Department Event Calendars

Calendar of Events

For individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations, please contact the Department hosting the event within a minimum of 5 days prior to the program or service so that proper consideration may be given to the request.

Series and Recurring Events

2016—2017 Year

Speaker Series: Death: Confronting the Great Divide
Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere

Drawing on both historical and contemporary examples, invited speakers in this eight-part series will draw our attention to the inevitability of the end facing all living creatures, the various ways in which humans have learned to live with knowledge of their mortality, and how bereavement rituals impact our environment and community. With input from scholars in a range of disciplines, including scholars of history, religion, environmental studies, Latin American studies, history of medicine,and art history, the series reveals how learning in the humanities can help us better understand one of the most integral parts of life: the end of life.

This event is free and open to the public and includes time afterward for questions and discussion.

Workshop Series: Diversity Dialogue
Multicultural and Diversity Affairs
All events are 4–5:30pm in Reitz Union: Room 2201

Non-recurring Events

January 2017

Film Screening: Cinemuse: Selfie With Sokurov and Aleksander Sokurov: Francofonia
Dragan Kujundzic, professor of Jewish Studies, UF
Tues. Jan. 10, 4:00pm–7:30pm, The Harn Museum
Center for Jewish Studies and Center for European Studies

Film screenings and discussion of the work of Russian filmmaker Aleksander Sokurov, including an interview and Sokurov's Francofonia. Discussion with Professor Dragan Kujundzic, UF.

More information (PDF)

Fair: Study Abroad Showcase
Thurs. Jan. 12, 12:00pm–2:00pm, Reitz Union: Room 2203
UF International Center and Multicultural & Diversity Affairs

Come and meet study abroad advisors, learn about study abroad programs, financial aid & scholarships, peace corps, and international scholars opportunities.

more information

Symposium: Lost & Found in the Archives
Wed. Jan. 18–Thurs. Jan. 19 (see below)
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Wed. Jan. 18 4–6pm, Smathers Library East Room 100

Archive talk and film screening, featuring Dan Streible, NYU, and archivist Skip Elsheimer

Thurs Jan 19, 11–12:30pm, Library West: Scott Nygren Scholars Studio

Interdisciplinary Roundtable, featuring UF Faculty

Co-presented by the Center for Film and Media Studies, Center for Children’s Literature and Culture, and the Department of English

Download PDF

Speaker: Failure Factories
Wed. Jan. 18, 6:00 pm, Pugh Hall: Ocora
Bob Graham Center for Public Service

In 2015, the Tampa Bay Times began publishing an investigative series which explored the effects of a school district's decision to re-segregate its schools. The series, Failure Factories, exposed how failed promises of money and resources resulted in five average schools becoming some of the worst over an eight year period. The series was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2016.

Michael LaForgia, one of the award-winning reporters, will speak at the Bob Graham Center on January 18 at 6 pm in the Pugh Hall Ocora about his investigation into the Pinellas County school district and the tremendous impact that the investigative series had on education policy and programs in the district.

Facing tremendous scrutiny after the release of Failure Factories, Pinellas County began proposing sweeping fixes to the school district—three of the five schools profiled have now been designated magnets to attract diversity and better teachers.

The U.S. Department of Education opened a civil rights investigation into the matter and additionally opened an investigation into the district's use of federal Title I dollars to determine if the money was properly spent.

Speaker: Beyond Loving Haiti…Our Praxis Matter Now More than Ever
Wed. Jan. 20, 1:00–2:30pm, Ustler Hall
Gina Athena Ulysse
Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Studies Research, and Center for African American Studies

Weaving insights from history, contemporary moments and poetry, this talk emphasizes the need to recognize and reconcile our history of fracture and difference as we work towards repair.

Co-presented with Multicultural and Diversity Affairs

Fair: Career Day
Mon. Jan. 23, 10:00am–2:00pm, Reitz Union
Bob Graham Center for Public Service

UF CLAS Career Day aims to expose attendees to non traditional major and career combinations as well as prepare students for Career Showcase.

