2021-2022 Seminars

Advances in Behavioral Health Policy


Marisa Domino, Health Policy and Management

African Ecology and Social Processes

One of the longest standing Carolina Seminars currently running, the seminar in African Ecology and Social Processes engages pressing interdisciplinary questions that deepen scholarly knowledge and conversations about African Studies. We prioritize the following standards: expansive discussions that include input from scholars of all academic ranks and graduate students; visitors and guests who showcase scholarship emerging on the continent, and which advances Africa-based research; work that explodes myths about Africa as monolithic or as a recipient of knowledge and intervention — we promote conversations and scholarship that showcase the diversity of knowledge production on and about the continent, and which center continental activity as innovative, flexible, and creative.


Ada Umenwaliri,  African Studies Center

American Indian and Indigenous Studies

This seminar provides a forum for faculty, students, and visitors engaged in American Indian and Indigenous Studies to discuss critical issues, hear presentations, and read and critique one another’s work. These interdisciplinary collaborations often include but are not limited to individuals in the fields of American Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Education, English, History, Law, Religious Studies, and Romance Studies.


Daniel Cobb, American Studies
Kathleen DuVal, History
Keith Richards, American Studies

Arts Across Ages


Susan Coppola, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Kym Weed, English & Comparative Literature
Carolyn Allmendinger, Ackland Art Museum
Tamara Baker-Thomas, Psychiatry
Amanda Graham, Carolina Performing Arts,
Joy Kassan, American Studies (Emerita)
Allison Lathrop, Ackland Art Museum
Cherie Rosemond, UNC Partnership in Aging
Jane Thraikill, Literature

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.


Jason West, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Diego Riveros-Iregui, Geography
John Bruno, Biology
Erika Wise, Geography

Carolina Network for Network and Data Science

This seminar will nucleate a collaborative community connecting application themes of network data, building capability, expertly applying network data methods with tight collaboration between domains such as neuroscience, healthcare, ecosystems, education, economics, and transportation. It will also help train users for the network analysis tools developed by the group.


Jessica Cohen, Psychology and Neuroscience
Eran Dayan, Radiology
Shankar Bhamidi, Statistics and Operations Research

Carolina Philosophy, Ethics, and Mental Health


Daniel Moseley, Psychiatry
Arlene Davis, Social Medicine
Eric Juengst, Social Medicine and Genetics

Carolina Seminar on Educational Inequality

The Carolina Seminar on Educational Inequality brings together scholars from Economics, Education, Policy, and Sociology to study the ways in 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.

Website: https://sites.google.com/view/edinequalityseminar/home


Thurston Domina, UNC-CH, School of Education
Jane Cooley Fruehwirth, Economics
Karolyn Tyson, UNC-CH, Sociology
Steven Hemelt, Public Policy
Douglas Lauen, Public Policy

Carolina Seminar on Free Speech


Deb Aikat, Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Carolina Seminar on Innovation for the Public Good

The Carolina Seminar on Innovation for the Public Good will play a catalytic role in amplifying the mission of Carolina by providing an educational pathway for our faculty and students to explore modern change making and practice the skills necessary to contribute toward meaningful change in the world. Participants will explore evidence and promising based creative problem-solving approaches and early, team-oriented, customer/community discovery methods to develop solutions that address pressing human concerns.


Daniel Gitterman, Public Policy
Melissa Carrier, Innovate Carolina

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
Charles Kurzman,  Sociology

Carolina Seminar on Transnational and Global Modern History

Transnational and Global Modern History seminar is rooted in the comparative and connected 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 transnational study of the ideas and cultures that constituted and transcended national contexts, fashioning global political cultures and intellectual exchanges.


Cemil Aydin, History
Susan Pennybacker, History

Carolina Teaching and Learning Colloquium

The Carolina Teaching and Learning Colloquium is an interdisciplinary speaker series dedicated to the dissemination and discussion of evidence-based, actionable teaching and learning research. Using a two-part model, CTLC meetings will present classroom-focused research (e.g., retrieval practice, co-testing, technology & attention) followed by mediated discussions, providing attendees with empirically supported strategies to enhance their instructional models.


