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The Rehumanizing the University series is one of the collections within the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere Collection.
In 2011-2012, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere presented Rehumanizing the University: New Perspectives on the Liberal Arts, a twelve-part public speaker series at the University of Florida.
This 18-month speaker series draws upon the expertise of twelve humanities scholars from North America and Europe to respond to unprecedented challenges to the fundamental objectives of higher education. These challenges include shifts in the educational landscape caused by diminished state and federal resources, the corporatization of university administration, and the devaluing of the liberal arts and sciences in an increasingly technological environment. Each speaker demonstrates from the perspective of a different humanities discipline how universities and their faculty can adapt to these changes, and how they can use their expertise to further their teaching mission and catalyze social change. Speaker topics range from the legacies of exclusionary policies to the place of local communities, gender, race, religious difference, market forces, digital technologies, museum collections, and internationalization in higher education. The ultimate goal of the series is to provide a critical reading of universities' contributions to academic advances and public life so that we can understand the complex issues that are integral to their future evolution. In examining the intellectual responsibilities of universities to local communities and indeed the world, this series re-asserts the vital role of the humanities in helping universities and their publics navigate this time of radical change and beyond.
This series of twelve lectures is co-sponsored by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment), the Harn Eminent Scholar Chair in Art History Program, the UF Honors Program, the Alexander Grass Chair in Jewish History at UF, the UF International Center, the UF Office of Research, UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the UF Center for Jewish Studies, the UF Libraries, the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, the UF France-Florida Research Institute, the Hyatt and Cici Brown Endowment for Florida Archaeology, the UF Department of History, the UF Department of Classics, the UF Department of English, the Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar Chair, the Albert Brick Chair in English at UF, the UF African American Studies Program, the UF Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, UF College of Design, Construction and Planning, and the Alachua County Library District.
Further information follows:
Something Wicked This Way Comes: How to Save the University
Prof. Cary Nelson, Department of English, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
12 September 2011, 7:30 pm, Smathers Library 1A, University of Florida
The assaults on higher education during 2010 – from humanities department closures to efforts to eliminate collective bargaining rights – exceed anything we had encountered in previous decades. In many ways they represent not only coordinated political strategies but also national and international trends. This talk examines how, if faculty and students unite in solidarity, these destructive forces can be countered and defeated.
Cary Nelson received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, and since 1970 has taught modern poetry and literary theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of English. He was active in the effort to unionize the Champaign-Urbana faculty in the 1970s and in the drive to recognize a graduate employee union twenty years later. For the last ten years he has served on the National Council of the American Association of University Professors; in 2006 he took office as the AAUP's President, being reelected in 2008. He coauthored the Association's Redbook statements on graduate students and on academic professionals. His twenty-five authored or edited books include The Incarnate Word: Literature as Verbal Space (1973), Our Last First Poets: Vision and History in Contemporary American Poetry (1981), Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (1987), Cultural Studies (1992), Higher Education Under Fire: Politics, Economics, and the Crisis of the Humanities (1994), Will Work for Food: Academic Labor in Crisis (1997), Academic Keywords: A Devil's Dictionary for Higher Education (1999),Revolutionary Memory: Recovering the Poetry of the American Left (2001), Office Hours : Activism and Change in the Academy (2004), and No University is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom (2010). He is the author of over 100 essays, including a number published in Academe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Education.
Using Diverse Histories to Transform University Communities
Prof. Leslie Harris, Department of History, Emory University
10 October 2011, 7:30 pm, Smathers Library 1A, University of Florida
In 2005, Emory University launched the Transforming Community Project, which has used the history of race at the University – including southern slavery, Jim Crow, and desegregation – to inspire individuals and groups to reconsider their roles as active participants in sustaining ethical practices around diversity and equal access. In this talk, Prof. Harris, Co-Founder and Director of the Project from 2004 to 2011, discusses the challenges Emory University faced that inspired the creation of the Project and the experiences of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who participated in the Project.
Leslie Harris earned her Ph.D. in History at Stanford University in 1995. Her work focuses on complicating ideas about the history of African Americans in the United States, and finding ways to communicate these new ideas to the general public. In her first book, In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863 (2002), she challenges the prevailing view of slavery as a phenomenon of the southern United States, with little impact or importance in the northern U.S. Prof. Harris is also known for her work in public scholarship, and she served as a principal adviser to the "Slavery in New York" exhibit at the New-York Historical Society (2005-2006), and co-edited the book that accompanied it. She is likewise the co-founder and director of the Transforming Community Project (TCP), which was funded by the Ford Foundation's Difficult Dialogue Initiative and the Office of the President of Emory University. She is also the principal investigator for the New Orleans After Katrina project, which utilizes Zotero and Omeka to allow students, scholars, and the general public a way to approach the history of New Orleans in a collaborative and critical fashion.
