Being Human 2021: public engagement in a festival context 

Image: Illuminate Gainsborough 2019. Credit West Lindsey District Council and Electric Egg

Being Human 2021: public engagement in a festival context

Tuesday 6 July, 14:00-15:00

The first in a series of online masterclasses, this session will discuss how to turn a public engagement concept into a reality and provide an overview of this year’s festival plans. The Being Human team will give their top tips for bringing about a great festival activity, as well as survey the event landscape in light of current COVID regulations. 

Public Engagement practitioner Will Cenci will also give a short talk packed full of helpful advice and lessons learned from his experience of organising an event for the 2020 festival. Join Will as he guides you through the key planning points to consider now, in order to make your activity a success come November. 

The session is aimed primarily at this year’s Being Human festival organisers (and those still thinking of getting involved), as well as those interested in public engagement in the humanities. Throughout, there will be chances for everyone to discuss the opportunities and challenges of conducting public engagement with research in 2021 and how to deliver entertaining experiences in ways that will appeal to our intended audiences.  

Attendees will also be emailed a masterclass pack full of helpful information for putting together an event for the 2021 Being Human festival.  

Workshop speakers:

  • Will Cenci is Public Engagement Manager at Goldsmiths, University of London. Will has worked with academics to run numerous public engagement initiatives as part of the Being Human festival and elsewhere. These have included everything from workshops to walks, exploring diverse topics such as the Battle of Lewisham and sustainable mending. 
  • Professor Sarah Churchwell is the Director of the Being Human festival and Chair in Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study (SAS). A prominent advocate for literature and the humanities, Sarah appears regularly in the media and writes for both academic and non-academic audiences.
  • Rose de Lara is the Communications Officer for the Being Human festival and Public Engagement Officer at SAS. She helps project organisers develop their marketing strategies for public audiences and works to promote the Being Human festival nationally.
  • Amanda Phipps is the Programme Developer for the Being Human festival and Public Engagement Officer at SAS. She works with project organisers to ensure best practice public engagement in the festival and leads Being Human’s central strand of programming.

Joining the event:  

This event is free, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual meet-up being circulated via email to registered attendees. The masterclass will begin at 2pm, but you will be able to join the event’s online waiting room from 1:45pm.  


book now


This event is part of a series of Being Human masterclasses exploring public engagement with research. Watch this space for details of future instalments later in the year.