What is so special about the Arts and Humanities?

Event Dates: 21 May 2014
Birkbeck School of Arts
Birkbeck University of London
43 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD

The Birkbeck School of Arts presents:

Birkbeck Arts Week 2014

Welcome to Birkbeck’s seventh annual Arts Week – running this year from Monday 19 to Friday 23 May. The week will include lectures, readings, film screenings, taster courses, performances and panel discussions and is our annual showcase of the varied enterprises of Birkbeck academics, on topics both public and scholarly.

The programme of events reflects the liveliness of teaching and research within Birkbeck’s School of Arts, whose internationally renowned academics address some of the most important issues that affect our society today.

What is so special about the arts and humanities?

What is the point of studying the arts and humanities? What relevance do they have to society today? Should universities adapt their courses to suit changing demands by, for example, increasing the focus on ‘employability skills’? If they defend the intrinsic value of studying subjects such as art, history, philosophy and literature, are they just upholding elitism? A panel of distinguished speakers will debate these contentious questions.

Speakers:  Dr Joanna Williams (University of Kent, Author of Consuming Higher Education: Why Learning Can’t be Bought); Carole Souter (CEO, Heritage Lottery Fund);  Professor Esther Leslie (Birkbeck); Chair: Dr Wendy Earle (Birkbeck)

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