CLAS Career Day will host a variety of panels and workshops.

The panels will consist of an alumni panel in which alumni will discuss their education and career paths and an employer panel, which will consist of employers attending Career Showcase who are interested in hiring CLAS majors.

Workshops will cover the following topics: choosing your major, choosing your career path, writing and formatting your resume, interview skills, marketing your major, and preparing for the Career Showcase. Available workshops:

more information and RSVP

Speaker: Whodunit?: The Role of the Rural Population in Post-Roman Economic Development
Thurs. Jan. 26, 5:00pm, Marston Science Library: Visualization Lab (Rm L136)
Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere

The question of how Europe overcame the collapse of the Roman state in the West has been the subject of popular and academic debate for more than a century. The fall of Rome and its societal consequences in the West are often perceived as one of the continent's most severe crises. Academic interest in the collapse and recovery of the West has been remarkably top-down. Debates are often still conducted in terms of dichotomies such as transformation vs. collapse and self-sufficiency vs. an open economy.

In this paper, Frans Theuws will present his ideas about the role of the rural population in the economic recovery of Northwestern Europe (Northern France, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and the western part of Germany). Professor Theuws will also explain why life-cycle rituals were of great importance in this and why the existing models of historians obscured the view on the role of rural dwellers in a process of economic growth.

Symposium: Implicit Bias
Kate Ratliff, professor of psychology, UF
Jan. 26–27, Emerson Alumni Hall
Office of the Provost and Bob Graham Center for Public Service

The University of Florida will host a symposium in January focusing on implicit bias and understanding the unconscious roots of thoughts and feelings.

more information


Conference: Sexing Sacred Bodies: Gender and Performance in Religion
Jan. 28–29, Pugh Hall: Ocora
Department of Religion

The 2nd Religion Graduate Conference, titled Sexing Sacred Bodies: Gender and Performance in Religion, will be held Jan 28–29, 2017 in the Pugh Ocora. Student panels will be held on both days. Saturday will also include an opening address by Dr. Kelly Baker, author of Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK's Appeal to Protestant America, 1915–1930, as well as The Zombies are Coming!: The Realities of the Zombie Apocalypse in American Culture. On Sunday, Dr. Baker will host a workshop discussing alternatives to working in the academy and there will be a keynote address by Dr. Sam Gill, author of Dancing Culture Religion. This conference is co-sponsored by the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research and The Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment).

Speaker: Stamped from the Beginning
Ibram X. Kendi, professor of African American history, UF
Tues. Jan. 31, 6:00 pm, Pugh Hall: Ocora
Bob Graham Center for Public Service

Ibram X. Kendi, assistant professor of African American history at the University of Florida, will speak in the Pugh Hall Ocora on Jan. 31 about his book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. The book was recently named a National Book Award winner for nonfiction.

In the book, Kendi examines the words and actions of American powerhouses, such as Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. DuBois, Angela Davis, Zora Neale Hurston, and Barack Obama, throughout our country's history to illustrate how deeply ingrained and complex racist thought is in the United States. The event is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live at

February 2017

Speaker: Into the Open: What Animals Can Teach Us about Death
Jessica Pierce (Bio-ethicist, Writer, Religious Studies Scholar, based in Denver, Colorado)
Wed. Feb. 1, 7:00pm, Millhopper Branch Library
Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere

What we can learn about death, and about caring for those who are nearing the end of life, from our experiences with animals? The simple answer: A lot! This talk will explore what kinds of death awareness animals might possess, and will look at some fascinating reports of death-related behavior, including grieving, in both wild and domesticated animals. We'll also examine human cultural, psychological and moral attitudes toward and practices related to animal death, focusing particularly on the death of companion species such as dogs and cats, and on the growing field of veterinary hospice and palliative care. Here we find a rich source of insight on caring for dying animals, and also a useful comparative ground thinking about our own death and the death of our human loved ones.

more information about the event

This event is the 5th in an eight-part speaker series called Death: Confronting the Great Divide. This series invites nationally renowned scholars and filmmakers to explore unique cultural and historical confrontations with death.

more information about the series

Speaker: Ten Great American Trials: Lessons in Advocacy
Fri. Feb. 3, 12:00pm & 6:00pm, Pugh Hall: Ocora
Bob Graham Center for Public Service

On Friday, Feb. 3 the University of Florida Office of the President, the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, and the Levin College of Law will present two talks by Cornell University Dean and American Studies Professor Glenn Altschuler, who will draw on his discussion of trials in a just-published book, Ten Great American Trials: Lessons in Advocacy.

