Origins and endings in Sunderland’s history

Being Human Festival 2018

Published on 08 November 2018

Our School of Culture  is proud to be part of this year’s Being Human 2018 Festival (November 15-24) which highlights the ways in which the humanities can inspire and enrich our everyday lives.

Hundreds of free activities have been organised in towns and cities across the UK as part of the festival - led by the University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy - this year’s theme explores ideas focused around ‘Origins and Endings’.

In Sunderland, a diverse and attractive programme of free events has been organised by the University’s academics, held at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and National Glass Centre.

From Sunderland’s first female MP, the dangers of the North East coast, and the end of the First World War to the legacy of Shipbuilding on the Wear, it’s hoped the talks will stimulate interest in local history and culture.

Dr Andre Keil, Lecturer in Modern European History, who has helped organise Being Human in Sunderland, explains: “Sunderland is a city that witnessed a multitude of origins and endings in its long history. Change has been a constant feature of this place, from being the cradle of English glassmaking in the 7th century to becoming the centre of the British car industry today. As part of the Being Human Festival, we will explore this year’s theme of ‘Origins and Endings’ through the lens of Wearside’s proud local history in a series public talks and workshops.

Overall, we aim to present a diverse and attractive programme that will not only highlight our own research in the humanities but hopefully also stimulate interest in local history and culture.” 

As part of the festival, there will be a guided walk along Roker Beach, by Dr Peter Hayes, reflecting on the dangers of the coast. Dr Andre Keil will take a look at the First World War in the North East, while Dr Sarah Hellawell will reflect on the life of the Sunderland City’s first Female MP Marion Phillips.

Dr Delphine Doucet will shed light on the close connections between a family of radicals from Sunderland and their strong link to the origins of English republicanism. The local Lilburne family played a crucial role during the English Civil War.

National Glass Centre will also host a talk by Inge Paneels, on November 22, 4pm-5pm, exploring the impact of glass on the ways we see the world. It will explain how glass is and was used in science from the first telescopes to the International Space Station and space travel in the future. Glass was a crucial part of the origins of modern science.

To book and find out more information about the talks for Sunderland’s Being Human Festival: The People, The River and the Sea - go to the Blog: https://wp.sunderland.ac.uk/beinghuman2018/