Summer 2018 Newsletter

Welcome all to the Summer 2018 newsletter. Sorry about the absence of regular, monthly newsletters over the last few months, but it has been exceptionally busy and there were many technical issues to sort on the website, but hopefully they are all in the process of being resolved.

I’ll quickly explain what has been happening and then will move on to the recordings we did over the last six weeks or so.

One of the most vexed issue have been the downloads. People who wanted to download the audio files had issues with the media player not letting them get to the file. While the issue has not been completely resolved, the media player in the site is now your default player (every browser has one) and you can download through this mechanism. It’s not ideal, but it works. If anyone knows a of a reliable .html5 media player, please let us know .

Then in the archive there have been some missing pages, mainly from the years 2011-2012. Some of these have mysteriously disappeared, and we have reconstructed most of them, but should you know of some recordings that have happened during this time and you can’t find them in the archive, please email.

Now some new information for our customers (the people who book us): Unfortunately we have to raise our prices, but just in line with inflation. So the standard price for recording will go up from £1.40 per minute to £1.50 a minute, still with the same minimum of 90 minutes, plus travel costs, which we have kept the same for now. This means that a 90 minutes recording will go up from £126 to £135, and travel (Central London and Oxford) still £10, others at cost. All still very reasonable, considering this includes recording, editing, sound enhancing, webpage, images, FB and twitter publicity, stats and of course hosting on our permanent archive.

OK, on to the recordings, starting with two from the Royal Asiatic Society:

John de Lucy/Frances Wood – The Contribution of the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War

Umberto Bongianino – Like Sweet Smelling Blooms: Arabic Calligraphy in the Islamic West

Then two from the Aristotelian Society:

Holly Lawford-Smith – Collective Culpability and Collective Punishment

Victoria McGeer – Intelligent Capacities

And also two from the Physics Outreach team at Royal Holloway:

Laura Greene – The Dark Energy of Quantum Materials

Andrew Casey – Pushing the frontiers of Physics

Now on to our latest institution to join the Backdoor Broadcasting podcast world – The Warburg Institute. The is a member organisation of the School of Advanced Study, University of London and focuses on ‘the study of cultural history and the role of images in culture – cross-disciplinary and global. It is concerned with the histories of art and science, and their relationship with superstition, magic, and popular beliefs.’ A very welcome new family member, and are three of their talks:

Joris van Gastel – The Bernini Workshop (Re)visited

Therese Martin – Re-opening the Treasury: Meaning in Materials at San Isidoro de León

Guido Beltramini – Architecture without Architects. Early Cinquecento Veneto literati as “directors” of the Refashioning of their own Houses

And another new contributor, this time the Royal Historical Society, based at UCL. Their 2018 Prothero Lecture can be found here:

Carole Hillenbrand – Saladin’s Spin Doctors

Now a bit of an oddity – an event organised by Dr Olivia Swift at Royal Holloway, ‘The Church & Societal Challenges in Contemporary Britain’ looks at the role of churches in the UK today, with Royal Holloway researchers and Dr Giles Fraser (yes, him of Radio 4) discussing developments:

The Church & Societal Challenges in Contemporary Britain

More public academics, namely the historians Helen Castor, David Olusoga, and Anna Whitelock discuss their roles in the media with Paul Lay, editor of ‘History Today’, held at the Institute of Historical Research:

Historical Knowledge and Public History

Daniel Stewart (ANU and Australia IRM) and Ben Worthy (Birkbeck and UK IRM) talk about open government and freedom of information in:

Open Government in Australia and the UK: a discussion

Now two big conferences – and I think we posted this here before – but they have had quite a number of edits and additions since their original posting, first off a very important conference from the Birkbeck Law School:

Race, Mental Health and State Violence

As you can gather from its title, a controversial and sensitive topic, and I have to apologise for the unavailability of some of the contributions, but speakers were too nervous about having some of them available on the internet. So wherever possible, when the podcast is not available, we have included powerpoints, so you can get at least an idea of their papers.

The other conference was absolutely massive, 3 days with parallel panels and keynotes, entitled ‘The Social Life of Time: Power, Discrimination and Transformation’ , organised by the Temporal Belongings Network and held at the University of Edinburgh. We recorded one stream of talks, plus keynotes. Find them here:

The Social Life of Time: Power, Discrimination and Transformation

Now on to a couple of lectures which were part of, and running in conjunction with the Birkbeck Critical Theory Summer School:

Jaco Barnard-Naudé – ‘She Reigns and He Does Not Govern’: The Discourse of the Anxious Hysteric in post-apartheid South Africa

Derek Hook – Fanon’s Lacan

And of course not forgetting the Friday debates which accompany the Summer School:

2018 London Critical Theory Summer School – Public Debate I

2018 London Critical Theory Summer School – Public Debate II

The Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism also chipped in with the Summer School efforts with:

Lewis Gordon – Jews of Colour: Race and Afro-Jewishness

OK, now for the big names, stating with someone who was one of the first people we recorded, way back in February 2009, Judith Butler – here she is speaking a few weeks ago to Lisa Baraitser:

Judith Butler and Lisa Baraitser – Enduring and Broken Time

And of course not forgetting Slavoj Žižek, in coversation with Jean-Claude Milner:

Is Sexuality Compatible with Human Rights? in Conversation with Slavoj Žižek

OK, that all for now. Wishing you all a very restful summer break and we will be back in September. Please remember, you can all share these podcasts, either by telling other people about them, or download them, place them into your own website(s) and use them as you please (within the terms of our Creative Commons licence). That’s what they’re there for.

For comments and bookings, please email.

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All the best,


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