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The Betty M. & William B. Jones Humanities Speaker Series presents   

The Betty M. and William B. Jones Humanities Speaker Series explores the arts, history, and literature through a series of illuminating, engaging sessions that look at societal events and how they impact the human experience. 

All presentations are free and open to the public, and will be held in the Hackney Theater of the Meredith Center for the Arts, 7336 Granby Street. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. A reception will follow each lecture.


SATURDAY, FEB. 24, 2018, AT 3 P.M.

“Reformation: A Look Back 500 Years...”

Dr. Erin Lambert, associate professor of History at the University of Virginia

October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses in Wittenberg. What did Luther intend to do, and what did he actually accomplish? Among the most enduring—but perhaps unanticipated—consequences of that action, this talk suggests, was the transformation of the idea and act of belief. Join Dr. Lambert as she looks back on the Reformation on it's 500th anniversary.


FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2018, AT 7 P.M.

“The Impact of the Gutenberg Press on Social, Political and Religious Thought”

Dr. David Copeland, A.J. Fletcher Professor and professor of communications at Elon University

The printing press changed the world. Within a few decades of its creation, the the ideas of some of the greatest thinkers in the Western world appeared not just in Latin but in the languages of the people. No longer did those ideas circulate solely in the domain of society’s elites — the clergy and royalty. Because of the press’ movable type and relative ease of reproducing pages, ideas on a wealth of topics spread among the people. Religion underwent a reformation, society experienced shifts in power and political upheaval affected nearly every country in Europe as well as countries' affected by colonial possessions. Join Dr. Copeland as he discusses the impact of the printing press on its ability to share ideas among people as well as its impact in the media that would follow that allow information to be shared, republished and debated in the public sphere.