Ten New Speakers Added to the Speakers Bureau: Humanities Out Loud Roster

SC Humanities is pleased to announce that ten new speakers will join the Speakers Bureau: Humanities Out Loud program in 2023. Offering a variety of interesting programs from “Michelangelo and his Marbles” to “The History of Baseball: Origins, Myths, Realities” to “Future Status of Intercollegiate Athletics,” these ten scholars are available to speak for public audiences at nonprofit organizations or public institutions across the state. The Speakers Bureau program is one of the longest-running and most popular programs offered by SC Humanities.

SC Humanities makes the Speakers Bureau program available to South Carolina organizations at a reasonable cost. SC Humanities provides $250 towards a speaker’s honorarium. Any other costs (travel, additional honorarium) are negotiated between the speaker and the sponsoring organization. A one-page application must be submitted at least four weeks in advance of the program date. Find out more about the Speakers Bureau!

The ten new speakers are:

Rebekah Compton
Dr. Rebekah Compton is associate professor of Renaissance and Baroque art history at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. She is a recipient of a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Columbia University and the Rush H. Kress Fellowship at the Villa I Tatti, Florence, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. Her book Venus and the Arts of Love in Renaissance Florence was published with Cambridge University Press in the spring of 2021. Rebekah has written articles and essays on Fra Filippo Lippi, Sandro Botticelli, and Michelangelo Buonarroti. Her current book project, Art for the Soul: Camaldolese Spirituality in the Renaissance, examines early modern notions of the soul and its refinement through contemplative spiritual practices, sacred art objects, natural and architectural settings.

Her speaking topics include: “Colors in Renaissance Florence,” “Ornamenting Psalmody: The Illuminated Choral Books of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Florence,” “Michelangelo and his Marbles,” “Painting Skin: Complexions, Cosmetics, and Reproduction in Renaissance Florence,” “Venus’s Verdant Virtues,” “Raphael’s Madonnas,” “Illuminated Manuscripts,” and “Fashionable Beauty in Botticelli’s Paintings”

Walter Curry
Dr. Walter B. Curry, Jr., is a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina. Dr. Curry received a bachelor’s degree in political science from South Carolina State University, and has earned graduate degrees in education, which includes a doctorate degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Argosy University, Sarasota. In 2018, Dr. Curry launched Renaissance Publications, LLC., a self-publishing company, which publishes books that focuses on African American history through ancestry. Dr. Curry has published two award winning books, The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from the Past (1830-1960) and The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol.1, A Narrative History. Both books consist of stories that covers the lineage of Dr. Curry ancestry from slavery, The Civil War, The Reconstruction Era, and family life in Aiken, Barnwell, Orangeburg, and Richland Counties, South Carolina. Dr. Curry has done book signings and presentations at local conferences, workshops, bookstores, and schools across the state and nationwide. Dr. Curry is the Author-In-Residence at the Aiken Center for the Arts. As an Author-In-Residence, Dr. Curry provide learning engagements though exhibits to Aiken County Public Schools that brings the stories from his books to life. Dr. Curry has received numerous accolades for his work and service which includes two African American Historical and Genealogy Society book awards; legislative resolutions from the South Carolina General Assembly for his significant work in service to African American History and Heritage in South Carolina; Literary Titan Gold Awards; a recipient of the Martha Schofield “Work The Legacy” Award; member of the Inaugural South Carolina State University 40 Under 40; and selected as a 2022 Richland Two School District Black History Month honoree. Dr. Curry also serves as member of the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum Commission, Board of Advisors of the Friends of Charleston National Parks, and the South Carolina Arts Directory. Dr. Curry currently lives in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife, Takiyah S. Curry, who is a registered nurse and graduate of the University of South Carolina. They have two sons, Braxton & Braylon.

His speaking topics include: “Lavinia C. Thompson-The Personal Story of Slavery and Civil War in South Carolina,” “South Carolina African American Confederate Pensioners,” “Martha Kitchings Seawright Ellison,” “The Thompson Family: Untold Stories From The Past (1830-1960),” “Writing Family History Book Series: The Narrative Inquiry Approach,” and “Writing Family History Book Series: The Narrative History Approach”

Lacy Ford
Dr. Lacy Ford served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, USC’s largest and oldest college, July 2016 to December 2020.   Prior to becoming Dean, Ford served as Senior Vice Provost & Dean of Graduate Studies at the USC from 2010-2016. His responsibilities included: faculty development and evaluation, tenure and promotion, hiring and retention, the Graduate School, and Distributed (Distance) Learning, and the SEC’s Academic Leadership Development Program.  From 2007-2010, Ford served as Chair of the Department of History. Twice a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellow and once an ACLS Fellow, Ford is the author of Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South, published by Oxford University press in 2009 and reviewed in the September 20, 2009 issue of the New York Times Book Review, as well as other works. Deliver Us From Evil also won the 2010 Mary Lawton Hodges prize for best book on the South published in 2009.  In 2008, Ford published “Reconfiguring the Old South: ‘Solving’ the Problem of Slavery, 1787-1838,” in the Journal of American History.  This article was also featured on the “Teaching the JAH” website.

