The Arts and Humanities help us to grapple with life’s challenges, to understand its paradoxes and to celebrate its beauty; they have given us many of our greatest, most inspiring, and most comforting achievements. Those of us who have the privilege of time to study these subjects know their creative, social and economic value – they teach us to think about the technological advances and social and ethical challenges of our times and to find creative, human-centred responses to them.

Catherine O’Leary is Professor of Spanish at the University of St Andrews. Her research focuses on four main areas: contemporary Spanish theatre, censorship, gender and identity, and exile and cultural memory. She has published widely on contemporary Spanish literature, and on theatre censorship in particular and is currently working on Spanish civil war exiles in Latin America. She has served as Associate Dean and Acting Dean of Arts and Divinity and is a member of the university’s Mental Health Task Force. She is currently the Director of the interdisciplinary Cultural Identity and Memory Studies Institute. A graduate of Dublin City University and University College Dublin, she worked at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, before moving to Scotland in 2013.