Arts and Humanities

Initiative showcasing Carolina arts and humanities kicks off Sept. 15

The yearlong effort includes lectures, performances, conferences, new research, courses, exhibitions and more.

Carolina’s Human Heart: Living the Arts and Humanities” is a major new initiative to showcase the work that faculty, staff, students and alumni at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are doing in the arts, humanities and qualitative social sciences.

Sponsored by UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, the yearlong effort includes lectures, performances, conferences, new research, courses, exhibitions and more. Many of the events are free and open to the public.

The kickoff event is the inaugural Chancellor’s Lecture in Ethics with noted philosopher and New York University professor Kwame Anthony Appiah on Sept. 15. Appiah writes the popular The Ethicist column for the New York Times Magazine. He will discuss “Ethics Among the Humanities” at 5:30 p.m. in the Center for Dramatic Art’s Elizabeth Kenan Theatre. The event is sponsored by the College and its Parr Center for Ethics.

“‘Carolina’s Human Heart’ shows our ongoing commitment to the arts and humanities and their importance to our everyday lives,” said Terry Rhodes, senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities in the College and chair of the initiative’s steering committee. “Dean Kevin Guskiewicz asked me to organize this initiative as a way to spark creative collaborations and conversations among Carolina faculty, students and staff. We also want to make sure that the larger community is aware of these cultural offerings available to them.”

The College of Arts and Sciences has more than 20 academic departments and curricula and 10 interdisciplinary centers devoted to the fine arts, humanities and qualitative social sciences.

“Carolina’s Human Heart” focuses on six subject themes: social justice, an enlightened citizenry, tolerance and understanding, global engagement, food and the environment, and storytelling. The themes highlight the work at Carolina that helps us understand and address the critical issues of our time, said Rhodes.

A new website will act as a central resource for Carolina’s Human Heart. Events and original content on the website are categorized and color-coded by theme.

Fall events include:

  • Sept. 20: Frey Lecture: “A Conversation with NPR’s Nina Totenberg: The Supreme Court and the Presidency,” 5:30 p.m., Memorial Hall.
  • Oct. 4: Thomas Wolfe Lecture: Author Jill McCorkle, 7:30 p.m., Genome Sciences Auditorium.
  • Oct. 19-Nov. 6: PlayMakers Repertory Company celebrates its 40th anniversary season with a fresh look at “The Crucible” (and a seminar by the Program in the Humanities.)
  • Nov. 4 and 6: The Process Series’ “Black Pioneers Project,” brings to life personal accounts of the earliest African American students at UNC, recorded by Southern Oral History Program interns.
  • Nov. 18-19 Long Story Shorts One Act Festival. Plays written by UNC students in the Writing for the Screen and Stage Program.

Spring events include a performance of “Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin” at Memorial Hall and the Maynard Adams Symposium on the Humanities with philosopher Martha Nussbaum.

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