For the “confined but still curious”: the British Academy opens its Virtual Summer Showcase in June

10 Jun 2020

The British Academy today announces its free online festival programme to provide intellectual nourishment to the ‘confined but still curious’, drawing on research in the humanities and social sciences.

The British Academy’s Virtual Summer Showcase on 19-20 June will offer talks, performances, poetry readings and other activities. Bringing to life new research from history, music and literature to psychology and behavioural studies, the mix of live and on-demand content includes:

  • Baking a pie fit for the royal court of George III
  • Experiencing the fantastical cults of medieval saints
  • Tracing the history of the keyboard in a tour of unusual vintage typewriters
  • Reading experimental poetry written by women in inner-city Johannesburg
  • Brewing authentic Arabian coffee while listening to stories of refugee home making

The festival builds on the success of the Academy’s new series of 10 minute talks, where world-leading academics swap the lectern for the laptop to talk about their research and take questions. Over 15,000 people have tuned in to date.

Professor Sir David Cannadine, the President of the British Academy, said:

“The British Academy has been working hard to bring the humanities and social sciences into people’s homes to provide much needed intellectual nourishment at this challenging time.

“Our Virtual Summer Showcase provides an eclectic snapshot of the research that we fund and promises to be both thought-provoking and enriching as well as entertaining.

“Whether you want to learn about the psychology behind hoarding or watch a food historian make a pie fit for a king, we’ve got something for everyone.”

A live Friday Late programme features historical cook-alongs and cocktail making with food historian Tasha Marks and live comedy by Fitzrovia Cinema Noir which presents ‘Undead Queen of Evil’, a satirical homage to vintage cinema performed using Skype and green screen.

Throughout the weekend, the Academy will encourage members of the public to share their questions and comments and engage with the leading researchers whose insights and ideas have inspired the Virtual Summer Showcase.

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