In-comparative Literature: On the Problem of Untranslatability in Literary Studies
Prof. Emily Apter, Department of French, New York University
14 November 2011, 7:30 pm, Smathers Library 1A, University of Florida
This talk offers a critique of “world literature” models of literary studies on the grounds that they presume translatability as a given. As a result, the field of literary studies does not make enough room for what is “untranslatable”. What does Prof. Apter mean by an Untranslatable? She borrows the term from the philosopher Barbara Cassin, who used it in the subtitle of a project published in France as the Vocabulaire Européen des Philosophies: Dictionnaire des Intraduisibles (The Vocabulary of European Philosophies: A Dictionary of Untranslatables). In conceptualizing the project, Cassin was committed to activating philosophy as both medium and life-form. Here, the Untranslatable refers to a term that has been historically left untranslated as it transferred from language to language (as in the examples of Polis, Begriff, Praxis, Aufheben, Mimesis, Feeling, Lieu Commun, Logos, Matter of Fact), or that has been constantly subject to mistranslation and retranslation (especially evident in such entries as Subject, Translation, World, Truth, Sense, Sovereignty, and Categories). It is arguably a convergence point where the void of meaning in one language finds its counterpart in another. The Untranslatable challenges the soft international diplomacy model of translation, traditionally defined by the desire to screen out disagreement and avoid direct encounters with insecurable knowledge. It runs the security risk of non-communication even as it serves as a repository for the remainders of what gets lost in translation. Casting untranslatability as the fulcrum of an “Incomparative Literature”, this talk looks at how the unspeakable, the un-understandable, the incomparable and the interdicted are mobilized in critical practice.
Emily Apter received her Ph.D. from Princeton, and has been Professor of French and Comparative Literature at NYU since 2002. Previously she taught in French and Comparative Literature at UCLA, Cornell University, UC Davis, University of Pennsylvania, and Williams College. Her recent essays have focused on paradigms of "oneworldedness," the problem of self-property and self-ownership, literary world-systems and the translatability of genres. At NYU, she has co-organized two Humanities Council lecture series, on "The Humanities in an Era of Global Comparatism," (2005) and "Timing the Political." (2006). She has also initiated a series of panels at NYU's La Maison Française devoted to "Rethinking Nineteenth-Century French Studies." In 2005 she was elected MLA Divisional Representative for "Comparative Studies in Romanticism and the Nineteenth Century." She is the author of The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature (Princeton, 2005), Continental Drift: From National Characters to Virtual Subjects (Chicago, 1999), Feminizing the Fetish: Psychoanalysis and Narrative Obsession in Turn-of-the Century France (Ithaca, 1990), co-editor with William Pietz of Fetishism as Cultural Discourse (Ithaca, 1991), and André Gide and the Codes of Homotextuality (Stanford, 1981). Prof. Apter has published a variety of articles, including in: Critical Inquiry, Translation Studies, The Boston Review, October, Public Culture, Modern Language Notes, and Critique. She edits a book series Translation/Transnation for Princeton University Press. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the ACLS, the Rockefeller Foundation and the NEH.
"If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?" The Market, European Universities and the "Bologna Process"
Prof. Chris Lorenz, Faculty of History, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
12 January 2012, 7:30 pm, Smathers Library 1A, University of Florida
In 1999, twenty-nine ministers of education in Europe signed the so-called “Bologna Declaration”. This document, only four pages long, documented the political intention of the EU to restructure European universities in such a way that their courses and degrees would become uniform, from astrophysics to Celtic studies. In so doing, the EU intends to create one integrated educational market in which a future student will be able to do a bachelor’s degree in Amsterdam, a master’s degree in Athens, and a Ph.D. degree in Aarhus without any formal impediment, or any doubt as to differences in quality. (Therefore “Quality Assessment” and “Quality Control” of the universities are the buzzwords in all plans based on “Bologna”.) The EU hopes that by integrating all national higher education systems and by tailoring this unified educational system to the needs of the economic market, the EU will turn into the most competitive economic bloc in this world (“outperforming” the U.S., as well as emerging powers like China and India). This talk examines these plans, as well as what has gone and what still is going seriously wrong. Prof. Lorenz gives special attention to the ill fate of the humanities, those old disciplines that (like the dinosaurs) are destined for (at least institutional) extinction in the neo-liberal 21st century universities, unless rehumanizing the universities is taken seriously soon.
