Previous events

Launched in 2015, the Festival of Arts & Humanities has hosted world-renowned speakers, creative collaborations, and artists from a range of different backgrounds and disciplines. Our aim is to showcase the joy, wonder, and creativity that can be found in Arts and Humanities. Here’s a sample of some of the exciting events we’ve brought to the city.

Including talks from specialist researchers, performances from poets, musicians and authors, as well as our series of bitesize talks, we've always aimed to create a programme with something to get your teeth stuck into.

The Unthanks 

Award-winning folk band The Unthanks joined Simon Keegan-Phipps (Department of Music) in conversation, interspersed with performance, discussing how and why they make their music.

Unthanks in convo

Bitesize talks: Donald Trump

At our showcase event, we held 10 minute talks by some of our leading researchers. Here, Jennifer Saul discusses the language of Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential campaign. 

Bitesize talks: Making Sense of Pleaure

Philosopher Luca Barlassina talks about the function of pleasant and unpleasant experiences in our lives for another of our bitesize talks.  

Michael Symmons Roberts

Award-winning poet Michael Symmons Roberts performed his poetry for us in 2016, and spoke to our own Cathy Shrank from the Department of English. 

Festival Michael Symmons Roberts

Stories of Activism

Sheffield has a rich history of activism, and drawing on campaign materials, oral history interviews and films, this exhibition brought to life the archives of the city's activism.


Bitesize talks: Tastes that Transform

This fascinating talk by Dr. Meredith Warren looks at what happens when ordinary people eat extraordinary food in ancient texts and modern culture, from Celtic Folkore to The Matrix.

Bitesize talks: Criminal Justice

As part of his project 'Democracy and Criminal Justice', Chris Bennett from the Philosophy Department argues that there should be greater public participation in criminal justice and discusses ways in which public input could be constructive.

Alison Baskerville

In 2016, documentary photographer Alison Baskerville  joined us to speak about her work on conflict around the world. Hosted by Dr. Casey Strine from the Department of History and Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies.

alison baskerville

Tales from the Ivory Tower

In 2015, storyteller Tim Ralphs hosted a night of intriguing tales, bringing to life the varied research that happens in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The event gave us an alternate perspective on a range of different topics.  

ivory tower

Bitesize talks: Skills to be Queer

Dr Minna Shkul looks at gender, identity and sexuality from different academic perspectives, considering society, culture and human life to gain a better understanding of current and historic global issues.

Bitesize talks: Print, Protest and Poetry

A fascinating insight into poems of protest printed in Sheffield's radical press at the turn of the 19th century. By Dr. Adam James Smith from the School of English.

Castlegate Cabaret

Through talks, stories, and songs, we learnt more about Castlegate, the original heart of the city, including Sheffield in the Civil War, and the fate of Sheffield Castle. 

Castlegate cabaret