1 May 2023
Jenny Kenyon, University College London
The Bloomsbury Handbook of Radio, edited by Kathryn McDonald and Hugh Chignell (New York: Bloomsbury, 2023)
The Bloomsbury Handbook of Radio spans an impressive range of periods, sources, and methodologies. However, it is not only the three essays focussed on broadcasts from the first half of the twentieth century that should be of interest to modernist scholars. A growing body of criticism, such as Aasiya Lodhi and Amanda Wrigley’s Radio Modernisms (2020), has emphasised the importance of transnational and interdisciplinary listening in radio studies. The Handbook creates similarly broad horizons. Here, experimental radio produced by the BBC in the 1930s speaks to modern podcasting’s blurring of fact and fiction. A line can be drawn from the interwar features of BBC producer Olive Shapley to Pierre Perrault’s 1950s recordings of oral history in Québec City, or Andrea Medrado’s explorations of soundscapes and community radio in Brazil in the 2010s. In this way, this volume reveals not only how broadcasts from the past influence current audio production and research but what the future could hold for both radio scholars and practitioners.
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