Steven G. Buzinski, Psychology and Neuroscience
Patrick Harrison, Psychology and Neuroscience
Darin Knapp, Center for Faculty Excellence

Cartography, Chorography, and Literary Landscapes

This seminar provides a venue for interdisciplinary conversation relating to the theory and practice of cartography and landscape description in a range of historical contexts. Bringing together faculty and graduate students with different methodological perspectives – archaeological, philological, geographical, and historical – the seminar examines the history and potential of mapping as a process of giving shape to the world, especially in its multi-temporal dimensions. We are interested in the relationship between space and text in historical geographies, as well as in the relationship between historical cartographic and chorographic methodologies and their modern digital counterparts. The aim of the seminar is to foster faculty and graduate student research through ongoing interdisciplinary exchange, particularly in connection with the Spatial Antiquities Lab, an emerging spatial humanities hub at UNC that will house vertically and horizontally integrated research projects that leverage digital mapping methods for historical projects.


Janet Downie, Classics
Time Shea, Classics
John Pickles, Geography
Javier Arce-Nazario, Geography

Central Asia Between East and West

The Central Asia Working Group, an interdisciplinary work group seeks to build on growing interest across campus in the societies of Russian Central Asia–and neighboring regions such as Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Chinese Inner Asia, Mongolia, Pakistan, and southern Russia–from an interdisciplinary perspective. Its purpose is to provide a forum for scholars, graduate students, and undergraduates at UNC, and in the surrounding area, to explore and stay abreast of new avenues of research in the study of Central Asia.


Eren Tasar, History
Waleed Ziad, Religious Studies
Rustin Zarkar, UNC Libraries
Erica Johnson, Global Studies

Collateral Effects on Healthcare During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The global pandemic is generating a great deal of reflection and analysis among scholars broadly interested in the social, cultural, political and economic implications of the coronavirus disease and government responses to contain it. Our problem-based format seminar will consider these wide-ranging implications by engaging the collateral effects that the global pandemic has produced for healthcare systems globally.


Jocelyn Chua, Anthropology
Michele Rivkin-Fish, Anthropology
Barry Saunders, Social Medicine
Lydia Boyd, African, African American Studies
Bryan Dougan, Anthropology
Julio Villa-Palomino, Anthropology

Decolonization in the Global South

We investigate self-determination, territorial sovereignty, and mass politics in societies emerging from empire in the second half of the 20th century. Constrained by global capitalism and civil strife, independence struggles waged across the global south bequeathed an ambiguous legacy still with us today.


Christian C. Lentz, Geography
Emily Burrill, Women’s & Gender Studies; History
Peter Redfield, Anthropology


The Dental and Oral Health Community Scholars Program (i.e., DOCSpeaks) will create a framework to explore cultural competence in the health professions in a way that is relevant for the student and faculty participant. DOCSpeaks will feature content experts (Womens’ Studies, U.S. History, Environmental Studies, etc.) from across the university, state, and country to invigorate the way we learn and communicate about sensitive cultural topics. Our long-term goal is to re-imagine a culture of learning and professional practice that recognizes and serves the needs of a culturally diverse community both inside and outside the walls of our collective schools.



Sylvia A. Frazier-Bowers, Orthodontics
Jocelyn Glazier, School of Education
Chris Faison, NC State University

Dual Impact of COVID-19 and Systemic Racism and Inequity on Children’s Developmental Trajectories in the Early Years: Interdisciplinary Conversations and Development of a Research-Policy Agenda

COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted Black and African-American (AA) Communities. In Orange County, 11.8% of the population is Black or AA, yet 37% of confirmed COVID-19 cases were Black or AA. This series will bring together scientists, child advocates, educators, community leaders, and policymakers to address this disparity, which impacts educational, social-emotional, and neurological development.



Aysenil Belger, Psychiatry
Diana Fishbein, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
Betsy Ayankoya, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
Robin Jenkins, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
Sandra Soliday Hong, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
Ronald Seifer, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
Iheoma Iruka, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

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

The First Friday Microbiome Seminars connect microbiome researchers engaged in studies of complex microbial populations associated 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 biomedical sciences.


