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The Friends of the Library supports lively, thought-provoking events on issues of the day. From the Faculty Lecture Series to the Winthrop Roundtable, FOL provides opportunities for lifelong learning that strengthens our campus community, as well as the Charleston community at-large. Our annual schedule of events connects the library with world-class partners within the College of Charleston, and with people from across the Lowcountry and beyond.

 New Fall 2017 Season!

A Conversation about Alzheimer’s
with Niki Kapsambelis, author of the new book, The Inheritance: A Family on the Front Lines of the Battle Against Alzheimer’s Disease and Cindi May, Professor of Psychology at the College of Charleston

Wednesday, October 11, 6 pm
Addlestone Library Room 227
205 Calhoun Street

The DeMoe family has the most devastating form of the disease that there is: early onset Alzheimer’s. Of the six DeMoe children whose father had it, five have inherited the gene; the sixth, Karla, has inherited responsibility for all of them. But rather than give up in the face of such news, the DeMoes have agreed to spend their precious, abbreviated years as part of a worldwide study that could utterly change the landscape of Alzheimer’s research and offers the brightest hope for future treatments—and possibly a cure.

Their tale is intertwined with the dramatic narrative history of the disease, the cutting-edge research that brings us ever closer to a possible cure, and the accounts of the extraordinary doctors spearheading these groundbreaking studies.


Niki Kapsambelis

Niki Kapsambelis was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She worked for several years as a newswoman for the Associated Press in New England, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared in publications around the world, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and People magazine. She lives in Pennsylvania.

Cindi May

Cindi May is a Professor of Psychology at the College of Charleston with expertise in human cognition, aging, and intellectual disability. She is a graduate of Furman University (BA) and Duke University (PhD), and has taught at the University of Arizona as well as the College of Charleston.




February 24, 2017
Avery Research Center African Art Exhibition Opening Reception

The Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, the College of Charleston Libraries, and the Friends of the Library hosted an opening reception of the John R. Dupree African art collection. Mr. Dupree spent almost three years from 1972 to 1975, in Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as a member of a small team with the Federal Aviation Administration. Living a few blocks from an open-air market in the capital city of Kinshasa, Mr. Dupree acquired more than 150 rare artifacts ranging from wood sculptures, ivory carvings, ritual masks and  textiles.   The Avery Research Center received the bulk of his collection in 2014 and will exhibit a wide variety of it’s contents on the Third Floor of Addlestone Library from February 25, 2017 through December 1, 2017.




Spring 2017 Event Highlights


Wednesday, January 25, 12PM, Addlestone Library, Room 227
Faculty Lecture Series, Dr. Amy  Langfield, Professor Mathematics Department,  Operations Research Analyst
“Information Retrieval on the Web, Facebook, Twitter, and Libraries:  What’s Math Got to do With It?”






Wednesday, February 15, 12PM, Addlestone Library, Room 227
Faculty Lecture Series, Dr. Barbara Beckingham, Assistant Professor, Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences  
“What Happens After Your Wash Goes Down the Drain?  Microplastic and Chemical Transport in Wastewater Treatment Plants”








Friday, February 24, 5:30 – 8:00PM, Addlestone Library, Third Floor
Opening Reception
Forms and Motifs in African Art:  Works from the Avery Research Center’s John R. Dupree African Art Collection.  Featuring masks, ivory, wooden statuary copper plaques and paintings created by African artists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Curator: Curtis Franks.
Speaker:  Samuel T. Livingston, Ph.D. Morehouse College, Associate Professor and Director, African American Studies Program
“Kongalese Aesthetics of Freedom”
Curator:  Curtis J. Franks, Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture
Exhibit runs from February 25 – December 1, 2017


Tuesday, February 28, at 6PM, Addlestone Library Room 227
Author Talk: Christopher Dickey
“Spying in the Blood: Gertrude Sanford Legendre’s Privilege, Patriotism, and Espionage”






Wednesday, March 1, 12 PM, Addlestone Library, Room 227
Faculty Lecture Series, Matthew Cressler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies
“Black Religion and Black Lives Matter in Historical Perspective”






Tuesday, March 21, at 6:30 PM, TD Arena, 301 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
Author Talk:  Ta-Nehisi Coates
“A Deeper Black:  Race in America”



Wednesday, April 5, 12PM, Addlestone Library, Room 227
Faculty Lecture Series, H. Gibbs Knotts, Ph. D., Professor and Department Chair, Department of Political Science
“The Resilience of  Southern Identity:  Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of the People






Monday, April 17, 6PM, School of Science and Mathematics Room 129
Author Talk:  Marjorie J. Spruill
Divided We Stand, The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values that Polarized American Politics”

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 2016 Event Highlights:


Wednesday, January 20, at 5:30PM, Alumni Hall in Randolph Hall, College of Charleston
Author Talk: Julie Weise, Corazón de Dixie Mexicanos in the U.S. South since 1910
Dr. Julie Weise of the University of Oregon will talk about her recent book, Corazón de Dixie Mexicanos in the U.S. South since 1910. Rooted in U.S. and Mexican archival research, oral history interviews, and family photographs, Corazón de Dixie unearths not just the facts of Mexicanos’ long-standing presence in the U.S. South but also their own expectations, strategies, and dreams. A Book signing and light reception will follow.

