2019 Conference


The fourth Academic Archers conference took place 5th-7th April 2019, at The Edge, University of Sheffield. We started with a Friday night welcome dinner, with Carole Boyd (aka Lynda Snell) as our very special after dinner speaker, with the conference over the Saturday and Sunday. The full schedule can be found below.


23 papers from 24 speakers

200 delegates

5353 combined years of listening

200+ worldwide live streaming


2019 Academic Archers Annual Conference Schedule

Friday, 5th April

Welcome Dinner, doors 6.30 pm for 7 pm, Halifax Hall, Sheffield University

Saturday, 6th April

Conference, The Edge, Sheffield University

8.30 am                                Doors and registration

9 am – 9.15 am                  Welcome from Dr Cara Courage and Dr Nicola Headlam

9.15 am – 10.35     Session 1 - Agri-business/Agro-business: The professional and the political of Ambridge enterprises

9.15 – 9.35, What to do when you’re no longer Borsetshire’s Business Person of the Year or How to handle a scandal, Olivia Vandyk, Communications Strategist

9.35 – 9.55, Borsetshire Businessman or Feckless Farmer?, Christine Narramore, Armchair Soil Scientist

10.15 – 10.35 , Is Ambridge Parish Council fit for purpose? The Localism Act (2011) and its impact on decision-making and governance in a small rural community, Christine Michael, Editor, The Ambridge Observer

 10.35 – 11.25         Session 2 - Hot Fuzz: Crime and the Causes of Crime

10.35 – 10.55, And it’s Burns, Burns, Burns: The rural policeman comes around, Charlotte Bilby, Reader in Criminology, Northumbria University

10.55 – 11.15, ‘We Should have called him Damien.’ A discussion of the impact of Henry Archer’s early years on potential crimes of the future, Nicola Maxfield, Curriculum Manager for Health, Public Services and Education, Alton College

11.25 – 11.45         Morning break

 11.45 – 12.35         Session 3 – Women of Ambridge Redux: Sisters are doing it for themselves?

11.45 – 11.55, Queering Shula, Karen Pollock, Psychotherapist specialising in Gender, Sexuality and Relationship Diversity

11.55 – 12.05, Engineers as earth mothers: can fiction plough a furrow for female participation?, Fiona Gleed, Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, University of Bath

12.05 – 12.15, The pipeline of future UK scientists: Ambridge and the STEM gender imbalance, Jane Turner, Director Primary Science Quality Mark, University of Hertfordshire and Clare Warren, PhD student, University of Hertfordshire

12.15 – 12.35, ‘Almost without exception they are shown in their relation to men’: Ambridge women and their conversations, Sarah Kate Merry, Research Associate, Centre for PostDigital Cultures, Coventry University

12.35 – 12.45, ‘Oh baby!’ Unplanned pregnancy and a woman’s right to choose,    Carolynne Henshaw, Pregnancy Services (former)

‘This isn’t about curry, Alistair’: Shula Hebden-Lloyd and Iris Murdoch on Love, Hannah Marije Altorf, Reader in philosophy, St. Mary’s University

2.30 – 3.30              Session 5 - Rural Identities: The cultural world of Ambridge

2.30 – 2.40, A History of Ambridge in 100 Objects, Felicity Macdonald-Smith, University administrator (retired), collections volunteer at the David Parr House

2.40 – 2.50, Queering Lower Loxley, Dr Cara Courage, Tate

2.50 - 3 pm, The church flower rota; so who is doing the flowers these days?, Felicity Hall                                       Postgraduate Programmes Administrator, V&A

3.20 – 3.30, Ambridge: All the World’s a Stage?, Nicola Boyle, Teaching Fellow, Harlaxton College

Are you actually related? A linguistic family case study of the male Grundys, Rob Drummond, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and Head of Youth Language, Manchester Metropolitan University

 3.30 – 3.50              Afternoon break

 3.40 – 5.20             Session 6 - Rural Identities 1: Towards a sociology of Ambridge life

5.20 pm – 6.05, Session 7 – Potpourri and DumTeeDum singalong recording

5.20 – 5.30, New Zealand – antipodes or alter ego?, Katharine Hoskyn, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

5.40 – 6 pm, Pint of Shires, the Elixir of Youth?, Sara Long, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

6 pm – 6.05, DumTeeDum singalong recording 

 7 pm dinner          The Edge

Sunday, 7th April

9.30 am                    Coffee

9.40 – 10 am, From kitchens to smartphones: Updating our understanding of The Archers listening practices in the digital age, Jerome Turner, Research Assistant, Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University

10.00-11.15            Live Listen, Sunday The Archers Omnibus – and world record attempt at the Tweetalong

 11.15 – 12.35         Session 8 – Post-mortem: Live long and prosper? 

11.25 – 11.45, Not with a bang, but with a whimper?’: attitudes to death and dying in The Archers, Abi Pattenden, Chair, Membership Committee, National Association of Funeral Directors

11.45 – 12.15, Death at Ambridge Hall: How the Archers demonstrates the impact on owners when they lose animals, Bronwen Williams, Researcher

12.15 – 12.35, A series of unfortunate events? Mortality and medical incident in a small Borsetshire village, Rob Stepney, Writer/journalist