“To talk in public, to think in solitude, to read and to hear, to inquire and answer inquiries, is the business of the scholar” (Samuel Johnson, 1759)

“Soweit es tunlich ist, wird man die Resultate der Wissenschaft von ihrer scholastischen Form zu befreien und in einer reizenden, wenigstens einfachen, Hülle dem Gemeinsinn verständlich zu machen suchen.”
(Friedrich Schiller, 1794: “Insofar as it is possible, we shall seek to free the results of academic thought from all their scholastic form, and to make them comprehensible to common sense in an appealing, or at least a simple way.”)


I am a BBC New Generation Thinker (2016, about the scheme), and there is an interview with me by the AHRC here.

I’ve spoken on local, national and international radio, in English and German, and on TV. I am usually happy to talk about: quirky issues in cultural history (from the eighteenth century onwards), the history of the hairdresser, Germany and German History, and Switzerland for a general audience.



Heir Hunters, interview on the history of the hairdresser, 7 March 2017, 11am, here. From 27 minutes in.

Cancer Coiffures, BBC Arts, here.



History of the Hairdresser

An essay for Radio 3, recorded live at the Southbank Centre, “The Rise and Fall of the Hairdresser”, 15 minutes and available here.

An interview on the World Service’s morning show Newsday on #coiffeurgate and President Hollande’s hairdresser, here.

An interview about concentration camp barbers, hair and the Holocaust on Radio 3’s Free Thinking, here.

A brief music introduction on Radio 3’s Jazz Record Requests, here, from the Free Thinking festival at Sage Gateshead.

Further music requests and longer interview for a 30-minute slot on Resonance FM (listen here).

A Radio 3 broadcast from the Hay Festival, where I talk about my hairdresser project broadly, with other New Generation Thinkers, is here.

An interview with BBC Radio Shropshire about the history of the hairdresser and hairstyles through the ages, here.

An interview about my visual history of the hairdresser exhibition with BBC Radio Sheffield, here.

An interview in German for the Swiss national radio station about Swiss aspects of the cultural history of hairdressing: SRF2, here (from 12’15”).


German Intellectual, Musical, Literary and Cultural History

Forthcoming, autumn / winter 2017: presenter and author of Radio 3 feature on German song, literature and everyday life in the 18th century.

My essay and interview on Nietzsche and higher education for BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking is available here.

BBC Proms Extra discussion on “Sentimentality” in eighteenth-century Germany and Britain (and comparison with “Generation Snowflake”), from 42 minutes in with the accompanying music, or as a podcast.


YouTube Videos





Post: Germanic Studies, School of Languages and Cultures
Jessop West, 1 Upper Hanover Street, Sheffield S3 7RA, UK