Ian Whittington is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Mississippi, where his teaching and research focus on radio, modernism, and midcentury British and Anglophone culture. His monograph, Writing the Radio War: Literature, Politics, and the BBC, 1939-1945, is forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press in Fall 2017. His essays have appeared in Modernist Cultures, Safundi, and Literature Compass, and in the collection Around 1945: Literature, Citizenship, Rights (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016).
Reading through these two excellent new volumes situated at the intersection of radio studies and modern Irish literature, one feels presented with two very different instantiations of the radio listener. On the one hand, we have the dial-twirling shortwave enthusiast, stationed in (perhaps) Cork, and tuning in to transmissions Irish in affiliation but emanating from Dublin, Addis Ababa, New York City, Belfast, Geneva, London, and Berlin—transmissions that dazzle by their variety and that impart an awareness of their connectedness in dispersal.