This talk explores connections between Shakespeare and freedom dreams in the African Diaspora. It first outlines a tension between the ways that “Shakespeare” and blackness have been valued in the 400 years since Shakespeare’s birth. It then gives examples of the ways that black writers and actors in the early twentieth century used Shakespeare when grappling with constructions of blackness and race in the United States.
Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
Kim Hall, Barnard College
This talk will explore the writings, drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture produced by African, African American, African Caribbean, and Black British women and men, enslaved and free, living and working across the Black Diaspora over the centuries. Living and dying against a white racist backdrop that sought to destroy Black bodies and souls, they generated alternative art-making traditions and experimental writerly practices that constitute nothing less than “declarations of independence.”
Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
Celeste-Marie Bernier, University of Edinburgh
The second installment of the public program Novel Sounds: American Fiction in the Age of Rock and Roll will be held at the Center March 3, 2017. In conversations among another remarkable group of musicians, novelists, and scholars, we will explore the surprising reciprocity between the apparently irreverent form of rock and roll and serious literature. Novel Sounds II features panels on rock music’s roots in the ballad tradition as well as the influence of rock culture on contemporary fiction.
Friday, March 3, 2017 from 1:00–5:30 pmRegister Now
Recent NewsSee all
National Humanities Center to Partner with Vietnam National University to Develop Digital Learning Resources
The NHC will partner with Vietnam National University in developing digital instructional resources that allow for a deeper understanding of the American Vietnamese War. This initiative, supported by a $175,000 grant from the Fostering Innovation through Research, Science, and Technology Project for Vietnam, will bring together a team of Vietnamese and American educators, scholars, and technology experts to create digital tools that examine the political, social, cultural, economic, and historical complexities surrounding the conflict.
The National Humanities Center and the Durham Veteran Affairs Health Care System are seeking participants for a new program for military Veterans and their families in eastern North Carolina. “Reading Our Stories: Exploring the Veteran’s Experience through Literature,” will give Veterans an opportunity to more deeply reflect on their service—what it means to them and to the country—by examining and discussing literary texts. Groups will meet in Raleigh, Durham, and Greenville beginning in January 2017.
On Monday, June 13, 2016, the National Humanities Center and Flyleaf Books were pleased to present best-selling author David Denby. Denby is a staff writer and former film critic for The New Yorker, and his reviews and essays have appeared in The New Republic, The Atlantic, and New York magazine (where he was film critic from 1978 to 1998), among other places.
Podcasts See all
On October 5, 2016, NHC director Robert D. Newman delivered a keynote address as a part of the ongoing Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Speaker Series at North Carolina Central University. In his remarks Newman touched on events as seemingly disparate as the workings of the Continental Congress and the social media origins of the Black Lives Matter movement and discussed the ways that the humanities help us understand the world, relate to one another, and come to terms with the most profound experiences and questions — on the nature of beauty, the search for justice, and the meaning of life in the face of horrific violence and our own mortality.
Since its founding over 50 years ago, perceptions of the Black Panther Party have varied widely, often shaped by misinformation—about the Party's motivations, its relations with other organizations, its influence in the U.S. and around the world. In this conversation, historian Jakobi Williams discusses the challenges facing scholars in reconstructing the history of the Black Panther Party, the common misconceptions that continue to shape views of the movement and its leaders, and the ways that the organization helped inspire resistance groups in other countries.
The banjo links disparate musical and cultural traditions — from Africa to the Caribbean to the United States — and its history is deeply interwoven with the history of those places. Recently, NHC Fellow Laurent Dubois and musician Joe Newberry participated in a “musical conversation” exploring this fascinating history and performed songs for NHC trustees, Fellows and special guests.