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What If? Learning from Reimagined Pasts in Science and Literature * Cancelled*

June 1, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm


Due to unforeseen circumstances, this seminar has been cancelled

All past roads lead to now, but what if we had taken another route? Would we end up in the same place? This seminar explores how thinking counterfactually can help explain why the present is the way it is. Participants will learn how biologists consider the possibility of divergent paths to today’s distinct species as they examine the processes behind evolution.We will also discuss how writers have explored “what if ” scenarios to better understand the social and cultural issues they want to interpret as they write about their own time. Join us for this experiment in using our imagination about the past to create knowledge about the present.


Rerunning the Tape of Life

Karin Pfennig, Professor of Biology

Counterfactual Thinking in Historical Metafiction

Sarah Boyd,Teaching Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature

What If?

A panel discussion with our speakers



9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1, 2019. 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.



June 1, 2019
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category:


Chapel Hill Campus
Please Contact Carolina Public Humanities for exact location + Google Map