Castralien

“Castralien” – a fantasy of the 1940s, a German refugee’s vision of a world-encompassing internment camp where displaced persons are shuffled between Britain and its colonies.

Hutchinson Square, Douglas, Isle of Man
Hutchinson Square, former internment camp in Douglas, Isle of Man – Image by Wikipedia user jamesfranklingresham under a CC-BY-S.A 3.0 licence

This week’s Marvellous, Electrical brings together Queensland ghost towns, Sixties television, European wars, plus histories and fantasies of offshore detention.

Read “Castralien” here.

Library under siege

Last week was a huge one for British public libraries. A BBC report highlighted the severity of cuts to library services in recent years, and library lovers in the borough of Lambeth made national news when they occupied a branch due for closure.

I believe that the battles happening in Lambeth, and across the UK, aren’t just about those communities. They have lessons for librarians around the world. Read more

We The Humanities: Interview with Daisy Johnson, University of York

This week you can find me over at @wethehumanities, a rotating Twitter account where people working in the humanities get to share ideas, experiences, and stories. I’m using my week to talk about the grey areas between fact and fiction, dream and experience, stories and everyday life – as well as people who cross back and forth over the walls of universities and academic institutions.

Writer, researcher, and librarian Daisy Johnson blogs on children’s literature and literary tourism – which also happen to be her research topics as a doctoral candidate at the University of York. She began by telling me about her thesis.

I research children’s literature and literary tourism in the United Kingdom. I’m interested in what happens after the book; that moment when you visit somewhere in the real world that you’ve previously read about in a book.

I think I’ve always been interested in literary tourism without quite knowing what it is. I visited the Achensee in Austria when I was younger, solely because of my interest in the Chalet School series by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, and ever since that point, I’ve been interested in the edges of the literary experience and what happens when you experience the fictional in the real world and vice-versa.

Read more