We’re delighted to reveal the programme of over 220 events taking place as part of this year’s Being Human Festival, running from 9 to 18 November 2023. Read on for more information about this year's festival, and to discover some highlights from the programme.
We’re delighted to reveal the programme of over 220 events taking place as part of this year’s Being Human Festival, running from 9 to 18 November 2023.
Being Human offers the public an opportunity to discover, enjoy and learn more about the research happening in our local universities and research organisations, with events being taken off campus and brought to life in our parks and gardens, high streets and shopping centres, pubs and cafes, museums and galleries, libraries and community centres, theatres and cinemas and more! This year 64 universities and research organisations are participating in our national celebration of humanities research, in collaboration with hundreds of community and cultural partner organisations.
Whether you’re interested in ancient history or artificial intelligence, there’s something for everyone in this year’s festival programme, including family and school events, and a range of different event types, from walks and tours to performances.
Read on for a few highlights and themes from this year’s programme.
The great outdoors
Grab your coat and head outside to one of the many festival events exploring our environment and surroundings. In Dundee, ‘Wild Words’ will invite audience members to develop new ways of writing and thinking about language and the environment, inspired by the city’s Botanic Gardens. In Sheffield, research takes to the water in two canal cruises along the Tinsley Canal, where audiences will be invited to take part in a poetry workshop inspired by the historic waterways. In Dudley, Saltwells Nature Reserve, a site of industrial and geological heritage, will provide the setting for this walking writing retreat, where participants will reflect on the cultural currents of the region. And in the South West, local young people are invited to join researchers from the University of Plymouth on a kayaking adventure on the estuary of the River Plym to learn more about this historical tidal waterway.
Calling all poetry fans! Inspired by this year’s theme of ‘Rhyme and Reason’, there are loads of opportunities to try your hand at poetry, whether you’re a total beginner or a seasoned writer, and to learn more about the poetry of others, from Scottish ‘flyting’ to the prayer poetry of Aphra Behn.
Many researchers are sharing their work and ideas on food heritage and history at this year’s festival. An event at Nottingham Castle will look back to 18th century food riots, the most common form of popular protest in Britain at the time – and will explore the history through an interactive talk, cheese tasting and discussion.
In the West Midlands, an event at Tamworth Castle led by researchers at Loughborough University will take early recipes as its inspiration for a series of interactive workshops – through poetry, photography and food preservation.
There are festival events and activities taking place across the UK, from Aberdeen to Penryn. All festival events are free and are led directly by researchers. You can browse events by region, series, theme and Hubs by following the links below, or head over to our full event listings where you can also filter by event type, region and country, and by accessibility features.