Free Thinking

A Festival of Ideas for the Future

Matthew Sweet presents highlights from Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival in Liverpool.

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Episodes

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20140408

Matthew Sweet presents an edition of Radio 3's arts and ideas programme.

Producer: Laura Thomas.

20140424

Samira Ahmed presents Radio 3's arts and ideas programme looking at the ownership of art created on the internet and on the street.

Producer: Georgia Catt.

20140507

Free Thinking continues its focus on catching up with previous New Generation Thinkers. The scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council nominates 10 young academics to work on turning their research into ideas for radio.

Presenter: Philip Dodd

Producer: Neil Trevithick.

20140513

Simon Armitage's The Last Days of Troy opens at the Royal Exchange Manchester starring Lily Cole. Matthew Sweet discusses this new version of Homer's Iliad and continues Free Thinking's focus on previous New Generation Thinkers.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

20140514

Philip Dodd presents an edition of Radio 3's programme about arts and ideas talking to a previous New Generation Thinker from the scheme run for young academics with the AHRC.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

20150106

Matthew Sweet with the arts and ideas programme

Producer: Craig Smith.

20150218

Canadian psychiatrist Norman Doidge is the author of The Brain's Way of Healing. He joins New Generation Thinker Christopher Harding and presenter Rana Mitter to explore Zen Buddhism and a shift in Western attitudes to Eastern traditions of healing.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

20150225

Philip Dodd looks at the value of the arts and discusses immigration.

Producer: Harry Parker.

20150603

Kate Grenville is one of Australia's leading authors whose novels have explored her country's often difficult history. She and Rana Mitter discuss past secrets and present concerns as she publishes a memoir One Life: My Mother's Story.

In her trilogy The Secret River, The Lieutenant, and Sarah Thornhill, Kate Grenville explored Australia's early history through three generations of a colonial family.

20151202

Philip Dodd and New Generation Thinker Christopher Harding review the new novel from Nobel prize winner Kenzaburo Oe.

18th-century Crime And Punishment20140417

Philip Dodd explores eighteenth-century attitudes to the law, crime and punishment.

Norman S Poser, Emeritus Professor at Brooklyn Law School, is the author of Lord Mansfield: Justice in the Age of Reason.

Antonia Hodgson's first novel is called The Devil in the Marshalsea.

Dr Lucy Powell is a former BBC Radio 3 and AHRC New Generation Thinker.

Geoffrey Robertson QC is a civil liberties barrister and author.

Producer: Harry Parker.

18th-century Power Politics20140415

Anne McElvoy talks to The Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures Desmond Shawe-Taylor and historians Amanda Foreman, Stella Tillyard and Jeremy Black about 18th century monarchy and power.

Amanda Foreman is the author of books including Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and A World on Fire.

Jeremy Black's publications include: Debating Foreign Policy in Eighteenth Century Britain and Parliament, and Foreign Policy in Eighteenth Century Britain.

Stella Tillyard is an author of a novel, the Tides of War, set in the Peninsular War and historical biography of the Georgian period including the three sisters of George III, the 4 daughters of the Duke of Richmond and the Irish revolutionary, Lord Edward Fitzgerald.

Desmond Shawe-Taylor has written widely on art, including Georgian portraiture, and is the curator of the exhibition 'The First Georgians, Art and Monarchy 1714 -1760' running at the Queen's Gallery Buckingham Palace from the 11th April.

Producer: Harry Parker.

2014 Edinburgh Festival: Culloden20140915

Peter Watkins' film Culloden is 50, and in front of an audience at the Edinburgh Festival, Matthew Sweet discusses its influence on portrayals of Scotland's Highland identity in book and film with Diana Gabaldon, author of the best-selling Outlander series, historian Tom Devine and media expert John Cook.

They'll explore how Culloden was received in 1964 and the way it gave birth to the television form of docu-drama and shaped the early development of Dr Who. Matthew Sweet will also be asking why the emotional imagining of Culloden as National Shrine has proved so difficult to break down despite the best efforts of Scotland's historians and heritage industry and whether Scotland's misty myths will ever be redrawn in the global consciousness.

2015 Art Fund Prize For Museum Of The Year Debate20150702

Anne McElvoy chairs a debate about museums and making history and heritage come alive recorded in front of an audience at Tate Modern. The panellists are all directors and curators from the 6 museums shortlisted for 2015 Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year.

The panellists are: Maria Balshaw Director, The Whitworth; Deborah Shaw, Head of Creative Programming and Interpretation, HM Tower of London; Diane Lees Director General, IWM London; Hugh Mulholland, Lead Curator, The MAC Belfast; Simon Murray Senior Director of Strategy, Curatorship and External Affairs, National Trust and Paul Smith Director, Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

2015 Oscar Nominations, Russell T Davies20150115

Matthew Sweet looks at today's announcement of this year's Oscar nominations focusing on the politics of the foreign film awards with critics Ian Christie and Karen Krizanovich.

TV dramatist Russell T Davies discusses his new projects for Channel 4, E4 and 4OD Cucumber, Banana, Tofu which explore the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life

Cucumber is a drama which screens Thursdays on Channel 4 at 9pm from Jan 22nd for 3 weeks

Banana screens Thursdays on E4 at 10pm from Jan 22nd for 3 weeks

Tofu is an online documentary series available on 4OD

Producer: Craig Smith.

A World View Of Shakespeare20150416

Anne McElvoy presents a world view of Shakespeare to mark his birthday.

Global Shakespeare is a new catchword at UK institutions at home and abroad. But does it mean good cultural practice or new cultural imperialism? The Globe Theatre is currently touring Hamlet to every country in the world, and £1.5 million has been granted by the DCMS to the RSC to translate Shakespeare's complete works into Chinese. A further £300,000 of public money will be given to tour these translations. According to Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, the move is aimed at 'improving economic links with China and encouraging more tourists to visit the home of Shakespeare.' But at Queen Mary University of London and Warwick University, a new Global Shakespeare department is being launched. To them, Shakespeare belongs to no single language, culture or people; 'Shakespeare' is not the UK's to export: in every country his works are translated in, they take on a unique life that has nothing to do with 'Britishness'.

Anne McElvoy hosts a Free Thinking debate which goes to the heart of what we understand 'Shakespeare' to mean worldwide.

Guests include Preti Taneja, Global Shakespeare Research Fellow and a Radio 3 New Generation Thinker.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Acting Arthur Miller, Free Speech On Campus20151007

Antony Sher and the stars of next Sunday's Drama on 3: Death of a Salesman, Zoë Wanamaker and David Suchet, discuss acting Arthur Miller with Philip Dodd. Also, are university campuses becoming places where free speech and debate is difficult?

Producer: Ella-Mai Robey.

Akram Khan, Images Of Witchcraft, Eileen Atkins In The Witch Of Edmonton20141030

Eileen Atkins performs at the RSC in The Witch of Edmonton - Professor Diane Purkiss reviews. Deanna Petherbridge has curated an exhibition at the British Museum of prints showing witches.

Choreographer Akram Khan talks to Anne McElvoy about curating a festival at the Lowry, the relationship between dance and visual art and his interest in flamenco. And a look at the impact of big data and algorithms on the business of recruitment.

The Witch of Edmonton is directed by Gregory Doran and performed as part of the repertoire by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford until November 29th.

Witches and Wicked Bodies is a free display at the British Museum showing until January 11th.

Diane Purkiss is the author of The Witch in History: Early Modern and Twentieth Century Representations published by Routledge.

Akram Khan: One Side to The Other is at The Lowry, Salford from November 15th to February 1st.

Akram Khan and Israel Galvan perform the new dance work Torobaka - which fuses kathak and flamenco -at Sadlers Wells November 3rd - 8th

Akram Khan performs Sacred Monsters with Sylvie Guillem at Sadlers Wells November 25th - 29th.

Producer: Craig Templeton Smith.

Alaa Al-Aswany20160121

Alaa Al-Aswany20160121

Anne McElvoy looks at what happened to the Arab Spring five years on, talking to Egyptian novelist Alaa Al-Aswany - whose new novel is called The Automobile Club of Egypt - and to satirist and critic Karl Sharro. They will be joined by Lebanese actress Sahar Assaf talking about her recent performance in Dario Fo and Franca Rame's monologue An Arab Woman Speaks.

Also in the programme, Owen Hatherley discusses his latest book The Ministry of Nostalgia.

And, lexicographer Tony Thorne and writer Hannah Jane Parkinson discuss how social media is affecting language.

Alaa Al-Aswany20160121

Anne McElvoy looks at what happened to the Arab Spring five years on, talking to Egyptian novelist Alaa Al-Aswany - whose new novel is called The Automobile Club of Egypt - and to satirist and critic Karl Sharro. They will be joined by Lebanese actress Sahar Assaf talking about her recent performance in Dario Fo and Franca Rame's monologue An Arab Woman Speaks.

Also in the programme, Owen Hatherley discusses his latest book The Ministry of Nostalgia.

And, lexicographer Tony Thorne and writer Hannah Jane Parkinson discuss how social media is affecting language.

Alain Mabanckou, Joseph Stiglitz20150520

Novelist Alain Mabanckou joins Philip Dodd to reflect on life in France, USA and the Republic of Congo. He's one of the authors nominated for the Man Booker International Prize 2015 and his books have been translated into 15 languages. His memoir is called The Lights of Pointe-Noire and in December he published Letter to Jimmy - a fictional consideration of the life and writings of James Baldwin.

Joseph Stiglitz was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2001. His new book called The Great Divide explores income inequality.

Alan Clarke's Tv Career20160322

Ahead of a major retrospective at the British Film Institute, Matthew Sweet shines a light on the career of director Alan Clarke with filmmaker Clio Barnard, his daughter Molly Clarke, and actor Phil Davis, who appeared in The Firm alongside Gary Oldman.

Ken Loach pays tribute to Barry Hines, the Yorkshire writer behind one of his most memorable films, Kes.

The American cartoonist Daniel Clowes talks about his latest graphic novel, Patience.

--

The Alan Clarke BFI retrospective runs from March 28th to April 30th and includes the newly discovered director's cut of The Firm, David Bowie in Baal, three previously-thought-lost TV episodes from 1967-68 and footage from an unfinished documentary project. It includes screenings and events at London's South Bank, at 9 mediatheques around the UK and DVD releases.

Patience by Daniel Clowes is out now.

Producer: Craig Templeton Smith.

Alberto Manguel, Alice In Wonderland, Fashionable Victorian Writers20150428

Matthew Sweet interviews Alberto Manguel about his new book, Curiosity, in which he tracks his life through the reading that has mapped his way, looking at Thomas Aquinas, David Hume, Lewis Carroll and Dante.

As Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland turns 150 and a new exhibition opens at the Museum of Childhood in London, New Generation Thinker Naomi Paxton, and curator Kiera Vaclavik, consider the cultural impact of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

And as Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd gets another big screen outing in a version starring Carey Mulligan, we ponder the Victorian writers who fall in and out of fashion in the modern era.

Producer: Craig Templeton Smith.

Amy Chua, Versailles20140227

Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld talk to Anne McElvoy about the impact of education, culture and religion on success. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was a parenting memoir which brought Amy Chua criticism and even death threats from people objecting to her disciplinarian attitude to motherhood.

Her new book, written with her husband, is called The Triple Package: What Really Determines Success.

Versailles, Peter Gill's new play at the Donmar Theatre in London takes its inspiration from the peace negotiations at the end of the First World War. We have a first night review.

Producer: Neil Trevithick.

Anders Lustgarten, Saki Stories, Riad Sattouf, Guy Longworth20160406

Rana Mitter talks to playwright Anders Lustgarten whose latest work is set in a small village in China, Rotten Peach Village, over 60 years. Communism arrives and the villagers embrace it. Lustgarten has also written a new play partly inspired by the painter Caravaggio which opens at the RSC at the end of this year. Also a consideration of the satirical short stories about Edwardian England published by Saki - the pen name of Scottish author Hector Hugh Munro (1870 - 1916). Rana is joined by the novelist Naomi Alderman and Saki expert Nick Freeman. Cartoonist Riad Sattouf describes his graphic novel memoir, The Arab of the Future. And Rana gets to grip with what we could possibly mean by a thing, with philosopher Guy Longworth

The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie by Anders Lustgarten runs at the Arcola Theatre in London 7 - 30 April before opening the 10th High Tide festival of new writing in Suffolk in September.

The Arab of the Future by Riad Sattouf is out now.

Anders Lustgarten, Saki Stories, Riad Sattouf, Guy Longworth20160406

Andrew O'Hagan: Eddie Marsan: John Singer Sargent20150203

Andrew O'Hagan: Eddie Marsan: John Singer Sargent20150203

Andrew O'Hagan's new novel The Illuminations depicts a once famous photographer suffering from Alzheimers and her grandson who is a soldier in Afghanistan. He talks to Matthew Sweet about identity, capturing memories and the impact of war.

In the film Still Life Eddie Marsan plays a council worker who searches for the next of kin when someone is found dead and alone in a house. Eddie Marsan talks about creating this character and how much we know about a person's identity.

Still Life certificate 12A is showing at cinemas in key cities around the UK.

Critic Charlotte Mullins considers artists' obsession with capturing their image and that of their friends, as the National Portrait Gallery hosts a series of paintings by John Singer Sargent documenting his celebrity acquaintances.

Sargent: Portrait of Artists and Friends runs at the National Portrait Gallery in London from 12th Feb to 25th May curated by Richard Ormond the co-author of John Singer Sargent's catalogue raisonné.

Andrew O'Hagan: Eddie Marsan: John Singer Sargent20150203

Andrew O'Hagan's new novel The Illuminations depicts a once famous photographer suffering from Alzheimers and her grandson who is a soldier in Afghanistan. He talks to Matthew Sweet about identity, capturing memories and the impact of war.

In the film Still Life Eddie Marsan plays a council worker who searches for the next of kin when someone is found dead and alone in a house. Eddie Marsan talks about creating this character and how much we know about a person's identity.

Still Life certificate 12A is showing at cinemas in key cities around the UK.

Critic Charlotte Mullins considers artists' obsession with capturing their image and that of their friends, as the National Portrait Gallery hosts a series of paintings by John Singer Sargent documenting his celebrity acquaintances.

Sargent: Portrait of Artists and Friends runs at the National Portrait Gallery in London from 12th Feb to 25th May curated by Richard Ormond the co-author of John Singer Sargent's catalogue raisonné.

Andrew O'Hagan: Eddie Marsan: John Singer Sargent20150203

Andrew O'Hagan: Eddie Marsan: John Singer Sargent20150203

Andrew O'Hagan's new novel The Illuminations depicts a once famous photographer suffering from Alzheimers and her grandson who is a soldier in Afghanistan. He talks to Matthew Sweet about identity, capturing memories and the impact of war.

In the film Still Life Eddie Marsan plays a council worker who searches for the next of kin when someone is found dead and alone in a house. Eddie Marsan talks about creating this character and how much we know about a person's identity.

Still Life certificate 12A is showing at cinemas in key cities around the UK.

Critic Charlotte Mullins considers artists' obsession with capturing their image and that of their friends, as the National Portrait Gallery hosts a series of paintings by John Singer Sargent documenting his celebrity acquaintances.

Sargent: Portrait of Artists and Friends runs at the National Portrait Gallery in London from 12th Feb to 25th May curated by Richard Ormond the co-author of John Singer Sargent's catalogue raisonné.

Andrew O'Hagan: Eddie Marsan: John Singer Sargent20150203

Andrew O'Hagan's new novel The Illuminations depicts a once famous photographer suffering from Alzheimers and her grandson who is a soldier in Afghanistan. He talks to Matthew Sweet about identity, capturing memories and the impact of war.

In the film Still Life Eddie Marsan plays a council worker who searches for the next of kin when someone is found dead and alone in a house. Eddie Marsan talks about creating this character and how much we know about a person's identity.

Still Life certificate 12A is showing at cinemas in key cities around the UK.

Critic Charlotte Mullins considers artists' obsession with capturing their image and that of their friends, as the National Portrait Gallery hosts a series of paintings by John Singer Sargent documenting his celebrity acquaintances.

Sargent: Portrait of Artists and Friends runs at the National Portrait Gallery in London from 12th Feb to 25th May curated by Richard Ormond the co-author of John Singer Sargent's catalogue raisonné.

Andrew O'hagan: Eddie Marsan: John Singer Sargent20150203

Andrew O'Hagan's new novel The Illuminations depicts a once famous photographer suffering from Alzheimers and her grandson who is a soldier in Afghanistan. He talks to Matthew Sweet about identity, capturing memories and the impact of war.

In the film Still Life Eddie Marsan plays a council worker who searches for the next of kin when someone is found dead and alone in a house. Eddie Marsan talks about creating this character and how much we know about a person's identity.

Still Life certificate 12A is showing at cinemas in key cities around the UK.

Critic Charlotte Mullins considers artists' obsession with capturing their image and that of their friends, as the National Portrait Gallery hosts a series of paintings by John Singer Sargent documenting his celebrity acquaintances.

Sargent: Portrait of Artists and Friends runs at the National Portrait Gallery in London from 12th Feb to 25th May curated by Richard Ormond the co-author of John Singer Sargent's catalogue raisonné.

Anger20160302

In the year that John Osborne's Look Back In Anger turns 60 Philip Dodd considers the eruption of rage in the recent politics of the US and India with Jonah Goldberg, Kit Davis, Pankaj Mishra and Sunil Khilnani.

Pause for a moment and you realise its impossible to ignore the Black Lives Matter protests or the urgent polemics of the writer and activist, Ta-Nehisi Coates whose new book passionately angry book about race in the US, The Beautiful Struggle, comes out this week; it's difficult too to turn a blind eye to the rearguard action that's being fought by Indian writers and intellectuals such as Arundhati Roy, targeted by Hindu nationalists determined to seize control of the political agenda on the Subcontinent - whose angry with whom and why; and what about the populist anger that seems to be propelling Donald Trump towards the Republican presidential nomination and the White House. Join Philip and his guests as they search for the answers.

Animals And Anthropomorphism20140715

Matthew Sweet looks at humans and animals. Novelist Karen Joy Fowler discusses her book We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.

Anna Pavord: Gardens in Art, University20160128

Anna Pavord: Gardens in Art, University20160128

Gardening writer Ann Pavord visits the Royal Academy exhibition Painting the Modern Garden and talks to Anne McElvoy about her new book Landskipping. New Generation Thinker Peter Mackay joins the conversation about landscapes and - as Radio 3 marks the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow with a focus on folk - he explores the way folk traditions have fed into Scottish poetry.

As arguments about whether the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, Oxford should be allowed to remain in place continue to divide students and alumni, journalist Nick Cohen and former Rector of Exeter College, Oxford Dame Frances Cairncross discuss how present day funding of colleges and universities can also be a contentious issue.

New Generation Thinker Peter Mackay explores the contrasting folk traditions in Irish and Scottish poetry as Radio 3 begins a weekend exploring folk connections.

Anna Pavord's Landskipping: Painters, Ploughmen and Places is out now.

Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse runs at the Royal Academy in London from January 30th to April 20th.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Main Image: Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, c1880 - the gardens were designed by Capability Brown. Taken from: A Series of Picturesque Views of Seats of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, edited by Reverend FO Morris, Volume I, William Mackenzie, London, c1880. Wood-engraved plates after paintings by Benjamin Fawcett and Alexander Francis Lydon.

Anna Pavord: Gardens in Art, University20160128

Gardening writer Ann Pavord visits the Royal Academy exhibition Painting the Modern Garden and talks to Anne McElvoy about her new book Landskipping. New Generation Thinker Peter Mackay joins the conversation about landscapes and - as Radio 3 marks the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow with a focus on folk - he explores the way folk traditions have fed into Scottish poetry.

As arguments about whether the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, Oxford should be allowed to remain in place continue to divide students and alumni, journalist Nick Cohen and former Rector of Exeter College, Oxford Dame Frances Cairncross discuss how present day funding of colleges and universities can also be a contentious issue.

New Generation Thinker Peter Mackay explores the contrasting folk traditions in Irish and Scottish poetry as Radio 3 begins a weekend exploring folk connections.

Anna Pavord's Landskipping: Painters, Ploughmen and Places is out now.

Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse runs at the Royal Academy in London from January 30th to April 20th.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Main Image: Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, c1880 - the gardens were designed by Capability Brown. Taken from: A Series of Picturesque Views of Seats of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, edited by Reverend FO Morris, Volume I, William Mackenzie, London, c1880. Wood-engraved plates after paintings by Benjamin Fawcett and Alexander Francis Lydon.

Anne Enright, Christopher Hampton On Florian Zeller20150507

Anne Enright, Ireland's first Laureate for Fiction, discusses her new novel The Green Road with Anne McElvoy. In 2007 she won the Man Booker Prize for The Gathering.

Christopher Hampton explains his approach to translating the plays of contemporary French dramatist Florian Zeller whose play The Mother won the Moliere prize in 2011.

The Theatre Royal Bath stages the UK premiere of The Mother from May 21st to June 20th. And the Theatre Royal production of The Father is being performed at The Tricycle Theatre in London from May 7th to June 13th.

Producer: Ella-Mai Robey.

Anne McElvoy20150430

Anne McElvoy20150430

Anne McElvoy is joined by the Booker Prize-winning writer Julian Barnes to discuss the painters he admires, and his new collection of essays on 19th and 20th century artists including Manet, Cézanne, Fantin-Latour, Magritte, Howard Hodgkin and Lucian Freud.

Keeping An Eye Open: Essays on Art by Julian Barnes is published on 7 May 2015

Producer: Ella-mai Robey

Image: Julian Barnes

Photo Credit: Joanna Briscoe.

Anne McElvoy20150430

Anne McElvoy is joined by the Booker Prize-winning writer Julian Barnes to discuss the painters he admires, and his new collection of essays on 19th and 20th century artists including Manet, Cézanne, Fantin-Latour, Magritte, Howard Hodgkin and Lucian Freud.

Keeping An Eye Open: Essays on Art by Julian Barnes is published on 7 May 2015

Producer: Ella-mai Robey

Image: Julian Barnes

Photo Credit: Joanna Briscoe.

Antigone starring Juliette Binoche, Oliver Taplin, Asne Seierstad on Breivik20150305

Antigone starring Juliette Binoche, Oliver Taplin, Asne Seierstad on Breivik20150305

Anne McElvoy discusses the poet Anne Carson's version of Antigone starring Juliette Binoche at the Barbican with Professor Oliver Taplin - who has produced his own new translations of Sophocles' tragedies. Also playwright Roy Williams has written a modern day version of Antigone.

Norwegian journalis Åsne Seierstad authored The Bookseller of Kabul. For her new book she has talked to the family of Anders Breivik, to his family and to the families of his victims on the island of Utoya.

Antigone starring Juliette Binoche is at the Barbican Theatre from March 4th - 28th.

Radio 3's Sunday Drama on March 8th is Electra - starring Kristin Scott Thomas - in a version by Frank McGuiness which was staged at the Old Vic Theatre.

Roy Williams' version of Antigone performed by Pilot Theatre and co-commissioned by Derby Theatre runs at London's Stratford East Theatre from 24th February to March 14th.

Oliver Taplin's Sophocles: Four Tragedies is published later this March.

One of Us by Åsne Seierstad is out now.

Producer: Zahid Warley

Photo: Ivo van Hove, Antigone, Juliette Binoche, photocredit Jan Versweyveld.

Antigone starring Juliette Binoche, Oliver Taplin, Asne Seierstad on Breivik20150305

Anne McElvoy discusses the poet Anne Carson's version of Antigone starring Juliette Binoche at the Barbican with Professor Oliver Taplin - who has produced his own new translations of Sophocles' tragedies. Also playwright Roy Williams has written a modern day version of Antigone.

Norwegian journalis Åsne Seierstad authored The Bookseller of Kabul. For her new book she has talked to the family of Anders Breivik, to his family and to the families of his victims on the island of Utoya.

Antigone starring Juliette Binoche is at the Barbican Theatre from March 4th - 28th.

Radio 3's Sunday Drama on March 8th is Electra - starring Kristin Scott Thomas - in a version by Frank McGuiness which was staged at the Old Vic Theatre.

Roy Williams' version of Antigone performed by Pilot Theatre and co-commissioned by Derby Theatre runs at London's Stratford East Theatre from 24th February to March 14th.

Oliver Taplin's Sophocles: Four Tragedies is published later this March.

One of Us by Åsne Seierstad is out now.

Producer: Zahid Warley

Photo: Ivo van Hove, Antigone, Juliette Binoche, photocredit Jan Versweyveld.

Antony Sher20150506

Philip Dodd in extended conversation with the actor Antony Sher whose recent roles include Willy Loman and Falstaff.

Sher has just published his account of playing Falstaff in Gregory Doran's 2014 RSC production of the two parts of Henry IV - Year of the Fat Knight: The Falstaff Diaries.

Another RSC production, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, also directed by Doran, is about to transfer from Stratford to the Noel Coward Theatre in London, with Sher in the role of Willy Loman.

Producer: Torquil Macleod

Image: Antony Sher in Death of a Salesman

Photo Credit: Ellie Kurttz.

Are We Living Through A New 18th Century?20140410

If Mrs Thatcher thought she was living again through Victorian England, we are now living through the eighteenth century. This special edition of Free Thinking explores London as the centre of the world then and now, financial bubbles bursting then and now, and the lust for consumption then and now, whether of bodies or bodices.

Philip Dodd brings together the MP and author Kwasi Kwarteng, historians Helen Berry, Jerry White and AN Wilson and playwright April De Angelis for a discussion which is part of BBC Radio 3's season of programming Eighteenth Century Britain: Majesty, Music and Mischief.

Kwasi Kwarteng's books include Ghosts of Empire and War and Gold

AN Wilson is a newspaper columnist and the author of London A Short History and a series of histories of England including Our Times.

Helen Berry is Professor of British History at Newcastle University and the author of The Castrato and His Wife.

Jerry White has spent 15 years writing a trilogy of books about London including his most recent London In The Eighteenth Century. He is Visiting Professor of London History at Birkbeck, The University of London.

April De Angelis has written plays including Jumpy, Gastronauts, Catch and A Laughing Matter.

Produced by Harry Parker.

Ariana Huffington And Well Being20140529

Arianna Huffington, the founder of the online magazine The Huffington Post, talks to Anne McElvoy about the quality of life beyond money and power. Her book Thrive outlines a new way of defining success which she calls The Third Metric. She also discusses American liberalism and the political divide in the USA.

Producer: Harry Parker.

Artists' Mannequins, Mike Leigh, Guy Fawkes Traditions20141028

Mike Leigh discusses his film about Turner. Steve Connor and Matthew Sweet discuss an exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge which brings together 180 paintings and models to explore the way mannequins have been used by artists - from a technical tool to a fetishised object. And New Generation Thinker Naomi Paxton discusses Guy Fawkes traditions.

Producer: Harry Parker.

Atheism And Belief20140212

Nietzsche declared that 'God is dead' in 1882, but he also argued that there would still be places where humankind would look for God's shadow for a long time to come.

Two books published this month include the idea of "the death of God" in their titles: Terry Eagleton's 'Culture And The Death Of God' and Peter Watson's 'The Age Of Nothing: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God'.

Both authors join Philip Dodd to discuss what 'the death of God' could mean, along with Roger Scruton whose forthcoming book 'The Soul Of The World' discusses the expression of religious belief through art.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Autism, The Fallen Woman20150922

Steve Silberman is a Wired reporter and author of an article on "The Geek Syndrome" which went viral. He talks to Anne McElvoy about why we need to think about autism in a new way. Professor Lynda Nead has curated an exhibition at the Foundling Museum in London which looks at depictions of "the Fallen Woman" in Victorian England by artists including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Richard Redgrave, George Frederic Watts and Thomas Faed. The display includes a specially-commissioned sound installation by musician and composer Steve Lewinson.

The Fallen Woman runs at the Foundling Museum from 25 Sep 2015 - 03 Jan 2016.

Steve Silberman's book is Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity.

Balancing Power In World War I And Now20140626

Jonathan Powell and historians Margaret MacMillan, Orlando Figes and Adam Tooze explore the Great Powers with Anne McElvoy. The First World War shattered the power balance in Europe. As we confront an uncertain world order, who are the great powers today, how has their role changed and where do they now stand in determining geo-politics?

Professor Margaret MacMillan is the author of The War That Ended Peace.

Jonathan Powell was Chief of Staff for Tony Blair 1997-2007

Professor Adam Tooze is the author of The Deluge: The Great War and The Remaking of the Global Order.

Professor Orlando Figes is the author of numerous books on Russian history.

Barbara Kruger, Laurie Penny, The Minds Of Molecules20140625

American artist Barbara Kruger is wrapping the upper gallery of Modern Art Oxford in one of her bold juxtapositions of images and captions which explore our attitudes to gender and identity.

Journalist Laurie Penny writes for the New Statesman, Vice, Salon and The Guardian on a range of issues including feminism and activism.

They join Samira Ahmed in the Free Thinking Studio.

We also have another column from one of Radio 3 and the AHRC's 2014 New Generation Thinkers. Will Abberley from the University of Oxford reflects on the minds of molecules.

Laurie Penny's new book is Unspeakable Things: Sex Lies and Revolution

Barbara Kruger's work is on show at Modern Art Oxford June 28th - August 31st.

BBC Radiophonic Workshop20140430

BBC Radiophonic Workshop2014043020150119 (R3)

The BBC Radiophonic workshop was founded in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram. This group of experimental composers, sound engineers and musical innovators provided music for programmes including The Body in Question, Horizon, Quatermass, Newsround, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Chronicle and Delia Derbyshire's iconic Doctor Who Theme before being shut down by Director General John Birt in 1998.

In an edition recorded just as the Workshop prepare to release a new album, and tour the UK, Matthew Sweet brings together Radiophonic Workshop members Dick Mills, Paddy Kingsland, Roger Limb, Peter Howell, and Mark Ayres to reflect on the days and nights they spent in the workshop, coaxing ageing machines into otherworldly life, and pioneering electronic music. Also in the programme, producer and former drummer with The Prodigy Kieron Pepper, Oscar winning Gravity composer Steven Price, Vile Electrodes, and Matt Hodson, on the influence the Radiophonic Workshop had on them.

Producer: Laura Thomas

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

BBC Radiophonic Workshop2014043020150119 (R3)

The BBC Radiophonic workshop was founded in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram. This group of experimental composers, sound engineers and musical innovators provided music for programmes including The Body in Question, Horizon, Quatermass, Newsround, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Chronicle and Delia Derbyshire's iconic Doctor Who Theme before being shut down by Director General John Birt in 1998.

In an edition recorded just as the Workshop prepare to release a new album, and tour the UK, Matthew Sweet brings together Radiophonic Workshop members Dick Mills, Paddy Kingsland, Roger Limb, Peter Howell, and Mark Ayres to reflect on the days and nights they spent in the workshop, coaxing ageing machines into otherworldly life, and pioneering electronic music. Also in the programme, producer and former drummer with The Prodigy Kieron Pepper, Oscar winning Gravity composer Steven Price, Vile Electrodes, and Matt Hodson, on the influence the Radiophonic Workshop had on them.

Producer: Laura Thomas

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Bbc Radiophonic Workshop20140430

The BBC Radiophonic workshop was founded in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram. This group of experimental composers, sound engineers and musical innovators provided music for programmes including The Body in Question, Horizon, Quatermass, Newsround, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Chronicle and Delia Derbyshire's iconic Doctor Who Theme. As they premiere a new composition, Matthew Sweet meets members of the group.

The Radiophonic Workshop on tour continues at Henley Festival, Camp Bestival, The End of the Road Festival and Festival Number 6 at Portmeirion.

Producer: Laura Thomas.

Beauty: Dame Fiona Reynolds, The Bowes Museum, David Willetts on the State20160519

Anne McElvoy talks to Dame Fiona Reynolds about a career spent defending the beauty of the British landscape, and considers an exhibition of English beauties at the Bowes Museum. She is also joined by former minister The Rt Hon David Willetts, media executive Charles Brand and Marc Stears head of the New Economics Foundation to discuss the role of the state in the 21st century, and ahead of Sunday's Drama on 3 she explores literary depictions of the city of Venice with David Barnes.

Dame Fiona Reynolds' book is called The Fight For Beauty: Our Path to a Better Future

English Rose Feminine Beauty from Van Dyck to Sargent runs at the Bowes Museum from 14 May - 25 September 2016 and if you're in Liverpool there's still a couple of weeks to catch the Walker Gallery show of Pre Raphaelite beauties Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion which runs until June 5th

David Willetts is the author of The Pinch.

David Barnes' book is called The Venice Myth: Culture, Literature, Politics, 1800 to the Present.

Naomi Alderman's imagining of the story of Jessica from the Merchant of Venice is being broadcast on Sunday night on Radio 3 at 10pm and there's an introductory animation on the Radio 3 website and a link to Professor Jerry Broton's Sunday Feature investigating the Venice Ghetto.

Beauty: Dame Fiona Reynolds, The Bowes Museum, David Willetts on the State20160519

Beauty: Dame Fiona Reynolds, The Bowes Museum, David Willetts on the State20160519

Anne McElvoy talks to Dame Fiona Reynolds about a career spent defending the beauty of the British landscape, and considers an exhibition of English beauties at the Bowes Museum. She is also joined by former minister The Rt Hon David Willetts, media executive Charles Brand and Marc Stears head of the New Economics Foundation to discuss the role of the state in the 21st century, and ahead of Sunday's Drama on 3 she explores literary depictions of the city of Venice with David Barnes.