Chris Lorenz received his Ph.D. in history and historiography at the University of Amsterdam and held a chair in the philosophy of history at the University of Leiden from 1989 to 2004 prior to joining the history faculty of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He has published mainly in the fields of modern German historiography, philosophy of history, comparative historiography, and developments in higher education, and in addition to numerous journal articles, his edited works include: The Contested Nation. Ethnicity, Class, Religion and Gender in National Histories (with Stefan Berger, 2008); “If You’re So Smart Why Aren’t You Rich?” Beschouwingen Over de Universiteit, de Politiek en Management (2008); Nationalizing the Past Historians as Nation Builders in Modern Europe (with Stefan Berger, 2010); and Popularizing the National Past: 1800 to the Present (with Stefan Berger and Billie Melman, 2011). In addition to winning a research prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung in 1996, Prof. Lorenz has held visiting professorships in Graz, Erfurt, Stellenbosch, and the University of Michigan. He is currently on the board of the International Commission for the History and Theory of Historiography. He was most recently team leader of the international group “National Histories and their ‘Other’,” sponsored by the European Science Foundation as part of their larger project on “Representations of the Past: National Histories in Europe” (2003-2008).
Ignorance, Women and Excellent Science
Prof. Carla Fehr, Department of Philosophy, University of Waterloo
9 February 2012, 7:30 pm, Ustler Hall Atrium, University of Florida
In general, women are underrepresented in academic science and engineering careers in the United States. The “epistemology of ignorance” is the study of the barriers to the creation and dissemination of knowledge. It also provides a useful frame for understanding the causes of the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering, as well as how this underrepresentation hurts the fruitfulness and objectivity of scientific practice. In discussing this epistemology of ignorance, this talk makes apparent that the underrepresentation of women is more than an issue of justice; it concerns the excellence of scientific research itself.
Carla Fehr received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Duke University, after which she taught at Iowa State University in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies from 1999 to 2011. Now the Wolfe Chair in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Waterloo, she works in the philosophy of biology, feminist philosophy and feminist science studies. She is a co-Principal Investigator for ISU ADVANCE, a $3.3 million National Science Foundation grant, which is designed to test strategies for promoting the advancement and retention of women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Prof. Fehr conducts research on the impact of culture on biological explanations of topics related to sex and gender and on the social structures of scientific communities that promote excellent research, and has published in numerous journals and edited collections, including Biology and Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Molecular Ecology, Ecology, Ethics, Place and Ecology, Synthese and Hypatia.
History and Empathy, or, What We Can Learn from Forgotten Orientalist Georg Ebers
Prof. Suzanne Marchand, Department of History, Louisiana State University
26 March 2012, 7:00 pm, Smathers Library 1A, University of Florida
Ebers may be forgotten, but he is definitely worth remembering. Ebers was a 19th-century Egyptologist who also wrote historicizing novels about both ancient Egyptians and the ancient Hebrews read mostly by middle-class girls and women. He also wrote the first Baedeker for Egypt and a beautiful, very expensive (but widely translated) travelogue, in which there are reproductions of the paintings of his friend, the artist, Lawrence Alma Tadema and others. Although Ebers was not an archaeologist exactly, he was a student of Richard Lepsius, who made a highly important archaeological trip to Egypt and Ethiopia, ancient monuments and landmarks held great fascination for him. In this talk, Prof. Marchand argues that casting ourselves back into the past – through history, philology, or archaeology – gives us the opportunity to experience and learn empathy, something the world badly needs at present.
Suzanne Marchand received her Ph.D. in history in 1992 at the University of Chicago, and is Professor of History at Louisiana State University. Her research has assessed the myriad ways in which ancient culture has shaped scholarship, museums, and intellectual life in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany. In her first book, Down from Olympus: Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1950 (1996), Prof. Marchand examines the rise of antiquarianism in Germany and the imprint left by ancient Greek art forms and archaeology on German scholarship, art collecting, and national identity. Her second book, German Orientalism in the Age of Empire (2010), which has just won the American Historical Association's prestigious George L. Mosse Prize, traces the general impact of ancient Near Eastern collections on European intellectual and cultural life. Among other fellowships, Prof. Marchand has held the American Council of Learned Society Burkhardt Fellowship (2003), the Wissenschaftskollege Fellowship in Berlin (2000-2001), and the Humboldt Fellowship in Berlin (1997).
