300 episodes

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

Arts & Ideas BBC Radio 3

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 38 Ratings

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

    Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

    Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

    Romani history and how mass murder is intertwined with a modern day pilgrimage site and the experiences of Portuguese Jewish communities are discussed by Matthew Sweet and his guests. Richard Zimler's talks about his latest book, The Incandescent Threads; Stuart Taberner reflects on the ways modern writers connect to the Holocaust; Victoria Biggs has been researching a pilgrimage site close to the a place of mass murder and Daniel Lee looks at the drawings left behind by the children of the Maison d'Izieu.

    Richard Zimler has written twelve novels that have been translated into twenty-three languages. The Incandescent Threads is the latest in his Sephardic Cycle, a group of works that explore the lives of different branches and generations of a Portuguese-Jewish family, the Zarcos. He was a finalist for the US Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award.

    Stuart Taberner is Professor of German Literature at the University of Leeds. He works on literary responses to the Holocaust and German Jewish identities.

    Daniel Lee is a senior lecturer in modern French history at Queen Mary, University of London, and the author of The SS Officer's Armchair. He is a BBC Radio 3 Arts and Humanities Research Council New Generation Thinker. You can hear him on previous episodes discussing Writing a life and biography with Hermione Lee and Rachel Holmes https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000n6vj and looking at WWII radio propaganda and French relations https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hwz9

    Victoria Biggs is La Retraite Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Durham. She researches memory, pilgrimage and the genocide of Roma people during the Holocaust.

    Producer: Ruth Watts

    • 45 min
    William Stukeley

    William Stukeley

    Stone circles, Roman Britain, a fossil crocodile and the flood described in the Book of Genesis, the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, a fake monk's manuscript: these were all studied by William Stukeley, English antiquarian, physician and clergyman (1687-1765) who pioneered research into Stonehenge and Avebury. Rana Mitter brings together a panel of archaeologists, historians and writers to look at the works of the first secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of London. His guests are New Generation Thinker and Lecturer in Archaeology at University of Exeter Susan Greaney; Rosemary Hill, whose book Time's Witness: History in the Age of Romanticism is a study of 18th-century antiquarianism; Ronald Hutton, historian of religion who has written about Stukeley and the Druids; and Robert Iliffe, Professor of the History of Science at Oxford.

    You can hear Susan Greaney discussing Stonehenge in a previous Free Thinking episode https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0014g7y and changing archaeological digs also heard from Alexandra Sofroniew, Damian Robinson and Raimund Karl https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03xpn5p

    Ronald Hutton has taken part in discussions about witchcraft and Margaret Murray https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001271f and goddesses https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0014g7y

    Producer: Luke Mulhall

    • 44 min
    Audrey Hepburn

    Audrey Hepburn

    Matthew Sweet marks the 30th anniversary of the death of this icon of film and fashion who was also an EGOT (winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award) and a noted humanitarian. Born in Belgium she supported the Resistance in World War II after moving to Holland, although her parents were Nazi sympathisers. Her films included My Fair Lady, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Roman Holiday, The Nun's Story, Funny Face and Charade. Matthew Sweet is joined by film historian Lucy Bolton, curator and fashion & film historian Keith Lodwick, film critic Phuong Le, and writer and broadcaster Samira Ahmed.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod

    You might like other episodes focusing on film all available on BBC Sounds and as the Arts & Ideas podcast:
    Jean-Paul Belmondo and the French New Wave https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00131ml
    Bette Davis https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000y068
    Asta Nielsen https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0013t59
    Cary Grant https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hn1z

    • 45 min
    Higher Education for women and working class students

    Higher Education for women and working class students

    Over the last two hundred years, working class and women students, have found a place insides universities. Anne McElvoy hears about some of the stories behind the social expansion of higher education. Joanna Bourke's new book is a history of Birkbeck, the University of London college that began life as the London Mechanics’ Institution in 1823 and is now a leading centre of research in many areas. Iona Burnell Reilly has been looking at the lives of working class academics and Ann Kennedy Smith has considered women's pursuit of education at the University of Cambridge. And Clare Bucknell discusses the history of one educational resource, the anthology.

