Along with Nicola Hedlam, University of Liverpool, and Peter Matthews, University of Stirling, I am co-founder of Academic Archers, an academic fandom community of practice devoted to BBC Radio 4's The Archers.
We meet annually at conference, and daily online as #AacdemicArchers and on its Facebook page, and have published two books of conference proceedings, Custard, Culverts and Cake: Academics on Life in The Archers (Emerald, 2017), with Dr Nicola Headlam and The Archers in Fact and Fiction: Academic Analyses of Life in Rural Borsetshire (Peter Lang, 2016), with Dr Nicola Headlam and Dr Peter Matthews. YouTube films from the 2017 Academic Archers conference can be found from this page; and podcasts with its contributors here, here and here.
Academic Archers is an experimental form of academic community with The Archers as a lens through which wider issues can be explored. As a community we share our knowledge of the programme, our research interests, and a lot of laughs, creating the academic field if you will, of Ambridgeology. In all that we do, are values are to be 'curious, generous and joyful'.
Academic Archers are people that have an academic interest in The Archers, whether they are at a university or not, whether they have any formal qualifications or not - the latter being our Research Fellows. We just ask that you have a passion for the programme and a wish to learn more and discuss the issues it rasies in some detail.
Our conferences have been held at University of Liverpool in London and University of Lincoln, the 2018 conference at the British Library, Euston, London. Topics are from across academic disciplines, from social media, education, religion, the negative aspects of competing at Flower and Produce shows, birdwatching, class and masculinity in Ambridge, eating disorders and dietary health, flood resilience, social status and perceptions of physicality, family dysfunctionality, and of course the Helen and Rob storyline.