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Festival of Humanities

Wednesday 4th - Thursday 5th March 2020
Waldegrave Suite, St Mary's University

St Mary's University is delighted to announce the launch of its new BA Liberal Arts degree which will be celebrated at our two day Festival of Humanities on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th March.

Sarah Churchwell, Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of London, will be giving the keynote lecture on the Wednesday, preceded by live music from the Blues Fusion ensemble, 'Blues Dharma' in the Waldegrave Room.

The event is free to attend and will include music, literature, film, poetry and writing workshops. Refreshments, drinks and lunch are included.

There will also be an exhibition to promote the expertise and research of the Humanities staff at St Mary’s University.

The Festival will have its musical finale in the Students' Union on the Thursday evening with Robert Hokum and the Great West Groove.


This event is free to attend, but we ask that you please register your place online.

Schools and colleges

If you would like to bring a group of students to the Festival of Humanities please email


Wednesday 4th March

  • 12pm: Opening of the Festival - Prof John Charmley, Pro Vice-Chancellor - Academic Strategy (Waldegrave Drawing Room)
  • 12.15pm: Why the Liberal Arts matter - Mark Griffin, Head of Humanities and Creative Industries (Waldegrave Drawing Room)
  • 12.30pm: Acoustic Afro Caribbean/Blues Music - Keith Waithe and Robert Hokum (Waldegrave Drawing Room)
  • 1.15pm: Refreshments (coffee and cake available) (Ante Room)
  • 2pm: Parallel session: What does film tell us about who we are and the world around us? Followed by screening of Children of Men - Dr Jon Hackett, Senior Lecturer in Film and Communication (Senior Common Room)
  • 2pm: Parallel session: Drama St Mary’s students, Creative and Professional Writing and MA Playwrighting students demonstrate through performance and readings what the Humanities means to them. (Waldegrave Drawing Room)
  • 4.45pm: The Humanities and the City - Andrea Rummell (Senior Common Room)
  • 5.30pm: ‘Blues Dharma’ Fusion music with veena, tabla and acoustic guitar - Anjan Saha introducing Robert Hokum, Divyanand Caird and Nafees Irfan (Waldegrave Drawing Room)
  • 6.30pm: Keynote: The Importance of the Humanities - Prof Sarah Churchwell (Waldegrave Drawing Room)
  • 7.30pm: Drinks and canapes (Waldegrave Drawing Room)

Thursday 5th March

  • 10am: Opening of the second day - Prof Philip Booth, Dean of Faculty of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences (Senior Common Room)
  • 10.15am: John Henry Newman and the Humanities - Dr Jacob Phillips (Senior Common Room)
  • 11am: The Politics of the Humanities - Dr Chris Wylde (Senior Common Room)
  • 11.45am: Refreshments (coffee and cake available) (Ante Room)
  • 12.15pm: What the Humanities teaches us about the world around us - Tina Bicat (Senior Common Room)
  • 1pm: ‘All you need is lunch’: lunchtime with the Beatles – Humanities and personal development - Dr Richard Mills (Senior Common Room - lunch provided)
  • 2pm: Poetry and Fiction - why does it still matter? What does it say about our identity and our sense of belonging? - Cheryl Robson, publisher at Aurora Metro Books (Senior Common Room)
  • 3pm: Interactive music and poetry session - Anjan Saha (Senior Common Room)
  • 4pm: History, the Humanities and their Publics - Dr Mark Donnelly (Senior Common Room)
  • 5pm: Drinks and canapes (Ante Room)
  • 8pm: Live music- The Great West Groove (Students' Union )
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Wednesday 4th - Thursday 5th March 2020
Waldegrave Suite, St Mary's University

Find out more

For more information about this event please contact Dr Kim Salmons (Associate Professor Humanities and Liberal Arts):
Tel: 020 8240 4199

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