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ERA’s Top Radio Picks 2nd – 8th November 2019

Welcome back to our Radio Picks of the Week! Those teaching English Literature at HE level have got plenty to be pleased about this week, but there are programmes for a wide range of subjects, including dance, sociology, and computer science.

Saturday 2nd November

  • The Left Hand of Darkness
    BBC Radio 4 Extra, 6pm – Recommended for… English Literature and Sociology
    This radio adaptation of Ursula Le Guin’s 1969 sci-fi novel could be a really useful companion to anyone studying the text – there’s also a really good audio cast here, including Toby Jones and Lesley Sharp.

Sunday 3rd November

  • Bookclub
    BBC Radio 4, 4pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    Another literature related programme here (and not the last for this week!) – this time we’re catching up with Helen Fielding about Bridget Jones’s Diary, a great text for studying modern fiction and its audience.

Monday 4th November

  • The Extinction Tapes: the Alabama Pigtoe Mussel
    BBC Radio 4, 1:45pm – Recommended for… Zoology and Geography
    This series about lesser-known extinct species runs throughout the week, beginning here with this mollusc, whose disappearance has brought about some major shifts in the waves of Alabama.
  • Welcome Money 
    BBC Radio 4, 8pm – Recommended for… History, Business Studies, and Economics
    This one-off programme gives us an insight into the economic repercussions of the Berlin Wall, as over 4 billion deutschmarks were claimed by citizens of East Germany after its fall. This feeds into a new season of TV and radio broadcasts on the BBC that focus on the Cold War and a divided Germany.
  • Analysis: Changing Our Minds 
    BBC Radio 4, 8:30pm – Recommended for… Psychology and Philosophy
    Is it possible to wholly change someone’s mind on a topic that they feel strongly about? Some might say not, but this programme with Margart Hefferman is here to challenge that idea, providing examples and demonstrating how it is possible to change a person’s mind on certain topics.
  • The Essay: 2019 – The Year of Blade Runner
    BBC Radio 3, 10:45pm – Recommended for… English Literature, Film Studies, and Architecture
    So, we’ve reached November 2019. It’s the time in which Blade Runner (adapted from Philip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) is set – but how close are we to the futuristic society envisioned in the film? Each day this week, a different writer will reflect on a certain aspect of the film and its link to today’s world, starting here with Deyan Sudjic, who discusses how architecturally (and generally visually) modern-day Los Angeles compares to its depiction in Blade Runner.

Tuesday 5th November

  • All in the Mind 
    BBC Radio 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Counselling and PSHE
    Stress in the workplace is the topic of this week’s discussion, where Claudia Hammond talks to Gail Kinman and Adam Kay discuss its causes and what can be done to alleviate it.

Wednesday 6th November

  • Thinking Allowed: Disasters
    BBC Radio 4, 4pm – Recommended for… Geography, Economics, and Sociology
    Kathleen Tierney finds out more about the human, environmental, and economic impact of natural disasters on a country and how these impacts are not always felt equally across the country’s population.
  • Twayna Mayne: Black Woman: Trans-Racial Adoption 
    BBC Radio 4, 11pm – Recommended for… Sociology and PSHE
    Comedian Twayna Mayne is a black woman who was brought up in a white household, and here she recounts her experience of being a trans-racial adoptee with Pauline Black, the lead singer of The Selecter.

Thursday 7th November

  • The Forum: Rudolf Nureyev
    BBC World Service, 9:05am – Recommended for… Dance and History
    Presenter Bridget Kendall talks to guests Julie Kavanagh and Thierry Fouquet about Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, whose fame came largely from his spectacular dancing, but also from his defection from the Soviet Union in the early 60s.

Friday 8th November

  • Front Row 
    BBC Radio 4, 7:15pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    As the BBC’s 100 Novels that Shaped the World are released today, this programme highlights the books according to the main categories they belong in, such as Class & Society and Coming of Age.