The British Academy unveils programme for its Summer Showcase
19 May 2021
The British Academy, the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences in the UK, today presents the programme for the next edition of its Summer Showcase, an exciting combination of online talks, performances, demonstrations and activities exploring research into subjects ranging from early modern fortune-telling to the hidden histories of British hip-hop.
The Academy’s free annual festival of ideas for curious minds will run from 14-19 June, offering a mix of online and in-person events and the chance to hear directly from academics at the forefront of new research in the humanities and social sciences – from historians and archaeologists to psychologists and sociologists.
The six-day programme of 13 events includes:
- An introduction to palmistry, scrying and other early modern arts of fortune-telling led by social and cultural historian Dr Martha McGill (University of Warwick).
- Musicologist Dr Adam de Paor-Evans (University of Central Lancashire) tells the story of regional and provincial British hip hop in the 1980s.
- A ‘soundwalk’ and discussion in Holland Park offering a glimpse into the lives of three migrant domestic workers – Ann, Helen and Yvette – with academic Dr Ella Parry-Davies (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama).
- A conversation with psychologist Professor Sir Simon Baron-Cohen FBA (University of Cambridge), leading expert in autism and author of The Pattern Seekers (2020).
- A discussion on the little-known natural properties of medieval medicines with historian Dr Claire Burridge (University of Sheffield) and Hackney Herbal’s Nat Mady, and a live demonstration of how to blend a soothing herbal tea using medieval ingredients.
- An interactive event featuring sociologist Dr Orla Shortall (James Hutton Institute) on changing British attitudes to the countryside and dairy farming, accompanied by a virtual cheese-tasting and a glimpse inside the Museum of English Rural Life’s collections.
- A presentation of the War Widows Quilt with Dr Nadine Muller (Liverpool John Moores University) and artist Lois Blackburn, a moving piece of commemorative art revealing the realities of war widowhood in 20th-century Britain.
All live events will be free to view and will remain accessible on the British Academy’s YouTube channel after the Summer Showcase ends.
The Summer Showcase builds on the success of the British Academy’s series of online events featuring Fellows and funded researchers throughout the year, including interviews with Leaders in SHAPE, weekly 10-Minute Talks and the Why History? series.
Professor Sir David Cannadine, President of the British Academy and historian, said:
“This year’s Summer Showcase promises to be captivating and thought-provoking from start to finish. It features a variety of new ideas and discoveries from the study of history, psychology, classical literature, contemporary music and much more, in entertaining and digestible formats.
“I am thrilled that researchers in these disciplines have embraced the challenge to share their insights into peoples, societies and cultures in delightfully creative and innovative ways.”
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