Dame Fiona Reynolds' book is called The Fight For Beauty: Our Path to a Better Future

English Rose Feminine Beauty from Van Dyck to Sargent runs at the Bowes Museum from 14 May - 25 September 2016 and if you're in Liverpool there's still a couple of weeks to catch the Walker Gallery show of Pre Raphaelite beauties Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion which runs until June 5th

David Willetts is the author of The Pinch.

David Barnes' book is called The Venice Myth: Culture, Literature, Politics, 1800 to the Present.

Naomi Alderman's imagining of the story of Jessica from the Merchant of Venice is being broadcast on Sunday night on Radio 3 at 10pm and there's an introductory animation on the Radio 3 website and a link to Professor Jerry Broton's Sunday Feature investigating the Venice Ghetto.

Beauty: Dame Fiona Reynolds, The Bowes Museum, David Willetts on the State20160519

Bhupen Khakhar, The City State of London?20160602

Philip Dodd looks at the art of Bhupen Khakhar and the subjects he explored including class difference; desire and homosexuality; and his personal battle with cancer.

Also, Saskia Sassen, Jane Morris and Pat Kane discuss the emergence of London as a global city and what the economic and cultural ramifications might be for the rest of the UK.

Bhupen Khakhar is on show at Tate Modern from June 1st to September 6th.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod

Main image: Man Leaving (Going Abroad), 1970 by Bhupen Khakhar

Courtesy of Tapi Collection, India

(c) Estate of Bhupen Khakhar.

Bhupen Khakhar, The City State of London?20160602

Blithe Spirit, Strong Leadership20140318

Samira Ahmed presents a live edition from the pop-up studio at London's Southbank Centre where Radio 3 is broadcasting live all day every day for the last two weeks of March.

Angela Lansbury has returned to the London stage to star in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit. Free Thinking has a first night review from theatre critic Susannah Clapp and novelist Nicola Upson.

As the international community debates the ongoing situation in Ukraine and Syria, kremlinologist and historian, Archie Brown, and military expert and author, Frank Ledwidge discuss whether strong leaders undermine rather than enhance the possibility of good leadership.

If you're in the area, visit the Radio 3 studio and performance space in the Royal Festival Hall Riverside Cafe to listen to Radio 3, ask questions and enjoy the special events.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Booker Winner, Weather and Twilight, The Kibbo Kift20151013

Booker Winner, Weather and Twilight, The Kibbo Kift20151013

Matthew Sweet hears from Alex Clark direct from the 2015 Booker Award ceremony on this year's winning novel.

There's discussion of imaginative histories of Weather and Twilight with Alex Harris and Peter Davidson. They'll be explaining why painters first noticed the witching hour at the end of the 18th century, and why Anglo-Saxons only told stories about the winter, why April showers were precious in the middle-ages and fog was the novelists' weather of choice in the 19th century.

Plus the poet Michael Rosen, whose new anthology links anti-Semitism, fascism and war with the lives of his parents and grandparents, joins Matthew in the great outdoors to remember the Kibbo Kift Kin, the 1920s youth movement which combined woodcraft with cutting edge costume and art and arcane and possibly occult dreams of changing the world forever.

The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, a new book by Annebella Pollen accompanies Intellectual Barbarians, an exhibition at London's Whitechapel Gallery, marking the short but colourful history of an organisation which fell foul of both Right and Left.

Presenter: Matthew Sweet

Guest: Peter Davidson author of The Last of the Light: About Twilight

Guest: Alexandra Harris author of Weatherland: Writers and Artists Under English Skies

Guest: Michael Rosen author of Don't Mention the Children

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Booker Winner, Weather and Twilight, The Kibbo Kift20151013

Matthew Sweet hears from Alex Clark direct from the 2015 Booker Award ceremony on this year's winning novel.

There's discussion of imaginative histories of Weather and Twilight with Alex Harris and Peter Davidson. They'll be explaining why painters first noticed the witching hour at the end of the 18th century, and why Anglo-Saxons only told stories about the winter, why April showers were precious in the middle-ages and fog was the novelists' weather of choice in the 19th century.

Plus the poet Michael Rosen, whose new anthology links anti-Semitism, fascism and war with the lives of his parents and grandparents, joins Matthew in the great outdoors to remember the Kibbo Kift Kin, the 1920s youth movement which combined woodcraft with cutting edge costume and art and arcane and possibly occult dreams of changing the world forever.

The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, a new book by Annebella Pollen accompanies Intellectual Barbarians, an exhibition at London's Whitechapel Gallery, marking the short but colourful history of an organisation which fell foul of both Right and Left.

Presenter: Matthew Sweet

Guest: Peter Davidson author of The Last of the Light: About Twilight

Guest: Alexandra Harris author of Weatherland: Writers and Artists Under English Skies

Guest: Michael Rosen author of Don't Mention the Children

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Botticelli Reimagined, A New Biography Of Hitler20160303

As a best-selling German biography of Hitler is published in English Anne McElvoy explores the way German historians view Hitler now and reviews Botticelli Reimagined at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Botticelli Reimagined runs at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London from 5 March - 3 July 2016.

Hitler by Volker Ullrich is now published in English.

Britain's Economy: Will Hutton, Luke Johnson, Wendy Carlin, Richard Davies20150212

Will Hutton joins Anne McElvoy for a programme focusing on economics and wealth in Britain. We're used to hearing about the state of the economy, but what about the discipline of economics itself? Anne McElvoy is joined by three leading practitioners to discuss the latest developments in the field, and what they can tell us about the world today.

Will Hutton's new book offers a diagnosis of where we are now and offers suggestions about where we should go next. Wendy Carlin is Professor of Economics and Macroeconomics at UCL, and claims it's time for a thorough overhaul of the way her subject is taught. Richard Davies is Economics Editor at The Economist, and has studied how new ideas in economics are being made to work for business. Luke Johnson is the Chairman of Risk Capital Partners and the former Chairman of Channel 4 Television. He is an entrepreneur who argues it's risk, not textbooks, that keeps the economy going.

They'll discuss the state of economics today, from the seminar room to the trading floor.

Producer: Luke Mulhall

Editor: Robyn Read.

British Conceptual Art, Smart Thinking20160413

Philip Dodd is joined by artist Bruce McLean and critic Sarah Kent to consider the history and politics of British Conceptual Art on show at Tate Britain. Also Richard Nisbett gives his view on how "smart thinking" can help us improve our lives.

Richard Nisbett is Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished Professor of Social Psychology and Co-director of the Culture and Cognition programme at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He is cited by Malcolm Gladwell as an influence and is the author of a book called "Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking"

Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979 runs at Tate Britain from 12 April - 29 August 2016

The exhibition includes works by Keith Arnatt, Art and Language, Conrad Atkinson, Victor Burgin, Michael Craig-Martin, Hamish Fulton,Margaret Harrison, Susan Hiller, John Hilliard, Mary Kelly, John Latham, Richard Long, Bruce McLean, David Tremlett and Stephen Willats.

Caryl Phillips, Stanley Wells, Ah, Wilderness!20150421

Caryl Phillips talks to Matthew Sweet about his new novel The Lost Child which re-imagines Heathcliff the young boy adopted by Mr Earnshaw and sets that history against the struggles of a contemporary single mother in Leeds.

The Shakespeare scholar Stanley Wells will be discussing his new book, Great Shakespearean Actors, which maps the careers of actors from Burbage and Kemp in Shakespeare's day to contemporary actors including Kenneth Branagh and Simon Russell Beale.

Two weeks ago the University of Cape Town removed a statue of the British imperialist Cecil Rhodes after student protests. Elsewhere in South Africa a statue of Queen Victoria has been vandalised and, in Ukraine, statues of Lenin have been toppled. The writer Lesley Lokko joins Matthew to discuss the events in South Africa.

And a first night review of Eugene O'Neill's only comedy Ah, Wilderness! at London's Young Vic theatre.

Producer: Fiona McLean.

Chalke Valley History Festival: Heroism V Failure20150716

Should we spend more time studying the failures of history, and less time on the heroes? David Starkey, Amanda Foreman and Saul David join Anne McElvoy for a debate recorded in front of an audience at the Chalke Valley History Festival.

Saul David is the author of Operation Thunderbolt. It looks at the Entebbe Raid which took place on 4th July 1976.

David Starkey has written Magna Carta - a book exploring the history and relevance of the document drafted 800 years ago.

Amanda Foreman is the author of A World on Fire: The Epic History of the British in the American Civil War and will be presenting a BBC TV series exploring women's history from the Paleolithic to modern Britain.

Charles Kingsley's Water Babies, Edward St Aubyn20140506

As a musical version of The Water Babies opens at The Curve in Leicester, Matthew Sweet considers the writings and ideas of the nineteenth century novelist and historian Charles Kingsley.

Free Thinking begins a series of discussions involving academics who have been Radio 3's New Generation Thinkers. The scheme launched in 2010 in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and looks for academics who want to share their research with radio audiences.

Edward St Aubyn drew on his own life in his Patrick Melrose Novels and co-wrote the screenplay for the film version of Mother's Milk. His new book - called Lost For Words - depicts writers jostling for the Elysian Prize. He discusses literary satire with Matthew Sweet.

Producer: Fiona McLean.

Christine Lagarde20140204

Christine Lagarde, the first female to head the International Monetary Fund, delivers this year's Richard Dimbleby Lecture on TV. Anne McElvoy has met her and is joined by Jesse Norman MP to consider her arguments.

Producer: Laura Thomas.

Cities And Resilience, Daisy Hay, Brian Clarke On Robert Fraser20150122

New Generation Thinker Daisy Hay talks to Anne McElvoy about the relationship between Disraeli and his wife. Judith Rodin discusses cities and disaster planning with Ricky Burdett - director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme. Glass artist Brian Clarke outlines the role played by the art dealer Robert Fraser who showcased the work of emerging American and European artists from the 60s onwards. Fraser, who was painted being arrested alongside Mick Jagger in Richard Hamilton's Image Swingeing London '67, hosted avant garde art openings and supported artists including Jean Michel Basquiat, Gilbert and George, Bridget Riley and Eduardo Paolozzi.

Judith Rodin's book is The Resilience Dividend.

Daisy Hay's book is called Mr and Mrs Disraeli: A Strange Romance

Brian Clarke is curating an exhibition at Pace Gallery in London: A Strong Sweet Smell of Incense runs from February 6th - March 21st at 6 Burlington Gardens. Brian Clarke's own work is on show at Pace London at 10 Lexington Street from February 13th - March 21st.

Producer: Craig Templeton Smith.

Cities And Resilience, Disraeli Biography20150122

New Generation Thinker Daisy Hay looks at the relationship between Disraeli and his wife. Judith Rodin discusses cities and disaster planning with Ricky Burdett - director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme and Anne McElvoy.

Judith Rodin's book is The Resilience Dividend.

Daisy Hay's book is called Mr and Mrs Disraeli: A Strange Romance

Producer: Craig Templeton Smith.

Cities, Export Of Empire, India's New Story20140527

Rana Mitter talks to MP and historian Tristram Hunt about the urbanising effects of Britain's trading Empire as the pair walk the streets of London finding reminders of, and signposts to, the dominating imperatives and concepts of the era.

As India puts its colonial history firmly behind it - what does 2014's pivotal national election tell us about the forces shaping the country's future direction? Rana Mitter is joined in discussion by Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Dr Shruti Kapila and the writer, Pankaj Mishra.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

As India puts its colonial history firmly behind it - what does 2014's pivotal national election tell us about the forces shaping the country's future direction? Rana Mitter is joined in discussion by Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Dr Shruti Patel and the writer, Pankaj Mishra.

City Of London Festival Debate20140717

Does emotion or reason dictate the financial markets? Anne McElvoy is joined by Frances Hudson, Global Thematic Strategist at Standard Life Investments; Daniel Ben Ami, financial journalist, author 'Cowardly Capitalism' and Greg Davies, Head of Behavioural and Quantitative Investment Philosophy, Barclays.

Recorded at The Bowler Hat at this year's City of London Festival.

Clive James20141218

Poet, critic and broadcaster Clive James is in conversation with Philip Dodd

Producer: Zahid Warley

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Colour: Sean Scully, Jamie Ward, Caroline Cox2014061820141222 (R3)

Philip Dodd talks to the celebrated abstract artist, Sean Scully and neuroscientist Jamie Ward and fashion expert Caroline Cox explore our perception of colour.

Producer: Zahid Warley

Sean Scully: Kind of Red

Installation view, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, June 2014

Copyright, Sean Scully. Photo by Todd White Fine Art Photography

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

First broadcast June 2014.

As the National Gallery mounts an exhibition exploring the way colour has been created from lapis lazuli to crushed insects, Philip Dodd explores the painter's palette talking to artists including Sean Scully.

Community, The Amber Collective, Poet Claudia Rankine20150624

Jamaican/US poet Claudia Rankine talks about "Citizen: An American Lyric". And what do we mean by community? Philip Dodd is joined by Toby Young, Tulip Siddiq MP, author Kate Pullinger, Douglas Murray - journalist and former director of the Centre for Social Cohesion and Newcastle film maker Graeme Rigby, a founder member of the Amber Collective, who are responsible for producing 20,000 photographs and 100 films documenting life in the Newcastle area.

For Ever Amber opens at the Laing Gallery in Newcastle on 27 June and runs until 19 September. An accompanying programme of films is screening at the Tyneside Cinema.

Citizen: An American Lyric is out now and has been shortlisted for the 2015 Forward Poetry Prize. You can also find our New Generation Thinker Sandeep Parmar discussing poetry on the Free Thinking home page.

Toby Young's father Michael Young co-authored a 1957 sociological study Family and Kinship in East London which aimed to understand post war community and the aspirations of fears of the people interviewed. He also set up the Institute for Community Studies in 1954 which after merging with the Mutual Aid Centre was renamed the Young Foundation.

Image: Poet Claudia Rankine, CR: John Lucas.

Con Men, John Dee, F For Fake20160126

Matthew Sweet and guests explore the art of the con.... If you've ever fallen for a scam, you'll be reassured by

Maria Konnikova's new book The Confidence Game, in which she explains why most of us are easy prey to con artists.

Orson Welles was infamous early in his career for a radio broadcast of HG Wells' War of the Worlds which - it's said - caused genuine panic that aliens were invading earth. For Free Thinking Larushka Ivan-Zadeh discusses Welles's last film, F For Fake, which tells the tangled story of art forger Elmyr de Hory.

And Gary Lachman and Kevin Jackson visit a new exhibition about Elizabethan alchemist, philosopher and mathematician John Dee - a mysterious figure who during his long career was sometimes a con-artist, and sometimes the conned.

Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee is on at the Royal College of Physicians in London until July 29th. Entry is free.

Main Image: Cicero - Opera omnia, vol. 2. Ship drawing in margin and annotations by John Dee. Photograph by Mike Fear. (c) Royal College of Physicians.

Concrete: Marina Lewycka, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Lynsey Hanley20160503

Author Marina Lewycka discusses Lubetkin's social housing with Matthew Sweet in a programme which considers concrete homes past and present. Curator Helen Pheby describes transporting a former council house which has been turned into a kind of blue grotto by artist Roger Hiorns as the Yorkshire Sculpture Park hosts an exhibition on the theme of Home. Lynsey Hanley talks about the experience of growing up on a Birmingham council estate and the powerful connections between concrete and class. And architecture historian Barnabas Calder invites us to look again at the beauty of brutalism.

Marina Lewycka's novel is called The Lubetkin Legacy

At Home at the Bothy Gallery at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park runs from 19.03.16 - 03.07.16

Lynsey Hanley's book is called Respectable: The Experience of Class. It was read as Radio 4's Book of the Week last week so is available to listen on i player.

Barnabas Calder has written Raw Concrete.

Contemporary France: Karim Miske And Aatish Taseer20150211

Karim Miské and Aatish Taseer discuss their novels, the French tradition of secularism and the influences of religion with Philip Dodd. They're joined by Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh.

Karim Miské is a writer and documentary maker based in Paris whose novel Arab Jazz won the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière - the most prestigious award for crime and detective fiction in France.

Aatish Taseer divides his time between New Delhi and New York. His first novel The Temple-Goers was shortlisted for the Costa First novel and his memoir travelogue Stranger to History : A Son's Journey Through Islamic Lands is translated into more than 14 languages.

His new novel is called The Way Things Were.

Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh is the author of books on Napoleon, the influence of General De Gaulle, the intellectual founders of the republic and in June his new book How the French Think: An Affectionate Portrait of an Intellectual People will be available.

Producer: Jatinder Sidhu

Editor: Robyn Read.

Cosmopolitanism V The Nation State20150326

Philip Dodd continues his exploration of the culture wars by investigating the tension between cosmopolitanism and the nation state and how this is playing out in Europe.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Dadaism's Hundredth Anniversary20160209

Matthew Sweet looks at the founding of the Dada movement 100 years ago. The city of Zurich is celebrating the anniversary with a series of exhibitions and cabarets.

Dad's Army, Utopia In Sci-fi, States Of Mind At Wellcome Collection20160202

As Dad's Army inspires a new film, Matthew Sweet looks at the history of the fifth column with historians Juliet Gardiner and Steven Fielding. He also meets a robot and its creator/handler Lola Cañamero who, along with writer Laurence Scott, talks about modelling emotions and how interacting with AI affects us. New Generation Thinker Jonathan Healey explores utopia in sci-fi as a series of events mark the 500th anniversary of Thomas More's text Utopia.

Dad's Army is directed by Oliver Parker and includes performances from Catherine Zeta Jones, Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay, Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, Mark Gatiss and Ian Lavender amongst others.

States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness runs at Wellcome Collection in London from 4 February - 16 October 2016

A Friday Night Late Spectacular, Feeling Emotional, takes place on Friday 5 February 19:00-23:00 exploring the art and science of human emotions.

Utopias is the theme of this year's LSE Space For Thought Literary Festival. In a discussion on Friday 26 February 2016 Toby Litt, Patrick Parrinder, Samantha Shannon explore the history of the utopian genre in literature and its present state.

Radio 3's Free Thinking explores Utopia in politics past and present in a debate recorded at LSE on Wednesday February 17th at broadcast on Thursday February 18th.

Getting Real about Utopia

Date: Wednesday 17 February 2016 6.30pm

Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Speakers: Professor Justin Champion, Dr John Guy, Kwasi Kwarteng, Gisela Stuart

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Dame Janet Suzman20140423

Dame Janet Suzman has appeared on stage at the Royal Shakespeare company as Beatrice, Kate, Cleopatra, Portia, Rosaline, Ophelia. On TV she played opposite Michael Gambon as Philip E Marlowe's wife in The Singing Detective. In her native South Africa she has directed Brecht, Chekhov and Shakespeare. She is the author of Acting With Shakespeare: Three Comedies, a series of masterclasses, and Not Hamlet.

Today is the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. In extended conversation with Philip Dodd, Janet Suzman talks about acting and directing and politics in her native South Africa - which goes to the polls on May 7th.

Part of Radio 3's celebration of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Daniel Evans On Sarah Kane, Indian Summers20150205

As Sheffield Theatres begin a season looking back at the work of Sarah Kane, Director Daniel Evans discusses her writing with Anne McElvoy; also a review of Indian Summers - Channel 4's new costume drama about the end of colonial rule.

The Sarah Kane Season runs at Sheffield Theatres until Mid March.

Indian Summers screens on Channel 4 for 10 weeks beginning on Sunday February 15th at 9pm.

Producer: Luke Mulhall

Image: Indian Summers, Channel 4

Photographer: Joss Barratt.

David Baddiel, Shlomo Sand20141015

David Baddiel has transformed his film The Infidel into a musical which premieres at Stratford East Theatre in London. It depicts a British Muslim who discovers he was born to a Jewish family and then adopted.

The Israeli professor of history Shlomo Sand has written a polemical book How I Stopped Being a Jew.

They discuss the politics and comedy of religious identity with Rana Mitter.

Producer: Georgia Catt

Editor: Robyn Read.

David Cohen Prize Winner20150226

The winner of the biennial David Cohen prize for Literature and how we value arts. Presented by Rana Mitter.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

David Grossman20140311

David Grossman2014031120150219 (R3)

As this year's Jewish Book Week launches in London - Matthew Sweet is in conversation with the Israeli novelist David Grossman.

David Grossman's latest book Falling Out of Time mixes poetry, drama and fiction to explore the emotion of grief and loss. His own son died in 2006.

He is also the author of non fiction books including Death as a Way of Life: From Oslo to the Geneva Agreement. When he was in London for Jewish Book Week last year, Free Thinking invited him to join Matthew Sweet in the studio to discuss his fiction and the part he hopes it can play in the discourse about Israel today.

Producer: Zahid Warley

First broadcast March 11th 2014.

David Grossman20140311

David Grossman's new book Falling Out of Time mixes poetry, drama and fiction to explore the emotion of grief and loss. His own son died in 2006.

He is also the author of non fiction books including Death as a Way of Life: From Oslo to the Geneva Agreement. When he was in London for Jewish Book Week, Free Thinking invited him to join Matthew Sweet in the studio to discuss his new book, its place in his work as a whole and the part he hopes it can play in the discourse about Israel today.

Presenter: Matthew Sweet

Producer: Zahid Warley.

David Hare20150929

David Hare20150929

David Hare discusses his career in playwriting and his memoirs with Matthew Sweet. His version of Chekhov's The Seagull opens this week at Chichester Festival Theatre as part of a season devoted to young Chekhov which also includes David Hare's Platonov and Ivanov.

The Seagull runs at Chichester Festival Theatre from 28th September to November 14th

Ivanov runs from October 1st to November 14th

Platonov runs from October 5th to November 14th.

The Moderate Soprano opens at Hampstead Theatre on October 23rd.

David Hare's Memoir called The Blue Touch Paper is out now.

Recorded in front of an audience at the BBC Proms.

David Hare20150929

David Hare discusses his career in playwriting and his memoirs with Matthew Sweet. His version of Chekhov's The Seagull opens this week at Chichester Festival Theatre as part of a season devoted to young Chekhov which also includes David Hare's Platonov and Ivanov.

The Seagull runs at Chichester Festival Theatre from 28th September to November 14th

Ivanov runs from October 1st to November 14th

Platonov runs from October 5th to November 14th.

The Moderate Soprano opens at Hampstead Theatre on October 23rd.

David Hare's Memoir called The Blue Touch Paper is out now.

Recorded in front of an audience at the BBC Proms.

Delacroix, Petain, De Gaulle, Jonathan Lynn20160217

Jonathan Lynn, author of Yes, Minister talks to Philip Dodd about his new play Patriotic Traitor which imagines the relationship between Petain and de Gaulle as that of father and son and follows them from their first meeting in World War I to the end of the Second World War, by which time, each had sentenced the other to death.

Suhdir Hazareesingh, author of In The Shadow of the General: Modern France and the Myth of de Gaulle, and writer and political columnist, Anne Elizabeth Moutet join Daniel Lee, New Generation Thinker and author of Pétain's Jewish Children to discuss with Philip Dodd the different notions of France that Petain and de Gaulle fought for and their post-war legacies.

And as a new exhibition Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art opens at London's National Gallery, Philip Dodd talks to curator Christopher Riopelle about the romantic pessmism of Eugene Delacroix and his visions for both art and the future of society.

The Patriotic Traitor is at the Park Theatre in London from February 17th to March 19th.

Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art is the National Gallery in London from February 17th to May 22nd.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Main Image: 'Liberty Leading the People, 28 July 1830' - painting by Eugène Delacroix, 1830, commemorating the July Revolution of 1830, which toppled King Charles X of France.

Developments In Neuroscience20150409

Rana Mitter discusses a new model for understanding the brain, with researcher and writer Norman Doidge.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Digital Revolution And Cory Arcangel, Richard Linklater's Boyhood20140708

Richard Linklater filmed the actor who stars in Boyhood over 12 years from a 6 year old to a college youth. Matthew Sweet reviews the project and discusses growing up.

Artist Cory Arcangel talks about his book composed from tweets and working in digital media. He also explores the themes explored in Digital Revolution at the Barbican Centre, which brings together film-makers, artists, game developers and musicians.

Digital Revolution runs from July 3rd to September 14th.

Cory Arcangel's book is called Working on My Novel.

Producer: Georgia Catt

Editor: Robyn Read.

Does Democracy Work?20150304

Is the democratic system the best way to rule a country. Rana Mitter and guests debate.

Churchill famously commented that 'democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time'. Yet China has grown to be the world's second biggest economy under a non-democratic system, and until just a few decades ago, even the liberal west put heavy restrictions on who could vote. Plato opposed it, and his arguments begin a long tradition of principled objection to the idea of rule by the people. Do we need to rethink from first principles whether democracy really works? And should democracy be able to find space in the public sphere for those who argue against it? We test Free Thinking to its limits by looking at the alternatives to our own political system.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Dorothy Bohm, Wolfgang Suschitzky, Neil Libbert, Tim Berners-Lee20160524

Matthew Sweet talks to three photographers over 90 - Dorothy Bohm, Wolfgang Suschitzky, Neil Libbert and to the inventor of the world wide web Tim Berners Lee, winner of this year's Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize which was established to award an individual of exceptional talents in the spirit of John Maynard Keynes' work and legacy.

Unseen London, Paris, New York 1930s-60s: Photographs by Wolfgang Suschitzky, Dorothy Bohm and Neil Libbert is at the Ben Uri Gallery in London from May 20th to August 27th.

Dorothy Bohm also has work on show at the Jewish Museum in London looking at Sixties London from 28 April - 29 August 2016.

Dorothy Bohm, Wolfgang Suschitzky, Neil Libbert, Tim Berners-Lee20160524

Dorothy Bohm, Wolfgang Suschitzky, Neil Libbert, Tim Berners-Lee20160524

Matthew Sweet talks to three photographers over 90 - Dorothy Bohm, Wolfgang Suschitzky, Neil Libbert and to the inventor of the world wide web Tim Berners Lee, winner of this year's Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize which was established to award an individual of exceptional talents in the spirit of John Maynard Keynes' work and legacy.

Unseen London, Paris, New York 1930s-60s: Photographs by Wolfgang Suschitzky, Dorothy Bohm and Neil Libbert is at the Ben Uri Gallery in London from May 20th to August 27th.

Dorothy Bohm also has work on show at the Jewish Museum in London looking at Sixties London from 28 April - 29 August 2016.

Dorothy Bohm, Wolfgang Suschitzky, Neil Libbert, Tim Berners-Lee20160524

Dramatising Democracy: Michael Dobbs, James Graham, Paula Milne, John Marks20150120

Author Michael Dobbs, dramatists James Graham and Paula Milne, and John Marks of Search for Common Ground join a panel in the BBC Radio Theatre as part of BBC Democracy Day. Anne McElvoy chairs the debate which asks whether dramas like The West Wing, Borgen or This House aid our understanding of the way governments operate or do they foster cynicism about whether democracy works ?

Producer: Harry Parker.

Economics: Liam Byrne, John Redwood, Luke Johnson, Juliet Michaelson and Matt Wolf20160407

Anne McElvoy looks at current debates about economics, British manufacturing and entrepreneurialism talking to Juliet Michaelson from the New Economics Foundation, the politicians Liam Byrne and John Redwood and entrepreneur Luke Johnson. They also consider the arguments in new books from Yanis Varoufakis and Thomas Piketty. The panel is joined by theatre critic Matt Wolf who'll be reflecting on the way business and economics are represented on stage reporting on recent openings on Broadway and looking ahead to the UK premiere of The Invisible Hand by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ayad Akhtar at London's Tricyle Theatre.

Liam Byrne is the author of Turning to Face The East: How Britain Can Prosper In The Asian Century and Dragons: 10 Entrepreneurs Who Built Britain

Chronicles by Thomas Piketty is out now.

And the Weak Suffer What They Must? by Yanis Varoufakis is out now.

The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar runs at the Tricycle Theatre in London from May 12th to July 2nd.

Producer: Eliane Glaser.

Economics: Liam Byrne, John Redwood, Luke Johnson, Juliet Michaelson and Matt Wolf20160407

Edmund De Waal; Orhan Pamuk; Romola Garai20150923

Orhan Pamuk, novelist and Nobel Prize winner is in conversation with Edmund de Waal - the potter and best selling author of the Hare with Amber Eyes - who has been on a quest to explore the history of porcelain. Philip Dodd chairs a conversation ranging across the colours white and red, appreciating and conserving craft skills, the way historic objects are displayed in museums, and the changing identity of cities such as Desden, Jingdezhen and Istanbul. Romola Garai stars in a new production of Measure for Measure directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins. They discuss this drama of puritanism and carnal desire.

Orhan Pamuk's new novel is called A Strangeness In My Mind.

Edmund de Waal's book The White Road: a pilgrimage of sorts is being read as Radio 4's Book of the Week this week.

He has also curated white: a project in the Royal Academy Library and Print Room. It runs from September 16th to January 3rd.

Measure For Measure is at the Young Vic from October 3rd to November 14th.

Edna O'brien20151104

Irish novelist Edna O'Brien in conversation. As she publishes her latest novel The Little Red Chairs she looks back at her literary career which has included short stories, a memoir, plays and poems. Her first novel The Country Girls was published in 1960 and it was banned by the Irish censor for its discussion of sex and social attitudes.

Her latest story The Little Red Chairs depicts a multi-cultural Ireland in which a wanted war criminal from the Balkans settles in a west coast village community.

(Photograph: Edna O'Brien 2015 Copyright: Guardian News and Media Ltd).

Eighteenth-century Sexual Politics20140429

Philip Dodd explores the sexual mores of eighteenth-century England.

John Cleland's erotic novel Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure - otherwise known as Fanny Hill - was first published in 1748 but subsequently withdrawn. Pirated copies led to the first known obscenity case in the USA and a trial in England in 1964.

In 1789 Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies - identifying the name, location and special charms of London prostitutes - sold for half a crown and 8,000 copies of the first edition were printed.

What do these publications tell us about the way sex was seen in eighteenth-century London?

Producer: Harry Parker.

Eimear Mcbride, Nathan Filer20140612

Prize-winning first novelists Eimear McBride and Nathan Filer join Anne McElvoy to discuss literary experimentation. Plus a first night review of the European premiere of Anne Washburn's play Mr Burns which is set in a world without electricity

Eimear McBride's first novel is A Girl is a Half Formed Thing.

Nathan Filer's first novel is The Shock of the Fall.

Mr Burns runs at the Almeida Theatre in London June 5th - July 26th.

Producer: Ella-Mai Robey.

English Civil War, Indigenous Australia20150423

As Caryl Churchill's Light Shining in Buckinghamshire is revived at The National's Lyttelton Theatre, Anne McElvoy hears how it resonates with current historical research and how a post-English Civil War play which premiered during the political turmoil of the mid-1970s might cast light on today's political landscape with historians Justin Champion and Emma Wilkins.

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire at the National Theatre from April to June.

Anne McElvoy also visits the British Museum's exhibition Indigenous Australia: Enduring Culture in the company of curator Gaye Sculthorpe, herself of Tasmanian aboriginal descent, and hears from australian aboriginal scholar Christine Nicholls about her own experience of living in an aborginal desert community for ten years. Anne McElvoy is then joined in the studio by anthropologist Howard Morphy to discuss the difficulty of translating the concept of Dreamtime into english and the role its related art has played in shaping views of aboriginal history and contemporary frustrations.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Erica Jong, Richard Jones, Ben Bernanke20151028

Erica Jong, Richard Jones, Ben Bernanke20151028

Erica Jong has followed her book "Fear of Flying" with "Fear of Dying". She talks to Philip Dodd about feminism and ageing. Richard Jones discusses Eugene O'Neill's 1922 drama The Hairy Ape - which stars Bertie Carvel as the ship labourer trying to find a way to belong in the divided society of New York. Ben Bernanke, former chair of the US Federal Reserve, has a more contemporary view of the divide between rich and poor in New York.

The Hairy Ape is at The Old Vic Theatre in London from October 17th to November 21st.

Erica Jong's latest book is called Fear of Dying.

Ben Bernanke's book is called The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermath

Photograph: Bertie Carvel (playing Yank in The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill).

Erica Jong, Richard Jones, Ben Bernanke20151028

Erica Jong has followed her book "Fear of Flying" with "Fear of Dying". She talks to Philip Dodd about feminism and ageing. Richard Jones discusses Eugene O'Neill's 1922 drama The Hairy Ape - which stars Bertie Carvel as the ship labourer trying to find a way to belong in the divided society of New York. Ben Bernanke, former chair of the US Federal Reserve, has a more contemporary view of the divide between rich and poor in New York.

The Hairy Ape is at The Old Vic Theatre in London from October 17th to November 21st.

Erica Jong's latest book is called Fear of Dying.

Ben Bernanke's book is called The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermath

Photograph: Bertie Carvel (playing Yank in The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill).

Essay Writing20140522

Anne McElvoy looks at the resurgence of non-fiction writing and the Essay as a form.

Producer: Harry Parker.

