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This is the podcast which accompanies the work I am doing on Nostalgia at the University of Kent. We often know what our colleagues are researching and teaching, but we don’t always know what it is that inspires those interests and passions. What is it that shapes us? What propelled us into persevering with our studies and then to want to impart that knowledge and enthusiasm to subsequent generations of students? How did we end up where we are – not just the books we read and the ones we wan ...
 
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show series
 
My guest this week is Gregory Shushan, a researcher in the area of Near Death Experiences who is currently based in Portugal. Gregory went to Lampeter to do a PhD in 2004 on a cross cultural study of afterlife beliefs under the supervision of Paul Badham. We talk extensively about Near Death Experiences and how Gregory was interested in looking at …
 
My guest this week is Jan Moriarty, Student Success Manager at the University of Kent, a wonderful project designed to support students to achieve better degrees. We learn how Jan became involved in the project and how her initial concern that it was not going to be possible to solve EDI issues in two years were balanced by the consideration that m…
 
My guest this week is Fr. Peter Malone, priest and film critic, based in Australia, who was a foundational figure back when I did my own PhD in the late 1990s. Peter talks about his interest in Christ-figure films, including through the work of Clint Eastwood, and he draws on the distinction between redeemer figures and saviour figures and we find …
 
My guest this week is Professor Bettina Schmidt, Professor in Study of Religions and Anthropology of Religion at University of Wales Trinity Saint David and President of the British Association for the Study of Religion. Bettina is also Director of the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre in Lampeter. Bettina is currently looking in h…
 
My guest this week is Professor David Cheetham, Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of Birmingham where he has been based since 1999. David and I were both Theology students at Lampeter, with David studying for his PhD at the time that I was an undergraduate, and David talks about how Lampeter influenced him – and how there was mo…
 
It was such a pleasure for my latest Nostalgia Interview to catch up with Stacey Rand. Stacey has been at Kent for around a decade where she is a senior researcher in PSSRU, a research unit focusing on social care and community based services. Stacey is also a priest in the Church of England. Stacey’s first degree was in natural sciences and she en…
 
My guest this week is Jonathan Trigg, who studied Archaeology at Lampeter from 1995-98 and has been at Liverpool for the last 22 years. We talk about the advantages of living and studying on a small campus like Lampeter. Jonathan, who was brought up in Essex, talks about how and why he decided to apply to university and being a late developer. We t…
 
My guest this week is Charles Musselwhite, Professor in Psychology at Aberystwyth. Charles is a specialist in gerontology with a particular focus on how people engage with place in terms of age. He first went to Lampeter to study Archaeology and Charles talks about how that experience underpinned what he thinks now. We learn that he prefers a botto…
 
My guest this week is Canadian author, Nichola Zacher, writer of the adventures of the Marley series of children’s books. The second instalment, ‘Marley the Dreamer’, is newly released and we learn from Nichola how it is a response to her father being diagnosed with dementia. We discover how Nichola’s literary career started. Nichola lives in Ontar…
 
My guest this week is Bob Bowie, Professor of Worldviews Education at Canterbury Christ Church University and Director of the National Institute of Christian Education. We learn that Bob, who lives in West Kent, started out by studying classics and philosophy and went on to train as an RE teacher. We discuss the question of what RE is, whether peop…
 
It was a huge pleasure to record my second Nostalgia Interview with Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics, whom I first met in 2019. For our catch up interview we talk about the implications of lockdown on his work and how lockdown has enabled Darren and his team to have a productive year, publishing 43 manuscripts. We talk about the adoption of di…
 
My guest this week is Árni Svanur Daníelsson who is the Head of Communication for the Lutheran World Federation. We learn that Árni used to work in a video rental shop and became acquainted with film history. He went on to study theology at university and was involved in a theology and film group Deus ex Cinema. We talk about the theology and film …
 
It was a huge pleasure to meet Sr. Rose Pacatte, who is based in Culver City CA, around 9 miles from Hollywood, for my latest Nostalgia Interview. Rose is from San Diego originally and we learn that she planned to be a Sister from a young age. She started the Pauline Center for Media Studies and in the interview Rose talks about how she became a fi…
 
My guest this week is Paul Hedges, Associate Professor in Interreligious Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, in Singapore. Paul and I were contemporaries in the University of Wales and we learn about how Lampeter made him the academic and person that he is today. We learn about the days wh…
 
My guest this week is Christine Atchison, who lives in the suburbs of Toronto, and recently completed a PhD which explored transcendence in film. Christine talks about how the 1989 Batman film started her interest in this area, as did a conversation in a bar on pluralism in the Patristic period. Christine discusses imposter syndrome and Eliade and …
 
It was such a pleasure for my latest Nostalgia Interview to catch up with Kate Fox – poet, stand up comedian, academic, journalist, broadcaster and ethnographer. Kate talks about her last gig before lockdown, our love of lattes and living by the sea, and her connection with the University of Kent through comedy studies and the Autism and the Arts f…
 
