Current Seminars

Campus life near Wilson

We seek serious and sustained conversations among a wide variety of persons in profession, discipline, practice, and office; in gender/ethnicity; and intellectual orientation. We particularly want to reach beyond the campus for members, including colleagues at North Carolina Central University, Duke University, Appalachian State University and North Carolina State University, area colleges, state and local government, institutes and organizations.

The Seminars are by definition interdisciplinary and cross professional. Their method is dialogue. A proposal for a Carolina Seminar may be submitted by any member of the faculty of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and by anyone holding appointment here as Non-Faculty EPA.

Please contact our office for more information on the proposal process.

African Ecology and Social Processes

Presentations and discussions focused on how research in the social sciences and humanities helps us to understand the relationships between African people and their physical environment.

Emily Burrill, UNC-CH, Women’s and Gender Studies
Barbara Anderson, UNC-CH, African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies
Michael Lambert, UNC-CH, African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies

American Indian and Indigenous Studies

This seminar is an opportunity for collaborative scholarship for scholars of American Indians, to include American Studies, Anthropology, Education, English, History and Religious Studies.

Malinda Maynor Lowery, UNC-CH, History; Southern Oral History Program
Keith Richotte, UNC-CH, American Studies

Carolina Climate Change Scientists

Understanding the impacts of climate change on natural and human systems requires interdisciplinary research approaches.  We are a group of 40 faculty and educators across 14 departments at UNC Chapel Hill that began meeting in 2011 to facilitate interdisciplinary climate change research. We meet monthly for brief research presentations and discussion.

Pam Jagger, UNC-CH, Public Policy
Diego Riveros-Iregui, UNC-CH, Geography
Jason West, UNC-CH, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Erika Wise, UNC-CH, Geography

Carolina Gender, War, and Culture Series

The Carolina Gender, War, and Culture Series strives to create opportunities for interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration for faculty and students of the broadly defined theme of gender, war and culture. The seminars span medieval, early modern, and modern history from a global perspective and include a wide range of disciplines (anthropology, cultural studies, history, literary studies, political and social science). For more information about the series, please visit:

Karen Hagemann, UNC-CH, History
Annegret Fauser, UNC-CH, Music
Ariana Vigil, UNC-CH, Womens & Gender
Dirk Bönker, Duke, History
Anna Krylova, Duke, History
Lorn Hilaker, UNC-CH, History, Graduate Assistant
Caroline Nilsen, UNC-CH, History, Graduate Assistant

Carolina Seminar on Middle East Studies

The seminar offers two forums for current research in Middle East Studies: 1) graduate students make presentations on their dissertation research, and 2) faculty members lead discussion of a reading on the state of the field from the perspective of their discipline.

Carl Ernst, UNC-CH, Religious Studies; Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations
Charles Kurzman, UNC-CH, Sociology; Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations

Closing the Gap in Healthcare Education

The goal of this Carolina Seminar is to examine strategies and resources needed to redesign education for health professions where students are taught collaboratively through teamwork in ways that reinforce the promotion of health and the prevention of disease.

Julie Byerley, UNC-CH, General Pediatrics, Pediatrics-Education, Med Ad Commitments
Rachel Wilfert, UNC-CH, Public Health, NCIPH Training, Public Health Leadership
Lisa Zerden, UNC-CH, Social Work
Meg Zomorodi, UNC-CH, Nursing

Documenting LGBT History in North Carolina and the South

We are living in a time in which LGBT issues are at the forefront of American culture and political discourse. Much of the history of that community is undocumented, even untold, both at a personal level and a governmental level. The purpose of this seminar is to involve faculty and students in an interdisciplinary exploration of the legal and political history of LGBT people in North Carolina, and the part of archives in preserving that history.

GerShun Avilez, UNC-CH, English & Comparative Literature; Program in Sexuality Studies
Jesse White, UNC-CH, City and Regional Planning
Bryan Giemza, UNC-CH, Southern Historical Collection; English
Sharon Holland, UNC-CH, American Studies

Education and Inequality

This seminar will focus on key work and share emerging research in the area of education and social inequality.  We will seek to understand the extent to which schools, families, or broader social forces are to blame for educational inequality and whether and under what conditions specific educational policies reduce, or increase, inequality.

Thad Domina, UNC-CH, Education
Jane Cooley Fruehwirth, UNC-CH, Economics
Steven Hemelt, UNC-CH, Public Policy
Douglas Lee Lauen, UNC-CH, Public Policy
Karolyn Tyson, UNC-CH, Sociology

First Friday Microbiome Seminars: Microbiome Research Across Disciplines and Its Impact on Health and the Environment

The First Friday Microbiome Seminars will connect microbiome researchers engaged in studies of complex microbial populations associated with and important to human and animal health, as well as plant and environmental studies. Microbiome research feeds on diverse fields including microbiology, biology, engineering and health sciences. The seminars will generate dialogue and discussions on microbiome research, which we expect will lead to collaborative funding efforts.

