Deborah Yaffe

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Pandemic project

By Deborah Yaffe, Oct 22 2020 01:00PM

Back in March, a trio of young British academics decided to counteract the loneliness and isolation of lockdown by producing a series of short videos about ideas, culture, and the arts. The videos go up twice a week, with a rotating cast of academics and their guests talking about everything from wrestling to social history to Shakespeare.


The intended audience for the videos -- which you can find on YouTube or on the purpose-built website A Bit Lit -- is high school students, college students, professional academics, interested people stuck at home with nothing to do . . . pretty much everyone, in other words. The videos aren’t polished to a high gloss, but they’re far from amateurish, with entertaining cartoons and tongue-in-cheek visual effects enhancing the presentation.


Over the summer, I got a taste of the project when one of A Bit Lit’s creators -- Emma Whipday, a lecturer in Renaissance literature at Newcastle University – interviewed me about Austen fandom.


The segment produced from our conversation is available starting today; it’s the fourth part of Whipday’s ongoing “At Home with Austen” series. (The earlier episodes are available here, here, and here.) If you’re stuck at home with nothing to do – and isn’t everybody, at least outside of New Zealand? – check it out and let me know what you think.


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