Eugenia Cheng On Maths, Susan Abulhawa, 15020150604

Dr Eugenia Cheng says she aims to rid the world of maths phobics. She discusses the links between maths and playing the piano with Anne McElvoy. Susan Abulhawa was born to refugees of the 1967 war and is a founder of Playgrounds for Palestine. Her novel Mornings in Jenin has been translated into 25 languages. 150 is the title of a new drama about the 150 Welsh familes who settled in Patagonia in 1865 created by Marc Rees.

150 is a joint production between National Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru in association with S4C and is being staged in Aberdare. 150 runs from 27th June - 11th July.

Susan Abulhawa's new novel is called The Blue Between Sky and Water.

Eugenia Cheng's book is called Cakes, Custard and Category Theory: Easy Recipes for Understanding Complex Maths.

Producer: Neil Trevithick.

European Cities On The Brink Of War20140107

As part of Radio 3's Music on the Brink, Free Thinking takes the cultural temperature of Paris, Berlin, London, St Petersburg and Vienna in the years leading up to the First World War.

The novelist AS Byatt, the film expert Neil Brand and the cultural historians Alexandra Harris and Philipp Blom have chosen artworks and artefacts from the period and will use them to explore, with Anne McElvoy, the ideas and spirit of the European capital cities on the brink of World War 1.

Roger Fry, a landmark silent film version of Les Miserables and Freud's understanding of the Viennese practice of Gschnas give us glimpses of a rapidly changing world.

Producer: Natalie Steed.

Evelyn Waugh20160405

A celebration of Evelyn Waugh to mark the 50th anniversary of his death. Matthew Sweet is joined by two writers who are long term admirers - Adam Mars-Jones and Bryony Lavery and by Waugh's latest biographer, Philip Eade and his grandson and editor, Alexander Waugh.

Brideshead Revisited - adapted by Bryony Lavery - runs at York Theatre Royal from Fri 22 Apr - Sat 30 Apr and then goes on tour to Bath, Southampton, Cambridge, Malvern, Brighton, Oxford, Richmond.

Evelyn Waugh - A Life Revisited by Philip Eade will be published in July.

Evelyn Waugh20160405

Everyman20150429

Philip Dodd reports on the first night of Carol Ann Duffy's new adaptation of Everyman which opens at London's National Theatre starring Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Everyman is in rep at the National Theatre from April until mid July and will be broadcast live to cinemas on July 16th.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Fairgrounds And Freaks, Carsten Holler20150609

Carsten Höller - the man who puts slides into Tate Modern - opens his first major survey at the Hayward Gallery. Called Decision - it features mirrors and mysterious objects. Todd Browning's 1932 American horror film Freaks features characters played by people who worked as carnival sideshow performers. Sheffield Documentary Festival has just opened with the world premiere of a film and music extravaganza, The Greatest Shows on Earth: A Century of Vaudeville, Circuses and Carnivals. With the Elephant Man on stage in the West End, Matthew Sweet looks at fairgrounds, circuses and the idea of the freak.

Matthew Sweet is joined by Vanessa Toulmin, Director of the National Fairground Archive and Dr Helen Davies and at the Hayward by art critic Charlotte Mullins

Carsten Höller: Decision runs at Hayward Gallery from June 10th to September 6th 2015

Neo-Victorian Freakery: The Cultural Afterlife of the Freak Show by Helen Davies will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in September

The Elephant Man starring Bradley Cooper runs at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until August.

The Sheffield Doc/Fest runs until June 10th. The Greatest Shows on Earth: A Century of Vaudeville, Circuses and Carnivals is directed by Benedikt Erlingsson

Producer: Torquil MacLeod

Photo: Carsten Höller - Isometric Slides during installation at Hayward Gallery; Photo: David Levene.

Fairness, Tom Mccarthy20150312

Anne McElvoy looks at what we mean by the idea of fairness. She also talks to novelist Tom McCarthy who was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for his novel C. His new work Satin Island follows a man working for a consultancy trying to sum up our age - who wonders whether there is a logic which holds the world together.

Tom McCarthy's novel Satin Island is out now.

Producer: Ella-Mai Robey.

Fighting Art, Othello At The Rsc, Hans Magnus Enzensberger20150611

Conflict, martyrdom and catastrophe are explored in a new exhibition at Tate Britain looking at history painting from the eighteenth century to present day. One of the 2015 New Generation Thinkers Danielle Thom joins Anne McElvoy to review the show. Hugh Quarshie and Lucien Msamati play Othello and Iago in the new RSC production. Lyndsay Johns has a first night review. Also German poet Hans Magnus Enzensberger reflects on his writing and German history as he publishes a selected edition of his poems.

Fighting History is on at Tate Britain from 9 June - 13 September 2015

Othello runs at the RSC in Stratford from 4 June - 28 August 2015 and will be broadcast live to cinemas on 26 August 2015

Hans Magnus Enzenberger New Selected Poems is published now by Bloodaxe Books.

Figuring Out Abstract Art20140918

Scientist Susan Greenfield, painter Fiona Rae, poet Paul Farley and artist and TV presenter Matt Collings discuss abstract art past and present. The event recorded in front of an audience at the Starr Auditorium at Tate Modern is chaired by Anne McElvoy.

Part of a series of broadcasts tying into BBC 4 Goes Abstract

Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art is at Tate Modern until October 26th

Mondrian and his Studios is at Tate Liverpool until October 5th.

Flora Thompson Biography, Ruins At Tate Britain, Ravel20140306

Richard Mabey discusses his biography of Flora Thompson, author of Lark Rise to Candleford.

As Tate Britain opens an exhibition about ruins Anne McElvoy looks at our fascination with images of decay and destruction talking to photography critic Amanda Hopkinson and exhibition curator Brian Dillon.

Ruin Lust runs at Tate Britain from March 4th to May 18th.

And on the eve of Radio 3's Ravel Day choreographer Richard Alston is in the studio to discuss creating his dance work Shimmer which is set to Ravel's music. Richard Alston's Dance Company is currently on tour to Malvern, Nottingham, Stoke and Bromley.

Producer: Natalie Steed.

France And Algeria, Birds20140220

Anne McElvoy looks at the relationship between France and its former colonies, talking to David Bellos about his translation of a classic novel depicting the Algerian War - Daniel Anselme's On Leave and to Andrew Hussey, whose new book is called The French Intifada: the Long War Between France and Its Arabs.

Professor Tim Birkhead is a Professor of Behavioural Ecology at Sheffield University. In his book Ten Thousand Birds he describes Ornithology Since Darwin. He talks to Anne about his research into bird mating systems.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Frederick Forsyth, Emotion in Art20150916

Frederick Forsyth, Emotion In Art20150916

Frederick Forsyth discusses spy fiction and fact as he publishes his memoirs and Matthew Sweet explores our emotions with New Generation Thinker Dr Tiffany Watt-Smith, Thomas Dixon and Susie Orbach. Also a review of portraits chosen at the National Portrait Gallery by Simon Schama.

Frederick Forsyth's Memoir is The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue

Thomas Dixon is the author of Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation In Tears

Tiffany Watt Smith's book is called The Book of Human Emotion.

Simon Schama's Face of Britain is a curated exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery which runs from 16 September 2015 - 4 January 2016. He is also presenting a series on BBC 2 and has written a book called The Face of Britain: A Nation Through Its Portraits.

French Thought And Politics20160113

Philip Dodd considers French intellectual traditions and the changing political scene in a country where - a year ago - the Charlie Hebdo offices were attacked.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

French Thought, Thomas the Rhymer20150709

French Thought, Thomas the Rhymer20150709

Sudhir Hazareesingh talks to Anne McElvoy about his history of how the French think. Patrick Baert, author of The Existentialist Moment; Sartre's Rise as a Public Intellectual, will be joining in this discussion about French thought. In a further consideration of Gallic culture, Mary Harrod discusses how French cinema absorbed and reshaped the Hollywood rom-com.

And, the medievalist Kylie Murray, a New Generation Thinker 2015, finds surprising parity with contemporary practises of political spin when she investigates how the prophecies of Scottish seer Thomas the Rhymer were interpreted and propagated north and south of the border.

How the French Think by Sudhir Hazareesingh is published by Penguin.

The Existentialist Moment; Sartre's Rise as a Public Intellectual by Patrick Baert is published by Polity

From France with Love: Gender and Identity in French Romantic Comedy by Mary Harrod is published by I.B. Tauris.

French Thought, Thomas the Rhymer20150709

Sudhir Hazareesingh talks to Anne McElvoy about his history of how the French think. Patrick Baert, author of The Existentialist Moment; Sartre's Rise as a Public Intellectual, will be joining in this discussion about French thought. In a further consideration of Gallic culture, Mary Harrod discusses how French cinema absorbed and reshaped the Hollywood rom-com.

And, the medievalist Kylie Murray, a New Generation Thinker 2015, finds surprising parity with contemporary practises of political spin when she investigates how the prophecies of Scottish seer Thomas the Rhymer were interpreted and propagated north and south of the border.

How the French Think by Sudhir Hazareesingh is published by Penguin.

The Existentialist Moment; Sartre's Rise as a Public Intellectual by Patrick Baert is published by Polity

From France with Love: Gender and Identity in French Romantic Comedy by Mary Harrod is published by I.B. Tauris.

French Thought, Thomas The Rhymer20150709

Sudhir Hazareesingh talks to Anne McElvoy about his history of how the French think. Patrick Baert, author of The Existentialist Moment; Sartre's Rise as a Public Intellectual, will be joining in this discussion about French thought.

And, the medievalist Kylie Murray, a New Generation Thinker 2015, finds surprising parity with contemporary practises of political spin when she investigates how the prophecies of Scottish seer Thomas the Rhymer were interpreted and propagated north and south of the border.

How the French Think by Sudhir Hazareesingh is published by Penguin.

The Existentialist Moment; Sartre's Rise as a Public Intellectual by Patrick Baert is published by Polity

Producer: Torquil Macleod.

Fulfilment, Beowulf, The Beaux' Stratagem20150521

Fulfilment, Beowulf, The Beaux' Stratagem20150521

Are work and progress making us inhuman? Anne McElvoy is joined by Steve Hilton, a former Senior Advisor to David Cameron, and Peter Fleming, Professor of Business and Society at City University, London.

Steve Hilton's new book, More Human, argues that as our world has become more industrialised our lifestyles are becoming more impersonal. He suggests that greater fulfilment would result if we created a more local, more accountable and more human way of living. Peter Fleming's new book is called The Mythology of Work - How Capitalism Persists Despite Itself .

Actor Julian Glover performs an extract from Beowulf and talks about reworking the Old English poem for stage as he prepares to hand over to his son the show which he has taken to theatres over the last 30 years.

Julian Glover's last performances of Beowulf are at the Globe Theatre in London on Sunday May 24th at 1.30 and 7pm.

New Generation Thinker Lucy Powell joins director Simon Godwin to discuss a new production of The Beaux' Stratagem at the National Theatre. How feminist is Farquhar's comedy about love, money and marriage?

The Beaux' Stratagem runs in rep at the National Theatre until mid September.

Fulfilment, Beowulf, The Beaux' Stratagem20150521

Are work and progress making us inhuman? Anne McElvoy is joined by Steve Hilton, a former Senior Advisor to David Cameron, and Peter Fleming, Professor of Business and Society at City University, London.

Steve Hilton's new book, More Human, argues that as our world has become more industrialised our lifestyles are becoming more impersonal. He suggests that greater fulfilment would result if we created a more local, more accountable and more human way of living. Peter Fleming's new book is called The Mythology of Work - How Capitalism Persists Despite Itself .

Actor Julian Glover performs an extract from Beowulf and talks about reworking the Old English poem for stage as he prepares to hand over to his son the show which he has taken to theatres over the last 30 years.

Julian Glover's last performances of Beowulf are at the Globe Theatre in London on Sunday May 24th at 1.30 and 7pm.

New Generation Thinker Lucy Powell joins director Simon Godwin to discuss a new production of The Beaux' Stratagem at the National Theatre. How feminist is Farquhar's comedy about love, money and marriage?

The Beaux' Stratagem runs in rep at the National Theatre until mid September.

Germaine Greer, Christos Tsiolkas20140129

Christos Tsiolkas, Germaine Greer and the Aboriginal leader Pat Dodson talk about the fault-lines in Australia ancient and modern.

Germaine Greer's new book White Beech: The Rainforest Years traces her attempt to return land in South East Queensland to its wild state.

The new novel from the author of 'The Slap' follows a boy who uses swimming as a way out of his working class, immigrant background. Tsiolkas explores ideas about competitiveness and the macho side of Australian culture.

Pat Dodson is a key campaigner for Aboriginal rights

In this special edition of Free Thinking presenter Samira Ahmed explores what lies within the Australian psyche?

Producer: Neil Trevithick.

Germany: Neil MacGregor, Volker Kutscher, Threepenny Opera20160512

Crime writer and former newspaper editor Volker Kutscher's Babylon Berlin is being made into a TV series by Tom Twycker. Neil MacGregor has now left the British Museum to work with the Humboldt Forum to create a new German cultural centre in Berlin. Simon Stephens has written a new translation of Brecht's Threepenny Opera for the National Theatre. The production will star Haydn Gwynne. Philippe Sands has written about the Nuremberg Trials- as has A.T. Williams. They join Anne McElvoy for a programme exploring diverse aspects of German culture.

Neil MacGregor's book Germany: Memories of a Nation is now out in paperback.

Threepenny Opera runs at the National Theatre from May 19th in rep through to September.

Babylon Berlin by Volker Kutscher translated by Niall Sellar is out in English now.

Philippe Sands is professor of law at University College London. His book East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity is out now. He has also made a documentary film My Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did

A.T. Williams' book A Passing Fury: the story of the Nuremberg Trials is also out now.

Main image: Neil MacGregor - Photographer Jason Bell

Germany: Neil MacGregor, Volker Kutscher, Threepenny Opera20160512

Germany: Neil MacGregor, Volker Kutscher, Threepenny Opera20160512

Crime writer and former newspaper editor Volker Kutscher's Babylon Berlin is being made into a TV series by Tom Twycker. Neil MacGregor has now left the British Museum to work with the Humboldt Forum to create a new German cultural centre in Berlin. Simon Stephens has written a new translation of Brecht's Threepenny Opera for the National Theatre. The production will star Haydn Gwynne. Philippe Sands has written about the Nuremberg Trials- as has A.T. Williams. They join Anne McElvoy for a programme exploring diverse aspects of German culture.

Neil MacGregor's book Germany: Memories of a Nation is now out in paperback.

Threepenny Opera runs at the National Theatre from May 19th in rep through to September.

Babylon Berlin by Volker Kutscher translated by Niall Sellar is out in English now.

Philippe Sands is professor of law at University College London. His book East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity is out now. He has also made a documentary film My Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did

A.T. Williams' book A Passing Fury: the story of the Nuremberg Trials is also out now.

Main image: Neil MacGregor - Photographer Jason Bell

Germany: Neil MacGregor, Volker Kutscher, Threepenny Opera20160512

Girls, Daniel Alarcon, The Constitution20140115

Samira Ahmed talks to the American novelist Daniel Alarcón who was born in Peru.

Hanif Kureishi20140206

Hanif Kureishi2014020620150311 (R3)

Tonight on Free Thinking, Philip Dodd is in extended conversation with the novelist, screenwriter and dramatist Hanif Kureishi. Since his early success in the 1980s with My Beautiful Laundrette and The Buddha of Suburbia, Kureishi has been the author of many novels and a series of films with the director Roger Michell. His latest novel, The Last Word, the story of an ageing Indian writer and his young biographer, returns to themes which have interested Kureishi since the start of his career - race, sex and desire, class and humour. He discusses with Philip why immigrants are seen as an eternal spectre Britain, changing views of sexuality and the shadow of mortality.

You can download this programme by searching under the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Producer: Fiona McLean

First broadcast 06/02/2014.

Hanif Kureishi20140206

Hanif Kureishi's career has included screenplays My Beautiful Launderette, Venus, London Kills Me and The Mother.

His novels Intimacy, The Buddha of Suburbia and The Black Album have been adapted for film, TV and theatre.

His new novel The Last Word depicts an Indian-born writer of fading reputation whose biography is being written by a younger author.

Kureishi talks to Philip Dodd about writing about sex, ageing and drawing a line between autobiography and fiction.

Hay Festival With Pj O'rourke And The Authors Of Freakonomics20140528

Presenter Rana Mitter, will be joined on the BBC stage at the Hay Festival by PJ O'Rourke and the Freakonomics authors Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner to discuss decision-making, the balance of power between baby-boomers and the Y generation, and whether rationality is overrated.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Hay Festival: David Brooks, Azar Nafisi, Tom Holland20150527

Was Ralph Waldo Emerson right to say that a great person is always willing to be little? Rana Mitter and guests New York Times journalist David Brooks, novelist Azar Nafisi and historian Tom Holland discuss the concept of humility. Vice or underrated virtue?

Recorded earlier this week at the Hay Festival 2015 as part of Radio 3's week-long residency at the Hay Festival, with programmes CD Review, Lunchtime Concert, In Tune, The Verb, The Essay and World on 3 all broadcasting from the festival.

Hay Festival: Inheritance - Steve Jones, Lionel Shriver, Marlon James20160601

Lionel Shriver, Marlon James and Steve Jones join Rana Mitter for a Free Thinking discussion about inheritance recorded at this week's Hay Festival. The discussion ranges from family relationships to the planet we are leaving for future generations, from money to morality, genius to ideas about goodness and evil.

Lionel Shriver's latest novel called The Mandibles depicts a family living in a near future America where the dollar has crashed and food is scarce. She is also the author of We Need To Talk About Kevin, Big Brother and A Perfectly Good Family.

The biologist and geneticist Steve Jones' latest book No Need For Geniuses looks at Paris at the time of the French Revolution, when it was the world capital of science.

Marlon James won the Booker Prize for his most recent novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. His other books include Crow's Devil and The Book of Night Women.

Main image (left to right): Marlon James, Lionel Shriver, Steve Jones

Hay Festival: Inheritance - Steve Jones, Lionel Shriver, Marlon James20160601

Hay Festival: New Generation Thinkers 201620160531

Find out who have been named as the 10 New Generation Thinkers for 2016 as they join Rana Mitter to share interesting facts from their research with the audience at this week's Hay Festival. Topics include the history of the hairdresser to the search for Alexander the Great's missing tomb; why Sigmund Freud detested the telephone to the complex relationship between the USSR and its historic churches.

New Generation Thinkers is a scheme run by BBC Radio 3 in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find academics who can turn their research into radio programmes. You can hear more from the New Generation Thinkers who will be appearing on Free Thinking throughout June and find out more from our website.

The New Generation Thinkers 2016:

Leah Broad, University of Oxford

Leah Broad's research is on Nordic modernism, exploring the music written for the theatre at the turn of the 20th century, taking her to Finland and Scandinavia to search out scores which have not been heard since the early 1900s. As a journalist Leah won the Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism in 2015. She is the founder of The Oxford Culture Review

Katherine Cooper, University of Newcastle

Katherine Cooper is working on a project exploring the ways in which British writers including H.G. Wells, Graham Greene and Margaret Storm Jameson helped in the escape of fellow writers facing prosecution and imprisonment under fascist governments in the period between WWI and WWII.

Victoria Donovan, University of St Andrews

Victoria Donovan's is a historian of Russia whose research explores the complex and contradictory relationship between the Soviets and their religious heritage. Her new project is looking at the significance of patriotism in contemporary Putin's Russia. She has worked on topics including Soviet and contemporary Russian cinema, socialist architecture and the connections between South Wales and the Eastern Ukraine.

Louisa Uchum Egbunike, Manchester Metropolitan University

Louisa Uchum Egbunike's research centres on African literature in which she specialises in Igbo (Nigerian) fiction and culture. Her latest work explores the child's voice in contemporary fiction on Biafra. She co-convenes an annual Igbo conference at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) and is curating a 'Remembering Biafra' exhibition to open in 2018.

Seb Falk, University of Cambridge

Seb Falk is a medieval historian and historian of science whose research centres on the scientific instruments made and used by monks, scholars and nobles in the later Middle Ages. His research has led him to made wood and brass models of the instruments he studies. His new project will be an investigation of the sciences practised by medieval monks and nuns.

Sarah Jackson, Nottingham Trent University

Sarah Jackson's current research explores the relationship between the telephone and literature from the work of Arthur Conan Doyle to that of Haruki Murakami. The project involves research at the BT Archives which hold the public records of the world's oldest communications company. She is also a poet whose collection Pelt won the prestigious Seamus Heaney Prize in 2012.

Christopher Kissane, London School of Economics

Christopher Kissane is a historian working on the role of food in history exploring what we can learn about societies and cultures through studying their diets. His book, which will be published later this year, examines food's relationship with major issues of early modern society including the Spanish Inquisition and witchcraft.

Anindya Raychaudhuri, University of St Andrews

Anindya Raychaudhuri is working on the way nostalgia is used by diasporic communities to create imaginary and real homes. He has written about the Spanish Civil War and the India/Pakistan partition and the cultural legacies of these wars. He co-hosts a podcast show, State of the Theory, and explores the issues raised by his research in stand up comedy.

Edmund Richardson, University of Durham

Edmund Richardson is working on a book about the lost cities of Alexander the Great and the history of their discovery by adventurers and tricksters rather than scholars. His first book was on Victorian Britain and the 'lowlife' lived by magicians, con-men and deserters. His latest project is on Victorian ghost-hunters and their obsession with the ancient world which led Houdini to fight against the con-artists making a fortune from fake 'spirits'.

Sean Williams, University of Sheffield

Sean Williams is currently writing a cultural history of the hairdresser from the 18th century to the present day exploring their role as 'outsiders' in society. As a lecturer at the University of Berne in Switzerland he taught German and Comparative Literature and wrote articles on flatulence in the 18th century and contemporary satires of Hitler.

Producer: Fiona McLean.

Hay Festival: PJ O'Rourke, Steven D Levitt, Stephen J Dubner20140528

Hay Festival: Pj O'rourke, Steven D Levitt, Stephen J Dubner2014052820150518 (R3)

Presenter Rana Mitter, is joined on the BBC stage at the Hay Festival by writer and provocateur, PJ O'Rourke and the Freakonomics authors, the economist Steven D Levitt and journalist Stephen J Dubner to discuss decision-making, how emotional and economic stability leads to self-absorbtion, how difficult it is to stop and think about anything and why there is such a gulf between the economic and political and personal rationales for the nature of health care provision here in the UK, the US and around the world.

First broadcast 28/05/2014

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Hay Festival: Pj O'rourke, Steven D Levitt, Stephen J Dubner20140528

Presenter Rana Mitter, is joined on the BBC stage at the Hay Festival by writer and provocateur, PJ O'Rourke and the Freakonomics authors, the economist Steven D Levitt and journalist Stephen J Dubner to discuss decision-making, how emotional and economic stability leads to self-absorbtion, how difficult it is to stop and think about anything and why there is such a gulf between the economic and political and personal rationales for the nature of health care provision here in the UK, the US and around the world.

Henry Iv20141009

Anne McElvoy discusses Phyllida Lloyd's all-female production of Shakespeare's Henry IV.

Henry Marsh Tom Stoppard's The Hard Problem, Daniel Levitin20150128

Surgeon Henry Marsh and critic Susannah Clapp review the opening of Tom Stoppard's The Hard Problem at the National Theatre tonight. It follows a young scientist at a brain science institute looking at what consciousness is.

Matthew Sweet is also joined by musician and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin. His new book is The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.

Producer: Harry Parker.

Hieronymus Bosch Anniversary20160216

Tom Shakespeare and Director Peter Greenaway join Matthew Sweet in Holland for an exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of the death of artist Hieronymus Bosch.

Het Noordbrabants Museum in 's-Hertogenbosch, Holland, presents the Jheronimus Bosch - Visions of a Genius exhibition from February 13 to May 8, 2016. 20 paintings (panels and triptychs) and 19 drawings are on display.

You might also be interested listening to Saturday 13 February, 1302-1500: Saturday Classics: Ahead of his BBC4 series Renaissance Unchained, art critic Waldemar Januszczak conjures up the sound world of this epoch of huge passions and powerful religious emotions across all of Europe. The term 'Renaissance', or 'rinascita', was coined by Giorgio Vasari in 16th-century Florence, and his assertion that it had fixed origins in Italy has since influenced all of art history. But what of Flanders, Germany and the rest of Northern Europe? Waldemar presents music from the time of the Renaissance greats: Jan Van Eyck, Hans Memling, Albrecht Dürer, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo and El Greco.

High Society, Xinran And China's One-child Policy, Decisive Uk Elections20150514

Anne McElvoy and composer Neil Brand with a first night review of High Society at the Old Vic directed by Maria Freedman.

Xinran talks about her new book Buy Me The Sky which explores the consequences of the one-child policy which China began to pursue in 1979. As the first generation of only children grow up and become parents in their turn, she set out to tell their stories. She is in discussion with journalist Isabel Hilton.

And a week on from the election, Anne turns to three historians - Tim Bale, Krista Cowman and Jon Lawrence - to offer their views on the dramatic changes to the UK's political landscape.

High Society is at London's Old Vic Theatre until August 22nd 2015.

Holes In The Ground20160120

Rana Mitter goes underground to discover a world which long fed the human imagination and which fulfils all humanity's practical needs outside of food and yet which has become something we like to ignore, hide, conceal and forget. Counting the potential costs for all our futures, three enthusiasts for all that lies beneath, the engineer Professor Paul Younger from Glasgow University and author of Water. All That Matters and Energy: All That Matters; Ted Nield editor of the bi-monthly magazine Geoscientist and author of Underlands: A Journey Through Britain's Lost Landscape and MIT's Rosalind Williams - author of Notes on the Underground' and 'The Triumph of the Human Empire'.

Home: Marilynne Robinson, Thomas Harding, Imtiaz Dharker, Catherine Ince20151021

Marilynne Robinson, Thomas Harding, Imtiaz Dharker discuss ideas of home with Philip Dodd. Are we becoming increasingly rootless, or simply finding new ways to put down roots.

Pulitzer Prize winning author Marilynne Robinson is the author of a novel called Home and finds her own roots in Iowa and in her Calvinist faith. In her new collection of essays The Givenness of Things, she explores the ideas that make up the religious and philosophical homeland of Europe and America - Calvinism, Humanism, the Reformation, the self.

Thomas Harding's family originate in Germany. In his new book The House by the Lake he relates the changing ownership and fortunes of his family's summer house in eastern Berlin and with it the history of Germany from the thirties up to the present. It's his follow up to his best selling book Hanns and Rudolph.

Poet and artist Imtiaz Dharker describes herself as a "Pakistani Calvinist Scottish Muslim" and her life has taken her from Lahore, to Glasgow, to Bombay, to Wales and finally to London - "I think displacement is often a good and useful thing for a writer", she says. The World of Charles and Ray Eames exhibition opens at the Barbican this week. We consider their iconic house, Case Study House #8, which they designed to "express man's life in the modern world."

The World of Charles and Ray Eames runs at the Barbican in London from 21st October to 14th February.

Marilynne Robinson's Essay collection The Givenness of Things is out now.

Thomas Harding's book is called The House by the Lake

Imtiaz Dharker's most recent poetry collection is called Over The Moon.

Poet and artist Imtiaz Dharker describes herself as a "Pakistani Calvinist Scottish Muslim" and her life has taken her from Lahore, to Glasgow, to Bombay, to Wales and finally to London - "I think displacement is often a good and useful thing for a writer", she says. Catherine Ince is the curator of The World of Charles and Ray Eames exhibition at the Barbican and will take Philip on an imaginative tour of their iconic house, Case Study House #8, which they designed to "express man's life in the modern world."

How Cultures Advance20150512

Why do some nations succeed and others don't? Clotaire Rapaille and Andrés Roemer discuss the signs of an advanced culture with Matthew Sweet.

Producer: Craig Smith.

Howard Becker20150318

Philip Dodd talks to sociologist Howard Becker about jazz, drugs and how we justify murder.

Howard Becker is the author of What about Mozart? What about Murder?: Reasoning from Cases.

Producer: Craig Smith.

Howard Jacobson, Francis Fukuyama20140924

Howard Jacobson, Francis Fukuyama2014092420150511 (R3)

Francis Fukuyama and Howard Jacobson are interviewed by Philip Dodd.

In 1989, Francis Fukuyama published an essay which he titled ?The End of History?" He's just published Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy.

Howard Jacobson won the Man Booker prize in 210 for his comic novel The Finkler Question. His new book J is a dystopian love story.

Producer: Zahid Warley

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Howard Jacobson, Francis Fukuyama20140924

Francis Fukuyama and Howard Jacobson are interviewed by Philip Dodd.

In 1989, Francis Fukuyama published an essay which he titled "The End of History?" He's just published Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy.

Howard Jacobson won the Man Booker prize in 210 for his comic novel The Finkler Question. His new book J is a dystopian love story.

Identity In Britain: Martin Parr20160315

Martin Parr has curated an exhibition bringing together views of the UK taken by international photographers including Tina Barney from the USA. Both join Philip Dodd, plus journalists Tim Stanley and Ben Judah, to examine what British identity looks like in 2016.

Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers runs at the Barbican 16 March 2016 - 19 June 2016

Unseen City: Photos by Martin Parr City of London photographer-in-residence since 2013 runs at the Guildhall Art Gallery, 4 Mar-31 Jul 2016.

This is London: Life and Death in the World City by Ben Judah is published by Picador.

International Women's Day20160308

International Women's Day20160308

Performance poet Hollie McNish has written a book and a series of poems about motherhood. Composer Emily Hall has been commissioned to write a childrens' opera for Hull 2017. Scientist Helen Pearson has researched and written about the longest runnning study of human development. Edwina Attlee is a writer with an interest in launderettes, sleeper trains, fire escapes, greasy spoons, postcards, and the working lives of women. She'll be sharing audio tales from the National Life Stories Archive at the British Library, where women talk about working lives spent on oil rigs, in steel plants, and a host of other places. Ailsa Grant Ferguson has studied Dorothy Leigh's 'Mother's Blessing', which was the bestselling book by a woman of the 17th century.

They join Anne McElvoy for a programme for International Women's Day which looks at the ways in which everyday experiences in the lives of women feed into creativity.

Helen Pearson is the author of The Life Project: The extraordinary story of 70,000 Ordinary Lives.

Hollie McNish is the author of Nobody Told Me: The Poetry of Parenthood. You can find more on her website Holliepoetry.com

Emily Hall's compositions include the operas Folie a Deux, Sante and a children's opera for Hull 2017. Song Cycles including Love Songs and Life Cycle and a whole range of compositions for chamber ensembles, string quartets, orchestras and soloists. http://www.emilyhall.co.uk/

Producer: Laura Thomas.

Left image: Hollie McNish (photographer: Helmi Okpara)

Right image: Emily Hall

International Women's Day20160308

Performance poet Hollie McNish has written a book and a series of poems about motherhood. Composer Emily Hall has been commissioned to write a childrens' opera for Hull 2017. Scientist Helen Pearson has researched and written about the longest runnning study of human development. Edwina Attlee is a writer with an interest in launderettes, sleeper trains, fire escapes, greasy spoons, postcards, and the working lives of women. She'll be sharing audio tales from the National Life Stories Archive at the British Library, where women talk about working lives spent on oil rigs, in steel plants, and a host of other places. Ailsa Grant Ferguson has studied Dorothy Leigh's 'Mother's Blessing', which was the bestselling book by a woman of the 17th century.

They join Anne McElvoy for a programme for International Women's Day which looks at the ways in which everyday experiences in the lives of women feed into creativity.

Helen Pearson is the author of The Life Project: The extraordinary story of 70,000 Ordinary Lives.

Hollie McNish is the author of Nobody Told Me: The Poetry of Parenthood. You can find more on her website Holliepoetry.com

Emily Hall's compositions include the operas Folie a Deux, Sante and a children's opera for Hull 2017. Song Cycles including Love Songs and Life Cycle and a whole range of compositions for chamber ensembles, string quartets, orchestras and soloists. http://www.emilyhall.co.uk/

Producer: Laura Thomas.

Left image: Hollie McNish (photographer: Helmi Okpara)

Right image: Emily Hall

Is War Good For Us?20140403

Anne McElvoy looks at the impact of war, Afghan elections and childhood violence. She's joined by Professor Hew Strachan, author of The Direction of War and Ian Morris, author of War, What is it Good For?

Critic Leslie Felperin has been watching I declare War, Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson's film about childhood games which turn sour.

Producer: Neil Trevithick.

Jack Thorne And John Tiffany; The Decalogue By Kieslowski; Conflict Time And Photography At Tate Modern20141127

Anne McElvoy talks to writer Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany about creating a play about local government cuts. The pair worked together on the vampire play Let the Right One In. Their latest collaboration Hope opens at the Royal Court this week.

The 25th anniversary of the 1989 Polish TV drama series The Decalogue directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski is being marked by a series of screenings at the ICA Gallery in London, at JW3 and Deptford Cinema.

As Tate Modern opens an exhibition Conflict Time and Photography, former New Generation Thinker Dr Zoe Norridge from Kings' College London discusses images of war with Austrian photographer Alex Schlacher, who has spent 2 years embedded with the Gurkas and has previously documented the work of US reservists in Afghanistan.

Conflict Time and Photography runs at Tate Modern from 26 November 2014 - 15 March 2015

Hope runs at the Royal Court Theatre in London from 26 November - 10 January 2015.

