West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman
© WV Humanities Council

Little Lectures

Intimate Sunday afternoon talks

The Little Lectures are informal programs featuring speakers on a variety of topics.


Programs are presented on Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. at our headquarters located at 1310 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, in the parlor of MacFarland-Hubbard House. The series is one of the many ways the Humanities Council shares our historic property with the community. Seating is limited (thus “Little” Lectures) and reservations are suggested. Admission is $10 per person and includes refreshments after the lecture. When the weather is nice refreshments are enjoyed outdoors under our pergola.


The Little Lectures begin in March and are presented once each month through June. Previous Little Lecturers include historian John Alexander Williams, biographer Jean Edward Smith, Monticello horticulturalist Peter Hatch, novelist Denise Giardina, playwright Billy Edd Wheeler, and West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman


March 31 - West Virginia and the Ratification of the 19th Amendment
Dr. Katharine Antolini


March is Women’s History Month and Dr. Katharine Antolini, professor of history and gender studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College, helps us observe the 100th anniversary of Congress passing the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. The amendment was ratified in 1920. Professor Antolini will examine the arguments against women’s suffrage that defeated the state referendum in 1916 and almost prevented its passage in West Virginia four years later.


April 28 - Philippi’s Historic Adaland Mansion
Dr. Ann Serafin


Ann SerafinOn April 28, Dr. Ann Serafin, executive director of Adaland Mansion in Philippi, will share the success story of the restoration of the 1870 Greek Revival mansion and National Register of Historic Places property and its evolution into an important public space in the hills of Barbour County. It was listed on the National Register in 1995 and opened to the public in 1999 offering a full season of activities now drawing more than 5,000 visitors each year.


May 19 - Contemporary Literature from West Virginia
Dr. Boyd Creasman


Boyd Creasman

The May 19 Little Lecture brings Mount St. Mary’s University Provost Dr. Boyd Creasman to MacFarland-Hubbard House for a presentation titled “Contemporary Literature from West Virginia” that draws from his recent book Writing West Virginia. Creasman was an English faculty member and administrator for 27 years at West Virginia Wesleyan College. His research and teaching of Appalachian literature informed his book that was published in 2016 by University of Tennessee Press and the first critical study of literature from the Mountain State to analyze multiple authors.


June 23 - Controversies in Modern Art
Dr. Heather Stark


Heather Stark

The series concludes on June 23 with Marshall University art history professor Dr. Heather Stark talking about “Controversies in Modern Art.” The 19th and 20th centuries introduced a plethora of new forms of visual representation to the public, many of which were rejected or their legitimacy as art challenged. Dr. Stark will discuss three such controversial works and the controversies they provoked – James Whistler’s 1877 libel suit against critic John Ruskin, Constantin Brancusi’s 1926 modern sculpture Bird in Space that led to a trial over what constitutes a work of art, and Maya Lin’s design of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial that was dedicated in 1982.



Call Mark Payne at 304.346.8500 or email payne@wvhumanities.org for further information.



All public spaces at the MacFarland-Hubbard House are accessible. When making your reservations, please advise us of any accessibility accommodations that you may need. Contact program officer Mark Payne in advance at 304.346.8500.



Listen to recordings of some previous lectures and speakers