Festival of Ideas

Edge Hill University’s second Festival of Ideas explores themes of Identity and Belonging in a stimulating programme of debates, talks, films, exhibitions, roundtables and performances throughout the month of June 2017.

The Festival is a response to public discussions about, and intellectual speculation on, what makes us who we are. The programme will look at Identity as incomplete, protean, restless, open-ended, flexible, and versatile… existing in fluidity rather than ‘fixed’ characteristics.

Ideas around patient identity will be explored, focusing on the importance of the patient voice, which can easily be overlooked in a metrics-driven health and social care system, and the individual needs, values, beliefs, preferences and social circumstances that underpin personalised treatment and care.

The Festival will open up debates on gender fluidity and non-binary sexualities, on the current momentum of political fluidity using Scottish independence and Brexit as examples of the concept of conflicting and mutating notions of identity, as well as the contrasting ideas of identity shaped by class, age, gender, sexuality or disability. It will also look at the way in which place affects identity, examining the ‘North’ in the wake of the Northern Powerhouse, the diasporic cultures of exile and displacement prompted by global migration, and the concept of regional, urban or rural identities.

As we enter an era where our identity will be increasingly defined and decoded by the algorithms of artificial intelligence, how will human beings respond to the impact of technological classification?

IDENTITY draws on academic strands within the University’s three research institutes:

  • The Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice (I4P)
    Cross-disciplinary research and knowledge exchange.
  • The Institute for Creative Enterprise (ICE)
    Connecting the University to the creative industries.
  • The Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI)
    Driving improvements in health and social care.


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