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.


Due to the present COVID-19 crisis, our Little Lecture schedule for this spring is uncertain. Note below that we have already rescheduled two of our postponed events to late summer/early fall. Be sure to check this page for updates on all of our lectures.


The West Virginia Humanities Council’s next two Little Lectures will be broadcast on YouTube, Facebook, and the Council’s website, wvhumanities.org, instead of being held at the historic MacFarland-Hubbard House in Charleston.


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 are presented once each month. 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.


September 20 - Black Huntington and the Rise of the African American Middle Class
Dr. Cicero M. Fain III


Cicero FainOn September 20, Huntington native Dr. Cicero M. Fain III will explore the struggles and successes of the city’s African American community in the Jim Crow era. Now a professor of history at the College of Southern Maryland, Dr. Fain’s recent book on the subject, Black Huntington: An Appalachian Story, was published by the University of Illinois Press last year.




August 23 - The Role of Ancestry, Heritage, and Nature in Appalachian Black Metal Music
Aaron Carey


The Council’s 2020 Little Lecture series continues on August 23 with Aaron Carey, an accomplished classical, jazz, and metal guitarist who has played in a multitude of black metal bands. Carey has also been a faculty member of Bethany College’s department of music since 2005. His talk will explore the cultural foundations of this oft-stereotyped musical genre, and how Appalachian roots have influenced the region’s black metal scene both sonically and lyrically. Watch it live here, or on our YouTube channel or Facebook page.




July 19 - Reclaiming History: The West Virginia Mine Wars and Memory
Kenzie New Walker


Kenzie NewThe series continues July 19 with Kenzie New Walker, director of the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum in Matewan, discussing “Reclaiming History: The West Virginia Mine Wars and Memory.” Walker is the Director of the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, founded in 2015 in Matewan, and the project director of the Battle of Blair Mountain Centennial. Though nearly a century has passed since the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921, the pivotal history of the Mine Wars still receives little public attention. The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum has been a key part of the ongoing effort to preserve this essential chapter of American labor history. Walker’s lecture will discuss upcoming centennial commemorations, the grand opening of the Museum’s new facility in Matewan, and how the Mine Wars have been captured in our collective memory. Watch it live here, or on our YouTube channel or Facebook page.



June 21 - East Enders: Architectural Heirlooms in Charleston’s Oldest Neighborhood
Dr. Billy Joe Peyton


Dr. Billy Joe Peyton’s lecture will premiere Sunday, June 21 at 2:00pm, on the council's website and social media channels when he speaks about “East Enders: Architectural Heirlooms in Charleston’s Oldest Neighborhood.” A neighborhood of exquisitely crafted homes built between the 1870s and 1930s, the 150-year saga of the East End nearly ended prematurely in decay and demolition until East Enders undertook a dramatic revitalization effort starting in the 1970s, rescuing hundreds of the architectural heirlooms we appreciate today.  Dr. Peyton received his Ph.D. in History from West Virginia University, and is currently a History professor at West Virginia State University. He lives with his family in an architectural heirloom on Charleston's historic East End.


May 31 - The History of Salt in the Kanawha Valley
Nancy Bruns


On Sunday, May 31, the Council’s website and social media channels hostede a lecture by Nancy Bruns on “The History of Salt in the Kanawha Valley.” Bruns is a seventh-generation saltmaker and the co-owner of J.Q. Dickinson Salt Works in Malden, West Virginia. The Salt Works were recently featured in a Los Angeles Times article when it was discovered that the prestigious Huntington Library in Pasadena, California had purchased a large number of the Dickinson records dating back before the Civil War, from an unknown buyer at auction.





Call 304.346.8500 or email warmack@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 304.346.8500 in advance.



Listen to recordings of some previous lectures and speakers