Rana Mitter is joined by the 6 shortlisted authors and an audience at the British Academy
Free Thinking: The Wolfson Prize
Is British Culture Getting Wierder?
Gazelle Twin, Julia Bardsley, Hannah Catherine Jones, Luke Turner & William Fowler.
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
Lara Feigel, David Aaronovitch, Melissa Benn, Xiaolu Guo & Matthew Sweet on Doris Lessing.
Women, relationships and the law past and present
Novelists Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Layla AlAmmar & historians Jennifer Aston + Jessica Malay
The Council Estate in Culture
Why are estates so often portrayed as incubators of social deprivation and criminality?
Partition, colonial power and the voices of C16th women
Artist Hew Locke and historians Suzannah Lipscomb, Aanchal Malhotra & Anindya Raychaudhuri
George Szirtes, Valeria Luiselli, Jhumpa Lahiri
One poet and two writers in conversation about language, migrants and personhood
Authors Max Porter, Samantha Harvey & AK Benjamin discuss empathy with Chris Harding.
Childhood faces and fears
A history of orphans, fears about brainwashing and portraits on show at Compton Verney
Philip Dodd explores the idea of betrayal
Whatever happened to Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais?
Matthew Sweet meets the TV writers of The Likely Lads, Porridge and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.
Feelings, and Feelings, and Feelings. The Free Thinking Festival Lecture
Historian of emotions Professor Thomas Dixon, Matthew Sweet & the Sage Gateshead audience
A city is not a park but should it be?
A short talk at the Free Thinking Festival from New Generation Thinker Des Fitzgerald.
Anxiety and the Teenage Brain
Stephen Briers, Caroline Dower and Ceyda Uzun join Anne McElvoy at Sage Gateshead.
The Essay: Cooking and Eating God in Medieval Drama
Daisy Black conjures up images of breaking bread and cannibalism in mystery plays
Crimes of Passion: Sophie Hannah, Michael Hughes and David Wilson
A crime writer, novelist from Northern Ireland and former prison governor compare notes.
How much emotion should a diplomat, a news reporter or a conciliation expert show?
Why Trespassing Is the Right Way To Go
Ben Anderson looks at fights over land rights, access to nature & care of the environment
Shopping Around the Baby Market
Gulzaar Barn asks questions about commercial surrogacy and the way we view our bodies.
'Calm Down Dear' - How Angry Should Politics Get?
Dr Fern Riddell, Kehinde Andrews, Will Davies & Jo Ann Nadler join Shahidha Bari
Healthy Eating Edwardian Style
Elsa Richardson on the diet guru who set up a Covent Garden café and sold health products.
Marble, Muscle and Manly Bodies in the 18th Century
Sarah Goldsmith explores the C18th aristocratic craze for pumping iron
The Emotion of Now
Which is the most pertinent emotion in 2019 UK?
Start the Week gets emotional at the Free Thinking Festival
Tom Sutcliffe with BBC Radio 4's conversation programme & an audience at Sage Gateshead
How They Manipulate Our Emotions
Ad execs, game designers and VR creatives are all toying with our feelings - is that OK?
Who Wrote Animal Farm?
Lisa Mullen looks at the contribution of Orwell's wife Eileen to his writing.
The Way We Used To Feel
From Neanderthals, via Tudor England to Chartists - 4 historians on emotion in the past
Should Salman Rushdie Live and Let Die ?
What the BBFC archives tell us about censorship debates & a film depicting Salman Rushdie
Some people, some times, just can’t say what they want to. But why not?
The Essay: The Ottoman Empire, Power and the Sea
New Generation Thinker Michael Talbot's Essay from the Free Thinking Festival
Where Do Human Rights Come From?
Dafydd Mills Daniel looks at links between the UN, Richard III and Disney's Jiminy Cricket
Should Doctors Cry?
Does emotion have any place in relationships with patients in a more open age?
The Spirit of a Place: A Free Thinking Royal Society of Literature Discussion
Alan Johnson, Pascale Petit, Hisham Matar & Peter Pomerantsev join Eleanor Barraclough
Why We Need Weepies
From Bambi and Titanic to EastEnders - Matthew Sweet asks what makes us cry and why?
The New Age of Sentimentality
Lisa Appignanesi,Rachel Hewitt & Irenosen Okojie w/ Rana Mitter at Free Thinking Festival
Does My Pet Love Me?
