Being Human Festival 2017

Being Human, the UK's only national festival of the humanities, will be back for its fourth year between 17 and 25 November 2017. 

To read more about the national festival please visit the Being Human website.

Follow the events on Twitter using #UoEBH, or explore the national conversation using #beinghuman17.

University of Exeter events

During the festival, University of Exeter academics will open up their research to a number of different audiences with events across Devon. Everyone is invited to attend the free events which will celebrate humanities research. The theme for the 2017 festival is ‘Lost and Found’.

Find out more about the University of Exeter events below:

Exeter Community Centre (Ballroom)

23rd November, 7-9pm (Booking required)

How can we use the past to think about the present? The ancient Greek historian Thucydides claimed that his work would be a ‘possession for ever’, helping his readers understand war, politics and power – but his ideas are often used to make the world seem simpler than it really is, with dangerous consequences. This event will use games and role-playing to explore a key episode in Thucydides’ account, opening up issues of might and right, realism and idealism. A performance of this episode will then bring these debates to life, followed by a talk on how he can help us make sense of the world. (Age 14+)

Find out more and book online >

Phoenix workshop (Booking required for film screening)

17th November, 2pm for exhibition, 7pm for film screening and talk

Our sense of self is intimately connected with where we live. The loss of social housing in the UK has impacted how people relate to their homes, offering the possibility of ownership to social renters, but also increasingly marginalizing those unwilling or unable to buy by ongoing demolitions, regenerations, and policy interventions. This event explores how art can facilitate ‘finding’ in conditions of housing loss and precarity, through a screening of the film Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle, an exhibition of the works of artist Jordan McKenzie, and a panel discussion.

Find out more and book online >


17-24 November, throughout the day

Palace Avenue (street procession), Palace Theatre (lantern-making with ROC Creative, final gathering & community meal), Paignton Picture House (site specific performance), Paignton Library (lantern-making workshops), Torre Abbey (lantern-making workshops), Brixham Edge (lantern-making workshops), partner schools: Curledge Street Primary, White Rock Primary, Hayes Primary, Sacred Heart Primary, Preston Primary, Roselands Primary.

The Paignton Lantern Procession will take place through a series of community lantern-making workshops delivered through regional partners Torre Abbey, Paignton Library, Brixham Edge and the Palace Theatre, with Doorstep Arts as the lead cultural delivery partner. The work is part of a larger programme of children/young people’s participatory arts in areas of high deprivation and fragmented community cohesion in Torbay, with procession aimed at reclaiming Paignton town centre, animating and re-invigorating the region with the involvement of local families, schools and community organisations.

Attendance for some activities is by prior arrangement only, but for many of them, children and families are welcome on the day.

For more information,contact Erin Walcon:

The Walronds, Cullompton (Booking required)

Friday 24th November, 7-9.30pm

A chance to get creative with the past… For centuries, artists and writers have used the past as an inspiration for new works: from the history paintings of Raphael and Reynolds, to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. This event gives you a chance to explore your artistic side, responding to particular stories from history to create your own art or piece of creative writing. We will focus on the kinds of histories being told and constructed in the Tudor and Stuart period. Bring your own materials, or use the ones we’ll supply (including oils, watercolours, pastels, and clay). Age 16+.

Find out more and book online >

Festival partners