Crossed Wires: Literature and Telephony

Lead Research Organisation: Nottingham Trent University
Department Name: Sch of Arts and Humanities

Abstract

In a letter to Paul Auster, J.M. Coetzee (2013) argues that the mobile phone creates significant structural difficulties for the writer: 'If people ... are continually going to be speaking to one another at a distance, then a whole gamut of interpersonal signs and signals, verbal and non-verbal, voluntary and involuntary, has to be given up. Dialogue ... just isn't possible'. The implications of the telephone for the literary text, however, extend far beyond this, and although the effect of the telephone on narrative structure has long been acknowledged by writers such as Coetzee, the wider cultural, political and textual implications of failed and interrupted communication - of crossed wires, phone-hacking and missed calls - remain neglected in literary scholarship. My 20-month research project (equivalent to 16 months FT) addresses this deficiency by exploring the ways that the telephone has been conceived by writers from the 19th century to the present day. Its aim is to think creatively and critically about the co-emergence of the human and the machine by exploring the relationship between telephony and Anglophone literature from across the globe.

The project will result in a monograph, Crossed Wires: Literature and Telephony, which will provide a sustained analysis of the effects of telephony on the literary text. Examining how the telephone has transformed reading and writing practices, it will explore the impact of developing telephone technologies on drama, fiction, poetry and non-fiction by a wide range of authors including Ali (1987), Carson (2009), Cocteau (1930), Greene (1978), Hurt (2016), Shamsie (2009), Spark (1959), Twain (1889) and Waugh (1930). The analysis will pay particular attention to the possibilities for technology to destabilise relations of presence and absence, near and far, and life and death; in so doing, it will draw on critical work by Agamben, Cixous, Derrida, Ronell and Szendy. While considerable research in telephony has been undertaken in media and film studies, its impact on the development of reading and writing practices remains neglected. Moreover, existing studies on telephony in critical theory date back to the 1980s. This monograph is timely; performing the effects of telephony on language and form, it will interrogate the telephone's role and representation in light of recent mobile, cellular and smartphone technologies.

In a culture of heightened auditory surveillance and increased public awareness of the impact of smartphone technologies on public health and modes of interpersonal communication, this research has far-reaching significance beyond the academy. Unique to this cross-disciplinary project is a collaboration with the Science Museum, whose world-class resources include significant collections on global developments in telecommunications, and the BT Archives, the repository of the world's oldest communications company. Building on my experience as an award-winning poet, scholar and broadcaster, and working in collaboration with a range of research partners, this project incorporates a number of innovative activities including (i) an international 'Festival of the Phone' at the Science Museum, (ii) a Dial-a-Poem mobile app developed with the support of the National Poetry Library, (iii) a radio feature on telephony drawing on the collections at the BT Archives and Science Museum, (iv) a new collection of literary resources at BT Archives and online exhibition; and (v) a writing workshop series with the Youth Justice Service exploring forms of creative expression using smartphone technologies. Responding to current concerns surrounding telephone usage (e.g. text-speak, phone addiction, sexting), and contributing to high-profile scholarship in the field, this project brings together creative and critical approaches in order to investigate how our existing use of telecommunications can help us to find new ways of conceiving ethical and creative technological futures.

Planned Impact

In 1877, The Times reported: 'A time is coming when everybody, we presume, will carry his own Telephone about with him'; over a century later, GSMA Intelligence claimed that for the first time there were more telephones in the world than people (2014). Responding to continued growth in the market, diverse stakeholders have declared an investment in the social, political, cultural and economic impact of the telephone. This interest includes: reports by sociologists of 'nomophobia' (no-mobile-phone-phobia) (Yildirim 2014); statutory guidance by the Department for Education regarding mobile technology policies in schools (2015); the 'Snooper's Charter' (2016); and a government paper arguing for the UK's place as a global leader in mobile technologies (2017). Connecting a broad range of publics, our relationship with the telephone, the ways in which phone usage is monitored and controlled, and the implications of this for education, politics, economics, creativity, culture, health and well-being, ensures that this project has appeal for a broad range of non-academic beneficiaries.

This project aims to explore the possibilities of the telephone within contemporary cultures and communities. Maximising opportunities to engage audiences through collaboration with public-facing institutions and organisations, a range of innovative activities are embedded in the project design. Contributing to the AHRC's remit to 'increase the impact of arts and humanities research on cultural life and the UK's creative economy' ('The Human World', 2013), the project will focus on the impact of this research on (i) culture, (ii) society, and (iii) public services.