James Fenton, Suffragette, Thatcherism And Conservatism20151006

James Fenton discusses his career as a poet and journalist ahead of collecting the PEN Pinter Prize 2015 in a ceremony tonight. New Generation Thinker Naomi Paxton researches the plays performed by Suffragettes. She offers her verdict on the film Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter and Carey Mulligan. And Margaret Thatcher left Downing Street 25 years ago. Anne McElvoy is at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester to discuss her legacy with her official biographer, Charles Moore, and Conservative MP, Kwasi Kwarteng.

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume Two: Everything She Wants by Charles Moore is published by Allen Lane.

Thatcher's Trial by Kwasi Kwarteng is published by Bloomsbury.

Suffragette is released nationwide Monday 12th October.

James Fenton has made a selection of his poems published under the title Yellow Tulips: Poems 1968 - 2011

The PEN Pinter Prize is awarded annually to a British writer or a writer resident in Britain of outstanding literary merit who, in the words of Harold Pinter's Nobel speech, casts an 'unflinching, unswerving' gaze upon the world, and shows a 'fierce intellectual determination... to define the real truth of our lives and our societies'.

Producer: Craig Templeton Smith.

Jane Eyre Versus Anne Of Green Gables20140213

Jane Eyre has been adapted for a stage production at Bristol Old Vic. Anne McElvoy discusses which literary heroines provide good role models.

Producer: Natalie Steed.

Japanese History, Chinese Democracy20140122

Zhang Weiwei, one of China's foremost public intellectuals, talks to Rana Mitter about why China should not become a democracy.

Javier Marias, Cervantes's Influence, Spanish Culture and Politics20160309

Javier Marias, Cervantes's Influence, Spanish Culture and Politics20160309

In a programme exploring Spanish culture and politics, Philip Dodd is joined by the influential novelist, columnist and translator Javier Marias - author of 16 books and former winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Also, following the opening of a new musical version of Don Quixote at the Royal Shakespeare Company, what is the the influence of Cervantes 400 years after his death? Ben Okri has been to Stratford and joins Javier Marias to discuss Cervantes.

Thus Bad Begins by Javier Marias is now published in English in the UK.

Don Quixote, adapted by James Fenton from the novel by Miguel de Cervantes, directed by Angus Jackson, with songs by James Fenton and Grant Olding, is at the Swan Theatre in Stratford 25 February - 21 May 2016

Ben Okri is taking part in Cervantes and Shakespeare a project organised to mark the anniversary of both authors. Events are happening at the Hay Festival and at the British Library on Tuesday April 12th when an anthology of new work from 12 contemporary international authors is being unveiled. The British Library has a free display of illustrated editions of Don Quixote in the Treasures Gallery running until May 22nd.

Javier Marias, Cervantes's Influence, Spanish Culture and Politics20160309

In a programme exploring Spanish culture and politics, Philip Dodd is joined by the influential novelist, columnist and translator Javier Marias - author of 16 books and former winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Also, following the opening of a new musical version of Don Quixote at the Royal Shakespeare Company, what is the the influence of Cervantes 400 years after his death? Ben Okri has been to Stratford and joins Javier Marias to discuss Cervantes.

Thus Bad Begins by Javier Marias is now published in English in the UK.

Don Quixote, adapted by James Fenton from the novel by Miguel de Cervantes, directed by Angus Jackson, with songs by James Fenton and Grant Olding, is at the Swan Theatre in Stratford 25 February - 21 May 2016

Ben Okri is taking part in Cervantes and Shakespeare a project organised to mark the anniversary of both authors. Events are happening at the Hay Festival and at the British Library on Tuesday April 12th when an anthology of new work from 12 contemporary international authors is being unveiled. The British Library has a free display of illustrated editions of Don Quixote in the Treasures Gallery running until May 22nd.

Jaws: Film And Shark20150707

Novelist Will Self, shark expert Gareth Fraser and film expert Ian Hunter join Matthew Sweet for a discussion about sharks, whales and the impact of the book and film Jaws.

Jaws started out as a novel which reads as a sociological study of a small american coastal resort full of rather unlikeable characters. It ended up as an iconic film whose heroes engage in a fight to the death with a Great-White-Man-Eating-Machine. Matthew Sweet discusses how the Shark came to fill the space once held by the Whale, why big teeth still fill our nightmares and whether all publicity is good publicity for the denizens of the oceans with writer Will Self, whose novel 'Shark' was inspired by the film, and Gareth Fraser, who now studies the the dental configurations of sharks all because he once sat in a dark cinema, as did life-long Jaws fan, the film expert,Ian Hunter.

The artist Fiona Tan, whose new exhibition is partly inspired by 'Jonah the Giant Whale', a preserved whale exhibited inside a lorry which toured across Europe from the 1950s to the mid-1970s will also appear out of the deep.

Jed Mercurio, Caryn Mandabach20141211

TV dramatist Jed Mercurio and producer Caryn Mandabach talk to Anne McElvoy about creating successful dramas including The Line of Duty and Peaky Blinders.

Producer: Craig Templeton-Smith

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Jerry Brotton on Elizabethan England and the Islamic World20160330

Jerry Brotton talks to Rana Mitter about the links between Elizabethan England and the Islamic World. They're joined in studio for a conversation about the history and growth of nationalism around the world by the Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, by Professor John Breuilly from the London School of Economics and by the novelist Gillian Slovo - who has written a thriller inspired by the Tottenham riots and a verbatim drama based on interviews asking why young Muslim men and women from across Western Europe are leaving their homes to answer the call of Jihad.

This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World by Jerry Brotton - Professor of Renaissance Studies in the Department of

English, Queen Mary, University of London is out now and is being read on Radio 4 as this week's Book of the Week.

The Radio 3 Sunday Feature he presented on The Venice Ghetto is available on the i player or as a download from Radio 3's website.

Another World: Losing Our Children to Islamic State written by Gillian Slovo and directed by Nicolas Kent is at the temporary space at the National Theatre from 9th April to 7th May.

Gillian Slovo's novel is called Ten Days.

Professor John Breuilly is the editor of the Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism which is out in paperback in April.

Elif Shafak's most recent novel is The Architect's Apprentice.

Jerry Brotton on Elizabethan England and the Islamic World20160330

John Boorman2015061620160329 (R3)

Director John Boorman talks to Matthew Sweet about his most recent film Queen and Country and its place in one of the most distinguished careers in British cinema history - a career that embraces Excalibur, Deliverance and Point Blank as well as Hope and Glory.

Producer: Zahid Warley

First broadcast last year.

John Boorman20150616

John Boorman20150616

Director John Boorman talks to Matthew Sweet about his new film Queen and Country and its place in one of the most distinguished careers in British cinema history- a career that embraces Excalibur, Deliverance and Point Blank as well as Hope and Glory.

John Clare20140520

Iain Sinclair is marking today's 150th anniversary of the death of the poet John Clare by making a film with Andrew Kotting about Clare's walks and writing. He talks to Matthew Sweet about Clare along with New Generation Thinker Dr Greg Tate.

Also an assessment of Polish filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk.

John Gray, Paul Durand Ruel And Inventing Impressionism20150303

John Gray talks to Matthew Sweet about why the Aztecs might have had a better understanding of freedom than we do and other human illusions about meaning and progress. His new book is called The Soul of the Marionette : A Short Enquiry Into Human Freedom.

Also we consider how artistic movements become successful as the National Gallery stages an exhibition devoted to Paul Durand-Ruel, the french art dealer who discovered the Impressionists.

National gallery curator Christopher Riopelle tells the story of the man who supported the likes of Pissarro, Degas, Monet and launched a group of anti-establishment artists into the art history pantheon.

Jacky Klein, art historian and newly-appointed head of Tate Publishing and Godfrey Barker, man of letters and art critic discuss the anthropology of the art world through time and how and why art movements and artists gain prominence or fade from memory, who gains and who loses and why.

Inventing Impressionism runs at the National Gallery in London from 4 March - 31 May 2015

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

John Irving20160203

Philip Dodd interviews John Irving - author of novels including The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany. His new book is called Avenue of Mysteries and imagines the life of a street-child from Mexico, Juan Diego, who has become a writer - cross cutting between his present in the Philippines, and what happened to him in the past.

Producer: Robyn Read

Main Image: Philip Dodd (lhs) and John Irving (rhs) in the Free Thinking studio.

Jonathan Coe and Richard Cameron on Stage at Birmingham Rep20160412

Jonathan Coe - author of books including The Rotter's Club, What a Carve Up and his most recent novel Number 11 joins playwright Richard Cameron and presenter Matthew Sweet in a programme recorded in front of an audience at Birmingham Rep.

Coe's 2001 novel The Rotter's Club depicts teenage life in the Midlands in the 1970s against a backdrop of strikes at the car factories. It's been adapted for stage by Richard Cameron - whose other plays include The Glee Club and Can't Stand Up For Falling Down. They discuss the difference between page and stage, satire and their interest in tracing life in a post Industrial British society.

Producer: Craig Smith.

Jonathan Coe and Richard Cameron on Stage at Birmingham Rep20160412

Jonathan Lethem, Gary Shteyngart20140313

American authors Jonathan Lethem and Gary Shteyngart discuss radicalism, belonging and the difference between memoirs and novels with Samira Ahmed.

Gary Shteyngart is the author of Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook. Born in Leningrad, he moved to America in the '70s. His new memoir is called Little Failure.

Jonathan Lethem's books include The Fortress of Solitude, Motherless Brooklyn and Chronic City. His new novel Dissident Gardens draws on his upbringing in hippie New York and explores radicalism from American communism and folk music to the Occupy movement.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Jonathan Sacks, Milan Kundera Novel, Stephen Adly Guirgis Play20150617

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks talks to Philip Dodd about confronting religious violence. Milan Kundera has written his first novel for 12 years. Geoff Dyer has been reading it. And critic Sarah Crompton reports on the first night at the National Theatre of the play from this year's Pulitzer prize-winning dramatist Stephen Adly Guirgis.

Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence by Rabbi Sacks is out now.

The Mother---------- With The Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis gained 6 Tony nominations on Broadway. It runs in rep at the National Theatre until mid August.

Milan Kundera's novel is called The Festival of Insignificance.

Joseph Crawhall, Madame Bovary, The James Plays20160204

Anne McElvoy profiles the painter Joseph Crawhall (1861-1913). Born in Northumberland, he exhibited alongside Degas and Whistler and has been credited as the leader of the young radical Scottish painters The Glasgow Boys. His father was also an artist who published "A Beuk o' Newcassell Sangs Collected by Joseph Crawhall" in 1888 - a pictorial book illustrating the lyrics and music with woodcuts. Anne will be joined in her quest by the director of the Fleming Collection in London, James Knox, a Crawhall afficionado and the driving force behind a new show of Crawhall's work.

Anne will also be hearing from the director, Gemma Bodinetz who with Peepolykus is staging a comic version of Madame Bovary at the Liverpool Everyman and from Kylie Murray, one of Radio 3's New Generation Thinkers, whose latest research provides historical support to the imaginative thesis of Rona Munro's acclaimed trilogy of James plays.

Joseph Crawhall: Masterworks from The Burrell Collection which runs from 4 February - 12 March 2016 is on at the The Fleming Collection in London and it's the first time in 25 years that an exhibition of his his works is on show in London.

Rona Munro's James Plays are on at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre from February 3rd to 13th and then the UK and international tour stops in Glasgow, Inverness, Newcastle, Salford, Birmingham, Leicester and Plymouth

Madame Bovary performed by Peepolykus is touring. Liverpool Everyman 5th to 27th February and then on to the Nuffield Theatre Southampton, Bristol Old Vic, Royal and Derngate, Northampton.

Producer: Zahid Warley

Image Credit: The Flower Shop, by Joseph Crawhall c.1894-1900. The Burrell Collection (c) CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

Julian Schnabel, Michael Goldfarb On Pianist Alice Herz-sommer20140305

Artist and film-maker Julian Schnabel talks to Philip Dodd. In 1980 he took part in the Venice Biennale and then became known for creating a series of paintings on broken ceramic plates before turning to directing films including The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, based on Jean-Dominique Bauby's memoir about living with locked-in syndrome following a stroke, Before Night Falls starring Javier Bardem, and a biopic of the painter Basquiat.

The pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, who gave concerts while she was incarcerated in Terezín, was the oldest known holocaust survivor until her death last week at the age of 110. Michael Goldfarb considers her life.

Michael Goldfarb's new book is called Emancipation, How Liberating Europe's Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance.

Producer: Natalie Steed.

Karl Ove Knausgard, Ingrid Carlberg, Dorthe Nors On Nordic Culture20160224

The novelist, Karl Ove Knausgård , talks to Philip Dodd as the fifth instalment of his acclaimed My Struggle series is published in the UK. The programme also considers what it means to be Scandinavian today with the Swedish journalist, Ingrid Carlberg - author of a new biography of Raoul Wallenberg; the Danish writer and translator, Dorthe Nors; and Nicholas Aylott, an expert on models of democracy in Nordic and Baltic Europe who teaches history in Stockholm.

Some Rain Must Fall by Karl Ove Knausgard is published now in the UK.

Raoul Wallenberg - The Biography by Ingrid Carlberg is published now in the UK

Karate Chop and Minna Needs Rehearsal Space by Dorthe Nors is out now in the UK

Nikolai Astrup: Painting Norway is on show at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London from until 15 May 2016

Main image: Marsh Marigold Night by Nikolai Astrup (1880-1928) - (Courtesy of the Dulwich Picture Gallery).

Ken Burns' The Roosevelts, David Cromer On Our Town20141016

Ken Burns won an Emmy for his documentary about The American Civil War. Anne McElvoy has been watching his new series The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Kenyan Authors Ngugi Wa Thiong'o And Billy Kahora20140716

Billy Kahora is one of the writers nominated for this year's Caine Prize for African writing and has come to London to take part in the festival of literature organised by the Royal African Society. He joins Philip Dodd to reflect on the way artists in Kenya respond to the political and religious unrest in the country and to debate changes in Kenyan writing.

Africa Writes 2014 marks 25 years since the English translation of the novel Matigari by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. He spoke to Philip Dodd when he published his childhood memoir Dreams in a Time of War.

Billy Kahora's story The Gorilla's Apprentice is published and online at Granta Magazine.

Kristin Scott Thomas As Electra, Ai Weiwei At Blenheim Palace20141001

Kristin Scott Thomas stars in the Old Vic production of Electra. Rana Mitter has a first-night review from Professor Edith Hall.

Andrew Roberts talks about his new biography, 'Napoleon the Great'.

Ai Weiwei has supervised the installation of the largest UK exhibition of his artworks at Blenheim Palace using a 3D computer model because he is unable to travel to Britain. Katie Hill reviews the show.

Edith Hall is the author of books including Introducing the Ancient Greeks: from Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind.

Landmark - 2001: A Space Odyssey With Brian Cox, Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood And Chris Frayling20141202

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.

Part of a series of Radio 3 broadcasts about science fiction. You can find out more on the BBC/Arts website

2001 is on general release around the UK as part of the BFI science fiction season of events.

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Landmark: Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now20150408

Free Thinking marks the bicentenary of Anthony Trollope with a programme devoted to his satire, The Way We Live Now. Although savagely reviewed when it first emerged in 1875, the novel has come to be regarded as Trollope's masterpiece - a brilliant and unsettling anatomy of English society with " a vile city ruffian," Melmotte, as its central character.

Philip Dodd is joined by Jerry White, Simon Heffer, Kathryn Hughes and Jonathan Myerson to consider the nature of Trollope's achievement and the novel's place in the literary landscape.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Landmark: Charlie Chaplin's City Lights2014021920150105 (R3)

Charlie Chaplin's City Lights is ranked by The American Film Institute as one of the best American films ever made. A silent film released after the introduction of sound into cinema, it was also one of Chaplin's most commercially successful releases.

To mark the centenary of Chaplin's iconic tramp character, Matthew Sweet discusses City Lights with comedian Lucy Porter, actor Paul McGann, film maker and historian Kevin Brownlow, and Chaplin's biographer David Robinson.

Recorded in front of a live audience at the Watershed Arts Centre as part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

First broadcast 19/02/2014.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Landmark: Dante's The Divine Comedy20150513

Landmark: Dante's The Divine Comedy2015051320160210 (R3)

Philip Dodd chairs a Landmark discussion about Dante's poem The Divine Comedy with Prue Shaw, author of 'Reading Dante', scholar Nick Havely, the poet Sean O'Brien and writer Kevin Jackson.

Prue Shaw is the author of 'Reading Dante'

Sean O'Brien has done his own version of Dante's Inferno

Nick Havely is the author of 'Dante's British Public, from the Fourteenth Century to the Present'

Kevin Jackson is the author of the graphic novel Dante's Inferno with illustrations by Hunt Emerson

A selection of 30 of Botticelli's images for The Divine Comedy are on show as part of Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection which runs at The Courtaul Gallery in London from February 18th - May 8th.

You might also be interested in Saturday Classics on 13 February, 1302-1500: Ahead of his BBC4 series Renaissance Unchained, art critic Waldemar Januszczak conjures up the sound world of this epoch of huge passions and powerful religious emotions across all of Europe. The term 'Renaissance', or 'rinascita', was coined by Giorgio Vasari in 16th-century Florence, and his assertion that it had fixed origins in Italy has since influenced all of art history. But what of Flanders, Germany and the rest of Northern Europe? Waldemar presents music from the time of the Renaissance greats: Jan Van Eyck, Hans Memling, Albrecht Dürer, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo and El Greco.

Presenter: Philip Dodd

Producer: Jacqueline Smith

Revised repeat of a programme first broadcast on May 13th 2015.

Landmark: Dante's The Divine Comedy20150513

To mark Dante's birth 750 years ago, Philip Dodd chairs a discussion about his poem The Divine Comedy, a seminal cultural Landmark with Prue Shaw, author of 'Reading Dante' and scholar Nick Havely, the poet Sean O'Brien and writer Kevin Jackson.

Presenter: Philip Dodd

Guests: Prue Shaw 'Reading Dante'

Sean O'Brien trs Dante's Inferno

Nick Havely, Leverhulme Research Fellow: 'Dante's British Public, from the Fourteenth

Century to the Present'

Kevin Jackson, Dante's Inferno by Hunt Emerson

Producer: Jacqueline Smith

(Image: Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321), circa 1286. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images).

Landmark: George Dangerfield's The Strange Death Of Liberal England20140109

As part of BBC Radio 3's Music on the Brink season Professor Roy Foster, the journalist and author Nick Cohen, Baroness Shirley Williams, Duncan Brack of the Liberal Democrat Party History Group and the author Bea Campbell join Philip Dodd to discuss a Landmark book which explores the collapse of Liberal values in Britain. And does ''The Strange Death of Liberal England' written by George Dangerfield in 1934 have a message for political debate and the wider culture now?

Dangerfield's first memory as a child was of being held up to a window in May 1910 to watch Halley's Comet falling across the sky and it is with this moment in time that he begins his book. The Right Honourable Herbert Henry Asquith is watching the comet from the deck of an Admiralty Yacht way out in the Bay of Biscay having just heard via wireless that Edward VII is dead. And as HMS Enchantress tacks for Plymouth, Asquith stands in the summer ocean twilight and wonders how the new George V will tackle the political crises that lie just ahead.

The rapid collapse of self-confidence from the apogee of Empire to industrial unrest, mutiny, civil war in Ireland, The Parliament Act of 1911, the Suffragette movement: this was the reality of the lead-up to World War I. It was a period which marked the end of English Liberalism, and this is Dangerfield's subject.

Dangerfield said of historical writing that it should be 'a combination of taste, imagination, science and scholarship; it reconciles incompatibles, it balances probabilities; and at last attains the reality of fiction.'

Philip Dodd and guests discuss the relevance of the book both to our understanding of the pre-war period, so often seen as a golden age of Edwardian splendour, and to today.

Producer Neil Trevithick.

Landmark: In Parenthesis, by David Jones20160518

Recorded before an audience at the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff before the premiere of Iain Bell's opera inspired by the poem Philip Dodd presents a Landmark edition of Free Thinking devoted to David Jones' epic In Parenthesis. The discussion hears from the composer Iain Bell, the writer, Iain Sinclair, one of the librettists Emma Jenkins and Paul Hills, curator of a touring exhibition of Jones' pictures and the co-author with Ariane Bankes of the most recent book about the artist.

Iain Bell's In Parenthesis is at WNO in Carcdiff from 13th May -3 June, in Birmhingham on 10 June and then at the Royal Opera House in London from 29 June -1 July

It will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on July 2nd.

David Jones's In Parenthesis is published by Faber

David Jones - Vision and Memory - is at the Djanogly Gallery in Nottingham until 5 June. It was previously on show at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester.

His art is also on show at the Martin Tinney Gallery in Cardiff in May and June.

Photo Credit: The Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, The Estate of David Jones

Landmark: In Parenthesis, by David Jones20160518

Landmark: In Parenthesis, by David Jones20160518

Recorded before an audience at the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff before the premiere of Iain Bell's opera inspired by the poem Philip Dodd presents a Landmark edition of Free Thinking devoted to David Jones' epic In Parenthesis. The discussion hears from the composer Iain Bell, the writer, Iain Sinclair, one of the librettists Emma Jenkins and Paul Hills, curator of a touring exhibition of Jones' pictures and the co-author with Ariane Bankes of the most recent book about the artist.

Iain Bell's In Parenthesis is at WNO in Carcdiff from 13th May -3 June, in Birmhingham on 10 June and then at the Royal Opera House in London from 29 June -1 July

It will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on July 2nd.

David Jones's In Parenthesis is published by Faber

David Jones - Vision and Memory - is at the Djanogly Gallery in Nottingham until 5 June. It was previously on show at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester.

His art is also on show at the Martin Tinney Gallery in Cardiff in May and June.

Photo Credit: The Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, The Estate of David Jones

Landmark: In Parenthesis, by David Jones20160518

Landmark: Leaves Of Grass20151008

The American poet Mark Doty, Professor Sarah Churchwell and the young British poet Andrew McMillan join Matthew Sweet for a programme on National Poetry Day dedicated to one of the classics of American poetry, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Readings will be performed by William Hope.

Producer: Fiona McLean.

Landmark: Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities20140108

As part of BBC Radio 3's Music on the Brink season Margaret Drabble and William Boyd take part in a Landmark discussion about Robert Musil's The Man without Qualities.

One of the acknowledged masterpieces of European fiction - it has been compared to Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End, Proust's In Search of Lost Time or Joyce's Ulysses. Left unfinished by the Austrian author at his death in 1942, The Man Without Qualities is one of the first comprehensive accounts of a truly modern sensibility and examines a world perched on the brink of catastrophe - about to fall headlong into the turmoil and anguish of the Great War.

Joining Matthew Sweet for a Landmark discussion about the book, its author and the historical landscape from which they both emerged are the writers Margaret Drabble and William Boyd, the cultural historian Philipp Blom, German literature expert Andrew Webber and with readings from Peter Marinker.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Landmark: Saul Bellow's Herzog20150610

Martin Amis, Zachary Leader and Sarah Churchwell join Matthew Sweet to discuss Saul Bellow and his masterpiece, Herzog with readings by Kerry Shale.

Born exactly one hundred years ago on June 10th 1915 in Quebec, Bellow spent most of his life in Chicago and it formed the backdrop for many of his novels. In 1976 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Herzog depicts the mid life crisis of a Jewish academic whose mind begins to unravel when his wife leaves him for his best friend. His rage drives him to write a series of letters to friends, family and the famous in a bid to understand his predicament. They are never sent but they colour the book's emotional landscape. Herzog was nominated as one of the 100 best novels in the English language by TIME magazine.

Landmark: Seven Samurai20140325

Landmark: Seven Samurai2014032520150316 (R3)

Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film Seven Samurai traces the story of a group of Samurai who are hired to prevent thieves stealing the crops from a farming village in 1587 during the Warring States period of Japanese history. It inspired the Western The Magnificent Seven and regularly appears on polls of the greatest films of world cinema.

Matthew Sweet is joined for a discussion of this Landmark of culture by Professor Ian Christie, critic Larushka Ivan Zadeh, writer SF Said and Dr Alexander Jacoby, author of A Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors.

Producer: Zahid Warley

First broadcast 25/03/2014.

Landmark: Seven Samurai2014032520150316 (R3)

Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film Seven Samurai traces the story of a group of Samurai who are hired to prevent thieves stealing the crops from a farming village in 1587 during the Warring States period of Japanese history. It inspired the Western The Magnificent Seven and regularly appears on polls of the greatest films of world cinema.

Matthew Sweet is joined for a discussion of this Landmark of culture by Professor Ian Christie, critic Larushka Ivan Zadeh, writer SF Said and Dr Alexander Jacoby, author of A Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors.

Producer: Zahid Warley

First broadcast 25/03/2014.

Landmark: Tarkovsky's Stalker20160419

In a special Landmark edition, Matthew Sweet discusses Tarkovsky's 1979 film Stalker with the director Sophie Fiennes, the journalist Konstantin Von Eggert, film critic Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, the writer Geoff Dyer, and the academic and former tour guide in the Chernobyl Zone Dr Nicholas Rush Cooper from Durham University.

Stalker tells the story of three men - Writer, Professor, and Stalker. We are never quite sure who Stalker is, or what he represents, but it's his job to lead Writer and Professor on a journey into a mysterious region called The Zone. At the heart of The Zone is a room in which all wishes come true.

Based on the novel Roadside Picnic, by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, Stalker is a kind of Science Fiction film with all the Science Fiction stripped out. Geoff Dyer notes that "Stalker has always invited allegorical readings, and since the film has something of the quality of prophecy, these readings are not confined to events that had occurred by the time the film was made." Is Stalker about the end of Communism? Does it prefigure the Chernobyl disaster? There are many possibilities, but the film remains mysterious.

Producer: Laura Thomas.

Landmark: Tarkovsky's Stalker20160419

Landmark: The One Thousand And One Nights Yesterday And Tomorrow20150217

It's three hundred years since the death of Antoine Galland, a French orientalist and archaeologist, whose translation of The One Thousand and One Nights kick-started its adventures in the West via the works of English orientalists, Richard Burton, Edward Lane and John Payne.

Philip Dodd asks a panel of experts on these hugely influential tales, plus story-tellers who continue to wrest new life out of them, to discuss their continuing relevance in the age of globalisation.

Scholars Robert Irwin and Wen-chin Ouyang and theatre director, Tim Supple recount their own experience of how stories of Scheherazad, Jinns, Hunchbacks and Sindbad the Sailor work in time and space and explore just why essentially urban folk tales, some of which date from the earliest centuries of the Arab Empire, and which were largely compiled during the Islamic Golden Age, should still have relevance for understanding today's increasingly complex mega-cities.

Philip also talks to the lebanese novelist Hanan al-Shaykh about the way in which artists have used the idea of embedding one story inside another inside another. Hanan al-Shaykh's own One Thousand and One Nights: A New Re-Imagining was the result of total immersion in all the known texts.

Robert Irwin, in his Arabian Nights: A Companion and in other works has shown its massive influence on artists, writers, film-makers, in the modern period while Wen-chin Ouyang has explored how the stories came to inspire the East as well as the West and edited The Arabian Nights: An Anthology. Tim Supple travelled across the modern Arab-speaking world whilst developing his multi-national production of the Nights for the theatre.

How to live in cities? How to make your marriage work? What are the limits of the law? Reflections on the relationship between morality, ethics, the law, secular power to the divine - questions and arguments about how to live and where to live at a time of huge social, religious and political flux in the middle ages echo many of our struggles today.

With readings by Houda Echouafni.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Landmark: The Picture Of Dorian Gray20160119

Merlin Holland, Will Self and Fiona Shaw join Matthew Sweet for a discussion about Oscar Wilde's novel which was published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in the July 1890 issue and then as a book 121 years ago in 1891. It prompted discussions about censorship and hedonism and went on to play a considerable part in the writer's downfall. Endlessly filmed, The Picture of Dorian Gray seems to communicate directly to successive generations - but how much about its writer can it really tell us.

Merlin Holland, Oscar Wilde's grandson, has adapted it for a new stage version which runs at The Trafalgar Studios in London from January 18th to February 13th.

Will Self's novel Dorian: An Imitation updated the story to the late 20th century.

Fiona Shaw played Agatha in the 2009 film version, Dorian Gray.

Main image: Peter Firth as Dorian Gray and Jeremy Brett as Basil Hallward, from the BBC's production of The Picture Of Dorian Gray, tx'd: 19/09/1976.

Landmark: The Thirty-Nine Steps and World War I20140624

Landmark: The Thirty-nine Steps And World War I2014062420150525 (R3)

The Thirty-Nine Steps first appeared in Blackwoods Magazine in August and September 1915 and depicts Europe on the edge of war in May and June 1914. It quickly became popular reading in the trenches and on the home front, and nearly a hundred years and three film adaptations later, its popularity is enduring.

In a special edition of Free Thinking, Matthew Sweet talks to Buchan's biographer Andrew Lownie and Buchan scholars Dr Michael Redley and Dr Kate Macdonald about the connections between Buchan's own war experience and The Thirty-Nine Steps, and to Professors Elleke Boehmer and Terence Ranger about how ideas about empire and adventure play out in the novel.

First broadcast 24/06/2014

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Landmarks: Proust's A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu20141021

Tonight's edition of Free Thinking is devoted to one of the landmarks of European literature -- Marcel Proust's gigantic novel, A la recherche du temps perdu which is perhaps best known in English as In Search of Lost Time.

Matthew Sweet gathers together four Proust fans from very different backgrounds - the Pulitzer prize winning novelist, Jane Smiley, the psychotherapist, Jane Haynes, Christopher Prendergast, who has edited the latest translation of the book and from France, the writer, Marie Darrieussecq. The actor Peter Marinker tackles the difficult task of giving an English voice to Proust.

The novel is a modernist masterpiece which offers a symphonic account of what it meant to be alive in France as the 19th century became the 20th. To read it is to explore the mechanics of human sensibility -- it is comic, tragic, discursive, scholarly, obscene, vicious and heartfelt but above all profoundly self aware. Sometimes it reads like a journal or a gossip column; sometimes like autobiography; from times like a scholarly monograph: and often as delicious parody; the coils of Proust's language slows time right down and tempts the reader ever further into the maze of self examination.

Human attachment lies at the heart of the book - whether it's a young boy's love of his grandmother, a grown man's obsessive sexual interest in a young woman or the self deceptions of narcissism. But these are just a few of the book's facets as the mind of its narrator moves from the marriage of his bourgeois family's neighbours in the country, the Swanns, to the glamour and snobbery of the aristocracy in Paris.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Landmarks: Seven Samurai20140325

Matthew Sweet and guests including Asif Kapadia and SF Said on Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.

Language20140923

Steven Pinker's research at Harvard is into language and cognition. His new book The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century explores the links between syntax and ideas.

Will Self experiments with language and literary form. Will Self's new book Shark links an incident in World War II with an American resident in a therapeutic community in London overseen by psychiatrist Zack Busner.

They join Matthew Sweet for a Free Thinking programme about language.

Latin America: Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Claudia Pineiro, Eric Hobsbawm20160525

Prize winning Colombian author Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Argentinian playwright, journalist and leading crime writer Claudia Pineiro join Philip Dodd for a programme exploring fiction and fact in Latin America. There's also journalist Alex Cuadros who chronicles his years covering the rise and fall of Brazil's plutocrats. And a consideration of Eric Hobsbawm's Viva La Revolucion from Dr Oscar Guardiola-Rivera from Birkbeck College in London.

Claudia Pineiro's most recent thriller is called Betty Boo, translated by Miranda France.

Vásquez won the 2014 International Dublin Literary Award, for The Sound of Things Falling and his most recent book to be translated by Anne McLean is Reputations.

Brazillionaires is by Alex Cuadros

40 years of writing about Latin America is brought together posthumously in Eric Hobsbawm's Viva La Revolucion

Oscar Guardiola-Rivera is the author of What If Latin America Ruled the World?

Producer: Ruth Watts.

Latin America: Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Claudia Pineiro, Eric Hobsbawm20160525

Latin America: Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Claudia Pineiro, Eric Hobsbawm20160525

Prize winning Colombian author Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Argentinian playwright, journalist and leading crime writer Claudia Pineiro join Philip Dodd for a programme exploring fiction and fact in Latin America. There's also journalist Alex Cuadros who chronicles his years covering the rise and fall of Brazil's plutocrats. And a consideration of Eric Hobsbawm's Viva La Revolucion from Dr Oscar Guardiola-Rivera from Birkbeck College in London.

Claudia Pineiro's most recent thriller is called Betty Boo, translated by Miranda France.

Vásquez won the 2014 International Dublin Literary Award, for The Sound of Things Falling and his most recent book to be translated by Anne McLean is Reputations.

Brazillionaires is by Alex Cuadros

40 years of writing about Latin America is brought together posthumously in Eric Hobsbawm's Viva La Revolucion

Oscar Guardiola-Rivera is the author of What If Latin America Ruled the World?

Producer: Ruth Watts.

Latin America: Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Claudia Pineiro, Eric Hobsbawm20160525

Laura Cumming On Velazquez, John Bratby, The Pan Hag Project20160107

Anne McElvoy looks at changing fashions and values in the art world as she talks to Observer critic Laura Cumming about her researches into a 19th-century court case involving a Velázquez portrait. New Generation Thinker Joe Moshenska joins the conversation to explain more about the trip to Spain during which the future Charles I was painted by the Spanish artist.

