By Hannah Montgomery, Graduate Writer and Social Media Manager

On June 6th, Dr. Jessica Wolfe, professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, spoke on the BBC’s weekly podcast, In Our Time.

In Our Time is a scholarly podcast on BBC Radio 4, hosted by Melvyn Bragg. Each week it brings in three “absolutely top-class academics” to explain a historical event or figure, or a scientific theory or phenomenon, to the general public. This year, In Our Time is celebrating 20 years of radio specials and podcasts and now has over 850 episodes available online. The show is quite popular in the U.K. and reaches two million listeners a week.

Dr. Wolfe discussed Sir Thomas Browne, an English physician during the Renaissance, and his book, Religio Medici. Other speakers in this discussion were Claire Preston, Professor of Renaissance Literature at Queen Mary University of London, Kevin Killeen, Professor of English at the University of York, and Melvyn Bragg.

Dr. Wolfe jokes, “I was told ahead of time that we couldn’t bring in notes, and so I didn’t, only to turn up and see that my two colleagues had copious notes in front of them! So everything you hear on the show from me was spontaneous, for better or for worse.”

Despite the off the cuff nature of the show, Dr. Wolfe wasn’t nervous, “until I found out how many listeners the show gets—-in the millions, apparently, a number borne out by the fact that I’ve heard today from several British friends I haven’t talked to in decades, telling me they enjoyed listening to the show.”

Dr. Wolfe hopes the show boosts interest in Browne, and also sales of books by and about Browne.

The podcast is available to listen to or download here.

portrait of dr. jessica wolfe
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