Citizen Scholars, Student Researchers, and a Sustainable Infrastructure for Historical Languages
Prof. Gregory Crane, Department of Classics, Tufts University; Editor in Chief, Perseus Project
5 April 2012, 7:30 pm, Smathers Library 1A, University of Florida
The rise of vast digitized collections and increasingly sophisticated analytical methods has begun to transform both the depth and potential scale of humanities research. New media are, however, far more important because they have the potential to change the “who” and not simply the “what” of humanities discourse. We have an opportunity to redefine the relationship between what happens in the academy and society as a whole, but the degree to which we pursue that opportunity depends upon serious decisions that we will make, whether explicitly or by default. This talk explores both the challenges and opportunities as humanists explore their ability to realize their highest goal, advancing the intellectual life of society as a whole.
Gregory Crane earned his Ph.D. in classical philology at Harvard University in 1985. Since then, he has published on a wide range of ancient Greek authors (including articles on Greek drama and Hellenistic poetry and a book on the Odyssey). Much of his scholarly work has been devoted to the Greek historian Thucydides, including The Blinded Eye: Thucydides and the New Written Word (1996) and The Ancient Simplicity: Thucydides and the Limits of Political Realism (1998). Prof. Crane also has a long-standing interest in the relationship between the humanities and rapidly developing digital technology, including developing a Unix-based full text retrieval system for the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae in 1980s and establishing a typesetting consortium to facilitate scholarly publishing. Since 1985 he has been engaged in planning and development of the Perseus Project, which he directs as the Editor-in-Chief. From 1998, with support from the Digital Library Initiative, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Mellon Foundation, he has studied the problems and opportunities that arise when whole libraries rather than curated collections become available on-line.
Rehumanizing Babel: Museums and the Re-enchantment of the Arts and Sciences
Prof. Anthony Shelton, Director, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia
17 April 2012, 6:00 pm, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art Auditorium
Over the past 150 years, the arts and sciences have been sharply divided by questions of methodology, authority, and their role and relevance in modern societies. Science has become increasingly transcendental and estranged from mainstream western culture, while art practices have sought to embed themselves more in social processes and encourage a dialogue on contemporary issues and conditions. In this talk, Prof. Shelton argues that university museums are in a unique position to act as catalysts in drawing these two great forms of knowing together in order to re-situate and humanize science, while at the same time bringing new conditions of knowledge production into existence.
Anthony Shelton received his D.Phil. in Anthropology at the University of Oxford in 2002. He currently serves as Director of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and Professor of Anthropology and Adjunct Professor of Art History, Visual Culture and Theory at the same institution. Previously he was Head of Collections, Research, and Development at the Horniman Museum in London. His research interests range from theoretical foundations of anthropology to the incorporation of Latin American Art into Western collections. He has edited The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (2009, with Carol E. Mayer), Collectors: Expressions of Self and Other (2001), Collectors: Individuals and Institutions (2001), and a number of articles on combat in Mexican dance dramas and museological practice.
The Biopolitics of the Posthumanities
Prof. Cary Wolfe, Department of English, Rice University
13 September 2012, 6:00 pm, Smathers Library 1A, University of Florida
In this lecture, Prof. Wolfe discusses new ways of thinking about the shared fate of human beings and non-human animals, using recent biopolitical thought as a framework, thus moving beyond traditional humanism. He suggests some of the implications of what amounts to a rejection of the essential assumption in the classical humanities that necessary divisions exist between humans and animals, and indeed between society and nature. In light of his work, he points to what he believes are some of the new directions humanities research might take in the future.
Cary Wolfe is the Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English and Department Chair of the Department of English at Rice University. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University. His books include The Limits of American Literary Ideology in Pound and Emerson (Cambridge, 1993), Critical Environments: Postmodern Theory and the Pragmatics of the “Outside” (Minnesota, 2009), Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (Chicago, 2003), and What is Posthumanism? (Minnesota, 2009). He has also edited the collection Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (Minnesota, 2003). He is the founding editor of the series Posthumanities. His areas of research include animal studies and posthumanism, systems theory and pragmatism, biopolitics and biophilosophy, and American literature and culture.