M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril, UNC-CH, School of Medicine, CGIBD Microbiome Core Facility
Flavia R. F. Teles, UNC-CH, School of Dentistry, Periodontology
Adrian Marchetti, UNC-CH, Marine Sciences
Elizabeth Shank, UNC-CH, Biology

French History and Culture

This seminar hosts lively discussions of new scholarship in all areas of French history, culture, literary studies, and art history, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary research. Topics of recent and/or frequent discussion include French social movements and their legacies, the French empire, and French-American intellectual exchanges, among other subjects.

Ellen Welch, UNC-CH, Romance Studies
James Winders, Appalachian State University, History

Global African Humanities Research Group

This seminar reflects our conviction that the creative humanistic expressions at the core of the Humanities enrich all scholarship on Africa. These forms provide insights into people’s lives that reach beyond the “hard” data that characterizes much work in science and social sciences. Our seminar aims to bring together faculty and graduate students from an array of humanistic disciplines.

Carol Magee, UNC, CH, Art History
Chérie Rivers Ndaliko, UNC-CH, Music, Communications
Victoria Rovine, UNC-CH, Art History

Global South

The Global U.S. South Working Group brings together a mix of thinkers with a broad range of interests from the University of North Carolina and the Triangle to engage in multidisciplinary conversation about our changing world. The group concentrates on globalization’s impact on the contemporary American South, focusing on the interplay between the “far away and deep within.” To that end, the members of our group are literary authors, psychoanalysis, and others who explore culture.

James Peacock, UNC-CH, Anthropology

Graduate Education in the 21st Century University: Change and Challenge

21st-century graduate education faces unprecedented challenges. This seminar mobilizes the unique diversity and interdisciplinarity of the Royster Society of Fellows and Faculty Board to address, among other matters, how to mobilize interdisciplinarity and how to make global concerns and the challenges of a global society integral to effective graduate education.

Marsha S. Collins, UNC-CH, English and Comparative Literature, Director of the Royster Society of Fellows
Malinda Lowery, UNC-CH, History
Susan Ennett, UNC-CH, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Health Behavior
Aysenil Belger, UNC-CH, School of Medicine, Psychiatry
Carmina Valle, UNC-CH, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Health Behavior
Shu Wen Ng, UNC-CH, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Nutrition
Beth Kurtz-Costes, UNC-CH, Psychology
Roberto Camassa, UNC-CH, Mathematics

Health Humanities Task Force: Developing A Comprehensive Mission and Structure for Cross-Disciplinary Instruction at UNC-Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill is poised to be an international leader in integrating knowledge from the humanities and liberal arts with research and practice in the health sciences. This Carolina Seminar brings together influential faculty from many divisions (e.g., the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Medicine, Occupational Science, Social Work, Nursing, Public Health) with the goal of issuing a Provost-level set of recommendations for supporting innovative cross-disciplinary curricula in health humanities at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Michele Rivkin-Fish, UNC-CH, Anthropology
Jane F. Thrailkill, UNC-CH, English and Comparative Literature
Amy Weil, UNC-CH, Internal Medicine
Mark Collins, UNC-CH, Graduate Assistant, English and Comparative Literature

Health Workforce Research and Policy

The Health Workforce and Policy Seminar Series brings the expertise of leaders in the health field of health workforce research to UNC.  The Series has two main goals:  First, to be a venue for dissemination and discussion of cutting edge, policy-relevant research on health workforce issues; Second, to serve as a forum for networking and engaged scholarship for health workforce researchers and stakeholders.

Erin Fraher, UNC-CH, School of Medicine
Thomas Ricketts, UNC-CH, Health Policy and Management

Images and Implicit Bias: Creating Interventions For High Intensity Professions

This seminar is designed to consider first how implicit bias — gut-level pre-conscious judgment — impacts the work of “high intensity professionals.”  Examples include physicians, social workers, psychologists, teachers, police officers, and nurses among others.  We are interested particularly in considering how the power of the arts and humanities can be brought to bear to modify implicit and explicit bias among these professional groups.  The seminar will support and extend the work of an existing interdisciplinary research team and bring new participants and perspectives to the table.

Mimi Chapman, UNC-CH, School of Social Work
Keith Payne, UNC-CH, Psychology and Neuroscience
Alexandra Lightfoot, UNC-CH, Health Behavior – Ops

Mental Health Services Research and Policy

The Mental Health Services Research and Policy seminar will focus on policy-relevant mental health and substance abuse services and systems research. It will examine critical research from the fields of health policy, economics, sociology, pharmaceutical policy, psychology, anthropology, social work, psychiatry, public health or related fields. Speakers will discuss their research on timely topics in mental health, applying research methods to the systematic analysis and evaluation of mental health and substance abuse services, and their associated public policy issues. By bringing together experienced research investigators on funded, interdisciplinary projects, with faculty, postdocs and students of all levels, seminar participants will have the opportunity to study mental health problems in their complexity and develop interventions that work in the real world.

