02: Strange days


The second episode of our thematic audio series, telling the stories behind the research.

As the nights draw in and we approach the end of the year, it’s often a time to look back and reflect. 2016, however, has been a year to forget.

It began with a spate of cultural icons biting the dust – Zaha Hadid, Bowie, Rickman, Prince and Mohamed Ali to name but a few. We’ve had terrorism in Europe, America and the Middle East. Brexit. And one of the most depressing US election races in living memory.

The refugee crisis has continued to inspire a deep sense of injustice and powerlessness, as Europe’s governments pass the buck on a humanitarian crisis of an unprecedented scale.

Here we bring you stories that explore the disorientating, strange place we find ourselves in as 2016 limps its way to an inauspicious close.

We will be looking to the past and the future as we hear from world-leading psychologists, computer scientists, economists and creative practitioners.


"Have you ever woken up in the dead of night, completely unable to move? Or, had a nightmare that seemed so real you thought you might be losing you mind?"

For Halloween, we talk to Goldsmiths' Professor Chris French about the disturbing phenomenon known as sleep paralysis. Hear firsthand accounts of people's experiences and find out more about the history and science behind a phenomenon that could explain a host of paranormal events.

Special thanks to Professor Chris French, Polly Thair, Ashley Simpson, Liron Zisser, Ted Low, Tommy Guilmette, Heidi Nickoline and Joseph Montemurro.

For more info:


Step back to 1916 and witness the secret history of Deptford’s conscientious objectors during the Great War

On trial for their religion, politics, and human conscience, relive the secret hearings of men who resisted being drafted into the armed forces in the midst of a conflict that would shape the world.

Written by Goldsmiths’ College Historian, Prof Tim Crook, this play brings to life the Brockley postman who said no, the Labour activist who became Deptford's first woman Mayor, and the Mayor who said yes.

Please be aware this podcast includes adult themes, references to violence and strong language.

Directed and produced by Chris Delaney and Astrid Hald. Featuring the voice talents of Milo Chadwick, Tim Harrison, Cormac Joyce, Ben Laumann, John Skerritt, and Julia Quayle.

Find out more about the history of Deptford during the Great War: www.gold.ac.uk/media/images-by-s…own-Hall-1916.pdf

A full version of the play, Devils on Horseback, will be performed on site in the Deptford Town Hall Council Chamber from 18 - 20 May. Tickets available now: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/devils-on-ho…ts-34066222990

"Dawn of the sex-bots doesn't mean the start of a slippery slope"

Within the fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Human-Robot Interaction, we have recently seen a strong upsurge of interest in the more personal aspects of human relationships with developing technology.

Al Riddell reports from the International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, two days of talks and workshops exploring the human relationship with artificial partners, held at Goldsmiths, in December 2016.

Featuring and based on the research of Dr Kate Devlin from Goldsmiths' Department of Computing.

Special thanks to contributors Dr Genevieve Liveley and Dr David Levy.