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Arts and Ideas: Episodes

Philosopher Slavoj Žižek speaks to Philip Dodd about the re-emergence of a radical left and the need for a clearer agenda for change. Douglas Carswell, Beatrix Campbell and Gabriella Coleman explore the success of protest movements from online activists and Anonymous to demonstrations on the street. ...
TV dramatist Jed Mercurio, producer Caryn Mandabach and writer-director, Dominic Savage talk to Anne McElvoy about creating successful dramas including The Line of Duty and Peaky Blinders. Novelist Sarah Waters discusses her play with Christopher Green called The Frozen Scream and latest novel The Paying ...
American author Rebecca Solnit discusses the impact of "mansplaining" which she explores in her book Men Explain Things To Me.
Matthew Sweet looks at the image of Wonder Woman with comic artist Steve Marchant and Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman.
And New Generation Thinker ...
Mona Siddiqui talks to Philip Dodd about her book called My Way: A Muslim Woman's Journey. The scholar Ziauddin Sardar has written Mecca, The Sacred City which explores the history of the birthplace of Muhammad and his own pilgrimages to it. And Navid Kermani has written God Is Beautiful: The Aesthetic ...
Philip Dodd and a panel including historians Philip Ziegler and John Guy, biographer Sarah Bradford, journalist Deborah Orr and author William Kuhn explore British monarchy past and present and ask what is the role of a royal head of state in the twenty first century.
Philip Dodd, Roger Scruton and Janet Suzman look at theatre in South Africa - a year since Mandela’s death and in the Czech Republic 25 years on from the Velvet Revolution. Director Howard Davies discusses 3 Winters - a new play by Tena Stivicic which depicts a family living through the remnants of ...
Scientist Brian Cox and Professor Chris Frayling join the actors Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood for a discussion about Stanley Kubrick's landmark film 2001: A Space Odyssey chaired by Matthew Sweet and recorded in front of an audience at the BFI in London on 30.11.14.
A celebration of one of the great landmarks of culture as Matthew Sweet talks to the novelist, Will Self and the film director, Mike Hodges about Solaris. They discuss both Stanislaw Lem’s extraordinary 1961 science fiction novel of that name and the mesmeric film adaptation made by Andrei Tarkovsky ...
Philip Dodd considers the enduring appeal of the film Alien and whether it's blend of intellect, suspense, technical skill and sheer bravado has ever been surpassed with guests Iain Sinclair and Linda Ruth Williams.
Anne McElvoy talks to the historian Geoffrey Parker about Global Crisis, his influential game-changing account of the political and social upheavals which characterised the Seventeenth Century around the world. As Tate Modern opens an exhibition Conflict Time and Photography, former New Generation Thinker ...
Matthew Sweet looks at depictions of American life and history in a special edition hearing from three contemporary American authors: Marilynne Robinson, Jane Smiley and Richard Ford.
Naomi Alderman, Roger Luckhurst and BALTIC curator Alessandro Vincentelli join Matthew Sweet to discuss how science fiction and space travel change our view of this world and to discuss whether the limits of our knowledge about the future make us scared or optimistic? This event was recorded in front ...
The Cost of Free Information. Against a backdrop of perceived excess of intellectual property, and problems that require solving with a matter of urgency, Rana Mitter and Jodie Ginsburg, Dr. Rufus Pollock and Kenneth Cukier test the promises of the internet to spread ideas quickly and democratically. ...
How much self-knowledge do you need to be happy – and what are the limits to what you can achieve alone? Paul Dolan, Vincent Deary and Beatrix Campbell ask why everybody from governments to therapists want us to be happy. Chaired by Rana Mitter.
Knowing Your Characters. Matthew Sweet talks to playwright David Greig and actor Siobhan Redmond about their approaches to drama. How much do you have to know about the characters and the story before you begin? How has theatre contributed to the recent discussions about Scottish identity? This event ...
A hundred years ago, Ernest Shackleton set out on his Trans-Antarctic expedition which ended when his ship Endurance became trapped in packed ice. The lure of this polar region remains strong both in our imaginations and in terms of understanding what is happening to the planet. Rana Mitter discusses ...
The Spin Doctors of 19th-Century America. Embracing the emerging sciences of the age, 19th-century Americans thought they might be able to combine physiognomy (the science of reading faces) and the techniques of photography to uncover the true characters of leaders and statesmen. Joanna Cohen from Queen ...
Drawing on Shakespeare's plays and Indian translations of them from recent times - and on writing by Saadat Hasan Manto and Rabindranath Tagore, the voices of partition and independence - Preti Taneja from Jesus College Cambridge explores the power of gibberish to upset fixed notions of language and ...
Animals: Watching Us Watching Them Watching Each Other. Rana Mitter talks to the primatologist, Andrew Whiten, Professor of Evolutionary and Development Psychology at St Andrews, to Dr Katie Slocombe of York University and to the social anthropologist, Professor Alex Bentley of Bristol University, about ...
Naomi Paxton from the University of Manchester explores the international movement for a Women's Theatre from the 1890s to the start of the First World War, and considers how their ideas may have changed how theatre is experienced today. This event was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking ...
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