A Free Thinking Festival discussion with Nicky Clayton, Erica Fudge & Kim Bard
20 Words for Joy ... Feelings Around the World.
Aatish Taseer, Veronica Strang and Thomas Dixon at the Free Thinking Festival.
Introducing the 2019 New Generation Thinkers
From German techno music to the Glasgow ‘rag trade’, divisive dams and democracy's bug
Landmark: Audre Lorde
Jackie Kay & Selina Thompson discuss the influential US writer & civil rights activist
Learning about love from Kierkegaard & Socrates. The Wellcome Book Prize
A philosopher of love and a philosopher in love
Free Thinking: 1819-The American Model
Elaine Showalter, Michael Schmidt, Peter Riley and Katie McGettigan with Laurence Scott.
Wolfson History Prize Discussion.
Rana Mitter and the six shortlisted historians with an audience at the British Academy
Chaucer. Bernardine Evaristo.
Anne McElvoy reads a new biography of Chaucer and talks to novelist Bernardine Evaristo.
Sergio Leone, Kubrick, Magic & the Mind.
Matthew Sweet talks Spaghetti Westerns w/ Christopher Frayling + conjuring tricks & bias
Rivers and geopolitics
Global Dams, Ancient Rome & the Tiber: rivers, power and scarcity
Free Thinking:Homi Bhabha: On Memory and Migration
Shahidha Bari talks to Professor Bhabha about his influence on postcolonial studies.
Rivers, different cultures, different values
Anthropologist, Poet, Archaeologist and Angler reflect on what a river should be
Sebald. Anti-semitism. Carolyn Forché
The walking & photographs of WG Sebald. An exhibition of money and Jewish history.
Censorship and sex
With Naomi Wolf, Sarah Parker and Luis de Miranda.
Stanley Spencer, Domestic Servants, Surrogacy
Authors Nicola Upson and Joanne Ramos, and researchers Gulzaar Barn & Ella Parry-Davies.
Landmark: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring
Rana Mitter hosts a debate at Hay Festival about the rise of the environmental movement
Simon Schama, Siri Hustvedt, Catherine Fletcher at Hay.
Rana Mitter discusses writing on art from Da Vinci and Rembrandt to Louise Bourgeois.
AI and creativity: what makes us human?
A discussion hosted by Matthew Sweet at the Barbican's exhibition AI More Than Human
Is the Law keeping up with our changing world?
A panel of researchers share insights into the law and warfare, gender and AI
Orwell's 1984. A Landmark of Culture.
Matthew Sweet explores what fed into Orwell's future vision & how our own is shaping up.
Breaking Down the Barriers
The cultural contribution of Muslim women and Rana Mitter talks to artist John Keane
Michael Rakowitz, Archaeology Now, Epic Journeys and Facial Disfigurement
Artist, archaeologists, a writer and a historian of the face make the invisible visible
Afropean Identities. Filming the Arab Spring.
Johny Pitts and Caryl Phillips discuss the idea of Afropean identity with Matthew Sweet.
The well-groomed Georgian
Alun Withey on what made 18th-century men shave off centuries of manly growth
Sword to Pen. Redcoat and the rise of the military memoir
Emma Butcher on the publishing phenomenon that was the traumatised 19th c Redcoat
Landmark: Finnegans Wake
Matthew Sweet and guests discuss James Joyce's experimental novel.
Comrades in Arms
Tom Smith on the East German Military's fascination with its soldiers' sexuality
Catch 22, Recycling fashion, Fred D'Aguiar, Wu Mali
Anne McElvoy watches George Clooney in Catch-22 on TV and looks at recycling fashion.
'Bedford, do you call this thing a coat?' The history of the three-piece suit
Sarah Goldsmith on an immortal trio jacket, waistcoat and trousers
Philip Dodd is in conversation with the American author James Ellroy
The Hard Man in the Call-Centre
Alistair Fraser on the fates and fortunes of Glaswegian tough guys
Jane Goodall, Elif Shafak
Two campaigning women talk to Matthew Sweet.
Cindy Sherman, Laura Cumming
The art of Cindy Sherman plus art critic Laura Cumming on the days her mother disappeared
Amitav Ghosh. Layla and Majnun. Islam Issa.
