Spring 2023 events at the University Libraries

January 18, 2023

University Libraries Upcoming Events 2023

Author talk: Charles R. Wilson on “The Southern Way of Life”
Thursday, January 26 | 5:30 – 7 p.m. | hybrid event

Charles R. Wilson will discuss his book, “The Southern Way of Life.” In this examination of the American South in national and global contexts, Wilson assesses how diverse communities of southerners have sought to define the region’s identity. Surveying three centuries of southern regional consciousness across many genres, disciplines and cultural strains, Wilson considers and challenges prior presentations of the region, advancing a vision of southern culture that has always been plural, dynamic and complicated by race and class.

In the second half of the program, Wilson will be joined by history professors William Sturkey (UNC-Chapel Hill) and Jessica Wilkerson (West Virginia University) to share in the complexity of research about the region.  An audience question and answer portion will follow.

Join in person in Wilson Library’s Pleasants Family Assembly room. No registration required for the in-person component; masks encouraged.

Register for the Charles R. Wilson livestream

“Panic in the Streets”: Historical reflections on fear-based media messaging during acute public health crises
Wednesday, February 1 | 12 – 1 p.m. | hybrid event

The Bullitt History of Medicine Club promotes the understanding and appreciation of the historical foundations upon which current medical knowledge and practice are constructed by encouraging social and intellectual exchanges between faculty members, medical students and members of the community.

In this program, Nancy Tomes (distinguished professor of history at Stony Brook University) will present her talk “Panic in the Streets.”

In public health, fear-based campaigns are regarded with caution and concern because their side effects of stigma and scapegoating can be so toxic. Those worries have been shaped by an awareness of the formidable power of traditional media (newspapers, radio, TV) and now the “new” social media to amplify public health messaging in unexpected and undesirable ways. In this talk, Tomes will present a brief history of what she terms the “panic problem” in American public health practice to stimulate a discussion of these questions: how do we motivate people to act in a public health crisis without inducing some degree of fear? Is there a place for healthy fear in public health messaging today, and if so, what would it look like?

Join in person at the Mary Ellen Jones Building, Room 3112. No registration required for the in-person component; masks encouraged.

Register for the “Panic in the Streets” livestream

Wilson Library Research Forum
Wednesday, February 8 | 12 – 1:15 p.m. | virtual event

Hear from researchers about projects that draw on the collections and expertise of the Wilson Special Collections Library.

“Keep Within Compass”: Geography and Girlhood in the American South, 1783-1865
Emily Wells, Southern Studies Dissertation Research Fellowship

Semblance of Freedom: The Resilience and Resistance of Virtual Slaves in the Southern Legal Regime
Catherine Stiefel, Southern Studies Dissertation Research Fellowship

The Other Chinese Question: Immigration, Race and the Problem of Labor in the Age of Emancipation
Samuel Niu, Southern Studies Pre-Dissertation Prospectus Fellowship

Register for the Wilson Research Forum

Finding Your People: Exploring the Past, Present and Future of Documenting Black Families in Special Collections and Archives
Thursday, February 9 | 1:30 – 3 p.m. | virtual event

The Black family, its structure, representation and characteristics seem to be a near-constant topic of question and conjecture in our society. What role do archives play in these discussions and our understanding of the Black family?

This panel discussion will bring together faculty researchers and archival practitioners to discuss the representation of Black families in the archive, the history and impact of collecting, where we are at this current moment, and what the future of Black family collections might look like.

This virtual event is co-sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage at Rare Book School.

Register for Finding Your People

Author talk: Deke Dickerson on “Sixteen Tons: The Merle Travis Story”
Wednesday, February 15 | 12 – 1 p.m. | virtual event

“Sixteen Tons” is the story of country music legend Merle Travis, a brilliant, multi-talented and deeply troubled artist who is widely considered a genius. A world-class guitarist who dazzled audiences with his Kentucky thumb-picking style, Travis was also a pioneering songwriter who wrote such classics as “Dark as a Dungeon” and “Sixteen Tons.”

