Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Free University of the Airwaves

Online and On Resonance FM:

Monday 18 August to Friday 22 August 2008, daily from 10am to 3pm (GMT), repeated nightly 7pm to midnight.

Resonance FM announces a “summer school on the radio” for a week during the holidays. Designed to appeal to the general listener, this series of lectures ranges restlessly across many subjects. The Free University allows listeners to dip into a vast range of material, a snapshot of contemporary thought and provocative and intriguing subject matter.

The Free University is certainly that. Historian Ariel Hessayon (Goldsmiths) speaks on two subjects: about Jews in England from their expulsion in 1290 to their readmission in 1659; and “Restoring the Garden of Eden in England’s Green and Pleasant Land,” which takes a new view of the seventeenth century Diggers. There is more visionary stuff from Plymouth’s Professor Malcolm Miles, who specialises in concepts of Utopia, while at the other end of the scale Mark Miodownik of King’s College’s Materials Library takes us through an elemental reading of the making of a cup of coffee – illustrated in robust fashion in the station’s kitchen. Oneupmanship not intended, Professor Steven Connor (Birkbeck) talks about The History of Air; and, refreshing beverages sorted, ethnographer Caroline Osella asks, How do you make a man?

There is a strong anthropological strand, with contributions from Monica Janowski (Potency, Hierarchy and Food in Borneo), Magnus Marsden (Muslim village intellectuals) and Edward Simpson (Remembering natural disasters and memorials in Gujurat); while Alpa Shah asks, Would Yosemite be a better place for the Elephants of Eastern India? Only Resonance FM can provide the answer.

Influential professor of design Peter Rea offers various insights into Visual Literacy, illustrated with audio from Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd and the rural blues of the 1930s; Dr.Julian Stallabrass talks about visual representations of war; Professor Jean Seaton has recourse to George Orwell’s enduring relevance; and Roberta Mock asks what constitutes avant-garde performance.

Philosophers AC Grayling and Jonathan Wolff, cultural theorist Nicolas Bourriaud, “new complexity” composer Richard Barrett, folk music specialist Professor Reg Hall and Christine Kinnon, Professor of Molecular Immunology at UCL, are among others of the two dozen contributors to this extraordinary project.

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