Food for Thought

Enjoy a fine meal and take part in thought-provoking conversations with distinguished Carolina faculty and alumni. Honors Carolina’s intimate Food for Thought dinner events are typically held every month throughout the academic year.

Food For Thought

Spring 2014 Schedule

All Food for Thought dinners are held Wednesdays at 6:30PM in Graham Memorial 011, unless otherwise noted.

Donald Hornstein, School of LawProfessor Donald Hornstein, School of Law, Spring 2014
Insuring Global Weather Catastrophes: Lessons From the Philippines and North Carolina
January 15, 2014

Donald Hornstein is the Aubrey L. Brooks Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina Law School and is also a member of the university’s Institute for the Environment and UNC’s Curriculum in Environment and Ecology. In 2013 he was featured as one of 26 of the nation’s best law teachers in a book published by the Harvard University Press, What the Best Law Teachers Do.

Professor Hornstein’s environmental law scholarship has twice been recognized as among the annual Top 10 national articles of the year, and he has received a Fulbright award for research and teaching in East Africa. His articles on risk regulation, in particular, have appeared in some of the nation’s top law journals. An expert on catastrophic risk insurance coverage, Professor Hornstein has been appointed by the state’s Commissioner of Insurance to the Board of Directors of North Carolina’s Wind Pool, a $400-million insurance facility insuring properties against catastrophic wind damage at the coast and along the Outer Banks.

Join Professor Hornstein for a discussion about insuring global weather catastrophes.

Karen Hagemann, Department of HistoryProfessor Karen Hagemann, Department of History, Spring 2014
Women, War and the Nation: Gendering the History of the Wars Against Napoleon
January 29, 2014

Karen Hagemann is the James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has published widely in Modern German and European history and gender history. She is currently writing a monograph titled Revisiting Prussia’s Wars Against Napoleon: Nation, Political Culture, Memory (Cambridge University Press) and preparing as the general editor the Oxford Handbook on Gender, War and the Western World since 1650 (Oxford University Press).

Most 19th century master narratives of the wars against Napoleon emphasized male heroism and sacrifice for the nation. The emerging historiography, which lastingly influenced collective memory, suppressed in its nationalist accounts the role of women in the Anti-Napoleonic Wars and ignored their female forms of patriotism. Historians disregarded the important part that women played in countries like Prussia, Russia and Spain in the national struggle for liberation from Napoleonic rule until recently.

Join Professor Hagemann for a discussion on the new relation between women, war, and the nation that developed in the period of the Napoleonic Wars in the regions that fought against Napoleon and on its long-lasting legacy until World War I and beyond.


Anna Bardone-Cone, Department of PsychologyProfessor Anna Bardone-Cone, Department of Psychology, Spring 2014
Diversity, Body Image and the Challenge of Combatting Obesity and Eating Disorders
February 26, 2014

Anna Bardone-Cone, PhD is the Principal Investigator of the studies conducted within the Bardone-Cone Lab. Dr. Bardone-Cone graduated from Williams College with a BA in Mathematics and French in 1991. She went on to receive her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001, and completed her pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. She joined the faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2001 as an Assistant Professor of Psychology and in 2009 joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is currently an Associate Professor.

Join Professor Bardone-Cone for a discussion on diversity, body image and the challenge of combatting obesity and eating disorders.


Ambassador James Sasser, Morehead-Cain Alumni Visiting Distinguished Professor, Spring 2014_photo credit to GRIAmbassador James Sasser, Morehead-Cain Alumni Visiting Distinguished Professor
The Politics of Public Policy and International Affairs
March 5, 2014

Jim Sasser has spent more than a quarter-century in public life as a U.S. Senator from Tennessee, as U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, and as a leading commentator on Sino-U.S. relations and the inner workings of the U.S. Senate. He currently provides strategic advice to leading American and Chinese companies, including FedEx and APCO Worldwide. Senator Sasser is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, vice-chairman of the Committee on US-China Relations, and vice-chairman of the US-China Foundation. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Honors Carolina Burch Field Research Seminar on Domestic and International Affairs in Washington, D.C. Read more at

Join Ambassador Sasser for a discussion on the politics of public policy and international affairs.