Civilizing Students, Civilizing Communities: Frederick Law Olmsted's Plans for Colleges and Universities
Prof. David Schuyler, Department of American Studies, Franklin & Marshall College
1 October 2012, 7:30 pm, Smathers Library 1A, University of Florida
In this lecture, Prof. Schuyler discusses the historic background of the design of land-grant universities from the perspective of Frederick Law Olmsted, who oversaw the master plan of dozens of these institutions in the last third of the nineteenth century. He addresses the ways in which design affected the role and purview of public universities, and how physical layout of these institutions reflected their inspirations and ambitions. This lecture commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act that established land-grant universities and marks the beginning of the 2012 National Arts & Humanities Month.
David Schuyler received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, where his dissertation was awarded the Richard B. Morris Prize. He is currently the Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of the Humanities and Professor of American Studies at Franklin & Marshall College, where he has taught since 1979. Prof. Schuyler is author of A City Transformed: Redevelopment, Race, and Suburbanization in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1940-1980 (University Park, 2002), Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing 1815-1852 (Baltimore, 1996) and The New Urban Landscape: The Redefinition of City Form in Nineteenth-Century America (Baltimore, 1986); co-editor of From Garden City to Green City: The Legacy of Ebenezer Howard (Baltimore, 2002); co-editor of three volumes of The Frederick Law Olmsted Papers, the most recent of which is The Years of Olmsted, Vaux & Company, 1865-1874 (Baltimore, 1992); and author of more than thirty articles in books and professional journals. Prof. Schuyler is Associate Editor of the Journal of Planning History, a member of the editorial board of the Hudson River Valley Review and Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, and chair of the editorial board of the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers publication project. He was an editor of the award-winning Creating the North American Landscape series at The Johns Hopkins University Press, has served as chair of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Board, and is a member the National Advisory Committee of Olana, the Frederic E. Church house and grounds, which is a New York State historic site. Schuyler is past president of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History and a trustee of the New York Academy of History. Schuyler is recipient of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for distinguished teaching (1994), the Bradley R. Dewey Award for scholarship at Franklin & Marshall (2003), and the Lawrence C. Gerckens Award of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History for distinguished teaching (2003).
From the Margins to the Mainstream: Jewish Students and Administrators at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton
Prof. Marcia Synnott, Department of History, University of South Carolina
13 September 2012, 7:00 pm, Smathers Library 1A, University of Florida
“The university is America writ small,” observed Benjamin Epstein and Arnold Forster in their book on anti-Semitism in the United States, “Some of My Best Friends...” (1962). They concluded: “In sum, the entire gamut of discrimination that exists in society as a whole is reproduced in university society.” From restrictive admission to prejudicial treatment after matriculation, American universities have reflected social prejudices more often than they have been standard bearers of enlightened attitudes toward ethnic, racial, and religious minorities. Thus, they can provide fascinating case studies of the acceptance or rejection of minorities and their rate of mobility and assimilation. In this lecture, Prof. Marcia Synnott focuses primarily on why Harvard, Yale, and Princeton Universities, the so-called “Big Three”, adopted informal quotas on Jewish students in the 1920s and why they ultimately relinquished them almost fifty years later. At the conclusion of her talk, she also explores the debates over whether using race as a factor in admissions — as legitimized by Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) and Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) — discriminates against non-minority students, in particular those who do not benefit from other preferences, as with those accorded to legacies and athletes. This lecture continues UF's celebrations for National Arts & Humanities Month.
Marcia Synnott is Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at the University of South Carolina where she taught U.S. History, the history of American women, and public history. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her books include The Half-Opened Door: Discrimination and Admissions at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, 1900-1970 (Westport, 1979) and a forthcoming volume entitled Student Diversity at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton Universities: 1920-2010 (forthcoming 2012). She is currently finishing a biography on Alice Spearman Wright, a civil rights activist, whose papers are held at the University of South Carolina. She has also published essays on a variety of topics, including women’s access to higher education, African American women and desegregation, legal decisions affecting university admissions policies, and race, gender, and religion in American universities. In 1988, she held a Fulbright lectureship in American Civilization, at the American Institute, Department of English, University of Oslo, Norway.
How Can We Rehumanize the University, Here and Now?
Prof. Harry Brighouse, Department of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
15 November 2012, 7:00 pm, Ustler Hall Atrium, University of Florida
Public universities are under increasing financial pressure and political scrutiny. There is a sense that they are disconnected from the needs of the public and from the needs of students. Additional funding would improve their capacity to respond to these needs, but more is needed than just money. Many instructional practices need to change, as does the way that faculty and students relate to each other. Prof. Brighouse outlines some institutional reforms that could work to rehumanize the university. His lecture also outlines some changed practices that could be implemented by individual departments or faculty even in the absence of institutional reform.
