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This year three of our academics from the College of Arts and Law gave talks to large audiences at Hay. With Dr Katherine Brown, reader in Religion and Global Security, who spoke on ‘All Children deserve a safer future: returning the “Cubs of ISIS” to the UK’ arguing that child terrorists do not exist.

Dr Katherine Brown speaking at Hay.
Dr Katherine Brown speaking at Hay.

Dr Chris Laoutaris, Senior Lecturer in Shakespeare, spoke on ‘Shakespeare’s Book’ as this year marks the 400- year anniversary of the publication of Mr William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies known today simply as the First Folio.

Dr Chris Laoutaris signing copies of 'Shakespeare's Book.'
Dr Chris Laoutaris signing copies of 'Shakespeare's Book.'

Presenting at the Hay Festival was an unforgettable experience. What a delightful surprise it was to see that a five-hundred-seater tent was packed out to nearly full capacity with engaged and enthusiastic people who had come to hear me speak about my book, Shakespeare's Book: The Intertwined Lives Behind the First Folio (William Collins Books) on the 400th anniversary of the First Folio's publication. Talking to audience members and engaging with their own interests in Shakespeare was a thrill.

Dr Chris Laoutaris

Professor Rebecca N Mitchell, Professor in Victorian Literature and Culture, spoke on ‘Indolent Luxuriousness’: Oscar Wilde’s Queer Laziness’ examining Wilde’s carefully concealed labour which underscored his apparently effortless works. 

 Professor Rebecca N Mitchell speaking at Hay.
Professor Rebecca N Mitchell speaking at Hay.

It was a delight to speak at the Hay festival and a privilege to interact with such an active and engaged audience—the ideal venue for talking about writing and ideas. The atmosphere around the venue was electric and the hospitality welcoming.

Professor Rebecca N Mitchell

Founded in 1987, Hay Festival is an independent, mission-led charity based in the booktown of Hay-On-Wye, Wales. Now, Hay travels to thirty different locations across the world from the historic town of Cartagena in Colombia to the heart of cities in Peru, Mexico, Spain, and the USA. Offering innovative platforms to discover new ideas, Hay Festival invites audiences to imagine the world as it is and as it might be. It is a catalyst for change and a community that is open and accessible to everyone. Nobel Prize winners and novelists, scientists and politicians, historians, environmentalists and musicians take part in the festival’s global conversation, sharing the latest thinking in the arts and sciences with curious audiences.