Episode 22: Rubbish

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

‘Tell me the Acts, O historian, and leave me to reason upon them as I please; away with your reasoning and your rubbish’. (William Blake) But you will find no trash talk here! Welcome to Histories of the Unexpected where you will discover the history of things you did not even know had a history; like the history of the party, or the history the bubble.

For this episode let us join the Michelangelo of millennia, Professor James Daybell and the assassin of the archives, Dr Sam Willis, as they excavate their way through the unexpected history of rubbish. Our very own Barney and Stig will take you on a journey through the detritus, from Glastonbury festival to the River Tiber and ancient Roman rubbish dumps, from modern day hoarding to the Oxyrhynchus Papyri and from the Maya civilization to John Jonston’s works on natural history, 1657.

James and Sam will rummage and sift through the tarnished, torn and dented fragments to reveal that this unexpected history is actually all about: consumerism, archiving, anxiety, sentiments, truth, choices, preservation, behaviour, and fish and chips! And match fixing in 12BC and burying your friend’s personal belongings – maybe check first though …

‘We are such things as rubbish is made of, so let’s drink up and forget it’ (Eugene O’Neill)

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