Carolina Public Humanities

Point of Contact

Catherine Nichols '89
Senior Coordinator of Faculty Relations and Travel
read my bio

Catherine joined the GAA in Sept. 2016. She loves connecting faculty with alumni and the community. As an alumna of UNC and native of Chapel Hill, she’s thrilled to represent UNC and the alumni community through her work. Catherine enjoys spending time on campus with her family and traveling at any opportunity. She also enjoys movies, biking and reading.

The General Alumni Association and Carolina Public Humanities are proud to partner on a variety of programs throughout the year. We encourage anyone interested in engaging, innovative lecturers and seminars to explore any of the upcoming events.

Visit, or call (919) 962-144, for complete program information, costs and discounts.

Humanities in Action Talks

Traditionally an in-person forum for discussion of topics in the news, Carolina Public Humanities has organized six virtual talks that speak to the challenges America is facing.  Each webinar is accompanied with a live question and answer session with the presenter.  Currently, events are offered in-person and virtually but may change depending on local conditions. Each event runs from 3:30 – 5:00 pm.

Weekend Seminars

Participants learn from, and talk with, world-class faculty from UNC and surrounding universities to discuss topics in-depth.  Current plans call for these events to be in-person with virtual options for the Sept. 25 and Oct. 9 seminars.  Any changes will be communicated to participants.  GAA members save $15 on one Adventures in Ideas seminar a semester.

Adventures in Ideas take place over a full day and feature speakers with expert knowledge of their topics.  Immerse yourself and explore topics in detail with a variety of views.  Tuition for each Adventures in Ideas seminar is $125 to attend in person, with an optional lunch for $15. The virtual viewing option on Sept 25 and Oct 9 will be $75 per seminar.
GAA members save $15 on one Weekend Seminar a semester.

  • Sept. 25 – The German Invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II with Gerhard Weinberg: Join eminent historian Gerhard Weinberg as he reviews the events preceding and during Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941.
  • Oct. 9 – The Book of Revelation with Bart Ehrman: The ever-popular Bart Ehrman will present four lectures on the Book of Revelation, perhaps the most controversial and misunderstood book in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Participants may join in person or virtually.
  • Oct. 16 – The New Politics of the 21st Century: Democracy is under threat worldwide as illiberal forces call elections into question, threaten the civil liberties of citizens, and cast doubt on many of the professed political virtues that have defined the post-Cold War world.
  • Nov. 13 – Europe Today: The Old World in a New Era with Konrad Jarausch, A. Dirk Moses, and others.  In the decades since World War II, states in Europe have created a cohesive government in the EU that transcends old boundaries and links, disparate peoples, together in one of the world’s largest economies.
  • Dec. 4 – Beethoven @250 with Mark Evan Bonds, Brent Wissick, and Andrew Willis: The year 2020 marked the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth. Perhaps more than any other composer, we hear Beethoven in his music, which continues to both delight and challenge us. But how and why?

Dialogues are half-day seminars.  Experience informative lectures and lively discussions.  The session is $65 in person and $50 for virtual attendance.
GAA members save $15 on one Weekend Seminar a semester.

  • Oct. 30 – Alexander and Catherine: “Greats” and Their Empires with Fred Naiden and Louise McReynolds.  What makes a leader “great?” Join us for a review of two charismatic and important figures in world history, Alexander of Macedon and Catherine of Russia, both of whom share the superlative.

Lunch with Friends and Strangers

Click in with Carolina Public Humanities’ Max Owre for Virtual Lunch With Friends and Strangers: Conversations With Faculty. Don’t miss this series of one-on-one talks with Tar Heels as they discuss leading figures in history — some likely strangers, some more familiar to you — and discover new things about impressive people.

Visit the Lunch with Friends and Strangers web page for details.
Each lunch is $10 or purchase a season pass for $55.  GAA members pay $50 for a season pass.

  • Sept. 10 – Dr. Katie Turk and activist Mary Jane Collins
  • Sept. 17 – Dr. David Garcia  and musician Arsenio Rodriguez
  • Sept. 24 – Dr. Matt Andrews and Babe Ruth
  • Oct. 1 – Dr. Charlene Regester and actress/singer Hazel Scott
  • Oct. 8 – Dr. Cemil Aydin and Turkish statesman Kemal Ataturk
  • Oct. 15 – Gabrielle Calvocoressi and poet Nikki Finney
  • Oct. 29 – Robert Buxton and composers William Grant Still and Florence Price

Carolina Public Humanities Event Calendar

Please visit the Carolina Public Humanities’ event calendar to see a full list of events.