Richard Freeman’s special guest this week is Dr Heather Katherine McRobie.
Heather is a perpetual student and polymath of the humanities, who continually explores the relationships between conflict, politics, art, religion and health on a global stage.
Heather was an award-winning novelist by the age of 23, followed by the publication of an acclaimed academic study on literature and democracy. Her journalism has been published, read, shared and debated around the world in The Guardian, Telegraph, New Statesman, al Jazeera and the Globe & Mail amongst many others. For many years, Heather was an editor of politics website, OpenDemocracy.
Heather has studied and taught at the highest level in Oxford, Moscow, Bologna, Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Montreal, Massachusetts and Tel Aviv – and holds degrees in politics, Islamic Studies and human rights law – and in 2014 she was awarded a doctorate by Oxford University for her research on the Arab Spring.
Richard first met Heather in 2006, when we both had short stories published in an anthology of student literature, edited by Jeanette Winterson. This chat is the first time they’ve spoken for many years, and took place in May 2018 – with Richard in the UK and Heather in Australia, where she is now living and exploring new adventures in healthcare and medicine.
They explore where she gets her energy and ideas from, and what so much travel and study does for her perspective on humanity and culture. They chat about the change she would like to see and where she thinks it will come from.