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 ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our  Little Lectures schedule in 2021 will conform to current public health conditions. Be sure to check this page for updates on all of our lectures.


As statewide vaccination efforts proceed, we hope to return to in-person programs held at the historic MacFarland-Hubbard House. If a live Lecture takes place, a video of the Lecture will be posted online the following week. In cases where public health concerns preclude a live event, Lectures will still be broadcast online on the dates listed below. 


From 2020 onward, videos of all West Virginia Humanities Council Little Lectures will be available on YouTube and Facebook


In-person 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.


June 27 - History and the Humanities in Game Design - Ivone Alexandre

Game and experience designer Ivone Alexandre discusses the surprising ways in which history and the humanities influence their creative process. Alexandre has designed in multiple mediums for Walt Disney Imagineering, Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, and other game companies. Their work on Stranger Things: The Game took home the Webby Award for Best Game Design in 2018, and they are currently involved in a theme-park scale project in the Middle East.


May 30 - Women’s Labor Activism in 20th Century West Virginia and Appalachia - Jessica Wilkerson


To Live Here, You Have to Fight is Jessica Wilkerson’s recent book about “how women led Appalachian movements for social justice,” and is the basis for her Little Lecture about the efforts of women in the crucial organized labor efforts in the era of the War on Poverty. Wilkerson is an associate professor at West Virginia University and the current Stuart and Joyce Robbins Chair of the department of History. She has written extensively about women’s issues throughout the region.




April 25 - The Russian Avant Garde under the Soviet Regime - Slav Gratchev


Marshall University professor Slav Gratchev shares insights into his recent ongoing project, translating the “Duvakin Interviews” from Russian into English for the first time. During the 1970s, Viktor Duvakin conducted interviews with over three hundred authors, writers, and other important avant garde artists laboring under the censorious Soviet regime, recording commentary they dared not put in writing. The interviews were later interred in a KGB archive for decades. Gratchev’s project, which has been supported by Humanities Council fellowship grants, has resulted in several books bringing the thoughts of important Russian thinkers to English-speaking audiences for the first time. 



March 28 - Saving the Blair Mountain Battlefield - Charles B. Keeney


Chuck KeeneyNinety years after the Battle of Blair Mountain, Chuck Keeney took up the fight of his great-grandfather Frank Keeney, one of the most important union organizers during the West Virginia Mine Wars, to help rescue the historic Logan County site from destruction by strip mining. Keeney will discuss those 2011 efforts and his new book, The Road to Blair Mountain: Saving a Mine Wars Battlefield from King Coal, now available from West Virginia University Press. An educator and author, Keeney is also a current member of the Humanities Council Program Committee.




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.


Little Lectures on YouTube, 2020-present

See our past Little Lectures recorded on video

Watch the videos »

Little Lectures audio archive (pre-2020)

Listen to recordings of some previous lectures and speakers