Festival celebrates people and cultures as spotlight shines on Arts and Humanities

• Series of fascinating events by the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities include film, performances and award-winning poetry
• Festival (Tuesday 10 May to Sunday 22 May 2016) features debate on intoxicants, the history of hairdressing and forgotten Broadway songs

Lost Broadway songs, a debate about intoxicants and a reading by an award-winning poet are among a series of fascinating events showcasing the best of the Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield.

MediumThe University’s annual Festival of Arts and Humanities (Tuesday 10 May to Sunday 22 May 2016) is a celebration of people and cultures, featuring the latest world-leading research in collaboration with musicians, writers, artists and filmmakers from across the city and beyond.

A thought-provoking programme kicks off with a performance of forgotten songs by the writers of the hit musical My Fair Lady, lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Lowe – some of which have not been performed for 60 years (Tuesday 10 May and Thursday 12 May 2016).

Former government drug advisor Professor David Nutt will join a panel of experts, including Dr James Brown from the University of Sheffield’s Intoxicants Project, to discuss intoxicant laws, policy and culture in The Diamond (Wednesday 18 May 2016).

Other highlights include:

• A talk by acclaimed artist and author Edmund de Waal on homelessness, exile and art (Monday 16 May 2016).
• An evening of talks, stories and songs about the history of Castlegate – an area that was once the heart of the city and home to Sheffield Castle and, a few hundred years later, Castle Market (Thursday 12 May 2016).
• Interactive talks and an art exhibition exploring the connections between the arts and medical research in neurological conditions on International Clinical Trials Day (Friday 20 May 2016).
• A performance by award-winning folk band The Unthanks, who will discuss how and why they make their music with Simon Keegan-Phipps from the University’s Department of Music (Friday 20 May 2016).
• A Faculty of Arts and Humanities showcase in the Winter Gardens and Millennium Galleries, featuring short talks, exhibitions and performances – including 18th century hairdressing, imaginary castles and pop songs (Saturday 21 May 2016).

On Thursday 12 May 2016, a group of staff and students at the University will record everything they do from when they wake up to when they go to sleep for the national Mass Observation Day – a tradition which began on the day of George VI’s coronation in 1937. The resulting diaries provide a glimpse into the everyday lives of people across Britain, and have become an invaluable resource for those researching countless aspects of the era.

The festival will end with a screening of internationally-acclaimed film The Show of Shows, produced in collaboration with the National Fairground Archive at the University, featuring rarely seen footage of 19th and early 20th century circus acts, music halls, fairgrounds and seaside entertainments. (Sunday 22 May 2016).

Professor Jackie Labbe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield, said: “The Festival of Arts and Humanities showcases some of the best and most exciting work of our students and academic staff. We think there’s something for everyone and welcome the University and city community along to its many highlights.”

To view the full programme, visit Festival of Arts and Humanities. For more information, visit www.twitter.com/festivalah.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 26,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information, please contact:

Hannah Postles
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046