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Welcome to the IAH Podcast Series, where we profile fascinating people connected to the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We talk with faculty about the pillars of their work in teaching, service and research. We learn the makings of successful leaders across disciplines. And we share this with you.

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Music of Black Panther And the Ugandan Guitar with David Pier

David Pier, Associate Professor

David Pier, Associate Professor in the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies, talks with Philip Hollingsworth about his current research in Ugandan music. They also discuss the music from the movie Black Panther (2017) and the synthesis of distinct musical traditions.


Meet the new IAH Communications Specialist, Sophia Ramos

Sophia Ramos, Communications Specialist

In this bonus episode, Philip talks with the new IAH Communications Specialist Sophia Ramos. She introduces herself as co-host of the podcast by speaking on her background in Florida, her favorite books, and more.

IAH New Faculty Collaboration Grant: Senior Associate Dean Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, Associate Professor Javier Arce-Nazario (Geography)

Rudi Colloredo Mansfeld, Javier Arce-Nazario

We sit down with Senior Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Global Programs Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld and Associate Professor of Geography Javier Arce-Nazario about their collaboration on the geo-visualization of North Carolina mill towns. Their work together is made possible by the IAH’s New Faculty Collaboration grant.


Mark Crescenzi, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science

Mark Crescenzi

Mark Crescenzi is professor and chair of the Department of Political Science. In this episode, he talks about his research on Peace and Conflict and how international relations influences his leadership style.


Tim Marr, Associate Professor, American Studies

Tim Marr, Faculty Fellowship Program Director

Professor Tim Marr (American Studies) is the new IAH Faculty Fellowship Program Director. In this episode, he discusses the importance of monuments in narrating the history of the United States, especially those that can be considered controversial. He also talks about his love of author Herman Melville. And it is more than just Moby Dick.

Geoff Sayre-McCord, Professor, Philosophy

Geoff Sayre-McCord

Professor Geoff Sayre-McCord (Philosophy) discusses his work as director of the Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics Program in partnership with Duke University. His work as the Program Director for the Associate Professors Program has helped tenured faculty think about their careers among a community of colleagues across campus. Sayre-McCord also talks about his love of David Hume and how he was first drawn to philosophy.


Jacqueline Lawton, Assistant Professor, Dramatic Art

Jacqueline Lawton

Jacqueline Lawton talks about her work as a dramaturge and how theater prepares students for expressing themselves in the real world. Her research most recently led her to discover Marvel Cooke, an early 20th century African American journalist. She is currently working on a play about Cooke’s life. Lawton also discusses her favorite book Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood and, fittingly, her favorite play the James Lapine book play-turned-musical by Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.”


James Moeser, Chancellor Emeritus, publishes book of speeches from 2000-2008

James Moeser

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Emeritus James Moeser discusses his recent book The State of the University, 2000-2008. The book is a collection of major addresses delivered during his tenure.

Robyn Schroeder, Director, Humanities for the Public Good

Robyn Schroeder

Robyn Schroeder, Director of Initiatives for the “Humanities for the Public Good” grant, sits down with us to discuss public humanities and her goals for increasing scholarly engagement with the public at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her work is housed here at Hyde Hall.

Learn more about the grant at Apply for faculty/graduate student grants at

Kia Caldwell, Associate Professor, Department of Africa, African American, Diaspora Studies

Kia Caldwell

A Faculty Fellow and Academic Leadership Fellow, Kia Caldwell discusses the current state of politics in Brazil, with particular focus on human rights activist Marielle Franco, and the circumstances that led to her assassination on March 14, 2018.

Daniel Sherman, Distinguished Professor, Art and History

Daniel Sherman, Institute for the Arts and Humanities

Daniel Sherman tells us about his current research project on an archaeological dig in Glozel, France. He also discusses his interest in Critical Museum Studies, how museums are “political,” as well as what they are doing now to engage audiences. Sherman is the Lineberger Distinguished Professor of Art and History and a Spring 2017 IAH Faculty Fellow.

Jennifer Ho, Associate Director, talks about the 30 for 30 Campaign

Jennifer Ho

Dr. Jennifer Ho, who is a Professor in the English and Comparative Literature Department, discusses the 30 for 30 campaign, encouraging IAH Faculty Fellows to help support future fellowships in commemoration of the Institute’s 30th anniversary. She also talks about the challenges and rewards of her current writing projects. To participate, go to our Give Now page.


Zia Haider Rahman, Author, 2018 Reckford Lecturer

Zia Haider Rahman

Zia Haider Rahman, author of the highly acclaimed 2014 novel In the Light What We Know, delivered the Mary Stevens Reckford Memorial Lecture in European Studies on Feb. 22. The lecture, entitled: “Brexit The Reckoning,” examines the political, economic, racial, and social implications of Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Rahman discusses his favorite authors and his process for dealing with writer’s block.

IAH Honors Collaboration Grant: Associate Professor Mariska Leunissen (Philosophy), Jake Rohde (’17)

Mariska Leunissen

Associate Professor Mariska Leunissen (Philosophy) and UNC Honors Alumnus Jake Rohde (Class of 2017), worked together as part of the inaugural IAH Honors Collaboration Grant. The Grant offers a $2,000 award to students and pairs them with a Faculty Fellow to get a unique research opportunity. We also had the opportunity to sit in on one of their sessions, where they researched the work of Aristotle. Rohde went on to Yale to pursue a graduate degree in Classics and Philosophy.