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Warwick success in Being Human festival funding competition

Following a national competition, Dr Paul Prescott, English Department, has successfully applied for a small grant of up to £3,000 to participate in the first UK-wide humanities research festival, led by the School of Advanced Study (SAS) at the University of London.

The successful entry from Dr Paul Prescott is for an event with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust entitled 'Acting against the grain: non-traditional Shakespeare'.

Acting against the grain: non-traditional Shakespeare
It is claimed that Shakespeare explored what it is to be human more intensively and creatively than any artist before, or since. This event will bring together university academics leading two major research projects exploring Shakespeare and his work as a mirror for cultural identity, with Shakespearean practitioners from English-speaking theatre in North America and the UK. These performers have overcome many obstacles – racial and gender stereotyping, ingrained casting habits and pre-conceived cultural expectations. A panel discussion in front of a live audience will be videoed and distributed widely through a network of websites. The questions will be sourced from the public through social media.

Being Human festival

The Being Human festival funding competition was launched at the beginning of the year, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Academy. To win one of the awards for funding, applicants had to successfully demonstrate how they would engage the public with humanities research, while highlighting its role in the cultural, intellectual, political and social life of the UK.

Funded events will cover topics as diverse as: the digital mapping of data on public happiness; public punishment and local memory in the Georgian West Country; the relationship between humour and being human; the contribution of humanities research to modern science; and Punch and Judy’s chocolate cornucopia of human knowledge.

The nine-day festival will run from 15 to 23 November 2014. Free-to-attend public events will be held in museums, galleries, and cultural and community centres at locations across the UK – from Orkney to Truro, Belfast to Swansea, and Liverpool to Norwich.

Festival director, Professor Barry Smith of the School of Advanced Study said:

Grant recipients were chosen from more than 100 innovative applications demonstrating the vitality and relevance of humanities research. In their different ways, each of these events will invite us to explore the human world and the ways we make sense of it in a fast moving digital age.”

Find out more about the event on the Arts Humanities and Research Council website.