The 2022 Humanities for the Public Good Symposium will bring together students, artists, scholars, cultural practitioners, and people interested in using humanistic knowledge to forward publicly engaged scholarship, across five days September 19-23, 2022. All events are free and open to the public and where possible include virtual or hybrid presentations.

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Schedule of Events

Monday, September 19

11:30am EST: Warren County 1921 – Using Theater for Public Engagement: A conversation with Jacqueline E. Lawton, Glenn Hinson, and Jereann King Johnson / VIRTUAL

Jereann King Johnson (photo by Megan May)

Working together and with other collaborators in Warren County, this team staged a public reenactment of the 1921 trial of the Norlina 16, a group of Black men imprisoned after battling an armed white mob that was intent on terrorizing Norlina’s Black community

Jacqueline E. Lawton is a playwright, dramaturg, producer, and advocate for access, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the American Theatre. She received her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin (Hook ’em Horns!), where she was a James A. Michener Fellow.

Glenn Hinson is associate professor of folklore and anthropology and has directed a variety of public folklore projects. He is author of Fire in My Bones: Transcendence and the Holy Spirit in African American Gospel. He has taught the Southern Legacies Descendants

Jereann King Johnson is cofounder of the 1921 Project. She is a textile artist, community activist and founding member of the Heritage Quilters in Warrenton.

Tuesday, September 20

1pm: Keynote Conversation: Casper Ter Kuile + Dwayne Betts / VIRTUAL

Casper ter Kuile is helping to create the future of spiritual community. He’s the author of The Power of Ritual and the co-founder of The Nearness, a community platform to help people deepen their spiritual lives. Casper previously co-created the hit podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, the soul-centered R&D agency Sacred Design Lab, and co-authored the influential paper How We Gather. Casper holds Masters in Public Policy and Divinity from Harvard University, loves harmony folk singing, and lives in Brooklyn with his husband Sean.

Learn more about Casper.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is a poet and lawyer. A 2021 MacArthur Fellow, he is the Executive Director of Freedom Reads, a not-for-profit organization that is radically transforming the access to literature in prisons through the installation of Freedom Libraries in prisons across this country.

For more than twenty-years, he has used his poetry and essays to explore the world of prison and the effects of violence and incarceration on American society. The author of a memoir and three collections of poetry, he has transformed his latest collection of poetry, the American Book Award winning Felon, into a solo theater show that explores the post incarceration experience and lingering consequences of a criminal record through poetry, stories, and engaging with the timeless and transcendental art of paper-making.

In 2019, Betts won the National Magazine Award in the Essays and Criticism category for his NY Times Magazine essay that chronicles his journey from prison to becoming a licensed attorney. He has been awarded a Radcliffe Fellowship from Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Emerson Fellow at New America, and most recently a Civil Society Fellow at Aspen. Betts holds a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Learn more about Dwayne.

Betts photo by Mamadi Doumbouya.

4pm EST: Future of Work Forum / IN PERSON at Hyde Hall’s University Room

Humanities career pathways are more diverse than ever, but are we meeting the moment in how we train and advise our students?
Let’s imagine a better way to meet the future together.

Co-Presented with Southern Futures

RSVP Required. If you’re interested in joining this conversation, please email hpg<at> for availability.

Wednesday, September 21

11am:  Finding a New Spin on the Old World with the Save Ancient Studies Alliance / VIRTUAL

The Save Ancient Studies Alliance (SASA) was founded in reaction to the devaluation of the study of the ancient world in universities and high schools. A group of graduate students and early career scholars came together to expand exposure and access to the ancient world and re-envision how the ancient world is studied. Through free virtual Text-in-Translation Reading Groups, social media campaigns, book clubs, ask an expert Q&As, and more, they are evolving what it means to study and share the ancient world.

Come meet members of the SASA team and learn about the Archeogaming project they’ve been working on and sharing right here in North Carolina thanks to collaborators at UNC and support from HPG.

Paige Brevick is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Her dissertation research uses museum studies methodologies to explore exhibitionary strategy in Egyptology displays. She currently serves as Executive Director at Saving Antiquities for Everyone (SAFE) and contributed to the Circulating Artefacts project at the British Museum, tracking looted Egyptian antiquities on the arts market. She completed her MA in Egyptian Art & Archaeology at the University of Memphis and was the recipient of the JW Brittan Egyptology Fellowship. She has served as a consultant on numerous collections and exhibit installations in the United States, mainly focusing on the display of Egyptian, Near Eastern, and African art. She has studied Hebrew, Aramaic, and Middle Egyptian. She is Lead of SASA’s Archeogaming Project, which received an HPG Critical Issues Project in 2022.

David Danzig is the founder and director of SASA, which draws on his experiences in universities, passion for the ancient world, and talent for bringing people together to work on projects. He is also Lead Researcher on the Shanati Project, supported with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which is working to reconstruct the daily ancient Babylonian Calendar. He received his PhD in Ancient Near Eastern History at this May from New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. David scholarship focuses on mining ancient texts to build understandings of how immigrant identities developed in their new contexts. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and three beautiful children.

7pm EST: HPG Social / IN PERSON at Campus Y’s Queen Anne Lounge

Don’t let your network be a game of chance. Join us for an evening of fun and some light encouragement to make new connections across campus and community.

What to Expect: Wished Connections Board, Not-Your-Name Tags, Networking Bingo, and food from Mesas NC Food Truck! “Born in El Salvador, Raised in the South.”

(If you only understood the food truck part of that list, don’t worry there will be no “forced fun,” only light encouragement to make new friends.)

Thursday, September 22

7pm EST: Fire Island Film Screening / Varsity Theater on Franklin St.

A modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice at the height of gay summer vacation? This 2022 romantic comedy features writer/lead Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Margaret Cho and was directed by Andrew Ahn. Come see how Jane Austen’s tale of love still has relevance when recast in the overlapping identities of our queer, multi-racial cast.

Synopsis: A group of queer best friends gather in the Fire Island Pines for their annual week of love and laughter, but when a sudden change of events jeopardizes their summer in gay paradise, their bonds as a chosen family are pushed to the limit.

Rated R. Runtime 1h 45m.

Featuring after-screening discussion, guests TBD.

This film is presented in partnership with the Asian American Center and Jane Austen & Co,

Friday, September 23

Various: Brass Tacks Workshops

Join us for a series of in person and virtual workshops that expand upon the good work HPG’s made happen these past five years. More details and workshop signups forthcoming.

9am-1pm: UndocuCarolina Ally Training
UndocuCarolina is a collaboration of UNC students, faculty, staff, and community members working to increase visibility, support, and resources for members of the Carolina community living with the effects of undocumentation. This will be the first UndocuCarolina Ally Training of Fall 2022

Location: University room of Hyde Hall on UNC’s campus. 

This training is open to all UNC staff, faculty, students, and community partners. Attendance will be capped at 50 participants.

Register here.

This Ally Training is co-sponsored by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

10-12pm: Humanities Storytelling – Conveying Big Ideas through Compelling Narratives
In this workshop with Dr. Andrew Ali Aghapour, we will learn the basics of storytelling and practice communicating our research to a broad public audience. Join us to explore how storytelling and personal narrative can make you a better public scholar.

Location: Carolina Union Room GSU-2424

About the Instructor:
Dr. Andrew Ali Aghapour is a comedian and scholar of religion. His one-person show Zara is about growing up Muslim in the American South. Andrew holds a Ph.D in Religious Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill and is consulting scholar of religion and science at the National Museum of American History. He is the co-author (with Peter Manseau) of Discovery and Revelation: Religion, Science, and Making Sense of Things. More at

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12:30-2pm: Night School Bar’s Teach-In: bell hooks on Engaged Pedagogy

In this teach-in, we will examine and discuss bell hooks’ idea of engaged pedagogy, which she develops in Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. hooks’ ideas are powerfully prescient: she called for us to think about what is now called “social and emotional learning” back in 1994 before it was coined and became popular. After studying the core concepts of engaged pedagogy, we’ll collectively brainstorm how we might put hook’s philosophy of pedagogy into praxis. What challenges arrive when we do so, and how can we work through them?

Location: Virtual (Zoom link will be sent to confirmed participants.)

Register here.

About the Instructors:
Annu Dahiya is a feminist theorist whose research and teaching foreground feminist and anti-racist philosophies; gender, sexuality, and feminist studies; and feminist philosophy of science. She completed her PhD in Literature at Duke University with certificates in Feminist Studies and College Teaching. You can learn more about Annu’s research at

Lindsey Andrews is one of the founding owners of Arcana, a tarot-inspired bar and art space in Durham, NC. She has a Ph.D. in English and Certificate in Feminist Studies from Duke University, and a B.A. in Creative Writing (Fiction & Poetry) from the University of Southern California. She has taught classes at Duke University, Vanderbilt University, and North Carolina State University, as well as through Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth summer programs. She is the Founder and Director of Night School Bar.

Learn more at

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