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Nostalgia Interviews with Chris Deacy

Nostalgia Interviews with Chris Deacy

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This is the podcast which accompanies the work I am doing on Nostalgia at the University of Kent. We often know what our colleagues are researching and teaching, but we don’t always know what it is that inspires those interests and passions. What is it that shapes us? What propelled us into persevering with our studies and then to want to impart that knowledge and enthusiasm to subsequent generations of students? How did we end up where we are – not just the books we read and the ones we wan ...
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My guest this week is Sofia Akin, journalist and main anchor at KMTV's Kent Tonight, and (as we learn in the breaking news at the end) who is about to join the BBC as a Broadcast Journalist. We learn that Sofia, who is from West Sussex, started out as a video journalist, and she talks about how no two days are the same. Sofia gives the example of a…
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My guest this week is Andy Richards, Channel Director of KMTV. Born in Guernsey in 1982, Andy reveals what it was like to grow up on a small island. The first film he saw was ET and Andy discusses the importance in those days of Blockbuster Video where he worked when he was 18, and we learn about the migration in that era from VHS to DVD. We talk a…
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My guest this week is Abby Hook, Assistant News Editor, journalist and presenter at KMTV where she has been based for the last two years. Abby talks about the demanding nature of journalism and how you have to love it to do it, and we learn that she grew up regularly doing drama. Journalism wasn’t the route Abby thought she would originally follow,…
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My guest this week is Professor Paul Badham who for many years was Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Lampeter, where he began his career in 1973. His own father had done an English degree there before studying Theology at Oxford and whose own writings were influential on Paul. We find out how Paul got interested in his seminal research…
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My guest this week is Henrik Schoenefeldt, Professor of Sustainable Architecture, who has been at the University of Kent since 2011. He was at Cambridge prior to moving to Kent and we learn about the role of sustainability in architecture from an historical perspective, such as from the Victorian era. Henrik grew up in Germany in a former industria…
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My guest this week is Sabrina Mei-Li Smith who lectures in Creative Writing at De Montfort University in Leicester. Sabrina has written a novel set in the mid-1990s and some of the research behind her novel is heavily connected to the themes of nostalgia and identity. We learn about the way Sabrina examines themes of race and gender within the acce…
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My guest this week is Sally Bernard who was a schoolteacher for many years, currently living in Deal, Kent. She originally wanted to run an antique shop but her father played a key role in the career route that she followed. Sally talks about her involvement with Sure Start, and why she disagreed with the late Glenys Kinnock on reading by osmosis. …
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It was a great pleasure for this week’s Nostalgia Interviews podcast to meet Sally Nicholls who was at Lampeter from 1992-95 where she studied Welsh. Originally from Llantrisant, Sally grew up in the countryside, and she talks about her passion for horse riding, which she even accomplished in India. Sally could have gone to university in Bangor, No…
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It was a great pleasure for this week’s Nostalgia Interview to meet Safeer Khan. Safeer is Imam at a mosque in Gillingham where he has been based since 2014. He leads the prayers every day and takes classes at the mosque. We learn about the Indian origins of his Ahmadiyya community which has about 35,000 members in the UK. Safeer talks about misund…
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It was a great pleasure for this week’s Nostalgia Interviews podcast to meet Simon Smith who was at Lampeter from 1988-91, where he studied Religious Studies, and then stayed on for the Interfaith Studies MA. Simon worked in a bank for six years before going to university, and we find out why he chose Lampeter of all places, and he reflects on the …
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My guest this week is Louise Naylor, who spent 34 years at the University of Kent before retiring in September 2023 as Director of Education. Louise started on a one year temporary lectureship in 1989, and we talk about the role of serendipity and opportunity and the recipe for staying the course and how one can never be prepared for everything tha…
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My guest this week is Matt Harrington who studied English at Lampeter from 1991-94. There are many great undergraduate reminisces here, beginning with a recollection of the circumstances around our graduation in July 1994. Matt worked in a bookshop post-Lampeter and then as a junior copywriter, and he talks about how this enabled him to write with …
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My guest this week is James Grindrod who was in Lampeter from 1993-96 where he studied Single Honours History. James talks about the impact of what he did on his life and career, and how learning is not just something that stops when you finish your full time education. We discuss different lenses of looking at the past, including how we might have…
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This week’s episode is a Christmas special as I am joined by someone else who has made Christmas their research project in recent years. Lucinda Murphy and I had never met before we recorded this interview in London in October 2023, and there are many parallels and synergies which make this a really compelling discussion around the ‘meaning’ of Chr…
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My guest this week is Henry Jeppesen, a freelance literary translator, who studied Single Honours Swedish at Lampeter from 1993-97. We learn about Henry’s Scandinavian background, find out why he fell in love with Lampeter and what happened on his Year Abroad. In his time at university, Henry sat on the Ents Committee and remembers seeing Zodiac Mi…
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My guest this week is John Wills, Professor of American Media and Culture, who has been at the University of Kent since 2005. We discover that John owns various consoles and machines from the 1970s onwards and we find out where his academic interests, e.g. in video games, have come from. John talks about how the things he is interested in emanate f…
