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PCC Hosts Reception for Climate Change Photo Exhibit

Dr. Lloyd Kramer (left), a UNC-Chapel Hill history professor and director of the Carolina Public Humanities program, presents an award to PCC Student Government Association President Jeremy Galang for finishing first in a recent climate change photography competition at Pitt.

PHOTO GALLERY

WINTERVILLE—Representatives from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Carolina Public Humanities (CPH) program visited Pitt Community College Thursday to discuss their “Snapshot: Climate Change” initiative during a reception in the college’s library.

The event featured an exhibit of climate change photographs from around the American South, as well as a keynote speech by UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student Spencer George. It also included the presentation of awards to winners of PCC’s recent climate photography competition.

Pitt Humanities Instructor Scott Temple, who coordinated the reception, says even though many associate climate change strictly with science, its “devastating effects” have a human toll as well.

“Just consider how many extreme storms have occurred recently throughout the country,” Temple said. “Spencer George’s research examines the human struggle and disrupted lives through a lens focused on the humanities.”

A writer and folklorist who also teaches creative writing in rural North Carolina schools, George is CPH’s 2023-24 Maynard Adams Fellow. As such, she is developing the “Lowcountry Living Futures Project,” a digital archive and climate syllabus focused on Southern climate futures. She shared details of the project during her PCC presentation and discussed how climate change is affecting Beaufort, S.C., while stressing the importance of utilizing the arts to convey the dangers of climate change.

Since Jan. 16, the PCC Library has been displaying climate photographs in conjunction with CPH’s “Humanities on the Road” series. The project is part of an effort to build educational partnerships throughout the state by creating opportunities for UNC’s humanities scholars to engage with the public.

The photos, which will be on display at Pitt until Feb. 16, first appeared in the fall 2023 “Snapshot: Climate” issue of Southern Cultures magazine, a publication of the UNC-Chapel Hill Center for the Study of the American South. Along with more than 60 photos, the special edition included essays and conversations with leading climate educators and advocates to provide an on-the-ground look at climate impacts across the South.

Temple says Pitt has a “long-standing relationship” with CPH that has contributed greatly to the college’s educational mission by providing humanities scholars to speak at PCC events.

“The study of humanities is more important now than ever in understanding the human condition in an everchanging society,” Temple said. “Courses in the humanities, such as cultural studies and introduction to ethics, are an integral component to the associate in arts degree. In this case, the humanities allow for the narratives of students and community members to be shared in a creative expression.”

Through its work with CPH, Temple says PCC organized a “Snapshot: Climate Photography Competition” featuring categories for Pitt students and the general public. PCC Student Government Association President Jeremy Galang claimed first place in the contest, followed by students Anna Lane and Hunter Shrader. Eloise Clark, a student from Greenville’s The Oakwood School, took top honors in the general public category.

The winning photos depicting climate change in North Carolina were professionally printed and framed for inclusion in the PCC exhibit. During Thursday’s reception, Dr. Lloyd Kramer, a UNC-Chapel Hill history professor and CPH director, presented awards to the winning photographers, which included $250-prizes for each first-place finisher.

02/12/2024