His speaking topics include: “When the Lights Came On: How Electric Cooperatives Transformed Rural South Carolina,” “‘A Soul of Priceless Value’: The Contested Ideology of Slaveholding in the SC Lowcountry,” “History As a Way of Understanding: Irony and the Problem of Innocence in American Life,” “A Twenty-First Century Meaning for the American Civil War: A Post-Cold War Reflection,” “Twenty-First Century South Carolina’s Economic Development Dilemma,” “The Importance of Higher Education for South Carolina: A Career Academic’s Reflection,” and “Reconsidering James Petigru: Unionist and Civic Reformer in a Radical Age”

Herb Frazier
Herb Frazier is a Charleston, South Carolina-based writer. He’s the special projects editor for the Charleston City Paper, and the former marketing director at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston. Before he joined Magnolia, Frazier edited and reported for five daily newspapers in the South, including his hometown paper, The Post and Courier. In 1990, the South Carolina Press Association named him Journalist of the Year. He has taught newswriting as a visiting lecturer at Rhodes University in South Africa. He is a former Michigan Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. He studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. After leaving daily journalism in 2006, Frazier led journalism workshops in Sierra Leone, Zambia, Ghana, Suriname, Guyana and The Gambia for the U.S. government and a Washington-based journalism foundation. His international reporting experience includes West Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall, humanitarian relief efforts in Bosnia and Rwanda during its post-genocide. He also reported on the civil war in Sierra Leone. Frazier has written about the historical and cultural ties between West Africa and the Gullah Geechee people of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. He has also reported from Cuba, Barbados, South Korea and Japan. He is a former member of the South Carolina on the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, created by the U.S. Congress in 2006.

Frazier is the author of “Behind God’s Back: Gullah Memories.” He is a co-author of “We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel” with Marjory Wentworth and Dr. Bernard Powers Jr. Frazier is also the co-editor of “Ukweli: Searching for Healing Truth, South Carolina Writers and Poets Examine American Racism” with the late Horace Mungin. Frazier’s forthcoming book is “Sleeping with the Ancestors: How I Followed the Footsteps of Slavery.” This book is co-written with Joseph McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project. Frazier is also the author of the unpublished “Crossing the Sea on a Sacred Song,” the story of an ancient funeral song from Sierra Leone that links a Mende woman in Sierra Leone with a woman in coastal Georgia.

His speaking topics include: “Ukweli: Searching for Healing Truth,” “The Influence of West Africa and the Caribbean on Gullah Geechee Culture,” and “Journalism: Fair, Balanced, and Accurate Reporting”

Chad Gibbs
Chad Gibbs serves as director of the Zucker/Goldberg Center for Holocaust Studies and assistant professor of Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston.  He is a historian of the Holocaust, antisemitism, modern Germany, and the Second World War.  His current book project focuses on Jewish resistance at Treblinka.   Chad’s extensive work in oral histories at several archives contributes to teaching interests in the collection and analysis of survivor testimonies as well as the generational transmission of knowledge and trauma.  Academic life is Chad’s second career, having served nearly a decade in the US Army before he was medically retired due to combat wounds sustained in Iraq.

His speaking topics include: “The Holocaust,” “Jewish Resistance,” “Nazism,” “World War II in Europe,” “Genocide,” and “The Iraq War”

Stanton Green
Dr. Stanton Green’s life as an anthropologist has brought him to many topics and indeed worlds. He began his studies at Stony Brook University New York for his BA and at the University of Massachusetts for his MA and PhD. Dr. Green found his anthropological footing at the University of South Carolina, where he directed the archaeology program and rejuvenated the excavations at Mulberry Plantation in Camden. He then took his scholarship to Europe, where he is now culminating a 40 year project on the first setlers of Ireland some 10,000 years. Throughout his career he has applied his anthropological view of culture and history to baseball, America’s Pastime and his obsession since he was a child. His biggest delight was to give a TedXTalk on Baseball History to an audience of 700, where he brought an engaged audience from baseball origins, myths, the role of women, and the history of the Negro Leagues to today’s global game.

