University to host new festival for the humanities

University to host new festival for the humanities

Author Will Self discussing fiction, psychology and being human; Terror, gods and magic in the North; and Time machines and the Victorians are just a few of the highlights of a new festival which will get underway at the University of Aberdeen this week (Friday).

Being Human is a new UK-wide initiative in November that aims to engage the public with the latest research taking place across the humanities. The Festival is supported by a collaboration of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the British Academy and the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and draws together a programme of activities to inform, extend, and ignite our contemporary thinking and imagination. 

From Friday November 15 – Sunday November 23, a wide range of events will take place in venues across the city which will give researchers from the University the opportunity to discuss and demonstrate how the arts and humanities affects the cultural fabric of our city and society as a whole.

Author and journalist Will Self will join Dr Alexandra Lewis for his event; Will Self in conversation with Alexandra Lewis on Friday, November 21. The writer will also take the opportunity to give a reading from his new novel Shark.

Opening the festival on Friday is Hielan’ Ways Symposium a two day event which gives members of the public the opportunity to join mountaineers, artists and anthropologists for two days of walking and talking .

On Monday (November 17) a free event at Satrosphere Professor Karin Friedrich will host a discussion on how cultural heritage links between Scotland and Poland can help newcomers with integration and examine how such experiences might help in a wider European migration context.

Other events in the jam-packed programme include the latest instalment of the popular PechKucha series, a Café Controversial Special at Satrosphere Science Centre and a Skeptics in the Pub event in Cellar 35.

Professor Margaret Ross, Vice Principal and Head of the College of Arts and Social Sciences, said: “The University of Aberdeen has an international reputation for humanities research and I’m delighted that through this fascinating series of events we can engage a wider audience with the creative work we do.”

Dr Rhiannon Thompson, Project Officer in Public Engagement with Research at the University, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the first ever Being Human festival.

“The Festival will explore how the arts and humanities affect our day to day life and the society around us. The varied and exciting programme of events in Aberdeen offers something for everyone. I’m sure members of the public who come along will find the events not only informative but entertaining as well.”

For more information about Being Human and to view the full programme, please visit

Tickets for Will Self in conversation with Alexandra Lewis are priced £6 for adults and £4 for students and concessions. Tickets can be purchased by visiting