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QUEEN’S SUPPORTS MAJOR FESTIVAL OF IDEAS AND POLITICS  Monochrome image of Queen's Lanyon Building with white silhouettes of six people walking by

15 March 2021

Queen's University is once again delighted to be a key supporter of the annual Imagine Belfast Festival of Ideas and 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 Professor Katy Hayward and Professor 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 Professor John Barry.

  • 24 March

British Academy 10 Minute Talks with Professor Kieran McEvoy and Professor 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 Professor Danielle Turney.

Tomorrow’s Leaders Tonight with the leaders of the youth wings of Northern Ireland’s political parties organised by Queen’s Scoop.

  • 25 March

Demystifying The Deal:  Belfast Region City Deal - a Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s panel discussion led by Professor 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 Professor Shadd Maruna and Dr John Topping.

Storytelling in Museums and Heritage Sites with Xi Wang, Sarah McDonagh and Rui Sun.

Race Relations in Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future with Dr Dina Bellugia.

  • 27 March

Dementia: Feel it Through Fiction with Dr Jane Lugea.

  • All week

Let’s Get Medieval: Parallels Between Medieval and Modern Culture, 8 online, interactive digital projects compiled by Queen’s students.

For media enquiries, please email Communications Office at Queen’s University Belfast.

Image credits (headline and main): Imagine Belfast

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