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It was a great pleasure for this week’s Nostalgia Interview to meet Katie Marquis. Katie runs Dance Warehouse, a dance school in Canterbury where she was once a pupil. We find out how Katie has realized the three dreams she set herself as a child, and how she is very focused and determined as a person and we talk about the inevitability of the rout…
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My guest this week is Chris Solomon, a Physicist who worked at the University of Kent from 1995 until 2020. He specialized in the area of facial recognition and subsequently started a company called Vision Metric which has been his main focus. We talk about the interdisciplinary nature of research, and what he learned from studying Physics, and how…
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My guest this week is Gary Bunt, Professor of Islamic Studies at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Gary and I made a reverse academic journey as he was an undergraduate student at Kent before moving to Lampeter in later years, whereas I started at Lampeter and moved to Kent. The first half of our conversation relates to a less known aspect o…
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It was a huge privilege for my latest Nostalgia Interview to meet Anne Pőnisch and Vicky Tomlinson, daughters of John Roland Lloyd Thomas who was Principal of Saint David’s (University) College for nearly a quarter of a century from 1953 until the mid-1970s. Anne and Vicky remember the days of living behind the College Chapel with its spiders, atti…
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My guest this week is Kate Heffner who is doing a PhD on women in science fiction fandom in the History Department at the University of Kent. Kate talks about the untraditional nature of her research and reflects on the women who wrote on the ways science and literature could coalesce as well as about the importance of the early printing process. B…
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In a special edition of my podcast this week, Craig Braddick has interviewed me to talk about growing up in the 1980s with Radio 1 and then with Radio 2 into the 90s and beyond, and how being a contestant on Blockbusters guided me towards my own broadcasting career. I talk about the significance of 1981 – the year I started listening to Radio 1 – a…
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My guest this week is Terry Lindvall, the C.S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought at Virginia Wesleyan University. Terry talks about his seminary background, looking at religion and popular culture, and we find out about Terry’s academic history and his work in history, theology and communications. We discuss how both of us have bee…
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My guest this week is Chris Cotter who lectures for the Open University and has a rich background in podcasts. He co-founded the Religious Studies Project podcast in 2012, and we talk about our thoughts on podcasts and why academics want to discuss their research. Chris comes from near Belfast, where his father is a Church of Ireland minister, and …
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My guest this week is Krysia Waldock, who is doing a PhD at the University of Kent that straddles various disciplinary areas. Krysia is based in the University’s Tizard Centre and has an undergraduate background in languages. A diagnosis of autism led to Krysia doing a Masters in Autism, which in turn resulted in her doing a doctorate, something sh…
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It was fantastic to catch up with Steve Jacobs, a retired Senior Lecturer in Media, Religion and Culture at the University of Wolverhampton, for my latest Nostalgia Interview. Steve and I were at Lampeter together from 1991-4 where we both received the same degree classification, and Steve recalls the way in which we received our results. Steve wor…
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My guest this week is Becky Jefcoate, who like me was at university in Lampeter from 1991-94 where she studied Archaeology and English Literature. We find out how Becky ended up there and why her school teacher had misgivings about doing Archaeology as a single honours subject. We talk about how Lampeter was a place you knew pretty quickly whether …
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My guest this week is Alexander Ornella, Senior Lecturer in Religion at the University of Hull where he has been since 2011. Alexander talks about his work, and how he has moved into sociology and criminology in addition to religious studies. His PhD, which he undertook in his native Austria, was on Catholic theology and looked at film and modern a…
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Maggie Webster is my fantastic guest this week, five years to the day since I broadcast my first Nostalgia Interviews podcast episode. Maggie teaches Religious Education at Edge Hill University in Lancashire, and we learn that she did a PhD in Lampeter which explored how people become witches on social media. Maggie discusses her fieldwork in which…
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My guest this week is journalist, editor and poet Susan Norvill, who like me was in Lampeter in the early 1990s where she read Victorian Studies and English Literature. We find out about Susan’s love of Victorian literature and what drew her to Lampeter, and how the place exerts such a hold over those who went there, and how the people are still th…
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My guest this week is Mina Radovic, archivist, curator, film historian and founder of the international charitable organization Liberating Cinema. I met Mina at the Spaces of Memory conference he helped to organize at the University of Vienna in March 2023. Mina is also a PhD student at Goldsmiths, University of London, on German linguistics and fi…
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My guest this week is Anne-Sophie Ouattara who, until March 2023, was the National Portrait Gallery intern at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge in Canterbury. Anne-Sophie is really interested in nostalgia as a teacher of French literature and language and a curator. She has curated her first exhibition called Rooted in Fabric – an exploration of …
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My guest this week is Rhiannon Grant, who teaches in Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham. We learn about Rhiannon’s work, which includes recently having had an edited book published featuring a range of international academics and lay writers. Rhiannon grew up in Watford, did her first degree in Philosophy and Theology in Nottingham, has a…