This book is the result of a recently-discovered treasure trove of Travis’ unpublished autobiographical writings, which have been fleshed out with an immersive deep-dive biography by researcher and musical historian Deke Dickerson. It details the highs of a career that began with a string of nine straight Top 5 singles in the 1940s and the lows of a lifelong struggle with alcoholism that developed into an addiction to pills that nearly killed Merle when he was running with Johnny Cash in the late 1950s. Travis ultimately reemerged to become a Grammy-winning artist who inspired millions and became a music legend.

Register for the Deke Dickerson author talk

The Exquisite Lumbee: An artist talk with Ashley Minner
Thursday, February 16 | 12 – 1 p.m. | virtual event

Ashley Minner will share about her practice as a community-based visual artist and tell the story of the Exquisite Lumbee, one of her best-known and most widely shown projects to date. A collaboratively produced body of work featuring life-sized photo portraits and an artist book that borrows its form from a surrealist game, the Exquisite Lumbee invites the world to see a particular community of people in a particular place on their own terms.

This virtual talk is presented in conjunction with the in-person exhibition Every Book a Mirror: Book Artists Engage with the 21st Century, which is on display at the North Carolina Collection Gallery in Wilson Special Collections Library through July 12, 2023.

Register for The Exquisite Lumbee

Artists’ Books Book Club
Friday, February 24 | 2 – 4 p.m. | in-person event

Join us for a monthly drop-in event in Wilson Library Room 504 where we feature artists’ books and zines from our special collections. All are welcome; free and open to the public. Masks encouraged.

Digital South Panel Series Presents
Combining Pedagogy and Research on the American South
Thursday, March 7 | 11 – 12 p.m. | virtual event

The Digital South is a project of the University Libraries that aims to foster collaborative and meaningful engagement between scholars that are using digital methods to study the American South. With these aims in mind, we are excited to have three panels this semester. Each panel will consist of two or more scholars sharing about their projects and answering questions from a moderator and the audience. Panel topics are concerned with histories of oppression and resistance in the South while exploring a wide range of available digital methodologies.

In the February program, panelists will present on the Federal Writers Project and A Red Record.

Register for Digital South Panel

Wilson Library Research Forum
Wednesday, March 8 | 12 – 1:15 p.m. | virtual event

Hear from researchers about projects that draw on the collections and expertise of the Wilson Special Collections Library.

“Merry-Go-Round”: Radio Liveness, Heritage and Place at Mt. Airy North Carolina’s WPAQ
Fiona Boyd, Southern Studies Pre-Dissertation Prospectus Fellowship

Life in the Prison Camps of the Western North Carolina Railroad
Cayla Colclasure, Southern Studies Pre-Dissertation Prospectus Fellowship

The Punishing State: Punishment and Social Control in North Carolina Social Services
Kaneesha Johnson, Southern Studies Dissertation Research Fellowship

Register for the Wilson Research Forum

Digital South Panel Series presents
Exhibiting North Carolina Black History
Wednesday, March 22 | 2-3 p.m. | virtual event

The Digital South is a project of the University Libraries that aims to foster collaborative and meaningful engagement between scholars that are using digital methods to study the American South. With these aims in mind, we are excited to have three panels this semester. Each panel will consist of two or more scholars sharing about their projects and answering questions from a moderator and the audience. Panel topics are concerned with histories of oppression and resistance in the South while exploring a wide range of available digital methodologies.

In the March program, panelists will discuss the Penn Papers Exhibit and North Carolina Black Feminism.

Register for Digital South Panel

Artists’ Books Book Club
Friday, March 24 | 2 – 4 p.m. | in-person event

Join us for a monthly drop-in event in Wilson Library Room 504, where we feature artists’ books and zines from our special collections. All are welcome; free and open to the public. Masks encouraged.