M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril, Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease
Apoena Ribeiro, School of Dentistry; Diagnostic Sciences

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,  Romance Studies
Michael Garval, NC State University

Global South Working Group

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.


Elizabeth Engelhardt, Fine Arts and Humanities
Drusilla French, Chancellor’s Philanthropic Council

Health Humanities Grand Rounds

Health Humanities Grand Rounds is a speaker series that features exceptional interdisciplinary research from Carolina and beyond. Speakers give problem-based talks and lead discussion about their research with an audience faculty and students from across departments and divisions. HHGR has become a touchstone of health humanities collaborations at UNC.


Kym Weed, English and Comparative Literature
Jane F. Thraikill, English and Comparative Literature
Amy Weil, School of Medicine

Higher Ed Working Group

The Higher Ed Working Group will consider challenges currently facing colleges and universities. We will focus on issues of access and success, the growing disconnection between universities and the public at large, and the nature of regulation by university governing bodies.


Buck Goldstein, School of Education
William Snider, Neuroscience Center
Molly Worthen, History
Matt Springer, School of Education

If, Then: Computation and Poetics

This seminar brings together a diverse group of faculty, staff, and graduate students for regular meetings to understand and engage the potential and practice of analyzing texts using natural language processing for inquiry, research, and teaching in the humanities and social sciences.


Daniel Anderson, English and Comparative Literature

Interdisciplinary Seminar in Health Disparities: Healthcare Delivery in the Age of COVID-19

This interdisciplinary Seminar will hold intensive and collaborative sessions focused on health outcome and health delivery problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our main research topic is health disparities in healthcare delivery and how the COVID-19 pandemic shapes systems and impacts resources, including human resources. Our main product from these collaborative interdisciplinary and multi-organizational work groups of health disparities researchers and students will be a focused grant proposal aimed at examining the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on care delivery and home health caregivers’ own health outcomes. All seminars will be virtual and will have accompanying information and resources provided through Sakai.

For more information on seminar dates or to join the PriHD listserv, please see our webpage (http://www.shepscenter.unc.edu/blog/program/health-disparities/) and/or send an email to our program at healthdisparities@email.unc.edu


Crystal Cene, School of Medicine
Sharita Thomas, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research

Interdisciplinary Seminar in Health Equity

This is the third academic year of funding for this seminar. Our previous year goals will carry forward this year with some additions and improvements. We still aim to become acquainted with researchers and students who are involved in or interested in health disparities; to understand how to build and refine a Program on Health Disparities for the Sheps Center based on interaction with seminar attendees and their identified needs; and to provide a space for researchers and students to present (and solicit feedback) on past and current research to a group of peers. All seminars will be virtual and will have accompanying information and resources provided through Sakai.

For more information on seminar dates or to join the PriHD listserv, please see our webpage (http://www.shepscenter.unc.edu/blog/program/health-disparities/) and/or send an email to our program at healthdisparities@email.unc.edu


Mark Holmes, Health Policy and Management
Marissa Domino,  Health Policy and Managment
Crystal Cene, School of Medicine

Labor and Working-Class History

This seminar primarily focuses upon the history of working-class people in the Americas. More specifically, it examines the changing nature of work in relation to the economy and state policy; class, race, gender, sexuality, and cultural formations among workers; and efforts to organize unions and other class-based social movements.


