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

Neill Cameron and Daisy Johnson – Transformers Podcast

Something different here at my website today. A podcast instead of a blog post. A podcast discussing that most profound of subjects… TRANSFORMERS!

What can giant fighting robots teach us about stories? What can they teach us about love? Are glorified toy commercials of interest to anyone other than kids, scholars, and nostalgics?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today’s discussion takes us from 1984 and the origins of the Transformers brand through cartoons, toys, and movies to the latest comics published by IDW. Daisy and Neill also discuss the mythic resonance of children’s television, the medium of comics, and the way pop culture shapes and is shaped by our own relationships with others. It runs for just under 30 minutes and you can find it below.

Daisy’s currently researching her doctorate in literary tourism and children’s literature at the University of York. She’s @chaletfan on Twitter, and you can also find her at Did You Ever Stop to Think.

Neill’s new book How To Make Awesome Comics is available now – you can find him on twitter as @neillcameron, and also at his own website, neillcameron.com.