Carolina’s Human Heart: Living the Arts and Humanities

The arts and humanities inform, inspire, ignite and excite us. They bring context and meaning to the important issues of the day — and to our lives. In fall 2016, the College of Arts & Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill launched a major new initiative that amplifies and integrates the work that College faculty, staff, students and alumni are doing in the wide array of fields that the arts, humanities and qualitative social sciences embrace.

Events, lectures, conferences, new research, courses, performances, exhibitions — you’ll find all of that and much more at this website, which is designed to serve as a central resource to assist academic departments, units and other schools at UNC-Chapel Hill to further conversations and collaborations. Read more about the initiative at the College’s website or read the press release here.

Follow Carolina’s Human Heart on social media at @unccollegeheart on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


The six themes

To recognize the important role that the arts, humanities and qualitative social sciences play in helping us understand and address the major issues of our time, this yearlong initiative will bring special focus to six major themes: Social Justice, An Enlightened Citizenry, Tolerance and Understanding, Global EngagementFood and the Environment and Storytelling.

On this website, each theme – Social Justice, An Enlightened Citizenry, Tolerance and Understanding, Global Engagement, Food and the Environment and Storytelling – is represented by a colored brushstroke in our Carolina’s Human Heart logo. Look for the colors or search the tags to find stories and events that relate to each theme. (Of course, many topics cover multiple themes.)


A message from Terry Rhodes, senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities

Terry Rhodes

This is my life’s passion. I’ve been a UNC faculty member for almost 30 years. I’m moving into my fifth year as senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities, and I’ve been teaching and performing for a long time. I see on a daily basis the way arts and humanities can create bridges of understanding. I know how a book or play or performance or op-ed can really have an impact and make significant differences in people’s lives.

The humanities and arts are so much a part of people’s lives: they enrich us, unite us and help us understand what it means to be human.

Though the celebration is a yearlong initiative, Carolina’s Human Heart will live on to continue the legacy of great arts and humanities education at UNC.

I invite you to browse this website to find information about related news and feature stories, resources and links to advance your own study of the humanities, and a calendar of events.



Signature Events


Linguistic Diversity vs. Linguistic Standards: A Conversation with the Experts

Feb. 17, 3:30 p.m. — 5:00 p.m.

Toy Lounge, Dey Hall

Join What Diversity Sounds Like, a Thrive@Carolina initiative, for a panel conversation with local experts in English, Linguistics, American Studies, and Speech and Hearing Sciences about the conflicts and coexistence of language diversity and linguistic standardization in academia.


2017 Oscars Preview

Feb. 21, 6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.

Varsity Theatre

Please join the Program in the Humanities and the General Alumni Associationin walking the Carolina Blue carpet at the Varsity Theatre for our fourth annual Oscars Preview Event.

The nominees and snubs, the trends and outliers, what has changed and what stays the same, are all fair game for our film experts Dana Coen and Rachel Schaevitz.  Watch clips of both the 2016 Best Picture nominees and our panel’s alternative choices.  Get insight into your ballot choices and vote for Best Picture at this informed review of the current movie environment.


Hill Hall ribbon cut-11 copy

Spectrum Concert: Grand Opening of Moeser Auditorium

Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m. — 10:00 p.m.

Hill Hall

To celebrate the grand opening of Moeser Auditorium, the UNC Department of Music will host a Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring all aspects of the department. From thought-provoking musical commentary to top-quality faculty and student performances, this will surely be a concert befitting the new state-of-the-art Moeser Auditorium.

Tickets are $10 for general admission ($5 for students and UNC faculty/staff). You can purchase tickets ahead of time here.


Ted Conover by Phoebe JonesFrank B. Hanes Writer-in-Residence Reading: Ted Conover

Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

Genome Sciences Building, G100 Auditorium

The 2017 Frank B. Hanes Writer-in-Residence will be Ted Conover.

This program will build upon our department’s long-standing commitment to the value of a writer-in-residence program that spans over two decades. Through the generosity of the Morgan Writer-in-Residence Program (1993-2012) and the Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Program (2013-2015), our department has brought significant contemporary writers to campus to meet with students and faculty, to visit classes, and to give readings, talks, and symposia. The Frank B. Hanes Writer-in-Residence Program affirms and continues that tradition. It will ensure that our students continue to be inspired by interactions with important writers of our time.  Furthermore, it will greatly enrich the intellectual climate and lively literary culture on Carolina’s campus.


Find a full list of Carolina’s Human Heart events here, color-coded by theme.

Upcoming Events



Discover the Arts, Humanities and Qualitative Social Sciences



‘Rooms: A Dance Drama’ explores issues of gender, race, identity

The piece “Yes,” which opens the “Rooms: A Dance Drama” performance, is about the complicated relationships that women have with one another — sometimes helping each other and sometimes acting against each other. (photo by Kristen Chavez) Ayana King stands … Continued


PlayMakers Repertory Company announces 2017-2018 season

The 2017-2018 Main-stage season from UNC-Chapel Hill’s professional theater in residence leaps into multiple perspectives on questions of morality, family, history’s edges and the complexities of human connection.

A home worthy of great music

When scheduling the Feb. 8 dedication of the renovated Hill Hall and ribbon cutting for its modernized auditorium, the music department certainly planned to show off its superior acoustics with performances of Bach and Schubert by faculty and students. But … Continued


Jewish Food in the Global South: A Symposium

This two-day symposium will explore Jewish food in and of the global South, a concept that references the historic diversity of the American South and its vibrant cultural intersections with the nation and the world over time.