As I’ve mentioned before, I listen online to Radio 4, one of the BBC radio stations I love for its variety, breadth and depth of programming. Between it and NPR affiliate KPCC, my day is usually rather full of (spoken-word) radio of a wide variety. I’ve noticed that Radio 4 has been doing a programme called “A History of the World in 100 Objects”. The Director of the British Museum does a 15 minute programme on each of 100 objects and talks about aspects of its historical significance. (If you think you don’t like history (maybe bad experiences in school or something like that) this might be a great way back into the subject for you. Not liking a subject is usually, I find, an issue with how it was presented to you and not with the subject itself.) It’s a lovely way of quickly plugging into aspects of world culture in interesting ways, and rather reminds me of the short series that we had here at USC in the College Commons called The Cultural Life of Objects, organized by my colleagues Anne Porter and Ann Marie Yasin. (See also the Collections event, and my post about it.)
The BBC series is about half way now, and it has been quite wonderful. I strongly recommend it to you. Here’s the marvellous thing: The entire series can be podcast or simply streamed from the BBC website, and it is here. It’s an Aladdin’s cave of treasures, I’d say. I’ve grabbed all 50 something so far, and will start from the beginning and listen through.