UK’s first national festival dedicated to the humanities is announced

23 Jan 2014

Being Human, the UK's first national festival dedicated to demonstrating the value, vitality and relevance of humanities research, has been officially launched today (23 January 2014).

Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London – in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy – the festival will explore what it means to be human over nine days from 15 to 23 November 2014.

Being Human is now inviting higher education institutions across the country to apply for small grants to participate in the festival by holding their own public events and activities to showcase innovative humanities research.

The grants will fund creative programming which engages the public with leading humanities research, including debates, performances, virtual activities and exhibitions. Festival director, Professor Barry Smith of the School of Advanced Study, said: 'Being Human will get to the heart of what it means to be human in the digital age. It will show how our attempts to understand and interpret the human world can guide our thinking about science, society and culture, and shape our conception of ourselves.'

Held with the participation of arts and cultural organisations and universities across the UK, the festival will draw together the most exciting and inspiring work in the humanities research field to present a week of creative public events that inspire, inform and extend our contemporary thinking and imagination.

Professor Smith continued: 'There is a huge amount of exciting work happening in the humanities right now, and we are inviting universities across the country to hold their own events to highlight the vitality and interdisciplinary nature of humanities today.'

For further information on how to apply for funding, visit

Contact the press office

For further information contact the Press Office on [email protected]  / 020 7969 5273 / 07500 010 432.

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