College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Festival showcases discoveries and secrets

Diversity in society, robot doctors and storytelling for sleep are among the topics to be explored at a festival showcasing the humanities.

The University is hosting a series of interactive events, workshops and talks as part of Being Human.

The festival, which takes place from 14 to 23 November, is a national celebration of humanities research. This year the festival theme is discoveries and secrets.

All of the events in Edinburgh are free and open to the public.

Rediscovered manuscripts

The research of Dr Cordelia Beattie, from the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, is being presented in a one-woman theatre performance.

The production, which is written and performed by Debbie Cannon, is based on the handwritten notebooks of 17th century writer Alice Thornton.  

The performance, directed by Flavia D’Avila of Fronteiras Theatre Lab, reflects on Thornton’s experiences in North Yorkshire society troubled by civil war, plague and fire.

The remarkable deliverances of Mrs Thornton

November 14, November 16 

Gender issues

The roots of gender-based violence across the world will be the focus of an event organised by the University’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities.

Speaking at the panel discussion will be playwright Jo Clifford, Nicola Dahrendorf of the University of London, Dr Umesh Kumar of Banaras Hindu University and Dr Nancy Lombard of Glasgow Caledonian University.

The discussion will be chaired by Dr Rebekah Lee of the University of London.

Calling Time On Gender-Based Violence 

Exploring Diversity

Professor Tommy Curry, of the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences is speaking at a debate exploring diversity in society.

The Royal Institute of Philosophy debate will see philosophers tackle questions such as what is the point of diversity and how can it be promoted?

Former President of the British Academy Onora O’Neill and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sussex, Kathleen Stock also join the panel, which is chaired by BBC broadcaster Ritula Shah.  

Exploring Diversity 

Beyond Bodies

Experts from the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society will explore the impact of biomedical and biotechnological developments on how we think about the body.

Events includes a graphic novel and magazine making workshop, an interactive talk on artificial intelligence and a discussion on the pros and cons of robotic carers.

Brain health will be discussed at a storytelling workshops where attendees can write a bedtime story for their brain.

Beyond Bodies 

The School of Advanced Study, University of London, organises Being Human in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

The Being Human festival features around 300 events across the country, working with around 80 universities and research organisations in 50 towns and cities.

Since 2017, the festival has introduced international partnerships with activities taking place in Singapore, Melbourne, Paris, Rome and Princeton in the US.

Being Human