(i) Culture
Engaging different publics with the relationship between literature and technology and its effect on reading and writing practices, this project will inform debate regarding the cultural role of the telephone. It will contribute to the cultural sector by offering new opportunities to share and promote the creative possibilities of the telephone for schools, members of the public, writers, artists and other practitioners.
(ii) Society
Contributing to public debates regarding telephone usage, this project will increase awareness regarding the relationship between the human and the machine, focusing on the implications of telephony for connectivity, health and well-being, as well as the risks of reliance, misuse and decreased opportunities for face-to-face interaction.
(iii) Public Services
In light of social and educational concerns regarding mobile phone usage and its effects on interpersonal communication, the project will engage specific communities with creative and socially-responsible expression using multi-media platforms. This has the potential to inform guidance for practitioners undertaking literacy-based and creative activities within public services.

These impacts will be achieved through:
(i) A substantial 'Festival of the Phone' at the Science Museum; open to members of the public, it will feature international and interdisciplinary contributors, combining academic presentations with workshops and performances.
(ii) A 'Dial-a-Poem' mobile app developed in association with the National Poetry Library; this will promote poetry through new channels and invite members of the public to participate in the co-production of creative content.
(iii) Drawing on object collections at the BT Archives and Science Museum, a radio feature (with Cast Iron Radio) will raise awareness about the cultural and creative implications of telephony.
(iv) A writing workshop series with 11-18 year old females engaged with the Youth Justice Service will facilitate the use of mobile technologies to develop literacy and create new narratives of self-expression.
(v) A website, and associated online exhibition of the literary heritage of the telephone, linked to the BT Archives and promoted through project partners and social media, will ensure the sustainability of these impacts.

Publications

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Bostock C (2019) Between Calls: Together in the Garden in Parallax

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Bostock C (2019) Introduction: 'Who Could Ever Read This?' in Parallax

 
Title Calling Across Borders 
Description In collaboration with Compass Collective, Jackson ran a series of online writing workshops for young people seeking sanctuary in the UK, inspiring ten young refugees to explore their relationship with the telephone through poetry. Developing writing and performing skills, Jackson worked with Compass Collective, and with sound artist Rosie Ash and animator Maria Belik, to turn their voicemail messages into a short animated film entitled 'Calling Across Borders'. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact The film was completed in January 2021 and launched in February 2021. 96 people attended the launch and the video has been viewed on YouTube over 2000 times to date. In anonymous evaluation forms, the participants repeatedly testified to the value of the project in developing their confidence and literacy, and Compass Collective Artistic Director notes that the project has improved their self-expression and resilience, explaining that the resulting film has had a far-reaching impact on the wider community for the way that it creates a space of welcome and integration. 
URL https://crossedlines.co.uk/calling-across-borders
 
Title Dial-a-Poem 
Description In 2020, Jackson launched the Dial-a-Poem mobile app, a free digital resource that gives users access to 63 new 'telephone' poems by contemporary award-winning writers from Africa, America, Asia and Europe. Reflecting on the relationship between poetry and calling, and read aloud by the authors and translators, these poems invite users to think about how we talk, text and listen across borders. The app features newly-commissioned work from Claudia Berrueto, Vahni Capildeo, Rachael Boast, Amy Sara Carroll, Rishi Dastidar, Bruno Galluccio, Lisa Kelly, Raquel Lanseros, Janet McAdams, Andrew McMillan, Abi Palmer, Anita Pati, Vidyan Ravinthiran, Denise Saul, Nick Sturm, Chrissy Williams, Lyuba Yakimchuk, and Ather Zia, as well as the winning entries of a national poetry competition. The app is available for free from Google Play and the App Store. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The Dial-a-Poem app has brought to the attention of the wider public the work of international award-winning writers. Poets have testified to the value of the project, noting that it not only inspired new work but also brought to light fresh understanding of the relationship between poetry and technology. To date, the app has been downloaded 428 times, with 7,032 visits to the Dial-a-Poem webpages. 
URL https://crossedlines.co.uk/dial-a-poem/
 
