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Queen's Supports Major Festival of Ideas and Politics

Queen's University is once again delighted to be a key supporter of the annual Imagine Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics.

logo for Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics

This year's festival will run from 22-28 March and will explore the theme 'The State of Us' with more than 100 online events, 16 of which are being run by Queen's staff. All Queen's events are free to attend.

Kicking off the Queen's events this year is a special panel discussion with some of the key journalists and academics who, for the past few years, have been guiding us through all things Brexit. The Guardian's Lisa O'Carroll, Naomi O'Leary from The Irish Times and BBC NI's John Campbell will share their perspectives with Professor Katy Hayward and Professor David Phinnemore.

Now in its seventh year, the Festival encourages people to discuss and debate the big issues of our times. Imagine Belfast offers up an eclectic week of online talks, workshops, theatre, comedy, music, film and poetry, with the ultimate aim of helping us navigate the challenges of tomorrow.

Registrations are open for all events and the event programme is available online at

Events being organised by Queen’s are:

22 March

  • Post-Brexit Northern Ireland: Living with the Protocol with Prof Katy Hayward and Prof David Phinnemore
  • The Truth in the News? Trade Wars and Editorial Cartoons with Dr Barry Sheppard
  • Ulster's Lesser Spotted Queer Protestants with Dr Richard O’Leary

23 March

  • Nevertheless, they persisted. Feminist Activism and the Politics of Crisis in Northern Ireland with Dr Maria-Adriana Deiana and Dr Jamie Hagen
  • The Pandemic and the Planetary Emergency with Prof John Barry

24 March

  • British Academy 10 Minute Talks with Prof Kieran McEvoy and Prof Chris McCrudden
  • Health in Challenging Times with Dr Mark Flear and Dr Ivanka Antova
  • Environmental Management and Sustainable Finance, a Chief Executives' Club at Queen's event with Dr Theodor Cojoianu of QMS and Martina Macpherson, President of the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets
  • Careworn: Lockdown Stories from Family Caregivers with Dr Lisa Smyth, Dr Paul Murphy, Dr Sirin Sung, Dr Cate McNamee and Prof Danielle Turney
  • Tomorrow's Leaders Tonight with the leaders of the youth wings of Northern Ireland's political parties, organised by QUB Scoop

25 March

  • Demystifying The Deal: Belfast Region City Deal – a Chief Executives' Club at Queen's panel discussion led by Prof Emma Flynn, with Godfrey Gaston, ECIT, Suzanne Wylie of Belfast City Council and Mark Gillan of Artemis Technologies and Belfast Maritime Consortium

26 March

  • Restorative Justice in a World of Inequality and Injustice with Prof Shadd Maruna and Dr John Topping
  • Storytelling in Museums and Heritage Sites with Xi Wang, Sarah McDonagh, Rui Sun and Dr Conor McCafferty.
  • Race Relations in Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future with Dr Dina Belluigi
  • Deliberative mini-publics and the political imagination with Prof John Garry and Dr Jamie Pow

27 March

  • Dementia: Feel it Through Fiction with Dr Jane Lugea.

All week

  • Let's Get Medieval: Parallels Between Medieval and Modern Culture, eight online, interactive digital projects compiled by QUB students