Conference Buddies

This year we're introducing a Conference Buddy system to pair up those that are joining us for the first time, with those that have been before.

It means that the buddies can meet up on the day, either arranging to arrive together or meet at registration, to take away any trepidation of joining a room full of strangers (and to assure you from audience experience that we're not a bunch of dry academics!).

When you book a ticket you will be asked if you want a buddy, and we'll then introduce the two buddies together over email. 


2018 conference box office open!

The third Academic Archers conference, a day of academic takes on BBC Radio 4's The Archers has opened its box office! Tickets available from:

This conference gathering sees us at BL - not Borchester Land, but the British Library, Euston, London, and we’re delighted to be there, its a wonderful venue and they are looking forward to having us.

From now until the end of November, an early bird ticket (£70) is available – limited in number so get in there fast! From 1st December up to the day of the conference, ticket price will then rise to £85. Tickets are for the full day, and include catering (ticket price covers the venue hire and catering only, no organiser or speakers fees).

Details of speakers will follow – our Peer Review Panel is just about to start on the decision making process of choosing from those ideas submitted who will get to speak on the day. As ever, we have an embarrassment of riches here, its set to be another diverse, inspiring and informative day – with a lot of laughs, as ever.

2018 Conference Call for Papers

Call for Papers: The Archers in fact and fiction: Academic analyses of life in rural Borsetshire

Dr Cara Courage and Dr Nicola Headlam invite the submission of abstracts to the third Academic Archers conference, to be held on 17th February 2018 at The British Library, London.

The one-day conference will feature a number of 15 minutes papers, as well as 5 minute Quick Pitches and posters, around the programme and issues contained therein, of BBC Radio4’s The Archers.

Submissions are invited from any academic discipline and subjects might include but are by no means limited to:

·         Queer perspectives on life in Ambridge

·         Rural housing development – who benefits?

·         Entrepreneurialism in rural communities

·         Politics and protest – ‘right to the field’ in Borsetshire

·         Brexit & Ambridge, what future post CAP?

·         Gender, class and cricket in the village

·         What is a gossip? Gendered approaches to info sharing

·         Intergenerational justice in Ambridge

·         Greenwashing Ambridge, from eco-warriors to biodiversity accountants?

This list is not meant to be exclusive or exhaustive, but is meant to inspire you to think how your academic research, sector professional expertise or listener forensic knowledge of The Archers can illuminate and explain life in Ambridge and Borsetshire. The day is intended to give fans of The Archers a platform to exercise their love of the programme and their subject area.

If you are a fellow Archers fan and/or academic please submit your abstract of 200 words with a short biography to both and by 28th July, indicating if you are proposing a paper, Quick Pitch or poster. Please submit this as a Word attachment. Programming will be determined by an Academic Archers panel and will be communicated by mid-September.


Book number 2...

We are delighted to say that the next Academic Archers book, Custard, Culverts and Cake: Academics on life in The Archers, has been sent to the print and will be available for pre-order imminently and on the shelves in October. 

It has been a joy to work with Emerald and we're all super excited to see the book in print, and to put a smile on our readers faces! A huge thanks you of course to the contributors that worked so hard on this and to turn around their chapters so quickly and so diligently. 

BY way of some sweeteners to the book, the wonderful cover can be seen below, and here's a link to the episode (if you can bear to listeh to it again!) that is the focus of the Emily Baker (University of Liverpool) and Freya Jarman (University of Liverpool) chapter, Soundtrack to a stabbing: what Rob’s choice of music over dinner tells us about why he ended up spilling the custard 

AmbridgeFM is live!

Emily Baker and Dr Freya Jarman, the academics that brought you the inspired paper, Soundtrack to a stabbing: what Rob’s choice of music over dinner tells us about why he ended up spilling the custard, have launched AmbridgeFM online and on Twitter to carry on the conversation about the use of music in The Archers and what this can tell us about the characters and storylines. 

With the strapline 'Please listen carefully to our village' Barker and Jarman 'continue to track, ponder and share ideas about what on earth might be going on over the ‘airwaves’ of the Borsetshire village.'

Both based at the University of Liverpool, Baker and Jarman are a PhD student and lecturer respectively, with research interests in voice and vocality; theories of identity, bodies, sexuality, race and gender; Anglo-American popular music; opera; music production and songwriting.

Cara Courage Archers talk podcast

Dr Cara Courage talks of her pleasure/pain fan relationship with The Archers, in a talk called My BDSM Relationship with The Archers. This talk was first given at Brighton's Catalyst Club  in 2016 and now features as a podcast from The Odditorium

BDSM is used as a metaphor in the talk for the often pained, but very pleasurable, experience Cara has as a listener to The Archers - it doesn't contain any explicit sexual references, but does contain swearing and lots of innuendo. 

Conference proceedings on YouTube

A huge thanks due to the University of Lincoln team for the livestreaming of the conference, the use of their radio station for down the line interviews, and for the films of the sessions, now all on YouTube. 

Genteel Country Hobbies?: In the first session of the Academic Archers Conference 2017 Professor Carenza Lewis, Dr Nicola Headlam and Dr Cara Courage introduce the conference followed by Rachel J. Daniels & Annie Maddison Warren, Joanna Dobson, and Christine Michael present the topic genteel country hobbies.

Educating Ambridge: In the second session of day one of the Academic Archers Conference 2017 Madeleine Lefebvre, Jane Tuner and Dr. Grant Bage, and Felicity MacDonald-Smith discuss Educating Ambridge.

The Geography of Ambridge: In the third session of the Academic Archers Conference 2017 Dr. Angela Connelly, Fiona Gleed, and Tom Nicholls discuss the Geography of Ambridge.

Helen'n'Rob: Session four, part one, of the Academic Archers Conference 2017 looks at the relationship between Helen and Rob. Speakers include Katherine Runswick-Cole & Becky Wood, Amber Medland, Elizabeth Campion, and Dr Freya Jarman & Emily Baker.

Helen'n'Rob: Session four, part two, Dr. Caroline Taylor and Keynote, Professor Jennifer Brown, continue the discussion of Helen and Rob.

Power Relationships: In part one of session five of the Academic Archers Conference 2017 Dr. Alastair Goode & Dr Cara Courage, Louise Gillies & Helen M Burrows, and Dr Nicola Headlam examine Power Relationships.

Keynote, presented by Hannah Ratcliffe (Assistant Producer, BBC Radio 4, The Archers) and Jenny Thompson (Producer, BBC Radio 4, The Archers).

Bereavement and Spirituality: Session Six sees Revd. Dr Jonathan Hustler, Rosalind Janssen & Dr Ruth Heilbronn, and Jessica Meyer discuss Bereavement and Spirituality in Ambridge.

Ambridge Online: In the final session of the 2017 Academic Archers Conference Professor Lizzie Coles-Kemps & Professor Debi Ashenden, Olivia Vandyk, Jerome Turner, and Dr. Nicola Headlam & Dr. Cara Courage discuss Ambridge Online.