Podcasts from the Dreaming Spires

My thanks today to The Sunday Times where I found a reference to this site where Oxford University has gathered together all of their available podcasts, many of which can be enjoyed both in audio and video format.  I’ve occasionally found Oxford lectures via i-Tunes that I’ve enjoyed, but being able to search through a comprehensive selection is a real bonus.  I download them onto my laptop and then run them through the television in HD and it’s just like being there with the added advantage of being able to go back and listen to something again if I want to.

One of their more recent selections is a series of three lectures on the subject of crime literature and as I read a considerable amount of detective fiction I thought I would start with these.  The first is a session with Colin Dexter who is supposed to be talking about Morse.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t really get round to doing this and although he tells one or two nice jokes against himself if you’re looking for something with substance to it then it’s the other two in the series that you want.

Next up I’m going to investigate the four lectures on Literature and Form and the eight on Tolkien at Oxford.  I ought to move out of the literature field as well, I suppose and there is some interesting looking material from the Philosophy Department too.

Has anyone else used this resource and, if so, do you have any recommendations?  It’s always good to know what other people have rated.


9 thoughts on “Podcasts from the Dreaming Spires

    1. Oh yes, I love ‘In Our Time’ and the fact that the archive is now available is wonderful. I love the fact that they also give you suggestions for further study if you want to go further. What would we do without BBC Radio?

  1. I love podcasts but wasn’t aware of this collection so thank you Alex for guiding me. I did find an american university that had posted a series from one of their English lit courses. Some of the content was very interesting (an early one dealt with Austen and the free indirect discourse technique. The problem was that the sound quality was somewhat iffy on times. So it pays to test out a few I think.

    1. Oh yes! There is a series from Warwick University on Ways of Reading which is so bad in terms of sound quality it becomes funny. After the third interruption, which occurs when someone come in to do a room audit, I was laughing so much I couldn’t hope to follow the lecturer’s argument even if I could have heard it over the coughing and mobile phones.

  2. Thanks. This looks like a wonderful source. I think I will sart with African Studies. I have been reading lots of African novels, but know little of its history.

    1. It’s a real privilege to be able to source material like this, isn’t it? Do let me know if the African Studies are interesting and if so I’ll add then to my list.

  3. I haven’t looked at the podcasts yet, but I do troll around the Oxford university websites periodically. It’s where I work in my head. 🙂

    1. Exactly, Naomi. I’ve been studying there in my mind for as long as I can remember. I’m fortunate to live close enough to go occasionally and while I love the city it is never quite as good in reality as it is in thought. Too many tourists and not enough studying. And yes, I do know I’m one of those tourists, but a really nice one:)

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