At 12 p.m. Friday, in the College of Law's Holland Room 180, Altschuler will examine the McMartin sexual abuse case—the longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history.

At 6 p.m. in the Pugh Hall Ocora, Altschuler will present a talk entitled The Future Belongs to Those Who Tell the Best Stories: Lessons in Trial Advocacy. The talk will draw on four of the 10 trials discussed in the book representing the most highly publicized, intriguing and legendary court battles of the 20th century, according to the American Bar Association, the book's publisher. The event is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live at

Speaker: Warriors in Drag: Ottoman Prisoners of War Camp Theaters in Russia and Egypt, 1914
Thurs. Feb. 9, 5:30pm, Ustler Hall: Atrium
Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere

During the First World War, nearly 250,000 Ottoman soldiers became prisoners of war. The British held more than 150,000 people in Egypt. Russians interned 90,000 other Ottomans throughout their empire. With much time on their hands, especially the prisoners who had been officers, they turned to cultural activities, including theater, to bring some semblance of normality to their lives. This talk examines those theaters the Ottoman prisoners of war organized in captivity. More than just a way to pass the tedium of captivity life, theater became a survival strategy. It was a therapeutic activity that allowed the prisoners to survive emotionally, psychologically, and even physically. In the homosocial environment of the prison camps, officers-turned-actors dressed in drag to perform women's roles in dramas and comedies. Because the plays represented the home life and idealized traditional gender roles, female impersonation helped prisoners define, heal, and reassert their masculinity in relation to women.

Yücel Yanikdağ is an Associate Professor of History and International Studies at the University of Richmond. His first book, Healing the Nation: Prisoners of War, Medicine and Nationalism in Turkey, 1914-1939, was published by the Edinburgh University Press in 2013. He is currently working on a new book, which will be a cultural and social history of the Ottomans in the First World War.

Speaker: Long-term Impacts of Early Childhood Investments
Thurs. Feb. 9, 6:00pm, Pugh Hall: Ocora
Bob Graham Center for Public Service

Economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach will discuss major policy issues including poverty, education, health and income support and how these policies impact children's long-term outcomes. Her recent work focuses on tracing the impact of the Food Stamp Program and early childhood education.

Advances in data availability and methodological approaches have allowed researchers to begin to understand the long-term impacts of early childhood investments. Based on this work, there are promising and highly cost-effective interventions for children in school settings and through social safety net programs that improve a wide variety of outcomes—including economic and health outcomes—as measured in later adolescence and into adulthood.

Schanzenbach is the Director of the Hamilton Project and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and she is an associate professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University.

Speaker: Preparing for Death: Reflections on Possession and Loss in Late Antiquity
Isabel Moreira (University of Utah)
Thurs. Feb. 16 5:30 pm, Smathers Library: Room 100
Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere

As the biblical phrase has it, death (the day of the Lord) will come like a thief in the night. But for those who had the privilege of waiting for death, a constellation of thoughts, attitudes, and practical choices presented themselves which, when acted upon or recorded in some way, provides us with a view into the past: how people thought about death, and how they envisaged what lay beyond. Focusing on the fifth through eighth centuries, this talk explores how individuals in the past made personal decisions about the meaning of their lives whilst engaged in the process of making preparations for death. In an era of western Christian culture that was particularly challenged by shifts in attitudes to wealth, and thus by extension to the thorny interconnection of personal possessions and hopes of salvation, these individuals faced entirely relatable concerns about how to understand what they owned and, in some cases, what they had lost. In some cases, new approaches had to be learned in the context of religious ideas that were not necessarily intuitive. From the anxieties of an impoverished aristocrat in the fifth-century, to disturbing personal visions of the otherworld in the seventh and eighth centuries, possessions (and their loss) came to represent both baggage and opportunity in the quest to face death with a modicum of hope.

