Podcast goes undercover for Spy Week

The world of spying, both fictional and real, is the focus of this month’s Big Idea Podcast.

To mark the University’s second Spy Week, a series of events from 18 to 23 May exploring spy fiction, three experts look into the murky world of espionage.

Spies Like Us

With our appetite for films and books about spies such as Bond and Bourne knowing no bounds, the podcast looks at how such fictions reflect the time they are written in.

Dr Penny Fielding, head of English Literature and organiser of Spy Week, asks whether the current boom suggests society is increasingly paranoid.

The Watchmen

Real-life espionage has changed drastically since the end of the Cold War. Technology has created an ever-wider web of surveillance. Professor Emeritus Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, author of In Spies We Trust: The Story of Western Intelligence, looks at how the art of spying has reacted to the revelations of Edward Snowden and Wikileaks and considers whether we’ve fallen out of love with spying.

The Lives of Others

Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, life in East Germany was one under constant surveillance. The secret police kept tabs on artists at they created their work.

Laura Bradley, senior lecturer in German, is the principal investigator in Who Is Watching Who?, a project looking at theatre censorship in East Germany and beyond. She explains how the state spying upon and censoring the theatre supercharged its work and transformed it into a place of resistance.

The Big Idea

This podcast is part of the Big Idea series, a monthly show featuring academics discussing contemporary issues and sharing their research and expertise.

As well as being an accessible way for the public to hear about the University’s work, the Big Idea is also a forum for academics to meet colleagues from different areas, share ideas, and gain media training in a studio setting.

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