Discoveries & Secrets Across the Globe

Discoveries & Secrets Across the Globe

Discoveries & Secrets Across the Globe

Once again this year we are delighted to be working with partners beyond the borders of the UK. Universities in Australia, the USA, Italy and Romania have joined us on our mission to share and celebrate how the humanities helps us understand what it is to be human.

International Events

Italy | British School at Rome

Open Academy, Open Valley

Friday 11 October

The Valle Giulia area in Rome is truly a place of discoveries and secrets. Bordered on one side by the Villa Borghese, which contains the famous galleria Borghese, gardens and a replica of the Globe Theatre, it is also home to a number of academies that generate and promote research into the humanities. This year, the British School at Rome will be leading a guided walk through the valley with stops at each academy. Participating institutions will reveal an object from their collections that communicates something of its history in relation to the festival theme. The journey between stops will be animated by experts in the local area who will encourage participants to share their thoughts and responses to the objects on view. The walk will culminate in tea at the British School at Rome. Find out more about the event here.

As part of this year’s festival British School at Rome are also holding an event in London. Find out more about ‘Thomas Nashe Lenten Stuff’, taking place on 22 November, here.

Romania | Lucian Blaga University of Sibu and the University of Wolverhampton

Proust in Transylvania

Friday 8 November

Smell is central to Dracula, the novel that made Transylvania famous: ‘Lucy lay in her coffin, strewn with the wild garlic flowers, which sent, through the odour of lily and rose, a heavy, overpowering smell into the night.’ Building upon the previous success of the ‘Snidge Scrumpin’’ events as part of Being Human, this event is based on research into the so-called ‘Proust Phenomenon’, which suggests that odours can reactivate childhood memories. Visitors will be invited to take part in an interactive psychological experiment that collects Transylvanian smells and tastes that trigger childhood memories. From ţuică (plum brandy) to hencleș (traditional cake), visitors will encounter different Transylvanian smells and be asked to describe their memories. The event includes a talk about the role of smell in Dracula. Find out more and book tickets here.

As part of this year’s festival the University of Wolverhampton have also organised a series of UK events. Find out more about the ‘Black Country Unscene’ series here.

International Hubs

Australia | University of Melbourne

‘Being Human Melbourne: Discoveries and Secrets’

Thursday 14 November-Saturday 23 November

Exploring the theme ‘Discoveries and Secrets’, the 2019 University of Melbourne hub will highlight the essential role that humanities research plays in shaping the world in which we live. Arts at Melbourne has a proud history of supporting the humanities and a commitment to innovative research, teaching and research. For this year’s festival, activities will draw on research from across the humanities to celebrate and debate what it means to be human, engaging the public with imagination and creativity, critical thinking and intellectual rigour, persuasive argument and concern for others. Find out more about the full programme here.

USA | Princeton University

Being Human Princeton: Discoveries and Secrets


Join people of all ages and backgrounds at creative events across New Jersey to explore the humanities scholarship of faculty, students, and staff from Princeton University! Presenters will collaborate with local organisations including museums, businesses, restaurants, arts centres, historical societies, community theatres, and more. Themed ‘Discoveries and Secrets’, around 20 activities will reveal untold stories, hidden histories, and mysteries of our towns or cities. The largely off-campus celebration will bring incredible research to a variety of audiences. Find out more about the full programme here.