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Carolina Public Humanities

Embodying the University’s commitment to extend Carolina resources to all citizens and community members across the state, Carolina Public Humanities offers engaging and innovative public seminars and lectures on a variety of topics and themes throughout the year. Its programs draw upon the humanities to nurture a deeper understanding of history and culture, enrich the life of the mind, and contribute to the development of a more humane world.

Carolina Public Humanities offers a 50% discount to all its programs to Lifetime Members and dues-paid Annual Members of the Retired Faculty Association. This discount does not appear on its website, but RFA members will be provided information on how to request it. To learn more about CPH’s current programs, see its brochure at


Retired Faculty Seminar Invites Participants (Spring 2023)

 The Retired Faculty Association (RFA) at UNC, in collaboration with the Institute of Arts and Humanities  (IAH) at UNC, has a long history of offering a seminar for newly retired UNC faculty members entitled “Creating a Life You Love in Retirement.”   The seminar focuses on the ways in which faculty see retirement as a new phase in life with both opportunities and challenges.  The seminar syllabus contains articles and books about aging and retirement, with a special emphasis on the retirement of university faculty members.  The most satisfying aspect of the seminars, however, has been faculty members sharing their past experiences as well as their future interests and goals.

The upcoming seminar will start in February 2023 and extend through eight weekly sessions, meeting for two and half hours each week in Hyde Hall, and concluding in early April.   IAH has graciously agreed to provide lunch each week as well as a final dinner in April, when the seminar concludes.

Two retired faculty members – both participants in an earlier seminar – will lead the 2023 seminar: Lynne Vernon-Feagans ( (Emerita, School of Education)  and Peter Ornstein ( (Emeritus, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience). Recently retired faculty who are interested should contact Lynne or Peter as soon as possible.


Friday Center Daytime Enrichment Courses

The Retired Faculty Association is a partner in the UNC Friday Center’s commitment to lifelong learning, as both instructors and participants, in both digital and in-person settings.  Registration for the Friday Center’s Daytime Enrichment Courses is available at


Retired Faculty Conversations

In 2021, the Retired Faculty Association began offering an opportunity for retirees to participate in a four-session series of faculty conversations via Zoom. The four sessions concluded with a potluck dinner for current and previous group participants at the home of one of the moderators. The idea for the Conversations project responded to a perceived need by faculty from different parts of the university to get to know each other and to talk about a range of issues raised by retirement practices at UNC and personal experiences. The topics for discussion are based on a longer eight-week Retired Faculty Program (1.5 hours per week) offered by the Institute for Arts and Humanities in cooperation with the RFA. We have had seminar participants who have decided to continue in the program by taking the additional Conversations series.The IAH Retired Faculty Program is typically offered in the Fall semester and Conversations in the spring. Participants have come in from Chapel Hill and beyond. Those interested in participating in future Conversations may contact one of the moderators, Joanne Gard Marshall (School of Information and Library Science, or Robert (Bob) Peet (Department of Biology,


Intergenerational Philosophy

The Philosophy Department and Parr Center for Ethics have partnered with the Retired Faculty Association for several years to create intergenerational spaces for learning and discussion about life’s most pressing questions. At its core, philosophy is about asking questions and critically reflecting on our beliefs and values, and we believe it is best practiced in the company of others. Our hope is that by drawing on the rich and varied experiences represented across generations, we can promote lifelong learning and strengthen the ties of the Carolina community. Throughout the year there are several opportunities to participate in Intergenerational Philosophy, including, for example:

  1. RFA members are invited to participate in regular philosophical discussions with UNC undergraduates at the Seymour Center, discussing a range of topics and questions curated both by students and discussion participants. Topics and readings vary from year to year.
  2. RFA members are invited to serve as “intergenerational peer reviewers” by providing tailored feedback to a UNC undergraduate who spend the semester researching, writing, and revising a philosophical op-ed. Each RFA volunteer is paired with a UNC undergraduate and will have the opportunity to provide feedback asynchronously and/or synchronously.

Contact Philosophy Teaching Assistant Professor & Director of Outreach Michael Vazquez ( with any questions about this program, or with ideas for future programming.