88: Jessica Frazier


Manage episode 275234726 series 2312064
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It was a huge pleasure this week to interview Jessica Frazier from the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. We talk about representing the exotic, teaching religion and Jessica’s fascination with the meaning of life. Jessica was born in Washington D.C. and came to England when a child. Jessica reveals her apprehension of the different seasons, how she fantasized about going to Narnia as a kid, and we learn about the appeal of Thailand where it is always summer – indeed, a portal into something magical.
Jessica talks about her love of ‘place’ and compares it to the love of a person. We talk about why she thinks humans are meant not to live in just one place, and we discuss idea of a place vs. the actuality. She reflects also on whether it is possible to impose nostalgia on an experience and how a change of perspective can reveal as well as romanticise the past.
We talk about what solitude does to certain experiences and Jessica reflects on the notion of belonging and why she rues the day she first bought a camera. She speaks about having ‘immigrant memories’, we learn about her earliest memory which is of ‘enforced non-living’ and we find out why she is not a nap taker.
Jessica and I talk about the dream-like nature of going to the cinema and how it allows us to be someone else and to crave to be someone new. She remembers the cinemas she went to in D.C., including to watch Star Wars, and how she ‘stayed in the experience of the movie’ for days afterwards.
Jessica explains how she ended up in academia, how she wanted to be an explorer, why she is in bliss due to her field of study, and we learn why she has become more of a Platonist as she gets older.
At the end of the interview we discover that Jessica’s memories are positive, why she has never been frightened of solitude, what her younger self would think about what she is doing now, how it is okay to be a nerd and why she is more of a looking back type of person.
Please note: Opinions expressed are solely those of Chris Deacy and Jessica Frazier and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the University of Kent.