Title The Exchange 
Description Reflecting a change in programming as a result of COVID-19, Jackson worked with the Science Museum Group to create an online collection of original art and literary works entitled 'The Exchange'. Exploring the role of the telephone in cultural production and reception, the project features original works by writer Will Self, transmedia artist Maya Chowdhry, beatboxer Danny Ladwa, sound artist Aura Satz, and poets Lisa Kelly, Serge Neptune, Nadia Nadarajah and DL Williams. These works were inspired and informed by Jackson's own research, and were created in response to heritage objects in the Science Museum Group's collection. 'The Exchange' is available to the public via the Science Museum website and the project website. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact A Science Museum blog was published in September 2020 to launch the collection; together with the museum webpages and the project website, 'The Exchange' has received more than 2000 visits to date. The Science Museum's Twitter announcement also received 89,647 impressions. Contributing artists have noted the positive impact of the project on the development of their practice, not only inspiring new creative outputs but also introducing their work to new and diverse audiences. 
URL https://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/the-exchange/
 
Description As a direct result of this funding, Jackson has to date co-edited a peer-reviewed special issue on the 'Unidentifiable Literary Object' in the peer-reviewed journal parallax, for which she co-authored the introduction and a creative-critical article entitled 'Between Calls: Together in the Garden' (2019). A second peer-reviewed journal article entitled 'Calling without Calling: Barghouti, Derrida and "The International Day of Telephones"' is forthcoming in Textual Practice (2021), and her monograph is currently under contract with an academic publisher (forthcoming 2022). These publications offer a nuanced analysis of the telephone's role in some of the key concerns of the contemporary age, including globalization, surveillance, migration, and politics. In particular, Jackson's work offers new insights into the telephone's role in the limits and possibilities of cross-cultural communication, and opens up new questions regarding the 'ethics of answerability'.
In 2020, Jackson organised the 'Telepoetics' conference which took place online and attracted 7,172 views from 40 countries over its 10-day duration. As a result of this event, Jackson is currently working with co-editors on the development of a volume of essays to be submitted to an academic press. During the period of funding, Jackson has been invited to discuss her research at the University of St Andrews (23-24 January 2020) and the University of Glasgow (5 June 2020; cancelled due to COVID-19), as well as on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.
The research has also resulted in a number of creative and artistic outputs including a crowd-sourced online exhibition of 90 literary telephones (featured in the Guardian, 17 November 2020), a Dial-a-Poem mobile app (a free resource providing access to 63 contemporary poems by writers from Africa, America, Asia and Europe), a short animated film featuring voicemail messages from young refugees in the UK produced in collaboration with Compass Collective, and a collection of original art and literary works exploring the role of the telephone in cultural production and reception, developed in collaboration with the Science Museum.
Together, these research outputs have significantly developed our understanding of the telephone's potential to ignite new conversations between different historical periods, global locations, theoretical lenses and literary and critical voices. These questions will be further examined in forthcoming publications, which include a monograph and co-edited volume of essays.
Exploitation Route As the first major study of the relationship between telephony and transnational literary texts drawn from the period of the telephone's invention to the present day, the research opens up new ways of thinking about the connections between technology, language and culture. Outcomes of this funding have already been put to use by international artists and writers who have produced new works as a direct result of the research undertaken by Jackson. The project is also influencing project partners: the BT Archives notes that the collaboration has provided new ways of engaging users from a range of disciplines with their resources, and confirms that a new partnership was inspired by Jackson's approach; the Science Museum also confirms that Jackson's creative-critical methodology has informed fresh ways of thinking about future research collaborations. As further findings of the project are published in a journal article, a monograph and edited volume, it is anticipated that outcomes will continue to be taken forward by others working in literary, critical and cultural studies, as well as in creative writing and art.
Sectors Creative Economy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.crossedlines.co.uk
 
