of the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. In this podcast you’ll hear the sound of the BayAka people of the Central African Republic. Specifically a collection of recordings made by Louis Sar…
 
This podcast was produced and presented by Kieron Yates Climate change, environmental pollution, privatisation of the biosphere, water crises are all signs of the impact of neoliberal policies on our environment, but where will the solutions to these problems come from? Thirty years ago, there seemed to be a disconnect between an ecology movement t…
 
On Friday 7th November 2014, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Centre for the Study of Football and its Communities hosted a conference entitled ‘Football and Culture 2014.’ The event aimed to explore the relationship and interaction between football and wider forms of cultural representation, with papers exploring topics as diverse as fan…
 
To begin at the beginning: It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’-and- rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea. [Under Milk Wood] 2014 is the centenary of the birth of the poet Dylan Thomas. Scarlett …
 
This podcast is a conversation between political cartoonist Martin Rowson and writer Neil Gaiman, originally recorded for Index on Censorship. In it, Gaiman and Rowson talk about Alan Moore and Milo Minara, whether comics are unrepentantly in the gutter, how the work of Hogarth and Gilray speaks across the centuries, how the bible contains more sho…
 
This podcast is part of our Rupture, Crisis and Transformation series looking at new perspectives in the field of US Studies, drawn from the event of the same name at Birkbeck, University of London. It is the keynote presentation from world-renowned author Caryl Phillips. The conference organiser Anna Hartnell, explains Anna Hartnell: Caryl Phillip…
 
This podcast is one of two keynotes at the Rupture, Crisis, Transformation conference on the future of American Studies held at Birkbeck in November 2014 [the other, Caryl Phillips on the Star-spangled banner can be found here] Rejecting ideas of American exceptionalism, Wai Chee Dimock looks at the work of author William Faulkner in a world contex…
 
This Podcast is part of our Rupture, Crisis, Transformation series drawn from the conference of the same name held at Birkbeck, University of London in November 2014, offering new perspectives on American Studies. It is the paper given by Pieter Vermeulen. This presentation was followed by a panel discussion in which Pieter was Joined by Georgiana …
 
This Podcast is part of our Rupture, Crisis, Transformation series, drawn from the conference of the same name offering new perspectives on American Studies, held at Birkbeck, University of London in November 2014. . In Petrochemical Gothic, Georgiana Banita addresses the new, shifting interface of American Studies and the emerging field of Energy …
 
Is technology pushing us too fast? Do we need time to catch up and get to know how the technologies we use actually work? How do we understand technology in the the overall depictions of America in crisis? Does the narrative of ‘progress’ get in the way? Chairing the panel, Dr Zara Dinnen reflects on Richard Linklater‘s film, Boyhood, to demonstrat…
 
“Nature has been defined as a woman, and both nature and women were then defined into objectification and therefore into objects of violence. Ecofeminism is a celebration of the creativity of nature and the creativity of women,” says Dr Vandana Shiva, world renowned Indian environmentalist, activist and scientist, in this conversation with Pod Acad…
 
An estimated 1% of children worldwide are described as autistic. But what exactly does that mean? What is autism? And what are the promises, perils and politics of pharmaceutical intervention – could, should autism be treated? This podcast features some of the key points raised by autistic people and their families at an event held at Kings College…
 
These days most universities actively help their researchers develop their ideas into products for market. It’s called the commercial exploitation of research. One such support is the Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) at Surrey University’s Advanced Technology Institute, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), whic…
 
We’ve got to beat global warming within 50 years, and renewables are the way to do it according to Professor Keith Barnham of Imperial College, London, author of The Burning Answer, in this conversation with Dr Radu Sporea of Surrey University’s Advanced Technology Institute. Photovoltaics should be at the heart of our energy generation, says Prof …
 
Podcast produced by Jo Barratt Susan Sontag said smelling ‘gives one a sensation of knowledge rinsed clean of thought’. The effect of smell is powerful, but rarely articulated and therefore rarely recorded. So how does an historian of smell go about his work? There are millions upon millions of smells, but how can he recreate them and how does he u…
 
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