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

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

    Late works

    Late works

    Geoff Dyer, Dame Sheila Hancock and Rachel Stott join Matthew Sweet to discuss the work and performance of writers, artists, athletes and musicians near the end of their careers.

    Old Rage by Sheila Hancock is out now.
    The Last Days of Roger Federer by Geoff Dyer is out now.
    Rachel Stott is a composer and plays viola with the Revolutionary Drawing Room, the Bach Players and Sopriola.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod

    • 45 min
    ETA Hoffmann

    ETA Hoffmann

    The German Romantic author of horror and fantasy published stories which form the basis of Jacques Offenbach's opera The Tales of Hoffmann, the ballet Coppélia and the Nutcracker. In the theatre he worked as a stagehand, decorator, playwright and manager and he wrote his own musical works. His opera Undine ended its run at the Berlin Theatre after a fire.

    During his lifetime he also saw Warsaw and Berlin occupied by Napoleon and during the Prussian war against France, he wrote an account of his visit to the battlefields and he became entangled in various legal disputes towards the end of his life. Anne McElvoy marks 200 years since his death gathering together literary and musical scholars to look at his legacy.

    Joanna Neilly is Associate Professor and Fellow and Tutor in German at the University of Oxford.

    Keith Chapin is senior lecturer in music at Cardiff University.

    Tom Smith is a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker. He is Senior Lecturer and Head of German at the University of St Andrews.

    You can find details about performances of Offenbach's works on the website of the society http://offenbachsociety.org.uk/

    Producer: Tim Bano

    • 45 min
    New Thinking: Waiting

    New Thinking: Waiting

    Waiting is an inevitable part of life, whether it’s in the waiting room of a GP surgery or waiting for lockdown to end.

    As part of the Waiting Times project, Dr Michael Flexer, a publicly engaged research fellow at the University of Exeter, explores different concepts of waiting and suggests that some forms of waiting – for seeds to grow, for the curtain to rise in a theatre – can be positive. https://WhatAreYouWaitingFor.org.uk

    Professor Victoria Tischler is from the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter and co-investigator of the Pandemic and Beyond project. During lockdown her project Culture Box sent out packages to care home residents filled with activities: watercolour paints, seeds, guides to birdsong. She shares her thoughts on how these activities changed the recipients’ relationship to time. https://pandemicandbeyond.exeter.ac.uk/

    This episode was made in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UKRI. You can find a collection of episodes focused on New Research on the Free Thinking programme website on BBC Radio 3.

    Producer: Tim Bano

    • 36 min
    Sheffield reinvented

    Sheffield reinvented

    John Gallagher with an exploration of Sheffield's cultural history through new words, music and film.

    • 45 min
    Slow Film and Ecology

    Slow Film and Ecology

    Can a 40-hour film of a Massachusetts garden or a project documenting rice growing over 40 years help us to understand our planet better? Who makes and who watches such projects? Matthew Sweet is joined by film historian Becca Voelcker who has watched projects recorded in Japan, Colombia, Scotland and America; Thomas Halliday, whose book Otherlands charts the changes in the earth's ecologies through deep time; and by environmentalist Rupert Read, who is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of East Anglia and has been thinking about what an eco-spirituality would look like. Plus, artist James Bridle, whose book Ways of Being investigates how far beyond humanity we can extend concepts like 'person', 'intelligence', and 'solidarity'.

    Producer: Luke Mulhall

    • 45 min
    Bloomsday, Dalloway Day and 1922

    Bloomsday, Dalloway Day and 1922

    Understanding James Joyce's eye troubles gives you a different way of reading his book Ulysses. That's the contention of Cleo Hanaway-Oakley, who shares her research with presenter Shahidha Bari. Emma West has delved into the history of the Arts League of Service travelling theatre, who went about in a battered old van performing plays, songs, ballets and 'absurdities' to audiences from Braintree to Blantyre. And we look at the Royal Society of Literature's annual Dalloway Day discussion of Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs Dalloway, first published in 1925, with Merve Emre.

    Merve Emre is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oxford, and editor of the annotated Mrs Dalloway.
    Cleo Hanaway-Oakley is Lecturer in Liberal Arts and English at the University of Bristol and author of James Joyce and the Phenomenology of Film.
    Emma West is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English Literature at the University of Birmingham.

    Producer: Torquil MacLeod

    Find out more about Dalloway Day 2022 on the Royal Society of Literature website.
    The Bloomsday festival runs from June 11th to 16th
    You can find a collection of programmes exploring ideas about modernism on the Free Thinking website

    • 45 min

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