Description As part of this award, Sarah Jackson has curated a range of creative-critical research activities that have (1) engaged diverse communities with ideas related to telephony and culture; (2) resulted in new forms of literary, artistic and cultural production; (3) led to changes to institutions' cultural programming; and (4) inspired new approaches to public engagement and impact. (1) Activities include a series of writing workshops with young refugees living in the UK, a pop-up event with members of the public, a national student poetry competition, and a crowd-sourced online exhibition of literary telephones, which has received over 7000 visits to date. Jackson has also translated her research ideas for broadcast media, including radio essays and interviews, with contributions including BBC Radio 4's 'Every Little Touch' (broadcast 17 October 2020), BBC Radio 3's 'When TV and the Information Superhighway Were New' (broadcast 3 December 2019), and the ArtFund's 'Lobster Telephone' podcast (released 18 February 2021). Her findings have been reported widely in the national media, including coverage of her discovery in the BT Archives of correspondence between Sylvia Pankhurst and the post office regarding phone tapping on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, and in the Guardian and BBC news website (18 December 2018). (2) The project has inspired and informed a range of creative outputs. These include the Dial-a-Poem mobile app, which features 63 new and contemporary telephone poems by international writers (over 400 downloads to date), a short animated film of voicemail messages left by young refugees (viewed over 2000 times to date), and an online showcase of original art and literary works inspired by telephone equipment in the Science Museum Group's collections (viewed over 2000 times to date). The project has directly influenced a range of artists and writers whose outputs have responded to Jackson's research. It has also brought to the attention of a wider public the work of international award-winning poets. (3) Jackson's research is influencing project partners; the BT Archives notes that the collaboration has inspired a new partnership, has led to the development of a new literary section within their Historical Communications Library, and has provided a model for engaging researchers from a range of disciplines with their resources. The Science Museum states also that Jackson's approach has opened up new ways of thinking about future research collaborations with artists and writers, and notes that the Telepoetics conference in particular reinforced the value of communicating research through digital platforms. As a result of Jackson's online writing workshops, Compass Collective also plan to integrate further creative writing activities into their programme. (4) Jackson's creative-critical research methodology has been used to develop discussions about engagement, impact and collaboration. Her research is featured as an impact case study on the AHRC's website and she has contributed to a short film/interview for use by the BT Archives to showcase the ways that archivists and academic researchers can work together. The Science Museum have stated that as a result of Jackson's work, they intend to explore further creative reinterpretation of objects in their collections by artists and scholars. Jackson was also invited to discuss her work on public engagement at the University of St Andrews in January 2020; in addition to members of the academic community, the audience included creative practitioners, third sector organisations and members of the public.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Creative Economy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic

 
Description BT Archives 
Organisation BT Group
Department BT Archives
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Dr Sarah Jackson's research on the literary heritage of the telephone draws on an important but underused archive, and the broad range of public events and activities associated with her research supports the Connected Earth initiative, a £6 million investment by BT to promote the widest possible access to its collection of historical communication artefacts, while ensuring proper standards of care for the collection. In December 2018, Dr Jackson's research at BT Archives was covered widely in the national media, including in the Guardian, BBC online, and an interview for BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, which reaches on average 7 million listeners per week.
Collaborator Contribution BT Archives (part of British Telecom plc), the repository of the world's oldest communications company, is a partner to the AHRC Leadership Fellows 'Crossed Wires: Literature and Telephony' for the full duration of this 20-month project (extended to January 2021 as a result of COVID-19). BT Archives provides significant support for this project through staff time and resources. This specialist support and advice includes dedicated desk space, staff time to supervise access to the Archives, and appropriate technical support. The Archives have also agreed to waive the copyright and permissions fees for any material Dr Jackson draws on for her research.
Impact National media coverage, including 47 mentions with full page coverage in The Guardian, the Mail online and the BBC News website (18 December 2018) and an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme (7.17 million listeners per week in Q4, 2019) A short film of Jackson's research showcasing academic-archivist collaborations in business A new literary section within the Historical Communications Library at the BT Archives, with records incorporated into their digital catalogue Original creative writing on the history of telephony and the deaf experience by poet Lisa Kelly as part of the Dial-a-Poem mobile app
Start Year 2018
 
Description Calling Across Borders 
Organisation Compass Collective
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution In November 2020 - January 2021, Sarah Jackson worked with Compass Collective (a not-for-profit community-interest company supporting young people seeking sanctuary in the UK) on the Calling Across Borders project. Jackson designed and led four online writing workshops for ten young refugees; this included mentoring and providing training for two young ambassadors. Jackson worked with the participants to edit and record their work, and collaborated with the Artistic Director, and with a sound designer and animator, in order to produce a short film featuring voicemail messages left by the young people.
Collaborator Contribution Compass Collective provided the online platform for an arts and engagement project with ten young refugees living in the UK. Entitled 'Calling Across Borders', the project required the experience and skills of youth workers and refugee arts professionals. Recruiting and liaising with the participants, Compass Collective supported the facilitation and administration of four writing workshops. The organisation also collaborated on the sound design and animation of the project output - a short film launched in February 2021.
Impact 'Calling Across Borders' - a short animated film, with sound design by Rosie Ash and animation by Maria Belik
Start Year 2020
 
