Podcasting the Classics: History Lecturer Launches Podcast
Juliette Harrisson, Senior Lecturer in History at Newman University, has just launched a new podcast ‘Creepy Classics’, with the aim of sharing her research with a wide audience.
In each episode of the podcast, Dr Harrisson re-tells an ancient, medieval or early modern ghost story. Dr Harrison then has a short chat about where the story comes from and what it might tell readers about historic ghost belief and folklore.
Dr Harrisson has been fascinated by ghost folklore since she was a child. In 2013, Dr Harrisson’s 2013 monograph, Dreams and Dreaming in the Roman Empire included a chapter in which she analysed ancient ghost stories in which the ghost appeared through a dream – in the ancient cultural imagination, dreams were one of the way ghosts (and gods) could visit the living.
More recently, Dr Harrisson has been working on comparing ancient and modern ghost stories. A chapter in her 2019 edited collection Imagining the Afterlife in the Ancient World compared an ancient Roman poem about a ghost to ghost stories told online. Dr Harrisson’s work looked at the extent to which readers of any of these stories might really believe they could happen – or not.
When asked about the podcast, Dr Harrisson said: ‘One of the things I want to do through ‘Creepy Classics’ is to tell people about this work. However, I’m also hoping that it will go two ways and people will share their ghost stories with me! I’m fascinated by the relationship between belief, storytelling and ghost folklore, and I’m hoping the podcast will open up a conversation about ghost belief and how our belief (or lack of it!) relates to the ways we tell ghost stories.’
The ‘Creepy Classics’ podcast is available at the following podcast providers:
To find out more about Dr Harrisson’s research, visit her staff profile: https://www.newman.ac.uk/staff/dr-juliette-harrisson/