Curator Liz Gilmore and dealer Julian Hartnoll discuss the British painter John Bratby who was celebrated and seen as an enfant terrible of the art world in the '50s and '60s. He is believed to have painted over 1500 works and an exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings has drawn upon paintings brought in by members of the public.

Artist Gayle Chong Kwan is working on a project based upon the North Eastern food dish Pan Haggerty. She talks about the walks, videos and photographs she has been creating as part of her residency in East Durham.

Laura Cumming's book is called The Vanishing Man: In Pursuit of Velázquez

John Bratby: Everything But The Kitchen Sink Including The Kitchen Sink runs at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings from January 30th to April 17th.

The Pan Hag Project is being produced in conjunction with Forma Arts.

Producer: Ella-Mai Robey

(Main Image: Still Life, John Bratby (c)The Artist's Estate).

Law, Language And Legal Aid. Gore Vidal V William F Buckley Jr20150708

Rebecca Lenkiewicz has interviewed a series of lawyers and citizens who have been affected by reforms to legal aid. Philip Dodd discusses her play and explores law and language. He also looks at a new film Best of Enemies about the American TV debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr.

The Invisible by Rebecca Lenkiewicz runs at the Bush Theatre in London from July 3rd to August 15th.

Best of Enemies is released in UK cinemas from Friday July 24th.

Lenny Henry in Conversation at Birmingham Rep20140916

Lenny Henry In Conversation At Birmingham Rep2014091620150427 (R3)

Rudy's Rare Records stars Lenny Henry as the son who works alongside his father in a record shop. The Radio 4 comedy has been adapted for stage and is being performed with live music at Birmingham Rep and the Hackney Empire.

In a conversation recorded in front of an audience at The Studio at Birmingham Rep, Lenny Henry talks to Matthew Sweet about performing on radio, stage and screen and his campaign for better Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) representation.

Producer: Harry Parker

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

First broadcast 16/09/2014.

Lenny Henry In Conversation At Birmingham Rep20140916

Rudy's Rare Records stars Lenny Henry as the son who works alongside his father in a record shop. The Radio 4 comedy has been adapted for stage and is being performed with live music at Birmingham Rep and the Hackney Empire.

In a conversation recorded in front of an audience at The Studio at Birmingham Rep, Lenny Henry talks to Matthew Sweet about performing on radio, stage and screen and his campaign for better Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) representation.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Ruth Scurr On John Aubrey, Beowulf20151217

Ruth Scurr discusses her biography of the 17th-century antiquary and biographer John Aubrey - which has appeared on many of the newspaper selections of Books of the Year. Christopher Hampton and actress Adjoa Andoh talk to Anne McElvoy about a new production of Hampton's version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses which opens at London's Donmar Warehouse. New Generation Thinker Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough reviews a new TV version of Beowulf and how it compares to the poem she teaches.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses runs at 11 December 2015 - 13 February 2016. It will be broadcast live in cinemas in partnership with National Theatre Live on 28 January 2016

John Aubrey

Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands will be screened on ITV in January 2016.

Producer: Zahid Warley

(Main image: John Aubrey from a drawing by William Faithorne).

Light: Anne Wroe, Dan Flavin at the Ikon, Blackpool Illuminations, The Sun20160331

In a programme exploring light, Anne McElvoy is joined by Ann Wroe - who has walked the South Downs for her latest book considering painters including Ravilious and Samuel Palmer. Solar physicist Lucie Green explains exactly how light reaches the Earth from the centre of the Sun and how extreme solar weather may affect us. The fluorescent creations of Dan Flavin the post war American artist go on show at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery curated by director Jonathan Watkins. And in Blackpool - home of the Illuminations - the Grundy Art Gallery is assembling the UK's largest collection of light-based artworks - curator Richard Parry explains.

Dan Flavin: It is What It Is and It Ain't Nothing Else runs at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham from 13th April to 26th June.

Six Facets Of Light by Ann Wroe is out now. She is also the author of Pilate: The Biography of an Invented Man.

15 Million Degrees - A Journey to the Centre of the Sun is written by Dr Lucie Green, solar physicist at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at UCL.

Light: Anne Wroe, Dan Flavin at the Ikon, Blackpool Illuminations, The Sun20160331

Live At Southbank Centre: A Charm Offensive20140320

The critic, author and design consultant Stephen Bayley has written an e-book called Charm: A Victim's Guide. He joins Philip Dodd for a discussion on the pros and cons of charm with Rachel Johnson, novelist AL Kennedyand PR expert Mark Borkowski - from Castiglione's The Book of The Courtier to its role in politics, public life and modern middle management techniques.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith

Radio 3 is broadcasting live from a pop-up studio at London's Southbank Centre all day every day for the last two weeks of March. If you're in the area, visit the Radio 3 studio and performance space in the Royal Festival Hall Riverside CafÃ(c) to listen to Radio 3, ask questions and enjoy the special events.

Live At Southbank Centre: Deyan Sudjic, Hans-ulrich Obrist, Raja Shehadeh20140327

Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic and curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist join Anne McElvoy to discuss the display of art and design.

Deyan Sudjic is the author of B is for Bauhaus.

Hans Ulrich Obrist is the author of Ways of Curating and works as the Serpentine Gallery's Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects.

Also lawyer and political activist Raja Shehadeh outlines the arguments he will be putting forward in this year's Edward Said London Lecture: Is there a Language of Peace?

The Edward Said London Lecture is at the British Museum on Friday 28th March 19.00-20.00

Producer: Natalie Steed

Radio 3 is broadcasting live from a pop-up studio at London's Southbank Centre all day every day for the last two weeks of March. If you're in the area, visit the Radio 3 studio and performance space in the Royal Festival Hall Riverside Café to listen to Radio 3, ask questions and enjoy the special events.

Live At Southbank Centre: Em Forster20140326

Damon Galgut was Booker shortlisted for his novel The Good Doctor. His new book Arctic Summer evokes EM Forster's experiences in India and the inspiration Forster found there. As Galgut arrives in Britain from his native South Africa, he joins Rana Mitter and a panel of guests including Tariq Ali and Alex Clark to explore the writing and career of EM Forster in a programme live from Radio 3's pop-up studio at London's Southbank Centre.

Producer: Zahid Warley

Radio 3 is broadcasting live from a pop-up studio at London's Southbank Centre all day every day for the last two weeks of March. If you're in the area, visit the Radio 3 studio and performance space in the Royal Festival Hall Riverside CafÃ(c) to listen to Radio 3, ask questions and enjoy the special events.

Live At Southbank Centre: Frank Field And Meg Rosoff On Childhood20140319

Frank Field MP and Meg Rosoff join Philip Dodd for a discussion about different aspects of childhood.

Producer Neil Trevithick

Radio 3 is broadcasting live from a pop-up studio at London's Southbank Centre all day every day for the last two weeks of March. If you're in the area, visit the Radio 3 studio and performance space in the Royal Festival Hall Riverside Café to listen to Radio 3, ask questions and enjoy the special events.

Looking At Art: Fred Wiseman20150114

Philip Dodd explores the way we look at art Philip Dodd explores the way we look at art with documentary maker Fred Wiseman, curator Iwona Blazwick, artist John Keane, poet Kelly Grovier and neuroscientist Beau Lotto.

Veteran filmmaker Fred Wiseman who has documented what it is like to work at London's National Gallery. National Gallery is screening in key cities across the UK.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Lorraine Hansberry20160106

Lorraine Hansberry20160106

With two plays by Lorraine Hansberry being staged in the UK in 2016, Philip Dodd looks at her writing and its resonance today. When A Raisin in the Sun opened in 1959 it was the first play written by a black woman to be performed on Broadway. It is now touring the UK and being broadcast at the end of January on BBC Radio 3. Les Blancs - written 11 years later - is set in an African country on the brink of civil war and is staged at the National Theatre in Spring. The new production of Raisin in the Sun is being directed by Dawn Walton and Yael Farber is in charge of the National's account of Les Blancs - both directors will be joined by the playwright, Kwame Kwei Armah to discuss Hansberry. Kwame Kwei-Armah, who runs Baltimore's Centre Stage, put on what he called the Raisin Cycle in 2013 which included Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park and his own Beneatha's Place, both responses to Hansberry. Philip's other guests are the historian Dr Althea Legal- Miller and the anthropologist, Kit Davis.

Les Blancs directed by Yael Farber opens at the National Theatre on March 24th.

A Raisin in the Sun directed by Dawn Walton artistic director of Eclipse Theatre company opens at the Sheffield Crucible Studio Theatre on Jan 28th and tours to New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich; Nuffield Theatre, Southampton; Liverpool Playhouse; Watford Palace Theatre; The Albany, Deptford ; The Belgrade, Coventry.

A BBC Radio 3 production of A Raisin in the Sun is being broadcast on Sunday January 31st.

(Main Image: Lorraine Hansberry, sitting at a desk with books and papers, 1st January 1955 Credit: Smith Collection/Gado).

Lorraine Hansberry20160106

With two plays by Lorraine Hansberry being staged in the UK in 2016, Philip Dodd looks at her writing and its resonance today. When A Raisin in the Sun opened in 1959 it was the first play written by a black woman to be performed on Broadway. It is now touring the UK and being broadcast at the end of January on BBC Radio 3. Les Blancs - written 11 years later - is set in an African country on the brink of civil war and is staged at the National Theatre in Spring. The new production of Raisin in the Sun is being directed by Dawn Walton and Yael Farber is in charge of the National's account of Les Blancs - both directors will be joined by the playwright, Kwame Kwei Armah to discuss Hansberry. Kwame Kwei-Armah, who runs Baltimore's Centre Stage, put on what he called the Raisin Cycle in 2013 which included Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park and his own Beneatha's Place, both responses to Hansberry. Philip's other guests are the historian Dr Althea Legal- Miller and the anthropologist, Kit Davis.

Les Blancs directed by Yael Farber opens at the National Theatre on March 24th.

A Raisin in the Sun directed by Dawn Walton artistic director of Eclipse Theatre company opens at the Sheffield Crucible Studio Theatre on Jan 28th and tours to New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich; Nuffield Theatre, Southampton; Liverpool Playhouse; Watford Palace Theatre; The Albany, Deptford ; The Belgrade, Coventry.

A BBC Radio 3 production of A Raisin in the Sun is being broadcast on Sunday January 31st.

(Main Image: Lorraine Hansberry, sitting at a desk with books and papers, 1st January 1955 Credit: Smith Collection/Gado).

Macbeth On Film, James Shapiro, Barrie Keeffe20151001

Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro discusses 1606 - the year Macbeth was written. And Matthew Sweet is joined by Sonia Massai and Andrew Hilton to review the new film starring Michael Fassbender and look at other cinematic versions of "the Scottish play". Matthew also talks to playwright Barrie Keeffe about a revival of his 1977 play Barbarians, while Radio 3 New Generation Thinker Fern Riddell offers her take on the controversy surrounding the Jack The Ripper Museum in London's East End.

1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear by James Shapiro is published by Faber and Faber and is out now.

Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard is on general release from 2nd October

Barbarians by Barrie Keeffe opens at Central St Martins in London on 3rd October and runs until 7th November. There's another production of the play at The Young Vic in London which opens on 2nd December

Producer: Torquil MacLeod

Image: James Shapiro

Photographer: Mary Cregan.

Madness in Civilisation, Night Walking20150317

Madness in Civilisation, Night Walking20150317

Matthew Sweet talks to Andrew Scull, author of Madness in Civilisation about how different cultures around the world and through time have dealt with what we might call madness, insanity or the loss of reason and how the experience, felt or observed, has been interpreted by writers and artists. They are joined by Lisa Appignanesi, author of Trials of Passion and Mad, Bad and Sad to discuss whether the west's long-term belief that madness had its roots in the body was bad news for women.

Matthew Beaumont also presents his history of an ancient crime but one still on the statute books of Massachussetts - Night Walking. Via the pens of Samuel Johnson who blamed London's noxious night hours on arrogant aristocrats, to William Blake's evocations of London's Darkness, Free Thinking hears from those who had nothing in common with their slumbering fellows and who like Charles Dickens, enjoyed a time that brought some sense of better things, else forgotten and unattainable.

Madness in Civilisation, Night Walking20150317

Matthew Sweet talks to Andrew Scull, author of Madness in Civilisation about how different cultures around the world and through time have dealt with what we might call madness, insanity or the loss of reason and how the experience, felt or observed, has been interpreted by writers and artists. They are joined by Lisa Appignanesi, author of Trials of Passion and Mad, Bad and Sad to discuss whether the west's long-term belief that madness had its roots in the body was bad news for women.

Matthew Beaumont also presents his history of an ancient crime but one still on the statute books of Massachussetts - Night Walking. Via the pens of Samuel Johnson who blamed London's noxious night hours on arrogant aristocrats, to William Blake's evocations of London's Darkness, Free Thinking hears from those who had nothing in common with their slumbering fellows and who like Charles Dickens, enjoyed a time that brought some sense of better things, else forgotten and unattainable.

Male Friendships: Steve Toltz, Ad Miller20150602

Novelists Steve Toltz and AD Miller join Matthew Sweet to discuss male friendships.

Australian author Steve Toltz was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for his 2008 novel A Fraction of the Whole. His new novel is called Quicksand.

AD Miller is a journalist at The Economist whose Russian based crime story Snowdrops was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2011. His new novel is called The Faithful Couple.

Mammoth Cloning, Colm Toibin On Elizabeth Bishop20150519

Colm Toibin discusses the writing of former American poet laureate Elizabeth Bishop. Matthew Sweet also considers how to clone a mammoth with Beth Shapiro, an American evolutionary molecular biologist.

Man Booker Prize, Sherlock Holmes, Plato And Aristotle20141014

Sherlock Holmes is investigated by Mark Gatiss and Matthew Sweet as the Museum of London opens an exhibition. Critic Alex Clark gives her verdict as the Man Booker Prize is announced. Also the relevance of Plato and Aristotle to contemporary life are debated by the American novelist and philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein and Armand Leroi, Professor in the faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College, London.

Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived and Who Will Never Die is at the Museum of London from October 17th - April 12th 2015.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's book is called Plato At The Googleplex and Why Philosophy Still Matters

Armand Marie Leroi's book is called The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science

Producer: Fiona McLean.

Man Booker Winner, Weather and Twilight, The Kibbo Kift20151013

Man Booker Winner, Weather and Twilight, The Kibbo Kift20151013

Matthew Sweet hears from Alex Clark direct from the 2015 Man Booker Award ceremony on this year's winning novel.

There's discussion of imaginative histories of Weather and Twilight with Alex Harris and Peter Davidson. They'll be explaining why painters first noticed the witching hour at the end of the 18th century, and why Anglo-Saxons only told stories about the winter, why April showers were precious in the middle-ages and fog was the novelists' weather of choice in the 19th century.

Plus the poet Michael Rosen, whose new anthology links anti-Semitism, fascism and war with the lives of his parents and grandparents, joins Matthew in the great outdoors to remember the Kibbo Kift Kin, the 1920s youth movement which combined woodcraft with cutting edge costume and art and arcane and possibly occult dreams of changing the world forever.

The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, a new book by Annebella Pollen accompanies Intellectual Barbarians, an exhibition at London's Whitechapel Gallery, marking the short but colourful history of an organisation which fell foul of both Right and Left.

Man Booker Winner, Weather and Twilight, The Kibbo Kift20151013

Matthew Sweet hears from Alex Clark direct from the 2015 Man Booker Award ceremony on this year's winning novel.

There's discussion of imaginative histories of Weather and Twilight with Alex Harris and Peter Davidson. They'll be explaining why painters first noticed the witching hour at the end of the 18th century, and why Anglo-Saxons only told stories about the winter, why April showers were precious in the middle-ages and fog was the novelists' weather of choice in the 19th century.

Plus the poet Michael Rosen, whose new anthology links anti-Semitism, fascism and war with the lives of his parents and grandparents, joins Matthew in the great outdoors to remember the Kibbo Kift Kin, the 1920s youth movement which combined woodcraft with cutting edge costume and art and arcane and possibly occult dreams of changing the world forever.

The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, a new book by Annebella Pollen accompanies Intellectual Barbarians, an exhibition at London's Whitechapel Gallery, marking the short but colourful history of an organisation which fell foul of both Right and Left.

Man Booker Winner, Weather and Twilight, The Kibbo Kift20151013

Man Booker Winner, Weather and Twilight, The Kibbo Kift20151013

Matthew Sweet hears from Alex Clark direct from the 2015 Man Booker Award ceremony on this year's winning novel.

There's discussion of imaginative histories of Weather and Twilight with Alex Harris and Peter Davidson. They'll be explaining why painters first noticed the witching hour at the end of the 18th century, and why Anglo-Saxons only told stories about the winter, why April showers were precious in the middle-ages and fog was the novelists' weather of choice in the 19th century.

Plus the poet Michael Rosen, whose new anthology links anti-Semitism, fascism and war with the lives of his parents and grandparents, joins Matthew in the great outdoors to remember the Kibbo Kift Kin, the 1920s youth movement which combined woodcraft with cutting edge costume and art and arcane and possibly occult dreams of changing the world forever.

The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, a new book by Annebella Pollen accompanies Intellectual Barbarians, an exhibition at London's Whitechapel Gallery, marking the short but colourful history of an organisation which fell foul of both Right and Left.

Man Booker Winner, Weather and Twilight, The Kibbo Kift20151013

Matthew Sweet hears from Alex Clark direct from the 2015 Man Booker Award ceremony on this year's winning novel.

There's discussion of imaginative histories of Weather and Twilight with Alex Harris and Peter Davidson. They'll be explaining why painters first noticed the witching hour at the end of the 18th century, and why Anglo-Saxons only told stories about the winter, why April showers were precious in the middle-ages and fog was the novelists' weather of choice in the 19th century.

Plus the poet Michael Rosen, whose new anthology links anti-Semitism, fascism and war with the lives of his parents and grandparents, joins Matthew in the great outdoors to remember the Kibbo Kift Kin, the 1920s youth movement which combined woodcraft with cutting edge costume and art and arcane and possibly occult dreams of changing the world forever.

The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, a new book by Annebella Pollen accompanies Intellectual Barbarians, an exhibition at London's Whitechapel Gallery, marking the short but colourful history of an organisation which fell foul of both Right and Left.

Mandeville's View Of 18th-century Economics20140416

In 1714 Bernard Mandeville published his Fable of the Bees, which discusses principles of economic thought including division of labour. Maynard Keynes described the poem as outlining "the appalling plight of a prosperous community in which all the citizens suddenly take it into their heads to abandon luxurious living, and the State to cut down armaments, in the interests of Saving".

As part of Radio 3's 18th Century season of programming, Matthew Sweet chairs a discussion with Dr Erica McAlister from the Natural History Museum, finance journalist and presenter of BBC Radio 4's Money Box Paul Lewis and Stephen Davies, Education Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs. They reflect on Mandeville's fable and how it relates to economics and the organisation of society today.

Producer: Laura Thomas.

Margaret Atwood20141023

Celebrated Canadian writer Margaret Atwood is the author of books including The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, her recent collection of stories Stone Mattress and The Blind Assassin, for which she was awarded the Booker prize in 2000.

She talks to Anne McElvoy about her interest in science fiction. The MaddAddam trilogy began with Oryx and Crake and continued six years later with The Year of the Flood. It's now being adapted for TV by HBO.

Producer Fiona McLean.

Margaret Atwood, Yuval Harari, Celts20150924

Margaret Atwood, Yuval Harari, Celts20150924

Margaret Atwood's new novel imagines the future of sexual desire in a social experiment. Professors Yuval Harari and Barry Cunliffe explore the long history of mankind. And Rana Mitter visits the new exhibition about Celts at the British Museum and discusses it with historian and author Dr Janina Ramirez and Professor Barry Cunliffe.

Margaret Atwood's new novel is called The Heart Goes Last.

Yuval Harari's book Sapiens is out in paperback.

Barry Cunliffe has written By Steppe, Desert and Ocean: The Birth of Eurasia

Janina Ramierz is the author of The Private Lives of the Saints

Celts: Art and Identity is on show at the British Museum 24 September 2015 - 31 January 2016

Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery

£16.50, Members/under 16s free.

Marilynne Robinson, Jane Smiley, Richard Ford20141126

Matthew Sweet looks at depictions of American life and history in a special edition hearing from three American authors: Marilynne Robinson, Jane Smiley and Richard Ford.

Producer Fiona McLean.

Martin Amis In Conversation At The Bbc Proms20140917

Martin Amis's 14th novel The Zone of Interest sees him return to the topic of the Holocaust for the first time since his controversial book Time's Arrow.

He discusses his writing with Philip Dodd in a conversation recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music last month as a Proms Plus Literary Event.

Martin Creed20140128

's artworks have included a room full of balloons and a room containing only a light switch.

Mathew Sweet considers how Creed questions what are the limits to art.

Martin Creed, Feminism In Theatre, Pete Seeger20140128

Matthew Barzun, Speed-the-plow Review20141002

At a time when the special relationship between the UK and the US is under particular scrutiny, Anne McElvoy talks to the American Ambassador to Britain, Matthew Barzun, about the politics of power and takes a look at sexual politics in Hollywood in the new Anglo-American production of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow, starring Lindsay Lohan and Richard Schiff.

Medical Surgery past and present20151029

Medical Surgery past and present20151029

Anne McElvoy talks to New Generation Thinker and medical historian Alun Withey and former NHS executive Mark Britnell about health systems past and present. She discusses with Abigail Morris of the Jewish Museum an exhibition there exploring the cultural significance of blood and hears from Jane Taylor about her lecture and play exploring a strange but true tale of resurrection which is part of the Being Human Festival of the Humanities running across UK universities. Professor Daniel Pick discusses his research into psychology and remembers Professor Lisa Jardine - whose death was announced earlier this week.

Mark Britnell's book is called In Search of the Perfect Health System and is out now.

Blood runs at the Jewish Museum in London from November 5th - February 28th.

Being Human: a festival of the humanities organised in conjunction with universities across the UK runs from November 12th - 22nd.

http://beinghumanfestival.org/ Several of BBC Radio 3 and the AHRC's New Generation Thinkers are taking part.

Newes From The Dead - Jane Taylor's semi staged lecture is being performed at The Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds on Thursday 19th November.

Producer: Harry Parker

Image: Newes From The Dead, The Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds

Photographer: Anthony Strack.

Medical Surgery past and present20151029

Anne McElvoy talks to New Generation Thinker and medical historian Alun Withey and former NHS executive Mark Britnell about health systems past and present. She discusses with Abigail Morris of the Jewish Museum an exhibition there exploring the cultural significance of blood and hears from Jane Taylor about her lecture and play exploring a strange but true tale of resurrection which is part of the Being Human Festival of the Humanities running across UK universities. Professor Daniel Pick discusses his research into psychology and remembers Professor Lisa Jardine - whose death was announced earlier this week.

Mark Britnell's book is called In Search of the Perfect Health System and is out now.

Blood runs at the Jewish Museum in London from November 5th - February 28th.

Being Human: a festival of the humanities organised in conjunction with universities across the UK runs from November 12th - 22nd.

http://beinghumanfestival.org/ Several of BBC Radio 3 and the AHRC's New Generation Thinkers are taking part.

Newes From The Dead - Jane Taylor's semi staged lecture is being performed at The Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds on Thursday 19th November.

Producer: Harry Parker

Image: Newes From The Dead, The Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds

Photographer: Anthony Strack.

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta in Conversation at Birmingham Rep20151015

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta in Conversation at Birmingham Rep20151015

The actress and author Meera Syal and playwright Tanika Gupta discuss adapting Syal's novel Anita and Me for the stage. Chosen as a GCSE set text, the novel Anita and Me depicts the friendship of a Punjabi teenager Meena and Anita, a white more rebellious girl living in the same West Midlands village in the 1970s. Filmed in 2002, the autobiographical novel has now been adapted for stage by Tanika Gupta, directed by the Artistic Director of Birmingham Rep Roxana Silbert.

Rana Mitter chairs a discussion about Anita and Me, growing up in 70s Britain, the surrogacy industry in India and having a rebel in the family with questions from an audience at Birmingham Rep Theatre and as part of the Birmingham Literature Festival.

Anita and Me runs at Birmingham Repertory Theatre until October 24th. It's on at Theatre Royal Stratford East from October 29th - November 21st.

Meera Syal's latest novel is called The House of Hidden Mothers.

Producer: Robyn Read.

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta in Conversation at Birmingham Rep20151015

The actress and author Meera Syal and playwright Tanika Gupta discuss adapting Syal's novel Anita and Me for the stage. Chosen as a GCSE set text, the novel Anita and Me depicts the friendship of a Punjabi teenager Meena and Anita, a white more rebellious girl living in the same West Midlands village in the 1970s. Filmed in 2002, the autobiographical novel has now been adapted for stage by Tanika Gupta, directed by the Artistic Director of Birmingham Rep Roxana Silbert.

Rana Mitter chairs a discussion about Anita and Me, growing up in 70s Britain, the surrogacy industry in India and having a rebel in the family with questions from an audience at Birmingham Rep Theatre and as part of the Birmingham Literature Festival.

Anita and Me runs at Birmingham Repertory Theatre until October 24th. It's on at Theatre Royal Stratford East from October 29th - November 21st.

Meera Syal's latest novel is called The House of Hidden Mothers.

Producer: Robyn Read.

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta in Conversation at Birmingham Rep20151015

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta in Conversation at Birmingham Rep20151015

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta discuss adapting Syal's novel Anita and Me for the stage. Rana Mitter chairs a discussion recorded in front of an audience at Birmingham Rep Theatre as part of the Birmingham Literature Festival.

Producer: Robyn Read.

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta in Conversation at Birmingham Rep20151015

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta discuss adapting Syal's novel Anita and Me for the stage. Rana Mitter chairs a discussion recorded in front of an audience at Birmingham Rep Theatre as part of the Birmingham Literature Festival.

Producer: Robyn Read.

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta in Conversation at Birmingham Rep20151015

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta in Conversation at Birmingham Rep20151015

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta discuss adapting Syal's novel Anita and Me for the stage. Rana Mitter chairs a discussion recorded in front of an audience at Birmingham Rep Theatre as part of the Birmingham Literature Festival.

Producer: Robyn Read.

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta in Conversation at Birmingham Rep20151015

Meera Syal and Tanika Gupta discuss adapting Syal's novel Anita and Me for the stage. Rana Mitter chairs a discussion recorded in front of an audience at Birmingham Rep Theatre as part of the Birmingham Literature Festival.

Producer: Robyn Read.

Mein Kampf, Larissa Macfarquhar, Julia Margaret Cameron20151203

Anne McElvoy discusses Mein Kampf coming out of copyright with Ben Barkow of the Wiener Library in London, Heinrich von Berenberg - a publisher based in Berlin and Nicholas Stargardt, author of The German War and a professor of Modern European History at Oxford.

Photographer Anna Fox reviews the Julia Margaret Cameron exhibition at the V and A. New Yorker journalist Larissa MacFarquhar talks to Anne McElvoy about altruism.

To mark the bicentenary of the birth of Julia Margaret Cameron (1815 - 1879), runs at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 28 November 2015 - 21 February 2016.

Larissa MacFarquhar's book is called Strangers Drowning.

Producer: Zahid Warley

(Main image: Julia Jackson photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1867 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London).

Mike Bartlett; Hans Fallada20150108

Mike Bartlett, writer of Charles III, Bull and Love, Love, Love, talks to Anne McElvoy. Also Philip Hensher and Cleo Van Velsen discuss Hans Fallada's 1944 prison diary: A Stranger In My Own Country. The artists Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson discuss their new work about energy which goes on display at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Mona Hatoum, Olafur Eliasson20160504

Philip Dodd talks to the artists Mona Hatoum and Olafur Eliasson. Hatoum settled in England in 1975 after civil war broke out in Lebanon. Born in Beirut to a Palestinian family, her work has explored themes of displacement, family and female sexuality exploring the body and using video pieces and sculptures as well as large scale installations. Eliasson famously used lights, foil and sugar water to create artificial sunlight in the Weather Project at Tate Modern. He's also been responsible for using uranin to dye entire rivers a sickly fluorescent gree,; created 4 man-made waterfalls in New York, and founded a company producing solar powered LED lights.

The Kitchen by Studio Olafur Eliasson and Unspoken Spaces by Olafur Eliasson are out now.

Mona Hatoum at Tate Modern runs from 4 May - 21 August 2016.

Producer: Craig Smith.

Mona Siddiqui, Ziauddin Sardar, Navid Kermani20141209

Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and interreligious studies at Edinbugh University, talks to Philip Dodd about her book called My Way: A Muslim Woman's Journey.

The scholar Ziauddin Sardar is the Chair of the Muslim Institute and Editor of Critical Muslim. He has written Mecca, The Sacred City which explores the history of the birthplace of Muhammad and his own pilgrimages to it.

Navid Kermani, the German Islamic scholar, has written God Is Beautiful: The Aesthetic Experience of the Qu'ran which considers the manner in which the Qur'an has been perceived and experienced from the time of the Prophet to the present day.

Producer: Georgia Catt

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Monarchy: Philip Ziegler20141204

Philip Dodd and a panel including Philip Ziegler explore British monarchy past and present.

Producer: Harry Parker

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Muriel Spark, Digital Life, 2015 Forward Prizes For Poetry20150618

Rana Mitter talks to Laurence Scott about living in a digital world and explores the writing of Muriel Spark as her novel The Driver's Seat is adapted by Laurie Sansom for The National Theatre of Scotland. 2015 New Generation Thinker Sandeep Parmar discusses diversity in contemporary British poetry and the shortlists for this year's Forward Prizes. Painter Chris Gollon is touring British cathedrals with an exhibition of religious art.

Laurence Scott's book is called The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World.

The National Theatre of Scotland's production of The Driver's Seat is at the Edinburgh Lyceum from June 13th - 27th and then at Glasgow Tramway from July 2nd to July 4th.

You can hear Dr Sarah Dillon - one of the 2013 Radio 3 and AHRC New Generation Thinkers - analysing the work of various writers including Muriel Spark on BBC Radio 4's Open Book.

The 2015 Forward Poetry Prizes are announced on September 28th when the 24th annual Forward Book of Poetry, containing the judges' choice of the year's poems will be launched.

'Incarnation, Mary & Women from the Bible' by Chris Gollon is on display at Chichester Cathedral from 16th June - 16th August 2015. Open: daily 07.15am - 7pm

It then moves to Durham Cathedral 30th Sept - 2nd Nov 2015. Open: Mon - Sat 07.30 - 6pm, Sun 07.45 - 5.30pm.

Must The Arts Be Relevant? A Free Thinking Basca Debate20151210

Matthew Sweet chairs the British Academy of Song Writers, Composers and Authors debate about relevance and the contemporary across art forms. He is joined by Mark Baldwin Artistic Director of Rambert Dance Company, Catherine Wood curator at Tate, Jennifer Walshe composer and vocalist, Vayu Naidu storyteller and Sarah Kent art critic and performer.

Recorded in front of an audience at the studios of Rambert on London's South Bank.

Part of BBC Radio 3's coverage of the BASCA awards which you can hear broadcast on Saturday's Hear and Now.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Naomi Klein20141007

Philip Dodd is joined by author and activist Naomi Klein.

Nawal El Saadawi; Lord Browne20151022

The Egyptian feminist writer Nawal El Saadawi talks to Rana Mitter about facing death threats and surviving prison - and her novels which include Memoirs of a Woman Doctor and God Dies by the Nile. Lord Browne, former CEO of BP, makes the case for business to engage with society as he publishes a book called Connect. Dr Elisabeth Kendall has been studying the way so called Islamic State use classical Arabic poetry on social media.

Producer: Harry Parker.

Nazis, Holocaust, Time And Memory20150127

Rana Mitter talks to Richard J Evans' about his new book The Third Reich in History and Memory which reflects on how racist theories of Empire, promulgated over centuries, provided fertile ground for nazi theorists. They are joined by fellow-historians Jane Caplan and David Cesarani, to survey how history has explored this period and discuss the question, was the Final Solution unique in the history of genocide. Also in the studio, Andre Singer, Director of the documentary, Holocaust: Night Will Fall and the Polish cultural historian and writer, Eva Hoffman; they will explore how images of that time, far from being fixed in time, are endlessly renewed and reinterpreted by succeeding generations and their existence seems of increasing importance.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Neel Mukherjee, Images Of China20140930

Matthew Sweet examines our contradictory attitudes to China and its culture with the film historian Sir Christopher Frayling and the chinese ceramics expert Stacey Pierson, who has been to see the British Museum's new exhibition about Ming.

Novelist Neel Mukherjee talks about his book The Lives of Others, which explores the way an Indian family's history is disrupted when one member becomes involved in extremist political activism.

You can hear conversations with all the authors shortlisted for this year's Man Booker prize on our website.

Christopher Frayling's new book is called The Yellow Peril: Dr Fu Manchu and the Rise of Chinaphobia.

Ming: 50 Years that Changed China is on show at the British Museum till January 5th 2015. The National Museum of Scotland exhibition Ming: The Golden Empire is on until October 19th.

Neil Jordan20160301

The Drowned Detective is the title of a novel from film director Neil Jordan. He talks to Matthew Sweet about the difference between creating fiction and films.

