Profs and Pints has expanded online to further democratize access to higher learning and provide people access to hiqh-quality scholarly talks while social distancing. See listings of talks that you can watch from home on the Online Talks page. 


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Profs and Pints is suspending its staging of live talks effective March 12, 2020 in response to the current coronavirus crisis.

I am sorry to announce that I am suspending the staging of talks in response to the public-health threat posed by the Covid-19 coronavirus and the need to contain its spread. All future talks scheduled for March and April have been cancelled, and anyone who has purchased a ticket will soon be receiving a refund through Brown Paper Tickets.

I was hesitant to take this step this because I believe deeply in the social mission of my company and hate to take potential earnings away from the bartenders and servers at my venues, who themselves have health-care costs and other bills to worry about. However, several fast-moving developments over the last 48 hours have pushed things beyond the tipping point. They were:

  • A District of Columbia government state of emergency declaration late yesterday advising against gatherings of over 1,000 and discouraging any sort of public gathering.

  • Similar advisories in other cities and the inescapable conclusion they were about to become more common.

  • Several cancellations by speakers I had lined up for the coming week, including some from local institutions that have just decided to forbid faculty members from engaging in such activities, gutting my talent pool.

  • A growing body of advisories from authoritative sources urging everyone out there to avoid any public events.

  • Demands from customers for ticket refunds in response to news about coronavirus broadcast just before events, after it had become impossible to obtain refunds through Brown Paper Tickets.

Perhaps most fundamentally, I was finding it impossible to reconcile my desire to run a company with a social mission with the possibility that doing so could endanger public health.

Fortunately my venues, hosts, and Brown Paper Tickets have all been incredibly understanding and helpful.

It is hard to tell when I will be able to resume talks given what remains unknown about the virus and its spread and about the likelihood of finding a vaccine or remedy any time soon. Fortunately my company's fixed expenses are extremely low, so it won't be hard for me to simply keep the company dormant until this threat is behind us. You'll be among the first to know when I get the company back into gear.

In the meantime, stay healthy and never stop learning. If you do go out, please tip well, as a lot of people in the service industry will be going through hard times.

“There's no question of heroism in all this. It's a matter of common decency. That's an idea which may make some people smile, but the only means of fighting a plague is — common decency.”

                                                                    from The Plague by Albert Camus.


Peter Schmidt
Founder and CEO
Profs and Pints


Profs and Pints is bringing a fantastic new nightlife alternative to Nashville with great talks at the   

The True Music Room at the

Cambria Hotel Nashville Downtown

118 8th Avenue South



Keep an eye out for its expansion to other venues in and around  Nashville and get your name on the metro Nashville mailing list using the online form below.

Profs and Pints looks forward to staging more fantastic talks in Nashville in 2020. Check back here for details. Venues interested in hosting Profs and Pints events, and people interested in becoming Profs and Pints speakers or hosts, should email

6 pm Wednesday, October 30th at the True Music Room at the Cambria Hotel Nashville Downtown 

“A History of Horror Films,” with Nancy Roche, lecturer at Vanderbilt University, instructor at Watkins Film School, and author of Cinema in Revolt: Censorship Reform in 1960s British and American Film.


An image of the actor Conrad Veidt from the 1920

German silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. 

Advance tickets $12. Door: $15, save $2 with a student ID.

Horror films have been around for over 100 years. From the beginning, they have reflected our deepest fears and anxieties, evoking both the darkest products of our imaginations and the very real worries we face in the world.


Join Nancy Roche, a Vanderbilt lecturer, scholar and professor of cinema, for a fascinating look at how horror films have evolved over time, and often have served as a barometer of our society's angst, fears, and political climate. Using clips from several famous horror films, she'll show a correlation between their narratives and the particular cultural panic at the moment of their creation.


As a starting-off point, Dr. Roche will discuss how horror films are rooted in the gothic novels that came into being in the mid-18th century, and how the earliest filmmakers, such as The Lumiere Brothers and George Melies, immediately began to replicate this supernatural genre for the screen. She'll describe how the horror film, as we know it, began in Weimar Era Germany in the years following WWI, with films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. In America, the first full-length horror film, based Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, hit the theaters in 1931.


We'll look at how our apprehension of people we see as “the Other” was first captured by Ted Browning's 1932 film Freaks, set in a circus side show, and was depicted on television in the fourth season of American Horror Story, titled “Freak Show.”


Moving through time, we'll see how the 1950s, a period when Cold War tensions and early space exploration, gave rise to films focused on the specter of nuclear war and alien invasion. A decade later, Night of the Living Dead offered insights into the racial tension of that time—an objective revisited by director Jordan Peele in his 2017 film Get Out.  Recently films, such as Alex Garland's 2018 Annihilation, have exploited our fears related to environmental destruction.


The essence of horror film is what terrifies and fascinates us most. Monsters, aliens, apocalypse, the supernatural, and, most recently, artificial intelligence and climate collapse all have played starring roles as the things that keep us wide-eyed and on the edge of our seats. You'll confront each of these fears on the screen, and leave the talk geared up for Halloween.

The talk is part of a collaboration between Cambria Hotels and Profs and Pints intended to expand access to higher learning in Nashville. 

Support Profs and Pints through Patreon and get yourself or loved ones placed on guest lists for talks.

Profs and Pints talks represent a great way to introduce young people to various academic fields. Please note, however, that all talks are delivered on an adult level and may feature mature content. Unless otherwise stated in event descriptions, anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. 

A note from Profs and Pints CEO Peter Schmidt about diversity among presenters:

In my recruitment of speakers I am committed to diversity in all of its forms, including gender, race, and ideological orientation. I encourage any college faculty member interested in being featured by Profs and Pints to click this link for important background on the lectures and workshops that Profs and Pints offers and to email for additional information on how to apply.