Gaye Morris

Episode 83,  Aug 02, 2020, 12:54 AM

My guest this week is Gaye Morris who lives in North Carolina and was previously based in in the UK and with whom I collaborated about 15 years ago on a book called Theology and Film. We talk about our rationale in writing it and the relationship between the Christian and the secular world. It was a validation of working on popular culture and there is a fascinating moment when Gaye talks about how she got to talk with Linda Hamilton on a plane about a chapter on The Terminator that appeared in a previous theology and film book that she edited.

Gaye taught public speaking and media and communication studies, and a few religion and film classes, at Augusta State University and now teaches public speaking to undergraduates.

We learn that Gaye’s father was in the military and as a family they tended to move around. She remembers fooling around on a farm as a child and how she thought that Santa was asking her from the basement if she had been good. We talk about her magical memories of Christmas from when she lived in Germany as well as watching Elvis movies at the military base.

Gaye recalls watching movies on TV on Saturdays when she was young and we learn how she got into singing. She later became a Beatlemaniac and her fascination developed for all things British. She has an autograph of the band The Zombies from when they were in a hotel swimming pool and Gaye regales the story surrounding the most unusual autograph she has received – from Lauren Bacall.

Gaye reveals that she was a ‘religious nerd’ from childhood and we learn that she grew up as a Southern Baptist, why she left it and how she ended up becoming a Roman Catholic. She has worked for Yorkshire Television on religious programmes and ended up lecturing at Ripon and York St. John and doing a PhD at Leeds on the relationship between the Catholic Church and the film industry. Gaye also talks about her involvement with film juries at major European film festivals.

Gaye expresses her concerns about the shift to the right in Catholicism and how it led to her leaving Roman Catholicism as she could no longer find her spiritual centre there. She subsequently discovered Unitarian Universalism and was ordained.

Towards the end of the interview we talk about the role of nostalgia and how Gaye has boxes of nostalgic materials. We find out why she doesn’t see nostalgia as something negative and we discuss the difference between having stifling negative experiences and working through them. We discuss the relationship between nostalgia and gaslighting with respect to the Trump administration in terms of someone telling us that reality is different from what we think it is. We learn that she once wanted to marry Paul McCartney and write the Great American Novel and Gaye talks about what she still hopes to be able to do in her life and why serendipity is her keyword.

Please note: Opinions expressed are solely those of Chris Deacy and Gaye Morris and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the University of Kent.