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Word of Mouth

BBC Radio 4

44
Followers
304
Plays
Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth

BBC Radio 4

44
Followers
304
Plays
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Series exploring the world of words and the ways in which we use them

Latest Episodes

Protest Slogans

Playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks about the provocative language of protest slogans with artist Zoe Buckman and writer Siana Bangura. Image copyright : Greg Morrison Sabrina Mahfouz is a writer and performer, raised in London and Cairo. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (FRSL) and resident writer at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Her most recent theatre show was A History of Water in the Middle East (Royal Court) and her most recent publications as editor include Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making it Happen (Saqi) and Poems From a Green and Blue Planet (Hachette Children's). Siana Bangura: sianabangura.com @Sianaarrgh Siana Bangura is a writer, producer, performer and community organiser hailing from South East London, now living, working, and creating between London and the West Midlands. Siana is the founder and former editor of Black British Feminist platform, No Fly on the WALL; she is the author of poetry col...

27 min3 w ago
Comments
Protest Slogans

Black masculinity and language

Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye, sitting in for Michael Rosen, and poet and writer JJ Bola, look at the construction of black masculinity in contemporary society and the impact of colonialism. They explore how language is used to define or constrain male identity and ask how modern society might transcend these inherited ideas. If you're not a roadman or a baller, who are you? Producer Beth O'Dea. Photo copyright: Antonio Olmos More about Jeffrey Boakye and JJ Bola: Jeffrey Boakye is an author, commentator, writer and English teacher. He has a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race and popular culture. Jeffrey, originally from Brixton in London, has taught English to 11- to 18-year-olds since 2007. He began teaching in West London, moved to East London where he was Head of English, and then moved on to Yorkshire where he now lives with his wife and two sons. Jeffrey started writing his first book,Hold Tight, in 2015 when cradling his first born son in the early hours. Hold Tight was published in 2017 andis recognised as one of the first seminal books on grime music. He started writing his second book, Black, Listed, when cradling his second born son in the early hours. Published in 2019, Black, Listed was praised by David Lammy MP as ‘a book that gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others’. Jeffrey’s third book, What is Masculinity?, a book for children on masculinity, broke with tradition and was not written when cradling a newborn son. JJ Bola's website is jjbola.com, twitter: https://twitter.com/JJ_Bola, instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jj_bola and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jjbola You can listen to Jeffrey Boakye's conversation with Michael Rosen on Word of Mouth here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004l93

27 minAUG 18
Comments
Black masculinity and language

Talking to Strangers

Do you enjoy having a random chat to a stranger? Professor Tanya Byron sitting in for Michael Rosen explores the benefits and barriers to talking to strangers. The "liking gap" the "parasite threat" and "lesser minds": some of the terms used to describe the obstacles some of us face when it comes to talking to people we don't know. Fear of being rejected and straight up fear of other people can prevent us from engaging a complete stranger in conversation. But it's something psychologist Gillian Sandstrom and author Joe Keohane argue is vital for our wellbeing and on a wider scale reduces conflict and misunderstanding in increasingly fractious times. Joe and Gillian join Tanya Byron to talk about how to talk to strangers and how to overcome some of the fears and prejudices we may have about people we don't know. As for 'stranger danger' - is it time to kick that term to the kerb? Produced by Maggie Ayre Gillian Sandstrom is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pyschology at the University of Essex Joe Keohane is a New York based journalist and author of the forthcoming book The Power of Strangers

27 minAUG 11
Comments
Talking to Strangers

Othering through the centuries: Translation to acronyms

Playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks to producer Tobi Kyeremateng and classicist Professor Katherine Harloe about othering in language: describing people in ways that exclude them and make them seem lesser. Translations of the classics have been politicised in identity terms, for example adding in 'white skin' in where it didn't exist. The current language around 'BAME' and "BIPOC" is contentious, even if people think they are being helpful. The opposite of this is the power of language to include. What are the ways forward from here? Image copyright : Greg Morrison Suggestions for further reading from Professor Harloe: There is much current debate within Classics over the racialised hierarchies based on skin colour and other physical features that existed in the ancient world, about how ideas about Greek and Roman culture have functioned to bolster and uphold White supremacist ideas, past and present. Much, though not all, of this scholarship is being don...

