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Being Human Festival Events at the University of Portsmouth

12 November 2015 - 22 November 2015

The University of Portsmouth will be hosting Port City: Narratives of Migration as part of the 2015 Being Human Festival.

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 invite the public to get to know and engage with some of the research carried out in the Faculties of Cultural and Creative Industries and Humanities and Social Sciences.

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.

Now in its second year, Being Human is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the British Academy (BA) with additional support from the Wellcome Trust.

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

21 November: Exploring Walter Besant’s ‘By Celia’s Arbour’ – Creative Writing Workshop


12 November 2015
22 November 2015
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