Press release

‘Breaking Books’ at Being Human Festival

Published on 4 November 2022

Everyone has a story to tell, even if they don’t know it yet, and a University of Dundee festival celebrating all things bookish will help members of the public find their own literary voices next week

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Dundee is a Scottish regional hub for the international Being Human Festival of the Humanities, which takes place each November. The theme of this year’s hub is ‘Breaking Books’, with a series of events scheduled to take place from 10-19 November.

The Dundee programme will liberate stories from the gutters of the comic strip, bring local folklore out of the confines of history books, celebrate the female trailblazers of Science Fiction, create zines and poetry, and return tales of terror and wonder to the mouths of the narrators.

Scheduled and ‘pop-by’ activities will take place across the University campus and the city, at venues such as Dundee Comics Creative Space, Dundee Central Library, and The Overgate, as well as on Zoom.

Organiser Dr Daniel Cook, Reader in English Literature and Associate Dean at the University, said, “Books nourished us during the pandemic and are timeless artifacts that record the greatest of human breakthroughs as well as inspiring others.

“However, reading can also be ableist, and books are prohibitively expensive for some. That is why we are determined to smash these barriers at this year’s Being Human Festival and democratise access to great storytelling.”

Scheduled events include:

  • Blazing Worlds! Science Fiction by Women (The Global Room, University of Dundee, 10-19 November) – a spectacular word-and-image exhibition celebrates the lives and works of influential or unjustly forgotten female authors from 1600 to the present.
  • The Being Human Library (Gather Space, The Overgate, 10, 14 and 15 November) – a series of “drop by” activities, including sensory-deprived and sensory-enhanced reading, have-a-go flash fiction, book tasting (literally!), book-themed improv performances, and a tag-team readathon.
  • Angus Tales: The Talking Bus Tour (meet at Discovery Point, 13 November) – join local author Dr Erin Farley and guests on this immersive storytelling ride through Dundee and Angus to discover local folklore and legends galore.
  • Zines for All: Breakdowns, Break-ups and Breakthroughs (Dundee Comics Creative Space, Vision Building, 10 November) – this special zine-making workshop will collectively address personal breakdowns, break-ups and breakthroughs in whatever ways matter to you or your loved ones.

Being Human will see hundreds of events take place at universities and other organisations across the UK and beyond from 10-19 November, with Dundee serving as Scotland’s festival hub.

Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and funded by the Arts & 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 lives, helping us to understand ourselves, our relationships with others, and the challenges we face in a changing world.


Grant Hill

Senior Public Affairs Officer

+44 (0)1382 384768