Marisa Domino, UNC-CH, Health Policy
Joel Farley, UNC-CH, (DPOP) Pharmacy
Brad Gaynes, UNC-CH, Pyschiatry
Gary Cuddeback, UNC-CH, Social Work
Jeffrey Swanson, Duke, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Allison Robertson, Duke, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Marvin Swartz, Duke, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Moral Economies of Medicine: Critical Conversations for Global Health

The pursuit of the Moral Economies of Medicine is to investigate the problem of how to create new, critical conversations about global health that may bridge the liberal arts-professional divide both in terms of scholarship and pedagogy.

Jocelyn Chua, UNC-CH, Anthropology
Peter Redfield, UNC-CH, Anthropology
Michele Rivkin-Fish, UNC-CH, Anthropology
Barry Saunders, UNC-CH, Social Medicine

Multi-Scale Approaches to Studying Problems in Meiosis

A seminar that will use a multi-scale approach to investigating the mechanisms and regulation of the meiotic pathway, combining studies on molecular, whole organism, and population scales to overcome communication barriers between sub-specialists and develop a mutual understanding of the resources available across each scale.

Gregory P. Copenhaver, UNC-CH, Biology

North Carolina Jewish Studies Seminar (formerly Judaic Studies)

The North Carolina Jewish Studies Seminar offers a stimulating and exciting forum for academic engagement on Jewish history, culture, and religion.   Since its inception in 2001 under the name Duke-UNC Jewish Studies Seminar, the seminar has brought together faculty, graduate students, and internationally renowned scholars to discuss cutting edge work in Jewish Studies.  Meetings are held monthly, and papers are distributed in advance for all to read.  The Seminar is a collaborative partnership of Duke, NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest, with participants coming from universities and colleges across North Carolina.  Closely coordinated with the NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill public lecture series in Jewish Studies, the seminar enriches the scholarly climate in the area and strengthens the Jewish Studies programs in the local universities.

Yaakov Ariel, UNC-CH, Religious Studies
Shai Ginsberg, Duke University, Asian and Middles Eastern Studies
Malachi Hacohen, Duke University, History
Julie Mell, NC State, History
Ruth von Bernuth, UNC-CH, Germanic Languages
David P. Weinstein, Wake Forest, Political Science

Racial Literacies

Racial Literacies is a seminar designed to bring together the various constituents of the UNC Chapel Hill community to engage in intellectual, productive, honest, problem-oriented, and frank conversations about race and other intersectional issues (gender, sexuality, class, religion, nationality, ethnicity, ability—etc.) We anticipate that one outcome of the “Racial Literacies” seminar will be a multi-modal website that provides resources on talking about race and the experiences of race and racism that various people have had at UNC Chapel Hill.


Jennifer Ho, UNC-CH, English & Comparative Literature
Mark Driscoll, UNC-CH, Asian Studies
Renee Alexander-Craft, UNC-CH, Communication Studies
Chris Faison, UNC-CH, Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling

Religion and Spirituality in the 21st Century University

This interdisciplinary and interinstitutional seminar explores ways that faith, religions, spiritual practices and beliefs intersect with and help define our universities and the communities we share and serve. Participants from Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and the National Humanities Center will consider how religion and spirituality align with emerging educational and institutional goals.

Suzanne Gulledge, UNC-CH, Academic Leaders Program, Institute for Arts and Humanities
Andy Mink, National Humanities Center
Luke Powery, Duke University, Duke Chapel and Divinity School

Rethinking Israel/Palestine

Rethinking Israel/Palestine Seminar engages scholars at UNC-CH and area institutions in a vibrant program of readings, discussions, and events related to interdisciplinary study of the region.

Nadia Yaqub, UNC-CH, Asian Studies
Elyse Crystall, UNC-CH, English and Comparative Literature

Russia and Its Empires, East and West

This seminar operates basically as a workshop and participants include academics and PhD students engaging in all aspects of Russia, the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Leaders present work-in-progress, which participants read in advance for discussion during the seminar.


Jehanne Gheith, Duke, Slavic Languages and Literature

Jeff Jones, UNC at Greensboro, History

Louise McReynolds , UNC-CH, History

Website: 2011.html

The Attrition of Women Faculty From Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Disciplines: Developing Targeted Research Mentoring Strategies

This seminar series will facilitate discussions among women and other marginalized faculty researchers in STEM as well as invite input from successful research mentors.  The goal will be to identify and disseminate best research mentoring practices, designed especially for women and other marginalized faculty in STEM.

