History, religion and robots – DMU experts fire Leicester imaginations in humanities festival


The hidden history of Leicester’s streets, the role of religion within the city and the fate of humans in an AI future will all be explored by De Montfort University (DMU) experts as part of a national festival. 

Being Human is the UK’s only dedicated festival for the humanities, featuring a packed and varied programme of events taking place across the country, spotlighting new thinking in literature and history, languages and philosophy, art history and classics, among other areas. 

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More than 230 events will be held around the country, with more than 30 in the East Midlands, between November 10 and 19. 

In Leicester, three key events are being organised and hosted by experts from DMU. 

Every lunch time, for the full 10 days of the event, Professor Christine White, Deputy Dean of Arts, Design and Humanities at DMU, will host Tales of the City, a free walking tour which will unveil the history and stories of the Leicester's streets, looking at their past, present and future. 

Professor White will look at how people have used these streets like Church Gate, Gallowtree Gate and Granby Street, and how they might into the future. 

The walk will start each day at 12.30pm at Beta X on Church Gate, and end at the railway station at 1.30pm. 

Meanwhile, on Tuesday 15 November, Professor Liz Tingle will lead a debate about the role of prophesy and revelation in our religious experiences, and the influences these have on our relationships with the community around us. 

Spiritual Breakthrough in Multi-Faith Leicester will take place at 6pm in St Philip’s Church, Evington Road, Leicester and involve panel debates and table discussions, looking at a long tradition of people of faith ‘speaking out’, inspired by religious revelations to try to change the city around them. 

While on Thursday 17 November, Dr Keith Scott, senior lecturer in English Language, will host a two-part debate asking what the role will be for humans in a world dominated by AI. 

Being? Human? - Minds, Meat and Machines, takes place in DMU’s Clephan Building, over two sessions. The first, from 4.30–6pm (in Clephan 2.29), is a workshop discussion, where guests will be considering and discussing what possible shapes the future may take, whether utopian or nightmarish.  

The second, from 7pm to approximately 8.30pm (in Clephan 3.01) is a formal debate, asking guests to consider what the future for humanity in a world of pervasive technology and AI may be. 

Posted on Wednesday 9th November 2022

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