Being Human Festival

An oil painting of Ukrainian Cossacks around a table while a document is being signed.
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Thursday 10 November 2022 to Saturday 19 November 2022


Various locations in Coventry



Event details

Taking place 10-19 November, Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of humanities and Coventry University are excited to be taking part in the festival for the second time.

Four thought-provoking events present the expertise of our academics to a wider audience in an accessible way:

  • Coventry City’s FA Cup Win will bring together Coventry City football fans, media historians and journalists in a knowledge café event to recall a golden moment in the history of both Coventry FC and the Coventry Telegraph.
  • Visions of Coventry’s Post-War Future will examine the ‘Coventry of The Future Exhibition’ which was held in the city’s Drill Hall in 1945 and presented architect Donald Gibson’s plan for the ‘future Coventry’.
  • Ukrainians Past and Present in the English Media explores Ukrainian history, particularly focussing on the evolution of the Cossack image, with an emphasis on recent memes and artwork stemming from the war with Russia.
  • Literary Breakthroughs: Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands shines a light on the region’s rich literary heritage and features performances of poetry and prose by contemporary writers, as well as talks on J. R. R. Tolkien, Graham Joyce, George Eliot and more.

Additionally, the Herbert Art Gallery will be the setting for an event focusing on our Strictly Inclusive project, which has examined Strictly Come Dancing’s role in representing gender, sexuality and disability on TV.

Disabled and LGBT+ communities in Birmingham and Coventry have played an active role in Strictly Inclusive and visitors will be able to watch short documentary films about the project and potentially get the opportunity to create their own stop motion GIFs.

The humanities help us understand what it means to be human and the festival hopes to reach out to people who may not have engaged with a humanities subject before, presenting these subjects in a non-traditional way and in unique settings.

The Coventry-hosted events are the result of a partnership between Coventry University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Institute for Creative Cultures and the Coventry City supporters’ organisation - the Sky Blues Trust.

"Being Human gives people the chance to engage with cutting-edge humanities research and to reflect on some of the key intellectual issues society faces today," explains Dr Ben Dew, Associate Head of School (Recruitment and Marketing) at Coventry University.

"As a university, we’re really looking forward to presenting our research at some of the city’s most interesting venues and working with local community groups. It’s not every day you encounter a festival featuring football, ballroom dancing, brutalist architecture, performance poetry and Ukrainian Cossacks."

Visit the Being Human Festival website for full details about all events taking place in Coventry as part of the festival.


For enquiries please contact Ben Dew