Coinciding with National Arts and Humanities Month, the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the United States, the Being Human Festival 2019 at Princeton University will begin on October 11, running through December 19. Around 20 events will bring the insights of Princeton University researchers to non-academic audiences across New Jersey.
The festivities represent the U.S. hub of Being Human, the international festival of the humanities based in the U.K. Princeton’s participation is coordinated by the Humanities Council in partnership with the Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES).
The opening day will feature two events. “The Spirit of Truth-Seeking” will welcome artists to depict a conversation on the purpose of higher education among Princeton University Professor Robert P. George, Harvard University Professor Cornel West, and Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83. In addition, readings, spoken word, and traditional storytelling will come together in a performance for “Belonging(s) in Movement,” a three-day series exploring indigenous and immigrant tales from the Americas.
Later in the festival, “The Powers of African Spirituality in Global Consciousness: Light, Vision, & Truth” will introduce townspeople to Ghanaian priests and priestesses who specialize in practices like healing, divination, and sacrifice. In “Queer Letters: Writing Stories About Identities, Families, Gender, Cultures, and Communities,” locals will express how they experience their bodies, penning postcards to be shared in public displays whose free pens, stationary, and stamps will invite responses from passersby. “Refugee Oral History Convention” will train resettled refugees to interview one another for the historical record while exchanging their struggles and triumphs with Princeton University students.
Being Human will include tours, workshops, plays, talkbacks, screenings, improvisational comedy skits, and more, with collaborators as diverse as the Princeton Public Library, Massive Dynamics, Jammin’ Crepes, the Historical Society of Princeton, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey, and the Lady H2O campaign in Newark, among others.
Learn more here.