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Humanities Research Centre Tenth Anniversary

A day of celebration and challenge - 18 October 2019

An event to provoke, inspire and open new conversations and connections.

Join us to celebrate the Humanities Research Centre's first decade and challenge us to think how best to use the next decade.

The event will open new conversations, provoke and inspire, and help us to articulate and understand why the arts and humanities matter. Most of the sessions are bite-sized, so you can drop in and out as you wish.


The day will have two strands - Provocations and Objects and subjects - followed by a reception. 

10am to 5.10pm (Bowland Auditorium)

Nine provocative 15-minute presentations will explore the relevance, reach and value of research in the arts and humanities at York, with ideas to inspire everyone.

Watch the livestream of the presentations above.

See session times below.

11.20am to 4.20pm (Berrick Saul Building foyer)

30 members of staff and postgraduate students will show objects that capture the development of their research or tell a story. Meet them, talk to them and find out more.

Session times


10 to 10.15am (Bowland Auditorium)

Welcome and introduction from Richard Ogden, Director of the Humanities Research Centre.

Provocations - session one

10.20 to 11.15am (Bowland Auditorium)

In this session, researchers explain the value of the humanities to the culture of York, why social media has catalysed a 'poetry renaissance', and why human and animal conversation is more similar than we might think.


  • Kate Giles (Archaeology) - Humanities in the City of York
  • JT Welsch (English and Related Literature) - When Political Poetry Goes Viral
  • Kobin Kendrick (Language and Linguistic Science) - Turn-taking in Human and Animal Communication

Provocations - session two

12.20 to 1.15pm (Bowland Auditorium)

Why do global challenges need the humanities? How do we put the experience of music at the core of our music research?


  • Mary Leng (Philosophy) - Does 2 + 2 = 4?
  • Hauke Egermann (Music) - Musicology Without Composers? Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Diverse Approaches to Music Research
  • Henrice Altink (History) - Global Challenges Need the Humanities

Objects and subjects - session two

1.20 to 2.20pm (Berrick Saul Building foyer)

In this session of 10 more object presentations, discover what 1,000-year-old poo looks like and how diverse language can be within a region.

Provocations - session three

2.20 to 3.15pm (Bowland Auditorium)

Hear how one researcher rediscovered the humanities after leaving them in our final session of talks and provocations.


  • Sebastian Deterding (Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media) - Confessions of a Recovering Humanist
  • Divna Manolova (Centre for Medieval Literature) - Lightbulb Jokes and Medieval Diagrams: The Game
  • Damian Murphy (Electronic Engineering) - XR Storytelling

Objects and subjects - session three

3.20 to 4.20pm (Berrick Saul Building foyer)

From a teddy bear to a silver bible, our final objects and subjects presentation showcases 10 more fascinating objects with equally fascinating stories.

Closing session - The Future of the Arts and Humanities

4.20 to 5.10pm (Bowland Auditorium)

Come and discuss the value and future of the arts and humanities. Why do the arts and humanities matter? What underlies the current divide between the arts and humanities and the sciences, and how can the arts and humanities and sciences can work together to the mutual benefit of both?


  • Tom McLeish (Physics)
  • Helen Smith (English and Related Literature)


5.15 to 6.30pm (Berrick Saul Building foyer)

Come and join us as we celebrate the successes of the past ten years, and look forward to the next ten years of the Humanities Research Centre.

 Tenth anniversary programme (PDF , 383kb)

The Humanities Research Centre provides a spectacular place of interdisciplinary belonging for arts and humanities academics and postgraduates at York.

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