Wednesday 27 April 2022


Being Human, the UK’s national festival of the humanities, has announced a £15,000 grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to create a festival Hub in Bradford with a special focus to celebrate the BBC centenary.

Being Human demonstrates and celebrates the ways in which humanities research is vital to society and directly relevant to the lives and interests of people across the UK. Every year, hundreds of free events take place across the UK, showcasing the latest research in subjects including history, literature, philosophy, classics and languages.

This special grant for the 2022 festival will fund an innovative Hub that will focus on public engagement with the BBC centenary and will be led by the University of Bradford.

In line with this year’s Being Human festival theme ‘Breakthroughs’, 2022 marks the BBC’s 100th year in operation. BBC 100, the organisation’s broader centenary programme, will look at the broadcaster’s most iconic objects, people and contributors over the century.

Dr Allan Sudlow, director of partnerships and engagement at AHRC, says: 'We are pleased to be marking the BBC’s centenary year with an exciting programme of engagement with research. Reflecting on one hundred years of the BBC not only offers insights into the history of broadcasting, but also the cultural and social change of Britain over the past century. This activity will engage the public with research in new and dynamic ways - reflecting on the past but also shaping ideas for the future.'

The University of Bradford’s programme of free festival events and activities will focus on engaging individuals and communities with research that celebrates the contemporary relevance of the BBC and looks at the past, present and future of broadcasting and journalism.

Bradford and the university have a strong track record in broadcasting. Bradford is a key location for film and TV production including the BBC’s Peaky Blinders and Jay’s Yorkshire Workshop, it was the world’s first UNESCO City of Film, and it is home to the renowned National Science and Media Museum. The city has also been named in the final four for UK City of Culture 2025.

Professor Shirley Congdon, vice-chancellor of the University of Bradford, says: 'We are delighted that the university and the city has been chosen for the BBC100 Hub. The BBC has made a difference to everyone’s life whether that is following big news like the Olympics, documentaries like Blue Planet or discovering your favourite band via John Peel.

Our research is also making a difference to people’s lives, from Virtual Bradford which was recently awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize to the new Bradford-Renduchintala Centre for Space AI. The BBC 100 Hub will provide an exciting opportunity for people to discover more about how broadcasting and research are linked, how it benefits them and how they could play a part in its future.'

Being Human is led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, with generous support from Research England, in partnership with the AHRC and the British Academy.

Festival Hubs are Being Human’s largest concentrations of activity, supporting locally relevant programmes of events involving multiple researchers from different disciplines with multiple community partners. Festival Hubs provide rich and exciting programmes of imaginative events that involve the public with humanities research, while also building institutional capacity for public engagement in the humanities.

Being Human festival will take place 10–19 November 2022, at locations across the UK.

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


Notes to Editors

  1. Being Human: a festival of the humanities, 10–19 November 2022
    Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy, Being Human is a national forum for public engagement with humanities research. The festival highlights the ways in which the humanities can inspire and enrich our everyday lives. For more information, please visit or follow the festival on social media at @BeingHumanFest.
  2. At the University of Bradford our focus is on creating the conditions for social, cultural, and economic impact. We are committed to social inclusion and our work to expand opportunity and enable students to reach their potential has led to us topping the Social Mobility Index of English universities for the last two years. Our students belong to a supportive University community and achieve the best outcomes as graduates. Our University Strategy sets out our ambitions to 2025, which we will achieve by using our proud heritage as a springboard and remaining steadfast in our commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion. We will harness our strengths in research, innovation, teaching and partnerships to extend our reputation, influence, and impact. All of this will create a values-led culture that is inclusive and effective in enriching lives and benefitting society.
  3. The Arts and Humanities Research Council is part of UK Research and Innovation. We’re the UK’s largest funder of arts and humanities research and training, investing over £100 million every year. We fund independent researchers in a wide range of subjects, including history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and many more. The research we fund provides social and cultural benefits that contribute to the economic success of the UK, as well as to the culture and welfare of societies around the world. Find out more about us at, or on Twitter at @ahrcpress.
  4. The School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London, is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and support of research in the humanities. SAS and its member institutes offer unparalleled resources, facilities and academic opportunities across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. Last year SAS welcomed 996 research fellows and associates, held 1,500 events highlighting the latest research in the humanities, received 31.6 million online visits to its research resources and platforms, and hosted 100,119 visits to its specialist libraries and collections. The School also leads Being Human, the UK’s only nationwide festival of the humanities. Find out more at or follow SAS on Twitter at @SASNews.
  5. The British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. We mobilise these disciplines to understand the world and shape a brighter future. We invest in researchers and projects across the UK and overseas, engage the public with fresh thinking and debates, and bring together scholars, government, business and civil society to influence policy for the benefit of everyone. @BritishAcademy_. For further information please contact Joe Christmas at the British Academy Press Office on or +44 (0)20 7969 5248.