the health and wellbeing of being human

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The health and wellbeing of being human

Reflecting a new partnership with the Wellcome Trust, this year’s Being Human festival of the humanities brings a focus on health and wellbeing highlighting research on sleep, biomedical history, mental health and more.

See below for a sample of health and wellbeing themed events from across the festival programme. Other themes explored include science and technology, politics, diversity, and arts and culture.

 ‘What we need from the humanities’ panel discussion | London | Thursday 12 November

From religion to experimental physics, surgery to economics, we will hear from those who need the humanities to inform their work. Panellists include experimental physicist and science writer Dame Athene Donald, clergyman and journalist Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, economist professor John Kay, psychologist, writer and broadcaster Claudia Hammond and surgeon, author and television presenter Miss Gabriel Weston. The discussion is chaired by professor Sarah Churchwell.

Seven Songs (For a Long Life)’: challenging western taboos | Dumfries | Thursday 12 November

After screening ‘Seven Songs (For a Long Life)’, a documentary filmed at the Strathcarron Hospice in Scotland, featuring terminally ill patients, there will be a panel discussion with the documentary’s director Dr Amy Hardie.

Medieval music: chant as cure and miracle | London | Thursday 12 November

During this free public lecture Professor Christopher Page will highlight the cripple who crawled into a French abbey in the 12th century and, while the monks were singing, began to cry aloud and extend his contorted limbs.

Heritage, health and wellbeing | Swansea | Thursday 12 November and throughout the festival

Events at Swansea University will utilise a variety of venues for the festival including a farm activity centre and a copper works. These venues on the sandy south west Wales coast, will host all manner of different media, which will explore humanities research – drama, debate, poetry, art and enterprise

After dark: sleep and sleeplessness in the modern world | Lancaster | Friday 13 November and throughout festival dates

Lancaster University’s programming will focus on the most universal – and sometimes elusive – of human activities: sleep. Talks, creative writing workshops, night walks and film screenings will showcase state-of-the-art research on how sleep has been imagined, represented and regulated over time.

Disability and wellbeing: past, present and future | Swansea | Tuesday 17 November

Drawing on research from Swansea University researchers and academics at the universities of Aberystwyth, Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde, this public debate focuses on how the happiness and wellbeing of disabled people have changed over time.

Big question lecture: medicine and innovation in WW1 | London | Tuesday 17 November

Centre of the Cell’s Big Question Lecture investigates the fascinating history and stories behind wartime medicine.

Buddhism, mindfulness and being human | Bristol | Wednesday 18 November

A panel will discuss how the modern secular techniques of mindfulness effect its use and interpretation in contemporary society.

A historical walk through brilliant Bloomsbury | London | Wednesday 18 November

This guided history walk leads visitors through this remarkably brainy and often controversial part of London with stories about the eminent scientists, physicians and cultural figures who lived and worked in the area and the surprising connections, scandals and sources of inspiration that they found here.

Gender and mental health: What can history teach us? | London | Wednesday 18 November

Eminent historians and psychiatrists gather in a Central London venue to discuss gender and mental health, from self-harm to alcoholism, suicide, mental health at work and pharmacological solutions, all from a humanitarian perspective.

Being human/being animal | London | Thursday 19 November

Using the specimens and objects from the collections of the Hunterian Museum, this event will highlight what animals have taught us about ‘being human’ in the histories of health and medicine.

Health legends, epidemics and the politics of risk | Aberdeen | Thursday 19 November

Distinguished folklorist, Professor Diane Goldstein from Indiana University, will deliver the David Buchan Lecture in celebration of the Elphinstone Institute’s 20 years of dedicated research and promotion of the culture of the north-east of Scotland.

In Sickness and in Health: A walk through Bristol’s medical history with Victoria Bates | Bristol | Friday 20 November

An exploration of Bristol’s medical history. From advances in healthier childbirth to pioneering vaccination discoveries; radical women doctors; and gruesome facts about the city’s experiences of plague and cholera, Bristol has a fascinating medical story to uncover.

A night at the museum: 18th-century dance, fashion & health | Newcastle upon Tyne | Saturday 21 November

This evening event, which features performances, stalls, vintage clothes and tours of the Laing’s 18th and 19th-century galleries, will explore 18th-century dance, fashion and disease alongside modern-day parallels.

The vanishing woman: thoughts on female visibility | Leeds | Saturday 21 November

This afternoon of four short talks will showcase recent research exploring the connections between wellbeing and feminism.