Center for the Humanities & the
University of Florida
With the launch of our new website coinciding with the start of the new academic year, I am very excited to welcome everyone back to campus. The Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere has now been operating out of 200 Walker Hall for the past year and has recently named its conference room after Jerome A. Yavitz, a generous donor to our speaker series and workshops. I hope that this space will continue to be used for meetings among scholars and students in the humanities and related disciplines. We also encourage members of the community to join us in the Center’s activities and help build the program from the ground up.
In a year of many firsts, I am very pleased to announce the hire of the Center’s first part-time associate director at the Center, Sophia Krzys Acord, who is a specialist in cultural sociology and comes to us from UC Berkeley. Starting this month, she will support programming initiatives at the Center in addition to expanding our grant-writing initiatives. Our graduate student assistant, Chris Bonura, will continue to work with us for a second year to help expand fellowship opportunity listings and text on the Center website and organize some of the logistics of our locally-held events.
As in past years, the Center has planned a full season of lectures and co-sponsored events on campus and in the community with the support of the Yavitz Fund, Rothman Endowment, and Humanities Fund. Themed events will include, among others, lectures and workshops celebrating the four hundredth anniversary of the King James Bible, the role of libraries and books in public life from late antiquity to the present, the life of Simone de Beauvoir, marketing and identity in art, the imagery of animals in early modern bestiaries, and the politics of sustainability from a humanities perspective. The Center is also co-sponsoring the upcoming Latino Film Festival in Gainesville, which has been organized by the Latina Women’s League. Our calendar will provide information about all of these upcoming events in the several weeks.
With these programs, the Center seeks to support both single and multi-disciplinary research in the humanities and related disciplines among University of Florida faculty and students. Sponsoring events allows us to bring scholars from around the globe to the University of Florida and North Florida communities and support a broad variety of academic and cultural initiatives in the humanities and allied subjects.
Besides the lectures and workshops which are already or soon to be listed on our calendar, I am very happy to announce that, during the summer, the Rothman Endowment supported library acquisitions in the fields of Chinese Studies, Ancient and Modern Greek Studies, Humanities and the Arts (at the Bishop Study Center of the Harn Museum), Reformation Studies, and African Studies (a primary source collection specifically related to Tema, Ghana). The Center also awarded Summer Humanities Fellowships to six faculty members at UF in support of their research; sponsored by the Rothman Endowment, these grants went to Professors Haddad, Hasak-Lowy, Kujundzic, Margheritis, Ongiri, and Wang. More information about their exciting work will be posted in the coming months on our website.
And, finally, this year, in conjunction with the UF Honors Program, the Center will launch four new interdisciplinary undergraduate team-taught courses in the humanities. The offerings for the fall include: Bible and Western Culture, as well as Foodscapes: The Science and Culture of a Meal; those for the spring include: Correspondences between Music and Texts in French Literature, and Culture and Identity on the Global Market. More information about these courses may be found on the team-teaching link of our website.
Early this fall, the Center will make its annual call for workshops, colloquia, library enhancement grants, and other programs with the support of funding from the Robert and Margaret Rothman Endowment for the Humanities. As the director, I look forward to meeting members of the faculty, student body, and the community, and I welcome feedback and suggestions regarding the Center’s current and future endeavors. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your support.
Rothman Chair and Director
Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere
University of Florida
12 August 2010
Center for the Humanities
and the Public Sphere
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
200 Walker Hall
P.O. Box 118030
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611