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Our work

Being Human is an annual humanities festival that takes place across the UK and internationally in November each year. We work year round, from our base at the University of London's School of Advanced Study, to bring the festival to life. We also work with researchers to develop their skills and opportunities for sharing their work with non-specialist audiences.

Our work

The festival’s purpose is to demonstrate why humanities research is vital to society and directly relevant to the lives and interests of people across the UK. Through the festival we encourage researchers to move away from traditional academic methods of lecture or classroom presentation and incentivise creative, informal and interactive events and activities. Festival events include everything from talks and tours to comedy nights, museum lates, performances and more.

Being Human is all about…

  • Democratising access to knowledge
  • Empowering local communities with shared knowledge
  • Creating dialogues between academia and local communities about today’s big questions

Our priorities

  • Connecting humanities researchers with communities and cultural partners
  • Promoting collaborative, co-produced public engagement that increases the impact of humanities research
  • Enabling small-to-medium scale public engagement projects not supported in others ways
  • Leading innovation and best practice in humanities public engagement delivery and methods
  • Providing a locus for media interest in humanities research locally, regionally and nationally
  • Improving inclusion and diversity in the festival and humanities public engagement
  • Emphasising place-based activities, representing a range of communities and interests across the four nations of the United Kingdom, creating a national festival that is rooted in local place

"Not only was the research able to tell us way more than a Google search could ever do but also the relevance to everyday life was demonstrated."

- Audience comment

"To hear leaders in their fields explaining so clearly the importance of local discoveries was wonderful."

- Audience comment

"It brought the community together and I discovered a part of my local area I never even knew!"

- Audience comment

"I can see how the research can relate to contemporary issues and be useful as a tool in solving in modern problems."

- Audience comment

Moroccan rapper Dizzy DROS performs into microphone

“Researchers are inspired by so many different impulses, some quite unusual. Culture shapes research shapes culture.”

- Audience comment

“I really like the fact that our history is being told openly and from a Human perspective.”

- Audience comment