‘Countries in the Air’: Travel and Geomodernism in Louis MacNeice’s BBC Features

A Research Paper by Aasiya Lodhi, published by Media History

In the middle stretch of his twenty-two-year BBC career, the poet and producer Louis MacNeice earned a reputation as one of the ‘undisputed masters of creative sound broadcasting’, a reputation derived, in part, from a huge range of radio features that were founded upon his journeys abroad. Through close examination of some of his most significant overseas soundscapes—including Portrait of Rome (1947) and Portrait of Delhi (1948)—this article will consider the role and function of travel in shaping MacNeice’s engagement with the radio feature as a modernist form at a particular transcultural moment when Britain moved through the end of the Second World War and the eventual disintegration of its empire.

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Aasiya Lodhi

About

I’m a former BBC radio producer with a specialism in arts and foreign affairs programmes. For over a decade I worked in the Radio Arts Unit, leading teams of producers on BBC Radio 4’s daily arts programme Front Row and BBC Radio 3’s Night Waves, as well as producing Open Book, Saturday Review and The Verb. Before joining Radio Arts I worked as a reporter and an analyst at the BBC World Service. I have also produced the award-winning series Crossing Continents, and made several radio documentaries for BBC Radios 3 & 4 ranging across literature, culture and current affairs subjects. My educational qualifications include a BA (Hons) in English (York) and an MA in Comparative Literature (SOAS); I’m now undertaking a PhD (Sussex) exploring the radio works of modernist writers at the BBC (George Orwell, E.M. Forster, Louis MacNeice and Samuel Beckett). My research is concerned with the intersection between literary and broadcast modernisms, and in particular the geospatial aesthetics of mid-twentieth century BBC Radio.

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Author
Date
27th June 2018
Published By
Media History
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