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Episode One

Anne Buckley & Frank Finlay – Skipton’s First World War Prisoner-of-War Camp

Join Lecturer Anne Buckley and Professor Frank Finlay as they discuss Skipton’s First World War prisoner-of-war camp and Anne’s latest book. The book contains the first full English translation of a 330-page German book (published in 1920) written by the German prisoners about their life in the camp, as well as a section based on Anne’s research into the camp and the German soldiers who were held there.

Anne and Frank will discuss day-to-day life in the camp and Anne will reveal some of the fascinating stories of the men themselves, who included naval captains, U-boat officers and airmen as well as foot soldiers. The talk will finish by considering the significance of the account locally, nationally and internationally and whether the book dispels the myth that Germans do not have a sense of humour.

Further reading:

Anne Buckley, German Prisoners of the Great War. Life in a Yorkshire Camp (Pen & Sword, 2021).
Brian Feltman, The Stigma of Surrender. German Prisoners, British Captors, and Manhood in the Great War and Beyond (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2015).
Panikos Panayi, Prisoners of Britain. German Civilian and Combatant Internees during the First World War (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012).
Ric Esther Bienstock & Yaron Niski, The Good Nazi (2018): and

Click here to see images from and maps of the camp.

Episode Two 

Emily Bell – Dickens Now: The Modern Legacy of a Victorian Author

Why is Charles Dickens one of the most enduring writers of all time? Why does he crop up so often, not only in screen adaptations, but in video games, newspapers, and pop culture, 150 years after his death? And what role can the author and his works play today, against a backdrop of changing attitudes to race, colonialism, gender and history? 

This episode will navigate through 200 years of Dickens, considering how the author’s attempts to shape his own celebrity status continue to resonate two centuries later.

Further reading: 

Emily Bell (ed.), Dickens After Dickens (White Rose University Press, 2020):
Michael Slater, The Great Charles Dickens Scandal (Yale University Press, 2012).
Greg Jenner, Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen (Orion Publishing Co., 2020).
Ronjaunee Chatterjee, Alicia Mireles Christoff and Amy R. Wong, ‘Undisciplining Victorian Studies’, LA Review of Books (10 July 2020):
Amy Davidson Sorkin, ‘The Fever Room: Epidemics and Social Distancing in Bleak House and Jane Eyre’, The New Yorker (20 March 2020):

Episode Three 

Markus Fraundorfer – Tackling the Global Climate Crisis: Global Governance Dilemmas, Forest Protection and Indigenous People

The global climate crisis is becoming ever more pressing. At the same time, international political actors are seriously struggling to deal with this crisis. What are the obstacles to effective global and planetary problem-solving? And which responses have global governance actors come up with to confront these challenges? This podcast looks at the example of deforestation and forest protection to find answers to these questions.

Further reading: 

Markus Fraundorfer, Global Governance in the Age of the Anthropocene (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022).
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Indigenous peoples had a clear vision for Cop26, but it has not been delivered, The Guardian (Nov 15 2021):
Helle Abelvik-Lawson, Meet the Indigenous community that’s fighting deforestation – and winning, Greenpeace (Nov 30 2020):

Episode Four 

James Mussell – Enquire Within: How the Victorians Invented the World Wide Web

When Tim Berners Lee was thinking of a name for his new hypertext system he thought of a dusty volume that used to be on his parents’ bookshelves. That volume was Enquire Within (1856), a miscellany of domestic advice now forgotten, but went through 97 editions before the end of the nineteenth century. Berners Lee named his system ENQUIRE, the next version of which would become the World Wide Web. But what was it about this book that made Berners Lee think of it? Why was it so popular in the period? And why has it become forgotten today?

Further reading: 

Tim Berners-Lee and Mark Fischetti, Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor (New York: HarperBusiness, 2000).
Malcolm Chase, ‘“An Overpowering ‘Itch for Writing’”: R.K. Philp, John Denman and the Culture of Self-Improvement’, English Historical Review, 133.561 (2018), 351–82:
Malcolm Chase, Chartism: A New History (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007).
Enquire Within Upon Everything (London: Houlston and Stoneman, 1856). Available at Internet Archive:
James Gillies, How the Web was Born: The Story of the World Wide Web (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Episode Five 

Dr Sarah Hudspith & Dr Olivia Santovetti – ‘Illuminating the Chaos and Obscurity’: Ferrante and Dostoevsky in Dialogue

Elena Ferrante is one of the most critically acclaimed and popular novelists on the global stage today. Her works offer reflections on the nature of good and evil, explore issues of poverty and sexual violence and contemplate the role of the writer. These concerns are common in the works of the 19th century Russian author Dostoevsky, a writer to whom Ferrante herself has acknowledged a debt. 

This podcast brings together in conversation Dr Sarah Hudspith, a scholar of Dostoevsky, and Dr Olivia Santovetti, an expert on Ferrante, both members of the University of Leeds Centre for World Literature. They discuss the resonances between Ferrante’s and Dostoevsky’s novels, read and comment on selected passages.

This talk was recorded at an Ilkley Literature Festival event. The speakers refer to a powerpoint presentation, which is available on our website at and here.

Watch the full event for free here: