Following a successful funding application, the University will host a series of free and open events, running from the 12th to the 22nd of November, that explore the themes of migration and transient cultures in port towns, focusing on Portsmouth.
Portsmouth tends to be associated with the history of the Navy, and there is a mistaken perception that the city is mono-cultural. Through its lectures, walk, workshop, exhibition and readings, Port City: Narratives of Migration aims to dispel this notion and encourage people to think a little differently about the city’s history.
The events include; an interactive guided walk through the historical ‘sailortown’, a melting pot of urban and maritime traditions and continual cultural exchange, a creative writing workshop exploring Walter Besant’s novel By Ceila’s Arbour: A Tale of Portsmouth Town, a public lecture about Portsmouth’s cultural and literary connections to Asia with readings by local British-Asian authors, a tea tasting with discussion of the tea trade and migration, and a guest lecture on migration memories in port towns.
Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of the humanities and the events are made possible by grants from the festival organisers, The School of Advanced Study, University of London.
The grants help universities bring together researchers and local communities to engage with the humanities and Port City: Narratives of Migration will be part of on 11 day programme of big ideas, big debates, and engaging activities for all ages. The festival will inform, extend, and ignite contemporary thinking and imagination around the humanities.
University of Portsmouth’s Being Human lead, Yael Friedman, said, “One of the exciting things about leading the bid for Being Human was that the programme of events ended up being beyond my own research area. We all usually get caught up in our own subject area, it provided such a great opportunity to get to know other people’s research and to work on something different for a change”
Details of the five events are below:
13 November: Drinking tea to escape the noise of the world
14 November: Portsmouth sailortown walk
17 November: Engaging with the past: Migration memories
18 November: Reviving the crescent: Portsmouth connects with Asia