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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

Join Dr. Lambert as she looks back on the Reformation on its 500th anniversary. October 2017 marked 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. 


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

Join Dr. David Copeland, A.J. Fletcher Professor and professor of communications at Elon University, as he discusses how the printing press changed the world. Within a few decades of its creation, because of the press’s movable type and relative ease of reproducing pages, ideas on a wealth of topics spread among the people, no longer the sole domain of royalty and the clergy. Religion underwent reformation, society experienced shifts in power, and political upheaval affected nearly every country in Europe as well as those countries’ colonial possessions, all because, as one English thinker said, “Knowledge is, indeed, power.” The impact of the printing press lies in how it made possible the sharing of ideas among people, and in all the media forms that followed, allowing information to be shared, republished, and debated in the public sphere.   


Commemorative Broadsides Exhibition
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther began the Reformation when he issued a broadside on his beliefs, “The 95 Theses.” Broadsides (a forerunner to the poster) originated near the end of the 16th century as a means to communicate laws and advertise events. Martin Luther’s broadside was a manifesto of his beliefs and call for change.
Thirteen students in Professor Dominica Webb’s Letterpress Printmaking class at Old Dominion University produced a series of broadsides to commemorate the Reformation’s anniversary and its contribution to the arts, particularly printmaking. Guests are invited to view the broadsides in the gallery before and after the lectures.