Established in 2012, the Hansford M. Epes Distinguished Lecture Series in the Humanities celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Humanities Program at Davidson College.

The series honors Hansford Epes '61 who served in the program as Professor of German and Humanities for almost five decades before he retired in 2012.

The 2022-2023 Epes lecturer will be Jayna Brown, Professor and Chair of Theater Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University.

Past Lectures


"Change Your Mind First: College and the Urge to Save the World"

William Deresiewicz


"Into the Dark: Reading Hannah Arendt’s Poems"

Samantha Rose Hill, Bard College & Brooklyn Institute


"Using Theater for Social Change"

Sarah Bellamy, Artistic Director Penumbra Theater Company


"What Does Russia Want"

Julia Ioffe, Journalist


"Permanent Crisis: The Humanities in a Disenchanted Age"

Chad Wellmon, University of Virginia


"Black Music as Beautiful Noise, from Blues to Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar"

Bill Banfield, Berklee College of Music


"The Uses and Abuses of Romanticism"

Larry Todd, Duke University


"Reading with Hiccups: The Humanities, Climate Change, and You" 

Simon Richter, University of Pennsylvania


"The Truth is Terrible: Nietzsche's Idea of an Aesthetic Justification for Existence"

Brian Leiter, University of Chicago


"The Uses of the Past and the Humanist Tradition"

Carol Quillen, President, Davidson College