27 minAUG 4
Comments
Othering through the centuries: Translation to acronyms

Words Used About Women

Spinster, slut, bird, cat lady, ladette, hussy, bossy, goddess, wife. Guest presenter Nikki Bedi (sitting in for Michael Rosen) talks to Professor Deborah Cameron about the words used to talk about women. Deborah Cameron is Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford. In 2007 she published The Myth of Mars and Venus, a general-interest book about language and gender differences. She writes a regular blog - 'Language: a feminist guide' - and occasionally performs as a linguistic stand up comedian. Produced by Mair Bosworth

27 minJUL 28
Comments
Words Used About Women

The language of power and inequality in education and leadership

Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks with charity strategist, writer and educator Iesha Small. They explore the language of power and inequality in modern education and leadership, and whether they've both learned to speak 'straight white male'. They also look at the ways in which words that are seemingly innocuous and commonly used in schools conceal deep social inequities, such as the word 'disadvantaged'. Producer Beth O'Dea. Photo copyright: Antonio Olmos More about Jeffrey Boakye: Jeffrey Boakye is an author, commentator, writer and English teacher. He has a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race and popular culture. Jeffrey, originally from Brixton in London, has taught English to 11- to 18-year-olds since 2007. He began teaching in West London, moved to East London where he was Head of English, and then moved on to Yorkshire where he now lives with his wife and two sons. Jeffrey started writing his first book,Hold Tight, in 2015 when cradling his first born son in the early hours. Hold Tight was published in 2017 andis recognised as one of the first seminal books on grime music. He started writing his second book, Black, Listed, when cradling his second born son in the early hours. Published in 2019, Black, Listed was praised by David Lammy MP as ‘a book that gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others’. Jeffrey’s third book, What is Masculinity?, a book for children on masculinity, broke with tradition and was not written when cradling a newborn son. You can listen to Jeffrey Boakye's conversation with Michael Rosen on Word of Mouth here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004l93 Iesha Small is a writer, speaker and charity strategist passionate about creating a fairer society. Iesha is Head of Strategy and Policy at the youth charity YHA. She has 15 years’ experience in the education sector as a teacher, governor and Innovation Lead at the Centre for Education and Youth think tank. She is passionate about using storytelling alongside research to create positive change and is the author of The Unexpected Leader. She has written about education and society for The Guardian, been a columnist for Schools Week and contributed to books covering education, mental health, and gender identity. She splits her working week between YHA, leadership development and storytelling. Her clients have included Chartered College of Teaching, The National Theatre, Teach First and BBC Radio 4.

27 minJUL 21
Comments
The language of power and inequality in education and leadership

The Language of the Pandemic

Professor Tanya Byron sitting in for Michael Rosen examines the language of Covid-19 with author Mark Honigsbaum. Since the outbreak of coronavirus we have had to adopt a new way of talking about life during a pandemic. We've been 'shielding' and 'socially distancing'. Some of us have been 'furloughed'. We've been dismayed by the irresponsible behaviour of 'covidiots' and tried to avoid too much 'doom scrolling'. But has communication about the virus been clear and effective enough? Medical historian Mark Honigsbaum in his book The Pandemic Century - 100 years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris - argues that words matter and that we should learn the lessons of previous pandemics from Spanish Flu to Ebola. Producer: Maggie Ayre

27 minJUL 15
Comments
The Language of the Pandemic

The power of telling stories

Michael Rosen talks to storyteller Clare Muireann Murphy about how telling and listening to stories can transport both the teller and their audience in wonderfully unexpected ways. Stories change minds, shift perspectives and save lives. Human beings have been telling them to each other for thousands of years, and Clare has experienced the power of stories in transforming trauma into growth. The podcast version of this programme contains the full conversation between Michael and Clare. Producer Beth O'Dea Clare's website: http://claremurphy.org/ https://blesma.org/how-we-help/making-generation-r/

43 minFEB 19
Comments
The power of telling stories

Sindhu Vee

Michael talks to comedian Sindhu Vee about her life in language. Why hearing Nepalese, a language she no longer speaks, can make her cry, how she uses Hindi idioms in comedy, and how she cured her stutter with a thesaurus. Producer Sally Heaven

27 minFEB 12
Comments
Sindhu Vee

Real Talk

Michael Rosen talks to conversation analyst Elizabeth Stokoe about the science of talk. Why infinitesimal pauses and saying hello matter, and the choice of 'speak' over 'talk' can save lives. Where does comedy get it right, and where does artificial intelligence get it wrong? Producer Sally Heaven.

