Being Human 2016

A series of free public events has been organised by Leeds staff as part of Being Human 2016, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities.


The University has been chosen as one of six regional hubs to champion this year’s nine-day programme of big ideas, debates and engaging activities for all ages – all under the theme Hope and Fear.

Running from 17-25 November, Being Human aims to bring researchers and communities together to engage with the humanities, which – broadly defined – are the academic disciplines that study human cultures and societies.

Researchers from Leeds’ Humanities Research Institute (LHRI) are coordinating events with a wide variety of partner organisations in Leeds and Bradford that champion the excellence of humanities research undertaken at the University, and help demonstrate the work’s vitality and relevance.

Professor Gregory Radick, LHRI Director, said: “The festival serves a really important function in helping people outside universities get acquainted with some of the outstanding humanities research taking place right now in the UK.

“Our own theme, Journeys of Hope and Fear, is about crossing borders, and a lot of individual events are appropriately genre-busting. At Leeds, we're proud to have been chosen to act as a regional hub, and we'd like to think our programme offers something for everyone.”

The ten separate projects include an examination of Bradford’s associations with anthrax – through the emergence of “woolsorter’s disease” among the city’s Victorian textile workers as well as its identification and treatment.

A sound-and-light installation and theatrical performance will be based around the University's driving simulator, confronting the prospect of the driverless car in a novel and unexpected way.

Another set of interlinked events concern the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. A lecture will feature Leeds historian Professor Simon Hall, who has written about world events that year, and poet George Gomori, who took part in the revolution. People will also be able to enjoy a poetry reading from Gomori and an exhibition of paintings by a Hungarian refugee-turned-Yorkshireman, György Gordon.

All events are free and open to all, but advance booking is required. Full details of the Yorkshire events can be found here. For information about the national programme for Being Human 2016, see the Being Human Festival website

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