His speaking topics include: “The History of Baseball: Origins, Myths, Realities,” “Baseball and the American Dream: The Assimilation of Immigrants (a personal story based on NYC stickball),” “The History of Black Baseball: Jackie Robinson Was Not the First Black Ballplayer,” “The History of Women in Baseball: The AAGBL during WWII,” “The History of Baseball Parks,” “Why No Snakes: The Archaeology of Ireland’s Past,” and “Who are the Irish? Looking for the Celtic in Irish Prehistory”

Susan Lenz
Susan Lenz is a professional studio artist who uses needle and thread for self-expression. She works to articulate the accumulated memory inherent in discarded things, seeking a partnership with her materials, their purposes, values, and familiar associations. Susan’s work has appeared in national publications, numerous juried exhibitions, and at fine craft shows including the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and the Smithsonian Craft Show. She has been featured on art quilting television programs and on South Carolina Etv’s Palmetto Scene. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Textile Museum in Washington, DC and the McKissick Museum in South Carolina. Susan has been awarded fully funded fellowships to art residencies including The Anderson Center, PLAYA, Hot Springs National Park, Great Basin National Park, the Studios of Key West, and Homestead National Monument. Her solo installations have been mounted all over the country including the Mesa Contemporary Museum of Art and as far away as the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England. Susan is represented by the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville.

Her speaking topic is: “Contemporary Art Quilting”

William McCoy
Dr. McCoy joined the Clemson University family as the Director of the Rutland Institute for Ethics on March 1, 2018. Previously, Dr. McCoy was the Director of Ethics Education and Diversity Initiatives for the College of Business at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, Illinois. In his previous role, he advised a student ethics organization, and served as chair of the Interdepartmental Faculty for Ethics Committee and the BELIEF (Building Ethical Leaders using an Integrated Ethics Framework) Corporate Advisory Board. Dr. McCoy also served as the liaison between the College of Business and NIU’s office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Dr. McCoy has a Bachelor degree in English (NIU), a Master’s degree in Continuing and Vocational Education (University of Wisconsin – Madison), and a Doctoral degree in Educational Administration (Edgewood College).

Dr. McCoy has a long history of serving in roles designed to help others. In the non-profit sector, he served as the Vice-President of the Center for Sight and Hearing in Rockford, Illinois – an organization designed to assist hearing and/or vision impaired individuals in the Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin region. In the corporate sector, he served as the Manager of Management Development and Corporate Quality for Wisconsin Physicians Service – one of the largest Medicare Part B providers in the nation. Dr. McCoy was also the first Managing Director for INROADS/Oklahoma, an organization that trains and develops minority talent and prepares them for corporate and community leadership.

His speaking topics include: “The Ties that Bind: Unlocking the Box of Civility with the Keys of Ethics,” “How to Kick Stereotypes in the Butt: Overcoming Life’s Obstacles for Dream Attainment,” and “Beyond Toleration to Appreciation: Allowing Diversity to be More Than a Buzzword”

Holly Pinheiro
Dr. Holly A. Pinheiro, Jr. is an Assistant Professor of African American History in the Department of History at Furman University. His research focuses on the intersectionality of race, gender, and class in the military from 1850 through the 1930s. Counter to the national narrative which championed the patriotic manhood of soldiering from the Civil War through the 1930s, his research reveals that African American veterans and their families’ military experience were much more fraught. Economic and social instability introduced by military service resonated for years and even generations after soldiers left the battlefield. He has published articles in edited volumes and academic journals, in and outside of the United States.

His speaking topics include: “The History of Equality and Accessibility in Public Education” and “The Families’ Civil War: Black Soldiers and the Fight for Racial Justice”

Olin Sansbury
Dr. Olin Sansbury is Chancellor Emeritus of USC Spartanburg, now Upstate. He is a native South Carolinian growing up in Darlington and earning a B.A. in history at Wofford College and a Ph.D. in international studies at USC Columbia. After serving 37 months in the US Army, including 13 months in Vietnam, Sansbury became a journalist; first as a reporter for the Florence Morning News and then as a newsman and editorial writer for WBTW television in Florence. He began his academic career teaching government and international studies at USC Florence and Coastal Carolina. When the Florence campus became Francis Marion College, he became the first dean of students at the new institution. Later Sansbury was vice provost for student affairs for the USC Regional Campus System for two years before being appointed chief administrative office at USC Spartanburg, a position he held for twenty years. After retiring from USCS, he became executive director of the Greenville Symphony for five years. Between 2004 and 2008 Sansbury was a visiting professor at Wofford College, teaching courses on the American presidency. He continues to offer classes in Wofford’s Lifelong Learning Program and writes regularly posts on current political and societal issues at olinsansbury.substack.com. 

His speaking topics include: “Electoral College: Abolish or Reform,” “Covert Actions in US Foreign Policy,” “American Politics in Fiction,” “Future Status of Intercollegiate Athletics,” and “Differences Between the Vietnam War and Ukraine Conflict”

To learn more our new speakers and see their full topic descriptions, visit the Speakers Bureau roster. All new speakers will be added by mid-January. There are also 43 additional speakers to peruse and request. For more information about the Speakers Bureau: Humanities Out Loud program, please contact T.J. Wallace at tjwallace@schumanities.org or 803-771-2477.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.