more information about the event

This event is the 6th in an eight-part speaker series called Death: Confronting the Great Divide. This series invites nationally renowned scholars and filmmakers to explore unique cultural and historical confrontations with death.

more information about the series

Speaker: 7 Months of Captivity: The True Story of escaping from Al Qaeda
Tues. Feb. 21, 6:00pm, Pugh Hall: Ocora
Bob Graham Center for Public Service

In late December 2012, Jewish American photographer Matthew Schrier was captured by an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, while traveling on the road between Aleppo and the Turkish border. He was among a collection of kidnapped American journalists held by Syrian jihadists in the Syrian city of Aleppo. Schrier strategically converted to Islam in March 2013 as a survival tactic to get better treatment. A strategy which later proved to be life-saving. In July 2013 Schrier became the first and only westerner to escape from al Qaeda. Schrier will share his harrowing story of survival on February 21 at 6 p.m. in the Pugh Hall Ocora. The event is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live at

Film Screening: Love and Solidarity
Tues. Feb. 28, 6:00–9:00pm, Pugh Hall
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program

What can people do to change a world full of violence and hate?

Is nonviolent revolution possible?

Love and Solidarity explores these questions through the life of Reverend James Lawson, an African American Methodist minister who worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. to initiate civil rights struggles in the 1960s South. His commitment to nonviolent social change in the 1960s remained his major life purpose. In recent years, he has taught nonviolent organizing techniques to working class coalitions of Black and Latino workers that refashioned the labor movement in Los Angeles.

Utilizing oral history interviews with Reverend Lawson and archival film footage, acclaimed labor and civil rights historian Michael Honey and award-winning filmmaker Errol Webber examine the nonviolent social change at the heart of present-day struggles for universal human rights, peace, and economic justice in the face of violence.

more information and RSVP

March 2017

Speaker: Stepping Up: Helping those with mental illness
Wed. March 15 6:00 pm, Pugh Hall: Ocora
Bob Graham Center for Public Service

The Bob Graham Center will host a public talk by Judge Steven Leifman and Leon Evans on Wed., March 15 at 6 p.m. in the Pugh Hall Ocora. They will discuss cutting-edge community programs developed as part of the national stepping up initiative aimed at reducing incarceration rates among those with mental illness.

The Honorable Judge Steve Leifman of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, is the recipient of the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence. He received the award for his groundbreaking work helping people with mental illnesses.

Mr. Leon Evans, the chief executive officer of the Center for Health Care Services in Bexar County, Texas, developed an award-winning jail diversion program and has become a national leader in improving mental health care through multi-stakeholder collaboration.

The event is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live at

The event is co-sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

Speaker: Relics and Reliquaries: A Matter of Life and Death
Cynthia Hahn (CUNY, Hunter College)
Thurs. March 16 5:30 pm, Harn Museum of Art: Chandler Auditorium
Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere

A not unusual modern response to reliquaries is disgust — after all they often contain bones. To understand their presence, even their glorification, it must be admitted that the bones are not the ordinary subject of horror, rather as the bones of the blessed, dem bones gonna rise again! In a Christian understanding they will be instrumental in linking heaven and earth. Relics (with the help of their reliquaries) lead away from death and horror through intercession and access to salvation. Indeed, only in a later, almost modern development did the bones — and the economy of death — become a subject of fascination in themselves.

more information about the event

This event is the 7th in an eight-part speaker series called Death: Confronting the Great Divide. This series invites nationally renowned scholars and filmmakers to explore unique cultural and historical confrontations with death.

more information about the series

Symposium & Reception: UF Women's Studies Turns 40
Fri. March 17 1:00–7:00 pm, Ustler Hall
Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Studies Research

UF Women's Studies celebrates 40 years this year and you are invited to help us in commemorating this important milestone. On March 17, 2017, we will celebrate our anniversary in beautiful Ustler Hall with a day of food, fun, and opportunities to connect with faculty, students, and other alums. The theme of the celebration is Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Studies Research: 40 Years of Transformations. You are an integral part of this history and the vibrancy of the Center's future. We hope you will join us.