Neil Jordan20160301

New Generation Thinkers 2014, Belle, Turgenev's Fathers And Sons20140610

Amma Asante's film Belle depicts an illegitimate mixed-race girl brought up in eighteenth-century London in Kenwood House, the household of Lord Mansfield. Screenwriter Misan Sagay and Dr Kit Davis from SOAS, University of London discuss the film with Matthew Sweet.

Writer Rosamund Bartlett has a first night review of Brian Friel's stage version of Turgenev's Fathers and Sons which opens at London's Donmar Warehouse tonight.

And Matthew Sweet introduces the first column from the 2014 Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers.

New Generation Thinkers 2015 Launch At The Hay Festival20150528

Recorded earlier this week at the Hay Festival 2015, Rana Mitter introduces some of the young academics who have just been announced as this year's New Generation Thinkers in the scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. They discusss their areas of research which range from the history of tickling to the secret discovered hidden in a chair in Prague.

Part of Radio 3's week-long residency at the Hay Festival, with programmes CD Review, Lunchtime Concert, In Tune,The Verb, The Essay and World on 3 all broadcasting from the festival.

New Media Culture And Blade Runner20150331

Matthew Sweet and guests discuss new media culture and Blade Runner. Featuring an interview with Eric Jarosinski, the man who's brought German cultural theory to Twitter under the name @NeinQuarterly.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

New Research Into Indian History20150917

New Research Into Indian History20150917

Rana Mitter is joined by New Generation Thinkers and young academics who are exploring Indian history during British rule and looking at India in the Second World War. His guests are Maha Rafi Atal, Anindita Ghosh, Jahnavi Phalkey and Yasmin Khan. Part of the BBC's Indian Season.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

New Research Into Indian History20150917

Rana Mitter is joined by New Generation Thinkers and young academics who are exploring Indian history during British rule and looking at India in the Second World War. His guests are Maha Rafi Atal, Anindita Ghosh, Jahnavi Phalkey and Yasmin Khan. Part of the BBC's Indian Season.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Nick Payne's Incognito, Penny Dreadful On Tv, Helen Mccarthy And Baroness Neville-jones On Female Diplomats20140515

Penny Dreadful is a new Sky Atlantic drama created by John Logan. Starring Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton and Eva Green, it draws on the literary characters of Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and Egyptian Mummies. New Generation Thinker Fern Riddell, from King's College London, reviews it and our fascination with Victorian Gothic.

Incognito by Nick Payne explores the brain, the story of the man who stole Einstein's and what it means to lose your thinking powers. He talks to Anne McElvoy.

Incognito runs at the Bush Theatre in London until June 21st. It is presented by nabokov, Live Theatre Newcastle, HighTide Festival Theatre in association with The North Wall

Dr Helen McCarthy has just published Women of the World. She joins Anne in the studio to discuss female diplomacy.

New Generation Thinker Jules Evans from Queen Mary, University of London reports on the Reader Organisation's Conference at the British Library, the recent campaigns against the prison book ban and our relationship with reading.

Jules Evans' book is called Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations.

Producer: Georgia Catt.

Northern Lights Landmark: Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries20151215

As part of Radio 3's Northern Lights season, Matthew Sweet discusses Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries with the writer Colm Toibin, the film critic Larushka Ivan-Zadeh and the Swedish cultural attache Ellen Wettmark.

Released in 1957 and inspired by Bergman's own memories of childhood holidays in a summerhouse in the north of Sweden, Wild Strawberries tells the story of elderly professor Isak Borg, who travels from his home in Stockholm to receive an honorary doctorate. On the way, he's visited by childhood memories. The film stars veteran actor and director Victor Sjostrom, Bibi Andersson and Ingrid Thulin.

With additional contributions from the film historian Kevin Brownlow and Jan Holmberg from the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, which administers Bergman's archives.

Northern Lights: Crime Fiction And Cold Settings20151209

Margaret Atwood, Arnaldur Indriadason and MJ McGrath talk to Rana Mitter about crime fiction and cold settings as part of Radio 3's Northern Lights Season.

It's 100 years since Freud published his seminal paper The Unconscious. Rana Mitter and guests New Generation Thinker Shahidha Bari, psychotherapist Mark Vernon and Dr Suzanne O'Sullivan - author of It's All in Your Head - discuss the role notions of the unconscious have played in psychology and culture ever since.

Margaret Atwood is the author of books including Stone Mattress and the MaddAddam trilogy.

Arnaldur Indriadason's novels include Strange Shores, The Draining Lake and Oblivion.

MJ McGrath's novels include The Bone Seeker, White Heat and The Boy In The Snow.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Oh What A Lovely Savas20140703

'Oh what a lovely Savas' begins Rana Mitter in this edition of Free Thinking, using the Turkish word for War. Along with Sean McMeekin of the Koc University in Istanbul, the novelist Kamila Shamsie, Naoko Shimazu of Birkbeck College and Erez Manela of Harvard University Rana puts Japan, China, India, the Ottomans, Koreans and others centre stage in the years 1914 to 1918.

If you weren't from one of the European Great Powers could you even get into the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 which was to lead to the Treaty of Versailles? And was the failure of the Racial Equality Clause to get on the statute books at this conference the beginning of the end of Empire even for those who won the war ?

Rana and guests discuss a world in which creating an empire was the accepted way of gaining a place at the top table of international diplomacy and power... until a war changed the way the world was for everyone - including the victors.

The very legitimacy of the idea of Empire was possibly the biggest ideological casualty of the so called First World War.

That's 'Oh What a Lovely Savas' with Rana Mitter and guests - Free Thinking.

Orhan Pamuk2014040220141029 (R3)

talks, in an extended conversation with Philip Dodd, about his writing career and his views of modern Turkey. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2006, his novels include The Black Book, Snow, My Name is Red and The Museum of Innocence - a book and a real building created by the author which earlier this year was awarded the European Museum of the Year award. There's also his nonfiction including the memoir Istanbul.

In this conversation, recorded earlier this year, he discusses the idea of division between the religious and the secular and division in a more personal, internalised way and he tackles the question of whether Turkey should join the European Union. Earlier this month the European Union's executive arm pressed for long-stalled membership talks with Turkey to begin again with negotiations over changes in two policy areas hampering the accession process - current Turkish policy on civil rights and judicial independence.

Producer: Neil Trevithick

First broadcast in April 2014.

Orhan Pamuk talks, in an extended conversation with Philip Dodd, about his writing career and his views of modern Turkey.

Main photo credit: Jerry Bauer

Originality, Ivan Klima20140409

Geoff Mulgan, champion of social innovation and design and Lionel Bently, barrister and copyright expert join Philip Dodd to discuss the concept of Originality. Its social meaning is very different to its meaning in law - why - and is the latter doing harm to the former?

Philip also talks to the Czech writer Ivan Klima about living through Nazism, writing under Communism and what happened next.

Oscar Nominations, Steve Mcqueen, Slavery Narratives20140116

Matthew Sweet talks to director Steve McQueen about his new film '12 Years A Slave' and assesses this year's Oscar nominations.

Pantomime: Professor Jeffrey Richards; Bryony Lavery; Eo Wilson20141217

Matthew Sweet on Pantomime past to present writer Jeffrey Richards and actor/director Tony Lidington. Jeffrey Richards book is called The Golden Age of Pantomime: Slapstick, Spectacle and Subversion in Victorian England.

Bryony Lavery talks stage writing ahead of her double-Christmas offerings of Treasure Island at the National Theatre in London and The One Hundred and One Dalmatians at Chichester's Festival Theatre.

American biologist EO Wilson puts humanity centre-stage in his new book The Meaning of Human Existence and explains why we'll never meet ET and gets ants to take a bow.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Pather Panchali, Sunjeev Sahota, Invalidism20150706

Tariq Ali discusses Satyajit Ray's 1955 film Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) 60 years on with Rana Mitter. 2015 New Generation Thinker Clare Walker Gore looks at the depiction of invalidism in the writings of Trollope and other Victorian novelists. Novelist Sunjeev Sahota was included in Granta magazine's most recent list of the 20 most promising young British novelists under 40. He talks about his new novel which depicts the different experiences of migrant workers who have travelled from India to Sheffield. Playwright and author Neil Bartlett discusses his project at the Wellcome Collection which asks members of the public to answer anonymously a series of questions about attitudes to sex.

Sunjeev Sahota's novel is called The Year of the Runaways.

Pather Panchali is available on DVD.

The Institute of Sexology runs at the Wellcome Collection until September 20th. Neil Bartlett will be in Conversation there on July 23rd 19.00 - 20.00 and his project will be archived in the Wellcome Library once the exhibition ends.

Patricia Duncker, Adrienne Mayor On The Amazons, Harriet Walter And Guy Paul20150402

With Anne McElvoy

Patricia Duncker talks about her new novel which imagines George Eliot's relationship with her German publishers, Max and Wolfgang Duncker; Adrienne Mayor discusses the strength of women with Professor Melvin Konner, by looking at her history of the Amazons and his work on the end of male supremacy; as an exhibition featuring empty Sansovino frames opens The National Gallery in London, Anne speaks to Head of Frames Peter Schade about their history; and Dame Harriet Walter and Guy Paul discuss collaborating on stage as a real life couple ahead of appearing in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.

Having taught the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, Patricia Duncker is now Professor of Contemporary Literature at Manchester University. Her previous fiction includes James Miranda Barry, and The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge.

Her novel Sophie and the Sibyl is published on 9 April.

Adrienne Mayor is a historian of science at Stanford University whose latest book looks at the historical and archaeological evidence which underpin myths and tales of warlike women.

The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World is available in hardback and e-book.

Melvin Konner is Professor of Anthropology and the Program in Neuroscience and Behavioural Biology at Emory University in Atlanta.

Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy is available in hardback and e-book.

Frames In Focus: Sansovino Frames runs from 1 April to 13 September at The National Gallery in London.

Death of a Salesman runs at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon until 2 May

Produced by Ella-mai Robey

Image: Patricia Duncker

Photo Credit: Keith Morris.

Paul Foot Award, Craig Calhoun20150224

Paul Foot Award, Craig Calhoun20150224

Anne McElvoy looks at how we value the Arts talking to the Director of LSE the sociologist Dr Craig Calhoun and she reports from the Paul Foot award on this years' winner.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Paul Foot Award, Craig Calhoun20150224

Anne McElvoy looks at how we value the Arts talking to the Director of LSE the sociologist Dr Craig Calhoun and she reports from the Paul Foot award on this years' winner.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Paul Muldoon and Roy Foster, Rona Munro20150204

Paul Muldoon and Roy Foster, Rona Munro20150204

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon explores the history of Ireland in his new collection, One Thousand Things Worth Knowing. Historian Roy Foster's latest book is Vivid Faces: the Revolutionary Generation in Ireland 1890-1923. Philip Dodd brings them together for a conversation about pinning down moments of history and the way myths are made.

Rona Munro's new play Scuttlers runs at Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre from Feb 5th - March 7th directed by Wils Wilson. It depicts Manchester gangs and riots in the Industrial Revolution and in 2011. She talks about putting history on stage in this and her James trilogy which was performed in Edinburgh and London last year.

Producer: Fiona McLean.

Paul Muldoon and Roy Foster, Rona Munro20150204

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon explores the history of Ireland in his new collection, One Thousand Things Worth Knowing. Historian Roy Foster's latest book is Vivid Faces: the Revolutionary Generation in Ireland 1890-1923. Philip Dodd brings them together for a conversation about pinning down moments of history and the way myths are made.

Rona Munro's new play Scuttlers runs at Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre from Feb 5th - March 7th directed by Wils Wilson. It depicts Manchester gangs and riots in the Industrial Revolution and in 2011. She talks about putting history on stage in this and her James trilogy which was performed in Edinburgh and London last year.

Producer: Fiona McLean.

Paul Muldoon And Roy Foster, Rona Munro20150204

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon explores the history of Ireland in his new collection, One Thousand Things Worth Knowing. Historian Roy Foster's latest book is Vivid Faces: the Revolutionary Generation in Ireland 1890-1923. Philip Dodd brings them together for a conversation about pinning down moments of history and the way myths are made.

Rona Munro's new play Scuttlers runs at Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre from Feb 5th - March 7th directed by Wils Wilson. It depicts Manchester gangs and riots in the Industrial Revolution and in 2011. She talks about putting history on stage in this and her James trilogy which was performed in Edinburgh and London last year.

Producer: Fiona McLean.

Peggy Seeger20150325

Peggy Seeger2015032520151105 (R3)

Philip Dodd talks to one of the icons of what used to be called the counter-culture, Peggy Seeger. Another chance to hear a conversation recorded earlier this year before Peggy Seeger joins the line up of guests performing at Sage Gateshead over Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival this weekend.

Peggy Seeger's voice and career are emblematic of a life lived against the establishment grain. Born in New York in 1935 she first made her name as one of the leaders of the British Folk Revival, and with her partner Ewan MacColl, she helped to create one of the most innovative radio series of the last fifty years, the Radio Ballads, which blended original music, sound effects, and first-person interviews. In the 1950s she had her US passport withdrawn following a visit to China and chose to stay in Europe. It wasn't wholly unexpected. She had long aligned herself with the radical left and was an outspoken champion of feminism - one of her most famous songs being "I'm Gonna Be an Engineer". When official US attitudes softened after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1994 she returned to live in the States, but recently moved back to the United Kingdom and is still recording and releasing albums, including her latest CD Everything Changes.

Peggy Seeger20150325

In Free Thinking this evening Philip Dodd talks to one of the icons of what used to be called the counter-culture, Peggy Seeger. Her voice and career are emblematic of a life lived against the establishment grain. Born in New York in 1935 she first made her name as one of the leaders of the British Folk Revival, and with her partner Ewan MacColl, she helped to create one of the most innovative radio series of the last fifty years, the Radio Ballads, which blended original music, sound effects, and first-person interviews. In the 1950s she had her US passport withdrawn following a visit to China and chose to stay in Europe. It wasn't wholly unexpected. She had long aligned herself with the radical left and was an outspoken champion of feminism - one of her most famous songs being "I'm Gonna Be an Engineer". When official US attitudes softened after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1994 she returned to live in the States, but recently moved back to the United Kingdom and is still recording and releasing albums.

Presenter: Philip Dodd

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Peter Carey, A History Manifesto20141022

Peter Carey's new novel Amnesia counterpoints modern hackers with murky incidents in Australia's recent past as a writer explores where countries and individuals stand in the modern world.

And, as a new book calls on historians to take a more active role in debates over global inequality, climate change and governance, Rana Mitter is joined by The History Manifesto's co-author, David Armitage, Chris Skidmore MP and historian, and Lucy Delap, Director of History and Policy to discuss how and when history lost its place at the top table, the uses of micro-histories versus the long duree, and how new technology to handle big data might harness them both to help decision-takers and policy makers.

Amnesia by Peter Carey pub Nov Faber and Faber

http://petercareybooks.com/

The History Manifesto by David Armitage and Jo Guldi pub CUP http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/history/history-ideas-and-intellectual-history/history-manifesto

Bosworth: Birth of the Tudors by Chris Skidmore pub Phoenix http://www.chrisskidmore.co.uk/

Lucy Delap http://www.historyandpolicy.org/ http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/history/people/staff/academic/delapl.aspx

Presenter: Rana Mitter

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Philosophy: Bryan Magee20160316

Matthew Sweet considers the popularising of philosophy and the writing of Bryan Magee with philosophers MM McCabe, Lucy O'Brien, Nigel Warburton and Constantine Sandis.

Ultimate Questions by Bryan Magee is out now from Princeton University Press.

Plants And The Black Panthers20151020

Matthew Sweet talks to Richard Mabey about his new book The Cabaret of Plants: Botany and the Imagination and hears how so much of our history has been driven by our discovery and exploitation of their properties but it's time to put our own human social preoccupations aside. Joining them, Andrea Wulf presents her findings on the extraordinary scientist Alexander von Humboldt, a seminal figure in human attempts to understand nature.

And it was nearly fifty years ago that The Black Panther Party was founded. Stanley Nelson, director of a new documentary history, Vanguard of the Revolution and Mohammed Mubarak, one of the movements official photographers join Matthew to discuss the Black Panthers' role in a political awakening for black Americans and their impact on wider American culture.

Policing: Fact And Fiction20140401

Matthew Sweet explores depictions of policing and corruption with playwright Roy Williams, historian Kate Colquhoun, film maker and criminologist Roger Graef.

Roy Williams' play Kingston 14, starring Goldie, runs at Theatre Royal Stratford East from March 28th - April 26th

Roger Graef is visiting professor at the Mannheim Centre for Criminology

Kate Colquhoun's latest book Did She Kill Him? looks at the 1889 case of Florence Maybrick who was tried for murdering her husband.

Producer: Natalie Steed.

Political And Bardic Traditions In Wales20150623

Matthew Sweet is in Cardiff to examine the role of the Left in Welsh politics and its bearing on today's debate about nationalism hearing from Professor Daniel Williams and Sir Deian Hopkin. He'll also be discussing the Bardic tradition with Gwyneth Lewis and Iain Sinclair. Plus a report on the brand new instalment of the National Theatre of Wales Big Democracy Project, a kind of interactive community theatre.

Gwyneth Lewis will be reading from her award winning collection, Ynys, inspired by The Mabinogion.

In his childhood memoir Black Apples of Gower Iain Sinclair returns to his Welsh roots.

You can find out more about the National Theatre of Wales project on their website and via #BIGDEMOCRACY.

Populism, Romola Garai on Measure for Measure20150930

Populism, Romola Garai on Measure for Measure20150930

On the final day of Jeremy Corbyn's first Labour Party conference as Leader, Philip Dodd presents a discussion about populism in politics, with philosopher Roger Scruton, historian Justin Champion, journalist and commentator John Lloyd, and activist Sirio Canos Donnay, a representative of the Spanish populist movement Podemos.

Romola Garai stars in a new production of Measure for Measure directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins. They discuss this drama of puritanism and carnal desire.

Measure For Measure is at the Young Vic from October 1st to November 14th.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Populism, Romola Garai on Measure for Measure20150930

On the final day of Jeremy Corbyn's first Labour Party conference as Leader, Philip Dodd presents a discussion about populism in politics, with philosopher Roger Scruton, historian Justin Champion, journalist and commentator John Lloyd, and activist Sirio Canos Donnay, a representative of the Spanish populist movement Podemos.

Romola Garai stars in a new production of Measure for Measure directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins. They discuss this drama of puritanism and carnal desire.

Measure For Measure is at the Young Vic from October 1st to November 14th.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Process: Mexico In Words, Carmen Disruption, Christopher Doyle20150414

As Mexico takes centre stage at London's Book Fair Matthew Sweet talks to two of the country's award-winning writers. Valeria Luiselli's new novel The Story of My Teeth explores the meaning of home through the antics of an auctioneer, told in his own hyperbolic fashion, who has decided views on the meaning of value and worth in life and art. Francisco Goldman's The Interior Circuit takes us on a journey through grieving after the loss of Aura Estrada, his wife, in 2007, and his current fears for Mexico City, the place they made their own.

Playwright Simon Stephens talks to Matthew about transplanting Carmen into a modern urban idiom and whether Carmen Disruption in London will be different to Carmen Disruption in Hamburg. His starting point as ever will be what disturbs and dares an audience to think and feel.

And Christopher Doyle: No Glass Twice as Big as It Needs to Be - the cinematographer and film director has his first solo art show in Europe opening at London Gallery Rossi & Rossi. He talks to Matthew Sweet about the give and take relationship he enjoys with his Chinese alter-ego Du Ke Feng and how creating collage helps his film-making.

Presenter: Matthew Sweet

Guests: Christopher Doyle

Francisco Goldman

Valeria Luiselli

Simon Stephens

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Protest: Beatrix Campbell, Gabriella Coleman And Douglas Carswell20141216

Philip Dodd, Douglas Carswell and Beatrix Campbell and Gabriella Coleman explore the success of protest movements.

Gabriella Coleman is the author of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous

Producer: Georgia Catt.

Editor: Robyn Read

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Public v Private Art20150401

Public v Private Art20150401

Philip Dodd talks to Nicholas Penny, the outgoing Director of the National Gallery and the global art collector Budi Tek. The idea of public and private art is also considered at a new exhibition entitled All of This Belongs to You at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Producer: Natalie Steed.

Public v Private Art20150401

Philip Dodd talks to Nicholas Penny, the outgoing Director of the National Gallery and the global art collector Budi Tek. The idea of public and private art is also considered at a new exhibition entitled All of This Belongs to You at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Producer: Natalie Steed.

Race In America: Selma, Joyce Carol Oates, Timberlake Wertenbaker20150129

Joyce Carol Oates new novel The Sacrifice depicts an act of racial violence which shocks a New Jersey town. Selma dramatises on film the life of Martin Luther King. Timberlake Wertenbaker's new play Jefferson's Garden puts on stage the founding of the American state. Anne McElvoy talks to Joyce Carol Oates and Timberlake Wertenbaker and is also joined by New Generation Thinker Joanna Cohen who studies American history

Selma directed by Ava DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo is on at cinemas around the country certificate 12A.

Joyce Carol Oates new novel is called The Sacrifice.

Jefferson's Garden by Timberlake Wertenbaker runs at Watford Palace Theatre from 5th to 12st February.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Radical Bookshops, Philip Hensher20140617

Philip Hensher's novel The Emperor Waltz draws together stories about a man who founds the first gay bookshop in London, a young painter who joins the Bauhaus and a woman fascinated by a Roman cult. He joins Matthew Sweet in the Free Thinking studio. Radical bookshops are also discussed by the poets Linton Kwesi Johnson and Anthony Joseph and the co-founder of New Beacon Sarah White.

New Generation Thinker Daisy Hay looks at the Victorian practice of keeping hair as a personal memento.

John La Rose's New Beacon project was the focal point of a black radical publishing industry that emerged in the UK in the late sixties. Its aim was to give a platform and voice to a post-independence generation of Caribbean writers whilst nurturing homegrown work by Britain's growing black population. As the Black Cultural Archives settles into its own home in Brixton and The George Padmore Institute makes New Beacon's archive available, Matthew Sweet asks if this period is now consigned to history or are such small, vibrant, personality led spaces as important as ever for diversity and the enrichment of the literary voice?

Ranters In The English Civil War20140619

A new collection of writings from Ranters in the English Civil War sheds light on their libertarian views. Anne McElvoy is joined by historian Nigel Smith.

Rebecca Solnit, Wonder Woman, Submarine Films20141210

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.

New Generation Thinker Dr Will Abberley discusses the literary traditions followed by submarine films from Jude Law's new cinema release The Black Sea to Das Boot and The Hunt for Red October.

Producer: Zahid Warley

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Religion20160223

Rana Mitter discusses religion and modernity, including a conversation with Buddhist thinker Stephen Batchelor on how ancient traditions can adapt to meet modern needs.

They are joined by Kader Abdolah, who's recently produced a new translation of The Qur'an, classicist Tim Whitmarsh, who has written on atheism in the Ancient Greek World, and the sociologist of religion Linda Woodhead who has investigated what people really mean when they tick the 'No Religion' box on surveys.

Tim Whitmarsh is the author of Battling The Gods Atheism In The Ancient World

Linda Woodhead is the author of That Was The Church That Was

Kader Abdolah is the author of The Qur'an - A Journey and The Messenger - A Tale Retold.

Stephen Batchelor is the author of Buddhism - rethinking the dharma for a secular age.

Religion Without Belief: Stephen Batchelor, Kader Abdolah, Linda Woodhead20160223

Rana Mitter discusses religion and modernity, including a conversation with Buddhist thinker Stephen Batchelor on how ancient traditions can adapt to meet modern needs.

They are joined by Kader Abdolah, who's recently produced a new translation of The Qur'an, classicist Tim Whitmarsh, who has written on atheism in the Ancient Greek World, and the sociologist of religion Linda Woodhead who has investigated what people really mean when they tick the 'No Religion' box on surveys.

Tim Whitmarsh is the author of Battling The Gods Atheism In The Ancient World

Linda Woodhead is the author of That Was The Church That Was

Kader Abdolah is the author of The Qur'an - A Journey and The Messenger - A Tale Retold.

Stephen Batchelor is the author of Buddhism - rethinking the dharma for a secular age.

Representing Cities - In Politics And Plays20140508

Anne McElvoy discusses the benefits and challenges of neighbouring cities pooling resources in the global phenomenon of city-regions. She discusses the cities forming partnerships in the UK and asks whether it helps balance a London-centric economic recovery, or if historical rivalry and local pride could prove too big a hurdle for effective co-operation.

As two plays with strong regional overtones open tomorrow, Anne talks to the playwrights Michael Wynne and Rachel Delahay about how their city roots have shaped their writing.

Michael Wynne's Hope Place runs at the Liverpool Everyman until May 31st

Rachel Delahay's Circles runs at the Birmingham Rep until May 24th

And we continue our series in which previous New Generation Thinkers who've worked with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and BBC Radio 3 talk about their latest research and projects. Matthew Smith, from the University of Strathclyde, and Charlotte Blease, from University College Dublin, have been working on philosophy and psychiatric diagnosis, depression and ADHD.

Presenter: Anne McElvoy

Producer: Georgia Catt.

Revolutionary Thinking: Paul Mason, Bryan And Mary Talbot, Dacher Keltner20160510

Journalist Paul Mason and graphic novelists Mary and Bryan Talbot discuss Louise Michel, the revolutionary feminist anarchist dubbed 'The Red Virgin of Montmartre', who fought on the barricades defending the Paris Commune in 1871. UC Berkeley psychologist Dr Dacher Keltner explores what he calls the power paradox.

The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia by Bryan and Mary Talbot is out now.

The Power Paradox by Dacher Keltner is out now.

Riba: The Brits Who Built the Modern World20140312

Riba: The Brits Who Built the Modern World2014031220150112 (R3)

Philip Dodd chairs a discussion between Terry Farrell, Norman Foster, Nicholas Grimshaw, Michael and Patty Hopkins and Richard Rogers recorded at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Producer: Laura Thomas

Recorded in association with the Open University.

First broadcast 12/03/2014.

Riba: The Brits Who Built the Modern World2014031220150112 (R3)

Philip Dodd chairs a discussion between Terry Farrell, Norman Foster, Nicholas Grimshaw, Michael and Patty Hopkins and Richard Rogers recorded at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Producer: Laura Thomas

Recorded in association with the Open University.

First broadcast 12/03/2014.

Riba: The Brits Who Built The Modern World20140312

Philip Dodd chairs a discussion between Terry Farrell, Norman Foster, Nicholas Grimshaw, Michael and Patty Hopkins and Richard Rogers recorded last night at RIBA. These architects have come together to share a public platform as part of the Brits Who Built The Modern World Season of events which has included the opening of a new gallery at RIBA, an exhibition at the V and A and a BBC Four TV series.

Producer: Laura Thomas

Recorded in association with the Open University.

Russia And The Arts20160317

Anne McElvoy and Julian Barnes discuss images of Russian cultural figures on display at the National Portrait Gallery. Director Roxana Silbert and playwright Suhayla El-Bushra discuss putting Russian satirical dramas on stage in Britain.

Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky runs at the National Portrait Gallery from 21 April - 24 July

Meanwhile Moscow's State Tretyakov Gallery hosts Elizabeth to Victoria: British Portraits from the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

Julian Barnes' most recent novel The Noise of Time is inspired by the life of Dmitri Shostakovich.

Roxana Silbert is directing a version of Gogol's The Government Inspector written by David Harrower which is on stage at Birmingham Rep in association with Ramps on the Moon. It runs from March 19th to 26th. It then tours to

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich 6-16 April

West Yorkshire Playhouse 20-30 April

Nottingham Playhouse 4-14 May

Theatre Royal Stratford East 18-28 May

The Everyman, Liverpool 1-11 June

Crucible Theatre, Sheffield 17-25 June

Suhayla El-Bushra has written an adaptation of Nikolai Erdman's The Suicide which is being directed by Nadia Fall at the National Theatre in London. It runs in rep from April 6th.

Russian Culture Inwards And Outwards20160225

Anne McElvoy investigates the role of culture within historic Soviet expansionism and current Russian geopolitics.

She talks to Charles Clover, author of Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia's New Nationalism about Eurasianism, an old idea with considerable traction in Putin's Russia and why bad ideas tend to win out over good ones.

Historian Polly Jones, author of Myth Memory Trauma: Rethinking the Soviet past, 1953-70 and Clem Cecil, in-coming Director of Pushkin House, are in the studio to discuss the extent of Soviet interest in soft power along side Mark Nash, curator of Red Africa and Ian Christie, co-curator of Unexpected Eisenstein, two new exhibitions in London.

The continuing cultural legacy of Cold War relations between the Soviet Union and Africa is the subject of Red Africa, a season of film, art exhibition, talks and events, runs at Calvert 22 in London while at the same time Unexpected Eisenstein, a new exhibition at GRAD gallery in London, tells the story of the anglophile tendencies of a the great Soviet film-maker, Sergei Eisenstein. Eisenstein, whose epic and patriotic films Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible, together constitute a visual retrospective of Russian power, was himself hugely influenced by British writers from Shakespeare to Dickens. But as Anne McElvoy hears, the director went on to influence generations of British artists and film-makers, one legacy of his six-week sojourn in London in 1929. It was, as Christie explains, a trip ordered but not precisely sponsored, by Stalin.

Anne McElvoy investigates the very different ideas which motivated historic Soviet expansion and current Russian geopolitics.

She'll also be hearing about the continuing cultural legacy of Cold War relations between the Soviet Union and Africa as Red Africa, a season of film, art exhibition, talks and events, runs at Calvert 22 in London.

Also, Ian Christie, co-curator of Unexpected Eisenstein, a new exhibition at GRAD gallery in London, tells the story of the anglophile tendencies of a the great Soviet film-maker, Sergei Eisenstein. Eisenstein, whose epic and patriotic films Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible, together constitute a visual retrospective of Russian power, was himself hugely influenced by British writers from Shakespeare to Dickens. But as Anne McElvoy hears, the director went on to influence generations of British artists and film-makers, one legacy of his six-week sojourn in London in 1929. It was, as Christie explains, a trip ordered but not precisely sponsored, by Stalin.

Safety, Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent20151216

Philip Dodd rereads Conrad's The Secret Agent and considers what a safe society means now. Conrad's novel first published in 1907 depicts Mr Verloc and his work as a spy for a country which is unnamed and features a terrorist bomb plot. It's recently been adapted by the writer Tony Marchant as a BBC drama.

Salman Rushdie, Henry Kissinger20151014

Salman Rushdie, Henry Kissinger20151014

Salman Rushdie talks to Philip Dodd about a sense of belonging, why we are living in strange times and how his new novel mixes 1001 Nights with comic book heroes. Also historian Niall Ferguson on Henry Kissinger and cold war politics.

Salman Rushdie's novel is called Two Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights.

Niall Ferguson's biography of Henry Kissinger is called Kissinger: Volume I: The Idealist, 1923-1968

Producer: Robyn Read.

Salman Rushdie, Henry Kissinger20151014

Salman Rushdie talks to Philip Dodd about a sense of belonging, why we are living in strange times and how his new novel mixes 1001 Nights with comic book heroes. Also historian Niall Ferguson on Henry Kissinger and cold war politics.

Salman Rushdie's novel is called Two Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights.

Niall Ferguson's biography of Henry Kissinger is called Kissinger: Volume I: The Idealist, 1923-1968

Producer: Robyn Read.

Salman Rushdie, Henry Kissinger20151014

Salman Rushdie, Henry Kissinger20151014

Salman Rushdie talks to Philip Dodd about a sense of belonging, why we are living in strange times and how his new novel mixes 1001 Nights with comic book heroes. Also historian Niall Ferguson on Henry Kissinger and cold war politics.

Salman Rushdie's novel is called Two Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights.

Niall Ferguson's biography of Henry Kissinger is called Kissinger: Volume I: The Idealist, 1923-1968

Producer: Robyn Read.

Salman Rushdie, Henry Kissinger20151014

Salman Rushdie talks to Philip Dodd about a sense of belonging, why we are living in strange times and how his new novel mixes 1001 Nights with comic book heroes. Also historian Niall Ferguson on Henry Kissinger and cold war politics.

Salman Rushdie's novel is called Two Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights.

Niall Ferguson's biography of Henry Kissinger is called Kissinger: Volume I: The Idealist, 1923-1968

Producer: Robyn Read.

Salman Rushdie, Henry Kissinger20151014

Salman Rushdie, Henry Kissinger20151014

Salman Rushdie talks to Philip Dodd. Also historian Niall Ferguson on Henry Kissinger.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Salman Rushdie, Henry Kissinger20151014

Salman Rushdie talks to Philip Dodd. Also historian Niall Ferguson on Henry Kissinger.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

School Report - A Sense Of Home20150319

Anne McElvoy hears from young people involved in the BBC's School Report Day. School children who have come to north-east England from Iraq and Syria describe what home means. Writer Bidisha and sociologist David Ralph discuss how migrants and refugees construct a sense of home.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Screaming Lord Sutch On Stage, Margaret Macmillan20160211

Playwright James Graham talks to Anne McElvoy about his new comedy which puts Screaming Lord Sutch on stage. Graham's previous plays include The Vote, The Angry Brigade, This House.

Historian Margaret MacMillan explores the question 'what difference do individuals make to history?' in her book History's People: Personalities and the Past. Figures include Bismarck, Babur and Roosevelt.