My guest this week is Celia Pontin, who works for the Committees of Advertising Practice, and has done a PhD (I was her supervisor) on video games and theology. Celia talks about how for her a game is a voluntary attempt to overcome an unnecessary obstacle – and that this is the element that makes it fun. She explains how she drew on the religion a…
 
My guest this week is Adele Reinhartz, Professor in the Department of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa. We learn how work in religion and film became an interest of hers and that Adele was active and non-athletic in childhood. She grew up in a secular Jewish household and ended up majoring in Jewish Studies and by default …
 
For my 100th Nostalgia Interview, it was a massive pleasure to meet Pete Paphides, a music journalist who has written for Melody Maker, Q and Time Out and has been the chief music critic for The Times. Pete’s memoir Broken Greek, with the wonderful sub-title A Story of Chip Shops and Pop Songs, was Radio 4’s Book of the Week. Pete also went to Lamp…
 
Anna Neale is my latest Nostalgia Interview guest, and it was a huge pleasure to meet up with Anna who is a music industry professional. Anna is an artist, songwriter, composer, engineer and producer, she has toured the world, and released three albums. Anna has also served on various music industry committees including the Ivors and has been in th…
 
For my latest Nostalgia Interview it was a huge pleasure to meet up with Theo Wildcroft. Theo has undertaken a PhD with the Open University in the area of practice relationships in Yoga and we find out why Theo misses driving time, and will now walk with her greyhound during lockdown. We talk about the importance of having designated work space and…
 
For my latest Nostalgia Interview it was a huge pleasure to meet up via Zoom with Aled Thomas. Aled currently works at the University of Wolverhampton and did his first degree in Religious Studies at Trinity College Carmarthen from 2007-10. We learn how his goal had been to become an RE teacher but that academia called him back. Aled’s research are…
 
For this week’s Nostalgia Interview it was fantastic to catch up via Zoom from Abu Dhabi with Christopher Greenfield, one of my best friends from the Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School in Cardiff. Christopher graduated from Cardiff in 1994 with a degree in Astrophysics, taught first aid with St. John Ambulance, became a schoolteacher an…
 
It was a huge pleasure for this week’s Nostalgia Interview to meet up via Zoom with Tamar Jeffers McDonald, an expert on Doris Day. Tamar is Reader in Film and Head of the School of Arts at the University of Kent. We learn that she dropped a copy of her book Doris Day Confidential: Hollywood, Sex, and Stardom to Carmel, California, for Doris Day to…
 
It was a delight this week via Zoom to meet John Lyden for my latest Nostalgia Interview. John is Blizek Professor of Religion and Film at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has been editor of the Journal of Religion and Film since 2011, a field of study which John has been keen to get people to take seriously. We talk about the importance of …
 
My guest this week is Johanna Stiebert, Professor of Biblical Hebrew at the University of Leeds. The interview took place against the backdrop of Covid 19, and Johanna explains why she has revamped her modules in the light of the events of 2020. The other big event at the time was the US Presidential election, the outcome of which was not known whe…
 
My guest this week is Penny Bernard who gets to wallow in heritage and nostalgia as part of her job translating archaeology for school audiences. We discover that one silver lining in what has been a challenging year for everybody is that Penny has been able to follow her dream of going to art college. We also learn about her family Tudor dinner pa…
 
My guest this week is Stephen Garner who works at Laidlaw College in New Zealand as Academic Dean and Senior Lecturer in Theology. He talks about how the seasons are different between our two countries, and how Christmas, and its attendant nostalgia, fits into this framework. He once celebrated his birthday twice in one year. Stephen works in the a…
 
My guest this week is Brendan McSharry, Editor of The Link, who studied History and English at Lampeter from 1968-71. He has received an OBE for services to education and culture in Iraq where he spent four years working for the British Council. Born in North West London in 1949, Brendan explains why he wanted to study as far away as possible from …
 
Angela Puca joins me for this week’s fascinating Nostalgia Interview. Based at Leeds Trinity University, where she is a PhD student, Angela and I talk about how we can no longer have physical conferences during lockdown and why she moved to the UK from Italy in order to do her PhD. We learn that Angela, who sticks to a daily writing schedule, has h…
 
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 …
 
My guest this week is Leslie de Vries, who is Lecturer in East Asian Traditions at the University of Kent. Born in Antwerp, Belgium, we learn why Les doesn’t really look back to his childhood. He has a sister who was very sporty while his parents lived quite different lives. He explains why he didn’t perceive his family situation as normal. Les’ fa…
 
Richard King is Professor Emeritus of Buddhist and Asian Studies at the University of Kent and in this wide ranging interview Rich begins by talking us through the different places where he has worked. He never would have imagined having the career he does as no one in his family had stayed in education beyond the age of 14. We learn that he might …
 