27 minFEB 5
Comments
Real Talk

Latest Episodes

Protest Slogans

Playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks about the provocative language of protest slogans with artist Zoe Buckman and writer Siana Bangura. Image copyright : Greg Morrison Sabrina Mahfouz is a writer and performer, raised in London and Cairo. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (FRSL) and resident writer at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Her most recent theatre show was A History of Water in the Middle East (Royal Court) and her most recent publications as editor include Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making it Happen (Saqi) and Poems From a Green and Blue Planet (Hachette Children's). Siana Bangura: sianabangura.com @Sianaarrgh Siana Bangura is a writer, producer, performer and community organiser hailing from South East London, now living, working, and creating between London and the West Midlands. Siana is the founder and former editor of Black British Feminist platform, No Fly on the WALL; she is the author of poetry col...

27 min3 w ago
Comments
Protest Slogans

Black masculinity and language

Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye, sitting in for Michael Rosen, and poet and writer JJ Bola, look at the construction of black masculinity in contemporary society and the impact of colonialism. They explore how language is used to define or constrain male identity and ask how modern society might transcend these inherited ideas. If you're not a roadman or a baller, who are you? Producer Beth O'Dea. Photo copyright: Antonio Olmos More about Jeffrey Boakye and JJ Bola: Jeffrey Boakye is an author, commentator, writer and English teacher. He has a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race and popular culture. Jeffrey, originally from Brixton in London, has taught English to 11- to 18-year-olds since 2007. He began teaching in West London, moved to East London where he was Head of English, and then moved on to Yorkshire where he now lives with his wife and two sons. Jeffrey started writing his first book,Hold Tight, in 2015 when cradling his first born son in the early hours. Hold Tight was published in 2017 andis recognised as one of the first seminal books on grime music. He started writing his second book, Black, Listed, when cradling his second born son in the early hours. Published in 2019, Black, Listed was praised by David Lammy MP as ‘a book that gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others’. Jeffrey’s third book, What is Masculinity?, a book for children on masculinity, broke with tradition and was not written when cradling a newborn son. JJ Bola's website is jjbola.com, twitter: https://twitter.com/JJ_Bola, instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jj_bola and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jjbola You can listen to Jeffrey Boakye's conversation with Michael Rosen on Word of Mouth here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004l93

27 minAUG 18
Comments
Black masculinity and language

Talking to Strangers

Do you enjoy having a random chat to a stranger? Professor Tanya Byron sitting in for Michael Rosen explores the benefits and barriers to talking to strangers. The "liking gap" the "parasite threat" and "lesser minds": some of the terms used to describe the obstacles some of us face when it comes to talking to people we don't know. Fear of being rejected and straight up fear of other people can prevent us from engaging a complete stranger in conversation. But it's something psychologist Gillian Sandstrom and author Joe Keohane argue is vital for our wellbeing and on a wider scale reduces conflict and misunderstanding in increasingly fractious times. Joe and Gillian join Tanya Byron to talk about how to talk to strangers and how to overcome some of the fears and prejudices we may have about people we don't know. As for 'stranger danger' - is it time to kick that term to the kerb? Produced by Maggie Ayre Gillian Sandstrom is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pyschology at the University of Essex Joe Keohane is a New York based journalist and author of the forthcoming book The Power of Strangers

27 minAUG 11
Comments
Talking to Strangers

Othering through the centuries: Translation to acronyms

Playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks to producer Tobi Kyeremateng and classicist Professor Katherine Harloe about othering in language: describing people in ways that exclude them and make them seem lesser. Translations of the classics have been politicised in identity terms, for example adding in 'white skin' in where it didn't exist. The current language around 'BAME' and "BIPOC" is contentious, even if people think they are being helpful. The opposite of this is the power of language to include. What are the ways forward from here? Image copyright : Greg Morrison Suggestions for further reading from Professor Harloe: There is much current debate within Classics over the racialised hierarchies based on skin colour and other physical features that existed in the ancient world, about how ideas about Greek and Roman culture have functioned to bolster and uphold White supremacist ideas, past and present. Much, though not all, of this scholarship is being don...

