We are delighted to be part of this year's Being Human Festival (14-23 November 2019), a celebration of humanities research through public engagement. This year's theme is "Discoveries and Secrets", and our contribution is entitled "Creative Ethnology: Streaming New Voices", a reference to Hamish Henderson's "carrying stream" on the centenary of his birth,
Following last year's Sustainable Communities Heritage Festival, the IRC’s second Heritage Festival presents key findings, methodologies and perspectives of critical heritage studies from a Creative Ethnology perspective in a Scottish, European and global context. Through a series of creative workshops and other interactive-format events, our programme will showcase the growing strength and community relevance of research in the field of heritage and ethnology especially at Heriot-Watt. While raising public awareness of this work, the festival offers us a vital platform for connecting with, and actively involving, the wider constituency we are responsible to. A university widely known for its STEM profile, since 2013 Heriot-Watt has been home to the Intercultural Research Centre, a vibrant team of arts, humanities and social science researchers. The festival is integral to a strategy of embedding these disciplines more firmly in the university and raising their profile internally and externally; that strategy includes creation of a poet-in-residence in the geosciences, and development of a heritage-centred research and teaching programme, from which the idea for an annual Heritage Festival arose. The festival will involve more than a dozen researchers from Heriot-Watt together with members of the Creative Ethnology Network based at other institutions across Scotland.
This year’s festival forms part of the centenary celebrations of the Scottish ethnologist Hamish Henderson’s birth, and its title picks up on his epitaph:
Will flow free again, and new voices
Be borne on the carrying stream.
The key themes of the programme – community, place, connections, and well-being – link the festival to Scotland’s Year of Conversation, the UN’s International Year of Indigenous Languages, and Heriot-Watt University’s Year of Health. The headline event, a ceilidh (“gathering”) hosted at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in conjunction with TRACS (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland) and the Scottish Creative Ethnology Network, brings together researchers, creative artists, performers and community activists in a public ‘bring and share’-style experience. Throughout the Festival, there will be an exhibition at Heriot-Watt's Museum on the Edinburgh campus, accompanying the IRC's Virtual Museum.
More details and booking links to follow.