The Humanities in Action series is our homage to the tradition of civic humanism. Renaissance civic humanists believe that knowledge could forage a moral community. Humanities in Action events honor this tradition by encouraging our audience to apply what they learn to their civic life. Come engage with contemporary and potentially controversial topics in a welcoming environment.

These compelling lectures, offered in collaboration with the General Alumni Association, have been featured on CSPAN (click here to access the videos) and offer participants a chance to explore and grapple with real-world issues. All talks run from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. There are no preparatory readings for Humanities in Action events.


Join us this spring as we learn about the challenges of living in the rapidly changing world of the late 20th and early 21st century with our historically informed series, “The World Since 1945.” Some of our speakers will address people coping with the challenges of “modernity,” from Germans reevaluating their 20th-century experiences to Chinese citizens living in deteriorating natural worlds. Others will question dominant narratives around US “enemies” such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin or so-called “Islamic terrorists.” All the talks will foster dialogue and humanistic reflection on current events and the recent past to help us make sense of our ever-connected but ever-fractured world.

Tuition: Advance registrants can take advantage of our special FLYLEAF SEASON PASS – register for all 10 events for $135.00 ($100.00 for GAA members). Register in advance for $18.00 ($13.00 for GAA Members). Each lecture is $20.00 at the door.

If you take the GAA discount and are not a GAA member, you will be asked to join or pay the difference before the event. To check your membership status or to join the GAA, please visit or call 800.962.0742. GAA membership is open to all UNC alumni and friends.

Spring 2019

Ethnic Cleansing or Playing the Long Game? Interpreting the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar | Feburary 5
Peter Coclanis, Albert R. Newsome Distinguished Professor of History and Director, Global Research Institute

Bordering Chinese Eco-Literatures: Threats to Bio and Ethnic Diversity | February 12
Robin Visser, Associate Professor of Asian Studies

Votes or Guns? The Question of Political Rights in Decolonizing French West Africa | February 19
Emily Burrill, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Director, African Studies Center

Why are There So Few Muslim Terrorists? | February 26
Charles Kurzman, Philip Stader Distinguished Professor of Sociology

Music and Politics in Contemporary Uganda | March 5
David Pier, Associate Professor of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

Linguistic Diversity and Linguistic Justice in the Contemporary World | March 19
David F. Mora-Marín, Associate Professor of Linguistics & Becky Butler, English Language Specialist, Adjunct Assistant Professor in Linguistics

Conserving Resilience: Puerto Rico and the Changing Climate | March 26
Javier Arce-Nazario, Associate Professor of Geography

Putin v. the People: The Perilous Politics of a Divided Russia | April 2
Graeme Robertson, Professor of Political Science

Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experience the 20th Century | April 9
Konrad H. Jarausch, Lurcy Professor of European Civilization

The Shining Path: Love, Madness, and Revolution in the Andes | April 16
Miguel La Serna, Associate Professor of History


For information about our cancellation policy, discounts, parking, and more, please visit our General Information page.


Flyleaf Books: Location and Contact Info

752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (Historic Airport Rd) flyleaf-logo
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Next to The Root Cellar (Formerly Foster’s Market)
Monday – Saturday: 9-9
Sunday: 11-6
Phone# 919-942-7373