Steve Furber, Professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Manchester, talks about his work on neural networks - constructing machines which work like parts of the human brain. He is joined by Tom Standage, digital editor at The Economist.

New Generation Thinker Sam Goodman previews the BBC spy drama series The Night Manager, adapted from John Le Carre's 1993 novel.

Monster Raving Loony is on at the Drum, Plymouth, from February 10th to 27th.

Scroll down the page to the right for related links (from the Free Thinking archives: Anne McElvoy talks to John le Carré on 50th anniversary of his novel, The Spy who Came in from the Cold.)

Producer: Torquil Macleod.

Main Image: Screaming Lord Sutch in 1995.

Secularism And Religion20150324

In the first of three programmes exploring fractures and faultlines in contemporary society, Philip Dodd and guests discuss the tension between secularism and religion.

With philosopher and atheist Daniel Dennett, sociologist of religion Linda Woodhead, and the writer and 'futurist' thinker Ziauddin Sardar.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Sex And Numbers, Nick Broomfield, The History Of The Audiobook20150407

With the publication of the widest survey of sexual behaviour since the Kinsey Report, Matthew Sweet looks at changing statistics and attitudes to our sex lives with its author, David Spiegelhalter, and New Generation Thinker, Fern Riddell, author of The Victorian Guide to Sex.

Nick Broomfield discusses his latest documentary, Tales of the Grim Sleeper, about a serial killer in LA which exposes the deep divide still evident in America today.

Plus, Queen Mary's Matt Rubery on the fascinating history of the audio book.

Sex by Numbers by David Spiegelhalter is published now.

Fern Riddell's The Victorian Guide to Sex is published now

Nick Broomfield's Tales of the Grim Sleeper is available on demand at Sky TV.

Producer: Craig Templeton Smith

Image: Tales of the Grim Sleeper: Gary, one of Lonnie's best friends (L), Nick Broomfield (R)

Photo Credit: Barney Broomfield.

Shelagh Delaney's A Taste Of Honey, Class In Britain, An Eton Education20140218

Shelagh Delaney wrote A Taste of Honey when she was 18. First performed in 1958, a new National Theatre production stars Lesley Sharp and Kate O'Flynn. Oxford historian Selina Todd has a first night review.

Anthony Little, headmaster of Eton College discusses class, tradition and Britishness.

And Philip Dodd discusses the class divide with Douglas Murray, journalist and commentator who is a former director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, and Selina Todd, whose new book is called The People, The Rise and Fall of the Working Class 1910-2010

Presented by Philip Dodd.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Sicily, The London Library, John Hardyng's Chronicle20160421

As Sicily Culture and Conquest opens at The British Museum, Anne McElvoy gathers three experts round the Free Thinking table - the historian of Sicily, John Julius Norwich, Helena Attlee who approaches the island from the point of view of its legendary citrus fruit and Anna Sergi, a criminologist at the University of Essex who explains how Cosa Nostra reflects much of the closed culture of the modern island.

Tom Stoppard drops by to celebrate The London Library at 175 and as the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death gathers pace, New Generation Thinker Sarah Peverley reveals her latest research on John Hardyng, the English soldier who lived through the Wars of the Roses and wrote a chronicle that may be an important source for the Bard's History plays.

Presenter: Anne McElvoy

Sicily: culture and conquest runs at the British Museum from 21 April - 14 August 2016

Guests: Helena Attlee: The Land Where Lemons Grow

John Julius Norwich: Sicily A Short History from the Greeks to Cosa Nostra

Sarah Peverley: John Hardyng, Chronicle: Edited from British Library MS Lansdowne 204. Edited by James Simpson and Sarah Peverley

Anna Sergi

Tom Stoppard.

Sicily, The London Library, John Hardyng's Chronicle20160421

Simon Russell Beale; Derek Jarman20140123

The actor Simon Russell Beale discusses his approach to playing King Lear, which opens at the National Theatre tonight.

Derek Jarman is the subject of an exhibition at Somerset House in London and a season at the BFI. Composer Simon Fisher Turner worked with him on Blue, a collaboration between BBC Radio 3 and Channel 4. He's one of the guests joining Samira Ahmed in an appraisal of Jarman's work.

Producer: Laura Thomas.

Sir Terry Farrell On London's Skyline, And Joshua Ferris20140603

Matthew Sweet discusses online identity theft and religious belief with novellist Joshua Ferris, as he publishes his new novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour.

As the London Festival of Architecture opens, Matthew talks to Sir Terry Farrell about the future of London's skyline, and journalist Owen Hatherley and Nicholas Boys Smith, director of Create Streets discuss whether the city needs more tall towers.

Producer: Georgia Catt.

Sir Thomas Browne And Adventures In Human Beings20150505

Matthew Sweet talks to Hugh Aldersey-Williams, Claire Preston and Gavin Francis about the mind-adventures of doctors in time and space. Aldersey-Williams has written The Adventures of Thomas Browne in the 21st Century, while Claire Preston is editing Browne's complete works.

Browne was a man fascinated by everything from nature to religion, to the shock of the new. How does his story resonate now? Gavin Francis, 21st-century GP, has written Adventures in Human Being which records his own experiences mapping the human body via extensive travel, wide reading and varied medical experiences.

Slavoj Zizek20160420

The philosopher Slavoj Zizek is in extended conversation with Philip Dodd, discussing his new book Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbours, in which he argues that Europeans are caught between (on the one hand) guilt at the suffering of migrants or (on the other) a determination to defend their way of life against a perceived threat. He suggests that alternatives are available - but that they require Europeans to make fundamental changes to their world view.

Slavoj Zizek20160420

Sleep, Sleeplessness And Creativity20150107

We spend nearly a third of our life doing it and we still don't really know why so Rana Mitter explores why we sleep with pioneering researcher into the body clock, Russell Foster; Matt Berry, actor, comedian and writer who wrestles with insomnia; Brigitte Steger who has explored Japanese and other global sleeping cultures and Katharine Craik, a renaissance scholar whose new opera project for children is called Watching...back in the 16th century the watching hours were part of a segmented sleep pattern which only disappeared with the industrial revolution.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Slung Low's Camelot. Penny Woolcock. Bryan Stevenson20150715

The myth of King Arthur is given a contemporary reworking by Sheffield People's Theatre and the company Slung Low in Camelot: The Shining City. Philip Dodd discusses the production, which is being staged at three different locations and features over 150 local people, with writer James Phillips and Slung Low artistic director Alan Lane. He'll also be joined by the author, Meg Rosoff to review Go Set A Watchman, the new novel from Harper Lee who made her name in 1960 with To Kill a Mockingbird.

Camelot: The Shining City runs in Sheffield from July 9th - 18th.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee is out now.

Sounds of Shakespeare: Landmark - The Winter's Tale20160427

Sounds of Shakespeare: Landmark - The Winter's Tale20160427

"To unpathed waters, undreamed shores"

Matthew Sweet discusses The Winter's Tale, written just 6 years before Shakespeare died and still regarded as one of his most intriguing works. With actor Samuel West, and scholars Michael Dobson and Carol Rutter joining Matthew in Stratford-upon-Avon in the Radio 3 prop up studio at the Royal Shakespeare Company's The Other Place theatre as part of Radio 3's Sounds of Shakespeare season.

The Winter's Tale is being broadcast as the Drama on 3 this Sunday April 30th.

BBC Radio 3 is marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare with a season celebrating the four centuries of music and performance that his plays and sonnets have inspired. Over the anniversary weekend, from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th April, Radio 3 will broadcast live from a pop-up studio at the RSC's The Other Place Theatre and other historic venues across Stratford-upon-Avon.

Sounds of Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Bookshelf20160426

Rana Mitter is joined by Edith Hall, Nandini Das and Beatrice Groves to explore the books which inspired Shakespeare from the Bible and classical stories to the writing of some of Shakespeare's contemporaries.

Edith Hall is Professor in the Classics Department and Centre for Hellenic Studies at King's College London. Her most recent book is Introducing The Ancient Greeks.

Nandini Das is Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool. She is also a New Generation Thinker on the scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Beatrice Groves is Research Lecturer in Renaissance Literature at the University of Oxford and her books include Texts and Traditions: Religion in Shakespeare 1592-1604

The programme was recorded in front of an audience in BBC Radio 3's pop-up studio as part of Radio 3's Stratford residency at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Sounds of Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Bookshelf20160426

Spike Jonze's Her; Big Data20140211

Spike Jonze's new film Her depicts a writer developing a relationship with his computer operating system. Matthew Sweet and Aleks Krotoski look at what it says about the changing relationship between man and machine as the internet of things develops.

Is Big Data the future ? Ian Angell Professor Emeritus at the London School of Economics, historian Tom Holland and Tom Smith discuss our attitude to data past and present.

Producer: Neil Trevithick.

Spy Fiction, Worrying, What Is 'northern Culture'?20150630

Worrying in life and literature. Matthew Sweet is joined by AL Kennedy and Francis O'Gorman. Spy fiction is discussed by New Generation Thinker Sam Goodman. And with the idea of Northern Powerhouse being floated as a way of redressing the political and economic imbalance between northern cities and the south east - what does it mean to think of the North if England in this way? Is there a "Northern Culture" as distinct from "Southern Culture" ?

Francis O'Gorman is the author of Worrying: A Literary and Cultural History.

Sam Goodman's book published by Routledge is called British Spy Fiction and the End of Empire.

Stefan Zweig, Howard Jacobson, Michael Sandle20160127

Philip Dodd presents a programme for Holocaust Memorial Day. Howard Jacobson discusses reinventing Shylock and exploring anti-semitism as he publishes his new novel. Historian Karen Leeder has been reading about Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth in Ostend 1936 - and a collection of Zweig's writings Messages From a Lost World: Europe on the Brink. Sculptor Michael Sandle is known for creating memorials. He shows Philip Dodd round his new exhibition which marks his 80th year. Key works of his include St George and the Dragon at Blackfriars, the International Maritime Organization Seafarer's Memorial on the Albert Embankment in London, and the Malta Seige Memorial, in the Grand Harbour of Valletta, Malta which includes one of the largest bells ever forged which rings at Noon each day.

Howard Jacobson's new novel is called Shylock is My Name

Michael Sandle's sculptures are on show at Flowers Gallery in Kingsland Road London from January 22 - February 20, 2016

Messages from a Lost World: Europe On The Brink by Stefan Zweig is published with a new foreword by John Gray

Volker Weiderman's book Summer Before The Dark - Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth Ostend 1936 translated by Carole Brown Janeway is out now and being read this week on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week at 9.45 am.

Producer: Craig Smith.

Main Image: Howard Jacobson, 2014. Copyright: Keke Keukelaar.

Stuart Hall20140217

To mark the death of cultural historian Stuart Hall, BBC Radio 3 is broadcasting his extended conversation with Philip Dodd which was first broadcast in December 2004.

Obituaries for Stuart Hall last week called him the "god-father of multi-culturalism" and some credited him with coining the term "Thatcherism" in the critiques he wrote.

In the interview he discusses the influence of his upbringing in Jamaica, his view of progress and capitalism and the relationship between past and present. We also hear from literary theorist Professor Terry Eagleton, Barbadian novelist George Lamming, Professor Michael Rustin - who edited Soundings Magazine with Stuart Hall.

Stuart Maconie, Garry Kasparov, Julie Bindel20151103

Chess Grandmaster Gacry Kasparov talks to Matthew Sweet about the power of Putin; Stuart Maconie - journalist and author of The Pie at Night - a book which explores northern leisure pursuits - reviews an exhibition about Salford Lads Club.

The Nippers of Salford Lads Club is on at the People's History Museum from Wed 28 Oct 2015 - Sun 17 Jan.

Stuart Maconie's book is called The Pie at Night.

Garry Kasparov's book is called Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must be Stopped.

Suicide; Black British Actors; Roma; Audio Games20140121

Coronation Street is running a storyline about assisted suicide. Is there a growing suicidal nihilism that leads certain sections of society to see suicide as a valid response to life? Jennifer Michael Hecht, author of 'Stay - A history of suicide and the philosophies against it,' is in discussion with Matthew Sweet.

Audio only video games are on the increase. Sound designer Nick Ryan explains his approach to creating them and gamer and novelist Naomi Alderman reflects on the sound world they create.

Writers Adam Gopnik and Louise Doughty discuss attitudes to Romani people in France and the UK.

As Culture Minister Ed Vaizey prepares to meet some of Britain's leading black actors to discuss what is preventing them being given more tv and stage roles we hear the views of actress Adjoa Andoh.

Producer: Natalie Steed.

Is there a growing suicidal nihilism that leads certain sections of society to see suicide as a valid response to life? Jennifer Michael Hecht, author of 'Stay - A history of suicide and the philosophies against it,' is in discussion with Matthew Sweet.

Producer: Fiona McLean.

Suits; Neil Labute20160324

Anne McElvoy is joined by New Generation Thinker Shahidha Bari to explore the history of the suit as the Jewish Museum in London opens an exhibition on men's fashion. American playwright Neil LaBute is the author of plays including The Shape of Things, Bash, The Mercy Seat and Fat Pig. He discusses happiness as he follows up Reasons to be Pretty with a new drama called Reasons to be Happy.

Moses, Mods and Mr Fish: The Menswear Revolution runs at the Jewish Museum in London from March 31st - June 19th 2016.

Reasons To Be Happy runs at the Hampstead Theatre from March 17th to April 16th.

Syrian buildings, Judging Book Prizes20160414

Anne McElvoy talks to Syrian architect Marwa Al-Sabouni about the her country's built environment its impact on the behaviour of the people who live there. Also the politics of judging book prizes is debated by Professor Geoffrey Hosking, emeritus professor of Russian history, School of Slavonic & East European Studies, University College London.

The Battle for Home: The Memoir of a Syrian Architect by Marwa Al-Sabouni is out now.

The winner of the 2016 Russian Book prize is announced on April 25th. These are the shortlisted books

Maisky Diaries: Red Ambassador to the Court of St James's 1932-43. Gabriel Gorodetsky, editor (Yale University Press)

Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator. Oleg Khlevniuk, translated by Nora Seligman Favorov (Yale University Press)

Towards the Flame: Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia. Dominic Lieven (Penguin)

Russia and the New World Disorder. Bobo Lo (Brookings Institution)

Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia. Alfred Rieber (Cambridge University Press)

The End of the Cold War: 1985-1991. Robert Service (Pan Macmillan)

The winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2016 will be announced at an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday 26 April, the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. These are the shortlisted books

Mercury by Mohamed Rabie

A Sky Close to our House by Shahla Ujayli

Numedia by Tareq Bakari

Praise for the Women of the Family by Mahmoud Shukair

Guard of the Dead by George Yaraq

Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba by Rabai al-Madhoun

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Syrian buildings, Judging Book Prizes20160414

Tales Of Scotland: A Nation And Its Literature20150625

Anne McElvoy is joined by Janice Galloway to talk about using minute observations to tell the stories in her new collection, Jelly Fish; hears from one of the 2015 New Generation Thinkers, poet and writer Peter Mackay about the special opportunities Gaelic offers the imagination and discusses Scottish transformation and identity filtered through a complex DNA of peoples, languages, land, highlands and islands with Scottish Cultural Historian,Murray Pittock and the writer and poet, Kathleen Jamie.

Tate Britain Debate: Kenneth Clark's Civilisation And The Future Of Arts Broadcasting20140605

What is the future of arts broadcasting? What does it mean to explore art through the prism of a landmark series? In an increasingly diverse broadcasting landscape what could a new version of a programme such as Civilization say about the role of the Arts now?

Philip Dodd chairs a debate about arts broadcasting, past and present. His panel is Dr Janina Ramirez and Gus Casely-Hayford, both of whom combine art history with broadcasting careers, the artist Susan Hiller and Kim Evans, award winning film maker and former head of Music and Arts at the BBC.

The programme will be recorded in front of an audience at Tate Britain on Wednesday 4 June and broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking on Thursday 5 June at 10pm.

Kenneth Clark: Looking for Civilization runs at Tate Britain May 20th - August 10th

Producer: Zahid Warley.

TE Lawrence on Stage20160428

Philip Dodd presents Radio 3's arts and ideas programme.

TE Lawrence on Stage20160428

Teenage Life: David And Ben Aaronovitch, Viv Albertine, Simon Stephens20160105

Storm up the stairs and slam your bedroom doors, because Matthew Sweet and guests are considering The Teenager on Free Thinking tonight.

David Aaronovitch remembers the trials of growing up in a Stalinist household as his new book Party Animals is published. He's joined in the studio by his brother Ben - who is also an author. Plus, Matthew Sweet considers the social history of those difficult years talking to the neuroscientist Iroise Dumontheil of UCL and musician Viv Albertine and comparing different decades of teenage life. And Simon Stephens talks about the revival of his play Herons which explores the impact of gang bullying on a 14 year old boy.

Party Animals by David Aaronovitch is out now.

Ben Aaronovitch is the author of Rivers of London.

Herons by Simon Stephens is at the Lyric Hammersmith from January 21st to February 13th.

Producer: Laura Thomas

(Main Image: David Aaronovitch. copyright: Nigel Barklie).

The Age Of Earthquakes, Maths In Films20150310

The Age Of Earthquakes, Maths In Films20150310
The Age Of Earthquakes, Maths In Films20150310

Matthew Sweet presents the arts and ideas programme.

The Body In Sculpture20140611

As the Hayward Gallery in London opens an exhibition depicting the human body in sculpture over the past twenty five years, Philip Dodd explores different representations and research. He's joined in the studio by the director of the Hayward Ralph Rugoff, former principal Royal Ballet dancer Deborah Bull and neuroscientist Professor Patrick Haggard.

And Preti Taneja, one of the 2014 Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers, presents a column on the female casting of King Lear.

The Cultural Revolution20160511

Rana Mitter is joined by the historians Frank Dikötter, Patricia Thornton and Kerry Brown, and by the writers Xinran and Xiaolu Guo, to revisit the Cultural Revolution 50 years on.

On 16th May 1966, Mao Zedong initiated a mass movement aimed at purging all "capitalist" and "traditional elements" from the Chinese Communist Party, and from Chinese society as a whole. This initiated the 10 years of social and political turmoil known as the Cultural Revolution.

There are no plans to publicly mark the anniversary of these events in China, but elsewhere this troubled period of Chinese history is being re-examined.

Frank Dikötter is the author of The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962-1976, the final instalment in the People's Trilogy.

The Cultural Revolution20160511

The Cultural Revolution20160511

Rana Mitter is joined by the historians Frank Dikötter, Patricia Thornton and Kerry Brown, and by the writers Xinran and Xiaolu Guo, to revisit the Cultural Revolution 50 years on.

On 16th May 1966, Mao Zedong initiated a mass movement aimed at purging all "capitalist" and "traditional elements" from the Chinese Communist Party, and from Chinese society as a whole. This initiated the 10 years of social and political turmoil known as the Cultural Revolution.

There are no plans to publicly mark the anniversary of these events in China, but elsewhere this troubled period of Chinese history is being re-examined.

Frank Dikötter is the author of The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962-1976, the final instalment in the People's Trilogy.

The Cultural Revolution20160511

The Green Man, George Monbiot20160323

Rana Mitter considers the myth of the Green Man and our relationship to Nature, talking to George Monbiot, writing at the interface of politics, equality and nature, Nina Lyon whose exploration of Green Man rising takes her from Wales to London and american novelist Charlie Jane Anders whose sci-fi story takes in wicca magic and technological uber-geekiness. Joining them in the studio, Kate Maltby, expert in renaissance literature and political commentator.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders is out now.

Uprooted: On The Trail of the Green Man by Nina Lyon is out now.

How Did We Get Into This Mess? by George Monbiot is out April 22nd.

The History Of Pain, Martin Freeman As Richard Iii, Animal Rights20140709

Historian Joanna Bourke considers changing medical attitudes to pain. She's joined by Marion Coutts, who has written about her husband's death in The Iceberg and by the comedian Arthur Smith.

Should we equate animals with humans when talking about rights? New Generation Thinker Alasdair Cochrane argues for a shift in our thinking

Philip Dodd also discusses a new production of Richard III starring Martin Freeman which is set in the 1970s. Political commentator Steve Richards reviews.

Richard III runs until September 27th at the Trafalgar Studios in London as part of Jamie LLoyd's Trafalgar Transformed Season.

The Holy Roman Empire, Christianity Today, Iranian Art20160310

Rana Mitter reads a new history of the Holy Roman Empire written by Chichele Professor of History Peter H Wilson and discusses Christianity today with the religion editor of the TLS Rupert Shortt and Professor Janet Soskice.

Iranian artist Reza Derakshani is presenting new work including paintings from his ongoing Hunting series, which draws on traditions of Persian miniature painting and upon the American Abstract Expressionist movement which he encountered while living in exile in New York. The exhibition is the first to be staged at a new gallery in London specialising in contemporary art from the Middle East founded by Vassili Tsarenkov, Lali Marganiya and Lili Jassemi.

The Holy Roman Empire: A Thousand Years of Europe's History by Peter H. Wilson is out now.

Rupert Shortt's book is called God is No Thing: Coherent Christianity

Reza Derakshani: The Breeze at Dawn runs from 9 Mar - 23 Apr 2016 at Sophia Contemporary, 11 Grosvenor Street, Mayfair.

Producer: Eliane Glaser.

The Monocled Mutineer20140205

As a production of Oh What a Lovely War opens at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Matthew Sweet discusses the way World War I is being taught and commemorated.

He also revisits Alan Bleasdale's 1986 TV series The Monocled Mutineer starring Paul McGann. The subject of heated debates at the time of its broadcast, McGann has continued to study what is known about the soldier Percy Toplis, who inspired the series.

Producer: Neil Trevithick.

The Oscars20160114

Matthew Sweet is joined by Professor Christopher Frayling to look at the revival of Westerns and consider the 2016 Oscar contenders.

Quentin Tarrantino's The Hateful Eight is out in cinemas now certificate 18.

Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant opens in cinemas in the UK on Friday January 15th Certificate 15.

Producer Craig Smith.

The Scoundrel, Housing Inequalities, 2014 Paul Food Award20140225

The film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is being turned into a musical which is getting its UK premiere this month. Samira Ahmed considers the scoundrel from Thomas Mann's The Adventures of Felix Krull to the David Niven film Bedtime Story.

Danny Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at Oxford. His new book called All That is Solid: The Great Housing Disaster looks at inequalities in the housing market.

We report on the winner of this year's Paul Foot Award for campaigning or investigative journalism.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

The Tale of Genji, Algorithms20160526

Rana Mitter rereads The Tale of Genji. Sometimes called the world's first novel it was written in the early years of the 11th century and has been credited to the noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu. This year's Bradford Literature Festival is focusing on the modern translation from Dennis Washburn, Professor at Dartmouth College (USA).

Dennis Washburn joins Rana along with Jennifer Guest and Christopher Harding.

Also in this programme, Brian Christian, co-author of new book 'Algorithms to Live By', and clinical psychologist Rasjid Skinner on Islamic approaches to psychology.

Richard Bowring, Dennis Washburn, Juliet Winters Carpenter discuss The Tale of Genji at the Bradford Literature Festival on Saturday, 28th May 2016

2:00 pm - 3:15 pm.

The Tale of Genji, Algorithms20160526

The Tale of Genji, Algorithms20160526

Rana Mitter rereads The Tale of Genji. Sometimes called the world's first novel it was written in the early years of the 11th century and has been credited to the noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu. This year's Bradford Literature Festival is focusing on the modern translation from Dennis Washburn, Professor at Dartmouth College (USA).

Dennis Washburn joins Rana along with Jennifer Guest and Christopher Harding.

Also in this programme, Brian Christian, co-author of new book 'Algorithms to Live By', and clinical psychologist Rasjid Skinner on Islamic approaches to psychology.

Richard Bowring, Dennis Washburn, Juliet Winters Carpenter discuss The Tale of Genji at the Bradford Literature Festival on Saturday, 28th May 2016

2:00 pm - 3:15 pm.

The Tale of Genji, Algorithms20160526

The Thirty-nine Steps And World War I20140624

The Thirty-Nine Steps first appeared in Blackwoods Magazine in August and September 1915 and depicts Europe on the edge of war in May and June 1914. It quickly became popular reading in the trenches and on the home front, and nearly a hundred years and three film adaptations later, its popularity is enduring.

In a special edition of Free Thinking, as part of Radio 3's focus on World War One, Matthew Sweet talks to Buchan's biographer Andrew Lownie and Buchan scholars Dr Michael Redley and Dr Kate Macdonald about the connections between Buchan's own war experience and The 39 Steps, and to Professors Elleke Boehmer and Terence Ranger about how ideas about empire and adventure play out in the novel.

Theatre In South Africa And The Czech Republic: Janet Suzman And Roger Scruton20141203

Philip Dodd looks at the role of theatre now in South Africa - a year since Mandela's death and in the Czech Republic 25 years on from the Velvet Revolution.

Roger Scruton travelled regularly to Prague and he reflects on the role played by playwright president Vaclav Havel.

The South African actress and director Dame Janet Suzman has just been performing in Lara Foot's play Solomon and Marion.

Philip also talks to Lara Foot, director of the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town and actor, writer, director Thami Mbongo and to Jiri Adamek director of a new play at the National Theatre in Prague called Post Velvet.

Director Howard Davies discusses 3 Winters - a new play by Tena Stivicic which depicts a family living through the remnants of monarchy to Communism, democracy, war and the EU: Croatia 1945-2011.

3 Winters is in rep at the National Theatre until February

Producer: Zahid Warley

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Theodore Zeldin, Mona Eltahawy20150526

Theodore Zeldin, Mona Eltahawy20150526
Theodore Zeldin, Mona Eltahawy20150526

Oxford scholar Theodore Zeldin has explored the art of conversation and the future of work. His new book explores The Hidden Pleasures of Life.

Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy's new book is called Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution. She reflects on the role of women in Saudi Arabia, where she grew up, and on her experiences of being assaulted in Tahrir Square while she was reporting on the Egyptian Revolution.

Preti Taneja is one of BBC Radio 3 and the AHRC's 2014 New Generation Thinkers. One of her research interests is Shakespearean productions around the world. She reports on Romeo and Juliet performed in Kosovo.

You can also hear her discussing Global Shakespeare on our programme which broadcast on April 22nd and is available as an Arts and Ideas download.

Thom Gunn's Poetry, Michael Cunningham20140501

Poets Paul Farley and Clive Wilmer discuss the poems of Thom Gunn with Samira Ahmed. Born in Gravesend, Gunn was associated with Ted Hughes, Donald Davie, Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Jennings and The Movement before he moved in 1954 to California. In the '60s and '70s he experimented with different poetic forms in writing which touched on his drug taking and gay lifestyle. In 1992 his collection "The Man with Night Sweats" was dominated by elegies for friends affected by AIDS. He died in April ten years ago.

American novelist Michael Cunningham discusses his new novel The Snow Queen.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Thomas Ostermeier, Joseph O'neill, Ali Smith20140925

As the Schaubühne Berlin's production of Henrik Ibsen's 'An Enemy of the People' opens at The Barbican, Anne McElvoy speaks to the play's director Thomas Ostermeier about shaking up classical adaptations and the status of whistle-blowers past and present.

American novelist Joseph O'Neill discusses his new book 'The Dog', which depicts life in Dubai and, continuing the series meeting this year's shortlisted authors for the Man Booker Prize, Ali Smith explains the connected stories which comprise her novel 'How to Be Both'. One section considers the viewpoint and paintings of the Italian renaissance artist Francesco Del Cossa - the other depicts a teenage girl coming to terms with her art-loving mother's death - and the book, published in two versions, is designed to be read in whichever order the reader chooses.

Image above: Christoph Gawenda in An Enemy of the People

Photo credit: Arno Declair.

Tiananmen Square And Modern China20140604

Rana Mitter remembers what happened in Tiananmen Square on June 4th 1989 with people who were there. But he also asks what the sociological background to events on that day was. And how has the memory or even the truth of that day and what lay behind it faired in the 25 years that have followed?

Professor Craig Calhoun Director of the London School of Economics joins the journalist Louisa Lim, Jonathan Mirsky and Professor Keyu Jin to discuss the life and afterlife of a day that changed China.

Tim Minchin, David Cronenberg20141008

Film director David Cronenberg has published his first novel Consumed. His film Maps to the Stars is also out in cinemas now.

Tim Minchin has turned a poem he performed in a live set into a graphic novel Storm. Matthew Sweet talks to them both about branching out.

Producer: Ella-Mai Robey.

Touch And Emotion, Siobhan Davies, Public Art20150701

Choreographer, Siobhan Davies, the artist, Jeremy Millar and the neurologist, Jonathan Cole join Philip Dodd to explore the links between art, dance and the brain. Danielle Thom, a 2015 New Generation Thinker who researches art at the V and A, explores the creation of an art public. What do we mean by "the public" now ?

Siobhan Davies is in residency between 12pm and 6pm July 4th - 10th at Station to Station - a 30 day happening curated by artist Doug Aitken at the Barbican in London.

Transformations: Becoming a Goat, Neil Bartlett20160517

Neil Bartlett discusses Victorian cross-dressing performer Ernest Boulton with Matthew Sweet. Thomas Thwaites explains why he decided to try to live as a goat to explore the difference between humans and animals. Colin Gale from the Bethlem Museum of the Mind and historian Sarah Wise talk about perceptions of mental illness in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Poet Fiona Sampson on the relationship between poetry and health.

The world premiere of Neil Bartlett's play Stella is at the Brighton Festival on May 27th and 28th.

Thomas Thwaites has written GoatMan: How I Took A Holiday From Being Human

Fiona Sampson's latest collection of poetry is The Catch

Sarah Wise is the author of Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Photo Credit: Camilla Broadbent

Transformations: Becoming a Goat, Neil Bartlett20160517

Transformations: Becoming a Goat, Neil Bartlett20160517

Neil Bartlett discusses Victorian cross-dressing performer Ernest Boulton with Matthew Sweet. Thomas Thwaites explains why he decided to try to live as a goat to explore the difference between humans and animals. Colin Gale from the Bethlem Museum of the Mind and historian Sarah Wise talk about perceptions of mental illness in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Poet Fiona Sampson on the relationship between poetry and health.

The world premiere of Neil Bartlett's play Stella is at the Brighton Festival on May 27th and 28th.

Thomas Thwaites has written GoatMan: How I Took A Holiday From Being Human

Fiona Sampson's latest collection of poetry is The Catch

Sarah Wise is the author of Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

Photo Credit: Camilla Broadbent

Transformations: Becoming a Goat, Neil Bartlett20160517

Ts Eliot Prize Winner David Harsent, Robert Crawford, Allan Ropper On Healing The Brain20150113

The Scottish poet Robert Crawford has written Young Eliot: A biography which explores T S Eliot's life from his childhood in St Louis to publication of 'The Wasteland. He and fellow-Eliot biographer, Lyndall Gordon join Anne McElvoy to work out Eliot's enduring power and appeal while the winner of this year's TS Eliot prize David Harsent reads from his collection Fire Songs.

Allan Ropper is a US neurologist who has written a book called Reaching Down The Rabbit Hole -- his description of what it's like to make a diagnosis where minds and lives hang in the balance. He talks to Anne McElvoy about the mixture of intuition and medical knowledge that every brain doctor needs. They are joined by Brian Hurwitz, Professor of Medicine and the Arts at King's College London to discuss the role of case histories over time and new importance being attached to narrative medicine.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Ts Eliot Prize, Lisa Randall20160112

Anne McElvoy looks at the winner of this year's TS Eliot poetry prize; talks to leading physicist Lisa Randall - author of Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs and explores new architecture with Douglas Murphy and Owen Hopkins.

Douglas Murphy is the author of Last Futures.

Owen Hopkins has written Mavericks: Breaking the Mould of British Architecture and curated an installation in the Architecture Space and Gallery Café at the Royal Academy of Arts from 26 January - 20 April 2016.

Lisa Randall's book is called Dark Matter and The Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe.

Ts Eliot Prize, Rebecca Lenkiewicz On The Oresteia20140114

Anne McElvoy presents a programme which reports on the winner of the TS Eliot poetry prize

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Umberto Eco20151201

Italian author Umberto Eco is in conversation with Matthew Sweet. Eco is the author of essays, novels, childrens' books and criticism including his best-selling story The Name of the Rose. His new novel Numero Zero explores the lure of conspiracy theories and the power of the media.

Numero Zero by Umberto Eco is out now.

(Main image: Umberto Eco, (c) Leonardo Cendamo).

Unrest In Ukraine And Protest In Russia20140130

Unrest In Ukraine, Protest In Russia20140130

As political deadlock in Ukraine erupts into violence on the streets of Kiev, Anne McElvoy investigates whether there are deep historical and cultural roots of the conflict, and considers possible consequences for the international community, with Ukrainian and novelist Anna Shevchenko and journalist Edward Lucas.

And as the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics approaches, Anne investigates the state of dissent in Russia today with novelist Boris Akunin, who's played a leading role in protests against Putin, Masha Gessen, author of 'The Passion of Pussy Riot' and Marc Bennetts, whose book 'Kicking The Kremlin' examines the political and social opposition to Putin.

Utopian Living: Dylan Evans, Fifty Shades Of Grey, Fanny Hill20150210

Dylan Evans tells Matthew Sweet about his experimental community in the Scottish Highlands and why the Utopia Experiment failed. Also eroticism on film in Fifty Shades of Grey and on stage in Bristol Old Vic's production of Fanny Hill.

