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The Secret History of the American Dream
Now used to describe everything from reality television to The Great Gatsby, ‘the American Dream’ is a phrase that most people assume stretches back to the founding of America. But the history of this catchphrase is much more recent – and surprising – than our casual usages suggest. Professor Churchwell traces the emergence of this cliché in the first decades of the 20th century from debates that drove it into the heart of American popular culture. At the same time, she reveals the ways in which the very idea of the ‘American Dream’ was invented to address the same troubling questions about immigration and nationalism, education and job creation, economic and cultural breakdown, individual ambition and social responsibility, that continue to define our society today.
From awe-inspiring Norman castles to the homes we live in, Thurley explores how the architecture of this small island influenced the world. He tells the fascinating story of the development of architecture and the advancements in both structural performance and aesthetic effect. Chaired by Justin Albert.
Autism and Talent
Why do many people with autism develop outstanding abilities in domains like drawing, music, calculation or memory? What aspects of autism predispose to talent? The Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience explores the representation of autistic talent in the media, and what current research can tell us about the nature and origins of special abilities and assets in autism.
The oracle and sanctuary of the Greek god Apollo at Delphi were known as the omphalos – the centre or navel – of the ancient world for more than a thousand years. Individuals, city leaders and kings came from all over the Mediterranean and beyond to consult Delphi’s oracular priestess; to set up monuments to the gods in gold, ivory, bronze, marble and stone; and to take part in athletic and musical competitions.
Best known for his provocative take on cultural issues in The Intellectuals and the Masses and What Good Are the Arts?, Carey’s warm and funny memoirdescribes the events that formed him: an escape from the London Blitz to an idyllic rural village, army service in Egypt, an open scholarship to Oxford and an academic career that saw him elected, aged 40, to Oxford’s oldest English Literature professorship.
Education needs to incorporate real skills that enable students to use their practical creative abilities. Education is for the people and must be made available to everyone in ways that suit them individually.
A celebration of the enduring power of literary correspondence, inspired by To The Letter by Simon Garfield and Letters of Note by Shaun Usher.
From Virginia Woolf’s heart-breaking suicide letter to the recipe for drop scones sent by Queen Elizabeth II to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression ‘OMG’ in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi’s appeal to Hitler for calm; and from Iggy Pop’s beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan to a remarkable job application from Leonardo da Vinci, Letters Live captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives.
Join the bestselling fantasy author and her entourage of Knights and Dark Searchers. Enter the world of Valkyrie and Pegasus, find out about the magical creatures in Kate’s world, and hear how writing fantasy can remove all limits to the imagination. Knights, monsters and even rubber ducks may appear!
Duration 45 minutes
Enter a magical world of friendship and fun with Secret Kingdom. Polish up your tiaras, bring your best friends, and come along for some musical adventures, magical games and glittery craft activities. Exclusive goodies for you to take home.
Duration 45 minutes
A special Hay edition of Radio 4’s magazine arts programme. Presenter John Wilson will bring together some of the big names from the festival to talk about their work and the state of the publishing world including thriller writer Lee Child, biographer Lucy Hughes-Hallet, Michael Morpurgo and Cerys Matthews. Broadcast weekday evenings, Monday to Friday, 7.15pm–7.45pm.
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18.
FREE BUT TICKETED
Following the success of OxTales and OxTravels we are thrilled to launch our third collaboration with Profile Books with a reading of three stories from this collection of short crime fictions donated by some of the greatest crime-writers in the English language. Horowitz is the creator of Foyle’s War, the Alex Rider series and The House of Silk. Sigurđardóttir is the author of the global bestselling Thóra Gudmundsdóttir crime novels. They read and talk with the author of the Giordano Bruno books, the latest of which is Treachery.
See also event 241.
In his widely-acclaimed book Strategy: A History, Freedman considers the history of non-violence as a deliberate strategy, from Gandhi to Martin Luther King. He extends his analysis to Nelson Mandela, considering why the South Africa leader abandoned the armed struggle and chose a path of reconciliation.
Resilience to Disaster
How do we prepare ourselves for the impacts of weather-related disasters? What are our options and how do we decide which is the best approach to take? The panel will discuss the evidence that is being analysed in order to inform the important decisions regarding adaptation and risk reduction that are being made at global, national and local levels.
* To book free student tickets please call the Box Office on 01497 822 629.
The anthropologist takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people. Fox has deciphered yet more enigmatic behaviour codes, adding new rules, new subcultures, new chapters and over a hundred updates. She talks to Sarfraz Manzoor.
Our panel examine the ethics and legalities of assisted dying and ask – who makes the final decision?
Forest management is a long-term industry with 50-year management plans. How are forest managers adapting to take account of climate change, new diseases and pests, austerity and political change? The Chief Executives of Natural Resources Wales and Forest Enterprise England discuss. Chaired by Andy Fryers.
Explorer Maria Leijerstam and world-record-holding athlete Josie Pearson introduce Spark – a new vibrant series of non-fiction books for young readers. Maria relates her epic adventures visiting different parts of the world, including her recent expedition to Antarctica, while Josie shares her experience of winning a Gold medal at the Paralympic Games in London 2012.
The National Trust chairman presents his rhapsodic celebration of the landscapes and cityscapes of England, informed with his insightful historical, geographical and architectural commentary. Chaired by Justin Albert.
Maclean assembles a dazzlingly eclectic cast of Berliners over five centuries, from the wild medieval balladeer to the ambitious prostitute who refashioned herself as a royal princess. Alongside them we encounter Marlene Dietrich flaunting her sexuality in The Blue Angel, Goebbels concocting Nazi iconography, Hitler fantasising about the mega-city Germania and David Bowie recording Heroes.
The writer discusses his most recent screenplays – for Les Miserables and Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom and his new novel Reckless – a gripping love story set against the world in crisis.
Oceans are the most mysterious places on earth. Their depths remain largely unexplored, yet 95% of the planet’s habitable space lies within them. And now the life they support hangs in the balance.
The best brands in the world make us feel something. They tell us their mission and what they want to change. At some point, we stop being customers and become fans. These companies have a reason to exist: A Purpose. And it is an incredibly powerful thing. Purpose provides strength to fight the impossible. It builds a culture. But how do you create, build and sustain a company like this?
The distinguished Colombian pathologist explains his groundbreaking work to create a synthetic vaccine for malaria. Chaired by Oliver Balch.
BBC One’s flagship daily show will be broadcasting live from the garden at Hay. Hosted by Alex Jones and Chris Evans, it will feature the best bits of the Hay, some very special literary guests, and a few surprises. Come down and watch the rehearsal and live show – it’s free!