Living with the Poets: Life lessons from the RomanticsMonday, 26 March, 2018
Can the words and advice of nineteenth-century poets offer guidance to a twenty-first century world? Professor John Strachan, Vice-Provost for Research and Enterprise at Bath Spa University, thinks they can. He is creating a series of podcasts to explore how much the likes of William Wordsworth, John Keats and Lord Byron can help us navigate modern society.
It is often argued that the Romantics – head-in-the-skies figures, musing on daffodils and skylarks, strolling in the Lake District – had no knowledge of real life, but in this series of podcasts Professor Strachan aims to dispel that assumption, working with a distinguished team of collaborators: co-author Professor Duncan Wu of Georgetown University, renowned literary critic and the author and editor of over thirty books, contributor Dr Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus, also of Bath Spa University, where she is Programme Leader in Psychology and also writes on Psychology for The Observer, and John Rowe, the distinguished actor who plays Professor Jim Lloyd in The Archers, who reads the poetry for the podcasts.
Through analysis of the lives and works of the likes of Wordsworth, Keats, Bryon, and some lesser known female writers, ‘Living with the Poets’ put forward the argument that the Romantics were passionately engaged with life and have a great deal they can tell us about our own society, attitudes and experiences.
The first two episodes look at “how to be happy” and “how to be alone”, with further topics including “how to be a good parent”, “how to make money”, and “how to die”.
To listen to the podcasts, visit the 'Living with the Poets' podcast project page.
Professor John Strachan is a Professor of English Literature at Bath Spa University. His research interests focus on British Romanticism, with a particular attention to Romantic-era popular culture, parody and satire, and the work of Leigh Hunt, John Keats and William Wordsworth.
John is Vice-Provost for Research and Enterprise, Dean of Graduate College and Director of Corsham Court Campus. He is also an Associate Editor of the Oxford Companion to English Literature and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
A Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Dr Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus is a Senior Lecturer and is the Undergraduate Programme Leader in Psychology at Bath Spa University. She is also the Associate Academic Director of the Global Academy of Liberal Arts (GALA).
Rebecca gained her PhD at St Bartholomew's Hospital with the University of London. Canadian born, she obtained her first degree in Psychology at McGill University in Montreal before graduating with Distinction at the London School of Economics in Social and Organisational Psychology. She is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.
Professor Duncan Wu is Professor of English at Georgetown University. He is a former Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Oxford, a former Professor of English Language and Literature of the University of Oxford, and a former Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Duncan is the author or editor of over thirty books, including Romanticism: An Anthology, now in its fourth edition, one of the most widely-used textbooks on the subject in the world.
John Rowe read English at Oxford and trained at the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama before joining the Radio Drama Company at Broadcasting House. Over the years John has worked extensively in radio, television and film, notably as Jim Lloyd in The Archers. He has recorded many audio books and several recital programmes on literary, artistic and musical themes. He lives in West London and is married to children’s theatre director and writer Vicky Ireland.
The podcasts are produced and directed by Andrei Branea, the campus technician at Bath Spa’s Corsham Court Campus.