Dr. GerShun Avilez, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Spring 2014GerShun Avilez, Department of English and Comparative Literature
The Value of Popular Culture
March 19, 2014

GerShun Avilez received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also earned a Graduate Certificate in Africana Studies.  He has taught at Yale University and held the Frederick Douglass Post-doctoral Fellowship at the University of Rochester.  He is a cultural studies scholar who specializes in contemporary African American literature and visual culture and 20th century American literature in general.  However, his teaching extends to the literature of the Black Diaspora.  He has interests in political radicalism, gender & sexuality, spatial theory, and legal studies.  He is currently completing a book project The Art of Revolution that investigates how Black nationalist rhetoric impacted African American artistic experimentation in the late 20th and 21st centuries.  He is also developing writing projects concerning (1) memory, terror, and violence and (2) Black sexuality and popular culture.  Throughout his work and teaching, he is committed to studying a wide variety of art forms, including, drama, fiction, non-fiction, film, poetry, visual and performance art, ethnography, and comic books.

Join Professor Avilez for a discussion on the value of popular culture.


Kurt Gray, Department of PsychologyProfessor Kurt Gray, Department of Psychology, Spring 2014
Good and Evil: The Psychology of Morality
March 26, 2014

Dr. Kurt Gray received his PhD from Harvard University and is an assistant professor in the UNC Department of Psychology. He is a social psychologist and directs The Mind Perception and Morality lab. His lab seeks to understand how people make moral judgments and how people perceive the minds of others. Dr. Gray has recently been awarded both the Association for Psychological Science Rising Star Award and the Psi Chi Undergraduate Teaching Award, and he spoke at TEDxSanDiego 2011.

Join Professor Gray for a discussion on the psychology of morality.


Al Segars, Kenan-Flagler Business SchoolDr. Al Segars, Kenan-Flagler Business School, Spring 2014
Information and Technology Management
April 9, 2014

Dr. Segars is chair of the strategy and entrepreneurship faculty area, the RBC Bank Distinguished Professor and faculty director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise.

He is an active consultant with such organizations as Apple, Disney, DARPA, Pixar, Siemens, Xerox, Red Hat, IBM, Sprint, Bank of America, GlaxoSmithKline, the Department of the Navy and the Department of Army. He serves as a speaker and expert for state and federal governments on technology transfer and implementation for economic development.

Join Professor Segars for a discussion on information and technology management.


Robert H. Smith, Attorney at LawRobert H. Smith, Attorney at Law, Spring 2014
Honors Carolina and Me: How I Cultivated My Love of Learning, Pursued My Passion, and Established a Private Law Firm
April 15*, 2014

*Please note that this discussion will take place on a Tuesday.

Robert H. Smith operates a private law practice in Chapel Hill, NC. Born and raised in Chapel Hill, he graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1978 with a major in political science, was a member of Honors Carolina and Phi Beta Kappa, and earned his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1981. Mr. Smith offers over 28 years of continuous law practice and has handled thousands of cases of all types for everyone from college students to a client who was 100 years old. He regularly handles legal services related to traffic cases, driving while impaired, criminal cases, personal injury, and has represented the City of Burlington, NC since 1982. A mentor to several young lawyers, Mr. Smith shares that Honors Carolina was instrumental to his love of learning and inspired him to seek out meaningful opportunities that have broadened and enriched his life.

Join Mr. Smith for a discussion on his time in Honors Carolina, cultivating a love of learning, pursuing passions, and establishing a private law firm.


Jane Thrailkill, Department of English andProfessor Jane Thrailkill, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Spring 2014 Comparative Literature
How the Liberal Arts Help Make Better Doctors
April 16, 2014

Dr. Jane Thrailkill is a Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Associate Professor, specializing in American literature and the medical humanities. Her research focuses on links between literature, science, and philosophy in the 19th century, and she has played a large role in creating an undergraduate minor and graduate program in Literature, Medicine, and Culture. She has written a book, Affecting Fictions: Mind, Body, and Emotion in American Literary Realism, and was a speaker at TEDxUNC 2013.

Join Professor Thrailkill for a discussion on how the liberal arts help make better doctors.


Click here to see Food for Thought programs from previous semesters.