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Applications open for Being Human: the national festival of the humanities

News •

Applications for Being Human, the UK’s only nationwide festival of the humanities in November, are now open to academic professionals in the humanities at every level – including early-career researchers, PhD students, curators and research librarians – up until an extended deadline of Friday 29 May.

Being Human, which takes place 12-22 November 2020, is a celebration of research in the humanities led by the School Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Each year the festival presents hundreds of free events in partnership with universities, research organisations and researchers, demonstrating the value of humanities research and encouraging public engagement in the UK and internationally.

Being Human is monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and has extended its deadline to encourage applicants to consider contingency measures in the event that social distancing measures remain in force.

The festival is inviting applicants to propose public engagement events on the theme of ‘New Worlds’.

There are three main streams for applications:

  • Open call – organise an activity that does not require funding
  • Small awards – apply to Being Human for funding of up to £2,000 to enable activities
  • Hub awards – apply for a larger institutional grant of £2,000- £5,000 to coordinate multiple activities as a Festival Hub

Applicants can find out about how to apply to stage an event at Being Human here.

New Worlds

We are all living in, and planning for, a world that seems quite different from the one that we were in at the start of the year. Now more than ever we need ideas about how innovative humanities research can lead us forward during unprecedented global challenges, and creative new ways to share them. Entering a new decade also offers an opportunity to think about the types of ‘new world’ that we want to inhabit.

2020 is already a year in which rapid change is taking place. Critical global issues and stories of global change such as the coronavirus pandemic, the climate emergency, migration, ageing populations, the rise of political populism, the fragmentation of long-held political identities, automation and changes to the world of work are likely to preoccupy our lives. You can read more about the festival theme for Being Human 2020 here.