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The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with Research

Past Events

The Human Worlds Festival was first launched in 2014. Since then, events have taken place every November across the University's campuses and the City of Southampton. Since 2020 the festival includes also an online component with digital activities and events.  

For instance, watch our summaries from Human Worlds Festival 2020, 2019 and 2018!

Human Worlds Festival 2020 

Human Worlds Festival ran from Thursday 12th to Sunday 22nd November 2020. 

Since 2020 will go down in history as a year of profound changes, for the first time the Festival was preceded by a month-long series of celebratory events in October for Black History Month and was followed by a month of digital celebrations for LGBT+ History Month in February 2021. Both series were curated in collaboration with few other teams across the University, including the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team, the BAME Network, the UoS Pulse LGBT+ Network and the University of Southampton Student Union (SUSU).   

Other events that were hosted under the Festival umbrella included a special night on November 3rd for the U.S. Presidential Election (run by History at the University of Southampton and chaired by Dr Christopher Fuller), a strand of digital events for Writers in Conversation (run by English at the University of Southampton and led by Carol Burns, Head of Creative Writing) and three Advanced Seminar Series in Arts and Humanities 2020 on pregnancy, motherhood, and childhood (run by Philosophy at the University of Southampton and chaired by Professor Fiona Woollard).

The main events of Human Worlds Festival 2020 were:

Human Worlds Festival 2019

The 2019 Human Worlds Festival ran from Thursday 14th to Saturday 23rd November.  
This year’s edition included Humanities Late, a special evening event, that saw the John Hansard Gallery and City Eye opening to the public outside normal hours on Friday 22 November. The night featured a temporary installation by artist and performer Elaine Mitchener, inspired by the research of historian Professor Christer Petley, a talk by writer Professor Philip Hoare and live performances by composer Dr Drew Crawford and artist Barbara Touati-Evans. These events took place alongside the main gallery exhibition 'Waves and Forms' by internationally renowned artist and Winchester School of Art graduate, Haroon Mirza. 
The Festival concluded with Hands-on Humanities Day on Saturday 23 November, which took place for the first time at the John Hansard Gallery, City Eye, Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST City) and Solent University’s Sir James Matthews building, at the heart of the Southampton Cultural Quarter on Above Bar Street. The day brought together internal and external exhibitors passionate about the arts and humanities, including community radio station Unity 101 FM.    

Both Humanities Late and Hands-on Humanities Day were part of the Being Human festival 2019 programme.    
Wider Festival events included: 

Watch the following videos to re-discover one of the amazing performances at Humanities Late, ‘Emotional Resonances’. 

Human Worlds Festival 2018

The 2018 Human Worlds Festival ran between Thursday 15th to Saturday 24th November 2018.  
This edition saw a week full of events across the city of Southampton and was concluded by Hands-on Humanities Day on Saturday 17th November at the Avenue Campus, with activities and workshops for all.  
Wider Festival events included:  

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