Hanes Lecture Series in Bibliography
Friday, March 31 | 5:30 p.m. | hybrid event

The Rare Book Collection’s long-running lecture series returns with the talk “Bibliography’s Back Room: Four Encounters.” This talk will be accompanied by an in-person printing workshop, “Imprinting the Body,” at 10 a.m. at the Hanes Art Center (separate registration required).

Kadin Henningsen is an artist-printer and Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studies nineteenth-century American literature, book history and Transgender Studies. He is the owner of Meanwhile…Letterpress, a letterpress studio focused on producing work by, for and about trans and queer communities.

Brooke Palmieri is an artist, writer and educator working at the intersection of memory, history and rampant gender-bending alternate realities. In 2018 they founded CAMP BOOKS, a platform and traveling bookshop promoting access to queer history through prints and zines; workshops and installations; and the collaborative construction of archives related to LGBTQIA+ activism and the long history of gender non-conformity. After developing “The Queer Book” at London Rare Book School in 2017, they have continued to teach free history courses in community centers and artist-led spaces. Their writing has recently been featured in Louche Magazine and anthologies by Pilot Press, and their work has been exhibited at Gaada, the Glasgow Women’s Library, The Bower and Chelsea Space.

Register for the in-person printmaking workshop
Register for the in-person Hanes lecture
Register for Hanes lecture livestream

The Healing Art: Early Modern Economies of Care
Tuesday, April 4 | 12 – 1 p.m. | virtual event

The Bullitt History of Medicine Club promotes the understanding and appreciation of the historical foundations upon which current medical knowledge and practice are constructed by encouraging social and intellectual exchanges between faculty members, medical students and members of the community.

In this program, Mandy Fowler (doctoral student in English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill) will present a talk titled “The Healing Art: Early Modern Practices of Giving and Receiving Care.”

“The Healing Art” explores practices of giving and receiving care as they existed in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. In this presentation, Mandy will share insights from their research as the 2022-2023 McLendon-Thomas Award Fellow with the Wilson Library Rare Books Collection. As a Fellow, Mandy used a variety of materials, including medical guides for physicians and household caregivers, familial letters and legal documents, and other printed or manuscript texts to better understand the complexities of caregiving from the perspectives of both the givers and receivers of care. Mandy’s research pays particular attention to the ways in which materiality and social dynamics influenced early modern approaches to care.

Register for The Healing Art

Wilson Library Incubator Awards Showcase
April 11 & 12 |12:30 – 2:30 p.m. | in-person event

The Incubator Awards provide financial and research support for students using historical and rare library materials at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill towards projects in the arts. Join us in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room at Wilson Library for a firsthand look at our recipients’ creative work.

Songs from the D.K Wilgus Papers
Joseph O’Connell, doctoral candidate in American Studies
Chris Catanese, doctoral candidate in American Studies

Living history presentation of an 18th-century apothecary shop
Sierra Roark, doctoral candidate in anthropology
Tessa McGuire, archaeology major
Mary Kate Mauney, anthropology major

Photography and assemblage; research focused on vernacular photography in North Carolina
Mark Brown Jr., masters student in studio arts

Poetry and multimedia visual art; research in Appalachian folk culture
Sadie Allen, studio arts major

Artist’s book; research in the Beat Collection
Alexander Benedict, English and comparative literature major

No registration required; masks encouraged.


Digital South Panel Series presents
Collections as Data in Research and Teaching
Thursday, April 13 | 3 – 4 p.m. | virtual event

The Digital South is a project of the University Libraries that aims to foster collaborative and meaningful engagement between scholars that are using digital methods to study the American South. With these aims in mind, we are excited to have three panels this semester. Each panel will consist of two or more scholars sharing about their projects and answering questions from a moderator and the audience. Panel topics are concerned with histories of oppression and resistance in the South while exploring a wide range of available digital methodologies.

More information coming soon!