Erik Gellman, History
Katherine Turk, History



Ehssan Nazockdast, Applied Physical Sciences
Amy Maddox, Biology

Minority Aging Collaborative Initiative (MACI)

Minority Aging Collaborative Initiative (MACI) takes a progressive stance to acknowledging and addressing the needs of older minority adults. Aimed at building networks, fostering collaborations, and advocating for solutions/change, MACI convenes like-minded scholars, students, trainees, faculty, staff, and community members interested in building a consortium through advocacy, research, education, and community-engagement. Promoting the goal and aims of this seminar, we are providing a platform that dispels ageist and racist attitudes, while organizing a collaborative movement that embraces the diversity of our aging population


Tamara Baker, Psychiatry
Cherie Rosemond, Public Health

Moral Economies of Medicine Working Group

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, Anthropology
Michele Rivkin-Fish, Anthropology
Barry Saunders, Social Medicine

NC German Studies Seminar and Workshop Series (NCGS)

The North Carolina German Studies Seminar and Workshop Series (NCGS) was started in 2007 by an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional group of scholars in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, because the state of North Carolina possesses an incredibly rich and impressive roster of scholars working in German Studies and Central European History. It is home to nationally and internationally recognized graduate programs in these fields. Its colleges and universities have incredibly successful undergraduate programs responsible for producing highly proficient speakers and thinkers of Germanic languages, histories and cultures. In order to strengthen the bonds between all these precious assets, the North Carolina German Studies Seminar and Workshop Series seeks to foster interdisciplinary and inter-institutional intellectual exchange about new and innovative research among students, scholars, and the wider community at both public and private institutions of higher learning.



Karen Hagemann, History
Konrad Jarausch, History
Priscilla Layne, Germanic and Slavic LL
A. Dirk Moses, History
Terence V. McIntosh, History
Jakob Norberg, Duke University
Andrea Sinn, Elon University
Teresa Walch, UNC-Greensboro

North Carolina Jewish Studies Seminar

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.


Ruth von Bernuth, Germanic Languages
Malachi Hacohen, Duke University
Verena Kasper-Marienberg, NC State University

North Carolina Maternal Behavioral Health Collaborative

The North Carolina Maternal Behavioral Health Collaborative aims to develop grant proposals and/or policy solutions to improve screening and access to treatment statewide for maternal behavioral health disorders. Poor maternal mental health is associated with numerous adverse outcomes for the mother and infant. A tailored approach specific to North Carolina is required due to the diverse demographics, economies, and geographies of the state. NC Maternal Mental Health MATTERS is piloting education, consultation, and telepsychiatry services to help strengthen these systems, but is funded through a 5-year HRSA grant ending in 2023. This seminar will aim to build on MATTERS work and develop a sustainable avenue for enhancing screening, assessment, and treatment of perinatal behavioral health disorders.


Karen Burns, Psychiatry
Mary Kimmel, Psychiatry

Religion and Theory Reading Group

This group brings together area faculty, graduate students, visiting scholars, and others to discuss important new texts in religious studies and recent critical theory. It aims to foster multidisciplinary and critical engagement with the role of religion in contemporary cultural politics.


Randall Styers, Religious Studies

Jessica Boon, Religious Studies


Resilience and Leadership Skills through Sports for Minorities: A Virtual Reality Experience


Ivonne Chirino-Klevans, Kenan Flager Business School


Rural Health Research Seminar  Series


Mark Holmes, UNC-CH, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research

Russia and Its Empires, East and West

The seminar brings together scholars interested in Russia and the Russian / Soviet space. Because the Piedmont boasts a high concentration of interdisciplinary scholars in Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern European Studies, including a large number of outstanding graduate students, this seminar gives the area’s universities and scholars the time and place to share their research as they are in the process of writing. Conducted basically as a workshop, it offers the particular benefit of giving participants the opportunity to cross disciplinary boundaries while they are still in the middle of their projects. In addition, one or two scholars from outside the region are invited to present work-in-progress that overlaps with that of area scholars.


Eren Tasar, UNC-CH, History

Share to Care: Academic-Community Partnerships to Promote Child Welfare


Andrea Hussong, Psychology and Neuroscience

Southeast Asian Approaches

Situated between China and India, Southeast Asia sits at a crossroads of ancient and ongoing global commerce, cultural flows, and political influences. Via informal conversations, a speaker series, and cultural events, this seminar aims to lend visibility to the importance and interdisciplinary of Southeast Asian studies.


