Name: The Sam Cooke Lectures
Come along to the Sam Cooke Lectures and join Peter as he attempts to learn something he doesn’t know much about. Each episode has a guest lecturer patiently teaching him about a specialist topic. You never know, you might learn something too.
What’s the name mean: Despite how it may look, the podcast is not about Sam Cooke (brilliant singer though he was). The name is in fact a reference to Cooke’s song Wonderful World in which he sings “Don’t know much about history, don’t know much biology, don’t know much about a science book, don’t know much about the French I took”. You may recognise the refrain in the theme tune. The name is Peter’s admission that he doesn’t know much about the topic of each episode. It seems that social media algorithms have led some people to the podcast in error – so apologies are due to anyone who feels short-changed! Perhaps this was an in-joke that went further than expected.
Artwork: The fabulous podcast artwork of Sam Cooke is by Sarah Bilton @bilton_art on Instagram for commissions.
01 | The Spanish Civil War
Guest: Dr Danny Evans
SCL Category: History
In this episode, Peter is joined by Danny Evans, a lecturer in history at Liverpool Hope University, who teaches him all about the Spanish Civil War. The podcast serves as an beginner’s guide to the conflict and covers the how, what. where, when and whys. Danny is the author of Revolution and the State (AK Press) and co-host of the Anarchist Book Club with Danny and Jim.
(Note: This podcast was recorded back in 2017 before the book’s publication).
Danny’s further reading recommendations are:
The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction – Helen Graham
“Not a historian whose point of view I share” but a good starter
Homage To Catalonia – George Orwell
“Worth pairing with the following…”
Spanish Notebook – Mary Low and Juan Breá
“A phenomenal lyrical account of the Spanish revolution”
Blood of Spain – Ronald Fraser
“A wonderful oral history that provides a variety of perspectives”
The Spanish Civil War – Granada documentary
“Lots of interviews with participants and a wide variety of sources”
02 | Culture Is Bad for You
Guest: Dr Dave O’Brien
SCL category: Sociology
In this episode, Peter is joined by Dr Dave O’Brien, Chancellor’s Fellow in Cultural and Creative Industries at the University of Edinburgh, who teaches him why culture is bad for you. The podcast serves as beginner’s guide to the issues around class, race and gender in terms who makes and who consumes culture. Dave is co-author of Culture Is Bad for You (Manchester University Press) and co-host of the Critical Theory section of the New Books Network podcasts.
(Note: This podcast was recorded back in 2018, before the book’s publication).
Dave’s further reading recommendations:
| Panic! It’s An Arts Emergency
| Re: Thinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing
| Raising Our Game: Next Steps for the UK Film and Television Industry
| Understanding the value of arts & culture
03 | Translation, Technology and Tracking
Guest: Dr Valentina Ragni
SCL category: Modern Languages
In this episode, Peter is joined by Dr Valentina Ragni, Research Associate at the University of Bristol, who teaches him about translation, technology and activity tracking. The podcast serves as beginner’s guide to the issues around the work of translators, how modern tools can track their work and also how this applies to wider society. Valentina is co-author of the forthcoming industry report Activity tracking in Translation – Productivity tools and translators’ perceptions, for the Institute for Translators and Interpreters (ITI).
(Note: This podcast was recorded remotely in 2020).
Valentina’s further reading recommendations:
List of former guests
01 Danny Evans, Liverpool Hope University
02 Dave O’Brien, University of Edinburgh
03 Valentina Ragni, University of Bristol