If you’ve ever felt the shock of listening to a recording of your own voice, you realise how important your voice is to your personal identity. We judge others not just by their words but by the way they talk: their intonation, their pitch, their accent. The Professor of Acoustic Engineering explores the full range of our voice – how we speak and how we sing; how our vocal anatomy works; what happens when things go wrong and how technology enables us to imitate and manipulate the human voice.
We know that, as individuals, we often 'miswant' – that is, want things that will not improve our wellbeing. How can we miswant as citizens, policymakers, or societies? How might some of the 'good' desires also have a darker side to them? Desires around hope, choice, and achievement, for example, can all make things worse as well as better. Dolan is a Professor of Behavioural Science at LSE. Tharoor is an Indian MP with over 1 million constituents in Thiruvananthapuram, and 3 million Twitter followers.
Miriam was on a plane that was hijacked in the Middle East when she was 15 and flying without her parents, and Jon survived the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Join them for a discussion on turning fact into fiction.
What can chimpanzees and bonobos tell us about the extraordinarily complex human cultures? Koops, an Affiliated Lecturer in the Division of Biological Anthropology at Cambridge, investigates this question by studying our closest living relatives, the great apes.
Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink on the planet, but very few people have any idea what it is made of. We all know that wine is made by fermenting pressed juice from grapes and cider comes from pressing apples but what about beer? Beer is traditionally made from four natural ingredients: malted barley, hops, yeast and water, and each of these has an extraordinary story to tell. Brown is a journalist and author who specialises in making people thirsty.
2017 marks 100 years since the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele. One of those who fell in battle was Ellis Humphrey Evans, the poet from Meirionnydd whose Bardic name was Hedd Wyn. He died before being announced winner of the Chair at the National Eisteddfod in Birkenhead. The empty chair was draped in black, and Hedd Wyn is still remembered throughout Wales, as he is in Flanders, as a potent symbol of bloodshed and loss. Ifor ap Glyn will talk about the life, work and remarkable legacy of Hedd Wyn.
The author and illustrator of Barry, the Fish with Fingers and I Need a Wee! share their latest story about the amazing Supertato. Called in to save a supermarket from the reign of terror by the evil pea, Supertato must avert disaster – and he’ll need all your help!
The slender-billed curlew is one of the world’s rarest birds. A beautiful, fragile creature, it bred in Siberia and wintered in the Mediterranean basin, passing through the wetlands and estuaries of Italy, Greece, the Balkans and central Asia twice a year. Then, no-one knows why, the population crashed. The slender-billed curlew now exists as rumour, hope, unconfirmed sightings and speculation. The only certainty of its story is that it now stands at the brink of extinction. The author of A Single Swallow tells a story of beauty, triumph, mystery and struggle, in a homage to a creature that may never be seen again.
Civil war has been a recurring feature of human societies throughout history, and an essential catalyst for major international conflict. Focusing on the numerous civil conflicts that have occurred throughout the world since the Second World War, Kissane asks what the recent social science literature adds to what we already know about civil war. The LSE professor uses insights from historical sources from the ancient Greeks onwards, to explain the extreme violent experience of so many parts of the world today. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
When an intrepid young British woman volunteered to help rebuild Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, she had little idea what she was letting herself in for. It was only supposed to last three months but instead spanned a decade. Sky provides unique insights into the US military, and the complexities, diversity and evolution of Iraqi society. With sharp detail, tremendous empathy and respect for those who served, The Unravelling is an intimate portrait of how and why the Iraq adventure failed despite the best and often heroic efforts of its young men and women on the ground.
A conversation between two of the world’s great novelists about the elemental and eternal human crises they have explored in their engagement with classic Greek tragedies in their latest stories. House of Names is Tóibín’s version of the terrible fates visited upon the House of Atreus: Agamemnon, Clytemnestra and their children Iphigenia, Electra and Orestes. A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles' Antigone, Shamsie’s Home Fire is an urgent, fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide.
One of the most influential poets in contemporary China reads his poems and talks to Jose Felix Valdivieso, who also reads Xi Chuan ‘s poems in Spanish.
Consecutive translation from Chinese into Spanish.
Co-organised with Cosmopoetica, Centro Cultural Chino in Madrid and Bibloteca Nacional de España.
Four writers under the age of 30 are commissioned to write a story on the same theme of ‘home’, each of which is then translated into Italian, German and English. The writers visit four festivals (Mantova and Berlin in September, Hay Festival Wales in May, Hay Festival Kells in June) to discuss their work.
This time we asked the writers to write about 'home', which is perhaps more difficult to find in a world where people are often on the move, where relationships are less consolidated than in the past, and where people no longer feel the same sense of belonging to a mother country. The stories collected in the 2015 anthology include homes that offer comfort, arouse memories and suggest a future. At least as long as the story lasts.
The Scritture Giovani 2015 writers talk to Tiarnán de Hál.
Join us to celebrate this prestigious literary prize for writers aged 39 and under, as the 2018 winner talks to Dai Smith, chair of the jury. The shortlist for the prize comprised Kayo Chingonyi, Carmen Maria Machado, Gwendoline Riley, Sally Rooney, Emily Ruskovich and Gabriel Tallent.
The Zambian-born poet Kayo Chingonyi is announced as the winner of the 2018 Prize.
In the popular imagination, as in her portraits, Elizabeth is the image of monarchical power. The Virgin Queen ruled over a Golden Age: the Spanish Armada was defeated and England's enemies scattered; English explorers reached almost to the ends of the earth; a new Church of England rose from the ashes of past conflict, and the English Renaissance bloomed in the genius of Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney. But the image is also armour. In her illuminating new account of Elizabeth’s reign, Castor shows how England’s iconic queen was shaped by profound and enduring insecurity – an insecurity which was both a matter of practical political reality and personal psychology. But, facing down her enemies with a compellingly inscrutable public persona, the last and greatest of the Tudor monarchs would become a timeless, fearless queen.
Americanisms have been slyly colouring the English language for centuries and this practice must stop. Period. What d’y’all think?