Being Human festival (National Festival for the Humanities)

The call for participation in the Being Human festival (National Festival for the Humanities) is now out at

Application forms for locally held events need to be completed and sent to Rosemary Lambeth at by 20th June.

Further details of the festival are given below, and please contact myself or Sue Gilligan if you have any questions.

Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities – 15 – 23 November 2014


Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy, Being Human is the first networked festival of the humanities across the UK. The aim is to engage the public with the very best of the innovative research taking place across the humanities and in collaboration with other disciplines. It will make the idea of the humanities and the research that goes on under that heading accessible to the wider public and show the role the humanities can play in the cultural, intellectual, political and social life of the UK, focusing on the key question of what it means to be human.

This question has been at the heart of humanities research and will provide a locus around which to coordinate activities showing the vitality, the frequent interdisciplinarity, and importantly, the relevance of the humanities to people’s lives. The question of what it means to be human has been chosen to inspire researchers to create events and activities in HE institutions and their cultural partners across the country. As such, it follows from and develops the success of the Being/Human theme of the 2013 Arts and Humanities Festival at King’s College London.

The Being Human festival 2014 is the first of what is intended to become an annual festival of humanities research in UK higher education.


The festival aims to deliver a high-profile, cohesive series of events across the country, with a London hub. The richness and diversity of the best humanities research will be highlighted, with the aim of show-casing innovation and engaging the public by providing them with a sense of what goes on in the humanities and why it is relevant to their lives. The festival will foster connections between HE research, the cultural sector and the general public. To be deemed a success, the festival will need to

  • Promote the value of humanities research to society and culture in the UK and globally;
  • Demonstrate the vitality of research in the humanities across the UK;
  • Encourage, support and create the opportunity for humanities researchers to engage with non-academic and non-traditional audiences;
  • Promote the humanities as maximally accessible and relevant to people’s lives;
  • Explore and highlight connections between the humanities and other disciplines;
  • Promote collaboration between humanities researchers nationally and internationally;
  • Enhance the visibility and understanding of the humanities;
  • Create a significant digital footprint for humanities research;
  • Encourage the development of intelligent networks and discussions on social media; and
  • Promote public engagement with the humanities beyond the duration of the festival.

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