Monday, January 25, at 7:00PM, Education Center Room 118 , 25 St. Philip St., College of Charleston
Film Screening: America Street – Introduction and Q&A session with Director Travis Pearson
America Street is a southern tale of two brothers, Bucks and Sota, set in Charleston, South Carolina. The film explores social and judicial issues that are affecting African-American communities across the country. Written, co-produced and directed by Travis Pearson. This event is a part of the College of Charleston’s Race and Social Justice Initiative.


Friday, February 12, 2016, 6-8PM, Addlestone Library
“New Gardens are Ever Appearing”:  Loutrel Briggs and the Charleston Horticultural Tradition Opening Reception
Featuring drawings, specimen sketches, and plans created by some of Charleston’s most talented botanists, gardeners, and landscape architects, this exhibit will tell the story of taming and cultivating the rich semi-tropic flora of the Lowcountry over the past 250 years. Collections from the College of Charleston’s Special Collections, South Carolina Historical Society, Historic Charleston Foundation, Charleston Library Society and The Charleston Museum will be showcased. Guest Sheila Wertimer will provide brief remarks about the life, work, and legacy of the renowned Charleston landscape architect, Loutrel Briggs. Faculty from Special Collections will provide special insight into the materials on display. Additional historical materials will be showcased from the Special Collection’s vault for one night only. For more event information, click here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 12PM, Avery Research Center 
Luncheon Lecture: “Grass Roots: The Enduring Art of the Lowcountry Basket Luncheon”, Organized through Art, etc.
This special invitation luncheon will showcase the art and rich history of Lowcountry basket weaving. Guest speakers will include Special Collections Curator at the College of Charleston Dale Rosengarten and the celebrated artist Mary Jackson.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 12PM, Addlestone Library, Room 227
Faculty Lecture Series, Dr. Jordan Ragusa – “An Examination of South Carolina’s Presidential Primaries: 1998-2016”
South Carolina’s presidential primary is one of the most pivotal in the country. This year the South Carolina primary takes on additional significance as Governor Nikki Haley is viewed by many as a leading vice-presidential candidate. Professor Ragusa will discuss the results of the Republican primary and what to expect in the 2016 general election. Light lunch will be served, or bring your own and join us in Addlestone Library for this lunchtime learning opportunity!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 6:30PM, Sottile Theatre, 44 George Street
Lecture: “A Conversation with Marian Wright Edelman”
Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life. Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families. She has received over a hundred honorary degrees and many awards including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Prize, the Heinz Award, a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her work. For more information about her work and publications please visit www.childrensdefense.org. This event is a part of the College of Charleston’s Race and Social Justice Initiative

Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 12PM, Addlestone Library, Room 227
Faculty Lecture Series, Dr. Ian O’Byrne – “Why in the world would you want to develop a MOOC? Teaching and Learning in Open, Online, Educational Spaces”
Popular trends in open education, open research, and open publishing initiatives encourage individuals to interact online using social spaces and personal learning networks. Learn about the #WalkMyWorld Project and other new directions for the intersection of education and technology. Light lunch will be served, or bring your own and join us in Addlestone Library for this lunchtime learning opportunity!

Thursday, March 31, 2016, 6PM, Sottile Theatre, 44 George Street
Lecture and Book Signing with Bryan Stevenson: “American Injustice: Mercy, Humanity, and Making a Difference
Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and one of the most acclaimed and respected lawyers in the nation. His award winning memoir, Just Mercy, is the story of a young lawyer fighting on the frontlines of a country in thrall to extreme punishments and careless justice. Stevenson is the recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant and the NAACP Image Award for Best Non-Fiction, and was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People for 2015. For more information on this speaker please visit www.prhspeakers.com. This event is a part of the College of Charleston’s Race and Social Justice Initiative.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 12PM, Addlestone Library, Room 227
Faculty Lecture Series, Dr. Mitchell Colgan, “Climate Change in the Arctic and What in Means to Charleston”
Temperature in the Arctic is expected to increase 14° in the 21st century. Charleston is among the most vulnerable areas to rising seas and a changing climate, which may threaten nearly $150 billion of infrastructure along the coast. Professor Colgan will discuss what scientists believe is in store for the lowcountry in the coming decades. Light lunch will be served, or bring your own and join us in Addlestone Library for this lunchtime learning opportunity!

