Current events

The Events team organise a number of different events throughout the year. All of our public events are open to all. Please find below details of all the upcoming events.

Information on many of our previous events, including audio recordings, are also available.

If you require additional support at any of these events, e.g. wheelchair access or sign language interpretation, please contact Public and Ceremonial Events at the earliest opportunity and we will endeavour to meet your requirements.


Current events


Dr Julius Garvey on African Humanism

11 Oct

6.30 pm, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, BS8 1RJ
This event has now been cancelled as Dr Garvey is no longer able to visit the UK and sadly will not be rescheduled.

For other information on Black History Month activities at the University of Bristol see the events taking place at the Union and around the University.


Festival of Ideas: The Mayor’s Annual State of the City Address

17 Oct

6.30 pm, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, BS8 1RJ
In his 2017 State of the City Address, Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees put forward his delivery plan to implement his vision for Bristol. He now looks to the future, setting out how his administration is delivering against key pledges. Financial challenges remain, but the Mayor continues to look at the positive plans for Bristol, detailing transport innovation, environmental measures, infrastructural regeneration, how his administration is tackling the housing crisis, future plans for children’s services, and adult social care – the measures being undertaken to make Bristol a city in which nobody is left behind. He will cover progress on collaborative long term projects such as Bristol’s One City Approach and City Funds Board. In the week that the Mayor hosts the Global Parliament of Mayors Summit in Bristol, he will also address how mayors worldwide can meet the challenges that face all cities in the absence of national government coordination. He will be joined by the City Poet, who will perform a new poem at the event, as well as partners from across the city.

Further information is available.

This event is free, but booking is required.


Autumn Art Lectures Series 2018 - Monsters

23 Oct

6.30 pm, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, BS8 1RJ
Inspired by the bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, this year’s Autumn Art Lectures explore the ubiquity of monsters in culture as a prevalent part of our self-consciousness and social identity.

Opening with a reassessment of Mary Shelley by Fiona Sampson (whose acclaimed biography In Search of Mary Shelley was published earlier this year) we revisit Shelley’s archetype in relation to other monsters from various periods and contexts, asking why Frankenstein’s monster has both fascinated and repelled us since the first publication of Frankenstein, the modern Prometheus in 1818.

The series then moves to a medieval context with Alixe Bovey attributing the origins of modern Britain to savage giants - myths that have not wholly disappeared from our culture. An international approach will be taken by Ronald Hutton, whose discussion of dragons will demonstrate their moral, as well as geographic, diversity. Whilst Gilda Williams takes us into the 21st century, addressing issues of gender and the modern Gothic through the art of Louise Bourgeois. Finally, we complete the series with Xavier Bray examining the supernatural and eerie in the art of Goya (including the so-called Black Paintings) demonstrating the potentially beneficial function of the monstrous.

Further information is available.

Free to attend, but booking is required for each lecture.


Colston Research Society Annual Talk

The past, present and future of the nuclear industry

24 Oct

6.30 pm, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, BS8 1RJ
Lord Hutton

How did the UK’s nuclear energy industry develop? What challenges and opportunities does it face in today’s world of rapid technological change and environmental threat? How will Brexit and withdrawal from the Euratom Treaty affect the UK nuclear sector?

Lord Hutton is one of the country’s most prominent experts on nuclear energy policy. As co-chairman of the Nuclear Industry Council, he has played a key role in developing the new Nuclear Sector Deal which will define the future strategic relationship between the UK Government and nuclear businesses.

In this talk he will take a broad view of the nuclear industry and its role in our energy mix, and give his own insights into the future of nuclear technology in the UK.

Lord Hutton has been a Member of the Upper House since 2010 following a successful 18 year career as the Labour Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness. During this time, he held a number of ministerial positions including as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2005-07, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform from 2007-08, and Secretary of State for Defence from 2008-09. Most recently, Lord Hutton was invited by the coalition government to Chair a Commission on public service pensions, with its final report being published in March this year. Lord Hutton was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford and has three sons and a daughter.

Free to attend, but booking is required.


Women and equality: the next 100 years

22 Nov

7.00 pm, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, BS8 1RJ
Panellists include Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, the University of Bristol's Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education Professor Judith Squires, Bristol Students' Union equality, liberation and access officer Sally Paterson and History academic Dr Sumita Mukherjee

Women first won the right to vote and stand for election 100 years ago. Although much has been achieved and women's lives have been transformed since history was made in 1918, there's still a long way to go.

Baroness Shami Chakrabarti joins an expert panel of activists and historians for a discussion about what women can achieve in the next 100 years. Use interactive smartphone voting to make your voice heard and help shape the debate.

You'll see Wills Memorial Building transformed as we bring the University's history to life, and look to the future of gender equality, both at Bristol and beyond.

Free to attend, but booking is required.