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Sea Life


Ships carrying people, goods, and ideas began sailing into Charleston Harbor 350 years ago. They still arrive today with cargo, tourists, and diverse sailors from around the world. In the spirit of this ongoing, international maritime history, the LCWA World Affairs Signature Series 2020 invites scholars, students, and the community to explore Sea Life, and how history, literature, culture, and sciences are shaped by the ocean


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Mace Brown Museum of Natural History

202 Calhoun Street

“Night at the Museum” Marine Fossils

Join paleontologist Scott Persons for a “Night at the Museum” and browse the College of Charleston’s world-class fossil collection of Mesozoic marine life.    

Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences is home to a Paleontology Museum that displays almost 1,000 fossils.  The displays includes: dinosaur bones, crinoids, Oligocene mammals of North America, mosasaurs, cave bears, Pleistocene mammals of the Carolinas, ocean life through time and fossil plants. A favorite exhibit for many is the reconstructed jaw which houses real teeth from the giant extinct shark Megalodon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center Auditorium

Nathaniel Philbrick

In the Hurricane’s Eye

Keynote Lecture

In the concluding volume of his acclaimed American Revolution series, Nathaniel Philbrick tells the thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War. In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But coordinating his army’s movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake—fought without a single American ship—made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane’s Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Robert Scott Small 235

Chasing Coral

Chasing Coral follows a team of divers, photographers and scientists out to photograph the elusive process of coral bleaching, a phenomenon happening at an unprecedented rate around the world from warming ocean temperatures. The film took 3.5 years to make, features 500 hours of underwater footage, and submissions from over 30 countries.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Robert Scott Small 235

Beyond Barbados:

The Carolina Connection

The documentary explores the diverse links between the colonization of South Carolina and the West Indies islands and looks at the impact of Barbados’ rich history, culture, language, and way of life in South Carolina. Beyond Barbados is produced and directed by SCETV’s Dave Adams with a grant from the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and features illustrations by James H. Palmer Jr.

May 14, 15, 16, 2020

Stern Student Center

Port Cities of the Atlantic Conference

In order to mark the 350th anniversary of the settlement of Charles Towne, and the simultaneous 250th anniversary of the establishment of the College of Charleston, and the 25th anniversary of the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program, the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program will hold a major international conference entitled “Port Cities of the Atlantic World.” The conference will commemorate the city of Charleston’s international maritime links, examining cultural, economic, and historical connections between and among Charleston and other Atlantic World port cities.

Saturday, May 16, 2020


Charleston Music Hall

History of Arts in the Lowcountry

with special guest Etienne Charles

The College of Charleston’s Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program celebrates the sounds of the Sea Islands and the Lowcountry with ensemble performances from artists and musicians from around the Atlantic, with special guest, Etienne Charles.

Past Events

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Addlestone Library 227

The Pirate Link: Charleston, Blackness, and 1683 Raid on Veracruz

Pablo M. Sierra-Silva’s research is centered on the experiences of enslaved people, mostly Africans, South Asians and their descendants, in the cities of colonial Mexico (New Spain) during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His first book, Urban Slavery in Colonial Mexico: Puebla de los Ángeles, 1531-1700 (Cambridge Press, 2018), reassesses the inner dynamics of the transatlantic slave trade to Puebla and demonstrates that, by the end of the seventeenth century, enslaved families and their allies successfully eroded the foundations of slaveholder power in colonial Puebla. His current research project, “Veracruz, Charleston and the Pirate Raid of 1683,” examines the violent dispersal of approximately 1000 people of African descent across various Caribbean and Atlantic settlements following Laurent de Graaf’s devastating attack on Veracruz.


Friday, February 7, 2020

10 Wharfside St

“On Deck” Reception aboard Spirit of South Carolina

Come aboard the Tall Ship Spirit of South Carolina on Friday, February 7 for the opening reception of LCWA’s World Affairs Signature Series, “Sea Life: Ships, Culture, and the History of Global Waterways.” There will be food, drinks, and “sea” music, along with an interactive educational program including: a “Book of the Sea” exhibit in partnership with Special Collections at the College of Charleston, an oral history booth to record “sea life” stories, guest speakers on maritime history, and hands-on sail instruction with SSC crew.

 The Ship will remain at dock for the reception, at 10 Wharfside St, just across from the new construction site of the International African American Museum.


Thursday, October 24, 2019


Robert Scott Small 235

Reimagining the Middle Passage: Daniel Black’s The Coming

The College of Charleston’s African American Studies Program hosts author Daniel Black to read from his novel, The Coming. Lyrical, poetic, and hypnotizing, The Coming tells the story of a people’s capture and sojourn from their homeland across the Middle Passage–a traumatic trip that exposed the strength and resolve of the African spirit. Extreme conditions produce extraordinary insight, and only after being stripped of everything do they discover the unspeakable beauty they once took for granted. This powerful, haunting novel will shake readers to their very souls.