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 4–5:30 p.m. in Reitz Union: Room 2201

Non-recurring Events

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, 7:00 p.m., 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, 12:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m., 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: Careers in Foreign Affairs
Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh
Fri. Feb. 3, 12:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m., Pugh Hall: Ocora
Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Speaker: Warriors in Drag: Ottoman Prisoners of War Camp Theaters in Russia and Egypt, 1914
Thurs. Feb. 9, 5:30 p.m., 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, 6:00 p.m., 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: Imagining Climate Change
Aaron Thier
Wed. Feb. 15 7–9 pm, Reitz Union: The Chamber
Department of English

Key West, 2016. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying. In short, everything is going to hell. It is here that two young filmmakers, propelled by drugs and irony, find something to believe in: a five hundred and sixty year old sailor who calls himself Daniel Defoe. In Mr. Eternity, novelist Aaron Thier recounts the ancient mariner's incredible, eternal life in a genre-bending page-turner that spans one thousand years of high-seas adventure, environmental and cultural catastrophe, and enduring love.

Aaron Thier has been praised as wickedly smart and his 2016 novel as twisted and wild and vividly inventive. He will read selected passages from Mr. Eternity and discuss the opportunities and responsibilities of writing fiction in an era of climate crisis. Thier's talk will be followed by a response from Jack E. Davis, UF Professor of History and author of The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea*, and *An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century. The evening will conclude with a Q & A session with both speakers. Imagining Climate Change is co-sponsored by the Department of English, the Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar, the Science Fiction Working Group, and Storm Richards and Jeanne Fillman-Richards. All ICC events are free and open to the public. No advance registration is required. For more information, contact Terry Harpold at tharpold[at]ufl[dot]edu or visiting the series webpage.

Lecture: Bigfoot: The beast that can't be found yet won't go away
David Daegling, Professor of Anthropology
Thurs. Feb. 16 6:30 pm, Fine Arts B Rm 103
Department of Anthropology

To celebrate World Anthropology Day, biological anthropologist Prof. David Daegling will present a lecture on BIGFOOT. This lecture event is sponsored by uFASA (undergraduate Florida Anthropology Student Association) and Lambda Alpha National Honors Society (Delta Chapter of Florida).

Concert: An Evening of Jazz and Multicolored Memories
Kitty Oliver
Thurs. Feb. 16 7:30 pm, Thomas Center
Center for African Studies, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, with the Center for Arts in Medicine

Dr. Kitty Oliver is an author, oral historian, media producer and singer with a Ph.D. focusing on race and ethnic communication. Dr. Oliver was one of the first Black freshman at UF in 1965, graduating with a degree in English. She has written and spoken about her experience while one of the first Black staff writers at the Miami Herald, in her book Multicolored Memories of a Black Southern Girl (University Press of Kentucky), and in her international presentations on coming of age with integration in the U.S.

Weaving inspirational jazz vocals and literary stories, Dr. Oliver traces the common journey of native-born Americans and immigrants as we adapt to life in a diverse society and social change on a global scale. Dr. Oliver shares her personal experiences moving from segregation to integration to multicultural diversity in the international arena.

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: Race and Change Across Cultures and Generations: Florida Stories
Kitty Oliver
Tues. Feb. 17, 2–4pm, Constans Theatre
4–6 pm Audience will have the opportunity to join Dr. Oliver in facilitated story circles after the show. Share your story for UF's Diversity Project!
Center for African Studies, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, with the Center for Arts in Medicine

This multimedia program blends lively cross-cultural stories, research and discussion on coming of age with integration in ethnically diverse Florida in a 21st Century dialogue on race in a non-confrontational way. Drawing on an archive of over 125 oral histories of Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians and Caribbeans from a variety of heritages, Dr. Oliver explores how far we've come and how progress can be made in a hopeful way.

Seminar: Telling YOUR Story, Changing OUR Lives: Using Oral Histories on Race and Change to Make a Dfference
Kitty Oliver
Tues. Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m., Fine Arts B Room 105
Center for African Studies, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, with the Center for Arts in Medicine

This is a how-to workshop on the oral history process and the use of oral history to foster community engagement and team-building among diverse groups in periods of transition and growth. Participants explore techniques for telling personal stories and sharing them in group settings and public projects to bridge racial and ethnic differences between groups.

Speaker: 7 Months of Captivity: The True Story of escaping from Al Qaeda
Tues. Feb. 21, 6:00 p.m., 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, 6:00–9:00 p.m., 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: Criticism of the Albigensian Crusade in Occitan Crusading Lyrics
Marjolaine Raguin
Wed. March 1 5:30 pm, Marston Visualization Lab (L136)
Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere

Already marked as different by contemporary participants and witnesses, the Albigensian crusade beginning in 1209 against Christian heretical groups such as the Albigenses or Cathars and their protectors, was seen as a special kind of holy war. It lasted for twenty years and saw a profound modification of the structures of Occitan traditional society since it put French conquerors and Occitan collaborative leaders in positions of power. They killed and exiled a broad swath of the affected communities in the south of France, including not only heretics but also Occitan poets, known as troubadours, who made themselves undesirable by critiquing the war. This Occitan literary corpus represents a consistent part of political and religious lyric songs of the first part of thirteenth century.

In this lecture, Dr. Marjolaine Raguin will present the typology of motifs and literary uses of the denunciation of this Albigensian Crusade in this lyric corpus. She will show which kind of arguments were used by poets, how they were applied, and in which historical and intellectual context they operated.

More information

Film Screening: The Anthropologist
Susie Crate
Thurs. March 2 5:30–7:30 p.m., Reitz Union: The Chamber
Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Anthropology

The Anthropologist explores climate change (and more broadly, social change) as it is affecting different parts of the world, such as the Andes, Siberia, and Pacific Islands, and how researchers are approaching the problem. It focuses on the work and experiences of Dr. Susie Crate (George Mason University), seen through the eyes of her teenage daughter as they visit research sites where climate change is a looming issue.

The film screening will be followed by a discussion with Dr. Crate.

More information

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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