Free tickets to be in live audience for BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking programme

Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold

A special edition of BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking programme is set to be recorded at the University of Sussex, and an invitation has been extended to those who would like to be in the live audience at the show.

For the programme recording, set to be held on Thursday from 6pm to 7.15pm, a panel of speakers will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy with a group discussion.

At the University of Sussex

At the University of Sussex

Book a free seat to be in the audience at the university’s Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts here:

In his book, Arnold argued that modern life was producing a society of ‘Philistines’ who only cared for material possessions and hedonistic pleasure. As a medicine for this moral and spiritual degradation, Arnold prescribed ‘culture’, which he defined as ‘the best which has been thought and said in the world’, stored in Europe’s great literature, philosophy and history. By engaging with this heritage, he argued, humans could develop towards a higher state of mental and moral ‘perfection’.

The panel of speakers will discuss the significance of Culture and Anarchy, and its legacy in ongoing arguments for the value of culture and the humanities.

The discussion will be hosted by Matthew Sweet. Speakers on the panel will include: Tiffany Jenkins (sociologist of heritage, author of Keeping Their Marbles: How the Treasures of the Past Ended up in Museums, and Why They Should Stay There), Simon Heffer (writer, author of High Minds: the Victorians and the Birth of Modern Britain), Stella Duffy (writer and co-director of the Fun Palaces campaign), and Will Abberley (senior lecturer in Victorian literature, University of Sussex).

The panel discussion will be followed by an audience Q & A.

The discussion will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on July 13 at 10pm.

The event is part of a day of activities at the university exploring the concepts of ‘culture’ and ‘anarchy’. All are welcome to attend a symposium on this subject earlier in afternoon, 2-5pm, in the same venue.