Academic Archers Conference 20 February 2021

This entry is somewhat of a diversion from my usual classic rock reminiscences. Please bear with me, and I will explain the context.

My daughter Laura is a big fan of the radio programme “The Archers“. She has listened to the programme ever since she was a little girl; for at least 20 years or more. More recently she has got involved in the “Academic Archers” community, as discussed below.

Academic Archers is a community of  BBC Radio4’s  The Archers fans with an academic interest in the show.”

archers 1“Academic Archers is an experimental form of academic community which uses The Archers as a lens through which wider issues can be explored. As a community we share our knowledge of the programme, our research interests, and a lot of laughs, creating the academic field if you will, of Ambridgeology. In all that we do, our values are to be ‘curious, generous and joyful’. “

“We do this out of a love of the programme and of our subjects and the conference is intended to link the two to illuminate and explain life in Ambridge and use this to throw an interdisciplinary light on wider social issues too.” (Nicola Headlam)

This year, Laura decided to take things a step further and join in the Academic Archers conference, presenting her paper entitled: “The View from Lakey Hill: How The Archers empowers, liberates and enables blind and visually impaired listeners”.

archers 2The paper will ultimately become a chapter in the next Academic Archers book; one of which is produced each year to coincide with the conference. Her chapter will appear in the book which will accompany next year’s conference. The 2021, and sixth, annual Academic Archers conference was held at University of Felpersham, The Orangery at Lower Loxley, The Tea Room, Grey Gables, Brookfield Barn, and The Bull*, across the weekend of 19-21 February 2021. With special guests, DumTeeDum, Ambridge on the Couch, and Roy Tucker, aka, pub landlord and actor, Ian Pepperell, and long-time scriptwriter, Keri Davies!

I decided to register for the conference, without Laura knowing (sneaky or what?) so that I could watch her presentation, on Zoom, along with around 200 other Archers fans/academics.

Laura’s presentation was excellent, and it was lovely to see her speak to her virtual audience. It is strange how Covid is opening up a new virtual world for many activities, such as this. She got a nice surprise when I revealed to her that I had been secretly watching her presentation. I was so proud!


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