H. G. Wells at 150: Hope and Fear (Being Human Festival 2016)

Being Human Festival 2015From the team that brought you 'Mary Shelley’s Dundee: Frankenstein Begins' comes 'H.G. Wells at 150: Hope and Fear', a series of events that will celebrate the 150th birthday of the author of The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man(1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898) as part of the UK’s Being Human Festival of the Humanities (17th-25th November 2016).

Building on the success of our involvement with Being Human 2015, we are delighted to confirm that this year Dundee has been promoted to the status of Scotland’s “festival hub”. Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, and the Wellcome Trust, 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, help us to understand ourselves, our relationships with others, and the challenges we face in a changing world. Last year, the festival featured over 300 events organised by over 70 universities and research organisations in 36 towns and cities across the country. Dundee’s contribution was recognised as one of the stand-out case studies at a recent showcase at Senate House in London.

The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum shall be hosting the launch of H. G. Wells: A Graphic Anthology, a collection of short stories comprising work by award-winning artists and, through an open competition, contributions from the general public. Peruse at your leisure the storyboards and sketches on display, and listen to Dr Murray’s tie-in talk on the history of science-fiction comics. Damon Herd, Philip Vaughan, and a team of artists and students based at the newly launched Dundee Comics Creative Space (DCCS) will also be conducting a number of drop-by workshops aimed at encouraging people of all ages to get involved with the creation of comics. Under the guidance of the UK’s leading forensic scientist, Dame Professor Sue Black (CAHID), we will even be conducting an autopsy on a Martian based on Wells’s design in a special, one-off event that is not to be missed! Be sure to join Eddie Small (‘Herbert Unwells’), an award-winning tutor in Creative Writing and a playwright, on his hotly-anticipated 'The Time Machine: A Walking Tour'.

Other scheduled events include film screenings, animation workshops, and a roundtable discussion of the life and works of Robert Duncan Milne, a Scottish precursor to Wells, who was celebrated in his time as a founding father of US Science Fiction but is now largely forgotten. Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museums, in collaboration with colleagues and students in DJCAD, is curating a semester-long multimedia exhibition, Reanimating H. G. Wells. Ahead of the Being Human festival, Dr Williams has been invited to deliver this year’s Lunchtime Talk during the Dundee Literary Festival (October 2016), at which The Time Machine has already been selected as the official “bookclub” item in honour of Wells’s 150th birthday and the 10th anniversary of the literary festival. It just remains for us to say: watch out for The Invisible Cat. And turn the radio off!

More information about the events can be found on the Being Human Festival’s official website (www.beinghumanfestival.org) and on the “Wells 150” Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wells150).

Scheduled events include –

Find out more at www.beinghumanfestival.org.