Dylan Evans book is called The Utopia Experiment.

Fifty Shades of Grey is released in cinemas across the country Friday February 13th

The Life and Times of Fanny Hill starring Caroline Quentin is on stage at Bristol Old Vic in an adaptation written by April De Angelis - from February 5th to March 7th. The music is composed by Pete Flood from Bellowhead.

Utopianism In Politics20160218

Is politics about building a better world, or simply the art of the possible? In a special debate recorded at the London School of Economics to mark the anniversary of Thomas More's Utopia, politicians and historians debate the balance between idealism and realism in politics, international relations and political history. Chaired by Anne McElvoy. With

Justin Champion, Professor of the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway, University of London

Dr John Guy, Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge

Kwasi Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne

Gisela Stuart, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston

Utopia is a work of fiction and political philosophy by Thomas More published in 1516 in Latin. The LSE literature festival which runs from February 22nd - 27th is themed on the idea of Utopias.

Vikings, Seafaring And Navigation20140304

Matthew Sweet visits the British Museum's Vikings exhibition with the curator Gareth Williams and Radio 3 New Generation Thinker Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough from Durham University.

Vikings Life and Legend runs from March 6th - June 22nd

Lincoln Paine discusses his history of navigation and seafaring 'Sea and Civilization'.

Captain M.K.Barritt, author of An Artist in the Channel Fleet, looks at the Napoleonic War artist J.T. Serres

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

Violence In Culture20150415

With a raft of new books being published, Philip Dodd considers violence in culture.

Producer: Ella-mai Robey.

Virginia Woolf Portraits, Richard Flanagan, Stella Rimington, Alan Judd20140710

Curator Frances Spalding and Dr Alexandra Harris discuss what portaits of Virginia Woolf convey of her character as a new exhibition opens at the National Portrait Gallery.

Richard Flanagan's father was a Japanese POW on the "Death Railway". The Australian novelist's new book The Narrow Road to the Deep North was inspired by this.

New Generation Thinker Alun Withey looks back at medical history.

Stella Rimington, former director general of MI5 and diplomat Alan Judd discuss turning their experiences of the security services into fiction.

Stella Rimington's 8th novel is Close Call.

Alan Judd's latest novel is Inside Enemy.

What Does Global Shakespeare Mean?20150422

Philip Dodd explores what a world view of Shakespeare means. Guests include Globe Director Dominic Dromgoole, Preti Taneja, Global Shakespeare Research Fellow and a Radio 3 New Generation Thinker and Professor David Schalkwyk.

Global Shakespeare is a new catchword at UK institutions at home and abroad. But does it mean good cultural practice or new cultural imperialism? The Globe Theatre is currently touring Hamlet to every country in the world, and £1.5 million has been granted by the DCMS to the RSC to translate Shakespeare's complete works into Chinese. A further £300,000 of public money will be given to tour these translations. According to Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, the move is aimed at 'improving economic links with China and encouraging more tourists to visit the home of Shakespeare.' But at Queen Mary University of London and Warwick University, a new Global Shakespeare department is being launched. To them, Shakespeare belongs to no single language, culture or people; 'Shakespeare' is not the UK's to export: in every country his works are translated in, they take on a unique life that has nothing to do with 'Britishness'.

Philip Dodd hosts a Free Thinking debate which goes to the heart of what we understand 'Shakespeare' to mean worldwide.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

William Kentridge, William Boyd, Photography20150915

South African artist William Kentridge discusses making animated films, drawings and directing the opera Lulu. William Boyd's latest novel Sweet Caress traces the life and work of a photographer. Philip Dodd talks to him about viewing 20th century history and news events through the lens of a fictional photo journalist and New Generation Thinker Zoe Norridge and documentary photographer Anna Fox discuss heroism, women and photography.

Sweet Caress by William Boyd is out now.

William Kentridge has an exhibition at the Marian Goodman gallery in London, showing 3 new bodies of work (11th Sept - 24 Oct 2015)

His touring production of Alban Berg's Lulu launches at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in October 2015 and then comes to the ENO.

BBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting it live from the Met.

There are live cinema screenings of it on November 21st at cinemas in the UK.

Anna Fox organised the 2014 symposium Fast Forward: Women in Photography at Tate Modern and is involved in a two day conference this November 6th and 7th looking at the evolution of the history of women in photography, from early commercial practices, to the impact of World War II on women and their work. She is Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts at Farnham, Surrey.

Wim Wenders On Peace, Richard King On Taking Offence20140226

Film director Wim Wenders and Australian philosopher Mary Zournazi explain why they believe we need a new visual and moral language for peace. Their new book called Inventing Peace explore a series of literary and cinematic examples of artworks which address war and peace.

Richard King outlines why he believes taking offence has become a political tactic and is on the rise around the world. His new book is called On Offence: The Politics of Indignation.

Presenter: Philip Dodd

Producer: Laura Thomas.

Wim Wenders On Peace, Richard King On Taking Offence20141215

Film director Wim Wenders and Australian philosopher Mary Zournazi explain why they believe we need a new visual and moral language for peace. Their book Inventing Peace explores a series of literary and cinematic examples of artworks which address war and peace.

Richard King outlines why he believes taking offence has become a political tactic and is on the rise around the world. His book is called On Offence: The Politics of Indignation.

You can download this programme by searching in the Arts and Ideas podcasts for the broadcast date.

Presenter: Philip Dodd

Producer: Laura Thomas.

Winston Churchill And Englishness20150121

Historian David Reynolds, journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, political commentator Simon Heffer, and playwright David Edgar join Philip Dodd to discuss Churchill in the week of the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill's death. They'll be re-evaluating Churchill through the lens of Englishness, and re-considering his writing - specifically A History of the English-Speaking Peoples - and his rhetoric.

Producer: Ella-mai Robey

Exotic England - The Making of a Curious Nation by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is published in March.

Historian David Reynolds, journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, political commentator Simon Heffer, and playwright David Edgar join Philip Dodd to discuss Churchill in the week of the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill's death. They'll be re-evaluating Churchill through the lens of Englishness, and re-considering his writing - specifically A History of the English-Speaking Peoples - his rhetoric, and his water-colours.

Witch-Finding, Marina Warner20151027

Witch-Finding, Marina Warner20151027

As Halloween fast approaches, Matthew Sweet is joined round the Free Thinking cauldron by guests including Marina Warner and Suzannah Lipscomb to consider the season of the witch.

Film critic Larushka Ivan-zadeh and Claire Nally from Northumbria University review new blockbuster The Last Witch Hunter starring Vin Diesel, and consider the depictions of witches on film ahead of a screening of Vincent Price's 1968 horror classic Witchfinder General.

Catherine Spooner of Lancaster University and historian Suzzanah Lipscomb offer an historical guide to the famous witch trials from Pendle to Salem. And author Marina Warner discusses her father's relationship with the ghost writer M.R. James.

Marina Warner's collection of short stories is called Fly Away Home.

Suzzanah Lipscomb's 2-part TV series, Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder, is available to watch online at Channel5.com

Witchfinder General is screened at Tyneside Cinema on the 16th of November as part of the AHRC Being Humanities Festival.

The Last Witch hunter is released nationwide certificate 12A.

Producer: Craig Templeton Smith.

Witch-Finding, Marina Warner20151027

As Halloween fast approaches, Matthew Sweet is joined round the Free Thinking cauldron by guests including Marina Warner and Suzannah Lipscomb to consider the season of the witch.

Film critic Larushka Ivan-zadeh and Claire Nally from Northumbria University review new blockbuster The Last Witch Hunter starring Vin Diesel, and consider the depictions of witches on film ahead of a screening of Vincent Price's 1968 horror classic Witchfinder General.

Catherine Spooner of Lancaster University and historian Suzzanah Lipscomb offer an historical guide to the famous witch trials from Pendle to Salem. And author Marina Warner discusses her father's relationship with the ghost writer M.R. James.

Marina Warner's collection of short stories is called Fly Away Home.

Suzzanah Lipscomb's 2-part TV series, Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder, is available to watch online at Channel5.com

Witchfinder General is screened at Tyneside Cinema on the 16th of November as part of the AHRC Being Humanities Festival.

The Last Witch hunter is released nationwide certificate 12A.

Producer: Craig Templeton Smith.

Wood And Trees: War And Remembrance20140701

From Paul Nash paintings of blasted tree stumps in the first world war to today's commemorative planting: Paul Gough, Gabriel Hemery and Gail Ritchie join Samira Ahmed to explore woods in war and peacetime.

The 100th anniversary of World War I is being marked by the planting of woods across the UK under the banner 'We Will Stand For Those Who Fell'; the trees' annual cycles of regeneration and recovery a metaphor for mourning, memorial and moving on. But throughout history wood has been one of the central commodities required for the machinery of war and World War 1 was no different.

Historian James Taylor from the Imperial War Museum shows Samira some of the wooden artefacts which tell a story of wood's darker destructive side.

For many though, the paintings of Paul Nash, with their scenes of smashed solitary tree stumps standing in empty battlefields are a multi-layered evocation of that war's futility, horror and waste.

Samira takes a look at Paul Nash's 1918 painting 'We Are Making A New World' and talks to the artist, writer and Nash expert Paul Gough about this and other iconic Nash images and whether they have new messages for us today. They'll be joined by forest scientist Gabriel Hemery of the New Sylva Foundation to talk about the links between war and forest stock over time and Northern Irish artist Gail Ritchie whose current work explores some of Nash's themes in visual representations of present day conflicts and loss.

Writers And Their Notebooks20140521

As the British Library launches a website devoted to writers' notebooks and manuscripts, Discovering Literature, novelist Lawrence Norfolk takes a look at his own notebooks, and talks to AS Byatt and David Mitchell about theirs.

He's joined in the studio by Wendy Cope, Bidisha, and Rachel Foss of the British Library for a discussion - chaired by presenter Samira Ahmed - about notebooks, creativity, and how the digital age - which sees many novelists write straight onto a computer - might be changing literature.

The notebook can be the seed of a novel, or many novels, or it can be an act of prevarication and divertion. Thomas Hardy kept several different types of notebook, including one called 'Facts', in which he noted down local newspaper articles that caught his eye. One such story was 'Wife for Sale', which later became the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge.

Writers Writing About Love20160505

Anne McElvoy invites three novelists into the studio to discuss Love - the theme of each of their new novels. A L Kennedy's Serious Sweet examines love in later life, Tahmima Anam explores different aspects of young love in The Bones of Grace and Alain de Botton says no-one lives happy ever after, we should talk a lot more about what comes next - hence the title of his book The Course of Love.

Aside from whether Romanticism is plague or blessing, the writers also discuss whether writers themselves make good lovers and the challenge of making life choices in an increasingly mobile and crowded world.

Presenter: Anne McElvoy

Guests: A L Kennedy 'Serious Sweet' is out at end of May 2016

Tahmima Anam 'The Bones of Grace' is out at end of May 2016

Alain de Botton 'The Course of Love' is out now.

Yael Farber, Liberalism20140702

Yael Farber directs Richard Armitage in the Crucible at the Old Vic. She talks to Philip Dodd about fear, conspiracy and her South African roots.

Also Liberalism past and present. Edmund Fawcett author of Liberalism: The History of an Idea is in the studio alongside historian and Telegraph writer Tim Stanley and Alex Callinicos, Professor at King's College, London.

Another column from one of the 2014 Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers: Tiffany Watt-Smith explores war neuroses and shell shock after the first World War.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

20060120061103

A Festival of Ideas for the Future

Matthew Sweet presents highlights from Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival in Liverpool.Artist, musician and man of ideas Brian Eno opens a weekend dedicated to free thinking with a lecture at Liverpool Hope University.

20060220061105

8.10pm

Playwright Mark Ravenhill explores the public role for the artist in the future.

8.45pm

The vivid imaginations of playwright Jeff Young, singer Jennifer John and composer Skyray come together to create Complications - the strange tale of the ultimate advance in medical science, the transplantation of a human soul - recorded in front of a live audience at BBC Merseyside.

9.30pm

Roger Philips is joined by Frank Field MP, director of the Centre for Policy Studies Ruth Lea, multi-faith leader Zia Chaudhry and neuroscientist Dr Mark Lythgoe to debate the question: 'Who Will Decide What?s Right and Wrong in the Future?'

Plus a report on festival fringe events such as Speed Dating with a Thinker.

200603Will Our Grandchildren Be Robotic?20061106

The debate is Will Our Grandchildren be Robotic?, exploring the future for the human body and including a demonstration from the UK's first registered 'cyborg'.

Plus a report from the Liverpool Schools Parliament on their debate speculating on what Liverpool and other cities would look like if they were run by young people.

20060420061107

Tonight, pioneer of the pill Carl Djerassi asks if sex and reproduction are heading for divorce with his guide to Sex in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.

And Piers Gough and Jonathan Glancey speculate on the future of the city and ask whether they are part of the problem or the solution to the challenges facing the human race.

20060520061108

Novelist As Byatt, Professor of Citizenship Lord Alton, philosopher and computer games enthusiast Andy Martin and techno writer Tim Guest discuss whether the 21st century will be the lonely century.

Plus a chance to hear Esther Wilson's specially commissioned short drama The Writing of Harlots, which examines the isolating impact of internet pornography.

20060620061109

Professor Doreen Massey, winner of Geography's Nobel prize, presents the first Open University Radio Lecture as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival from Liverpool.

In 'Is the World Really Shrinking?', she challenges those globalisation gurus who tell us that local places are all becoming homogenous and lays out a manifesto for an alternative global vision.

200607 LAST20061110

Loyd Grossman chairs the debate It's Not Where You Come From, It's Where You're Going to That Matters.

Novelist Howard Jacobson, historian Joanna Bourke, writer Kenan Malik and Professor of Innovation James Woudhuysen hold a debate in front of an audience at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

They debate topics ranging from family trees to national grievances, asking whether we too obsessed with the past and if this to the detriment of our engagement with the future.

Plus a performance of Jim Morris' short drama Fused Rice Bowl, a meditation on science, ethics and the connections between Hiroshima and Liverpool.

200720071205

Matthew Sweet introduces a special edition of Night Waves' Landmarks monthly exploration of a classic work of culture, recorded in front of an audience as part of BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas in Liverpool.

Aldous Huxley's famous 1930s novel Brave New World foresaw a disturbing future society where unhappiness has been eliminated by technology.

Set in London in 2540, it anticipates developments in reproductive technology and biological engineering that change society.

Humanity is carefree, healthy and technologically advanced.

So now, 70 years later, have we finally surpassed Huxley's predictions? Matthew is joined in Liverpool by a roundtable of guests to argue over the book's continuing relevance.

200720071206

Tony Blair's former speech writer Philip Collins discusses the apparent decline in rhetoric in a speech given at Radio 3's Free Thinking festival earlier this year.

Isabel Hilton and guests respond to his remarks about Aristotle, Cicero, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Gordon Brown and the art of political oratory.

200720071213

Matthew Sweet introduces a debate recorded in front of an audience in Liverpool as part of BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking 07.

In an age when the political agenda is often pre-occupied with debates over civil liberties and the meaning of human rights, have we forgotten that the most powerful freedom we possess is in our heads? Why do so many people feel that the main obstacle to their personal freedom is, quite simply, their own outlook?

Psychoanalyst and writer Adam Philips and motivational speaker Jane Kenyon join the Rev Richard Coles, Chaplain to the Royal Academy of Music, to ask 'Are you a prisoner of yourself?'.

20070120071111

Matthew Sweet presents an evening of programmes from BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas in Liverpool.

Matthew and guests discuss some of the issues which have arisen during the weekend of debates, interviews, drama and lectures.

He introduces reaction and commentary from the audience at the festival, recordings from some of the main events and the response from his studio panel to the new ideas and intellectual exchanges that have been aired.

8.30pm Drama on 3

Yesterday an Incident Occurred

By Mark Ravenhill.

Specially commissioned for Free Thinking and recorded in front of a live audience in the atmospheric Victorian civil court of St Georges Hall.

The play looks at our relationship with the War on Terror and takes the moral temperature of a nation unsure of itself.

What do the mostly totally normal citizens have to do to protect themselves?

9.40pm Sunday Feature

Backwash

Writer Gavin Scott Whitfield returns to his native Liverpool to decode the city's cultural DNA and find the source of its vitality.

From once great second city of empire to post-industrial decline, Liverpool has always been famed for its creative energy.

But what exactly has gone into the make-up of this most un-English of English cities?

10.30pm Words and Music

A special event from St George's small concert room in Liverpool where Dickens gave his legendary Penny Readings.

Liverpudlian actor Cathy Tyson reads a selection of poetry and prose on the theme of freedom.

With music from Ensemble 10/10, the saxophonist Tim Whitehead, pianist Gwilym Simcock and singer Jennifer John.

Including new improvisations on the Beatles' Free as a Bird and the Declaration of Human Rights.

200702Are We Freer Than We Think?20071112

Philip Dodd chairs one of the keynote debates recorded at Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas, asking 'Are we freer than we think?'

On stage in Liverpool, Philip is joined by Tony Blair's former chief speechwriter Philip Collins, ANC activist and now South Africa's Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs, and Chief Constable of Merseyside Police Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Are our traditional freedoms in peril from smoking bans, CCTV and anti-terror laws? Or, in an individualistic and deference-free age, are we freer than we've ever been before?

20070320071113

More highlights from this year's Radio 3 Free Thinking festival of ideas in Liverpool.

Tim Smit, co-founder and Chief Executive of the multi-award winning Eden Project in Cornwall, outlines his bold vision for 'Inspiration in Education', tackling what he sees as Britain's education crisis.

There's a report from Free Thinking's student debate 'What's the point of university?' which pitches students, academics and businessmen against each other at Liverpool University.

Plus we hear one of the specially commissioned Free Thinking dramas.

200704Have We Destroyed The Dream Of Equality?'20071114

From Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas in Liverpool, Roger Philips of Radio Merseyside asks 'Have we destroyed the dream of equality?'.

The gap between the rich and poor gets wider, Nobel prize-winning scientists make claims about the inferiority of different races, and today's fragmented culture seems to value differences as much as shared experience.

In these circumstances, is there any hope left for the dream of equality? Bishop of Liverpool James Jones, bio-ethicist Tom Shakespeare, and writer Munira Mirza are on the platform to discuss.

Plus a report from Free Thinking's 'Freedom of the City' history walk around Liverpool.

200705Space - Why Are We There?20071115

A keynote lecture delivered before an audience at BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas.

Professor of Space Science John Zarnecki asks 'Space.

Why are we there?'.

The 21st century has brought renewed vigour to space exploration, there's even been serious talk of Britain sending an astronaut to the moon.

But have we yet answered the fundamental questions of why we want to be there in the first place? John Zarnecki draws on over 30 years of involvement in space missions to attempt an answer.

20070620071122

Isabel Hilton talks to Justice Albie Sachs in an interview recorded before an audience in Liverpool for BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking festival.

Albie Sachs came to prominence as one of the most influential members of the ANC in the days of apartheid.

After solitary confinement and exile, he was the victim of an assassination attempt by South African security agents which cost him an arm and an eye.

He now sits as Justice Sachs in South Africa's Constitutional Court.

He talks about his remarkable past and his hopes for the future, and discusses his understanding of freedom with the audience.

200707Is There Too Much Culture?20071129

As part of BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas, film director Mike Figgis delivers a lecture entitled 'Is There Too Much Culture?'.

Mike Figgis is the Academy Award-nominated director of films such as Leaving Las Vegas and Timecode, and one of the most innovative and successful British film-makers working today.

200820081102

Matthew Sweet presents an evening of programmes recorded for BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas in Liverpool.

Including:

8.00pm

Live from BBC Radio Merseyside, Matthew and a panel of guests discuss some of the issues which have arisen during the weekend of debates, interviews, dramas and lectures.

The 21st Century Brain, the Value of Experience, Privacy and Public Space are the main topics of the festival, in Liverpool for its third year.

Matthew also introduces reaction and commentary from the audience at the festival, highlights from some of the events and reflections from his studio panel to the new ideas which have been aired as well as the intellectual exchanges that have taken place over the weekend.

8.20pm

In front of an audience at Liverpool's FACT centre, brain scientist and bestselling author Susan Blackmore explores the notion of free will, asking whether the choices we make really are free.

Many scientists now believe that there can be no such thing and that our genes, biology and inheritance are in control.

9.15pm

24 Weeks

A new play about abortion by award-winning TV dramatist Tony Marchant, recorded yesterday in front of an audience in the Bluecoat arts centre.

10.30pm

Words and Music: The Seven Ages of Man

Liverpudlian actors Annabelle Dowler and Kevin Harvey read poetry, prose and drama on the theme of the Seven Ages of Man monologue from Shakespeare's As You Like It.

They are joined by pianist Ashley Wass, the Elias String Quartet, folk singer Belinda Sykes and cutting-edge rock and jazz percussionist Bill Bruford.

The music ranges from Merseybeat to Kipling, folk ballads to Bartok, Marlowe to Pinter and percussion improvisations to Bach.

Including a newly commissoned work by Liverpudlian writer Angela Clarke.

200820081106

Matthew Sweet presents highlights from the Free Thinking Festival of ideas that took place last weekend in Liverpool, including a debate on schools, entitled Do Computers Make You Stupid?

BBC Radio Merseyside's Roger Phillips is the moderator as two teams of young debaters from Liverpool schools discuss whether computers and calculators are making us lose ground to previous generations who could spell and do arithmetic themselves.

In collaboration with the English Speaking Union.

Plus highlights from the workshop Thought Into Action with Eugenie Harvey from the movement We Are What We Do, and psychologist and behavioural expert Prof Ben Fletcher.

Focusing on changing habits, they explore how to convert thoughts into action in an open session devoted to the ideas, problems, questions, frustrations and ambitions of the Free Thinking audience.

201320131114

Amit Chaudhuri, Gaiutra Bahadur and Aamer Ahmed Khan discuss depictions of the powerless in fiction and factual reporting with Rana Mitter. Chaudhuri has explored life in Calcutta in many of his novels and essays; Badhadur's book Coolie Woman: The Odyssesy of Indenture takes the history of her great grandmother and examines the status of women who worked as labourers on sugar plantations; Khan is an editor for the Urdu section of the BBC's World Service.

In a programme recorded at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead, the panel debate the idea of responsibility and whether stories about tragedy and poverty reinforce stereotypes or change attitudes and prompt action?

Producer: Natalie Steed.

2013Free Thinking20131025

Sir Michael Marmot delivers the opening lecture of the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival 2013, exploring the traits that determine a healthy life span and arguing that we need to rethink the relationship between health, wealth and self-control.

Professor Marmot is one of the global pioneers of research into health inequalities - how stress, status and diet can affect our wellbeing. His ground-breaking Whitehall Studies followed the health and stress levels of British civil servants over a decade and he coined the term "status syndrome" to describe his discovery that being lower down the pecking order leads to a shorter life span.

Sir Michael Marmot's talk about whether self-control is the key to a long life was recorded earlier tonight in front of an audience at Sage Gateshead and presented by Philip Dodd. It marks the start of three weeks of Free Thinking broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.

This year's festival theme is "Who's in Control". A weekend of provocative debate, new ideas, music and performance will hear from Lionel Shriver, Patrick Ness, Dame Sally Davies, Chris Mullin, Professor Barbara Sahakian, Professor Sugata Mitra, Kathryn Tickell, Penny Woolcock, Dame Fiona Reynolds, Kevin Whately.

Now in its eighth year, the Free Thinking Festival of ideas takes place at Sage Gateshead 25-27 October and is produced and broadcast by BBC Radio 3. It's a platform for today's innovative thinkers, who debate the ideas shaping our world.

2013Free Thinking20131111

Can a map reveal too much? How do they direct our thinking? From ancient atlases to satnav and Google, maps continue to be a key planning tool. Rana Mitter hosts a discussion between Ordnance Survey head Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB and Professor Jerry Brotton, author and presenter of the BBC Four TV series Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession. Recorded at BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead.

Producer: Neil Trevithick.

2013Free Thinking20131112

In a bid to reach new audiences, theatre is increasingly moving off the stage and the visual arts are coming out of the gallery, but is this a welcome trend? Matthew Sweet chairs the Free Thinking panel: BALTIC Curator Godfrey Worsdale, critic Sarah Kent and Helen Marriage, director of Artichoke, the arts company responsible for a puppet elephant parading through London and Durham's Lumiere street light festival.

Producer: Fiona McLean.

2013Free Thinking20131113

What is the place of food and body image in contemporary culture? Lionel Shriver is the author of novels including We Need To Talk About Kevin and Big Brother, which depicts the impact of food obsession on family relationships. Dr Val Curtis from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is the author of Don't Look, Don't Touch: The Science Behind Revulsion. Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival brought them together for a discussion chaired by Samira Ahmed.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

201301Free Thinking20131021

How Derry-Londonderry and its citizens have been shaped by political and religious history

201301Free Thinking20131028

When Lindisfarne monastery was attacked in 793AD the monk Alcuin described the church of St Cuthbert, "splattered with the blood of the priests." New Generation Thinker Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, from Durham University, takes this moment as the starting point for an exploration of the power battles between Vikings and Anglo Saxons which led to the symbolic battles of 1066.

New Generation Thinkers are the winners of a talent scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find the brightest academic minds with the potential to turn their ideas into radio broadcasts.

Producer: Philippa Ritchie

BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival takes place at Sage Gateshead 25-27 October and is broadcast for three weeks on Radio 3 from Friday 25 October.

Increasing resistance to antibiotics is a threat to Britain which could be as dangerous as terrorism. That's the argument put by Professor Dame Sally Davies in her Free Thinking lecture at Sage Gateshead. The first woman to hold the post of Chief Medical Officer for England, she also answers audience questions and talks about strategies for combatting infection and improving the nation's health. Joining her on stage for this discussion is Andrew Sails, Consultant Clinical Scientist and Head of Research and Development and Molecular Diagnostics at Newcastle's Public Health Laboratory.

The event is chaired by Night Waves presenter Anne McElvoy

BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival takes place at Sage Gateshead 25-27 October and is broadcast for three weeks on Radio 3 from Friday 25 October. The theme of this year's events is "Who's In Control?"

Producer: Neil Trevithick.

201302Free Thinking20131022

Matthew Sweet discusses the work of the late film director Michael Grigsby.

201302Free Thinking20131029

A 15th-century English monarch was appointed by God and had absolute supremacy but how was that belief shaken when medieval kings were unfit to rule or the throne was contested? New Generation Thinker Sarah Peverley, from Liverpool University, looks at the way the people viewed their rulers during the Wars of the Roses.

Producer: Fiona McLean

BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival takes place at Sage Gateshead 25-27 October and is broadcast for three weeks on Radio 3 from Friday 25 October.

Yevgeny Zamyatin's experiences in the Tyne shipyards fed into his dystopian fable "We", which was published in 1919. It depicts a city of glass where citizens are spied upon. Fans of the book have included George Orwell, Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Wolfe and it increasingly resonates with today's concerns about surveillance techniques. Matthew Sweet and an audience at The Free Thinking Festival from Sage Gateshead discuss the novel with poet Sean O'Brien, columnist David Aaronovitch and Radio 3 New Generation Thinker Sarah Dillon.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

201303Free Thinking20131030

Annie Besant promoted contraceptive advice to the Victorian working classes. In 1877 she was prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act. New Generation Thinker Fern Riddell, from King's Collge London, outlines Besant's arguments and explores the ensuing debates about respectability and sexual behaviour in 19th-century England.

Producer: Fiona McLean

BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival takes place at Sage Gateshead 25-27 October and is broadcast for three weeks on Radio 3 from Friday 25 October.

Social media allows us to make our views known quickly but where does this public pressure and the increasing emphasis on "choice" and "consultation" leave professional expertise and political instinct? Anne McElvoy chairs a panel at the Free Thinking Festival of Ideas, at Sage Gateshead, including the founder of the Renewal campaign David Skelton, the columnist David Aaronovitch and Dame Julie Moore, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Birmingham who sits on the governments NHS Future Forum.

BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival takes place at Sage Gateshead 25-27 October and is broadcast for three weeks on Radio 3 from Friday 25 October. The theme of this year's events is "Who's In Control?"

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

201304Free Thinking20131031

Defenders of traditional English language and grammar often present themselves as purists but New Generation Thinker John Gallagher, from Cambridge University, argues that we have always borrowed words and adapted phrases. His essay outlines the impact C16th and C17th global exploration and trade had on our native tongue.

Producer: Neil Trevithick

BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival takes place at Sage Gateshead 25-27 October and is broadcast for three weeks on Radio 3 from Friday 25 October.

In a world of diminishing natural resources, global economic crisis and constant pressure on time, how does not having enough shape the way we think and act? Professors Sendhil Mullainathan from Harvard, Simin Davoudi from Newcastle and Jeremy Till from Central St Martins discuss scarcity and sustainability with Philip Dodd and an audience at Sage Gateshead.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

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The audience at a rock concert adoring the star; a Pentecostalist congregation praising God; an athlete reaching the pitch of performance known as "the zone" - these can all be described as feelings of "ecstasy". Jules Evans, from Queen Mary, University of London, examines rationalist arguments about elation being a form of madness and asks whether it is beneficial or dangerous to feel ecstatic.

Producer: Zahid Warley

BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival takes place at Sage Gateshead 25-27 October and is broadcast for three weeks on Radio 3 from Friday 25 October.

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From HG Wells and Margaret Atwood to Battlestar Galactica, science fiction texts and tv series have long used birth control as a metaphor for the limits on individual freedom. Sarah Dillon, from the University of St Andrews, looks at the roles for women which science fiction has imagined and asks is sci-fi sexist?

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Professor Barbara Sahakian's book Bad Moves questions the ethics of smart drugs; they help treat brain injury and illness but should they be available to the healthy? Richard Bentall is the Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool and author of Madness Explained and Doctoring the Mind.

Guardian columnist and author Clare Allan drew on her experiences of being a psychiatric patient in her novel Poppy Shakespeare.

The theme of this year's Free Thinking Festival is "Who's In Control?". Presenter Rana Mitter chairs this discussion looking at the neuroscience of depression, how it affects decision-making and the morality of medical treatments.

Producer: Philippa Ritchie.

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Blogs, YouTube, Facebook and phone apps have changed the way we share our lives, leading to an explosion in the telling of life stories. Alice Hall, from the University of York, explores our changing perceptions of what memory and memoir mean and looks at the way the language of modern fiction has tried to reflect this shift.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Professor Sugata Mitra's pioneering experiments gave children in India access to computers to teach themselves and inspired the novel which became the film Slumdog Millionaire. He is now using retired volunteers in the UK to share their knowledge and guide children across the other side of the world. At the Free Thinking Festival he outlines the way he plans to use the $1 million 2013 Ted Prize to further his vision of "schools in the cloud" and how this differs from a UK education system involving league tables and a set curriculum.

Presenter: Philip Dodd

Producer: Fiona McLean.

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Today many scientists are engaged in exploring the interaction between logical and intuitive aspects of the mind. Gregory Tate, from the University of Surrey, argues that novelists have been examining similiar psychologicial questions for centuries. The theme of this year's Free Thinking Festival is "Who's In Control?", and Gregory Tate's talk outlines the way the novels of Jane Austen shed light on the balance of power between thought and emotion.

Producer: Neil Trevithick.

John Waters' film Hairspray became a hit musical. His "Trash Trilogy" involved negotiations with film censors. In an extended interview recorded in front of an audience, John Waters talks to Samira Ahmed about a career which has moved from film to hosting a show on American Court TV which featured marriages that ended in murder. Their discussion ranges over the influence of Catholicism, his birthplace Baltimore, the films of Douglas Sirk and the perils of hitchhiking.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

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What do recent debates among medical ethicists and lawyers over male infant circumcision reveal about the different ways we view male and female bodies? Rebecca Steinfeld, from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, looks at changing attitudes to religious traditions involving genital cutting.

Producer: Zahid Warley.

Are our policy makers too urban in their outlook? Have we lost touch with nature? On stage at Free Thinking to debate the issue are: Dame Fiona Reynolds, former head of the National Trust; Simon Thurley, CEO of English Heritage and author of The Building of England and The Men from the Ministry; Jon Alexander, reformed ad-man and founder of the newcitizenship project; rural sociologist Professor Mark Shucksmith, Director of Newcastle University's Newcastle Institute of Social renewal and Canon Dagmar Winter, Rural Affairs Officer for the Diocese of Newcastle. Samira Ahmed chairs the discussion.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

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Christopher Harding explores religion and counselling in Japan and the UK.

Is the idea of counselling as non-judgmental listening flawed? Christopher Harding from Edinburgh University focuses his talk on attitudes in Japan and the UK. He asks whether prayer involves fewer hidden pressures than a session with a shrink.

Producer: Fiona McLean.

In his "Chaos Walking" trilogy, Patrick Ness created a town where secrecy and privacy were impossible. Dr Charles Fernyhough's writing and research examines the development of childhood language and memories. In a discussion recorded in front of an audience at this year's Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead, they discuss, with presenter Matthew Sweet, the way children cope in an unstable world and what stimulates young imaginations.

Producer: Robyn Read.

Authors Patrick Ness and Professor Charles Fernyhough discuss children's imaginations.