Jaye Cable, UNC-CH, Marine Sciences; Environment and Ecology
Susan Girdler, UNC-CH, Psychiatry; Psychology and Neuroscience
Patricia Parker, UNC-CH, Communication
Sohini Sengupta, UNC-CH, Social Medicine
Donna Surge, UNC-CH, Geological Sciences

The Carolina Seminar on Social Innovation (formerly Business Journalism and Public Policy)

The Carolina Seminar on Social Innovation brings together scholars and practitioners with interests in social innovation.  Social innovation is defined as a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions. The value created accrues primarily to society rather than to private individuals.  Ultimately, the most difficult and important problems cannot be solved without involving the non-profit, public and private sectors.

Daniel Gitterman, UNC-CH, Public Policy
Greg Brown, UNC-CH, Kenan-Flagler Business School

The Theory and Politics of Relationality

Arturo Escobar, UNC-CH, Anthropology
Michal Osterweil, UNC-CH, The Curriculum in Global Studies

Toward a Technics of Aesthetics: Technology, Politics, and Contemporary Culture

Toward a Technics of Aesthetics:  Technology, Politics, and Contemporary Culture problem based seminar will focus on the intersections of contemporary culture, digital technology, and politics.  This seminar will analyze various instances of cultural production that critically engage technological apparatuses, systems, and myths.


Cary Levine, UNC-CH, Art

Philip Glahn, Temple University, School of Art

Transnational and Global Modern History

Transnational and Global Modern History seminar is rooted in the comparative and global study of the history of modern empires and its critics, “decolonization”, and the history of movement between and amongst various territorial entities in the modern era. It will explore the study of the ideas and cultures that constituted national and international political cultures treated in new transnational histories.

Cemil Aydin, UNC-CH, History

Triangle Early American History Seminar (TEAHS)

This seminar is a group of early American historians who meet to discuss papers of the seminar members. The Triangle Early American History seminar is on the cutting edge of early American History scholarship.  The group pushes the geographic boundaries of the field to include regions far beyond the original United States, spanning both North America and Latin America, recognizing that early modern peoples saw the region as overlapping localities.  Major themes include race, gender, and empire.


Kathleen DuVal, UNC-CH, History

Megan Cherry, NC State University, History

Triangle Global British History

The core mission of the Triangle Global British History seminar is to feature work-in progress by local and visiting scholars working broadly in the field of history of the British empire and Britain in its global context, from the sixteenth through twentieth centuries.

Susan Dabney Pennybacker, UNC-CH, History
Jordan Karlis, NC State University
Julia Rudolph, NC State University, History
Brent Sirota, NC State University, History
Philip Stern, Duke University, History

Triangle Health Economics Workshop

The Triangle Health Economics Workshop (THEW) is a multi-departmental,
bimonthly seminar series organized by faculty in the Departments of Health
Policy and Management, Economics, and Public Policy at UNC. Health
economics is multidisciplinary by nature, using the tools of economics to apply to
key problems in medicine and public health.

Marisa Domino, UNC-CH, Health Policy and Management
Donna Gilleskie, UNC-CH, Economics
Christine Durrance, UNC-CH, Public Policy


Triangle Intellectual History

The Triangle Intellectual History Seminar is designed to take advantage of the Triangle’s unusual and unique concentration of historians who practice intellectual history or who are in closely related fields.  This seminar invites guest presentations, studies recent published works in intellectual history, as well as provides an opportunity for the presentation of works in progress.

Lloyd Kramer, UNC-CH, History
Emily Levine, UNC-Greensboro, History

Triangle Legal History

The Triangle Legal History Seminar meets monthly during the academic year to discuss pre-circulated works in progress by graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars on legal history from the ancient world to the twentieth century and from areas around the globe.

Alfred L. Brophy, UNC-CH, Law
David Gilmartin, NC State University, History
Taisu Zhang, Duke University, Law


Triangle Medieval Studies

A collaborative effort between UNC-CH, Duke University, and NC State University, the Triangle Medieval Studies Seminar offers a humanities-based interdisciplinary forum for the study of history, art history, religious studies, literature, women’s studies and other fields covering the period ca. 500-1500. Geographically, the seminar ranges across Europe and the ‘greater Mediterranean,’ including Byzantium and the Islamic world.


Brett Whalen, UNC-CH, History
Jessica Boon, UNC-CH, Religious Studies
Jim Knowles, NC State, English
Tim Stinson, NC State University, English
Mona Hassan, Duke University, Religious Studies
Clare Woods, Duke University, Classics


Working Group in Feminism and History

This seminar includes historians based at Triangle universities who meet to discuss gender-related topics that cut across regional and temporal specializations.


Katherine Turk, UNC-CH, History
Emily S. Burrill, UNC-CH, Womens & Gender Studies
Sarah McNamara, UNC-CH, History