New festival to explore what Notts heroes and villains can teach us about 'Being Human'

15 May 2014 13:12:41.557


Famous Nottinghamshire characters like Robin Hood, Lord Byron and DH Lawrence will be brought back to life in a new national festival of history and culture being hosted by The University of Nottingham.

The University’s Centre for Advanced Studies has won a bid to take part in ‘Being Human’, the UK’s first festival of the ‘humanities’, a field which includes history, philosophy, music, art and archaeology and religious studies.  

The national festival is being coordinated by the School of Advanced Study at the University of London and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and British Academy. The idea is to make the latest research accessible to the wider public and to show its importance to the cultural, intellectual, political and social life of the UK.

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The festival will run in Nottinghamshire for 9 days from 15 November 2014. Organiser Sally Bowden from The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Social Sciences said:

“We are thrilled to have won this funding to bring together researchers and the local public to engage with the humanities in our fascinating county. Our festival will celebrate the rich local heritage and with the help of our famous local characters we will ask ourselves ‘what does it mean to be human?’

“People can expect some exciting events at all the famous historical locations of Nottinghamshire, from Sherwood Forest to Byron’s Newstead Abbey, Nottingham Castle and on the streets of Nottingham following in the footsteps of a more recent hero, writer Alan Sillitoe. The expert-led guided walks, digital trails, films, public lectures and drama performances will be a fantastic way to show people of all ages what our researchers are up to and the value of this work in helping us to understand the world around us and who we are.

“We are also delighted to have local partners like Broadway Nottingham, Galleries of Justice and Nottingham Contemporary on board to help us with venues and some innovative multi-platform ways of combing new media, live action and performance to educate, entertain and inspire our audiences.”

Thirty-six grants have been awarded to universities and arts and cultural organisations across the UK to participate in the nine days of festival events taking place across the UK, from Truro to Orkney, Swansea to Belfast and Norwich to Liverpool.

Find out more about the festival at and follow the festival on Twitter at @BeingHumanFest 

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

More information is available from Sally Bowden, Centre for Advanced Studies, The University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 95 14593;or Emma Rayner/Emma Thorne, in the Communications Office at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 951 5793,

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