Lecturer in English is a Radio 3 New Generation Thinker

Posted on 1 July 2011

University of York lecturer, Dr Zoe Norridge, has been named as one of 10 winners of the BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) inaugural New Generation Thinkers Scheme.

Zoe Norridge

Zoe Norridge, who researches the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, was selected after a nationwide search for academics with the potential to turn their ideas into fascinating broadcasts.

Rwanda has been the main focus of my research for several years and I'm looking forward to talking about the ways in which the 1994 genocide is memorialised with a wider audience

Dr Zoe Norridge

The scheme received more than 1,000 applications from university researchers who, after a six month selection process, were whittled down to the final 10 by a judging panel of Radio 3 producers and AHRC academics.

The winning New Generation Thinkers were chosen from a group of 57 finalists who attended a series of day-long workshops at the BBC exploring the key to making scholarly research into good radio.

Zoe Norridge, of York’s Department of English and Related Literature, and her fellow New Generation Thinkers for 2011 will now work closely with dedicated mentors from the production team of Radio 3's arts and ideas programme Night Waves.

Launched in November 2010 at Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas, the scheme invited applications from academics at an early stage of their career who are passionate about communicating modern scholarship to a wider audience.

The winners will now become Radio 3's first-ever resident New Generation Thinkers and will be given the unique opportunity to develop their broadcasting ideas hand-in-hand with Radio 3 and appear on air in special New Generation Thinkers debates and sessions.

Zoe Norridge commented: “It's a great honour to be one of the final New Generation Thinkers. I've enjoyed meeting inspirational colleagues from across the UK over the last few months and am keen to forge ongoing relations with Radio 3's Night Waves.  

“Rwanda has been the main focus of my research for several years and I'm looking forward to talking about the ways in which the 1994 genocide is memorialised with a wider audience. Discussing this work with undergraduates and postgraduates in seminars, workshops and tutorials has been vital in the development of new ideas. I'd also like to thank staff in the Department of English and Related Literature and the Humanities Research Centre for supporting me through this process.”  

Matthew Dodd, Head of Speech programming, Radio 3, said: "The response from scholars has been overwhelming and the quality of their proposals a revelation. New Generation Thinkers will introduce Radio 3's audience to charismatic new voices and fascinating areas of contemporary research."

Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive of the AHRC, added: "We had over 1000 applications in a very short time which indicates the depth of talent among the new generation of arts and humanities researchers and the appetite they have to communicate their knowledge and enthusiasm."

Dr Audra Mitchell, of York’s Department of Politics, was also a finalist in the competition.

Listen to Zoe speaking on Night Waves on 29th June (minute 29:30) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0124s5d