    Joanna Bourke is Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, and a Fellow of the British Academy. She is the author of Birkbeck 200 years of radical learning for working people.

    Dr Clare Bucknell is a fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford and author of a social history of poetry anthologies, The Treasuries: Poetry Anthologies and the Making of British Culture.

    Dr Iona Burnell Reilly is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Education and Communities at the University of East London and she is the author of The Lives of Working Class Academics: Getting Ideas Above your Station

    Dr Ann Kennedy Smith is an independent scholar and literary critic. She was awarded a Women’s History Network Independent Researcher fellowship in 2021-22, and her blog about Cambridge women is called ‘The Cambridge Ladies’ Dining Society 1890-1914’.

    Producer: Ruth Watts

    You might be interested in other content exploring the history of education including BBC AHRC New Generation Thinker Eleanor Lybeck's Essay on social attitudes to Victorian women pioneers: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09v64pk

    • 45 min
    The Wife of Bath

    The Wife of Bath

    Chaucer's widow and clothmaker is one of three characters given a longer confessional voice than other pilgrims in his Canterbury Tales and she uses her narrative to ask who has had the advantage in setting out the stories of women - "Who peyntede the leon, tel me who?" Shahidha Bari explores both the roots and the influence of Chaucer's creation and the different modern versions created by writers including Zadie Smith and Caroline Bergvall. Her guests are Marion Turner, author of The Wife of Bath: A Biography, Patience Agbabi who reimagines this timeless character as a Nigerian businesswoman in her poem The Wife of Bafa, and New Generation Thinker Hetta Howes.

    You can hear Marion Turner discussing Chaucer's own life in a past episode of Free Thinking hearing from nominees for the 2020 Wolfson History Prize https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000j2qw
    You can find a discussion about Chaucer's court case in an Arts and Ideas podcast episode called A Feminist Take on Medieval History https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06n28wv
    And Free Thinking has a whole collection of programmes exploring Women in the World all available on BBC Sounds and as Arts & Ideas podcasts https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p084ttwp

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod

    • 44 min
    New Thinking: Language Loss and revival

    New Thinking: Language Loss and revival

    A language is a window onto a culture, history and way of life. So what do we lose when a community stops speaking the language of its ancestors? John Gallagher is joined by Gwenno, who writes and sings in Cornish, and researchers working to reclaim endangered languages around the world.

    With Mandana Seyfeddinipur of the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, and Mel Engman and Mary Hermes who work in communities that speak Ojibwe, an indigenous language of Minnesota and elsewhere in North America.

    This New Thinking episode of the Arts and Ideas podcast was made in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UKRI

    Producer: Luke Mulhall

    Other episodes in our series exploring language include:
    What Language did Columbus Speak? Lingua franca in 15th-century travel and today’s refugee camps.

    Dead Languages: John Gallagher says hello in Oscan, the daily language of ancient Pompeii and looks at the translation of hieroglyphics.

    The Black Country: Matthew Sweet hears about the way the region has been depicted in writing which seeks to celebrate the local accent.

    Language, the Victorians, and Us: Greg Tate, Louise Creechan, Lynda Mugglestone and Simon Rennie.

    And Arts and Ideas New Thinking podcast episodes on research into
    Accents: From variations in Mancunian to descriptions of the Geordie voice.

    City Talk: Mapping the accents of Greater Manchester with a camper van and a laptop.

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

Laurathewriter ,

One of my all time favourites

Up there with This American Life for me. I never miss an episode.

connelj2 ,

BBC radio 3

A great station its a pity there are not more podcasts from BBC 3

rojaed ,

An interesting program

The program varies. A bit in interest, but it can be excellent. However it cuts out 3 seconds before the end and prevents subsequent shows from playing

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