Stories, History, and Poetry: Being Human Festival presents a diverse Scottish line-up

From the playful antics of ancient poetic duels to the enchanting narratives of supernatural folklore, Scotland’s rich culture and heritage are set to come alive at this year’s Being Human Festival.

From the playful antics of ancient poetic duels to the enchanting narratives of supernatural folklore, Scotland’s rich culture and heritage are set to come alive at this year’s Being Human Festival.

Taking place nationwide from 9-18 November, the festival brings together academics including those frm the University of Glasgow, researchers, artists, creative practitioners, and community groups to celebrate the ways in which the humanities help us to understand what it means to be human.

Centring on the theme of ’Rhyme or Reason’, this year’s festival includes over 220 free events across the UK, with Scotland hosting a superb line-up of imaginative activities for all ages that showcase how humanities research inspires and enriches our everyday lives.

Each year the festival invites researchers at universities and other research organisations to collaborate with local community and cultural partners to create exciting and engaging events and projects for all to enjoy. Being Human Festival is led by the School of Advanced Study at the University of London and run in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

Festival Director and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, Professor Sarah Churchwell said: "In a world that can often be confusing, the humanities are more relevant than ever. The festival is a timely celebration of all that is human. Whether your interests lie in food, history, heritage, migration, or popular culture, there’s an event for everyone. So, sign up, get involved - and have fun!" AHRC Executive Chair

Professor Christopher Smith said: "The sheer variety of this year’s Being Human Festival programme illustrates the importance of the humanities to us all, from the stories that shape us to facing the challenges of the present and future. "AHRC is proud to continue to support the festival, which celebrates the diverse breadth of humanities research to bring it to new audiences."

Professor Julia Black FBA, President of the British Academy, said: "We are delighted to partner once again with the Being Human Festival, which provides so many wonderful opportunities to discover and engage with the humanities up and down the country. These subjects - including history and archaeology, languages, philosophy, classics and many more - remain eternally popular with the British public, and for good reason. Not only do they capture our imaginations, they also help us to make sense of our rapidly changing world and illuminate what it means to be human."

Some University of Glasgow Being Human Festival event highlights include:

Ye Fair Forflittin Flochter, or Fun with Flyting - University of Glasgow

This event bridges the past and present with a fun and educational trip through the playful world of FLYTING. Resurrecting an older Scots tradition, audience members are invited to tap into their creative side through interactive workshops. Activities include the crafting of playful insults or compliments with the guidance from skilled actors who will perform each group’s best flytings.

CinemARC: Journey to the Isles - University of Glasgow

A collaboration with Scotland’s silent film festival, HippFest, where participants will embark on a captivating journey alongside a special screening of Marjory Kennedy-Fraser’s silent films. Storytelling and musical accompaniment will encompass tales of the early 20th-century life in the Hebrides.

Life Aboard the Last Clyde-built Transatlantic Liners - University of Glasgow

Hosted at the Fairfield Heritage community museum, participants will get the chance to learn about shipbuilding history and maritime life from the unique perspectives of fictional characters Muriel and Jasper. The highlight of the event is the launch of the Canadian Pacific’s Empress of Britain in 1955.