Podcasts Through Periods
Browse our full listing of over 100 podcasts by period and theme. All podcasts can be streamed online, and most can also be downloaded to your favourite player via our Anchor.fm channel. The following are especially relevant to A-Level studies:
- Shakespeare, Henry VIII, and the day the Globe burned down – a podcast all about Shakespeare’s late play Henry VIII. The play itself isn’t on any curriculum, but Laura Jayne Wright also gives an overview of wider theatre history, and how Shakespeare wrote his works in response to the politics of his time.
- Dramatising the speaking voice: John Donne and George Herbert – a wonderful example of how to do ‘close reading’ of poetry, led by Amy Smith.
- The Gothic Theology of Frankenstein – Jon Greenaway (aka @thelitcritguy) challenges our conventional interpretation of the monster in Mary Shelley’s classic novel.
- Dickens’s Ghosts: An Altered Perspective – novels like A Christmas Carol are in part ghost stories, as is his masterful short piece ‘The Signal-Man’. Clare Horton explains how his ghosts work as a projection of memory.
- Ghosting, Place, and Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë’s classic novel is haunted by ghosts, but James Quinnell busts some of the myths
- Jane Eyre and Masculinity – Jane Eyre is loved for its central heroine, but what if she had been born a man? What other opportunities would have been open to her, than becoming a governess? Alison McManus speculates.
- How Robert Graves’ Poetry Helps Us Understand Shell Shock – Laura McKenzie looks at this important World War I poet, and links it to contemporary theories of trauma.
- And All that Jazz: Popular Music as Narrative in The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night – Those who have watched the Baz Luhrmann film of The Great Gatsby will likely have enjoyed the soundtrack, but the original novel too is seeped in the sounds of the jazz age, as Nicoletta Asciuto explains.
- Charles Dickens and Christmas Time – with spring here in the UK this may seem unseasonal, but Professor Simon James’s examination of how Dickens thought about time and memory applies is relevant to many of Dickens’s works.
- Where is British Poetry Today? – a question about contemporary writing posed by the British Academy, and answered by our own Professor Stephen Regan among others.
- Forgiveness in Irish Post-Ceasefire Poetry – also featuring Professor Stephen Regan, a lecture on how modern Irish poetry looks back to the Troubles.
For more longer book and article-length resources, the following are useful:
- Our Postgraduate English journal has been publishing research by new scholars from around the world for the last 20 years. Every article has been professionally peer reviewed so it’s a trustworthy source of new insight and information.
- Durham Research Online contains details of all publications by English Studies academics, with many of them freely-available.
- Durham Etheses hosts PhD publications from our postgraduates. These book-length studies represent the cutting-edge of the discipline, and many can be read online.
Think Differently About Familiar Authors
We publish blog posts week in week out (so if you aren’t following us, please do so). Here are a few from the back catalogue that give an intriguing new perspectives on some established student topics:
- Why Wordsworth’s Excursion deserves to be included among his finest poems – Wordsworth’s shorter poems are often studied by students, but Pauline Hortolland makes a case for why you should also read this longer work.
- Romanticism and the Uncharitable Quip – think Romantic poetry is boring? Think again. There’s a lot of humour to be found in the Romantic period, as Daniel Norman identifies.
- It’s important to listen to imaginary voices – just ask Virginia Woolf – creative writers often talk about their fictional characters as if they are ‘voices’ inside their head, and Professor Patricia Waugh says that this process was especially important for the modernist, Virginia Woolf.
A Change of Scene
Literature can be an imaginative escape, even when we’re physically confined. Here are three blog posts to take your mind away from current events:
- How to cook a human in Old Norse literature – what’s on the lockdown menu tonight? Hopefully you won’t be resorting to cannibalism(!) but should you want to find out Rebecca Drake gives us the recipe for cooking human beings, Scandi-style.
- 16 Metal Tracks and Songs Influenced by Literature – this is not a playlist recommended for studying, but Dr Sam Thomas shares his favourite tracks which have a literary connection.
- Islands in Ink – We may not be able to travel in person much at the moment, but we can voyage in the imagination. Alasdair Macfarlane examines how seventeenth-century travel guides conjured up islands.
- Books That Help Us Through Challenging Times in Life – Gareth Reeves shares his personal pick of books for support and reflection.