UK Happenings

2024 Gaines Center’s Lafayette Seminar explores Monsters, Myths and the Metaphysical

The 2024 Lafayette Seminar is free and open to the public.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2024) – Is Gratz Park really haunted? Where did the lore of Moth Man come from? Does Lexington have a tarot card reader? These topics will be explored at this year’s Lafayette Seminar in Public Issues presented by the University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities.  

Presented annually, the Lafayette Seminar in Public Issues provides an opportunity for Lexington community members, faculty and students to come together and discuss our city’s past, present and future. 

The two-day event will kick off Thursday, April 11, at the Kentucky Theatre. Starting at 4 p.m., the metaphysical showcase will include tarot card readers, aura photographers, metaphysical historians, local authors and more. At 7 p.m. attendees can enjoy a film screening and discussion of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

Day two will take place Friday, April 12, at the Carnegie Center. Starting at 4 p.m., Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, Ph.D. a UK professor and modern cassical languages scholar, will give a mini-lecture on “The Evolution of the Sexy Vampire.” Following at 5 p.m., Eleanor Hasken-Wagner, museum and historic sites supervisor at Capital City Museum, will present a mini-lecture on “The Local Folklore of Moth Man." At 6 p.m. there will be a "Ghost Walk of Lexington: Haunted Tales and Historic Trails." On-theme snacks and refreshments will also be provided by The UK Food Connection.

“We love the Lafayette Seminar for the opportunity to reach out to our wider Kentucky Community, to make new friends-of-Gaines, and to make use of the Lexington’s great venues,” said Acting Director Richard Schein. “We are especially excited this year to have several events around the city including a ghost walk tour of historic Gratz Park!”

The 2024 Lafayette Seminar is free and open to the public. Pre-registration for this event is encouraged via Eventbrite at

The seminars are supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Previous topics have explored the local economy, town and gown relations, community gardening, university cities, public art and the creation of successful downtown spaces.

For more information on the 2024 Lafayette Seminar, call the Gaines Center at 859-257-1537 or email Associate Director Chelsea Brislin at

Founded in 1984 by a generous gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK's campus. The center is devoted to cultivating an appreciation of the humanities in its students and faculty. The Gaines Center embraces varied paths of knowledge and particularly strives to integrate creative work with traditional academic learning.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.