Public Engagement

Being Human Festival

Being Human Festival is the UK's national festival of the humanities led by the School of Advance Study at the University of London, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

The Festival brings together universities, museums, galleries, creative organisations, and community groups to run over 300 public engagement activities which showcase humanities research in ways that are accessible to the public.

Being Human at Queen Mary

Since 2015, the Centre for Public Engagement have been supporting Queen Mary researchers to run activities as part of Being Human Festival. The Festival offers our researchers the opportunity to:

  • Develop an exciting public engagement activity/event that can have positive impacts on their work
  • Get involved with a nation-wide showcase of humanities research
  • Develop public engagement skills with tailored support from the CPE 

You can get a taste of some of our previous Being Human Festival programmes by watching our video from the 2019 'This Time It's Personal' Festival Hub (above) or exploring the year overviews (below).

Past Being Human Festival events:

Navigating New Worlds

New worlds open up uncharted territories and first-time experiences: so how do we navigate our way through them? In 2020, Queen Mary researchers invited us to explore how we can navigate and make sense of these new worlds through our senses, the words we use, the images we create, and the stories we tell. 

The programme featured:

  • Coronavirus 2020: Apart but together
  • Worlds of Possibility: Murder, Mystery and Meaning
  • Visualising Life: From bodies to embryos
  • Poetry vs Colonialism: All that Glisters, Smoke Screen, Sugar Sugar & Many Hands

This Time It's Personal

Language, stories, art and home: which of these make you unique? Do you share them with the world or keep them hidden? In 2019, Queen Mary and King's College Arts and Humanities Research Institute joined forces to uncover the personal side of the issues shaping our world today as  Festival Hub. Through a series of events, we discovered the research that enables us to understand both ourselves and those across the world we have never met.

The programme included:

  • Gate
  • On the beach: Discovering early humans in Norfolk
  • Humanising Medicine
  • Listening Lives
  • Secret Lives of Costume: A multi-sensory walk at the National Theatre