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Academic explores Black Country identity for BBC Radio 3


An academic from the School of Humanities at the University of Wolverhampton has taken part in a BBC Radio 3 programme which explores the identity of the Black Country both past and present. 

Dr Esther Asprey, Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics, was one of the guests on the Arts & Ideas programme which was recorded at the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday 10 September. 

Linguist Dr Asprey published the first complete scholarly account of Black Country dialect. 

Matthew Sweet presented the programme which also included local poet, Liz Berry, author of books including The Dereliction – a collaboration with artist, Tom Hicks, which explores post-industrial landscapes and her prize-winning 2014 collection Black Country which features a poem about eating Bostin Fittle.  

Joining them was local artist, Dawinder Bansal, who used her upbringing in her parents' electrical shop, which also rented out VHS Bollywood films, as the starting point for the art installation Jambo Cinema and her new film Asians Don’t Kiss is part of The Birmingham 2022 Festival.   

Historian Simon Briercliffe has studied “the Irish Quarter” in Wolverhampton and is working with the Black Country Living Museum on their £23m Forging Ahead project.   

The conversation ranges from the travels of William Cobbett and the writings of Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler to the ways in which the region’s landscape and history is being remembered and recreated in words and installations.  

The show will be aired on BBC Radio 3 on Thursday 22 September:


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