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Event to explore urban dreams and nightmares


An event that will explore what cities mean to people is set to be held by experts from Leeds Beckett University.

Leeds City Museum

The free, interactive event forms part of the national Being Human Festival and will take place at Leeds City Museum on Saturday 19 November.

Guests will be able talk to experts from Leeds Beckett and join short walks exploring the hidden meaning of buildings around Millennium Square. Children and young people will be able to add to an imagined cityscape; whilst all guests will have the opportunity to record urban dreams (or nightmares) with Leeds Beckett’s writer in residence, Sunjeev Sahota.

Event organiser Dr Henry Irving explained: “This will be an engaging way to share different ways of thinking about cities. Urban areas like Leeds can be understood in various ways. Public events like this are important, as they provide a space to share this understanding. I am sure that we – as well as our guests – will leave brimming with new ideas.”

The Being Human Festival highlights the richness and vitality of humanities research and the ways it benefits society. It is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

Speaking about the festival, Professor Sarah Churchwell, Being Human’s Director, said: “The Being Human festival will showcase the best and most innovative aspects of that research across the country by taking knowledge out of the lecture hall, out of the archives and the libraries, and putting it to work in the public sphere, for the benefit of all.”

Festival curator, Dr Michael Eades, added: “This year the programme is themed around hope and fear, which has given researchers across the country an opportunity to respond to some of the biggest issues facing humanity today, and to show how their work is making a difference. From people working with refugees to those changing our understanding of conditions such as dementia, this year's festival really highlights depth and diversity of research in the humanities. It has been incredibly exciting putting the programme together over the past few months.”

Find out more about the festival at and follow the latest news about the festival on Twitter at @BeingHumanFest.

Henry Irving joined the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities as Senior Lecturer in Public History in 2015. He completed his PhD at the University of Leeds and has previously worked for the University of London, the University of Bradford, and the Workers’ Educational Association.

Henry is a specialist in mid-twentieth century British history. His research interests centre on the history of communication; and his most recent work has been undertaken alongside Professor Simon Eliot (Institute of English Studies, University of London) as part of an AHRC-funded project on ‘The Publishing and Communication History of the Ministry of Information 1939-45’.

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