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My guest this week is Dereck Daschke whom I had the great pleasure of interviewing in Salt Lake City when we were both reviewing films at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2023 for the Journal of Religion and Film. Dereck teaches Religious Studies at Truman State University in Missouri and, like me, works in the area of religion and film. We fi…
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Matt Batten works for the Llandaff Diocese of the Church in Wales as Director of Communications and we first met in the early 2000s when Matt did a Masters in Ecumenical Studies at Trinity College Carmarthen. Based in Cardiff, Matt talks about how going to university was the making of him. We talk about reunions and why Matt is not keen to go back,…
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My guest this week is Revd. Edward Owen, Vicar in the South Cardiff Ministry area, the most multicultural area of Wales, who like me did his degree in Lampeter in the early 1990s. We learn that Edward’s grandmother’s brother was Richard Burton and he talks about a photo from when he was aged three of him with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor tak…
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My guest this week is Justin Pugh with whom I went to school in the 1980s. Justin recalls those days of playing cricket at lunchtimes and the two of us reflect on our years at the Bishop of Llandaff Church-in-Wales High School in Cardiff. Justin talks about how Cardiff has changed since the 1970s when it had a much lower profile, and how since the …
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My guest this week is Emma Astra, based in Leicester, who is writing a Diary of a Disabled PhD student. We talk about pilgrimage journeys and the notion of doing a PhD as a pilgrimage journey. Emma talks about her chronic illness and how it impacts on her ability to travel to places. We learn about her three wheelchairs and all the different makes …
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My guest this week is David Mannion, weightlifter and astronomer, who often gives cruise ship lectures on astronomy. He was a teacher for over 30 years, and Head of Physics at a grammar school in Kent. We find out how David got into astronomy, and he reflects on whether we will ever go to Mars and we learn about his specific driver for space intere…
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My guest this week is Dr Nikolaos Karydis, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Kent. Nikos and I have a twin passion for cinema and radio, and we begin our conversation by talking about the way architecture is represented in movies and why films tend to present alternative architect lives to what happens in the real world. Nikos gr…
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My guest this week is Wendy Dossett, whom I have known for around 30 years from when we were both based at the University of Wales, Lampeter. Wendy is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Chester, specializing in Buddhism, and has more recently been studying Addiction Recovery Spirituality. Wendy grew up in Hastings and we …
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My guest this week is Joanne Pettitt, Lecturer in Comparative Literature at the University of Kent. Jo and I begin by talking about the art of teaching and the feeling of history that one gets from reading a physical book and the nostalgia of children’s books. Jo comes from what she describes as a typical British working class background in Notting…
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My guest this week – and for the second time – is Nichola Zacher, a children’s story writer from Ontario, Canada (see http://marleysdream.com/). Nichola talks about her English roots and how her father worked on the railroad and her mother was a secretary for the Teachers’ Federation. When she was born, Nichola had an operation and she was written …
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My guest this week is Linda M. James, an author, poet, screenwriter and creative writing tutor, originally from Swansea. Linda (who explains the significance of the initial M) tells us why she is nomadic and about to make her 48th move. Linda has been running writing classes for 20 years, and we find out about her MAs and her historical novels set …
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My guest this week is Chris Hamilton, with whom I went to school in Cardiff over 30 years ago. Chris is a full time professional (and award-winning) musician and composer who started his career as a lawyer, having gone to Oxford to study Law and worked in the City for a big corporate firm in London and New York. We talk about having gone ‘full circ…
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My guest this week is James Kloda who works at the University of Kent in technical support, where he has worked since 2011. James has a background in live events (technical management) and, as we discover, cinema has always been a part of his life. James talks about how he went to the University of East Anglia to study Drama and English, where he m…
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In the second part of my interview with Irene Williams, Irene talks about how the family moved to Cardiff, and how to begin with they had neither a house nor any money. Her father helped them with a deposit and Irene decided to go out to work, managing to secure the first job for which she applied. We also find out about what was the hardest nine y…
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My very special guest this week is Mrs. Irene Williams, a centenarian. Irene is an inspiring lady with a wealth of history and experience in terms of the development of Religious Studies at Lampeter and a considerable amount of international humanitarian work over many decades. We will hear more about these dynamics in the second part of this inter…
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My guest this week is Anne Watkins, who came to Lampeter in 1985, after originally expecting to work for the Civil Service, where she studied Philosophy and Ethics in Western Thought. Anne recalls hearing the sheep bleating on the hills and knowing that Lampeter was the place for her. We talk about long friendships especially with the overseas stud…
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My guest this week is Jonty Stern, who works at the Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. Jonty ran the Doctor Who Society at Lampeter and we learn about his encyclopaedic knowledge of the series and the impact it has had on him over the years. Jonty did Welsh Studies at Lampeter and focused on Celtic languages. He was the only student in the UK doing…
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