Small presents three trajectories of the Qur’an’s history that are featured in his book Qur’ans: Books of Divine Encounter. The first is the theological idea of the eternal word of God entering time and space as text, and the effect this idea has had on the decoration of the Qur’an. The second is the effect this theological idea has had on the uses of the Qur’an in recitation, medicine, and mediation with the unseen world. The third is how the Qur’an came to be in its present form with how it’s written and oral versions have always been inextricably intertwined. Small is a Manuscript Consultant to the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.
An illustrated lecture explores the earliest human art and what it tells us about our ancestors. Bahn looks at the famous cave paintings of Lascaux, Altamira, and Chauvet and the thousands of exquisite pieces of portable art in bone, antler, ivory, and stone produced in the same period. In 2003, Bahn led the team that discovered the first Ice Age cave art in England, at Creswell Crags in Nottinghamshire. Chaired by Daisy Leitch.
Big Data knows where you’ve been and who your friends are. It knows what you like and what makes you angry. It can predict what you’ll buy, where you’ll be the victim of crime and when you’ll have a heart attack. Big Data knows you better than you know yourself, or so it claims. But how well do you know Big Data? Now, thanks to comedian and broadcaster Timandra Harkness, you can grasp the whole subject in an hour, complete with bad puns, audience participation and an electric shock machine.
Join the star of Radio 4’s Just a Minute and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue for an extremely silly evening of interactive fun as we play a special Hay version of Tony’s Game Show Trust The Bucket. It’s laugh-a-minute stuff as The Generation Game meets Vic and Bob meets Whose Line Is It Anyway? Someone in the audience will walk away with a fabulous prize at the end of the evening – something that used to belong to someone else in the audience, and which they are delighted to get rid of. “The sort of bonkers nonsense that one expects from Tony. I loved it. An utterly daft experience.” – Miles Jupp. “Probably the silliest evening I’ve ever been involved in…and the most fun.’ – Jo Brand. #justincaseyoufeelitsallabitseriousthisyear #balance
Docx’s new novel, Let go my Hand, is a darkly comic and deeply moving 21st century love story between a son, his brothers and their father. Hamer’s follow-up to The Girl in the Red Coat is The Doll Funeral. Her central character is Ruby: “I’m a hunter for lost souls and I’m going to be with my real family”. They talk to Georgina Godwin.
It is as old as Adam and Eve: who’s to blame? Who’s innocent and praiseworthy? Apter discusses why these questions are not reserved just for big moral issues, but inform daily interactions with our family, our partner, our best friends and our bosses. She also shows that how we praise and blame our children, our colleagues, our friends and our partners may sustain or break our relationships with them. Apter is a psychologist, writer and Fellow of Newnham College. Chaired by Sameer Rahim of Prospect magazine.
The Science Squad is made up of the five STEAM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths – and the professor will explain how they work together and why they are so important. From the solar system to evolution and the human body, children will discover how machines work, where lightning comes from and how lungs allow you to breathe. The perfect introduction to science and STEAM subjects.
The sensationally successful historical novelist tells the tale of the game of thrones that were the Wars of the Roses. Ravenspur is the latest in the series that includes Stormbird, Trinity and Bloodline.
Bedtime goodnights to their toy rockets and the planet turn into a magical adventure for two Space-mad boys once they’re asleep. Join the author/illustrator as she takes them on their journey, and make your own planets to take home.
In the summer of 1990, Cathy’s brother Matty was knocked down by a car on the way home from a night out. It was two weeks before his GCSE results, which turned out to be the best in his school. Sitting by his unconscious body in hospital, holding his hand and watching his heartbeat on the monitors, Cathy and her parents willed him to survive. They did not know then that there are many and various fates worse than death. The Last Act of Love is shortlisted for The Wellcome Book Prize.
Join Lisa Heathfield and Martin Stewart, both shortlisted for the third Bookseller YA Book Prize, and Brian Conaghan, winner of the Costa Book Award 2017, as they discuss writing about big themes for YA readers. Chaired by Chelsey Pippin of Buzzfeed.
John O’Halloran, Biomass Manager of Bord na Móna, takes a look at the existing and potential opportunities involved in planting willow for the renewable energy sector in Ireland.
Ghanaians – Nii Parkes, Kofi Awoonor, Kwame Dawes; Ugandans – Rashida Namulondo, Pamela Orogot, Kelly Taremwa; Sierra Leonian - Fatou Wurie and Kenyan – Clifton Gachagua
A showcase of award winning poetry from both sides of the continent hosted by Beverley Nambozo.
From Henry III’s elephant at the Tower to George IV’s love affair with Britain’s first giraffe and Lady Castlereagh’s recalcitrant ostriches, Grigson’s tour through the centuries amounts to an impressively detailed history of exotic animals in Britain. On the way we encounter a host of fascinating and outlandish creatures, including the first peacocks and popinjays, Thomas More’s monkey and Lord Clive’s zebra, which refused to mate with a donkey until it was painted with stripes. It is also the story of all those who came into contact with them: the people who owned them, the merchants who bought and sold them, the seamen who carried them to our shores, the naturalists who wrote about them, the artists who painted them, the itinerant showmen who worked with them, and the collectors who collected them. Grigson is now an honorary professor at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. Chaired by John Mitchinson.
In July 1961, just before David Aaronovitch’s seventh birthday, Yuri Gagarin came to London. The Russian cosmonaut was everything the Aaronovitch family wished for - a popular and handsome embodiment of modern communism. But who were they, these ever hopeful, defiant and (had they but known it) historically doomed people? Like a non-magical version of the wizards of J K Rowling’s world, they lived secretly with and parallel to the non-communist majority, sometimes persecuted, sometimes ignored, but carrying on their own ways and traditions. Aaronovitch revisited his own memories of belief and action. He found himself studying the old secret service files, uncovering the unspoken shame and fears that provided the unconscious background to his own existence as a party animal.
The Easter Rising of 1916 not only destroyed much of the centre of Dublin – it changed the course of Irish history. But why did it happen? What was the role of ordinary people in this extraordinary event? What motivated them and what were their aims? McGarry makes use of a unique source that has only recently seen the light of day: a collection of more than 1,700 eye-witness statements detailing the political activities of members of Sinn Féin and militant groups such as the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He illuminates their motives, concerns, and aspirations, and highlights the importance of the First World War as a catalyst for the uprising. Chaired by David Dwan.