Description Science Museum 
Organisation Science Museum Group
Department The Science Museum
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Dr Jackson's research on literature and telephony sheds new light on the relationship between language and technology, and provides an innovative approach to the subject of a major gallery at the museum, 'The Information Age', which opened in 2014. Jackson designed and developed an international symposium and Communications-themed 'Lates' due to take place at the Science Museum in May 2020. As a result of COVID-19, the symposium took place online over ten days in May-June 2020; the 'Lates' event was transformed into an online showcase of original artworks responding to Jackson's research and to objects in The Information Age gallery. This launched in September 2020.
Collaborator Contribution The Science Museum Group is a partner for the AHRC Leadership Fellows project 'Crossed Wires: Literature and Telephony' for the project's 20-month duration. This includes free use of the meeting room at the Dana Research Centre and Library, provision of advice and support from Dr Tim Boon (Head of Research and Public History), hot-desking use of the Research Centre and Office, and access to the Museum's programming teams.
Impact 'Telepoetics' - podcasts of presentations made by researchers, archivists, curators and writers during the 10-day online symposium held May-June 2020 'The Exchange' - original artworks by Will Self, Maya Chowdhry, Danny Ladwa, Aura Satz, Lisa Kelly, Serge Neptune, Nadia Nadarajah and DL Williams
Start Year 2018
 
Description Bilateral 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sarah Jackson was commissioned to write and read a new poem - entitled 'Bilateral' - on the theme of the body for BBC Radio 3's Words and Music programme (broadcast 29 November 2020). In Q4 2019, BBC Radio 3 reported listening figures of 2.13 million.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000pvbq
 
Description Crossed Lines online exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sarah Jackson curated a crowd-sourced online exhibition of literary telephone calls. Open to members of the public, the exhibition currently includes 90 nominations of international literary texts spanning over 130 years. The exhibition was featured in The Guardian (17 November 2020) and the exhibition webpages were visited over 7000 times in the initial three months following its launch. The exhibition will also result in a new literary section within the Historical Communications Library at the BT Archives, with records incorporated into their digital catalogue.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://crossedlines.co.uk/online-exhibition/
 
Description Engaged: Public Humanities on the Phone 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Jackson was invited to present her research on telephony and public engagement at 'Slavic Studies Goes Public' (23-24 January 2020) held at Bell Pettigrew Museum, the University of St Andrews. Her talk was open to members of the public, and included participants of her pop-up 'Engaged' project, a BT-supported interactive event which took place in a phone booth in St Andrews in December 2019. In addition to members of the public, audience members included a significant number of international creative practitioners and representatives from third sector organisations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://crscees.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/barsea/
 
Description Every Little Touch radio interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Jackson was invited to discuss the relationship between poetry, touch and telephony during lockdown for a BBC Radio 4 programme entitled 'Every Little Touch' (broadcast 17 October 2020). BBC Radio 4 reported weekly listening figures of 10.98 million during Q4 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Hooking Up, Crossing Lines: Poetry Calling 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sarah Jackson wrote an article entitled 'Hooking Up, Crossing Lines: Poetry Calling' for Poetry News (Winter 2020, p.7), a quarterly magazine mailed to members of the national Poetry Society. Discussing the history of John Giorno's public art project launched in 1969, the article explores on the relationship between literature and telephony, introducing readers to the Dial-a-Poem mobile app produced in 2020 as part of the AHRC-funded Crossed Lines project. Poetry News had 5100 subscribers in 2020.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description John Giorno and Dial-a-Poem media coverage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sarah Jackson was invited to discuss her research on John Giorno's Dial-a-Poem service with Matthew Sweet on BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking. The episode aired on 3 December 2019 and the programme was entitled 'When TV and the Information Superhighway were New'. Jackson shared her research on Giorno's multimedia poetry experiments, including the history of Dial-a-Poem, and Jackson's recreation of the project in terms of a mobile app and phone booth installation. It included a telephone interview with poet Vahni Capildeo in Trinidad, during which they read their new poem, 'Full-Circle Bells', which was commissioned as part of Jackson's research. BBC Radio 3 reported listening figures of 2.13 million in Q4 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000bwzy
 
