Leicester research at national Festival of Social Science

Copyright Glez, provided by Cartooning for Peace

Three early-career researchers at the University of Leicester have joined forces with a multi-award winning education platform to deliver a unique ‘Cartoonathon’ at a national Festival of Social Science.

Following the success of the ongoing Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Covid in Cartoons project, delivered in collaboration with Shout Out UK, academics and international cartoonists will now join the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science 2021 programme.

The new Cartoonathon project is designed to engage young people in online exchanges around political cartoons, culminating in a competition open to schoolchildren, students and other young people aged 15 to 25.

Sarah Weidman, Research Associate and part of the project team at the University of Leicester, said: “Through this event we hope to provide young people with the tools to not only understand and engage with political cartoons, but also give them a platform to share their own experiences and voices through the medium of cartooning.”

Throughout November, the team will present a selection of posts, stories and live drawing, developed in partnership with Cartooning for Peace, to address three key themes: environment, inequalities, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Young people aged 15 to 25 are invited to participate in the Cartoonathon by sharing thoughts about the artwork and submitting their own cartoons to a competition. There will be a winner selected by a panel of professional cartoonists for each theme, all awarded a £50 gift card prize.

This collaboration between outreach organisations and academics builds on the success of the Covid in Cartoons project and seeks to actively engage young people in critical literacy around core issues that impact their lives.

Cartoon submissions can be uploaded by emailing lias@le.ac.uk with the subject line Cartoonathon Submission or by posting on Instagram with the hashtag #SOUKCartoonathon before the deadline of Thursday 25 November 2021.

The ESRC Festival of Social Science is an annual, UK-wide, free celebration of the social sciences.

The 2021 Festival will run from November 1 to 30, with a number of events themed around social science and the environment, to reflect the COP26 climate change conference taking place later in the year – also featuring University of Leicester expertise. 

ESRC Festival of Social Science events are delivered by 34 partner organisations spread across the UK.