27 minAUG 4
Comments
Othering through the centuries: Translation to acronyms

Words Used About Women

Spinster, slut, bird, cat lady, ladette, hussy, bossy, goddess, wife. Guest presenter Nikki Bedi (sitting in for Michael Rosen) talks to Professor Deborah Cameron about the words used to talk about women. Deborah Cameron is Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford. In 2007 she published The Myth of Mars and Venus, a general-interest book about language and gender differences. She writes a regular blog - 'Language: a feminist guide' - and occasionally performs as a linguistic stand up comedian. Produced by Mair Bosworth

27 minJUL 28
Comments
Words Used About Women

The language of power and inequality in education and leadership

Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye, sitting in for Michael Rosen, talks with charity strategist, writer and educator Iesha Small. They explore the language of power and inequality in modern education and leadership, and whether they've both learned to speak 'straight white male'. They also look at the ways in which words that are seemingly innocuous and commonly used in schools conceal deep social inequities, such as the word 'disadvantaged'. Producer Beth O'Dea. Photo copyright: Antonio Olmos More about Jeffrey Boakye: Jeffrey Boakye is an author, commentator, writer and English teacher. He has a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race and popular culture. Jeffrey, originally from Brixton in London, has taught English to 11- to 18-year-olds since 2007. He began teaching in West London, moved to East London where he was Head of English, and then moved on to Yorkshire where he now lives with his wife and two sons. Jeffrey started writing his first book,Hold Tight, in 2015 when cradling his first born son in the early hours. Hold Tight was published in 2017 andis recognised as one of the first seminal books on grime music. He started writing his second book, Black, Listed, when cradling his second born son in the early hours. Published in 2019, Black, Listed was praised by David Lammy MP as ‘a book that gives a voice to those whose experience is persistently defined, refined and denied by others’. Jeffrey’s third book, What is Masculinity?, a book for children on masculinity, broke with tradition and was not written when cradling a newborn son. You can listen to Jeffrey Boakye's conversation with Michael Rosen on Word of Mouth here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004l93 Iesha Small is a writer, speaker and charity strategist passionate about creating a fairer society. Iesha is Head of Strategy and Policy at the youth charity YHA. She has 15 years’ experience in the education sector as a teacher, governor and Innovation Lead at the Centre for Education and Youth think tank. She is passionate about using storytelling alongside research to create positive change and is the author of The Unexpected Leader. She has written about education and society for The Guardian, been a columnist for Schools Week and contributed to books covering education, mental health, and gender identity. She splits her working week between YHA, leadership development and storytelling. Her clients have included Chartered College of Teaching, The National Theatre, Teach First and BBC Radio 4.

27 minJUL 21
Comments
The language of power and inequality in education and leadership

The Language of the Pandemic

Professor Tanya Byron sitting in for Michael Rosen examines the language of Covid-19 with author Mark Honigsbaum. Since the outbreak of coronavirus we have had to adopt a new way of talking about life during a pandemic. We've been 'shielding' and 'socially distancing'. Some of us have been 'furloughed'. We've been dismayed by the irresponsible behaviour of 'covidiots' and tried to avoid too much 'doom scrolling'. But has communication about the virus been clear and effective enough? Medical historian Mark Honigsbaum in his book The Pandemic Century - 100 years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris - argues that words matter and that we should learn the lessons of previous pandemics from Spanish Flu to Ebola. Producer: Maggie Ayre

27 minJUL 15
Comments
The Language of the Pandemic

The power of telling stories

Michael Rosen talks to storyteller Clare Muireann Murphy about how telling and listening to stories can transport both the teller and their audience in wonderfully unexpected ways. Stories change minds, shift perspectives and save lives. Human beings have been telling them to each other for thousands of years, and Clare has experienced the power of stories in transforming trauma into growth. The podcast version of this programme contains the full conversation between Michael and Clare. Producer Beth O'Dea Clare's website: http://claremurphy.org/ https://blesma.org/how-we-help/making-generation-r/

43 minFEB 19
Comments
The power of telling stories

Sindhu Vee

Michael talks to comedian Sindhu Vee about her life in language. Why hearing Nepalese, a language she no longer speaks, can make her cry, how she uses Hindi idioms in comedy, and how she cured her stutter with a thesaurus. Producer Sally Heaven

27 minFEB 12
Comments
Sindhu Vee

Real Talk

Michael Rosen talks to conversation analyst Elizabeth Stokoe about the science of talk. Why infinitesimal pauses and saying hello matter, and the choice of 'speak' over 'talk' can save lives. Where does comedy get it right, and where does artificial intelligence get it wrong? Producer Sally Heaven.

27 minFEB 5
Comments
Real Talk
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