Register for Digital South Panel

Author talk: Kim Ruehl on “A Singing Army: Zilphia Horton and the Highlander Folk School”
Tuesday, April 18 | 12 – 1 p.m. | virtual event

Author Kim Ruehl will discuss her book, “A Singing Army: Zilphia Horton and the Highlander Folk School.”

Zilphia Horton was a pioneer of cultural organizing, an activist and musician who taught people how to use the arts as a tool for social change, and a catalyst for anthems of empowerment such as “We Shall Overcome” and “We Shall Not Be Moved.” Her contributions to the Highlander Folk School, a pivotal center of the labor and civil rights movements in the mid-twentieth century, and her work creating the songbook of the labor movement influenced countless figures, from Woody Guthrie to Eleanor Roosevelt to Rosa Parks.

Despite her outsized impact, Horton’s story is little known. A Singing Army draws on extensive archival and oral history research and interviews with Horton’s family and friends to introduce this overlooked figure to the world.

Register for the Kim Ruehl author talk

Recent Acquisitions Evening at the Wilson Special Collections Library
Thursday, April 27 | 6 – 8 p.m. | in-person event

Please join the Univesity Libraries in celebrating outstanding additions to the Wilson Special Collections from the last three years.

During this open-house event, Library staff members will guide you in an up-close experience with rare and one-of-a-kind items from the North Carolina Collection, Rare Book Collection, Southern Folklife Collection, Southern Historical Collection and University Archives. These items illustrate why Carolina’s libraries are a point of pride and a destination for research, learning and wonder.


Artists’ Books Book Club
Friday, April  28 | 2 – 4 p.m. | in-person event

Join us for a monthly drop-in event in Wilson Library Room 504 where we feature artists’ books and zines from our special collections. All are welcome; free and open to the public. Masks encouraged.


Wilson Library Research Forum
Wednesday, May 10 | 12 – 1:15 p.m. | virtual event

Hear from researchers about projects that draw on the collections and expertise of the Wilson Special Collections Library.

Not-so-clandestine Conspirators: Secrecy and Transparency in the late French Revolution
Nicole Buaer, Marjorie Bond Research Fellowship (Rare Book Collection Fellowship)

Power and Possession: The French Conceptualization of Royal Space during the Reign of François Ier
Emily Duvall, Hanes Graduate Fellowship (Rare Book Collection Fellowship)

Classics in English, English Classics: Reading J. M. Dent’s Everyman’s Library from Greco-Roman Antiquity to Nationalism and World Literature
Caterina Domeneghini, Marjorie Bond Research Fellowship (Rare Book Collection Fellowship)

Register for the Wilson Research Forum

Wilson Library Research Forum
Wednesday, June 14 | 12 – 1:15 p.m. | virtual event

Hear from researchers about projects that draw on the collections and expertise of the Wilson Special Collections Library.

Race, Religion, Resistance: Racializing Muslims and Defining Islam from 1850 to 1950
Yasmine Flodin-Al, Southern Studies Dissertation Research Fellowship

Resistance Literacy: Enslaved women, Imagination, and Self Identity
Latoya Teague, Southern Studies Dissertation Research Fellowship

“On Anti-Bondsman On!”: Debt Default and the Perils of 19th Century American Capitalism
David Thomson, Visiting Researcher Fellowship (The Hugh L. McColl Library Fund)

Register for the Wilson Research Forum

Wilson Library Research Forum
Wednesday, July 12 | 12 – 1:15 p.m. | virtual event

Hear from researchers about projects that draw on the collections and expertise of the Wilson Special Collections Library.

Trouble in Selma: Jews, Race, Rights, and Conflict
Amy Milligan, Visiting Researcher Fellowship (The Documenting Social Change Library Fund)

Heroes of the Klan War
David Silkenat, Visiting Researcher Fellowship (The Parker-Dooley Fund for Southern History)

Extracts, Essences, and Political Effects: How Vanilla Shapes American Life
Claire Bunschoten, Southern Studies Dissertation Research Fellowship

Register for the Wilson Research Forum