Tag Archives: Science Communication

Paper on ‘war’ and ‘sacrifice’ narratives in the Covid-19 pandemic

A line from Vera Lynn's WW2 song, also quoted by Elizabeth II during the Covid-19 pandemic, in a pub window
Vera Lynn quote on a pub

Since joining the ECLAS ‘Science and Religion Narratives’ project at the University of York, I have been applying my background in communication and media science, history of science and comparative literary studies to analyse the narratives of the Covid-19 pandemic. In a recent conference paper, I explain why we should be very sceptical of the ones that came to dominate in the UK – that of “warfare” against a virus, and “sacrifice” in such a “war”. I analyse their religious and cultural history, which, even when we are unaware of it, can influence our behaviours. As their (over-)use isn’t new, I also explore, what the history of science, and science communication, can teach us about the use of narrative in medical crisis through the Victorian cholera pandemic. I also wrote a shorter piece, which you can read here. A longer article is in the works – so watch this space for more, soon!

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‘Alice in Wonderland & Science’ film for University of Oxford

In August I was extremely excited to be invited to shoot a little image film about my work on Victorian fantasy literature and science at Christ Church, Oxford. Christ Church kindly let me use some of Lewis Carroll’s own manuscript materials from their collection (have a look at some of their digitised items here) – including his photographs, proofs, sketches, letters, and his dedicated presentation copy of a first edition copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! I also speak about Victorian children’s literature’s ties to Victorian Science Communication & Education, about Victorian Lunatic Asylums – and Charles Dickens’s visit to one – and how all of that can change how we think about Fantasy and Science Fiction Literature in general – I hope you like it!  

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