Amitav Ghosh on linking refugees, climate change, Venice & Bengali forests in his fiction
Free Thinking: Language and Belonging
Preti Taneja with Guy Gunaratne,Dina Nayeri, Michael Rosen, Momtaza Mehri & Deena Mohamed
Russia and Fear.
Rana Mitter considers fearing Russia past & present with Mark B Smith & Tamar Koplatadze.
Reinventing the 'Mistake on the Lake'.
Philip Dodd visits the US rust belt city of Cleveland.
Landmark: Iris Murdoch's The Sovereignty of Good
Matthew Sweet discusses Iris Murdoch's philosophical essay of 1970
Caine Prize. Ivo van Hove. Female Desire.
Shahidha Bari looks at staging Ayn Rand's ideas and meets the 2019 Caine Prize winner.
An insider's view of war
Ex-Marine & journalist Elliot Ackerman on Al Qaeda and the Iraq War. Rana Mitter presents
Camille Paglia in conversation with Philip Dodd about free speech and feminism
New Thinking: City Talk
Mapping the accents of Greater Manchester with a camper van and a laptop
New Thinking: Pregnancy Puzzles
What happens when one becomes two?
New Thinking: Shakespeare's Language
From Juliet's uncertainty, to finding a phrase for descending the stairs
New Thinking: Neolithic Revelations
A lack of Neolithic dental floss proves to be a boon for archaeologists,
New angles on post-war Germany and Austria
Anne McElvoy with Florian Huber, Sophie Hardach, Adam Scovell, Tom Smith
Book Parts and Difficulty
Matthew Sweet looks at frontispieces, titles and marginalia, and hard texts.
Proms Plus: Moon Landing
Richard Wiseman and Melanie Vandenbrouck discuss the impact of the first Moon landing
Proms Plus: Music and Health
Naomi Paxton discusses the latest science and clinical practice
Proms Plus: 1969 The Sound of a Summer
Poets Rachael Allen & Jacob Polley join Preti Taneja to reflect on the summer of 1969.
Proms Plus: Nordic Summers Light and Dark
The legends and landscapes that inspire composers from Finland and Russia
Revisit Spike Lee in Conversation on Free Thinking
The film-maker talks to Matthew Sweet about BlacKkKlansman & his 2000 film Bamboozled
Proms Plus: Swans
Sacha Dench & Sarah Crompton discuss swans in the natural world & on the ballet stage.
Proms Plus: Tragedy
Tragedy ancient and modern with Clare Pollard and Jennifer Wallace
Proms Plus: Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe and the gothic
Proms Plus: 'Queering' Tchaikovsky
Shahidha Bari and Rolf Hind discuss Tchaikovsky’s letters, with readings from Tom Stuart
Proms Plus: Childhood, innocence and experience
Books for children and children in books from Romanticism via the Victorians to now.
Revisit Mike Leigh in Conversation about Peterloo, politics and his Salford upbringing.
The film-maker talks to Matthew Sweet about depicting history and politics on film.
Revisit Napoleon in Fact and Fiction
Anne McElvoy looks at Napoleon's biography, caricatures and professional impersonators.
Proms Plus: Literary Hoaxes
Shahidha Bari and Nick Groom on invented monks, fake Shakespeare and a "discovered" diary
What Victorians Did For Fun
Historians Kathryn Hughes & Lee Jackson discuss 19th century entertainment.
Revisit Slavery Stories, William Melvyn Kelley & Esi Edugyan
Laurence Scott meets the family of a rediscovered African American writer & 3 historians
Proms Plus: Russian Folktales
Marina Warner & Sophie Anderson enter a world of walking huts and fish that grant wishes
Proms Plus: Kipling's Jungle Books
Anindya Raychaudhuri discusses Kipling's Jungle Books with Frances Hardinge and Sue Walsh
Proms Plus: Beethoven's 9th Symphony
Seán Williams explores Beethoven’s 9th and Schiller’s accompanying text, An Ode to Joy.
Proms Plus: Nina Simone's life and legacy
Nina Simone’s achievement with Kevin Legendre, Ayanna Witter-Johnson and Zena Edwards
Get involved in Shropshire's arts, culture and community events with inspiration you need.
Shelley Simms sits in, meeting someone who's worked with the biggest 80s music stars.
What should I do if I didn’t get the results I wanted?
Sarah Brett with late night discussion on the issues and stories that matter to you.
Bank Holiday Fiesta!
Podcast recommendations for the long weekend, as picked by BBC podcast stars.