Canceled – Our Apologies
Private Library Collection Tour
This special event will provide an intimate look at the private libraries of notable Charleston book collectors. The tour will begin at the Addlestone Library and attendees will have transportation to each special location. Lunch is included. Limited tickets are available and proceeds go to the Friends of the Library.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 6PM, College of Charleston Special Collections
FOL Book Club – DuBose Heyward’s Porgy
Join the Friends of the Library for an exciting Book Club conversation with author and historian Harlan Greene, Head of Special Collections at the College of Charleston. We’ll be discussing DuBose Heyward’s Porgy, inspired by African American life in the Lowcountry, and now known around the world.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 4PM, Addlestone Library, Third Floor
Porgy and Bess Special Events: Featuring Author Talk and Special Collections Exhibit
The College of Charleston Friends of the Library and Special Collections will host a lecture and book signing for the new publication, Porgy and Bess: A Charleston Story (Home House Publishing 2016).  Authors Karen Chandler, Damon Fordham, Harlan Greene and Pam Wall will discuss many aspects of the book, play, and opera inspired by the work of DuBose Heyward and rooted in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Copies of this new publication will be available for purchase and a book signing will follow the talk. A new Special Collections exhibit will feature collections of art and rare manuscripts celebrating the creation, history, and staging of Porgy and Bess. The exhibit will be on display mid-May through August, 2016 in Addlestone Library.



6:00 pm, Tuesday, September 13, 2016
School of Science and Mathematics Building, Room 129, 202 Calhoun Street, Charleston   

Author talk  of We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel. 

WeAreCharleston_Book Cover

Published this June, We Are Charleston not only recounts the events of the tragic shooting on June 17, 2015, but also offers a history lesson that reveals a deeper look at the suffering, triumph, and even the ongoing rage of the people who formed Mother Emanuel A.M.E. church and the wider denominational movement. Join authors Dr. Bernard Powers (College of Charleston), Herb Frazier and Marjory Wentworth for a conversation about the story of the “Emanuel Nine”, the history and legacy of the A.M.E. Church, and the tragedy that captured the attention of Charleston, the nation and indeed the world. Books will be available for purchase, and a signing will take place after the talk.





12:00 pm, Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Addlestone Library, Room 227

The Faculty Lecture Series returns this year, connecting the Charleston community with highly accomplished faculty.

manning image

Join us for a unique lunchtime learning opportunity, with our first lecture featuring Professor Phil Manning from the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences! Professor Manning will lead off the four-part series with a riveting discussion about how a team from the College of Charleston has been exploring newly discovered excavation sites in the American Mid-West entitled “Dinosaurs, Sun-Burn, Snakes, and Bug-Bites!”

12:00 pm, Wednesday, September 21, 2016, Addlestone Library, Room 227
Faculty Lecture Series, Professor Trish Ward, Department of English—“Harry Potter and Horcruxes”


*CANCELED*: “A Deeper Black: Race in America,” Ta-Nehisi Coates, Journalist and Author
6:30 pm, Tuesday, October 18, 2016
TD Arena, 301 Meeting St., Charleston

Unfortunately, Ta-Nehisi Coates has cancelled his lecture at the College of Charleston’s TD Arena on October 18th, 2016 due to an unexpected change in his schedule. The Race and Social Justice Initiative team is looking into rescheduling options for a later date and will release another Eventbrite site. This event is postponed until further notice. Please contact Daron Lee Calhoun, II with any questions or concerns: calhoundl@cofc.edu

Event Description: The Race and Social Justice Initiative iTa-Nehisi-Coates-Nina-Subin-200x300s honored to host journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates at TD Arena in what is sure to be an extraordinary event for the Lowcountry.

Coates is one of the most original and perceptive black voices today—“the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (New York Observer). Coates is the author, most recently, of Between the World and Me, the #1 New York Times bestseller that “will be hailed as a classic of our time” (Publishers Weekly) and which Toni Morrison calls “required reading.” He is the winner of a 2015 MacArthur Fellowship.

This event is free and open to the public and part of the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) at the College of Charleston. For more information, visit the Avery Research Center’s website.



“The Intersection of Media and Politics”


Dan Abrams

5:30 pm, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Just in time for the 2016 Presidential election, legal commentator and social media entrepreneur, Dan Abrams, will offer his trusted perspectives on media and today’s political campaigns at this year’s Winthrop Roundtable. Abrams is CEO of Abrams Research, which connects business and the media with a specialization in social media strategy and founder and publisher of the innovative news website, Mediaite. He is legal analyst for ABC News and prior to joining ABC News, he served as chief legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. Abrams is one of the most trusted and influential legal analysts in the country who has covered the highest profile trials of the past two decades as an attorney and reporter. At this exclusive event, Abrams will provide insightful analysis on current political events, from high profile legal cases getting the attention of media to the shifting social media landscape.

The Winthrop Roundtable is the Friends of the Library’s signature event. Founded in 1989 by John Winthrop, the Roundtable showcases a renowned speaker in a keynote address related to current events or cultural exchange, with the intent of inciting thought-provoking discourse and showcasing unique viewpoints to our community.

Each year the Roundtable showcases a renowned speaker in a keynote address related to current events or cultural exchange, with the intent of inciting thought-provoking conversation and showcasing unique viewpoints to our community. This year the Friends of the Library piloted a new Winthrop Roundtable format, with an expanded cocktail reception on the Cistern followed by a lecture-style keynote address in Alumni Hall. Join FOL at the Contributor Level for two invitations to this signature event. For more information about this invitation-only event, contact Anahita Modaresi at 843.953.6526 or modaresia@cofc.edu.


12:00 pm, Wednesday, November 9, 2016, Addlestone Library, Room 227
Faculty Lecture Series, Professor Mari Crabtree, Department of African American Studies