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Embodying the University’s commitment to extend Carolina resources to all citizens and community members across the state, Carolina Public Humanities offers engaging and innovative public seminars and lectures on a variety of topics and themes throughout the year. Our programs draw upon the humanities to nurture a deeper understanding of history and culture, enrich the life of the mind, and contribute to the development of a more humane world. To learn more about our various programs, read the overviews below or click on the links to the left for details. To view a listing of all upcoming events, visit our Calendar or Fall 2022 page.

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Carolina Public Humanities Event Series


Adventures in Ideas

Our Adventures in Ideas seminars, held in comfortable venues throughout campus, are one or two-day long events exploring various topics and themes of contemporary or historical interest. During these engaging events, participants learn from and dialogue with world-class faculty from UNC-Chapel Hill and other surrounding universities. Seminars typically include several lectures, a panel discussion, and an optional reception and meal. Seminars might also include access to campus events related to the program theme, such as plays, art exhibits, musical performances, etc. Virtual options are typically available.


Dialogues are half-day weekend programs that put two scholars in conversation with each other on a related topic. Virtual options are typically available.

SPEAKER and SALON series

A half-day series that features a mid-morning lecture followed by facilitated table discussions over lunch. The meal is included in the registration fee. No virtual option is available.

Humanities in Action

Humanities in Action events are held at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. These 90-minute programs explore contemporary and potentially controversial topics in a welcoming environment and feature interactive question and answer sessions. These compelling lectures have been featured on CSPAN. Virtual options available.

Great Books Reading Groups

Join UNC faculty discussion leaders at Flyleaf Books for a robust discussion of classic texts at one of our Great Books Reading Groups. Every participant will receive a copy of the book before the first session.  Reading groups will meet on successive Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 10 am to 12 pm at Flyleaf Books. Seats are limited to 20 participants, so sign up early to reserve your spot!

Carolina K-12 Teacher Workshops 

Carolina K-12 (formerly the NC Civic Education Consortium), a program of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Public Humanities, works to extend the resources of Carolina Public Humanities and UNC-Chapel Hill at large to North Carolina’s K-12 educators. We offer quality professional development programs which include access to scholars on key topics, innovative lesson plans, and interactive pedagogical training. Events sponsored by Carolina K-12 are free to currently practicing K-12 teachers. To learn more about Carolina K-12’s upcoming teacher trainings, click here.

In addition to the free events designed by Carolina K-12’s for teachers, K-12 educators can also attend Adventures in Ideas seminars at a 50% discount. While these lectures are designed for a general audience and will not include pedagogical training, they are an excellent way for teachers to broaden their content knowledge in various subjects as life-long-learners. Teachers who attend an Adventures in Ideas Seminar are also eligible for one $75 stipend from the Daisy Edmister Teacher Support Fund.


Retired Series

Humanities Hour at BackBar

This isn’t your typical happy hour full of boring conversation, co-workers who only want to complain about work, and tired arguments about whether Joe Flacco is elite. Humanities Hour at BackBar features some of the most engaging scholars from UNC’s College of Arts & Sciences tackling big questions facing the Humanities through engaging discussions with the audience. Since we know people can’t learn anything on an empty stomach, all Humanities Hours at BackBar come with free snacks. And like all good outings to the bar, there may even be a little bit of trivia! (This event is family-friendly, so please keep your dirty team name puns at home).

Language Lunches

Interested in polishing or refreshing your foreign language speaking skills in a warm and welcoming environment? Join UNC faculty discussion leaders for Language Lunch at a local restaurant in Chapel Hill for a lunch where participants are encouraged to speak only in a foreign language. All participants will receive a short foreign language article prior to the lunch that will serve as the foundation for our discussion.