public speaking

I can talk until the bell rings and then we’ll all go somewhere else.

That’s what I did for most of four decades. Not so much since.

Before it was suspended early in 2020, I was a part of the North Carolina Humanities Council’s Roads Scholar program, speaking to nonprofit group audiences throughout North Carolina on B-1 and the integration of the modern Navy and also on the farm poets of eastern North Carolina.
       I’ve talked to public audiences about a lot of other subjects, including Emma Dupree, the renowned Pitt County herbalist; the need for and a way to get a regional public transportation system; Kerouac’s Carolina connections; and histories of Fountain and its businesses.

Papers presented at scholarly meetings

“Rusco & Hockwald’s Georgia Minstrels of 1926,” Nevada Historical Society, Reno, NV. 7 Jan 2009.

“Behind the Masks: Early African-American Vaudeville,” Mississippi Humanities Commission, Port Gibson, MS; July 3, 2006,

“Ammons, Kerouac, and Their New Romantic Scrolls,” MLA, Chicago, 27 Dec. 1995.

“Private Lives, Public Papers, and Closure: The Fred Davis Chappell Papers at Duke University,” SAMLA, Atlanta, 4 Nov. 1995

“MLA Meets Art: Editing and Design in the North Carolina Literary Review.” Popular Culture Association, New Orleans, 20 April 1993.

“Before He Went West, He Had to Go South: Kerouac’s Southern Aesthetics. Southern Humanities Council. Chapel Hill, NC: 14 Feb. 1992

“Understanding Vaudeville: Early Black Entertainers, Their Roots, and Their Influences on American Entertainment.” NEH Summer Institute Behind the Veil: African American Life in the Jim Crow South. Center for Documentary Studies, Duke U, Durham, NC: 17 July 1991.

“Establishing the Regional Archive: The NC Film Project Begins.” Fast-Rewind II. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY: 15 June 1991.

“Greenville’s Warner Brothers: Their Dream and Its Undoing.” Future Arts. Duke University, Durham, NC: 17 May 1991.

“Boogie in Black and White: (Nearly) Lost Images of Black Entertainers.” (Key Symposium Address) Southern Anthropological Society. Columbia, SC: 20 April 1991.

“Beyond TOBY Time and Shuffle Along: Where the Other Black Entertainers Were.” Popular Culture Assn. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: 9 March 1990.

“Early North Carolina Film Documents: Restoration and Preservation.” Popular and American Culture in the South. Knoxville, TN: 9 Oct. 1988

“Silas Green from New Orleans: Last of the Great Traveling Minstrel Shows.” Popular Culture Association. New Orleans, LA: March 24, 1988.

“‘Pitch a Boogie Woogie’: Text and Re-Text.” Florida State Film and Video Conference. Tallahassee, FL: January 30, 1988.

“Traveling Man: 40 Years on the Road with Mose McQuitty.” Popular Culture Association. Montreal, Canada: March 28, 1987.

“Preserving the Way We Were: Small Town Documentaries.” Florida State Film and Video Conference. Tallahassee, FL: January 30, 1987.

Talking about A.R. Ammons at the Farmville Public Library. Photo by Tom Whelan