Lecturers Joe Geiger, Fawn Valentine, and Aaron Carey
© WV Humanities Council

Little Lectures

Intimate Sunday afternoon talks


UNITED WE STAND Theme: “Examining the Roots of Conflict”


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


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.


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.


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


All text: UNITED WE STAND, with A star on both sides of WE STAND
The 2024 Little Lectures series is funded in part by United We Stand, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In support of the United We Stand themes, this year's Little Lectures explore, in various ways, the historical roots of societal conflict.


Glenn F. Williams

Dunmore’s War: America’s Last Colonial Conflict

 In 1774, the quiet confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio rivers witnessed a great clash of arms as Virginia militiamen fought with a coalition led by the Shawnee people at modern-day Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Set against the backdrop of a deepening crisis in the American colonies, the decisive battle of what has come to be called “Dunmore’s War” was fought as delegates met at Philadelphia in the First Continental Congress. On March 24, 2024, historian and retired Army officer Glenn F. Williams discussed the campaign’s origins and historical effects. Williams recently retired from federal civilian service as a Senior Historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Fort McNair, D.C. His previous positions included Historian of the National Museum of the U.S. Army and Historian of the Army Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. He is the author of several books, including Year of the Hangman: George Washington’s Campaign Against the Iroquois (Westholme, 2005), named one of “The 100 Best American Revolution Books of All Time” by the Journal of the American Revolution in the spring 2017 issue. His book Dunmore’s War: The Last Conflict of America’s Colonial Era (Westholme, 2017) won several awards for contributions to the study of 18th Century American military history.


Peter R. Mansoor

Echoes of the War on Terror: Gaza through the Lens of American Military History

As old conflicts in the Middle East flare up with historic intensity across Israel, Gaza, Yemen, Iran, Pakistan, and more areas, it can be difficult for everyday Americans to navigate the complexities of our own involvement in the region. On April 28, 2024, Dr. Peter Mansoor, colonel, U.S. Army (retired), discussed the present situation through the lens of his own experience and academic study, reviewing the nuanced landscape of a rapidly evolving international situation. Mansoor served in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East during his military career; commanded the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division from 2003 to 2005, including 13 months in combat in Iraq; and concluded his service in 2008 as executive officer to General David Petraeus during the surge period in Iraq. Mansoor is now the General Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History at The Ohio State University. His books include Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander’s War in Iraq, and Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War.



Andrea Pitzer: woman with brown eyes and hair, with silver streaks, wearing a black top and white scarf looking at the camera
Andrea Pitzer
One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps
For more than one hundred years, at least one concentration camp has existed somewhere on Earth. First used as a battlefield strategy, camps have evolved with each passing decade, and have been used to control or liquidate “undesirable” civilian populations across the globe. On May 19, 2024, Parkersburg-born author and journalist Andrea Pitzer discussed her searing work One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, and how a broader look at this heartbreaking phenomenon can change the way nations live up to the promise, “Never again.” Pitzer is also the author of Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World and The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov. Her articles have been published in The New York Review of Books and The Washington Post.




Robert Miller: Head shot of a man with salt and pepper hair and brown eyes; top of dark suit coat, purple shirt and abstract purple tie, smiling at camera

June 23 – Robert Miller

The Doctrine of Discovery and Colonization in North America


North America, New Zealand, and Australia were colonized by England for centuries under an international legal principle that is known today as the doctrine of discovery. The doctrine is still in use today to assert legal rights to Indigenous lands and to assert control over Indigenous peoples. Legal expert Robert Miller, a member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, will discuss its use during the late days of English dominion in North America and the early days of the United States. Miller is a professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, teaching Indian law classes and constitutional law. He is also a justice on the Court of Appeals of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, the Shawnee Tribe in Oklahoma, and the Northwest Inter-Tribal Court System. His articles, book chapters, and editorials cover a wide array of Indian law issues. Included among his many titles are Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny; and Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies.



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