Being Human Festival 2018

Being Human

IASH is delighted to be participating in this year's Being Human Festival of the Humanities, with three events featuring current and former Fellows - and all of them are free to attend!


Saturday 17 November from 1pm to 3pm, George Square

Bloodscape from IASH-SSPS Fellow Dr Stephanie Sodero

Come explore the changing landscape of blood in and beyond Edinburgh. Pick up the scavenger hunt clue sheet (50 George Square), and start an approximately 45 minute self-guided adventure that will let you see Edinburgh through the lens of blood – including changing trends, global campaigns and, of course, Harry Potter. Bloodscape will broaden your understanding of the origins and endings of blood as a vital good. The scavenger hunt will also be available online during and beyond the 2018 Being Human festival.


Sunday 18 November from 2pm to 4:30pm, Scottish Storytelling Centre

Theatre and Surveillance in East Germany, featuring 2017 IASH-Traverse Creative Fellow Peter Arnott

What light does the history of censorship and surveillance in East Germany shed on contemporary debates about privacy and freedom of expression? Come and explore these questions through a screening of Writing Ensemble (2015), a documentary film by Susan Kemp. The film follows award-winning playwright Peter Arnott as he investigates the history of East German theatre censorship and uses it to create his new play Ensemble. There will also be the chance to see film shorts that offer rare insights into life in the vanished East German state.

The screenings will be introduced by Professor Laura Bradley from the University of Edinburgh, whose archive research provided the basis for the project. It will be followed by a short post-screening discussion featuring the film maker Susan Kemp. The event is funded by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.


Monday 19 November from 7pm to 8:30pm, National Museum of Scotland

Data, Democracy and the Digital, featuring EURIAS Fellow Dr Isabel Kusche and IASH-SSPS / Digital Scholarship Fellow Dr Nicole Rigillo

A panel of politicians and social scientists discuss the impact of digital developments on contemporary politics. Digital devices and availability of data help citizens engage with the democratic process and inform themselves about our fast-changing world. Simultaneously, the rise of ‘fake news’, novel data-gathering techniques and filter bubbles seem to contribute to increasing polarisation within society. In the context of Brexit and Trump, this panel will ask: is this the end of politics as we thought we knew it?

The panel will be chaired by Professor Melissa Terras (University of Edinburgh) and includes Dr Isabel Kusche (Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies), Professor Laura Cram (University of Edinburgh), Marco Biagi (Yale University), Dr Nicole Rigillo (Indian Institute of Management).