My guest this week, in my first face-to-face interview since lockdown, is Justin Lewis-Anthony, Rector of Chingford. Justin talks about how he ended up doing a PhD with me and why the topic of leadership was something that made him angry. He refers to how cinema is the functioning mythological delivery system of the age and how many people expect C…
 
My guest this week is John Partridge, Honorary Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Kent. John came to Canterbury from Bavaria in 1977 where he had taught English. We talk about how we once bumped into each other at a Gerry and the Pacemakers gig and about broaching conversations with idols. John tells us about his PhD on performative verbs…
 
My guest this week is Gaye Morris who lives in North Carolina and was previously based in in the UK and with whom I collaborated about 15 years ago on a book called Theology and Film. We talk about our rationale in writing it and the relationship between the Christian and the secular world. It was a validation of working on popular culture and ther…
 
My guest this week is Michael Gibson who lives in Athens, Georgia, and works as a Senior Editor at Lexington Books. He has written on Paul Schrader and Stanley Kubrick and we learn why film has been a significant part of Michael’s journey and why he is influenced by Schrader’s work on abundant vs. sparse cinema. We talk about Schrader’s contributio…
 
My guest this week is filmmaker, screenwriter and theologian Craig Detweiler who is based in Los Angeles. Craig grew up in North Carolina and went to film school in California where he has lived since. He has taught Destin Daniel Cretton, the director/screenwriter of Just Mercy (2019) which was the first movie in Hollywood to be made with an inclus…
 
My guest this week is Heidi Campbell, Professor of Communications at Texas A&M University where she has been based for the last 15 years. Originally from Michigan, Heidi trained as a journalist and then morphed into a Religious Studies scholar where she does some pioneering, interdisciplinary work in media, religion and culture. Heidi has just edit…
 
It is two years this week since my first Nostalgia Interview was broadcast, and, on the second anniversary, I am putting out my first interview to be recorded via Zoom. My guest is Chris Gordon who runs a podcast called Hellblazerbiz (https://www.hellblazerbiz.com/), in which he interviews people in the movie business. Chris tells us how he got int…
 
My guest this week is Esther Weller, Chair of the Lampeter Society who was a student in Lampeter in the mid to late 90s. Esther was born in London but then moved to Wales when she was six months old and grew up in the South Wales Valleys. We learn that she wanted to find out about her family background before it is too late and we find out what she…
 
My guest this week is Alex Davis who is an MA Ancient History student at the University of Kent. Alex talks about growing up in Lydd and going to university as a mature student after working in her parents’ family business. She tells us how she went from working in the accounts department to doing a degree in Classics and Ancient History, where her…
 
My guest this week is Linda Pike who works at BT HQ as a Project Manager and graduated from Lampeter in French in 1995. Linda reveals why Lampeter was like a pleasure dome, and how it wasn’t a judgemental place and how she embraced the ‘away from home’ experience. We talk about the ‘melting pot’ of people and how she would get paid to socialise by …
 
My guest this week is John Loaring, whose claim to fame is that he invented PPI, and who was at Lampeter from 1964-67 while it made the transition from being an all-male theological college. He recounts how many of his contemporaries thought that having female students was an experiment that would fail and go away, and John recounts how he ended up…
 
My guest this week is Onyeka Nubia, author, historian and TV presenter. Onyeka works in the area of diversifying and developing a more inclusive university curriculum and teaching history in a way that means we can reframe British identity. In this very erudite and illuminating interview, Onyeka expresses his concern about how university programmes…
 
My guest this week is Heidi Colthup who works in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Kent. We learn about the unusual criteria she uses to remember how long she has been here and we discover that Heidi has also worked as a freelance journalist and trained as a primary school teacher. Heidi talks about why she fel…
 
My guest this week is Murray Smith, Professor of Film in the School of Arts at the University of Kent where he has been based since 1992. We talk about the concept of ‘trading places’ in academia and about how love is part of how he ended up at Kent and whether we’d be the same people now if we’d made different choices at 18. Murray grew up in Pott…
 
My guest this week is Marion Stuart who studied Divinity at Lampeter in the 1980s and talks about the oddity of being in the same peer group as her lecturers. She reflects on how she took a subject which her parents wouldn’t really have approved of and she remembers the legendary DP Davies. From childhood Marion recalls the bombs that dropped durin…
 
My guest this week is stand up comedian Andy White. We start by talking about his victory on ‘The Weakest Link’ in 2002 and how the prize enabled him to pay for his wedding. Andy tells us about the work he has done for the National Autistic Society and we talk about our apprehension of ‘slightly obscure celebrities’. We learn how he ended up at uni…
 
My guests this week are Elizabeth and George Severn. We learn about their respective periods of studying at the University of Kent and about George’s tactical decision to move to a Joint Honours degree programme so that he could go on a Year Abroad. We learn why his years in Spain have been the best of his life and why he felt like a ‘nosy anthropo…
 
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