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*Canceled* Places of My Past: Historical and Contemporary Stories of Rediscovering One’s Roots

April 4, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

James Baldwin famously said, “Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” This Dialogues seminar will feature speakers who will share stories of migration—both forced and voluntary—and then examine the ways that these families and communities built a home in their new land and also sought a reconnection with the place“from whence they came.” We will begin with the story of James Churchwill Vaughn (1828-93), who set out to fulfill his formerly enslaved father’s dying wish: that he should leave his home in South Carolina for a new life in Africa. Then we will examine the complex experiences of Arab Americans who travel to the Middle East to rediscover their roots through an exploration of music, literature, and cinema. A panel discussion on today’s diasporic communities in the United States will conclude the seminar.


A South Carolinian in Colonial Nigeria: One Family’s History and the African Diaspora
Lisa Lindsay, Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor of History

Roots, Routes, and Reverse Diaspora: Stories from Arab America
Michael A. Figueroa, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology

How are Diasporic Communities Connecting with their “Roots” and Putting Down New Roots in America?
A panel discussion with our speakers


9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 2020. The tuition is $65. A meal will not be offered with this seminar.

Discounts are available for UNC students, faculty, & staff. See our UNC Student, Staff, & Faculty Discounted Registration Policy here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Register for this seminar online or call us at 919.962.1544. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED. WE CANNOT ACCOMMODATE WALK-INS FOR THIS EVENT.

Please note: Registered participants will receive an email with all the Dialogues’ seminar information approximately two weeks before the program date. If you do not receive the email by the Tuesday before the event, please contact us at 919.962.1544.


April 4, 2020
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category:


FedEx Global Education Center
301 Pittsboro St
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States
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