Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies


New MA podcast series launched

A new podcast series produced by students on a podcasting module in the School of Media, Film and Music has been launched today (21 May).

Dr Martin Spinelli, module convenor, explained: "This is the first time we've run the MA optional module in podcasting. Through this we're producing the podcast series 'Borderscapes', which looks at issues of crossing lines and transitioning states of all kinds.

"The concept of ‘borders’ has been a flashpoint in nearly every major field of interest over the past decade. From the nationalist movements and migration crises of geopolitics, to the Hawking-Hartle state (the ‘no-boundary proposal’) of astrophysics, to the breakdown of social contract theory in economics evident in the climate crisis and the Extinction Rebellion responses to it, to the limits of atomism and ego-centrism exposed by recent developments in philosophy and psychology, borders seem at times both impossible and persistent." 

Each student on the module is producing one episode in the series. Some of these include:

  • An investigation of the border between waking and dreaming
  • A documentary on how some native tribes in North America are being forced to relocate because of climate change
  • An analysis of the difficulties of getting international corporations to comply with national laws
  • A story about "reverse mission" in which churches of the Global South are sending missionaries to Britain to establish congregations here
  • A personal essay on the effects of Covid-19 quarantine
  • A look at how difficult and expensive it is to find proper black hair care in Britain.

Students from the Sussex Law School have also joined this term, which has expanded the collective skill set of the class.

In addition to working on their individual episodes, all students worked on a social media promotions campaign, and worked together on different teams: Distribution, Website, Sound & Music, Graphics.

Martin received a Digital Practice Award of £1,000 from the University's Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) service to augment and expand the reach of this module. This has made it possible to hire a professional graphic designer, commission a musician, extend social media outreach with Audiograms, pay for a web template, hire a writing coach to work with students, and, most importantly, give students the opportunity to manage a real budget for the series like any other professional, real-world podcast.

Martin continued: "This module was designed to involve students in the real-world production of a real professional podcast, that is produced like any other professional podcast and sits next to other professional podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Anchor, Audio Boom, and all the other major podcast aggregators. It is not an 'approximation' of professional practice, but is professional practice."

Borderscapes is on the web at and is on social media @BorderscapesPod.

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Posted on behalf of: School of Media, Film and Music
Last updated: Friday, 22 May 2020

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25 March 2011



Dr Sharon Smith

Dr Sharon Smith, who was employed by the University in 2008-09 as a postdoctoral researcher, died on 13 March following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Sharon was part of the Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies.

Sharon was an ordained Buddhist in Triratna (formerly Western) Buddhist Order UK, where she was named Vijayatara.

Her research report on LGBTQI Buddhisms in the UK - for the 'Queer Spiritual Spaces' project - was exemplary. It was complex and interpretive in understanding socio-cultural differences and intersectionality, showing a profound depth and range of historical and textual knowledges.

Sharon was a commensurate professional and produced work to the highest academic standard; her writing was detailed and managed to convey an immense expertise together with insight and grace.

Sharon was a very special colleague, who had a peaceful and warm presence, an unusual patience and gentle humour. She was supportive and generous, honourable and kind.

We were very fortunate to have her as part of the team, and to have her wonderful company.

Professor Sally Munt Director, Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies