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Music on the Porch: Lonnie Holley, Wednesday, October 1 at 5:30 pm

Lonnie 1Please join us on the porch to appreciate a multimodal artist who defies all genres and categories. During his week-long visit to UNC-Chapel Hill in late September and early October, Lonnie Holley will visit classes in Art, Folklore, and American Studies, create new sculptures with found and recycled materials, engage in public conversations, and perform at the Center.

Over the last forty years, Holley has created an amazing series of sculptures, assemblages, and multimedia performances. Working primarily with “scrap,” recycled, and found materials, he creates art from the detritus of modern American society. Holley’s aesthetic is invested in rehabilitated beauty: finding art in the ugly places. Although he has recently been featured in the New York Times and the Washington Post, Lonnie’s work has largely lived outside the curated spaces of art museums and critical reviews. He represents what American Studies professor Bernie Herman calls the “Birmingham-Bessemer School”: a cohort of Alabama artists whose work speaks to the deep conflicted histories of the American South and beyond.


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You can hear a sample of Lonnie’s music and see more of his work here.

Music on the Porch: Joe Troop & Diego Sánchez, Thursday, October 9 at 5:30 pm

Troop & Sanchez tourWhen self-described “North Carolina-born banjoist, fiddler, singer-songwriter and nomad” Joe Troop graduated from UNC and moved to Buenos Aires, says his bandmate Diego Sánchez, “he ruined everything.” Before that, Sánchez had claimed to be “the only banjo player in Argentina.”

Now the acoustic world-music duo is returning stateside for their first U.S. tour, funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign. Join us on the porch at the Love House for a blend of traditional North Carolina and Latin American music, inspired at Carolina and perfected 5,000 miles away. This event is free and open to the public. Bring a picnic blanket and stay for a while!!

Hutchins Lecture: Rebecca J. Scott, Tuesday, October 14 at 4:30 pm

rebecca scottIn her Hutchins Lecture, titled “Tracing Atlantic Revolutions: One Family’s Itinerary,” Professor Scott will talk about the research that went into the writing of her recent book (coauthored with Jean M. Hébrard) Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation (Harvard UP, 2012; paperback, August 2014), which traces one family’s interaction with law and official documents across five generations.  The story begins in West Africa with the enslavement of a woman named Rosalie, then follows her to the French Caribbean at the time of the Haitian Revolution. Rosalie’s daughter Elisabeth later settled in Louisiana, but in the face of hostility to free persons of color, the family migrated to France. Two of Elisabeth’s sons then returned to Louisiana to become equal-rights activists during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Piecing together this family’s history helps to place Reconstruction in the southern United States into a transnational perspective, with threads continuing into 20th-century Europe. This lecture will be held at the Pleasants Room in UNC’s Wilson Library.

Rebecca J. Scott is the Charles Gibson Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Law at the University of Michigan. At the Law School, she teaches a course on civil rights and the boundaries of citizenship in historical perspective, as well as a seminar on the law in slavery and freedom. Freedom Papers has been awarded the 2012 Albert Beveridge Book Award in American History and the James Rawley Book Prize in Atlantic History, both from the American Historical Association. The book also has been awarded the 2013 Chinard Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies and the Institut Français d’Amerique. Scott received an AB from Radcliffe College, an MPhil in economic history from the London School of Economics, and a PhD in history from Princeton University. She has held the Guggenheim Fellowship and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Tell About the South: Frank R. Baumgartner, Tuesday, October 28 at 12:30 pm

BaumgartnerPlease join us at the Center for a lunchtime discussion with Frank R. Baumgartner, the Richard J. Richardson Distinguished Professor of Political Science at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Baumgartner is co-author of The Decline of the Death Penalty and the Discovery of Innocence, and since coming to Carolina he has researched the death penalty’s demise nationally as well as in North Carolina.  With colleagues Isaac Unah (Political Science) and Seth Kotch (American Studies), he is working on a book tentatively titled A Deadly Symbol: Race and Capital Punishment in North Carolina. Baumgartner also teaches a course on Race, Innocence, and the End of the Death Penalty (POLI 203) which currently has 240 students enrolled.  Associated with that is a speakers series on the death penalty with eight speakers including the family of Troy Davis, several exonerated inmates from North Carolina and their attorneys, and others; these events are open to the public throughout the fall semester.

Baumgartner will speak about the racial aspects of North Carolina’s death penalty and the relevance of the Racial Justice Act’s passage (2009), revision (2011) and demise (2013).  These events make clear that the politics of race, innocence, and the death penalty remain fundamental in our state.  At the same time, use of the punishment has never been very common and in recent years has declined so much that it has become almost entirely symbolic (no one has been executed since 2006, and only 1 death sentence has been handed down, state-wide, since 2011).  But what a powerful symbol it is.

A light lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to pathorn@unc.edu.

Tell About the South: Ted Shaw, Tuesday, September 16 at 12:30 pm

Ted ShawPlease join us at the Love House and Hutchins Forum for a lunchtime discussion with Ted Shaw, Director of UNC’s Center for Civil Rights. Shaw serves as the Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law at UNC School of Law, where he teaches Civil Procedure and Advanced Constitutional Law. Before joining the faculty of UNC Law School, Professor Shaw taught at Columbia University Law School from 2008-2014. During that time he was also “Of Counsel” to the law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright (formerly Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP).  His practice involved civil litigation and representation of institutional clients on matters concerning diversity and civil rights.

The title of Professor Shaw’s talk will be “The Work and Mission of the Center for Civil Rights.” Since its founding by Julius L. Chambers (1936-2013) in 2001, the Center has strived to extend America’s promise of justice, prosperity, and opportunity by elevating families and communities above the boundaries of race, class, and place. Its mission is to use community-based impact advocacy and legal education and scholarship to advance strategies that secure social, economic, and environmental justice for low wealth, minority families, and neighborhoods.

A light lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to pathorn@unc.edu.