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Humanities in Public

'Humanities in Public' is the research showcase of the Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Manchester Metropolitan University. Our aim is to introduce you to the research we do via a programme of topical events and activities that make you want to come join us and participate. The programme is open to absolutely everyone.

Introduction by Helen Darby, Humanities in Public Festival Co-ordinator, and Professor Berthold Schoene, Head of Research at Manchester Metropolitan University:

Photo of Helen Darby and Professor Berthold Schoene"If you’re new to HiP, then we greatly look forward to meeting you. If you’re one of our 7,000+ regulars, then welcome back.‌

In response to your feedback from last year, we’ve decided to change things round a bit. The events are now no longer confined to Monday evenings. We’ve decided to stick to our thematic strands, but instead of five there are now just three, each stretching across one of the University’s teaching terms. Each strand will have its own brochure, and the whole programme is complemented by a series of three inaugural professorial lectures, plus Gothic Manchester Week and, due to popular demand, the return of Encountering Corpses II.

This year’s themes signal a return back to basics. We asked ourselves: what are the aspects of human society that seem unavoidable but which challenge us to think more deeply and ask more probing questions? We decided that three central aspects of humanity that need this focus right now are WAR, SEX and WORLD.

Our first grand challenge was WAR.

There appears to be no human society untouched by war. History is irreparably marred by war and atrocity. In the 21stCentury, wars and conflicts, many of them religious, continue to kill, maim and displace huge numbers of the Earth’s population. Through the work of researchers here at MMU and from elsewhere, we present a whole range of responses to the past, present and future of war, which is as inalienably human as it is dehumanising.

So, come along to our debates, exhibitions and screenings, feel free to contribute your own thoughts and reflections, and join us in questioning whether violence and conflict are an inherent part of human society, or if we might ever achieve a collective peace.

Our second grand challenge is SEX.

Sex – be it our gender, sexual orientation, biological make-up, our attraction for somebody else, the act of intercourse or procreation – matters to all of us. Sex is a tremendous source of joy, love, connection, identity and pride, but it can also provoke great shame, stigma, fear, worry and vilification. The intention of this HiP strand on SEX is to examine just a few of the pressing questions that sex confronts us with, such as: How is our era of increased sexualisation affecting and changing our relationship to our own bodies and to each other? What does parenthood signify? Can our ideas about disease and sexuality inform each other?

Our events will match a discussion of questions like these with numerous fun activities and popular, accessible events that take a lighter look at sex, gender and sexuality, particularly as examined in performance and representation on stage and screen. We hope that you will be able to join us and allow yourselves to be inspired, thrilled, enthused, educated and – ultimately – satisfied by what we have to offer."

Our third grand challenge is WORLD.

Read more about the 'WORLD' Programme

Read more about the 2015/16 Inaugural Lectures

Humanities in Public 2015/16 Photos:

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Humanities in Public 2015/16