Description New Thinking podcast: Wordsworth 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sarah Jackson was invited to present a BBC New Thinking podcast to celebrate 250 years since the birth of William Wordsworth. Discussing new insights into Wordsworth's writing, Jackson was joined by Sally Bushell, Professor of Romantic and Victorian Literature, and Simon Bainbridge, Professor of Romantic Studies - Co-Directors of The Wordsworth Centre for the Study of Poetry at the University of Lancaster. The conversation was recorded with an audience at the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama at the University of Manchester and was broadcast on BBC Radio 3's 'Art and Ideas' programme on 31 March 2020; BBC Radio 3 reported listening figures of 2.13 million in Q4 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p087kr4n
 
Description Podcast (ArtFund) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sarah Jackson was invited to discuss her research on telephony as part of the 'Art and Stuff' ArtFund podcast broadcast on 18 February 2021. Focusing on Salvador Dali's 'Lobster Telephone' (1938), which was acquired by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 2018, Jackson reflected on the online exhibition produced as part of her Crossed Lines award, exploring the telephone's cultural legacy in works by Jones Very, Virginia Woolf and Evelyn Waugh. This is a new programme with a growing audience; current listening figures stand at approximately 2000.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://play.acast.com/s/art-and-stuff/lobstertelephone
 
Description Sylvia Pankhurst media work 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact In December 2018, Dr Sarah Jackson found letters in the BT Archives from suffragette and activist Sylvia Pankhurst to the Postmaster General regarding her concerns about phone tapping. Following discussion with the Head of Communications, the AHRC issued a press release about Jackson's discovery. Her research was subsequently covered widely in the national press, receiving 47 media mentions, with full page coverage in The Guardian, the Mail Online and the BBC News website. Dr Jackson was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme (on average 7 million listeners per week), on BBC Radio London, BBC Radio Scotland, and BBC Radio Nottingham. In terms of media coverage the public had more than 10 million opportunities to see the coverage, and the BBC news online piece was read by nearly 150,000 people.
The research and coverage is featured as a case study on the AHRC's website: https://ahrc.ukri.org/research/readwatchlisten/features/archive-discovery-by-ahrc-leadership-fellows-hits-the-headlines/ and Dr Jackson has provided a short film/interview for use by the BT Archives during the 'Valuing Archives' conference at Henley Business School, University of Reading in March 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Telepoetics symposium and archive 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In 2020, Jackson organised an international 'Telepoetics' event bringing together archivists, curators, writers and the public to explore how the telephone operates across literary, critical, personal and political domains. Originally scheduled to take place at the Science Museum, the symposium was held online (due to COVID-19) over 10 days in 2020 and included contributions by novelist and broadcaster Will Self, curator Elizabeth Bruton, poet Asiya Wadud and archivist Anne Adams. In addition to academics, the creative-critical nature of the event attracted a broad audience including writers, museum professionals and members of the public. The project webpages received 7,172 views from 40 countries over the two week period of the conference, and all the contributions to the conference are available to the public as podcasts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://crossedlines.co.uk/telepoetics/
 
Description The Exchange 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In partnership with the Science Museum Group, Sarah Jackson commissioned and curated an online collection of original art and literary works from a diverse group of practitioners exploring the role of the telephone in cultural production and reception. 'The Exchange', commissioned during COVID-19, features works by writer Will Self, transmedia artist Maya Chowdhry, sound artist Aura Satz, beatboxer Danny Ladwa, and poets Lisa Kelly, Serge Neptune, Nadia Nadarajah and DL Williams. Inspired by Jackson's own research, artworks were created in response to heritage objects in the Science Museum collection - including an undersea cable, a manual switchboard and a rotary dial - and have been made available to the public on the Science Museum Group and the Crossed Lines project websites; together these websites received over 2000 views and the Science Museum's Twitter announcements resulted in over 80,000 impressions in the initial three months following the project's launch. A Science Museum blog was published in September 2020 to mark the launch. The Science Museum have reported that the creative-critical approach taken by Jackson brought fresh and unexpected insights, and that the project has demonstrated the value of online communication in engaging members of the public - an element that they will take further in future collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/the-exchange/