Krupal Amin, Asian American Center
Lorraine Aragon, Anthropology
Becky Butler, Linguistics; Carolina Asia Center
Kevin Fogg, Carolina Asia Center
Angel Hsu, Public Policy
Noah Kittner, Public Health
Holning Lau, Law
Christian Lentz, Geography
Margaret Weiner, Anthropology


The Perils and Promise of Capitalism in the 21st Century

This seminar is devoted to analyzing the present state of capitalism in the U.S. and other parts of the world, and to attempting to come up with viable ways to improve its performance in terms of justice and equity.


Peter Coclanis, History
Arne Kalleberg, Sociology

The Theory and Politics of Relationality

The seminar aims to understand, and provisionally map, the ways in which relationality is fostering an emerging ontological-political field with the potential to reorient cultural and social practice towards the intersecting goals of ecological sustainability, cultural pluralism, and social justice.


Arturo Escobar, Anthropology (Emeritus)
Michal Osterweil, Curriculum in Global Studies

Transformative Pedagogy in Times of Crisis

The seminar will look at the uses of contemplative and embodied practices with a focus on their intersection with social change and social justice education. The goal is both to expose faculty and students to these practices and to explore and interrogate their role in higher education, particularly in times of crisis (like Covid-19).


Michal Osterweil, Curriculum in Global Studies
Michele Berger, Women’s and Gender Studies

Triangle Early American History Seminar (TEAHS)

This seminar is a group of early American historians from multiple North Carolina colleges and universities who meet to discuss pre-circulated papers. 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

Juliana Barr, Duke University

Triangle Global British History (TGBHS)

The Triangle Global British History seminar, founded in 2011, considers all aspects of British history, the history of the former British Empire, and all genre of British studies, across temporal, geographic and disciplinary boundaries. We present speakers who work on the period from the 16th century to the present, encompassing “early modern” and “modern” histories, and the domestic, global, and transnational. Political, legal, social, cultural, economic and intellectual histories and new work on metropolitan Britain and Ireland, as well as on colonial and post-colonial contexts, and their interplay, constitute our subjects.


Susan Pennybacker, History

Triangle Health Economics Workshop

The Triangle Health Economics Workshop (THEW) is a multi-departmental seminar series organized by faculty in the Departments of Health Policy and Management, Economics, and Public Policy at UNC. Held approximately bi-weekly during the academic year, the seminar brings together health economists from across the Triangle to discuss current research by invited speakers in economics, medicine and public health.

website: http://thew.web.unc.edu/


Justin Trogdon, Health Policy and Management
Donna Gilleskie, Economics

Triangle Intellectual History

The Triangle Intellectual History Seminar brings together the Triangle area’s exceptional concentration of historians who practice intellectual history or who work in closely related fields such as literature and the history of science. This seminar focuses on new trends in global intellectual history, discusses papers by graduate students as well as area faculty colleagues, and invites guest presenters from outside North Carolina. Participants offer diverse perspectives on innovative works in progress and explore the connections between social contexts and ideas.


Lloyd Kramer, History
James Chappel, History

Triangle Legal History

The Triangle Legal History Seminar (TLHS) brings together faculty and graduate students with an interest in legal history, broadly conceived. We hope to stimulate scholarly conversation across the divides of space, time, and methodological approach.


Emily Burrill, Women & Gender Studies; History

Triangle Medieval Studies

A collaborative effort between Duke, North Carolina State, and UNC-Chapel Hill, the Triangle Medieval Studies Seminar (TMSS) offers a humanities-based, interdisciplinary forum for the study of history, art history, religious studies, literature, music, women’s studies and more ca. 500 – 1500 in Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic world along with other regions.


Brett Whalen, History

UNC Criminal Justice and Health Working Group

The Criminal Justice and Health Working Group (CJHWG) engages a wide range of topics at the intersection of the criminal justice system and health. Our membership includes faculty, staff, and students from multiple disciplines, departments, and institutions as well as participants from the surrounding community. Most seminars feature a research presentation followed by a group discussion. We also promote networking and collaboration on criminal justice/health-focused research projects.


David Rosen, School of Medicine; Gillings School of Global Public Health
Colleen Blue, Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases

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.


Emily Burrill, Women’s and Gender Studies