student discussion 1The arts, humanities and social sciences teach critical and creative thinking and complex problem-solving skills that will help our graduates to lead and succeed in an increasingly global, interconnected world.

After careful consideration, the steering committee chose six themes to highlight the work at Carolina that helps us understand and address the critical issues of our time.

Open inquiry and creative activities in these fields can help strengthen a democratic society, providing a well-rounded view of the world and its history and culture, and informing our decisions as we engage in civic responsibilities.

You can find other An Enlightened Citizenry news, research and events by tag or by a blue .

Find events here.


  • PlayMakers stages Shakespeare for all

    This year, in addition to producing Twelfth Night as part of their main-stage season, PlayMakers also brought Measure for Measure to the local community through their inaugural Mobile Shakespeare unit.

  • ‘A treasure’

    The Carolina Indian Circle celebrated its 30th annual powwow Saturday at Fetzer Gym with more than 30 dancers from American Indian tribes from throughout North Carolina participating in the ceremony.

  • ‘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

  • Celebrating 40 years of jazz at Carolina

    Jim Ketch is a music professor in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences and a passionate jazz musician. As a professional trumpeter, his talent has taken him around the globe and has allowed him to perform with Aretha Franklin and in venues like Carnegie Hall. This is the 40th year of Ketch’s leadership of the Carolina Jazz Festival. We talked to him about the origins of his talent, his love of the trumpet and his most memorable performances. The 2017 Jazz Festival starts on Feb. 15

  • 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.

  • Pentecostalism and prestige in the Dominican Republic

    Upon conducting research in the Dominican Republic, UNC religious studies assistant professor Brendan Thornton found that gang members could leave their lives behind by becoming a part of the Pentecostal Church.

  • Pentecostalism and prestige in the Dominican Republic

    Structure. Loyalty. Faith. Leadership. The characteristics exhibited by churchgoers share many similarities to the values of gang members. Both groups believe in the power of the collective and something greater than themselves. At least, that’s what UNC religious studies professorBrendan … Continued

  • Maynard Adams Fellows focus on humanities for the public good

    A new fellowship funded by the Taylor Charitable Trust is supporting graduate students with interests in how humanities scholarship can be tied to a public outreach focus.

  • Proving Innocence: Lessons from the Wilmington Ten

    “The Wilmington Ten” is UNC professor Kenneth Janken’s third book. He’s also written two biographies, one on Rayford Logan — a Civil Rights Movement activist — and another on former NAACP President Walter White.

  • You think that’s funny? A professor explores the ‘why’ behind humor

    What is the connection between humor and philosophy? “I learned that in order to understand why something is funny, you must understand the philosophical ideas behind ethics and beauty,” said Madison Scott, another student in Matthew Kotzen’s class.

  • One Giant Leap in the Dark

    We can’t know how a transformative experience — like walking on the moon — will change us until we make that first small step. UNC philosopher L.A. Paul explains.

  • New course to take on issues of race, gender, sexuality, social justice

      Three College of Arts and Sciences faculty members will team-teach a new course this spring that will explore issues of race, gender, sexuality and inclusion, highlighting topics such as racial profiling, gender discrimination, identity formation, social and environmental justice … Continued

  • A classic returns to the stage

    For Vivienne Benesch, producing artistic manager for PlayMakers, the decision to revisit Arthur Miller’s The Crucible during PlayMakers’ 2016-2017 season and an election year was an easy one. The Crucible, in its essence, is a play about people living in … Continued

  • PlayMakers celebrates 40 years with Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’

    PlayMakers Repertory Company celebrates 40 years of professional theater with its main-stage production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” which runs in the Paul Green Theatre Oct. 19-Nov. 6. Special events associated with the show begin Oct. 12. Miller’s landmark play … Continued

  • Popular minor connects philosophy, politics, economics

    UNC’s Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program, known around campus as PPE, offers a minor designed to help students develop such understanding.

    “The PPE minor provides the tools needed to think fruitfully and articulately about how the world works and what can be done to improve it,” said PPE Director Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, Morehead-Cain Alumni Distinguished Professor.

  • UNC-King’s College London Partnership in History Produces New Book on ‘Walking Histories’

    The humble act of walking is fundamental to humankind, but as a historical subject walking has received little scholarly attention. A collaborative effort between historians on both sides of the Atlantic is looking to fill in this gap the academic literature.

  • NPR’s Nina Totenberg Discusses “The Supreme Court and the Presidency”

      National Public Radio’s award-winning legal correspondent Nina Totenberg said she admired the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February, “as a person, as a friend and as a story.” In a talk before a packed … Continued

  • Appiah Speech Kicks Off Carolina’s Human Heart Initiative

    Kwame Anthony Appiah, professor of philosophy and law at New York University and “The Ethicist” columnist for The New York Times, came to campus to deliver the inaugural Chancellor’s Lecture in Ethics on Sept. 15. Co-sponsored by the College of … Continued

  • NPR’s Nina Totenberg to discuss ‘The Supreme Court and the Presidency’ Sept. 20

    National Public Radio’s award-winning legal correspondent Nina Totenberg will discuss “The Supreme Court and the Presidency” on Sept. 20 at 5:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for the free event, … Continued

  • Ethicist Kwame Anthony Appiah Kicks Off Humanities Celebration

    Kwame Anthony Appiah will deliver the keynote lecture “Ethics Among the Humanities” as a kick-off to a yearlong celebration of the humanities on September 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Kenan Theater.

  • Andy Perrin on the Humanities and Democratic Engagement

    Sociology professor Andrew Perrin, recently finished an Faculty Fellowship, where he researched humanities education and its impact on citizenship.

  • UNC Wins Grant as Part of $1.65 Million NEH Next Generation PhD Initiative

    “Re-envisioning the Humanities PhD” is a year-long campus-wide conversation on graduate education in the humanities, which will be funded by a $25,000 NEH planning grant and matched by UNC.

  • Hungry for the Humanities

    After 35 years, the Program in the Humanities is more popular, inventive and relevant than ever.

  • Platter Chatter

    Jeff Sebo’s goal is to get people to think about what we put on our plates. When we question the things that people normally take for granted, we can learn to live more authentically — and do more good along the way.