The celebration will include:

A reception will follow.

April 2017

Speaker: Shorstein Lecture: American Jewish Culture & Society
Kenneth D. Wald, professor of political science, UF
Thurs. April 4 6:00 pm, Pugh Hall: Ocora
Bob Graham Center for Public Service

Kenneth D. Wald is a distinguished professor of Political Science and previously served as the the Samuel R. Bud Shorstein Professor of American Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Florida. He has written about the relationship of religion and politics in the United States, Great Britain, and Israel. His most recent books include Religion and Politics in the United States (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010, 6th ed.), The Politics of Cultural Differences: Social Change and Voter Mobilization Strategies in the Post-New Deal Period (Princeton University Press, 2002, co-authored), and The Politics of Gay Rights (University of Chicago Press, 2000, coedited with Craig Rimmerman and Clyde Wilcox).

He has been a Fulbright Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a visiting scholar at the University of Strathyclyde (Glasgow), Haifa University (Israel), Harvard University, the University of Michigan, and the Centennial Center for Political Science & Public Affairs in Washington, DC. He has lectured widely at academic institutions in the United States and abroad and given talks in such disparate locales as the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York, throughout China for the U.S. Information Agency, and at two House Democratic Message Retreats in Congress.

Together with David C. Leege, he coedits the Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics for Cambridge University Press. He has edited a special issue of the International Political Science Review and served on the editorial board of Political Behavior and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. He current serves on the editorial board of Politics and Religion.

At the University of Florida, he served as Chair (1989-1994) and Graduate Coordinator (1987-1989) of the Department of Political Science. From 1999 through 2004, he served as director of the Center for Jewish Studies. In 2011, he received the University's highest faculty award, Teacher/Scholar of the Year.

Dr. Wald received his BA from the University of Nebraska, where he was inducted into Phi Beta.

Speaker: A Doorway to the Divine: Islamic Bodies and the Sufi Saints as Connecting the Living to the Dead
Ellen Amster (McMaster University)
Thurs. April 6 5:30 pm, Smathers Library: Room 100
Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere

Nineteenth-century French visitors to Morocco remarked that pilgrims in North Africa visited the tombs of Islamic saints (awliya') searching for healing from a variety of mental, physical, and moral afflictions. These were dead who brought healing to the living — through touch, prayer, or cures performed at the shrine. The Moroccan jurist Hasan al-Yusi (d. 1691) called these saints a medicine and a cure, for the saint connects the various layers of reality to one another; he is an axis around whom reality revolves (qutb) and a murabit (marabout, one who binds men to God). Saint tombs also have political significance. In visiting graves, Moroccans constructed a topographical map of the collective past, a geographical representation of the Islamic political community (umma) and God's presence in the world, a political imaginary yet contested in the contemporary world. The key connecting the living to the dead is knowledge, a knowing that realizes the potentiality of the human body as an isthmus between the oceans of God and the Cosmos, as the Qur'an describes, and a station for the Lord of the Two Worlds to reside. In this talk, we consider the hagiographical compendium of Muhammad ibn Ja'far al-Kattani, Salwat al-Anfas wa Muhadathat al-Akyas bi man Uqbira min al-Ulama' wa al-Sulaha bi Fas, and the city of Fez. In Morocco, we see how this knowing operated in physical space and time, and how French colonial interventions and science impacted Moroccan understandings of death and life.

more information about the event

This event is the 8th and final in an eight-part speaker series called Death: Confronting the Great Divide. This series invites nationally renowned scholars and filmmakers to explore unique cultural and historical confrontations with death.

more information about the series

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

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