LitSciPod is co-hosted by Dr Laura Ludtke and Dr Catherine Charlwood. Through its focus on inter- and multi-disciplinary LitSciPod explores important topics and research across humanities and STEM subjects. Every episode also features an interview with a leading scholar in the field of literature and science. 

Episode 5: Epigenetics, Race, Activism. Or, Who Are We And What Do We Think We're Doing?

About this episode:

Produced by: Catherine Charlwood (@DrCharlwood) and Laura Ludtke (@lady_electric).
Music composed and performed by Gareth Jones.

Laura and Catherine are joined by a special guest: Dr Lara Choksey (@larachoksey), postdoctoral research assistant at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health at the University of Exeter. In addition to discussing #litsci aspects of her research and teaching, Lara also explores the intricacies of the language we use to talk about such topics as colonialism, her work with the Global Warwickshire Collective, and what #litsci might be able to offer in terms of decolonising the curriculum, or combating racism.

At the end of the episode, you can hear Lara read an extract from Saidiya Hartman’s, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (2006).

Episode resources:
  • Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (1973)
  • Michael Symmons Roberts, ‘To John Donne’ and ‘Mapping the Genome’
  • John Akomfrah (dir.), The Nine Muses (2010)
  • Julian Huxley, Evolution: The Modern Synthesis (1942)
  • Lily Kay, Who Wrote the Book of Life? A History of the Genetic Code (2000)
  • Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Philosophie zoologique (1809)
  • Doris Lessing, "The Whitehorn Letters" (1944-1949)
  • ---- Memoirs of a Survivor (1974)
  • ---- Canopus in Argos: Archives (1979-1983)
  • Barbara McClintock, "The Significance of Responses of the Genome to Challenge." (1983)
  • The Double Helix history project

In the "Introduction" to The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (edited by E. James and F. Mendlesohn [CUP, 2003]), Farah Mendlesohn writes that, "Language is not trustworthy in sf: metaphor becomes literal."