Coventry University to show why humanities matter at Being Human Festival

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Dr Ben Dew, Associate Head of School at Coventry University's School of Humanities

University news

Tuesday 11 October 2022

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Coventry City’s 1987 FA Cup victory and the history of the Cossacks are two of the subjects set to be explored in a series of thought-provoking talks in the city as part of the Being Human Festival.

Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of humanities with hundreds of free events held to celebrate and demonstrate the ways in which humanities inspire and enrich our everyday lives.

Coventry University will be taking part in the festival for the second time this November, organising five fascinating discussion events, presenting the expertise of its academics to a wider audience in an accessible way.

The focus of the festival is to reach out to people who may not have engaged with a humanities subject before and part of this involves presenting these subjects in a non-traditional way in unusual settings.

Reporting Coventry City’s FA Cup Win will explore the importance of local newspapers and how their coverage resonates over the years.

The event will take place at the Telegraph Hotel, former home of the Coventry Telegraph, and will look at a golden moment in the history of both Coventry FC and the Coventry Telegraph.

Coventry University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Institute for Creative Cultures and the supporters’ organisation, the Sky Blues Trust, will all be involved in the event.

Another event entitled ‘Ukrainians Past and Present in the English Media’ will look at Ukrainian history, particularly focussing on the evolution of the Cossack image, with an emphasis on recent memes and artwork stemming from the war.

The discussion will be held at the Anglican Chapel at the London Road Cemetery and will investigate questions around what makes an (inter)national icon, what issues may arise when we glorify very human individuals, and how imagery can be used to communicate ideas across borders.

A talk hosted online, called ‘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, presenting architect Donald Gibson’s plan for the ‘future Coventry’.

Shining a light on the area’s rich literary past, Coventry University academics have also organised an event at FarGo Village entitled ‘Literary Breakthroughs: Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands’.

It will feature performances of poetry and prose by contemporary writers as well as talks on J. R. R. Tolkien, Graham Joyce, George Eliot and more.

The Herbert Art Gallery will be the setting for an event focussing on Coventry University’s 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 Being Human Festival is the chance to present our research to a wider audience, but the aim of the event is to reach members of the community who may never have engaged with a humanities subject before. A key part of Being Human is to present our subjects in a thought-provoking way and we’ll be hosting our events in some really interesting venues across the city, from the Telegraph Hotel to FarGo Village.

We’re all really looking forward to working with different groups in the community, it’s not every day we get a major football club involved in an area of our research.

Dr Ben Dew, Associate Head of School at Coventry University’s School of Humanities

Find out more about the Being Human Festival.