Being Human 2015

The University of Sheffield are one of five hub organisations for the Being Human Festival 2015, the UK's only national festival of the humanities. Free events are taking places all over the country from 12-22 November and funded by the AHRC, the British Academy and the Wellcome Trust. A full list of events can be found on the Being Human website at

What's on in Sheffield

Home is... exhibition 

  • 12-21 November
  • Central Library, during library opening hours
  • Drop-in

We all make homes, whether we've lived in a place for months or years. This exhibition of photography by Gemma Thorpe, in collaboration with School of English academic Richard Steadman-Jones, illustrates home in its many forms, working with people in the city to define their notion of what home means.

The Portrait and Identity

How do we look at portraits and how do we see ourselves in them? Spend an evening in one of the galleries of Sheffield's beautiful Graves Art Gallery with Joe Bray from the School of English and Liz Waring, curator of art at Museums Sheffield

Seeing Human in Song

Friday the 13th is the perfect date to think about superstition, song and stories. Drawing from her new album, Old Adam, the award-winning folk singer and University of Sheffield ethnomusicologist Fay Hield brings together poet Helen Mort, storyteller Tim Ralphs, illustrator Nick Hayes and fellow academic Brendan Stone for what promises to be a lively discussion, peppered with song, poetry and stories. Come along to be a part of it.

Animating Poetry - workshop for 14-19 year olds

Young people aged between 14–19 who are interested in poetry, animation and paper-cutting will get the opportunity to work with poet Deryn Rees Jones, academic Jonathan Ellis, artist Charlotte Hodes and animator Kristina Pulejkova to explore the techniques involved in making poem-films. This workshop will use the new poem-film Questions of Travel – based on an Elizabeth Bishop poem of the same name - as a starting point to explore a range of creative skills and make a short animation. The event is over two days, 14 and 15 November, and participants must attend on both days.

Let's Discover Stained Glass - family art workshop

  • 14 November, 11am-4pm
  • Sheffield Cathedral
  • Drop-in

What did the whale that swallowed Jonah look like? A man-eating, malevolent monster or a feeble, fumbling fish? Come and discover the art of stained glass at Sheffield Cathedral in this family, child-friendly art activity. Be inspired by the Cathedral’s famous Lantern Window and have a go at making your own stained glass window as an illustration of well-known Old Testament stories – stories that are common to Christianity, Judaism and Islam alike. As well as making your own stained glass window, you can also take on the challenge of our stained glass window treasure hunt – how many stained glass windows can you find?

A Life Well Lived?

What do we mean when we talk about a ‘good life’ when a good life for us isn’t necessarily good for others? Is this an ethical question, a collective one which looks at our role within society, or is it an individual dilemma? In discussion, Angie Hobbs, Professor for the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield speaks for the human while Robert McKay, senior lecturer in the School of English, provides a perspective based on his work on human-animal relations and Canon Missioner Keith Farrow from Sheffield Cathedral provides a spiritual point of view. Questions and comments from the floor will be encouraged to add to the discussion.

Intoxicants in the Sheffield Tap

Join us for a night in the pub with Angela McShane (V&A) and Lucie Skeaping, musician and presenter of Radio 3’s Early Music Show and a host of others to explore drinking in history and song from the 16th-19th centuries. Charge your glasses ready for an evening of ballads and insight into past drinking cultures.

Cyberselves exhibition

The ‘Cyberselves exhibition’ enables visitors to meet robots, experience cyber-worlds with cutting-edge technology and be involved in the debate around issues such as, ‘How are we being transformed by our participation in cyber-spaces?’, ‘What are the consequences for our conceptions of self when we can transport ourselves to virtual worlds?’ and ‘How have we imagined such transformations of the self through technology in popular media?’. This hands-on demonstrations led by Michael Szollosy and team from Sheffield Robotics will take your thinking to a whole new level about how our everyday lives are being transformed by our participation in cyber-worlds.