Celebrating the Humanities Cultural Programme

The Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities, is an active programme of public events powered by research from across the Humanities.

Despite the difficult circumstances this year, the growth of our HCP online programme, including our Big Tent! Live Event series, has enabled us to engage with a wider, more global audience than ever before. This has been made possible through the commitment and collaboration of everyone involved both on and off screen. Our Big Tent! Live Event series via YouTube livestreams has reached tens of thousands of viewers worldwide. This term, in addition to our usual programme we are also delighted to support multiple partners within the University, including the Institute for Ethics in AI to host their Ethics in AI series, which has already brought together speakers across continents for fascinating discussions reaching thousands of viewers too.

Read on to find out about recent highlights and to get our future events in your diary.


Talking Afropean

We collaborated with Writers Make Worlds to host Johny Pitts, author of Afropean, in conversation about his travelogue on Black Europe. The fascinating discussion with Professor Elleke Boehmer and Professor Simukai Chigudu covered the influence of hip hop on Pitts' writing, the origins and usefulness of 'Afropean' as a term, and the power of Toni Morrison's words 'I stood at the border... and claimed it as central'. We were fortunate enough to hold the conversation in person at the Ultimate Picture Palace, livestreamed to audiences European and global.




Discovering Delius

The Villiers Quartet performed the world premiere of Delius's String Quartet, which had, until recently, been incomplete. Professor Daniel Grimley and Dr Joanna Bullivant led a fascinating explanation of the rediscovery of the piece and how it had been brought to performance.



In conversation with Katie Mitchell and Ben Whishaw

New HCP Visiting Fellow in Theatre, Katie Mitchell, and award-winning actor Ben Whishaw, explored our TORCH Goes Digital! theme of 'Liveness'. Chaired by Director of TORCH, Professor Wes Williams, the conversation covered making environmentally sustainable theatre, incorporating new technologies, and being an actor in lockdown.



Ethics in AI

So far this term, we have supported the Institute for Ethics in AI to host three seminars: Privacy is Power, Algorithms Eliminate Noise (and that is very good), and AI and Education. These lively discussions identify and challenge the barriers in designing ethical AI, welcoming a range of perspectives, including the audience's own.


Coming Soon:

Our Big Tent! Live Events series continues this term – please join us if you can.

Professor of Poetry Lecture with Alice Oswald in collaboration with the English Faculty  - 5pm, Thursday 12 November 2020

Ethics in AI - Open Democracy in the Age of AI  - 5pm, Friday 13 November 2020

Besterman Lecture, in collaboration with the Voltaire Foundation  - 5pm, Thursday 19 November 2020

Under the Lens/Being Human  - 5pm, Friday 20 November 2020

Ethics in AI Seminar - AI and Autonomy  - 5pm, Thursday November 26 2020


Our full digital programme can be viewed via our website and on our YouTube channel.