The Material Culture of Racial Justice and Healthcare EquityUNCW Material Culture Logo

Jennifer Le Zotte (History), Jamie Brummit (Philosophy and Religion), Nathan Crowe (History), Stephanie Crowe (Randall Library), Michaela Howells (Anthropology), Angie Sardina (Recreation Therapy), Meghan Sweeney (English)

UNCW Material Culture is a campus-wide initiative designed to foster the study of material culture among faculty, students, and the Wilmington, NC community. Material culture studies is an interdisciplinary field and scholarly method that acknowledges the roles of objects in constituting and transforming societies.


"An Organ of Murder: Crime, Violence, and Phrenology in Nineteenth-Century America" (September 28, 2021) with Dr. Courtney Thompson, Assistant Professor of History at Mississippi State University

Lunch & Learn 1

"What is Material Culture?" (October 15, 2021)

This networking and curriculm-building event will introduce UNCW faculty to material culture studies. We will explore definitions of and methods for engaging in material culture studies by considering the ways images of Black bodies have worked to construct race, racism, and anti-racism in the United States. We will also consider the ethics of employing images of Black bodies in research and the power of these images in scholarship, law, and popular culture.


"Cemeteries and Death Work as Social Activism" (November 5, 2021) with Dr. Kami Fletcher, Associate Professor of History at Albright College

Due to historically marginalized lives, African/African Americans position their burial places as tools of resistance, monuments of humanity and as ways to demonstrate citizenship and national memory. In this talk Dr. Fletcher will discuss the ways in which one autonomously African/African American burial ground was founded in 1807 to establish burial rights and uses this as an illustration in how those of the descendant community today position ancestral spaces to resist white supremacy.

Lunch & Learn 2

"Archiving Past Technologies" (November 19, 2021) with Nathan Saunders, Director of UNCW Randall Library’s Center for Southeast North Carolina Archives and History

The rate of technological change presents many challenges for modern researchers and archivists as the formats on which historical and cultural records are housed often become obsolete and inaccessible. The WWAY Television News Archive illustrates the time, resources, and skills required to make rapidly deteriorating audiovisual materials available to future generations of students and researchers. We will discuss some issues related to archives, materiality, and technology and explore the potential value of this collection for researchers across disciplines.

A Marine Biotechnology Seminar Series

Jacob Warner (Biology and Marine Biology), Wendy Strangman (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Thomas Williamson (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Jennifer McCall (School of Nursing), Nathan Crowe (History)

Marine Biotechnology is a burgeoning field of research that encompasses the study of marine organisms and the application of biological innovations to develop products that improve humankind and ocean ecosystems alike. UNCW has a strong presence in this highly cooperative arena, and “A Marine Biotechnology Seminar Series” aims to foster and accelerate its growth by bringing leaders of the Marine Biotechnology field to UNCW and spurring new collaborations and new lines of research. Five seminars planned for Spring 2022 will address the following themes: History of Biotechnology, Business of Biotechnology, Health Applications of Marine Biotechnology, Drug Discovery in Marine Biotechnology, and Translational Aquaculture.


  • "Genetown: Boston and the Rise of Biotechnology" (January 28, 2022) with Dr. Robin Scheffler, Associate Professor at MIT