Harry Brighouse is Professor of Philosophy and Affiliate Professor of Educational Policy Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests range from theoretical issues about the foundations of justice to the evaluation of policies proposed for reducing the achievement gap in K-12 education. His book about the values that should guide educational practice, On Education (Routledge, 2006), is widely used in teacher preparation courses. He is also the author of Justice (Polity, 2004) and School Choice and Social Justice (Oxford University Press, 2000); main author of Educational Equality (Continuum, 2010); co-editor of Measuring Justice: Capabilities and Primary Goods (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism (Cambridge University Press, 2005); and author of four pamphlets and over fifty chapters and articles. He is currently completing a book about the value of the family with Adam Swift (Oxford) entitled Family Values (Princeton University Press, forthcoming).
Following the 2011-2012 speaker series “Rehumanizing the University: New Perspectives on the Liberal Arts,” the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere invited UF faculty, students, and members of the Gainesville and North Florida communities for a series of “Humanizing Conversations at UF” in the Spring 2013 semester. Four panel discussions examined the history of academic freedom and activism at UF; racial, gender, and ethnic integration into the UF student body, faculty, and curriculum; the ongoing legacy of the 1956-1965 Florida Legislative Investigation Committee (known as the Johns Committee); and the many relationships between the humanities and science disciplines at UF. The series concluded with a final public lecture, available below, which discussed how political and market forces affect public higher education in general, and the humanities in particular, currently and in the future.
Further information follows:
The History of Academic Freedom and Activism at UF
Moderator: Malini Schueller
Participants: Michael Falcone, Deeb-Paul Kitchen II, Paul Ortiz, Ron Sachs
28 January 2013, 6:00-7:30 pm, Smathers Library 1A
This panel and audience discussion addressed the history and legacy of academic freedom and activism at the University of Florida in the 1960s and 1970s, including the civil rights movement, Vietnam protests, and Roe vs. Wade.
Diversifying the UF Student Body, Faculty, and Curriculum
Moderator: Bonnie Moradi
Participants: Carmen Diana Deere, Harry Shaw, Connie Shehan, Meera Sitharam, Kenneth Wald
25 February 2013, 6:00-7:30 pm, Smathers Library 1A
This panel and audience discussion examined the history of different racial, ethnic, and gendered populations at the University of Florida, and the relationship of curricular programs to the growing and changing UF faculty, staff, and student body.
“Behind Closed Doors: The Dark Legacy of the Johns Committee” at UF
Moderator: Churchill Roberts
Participants: Allyson Beutke DeVito, Stacy Braukman, Kim Emery, Jim Schnur
11 March 2013 5:30 documentary film screening, 6:00-7:30 pm panel, Smathers Library 1A
This documentary film screening, and following panel and audience discussion, examined the legacy of the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, known as the Johns Committee (1956-1965), which was designed to weed out communism and homosexual activity across Florida.
The Humanities and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Fields
Moderator: Willard Harrison
Participants: Erik Deumens, Kevin Knudson, Joseph Murphy, Christopher Sistrom, Betty Smocovitis
25 March 2013, 6:00-7:30 pm, Smathers Library 1A
This panel and audience discussion described several ways in which advances in history, literature, and philosophy inform and are informed by work in computer engineering, biomedicine, neuroscience, and mathematics.
Privileging Science over Humanities: How Privatization and Vocational Training in Higher Education Reinforce Social Stratification
Prof. Sheila Slaughter, Institute of Higher Education, University of Georgia
2 April 2013, 6:00 pm, Ustler Hall Atrium, University of Florida
This lecture discusses the rising emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and professional fields in higher education, and the many disparities this has created between these disciplines and the humanities in public and private research universities. Among the disparities that are discussed are: salaries, research funding, infrastructure, investment, course loads, and student numbers. In raising these issues, Professor Slaughter speaks to the ensuing deprofessionalization of the humanities and how these trends may be changed.
Sheila Slaughter is the first occupant of the McBee Professorship of Higher Education at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education. A distinguished scholar of higher education, her most recent book is Academic Capitalism and the New Economy: Markets, State and Higher Education (2004, Johns Hopkins University Press) with Gary Rhoades. Professor Slaughter’s current scholarship concentrates on the relationship between knowledge and power as it plays out in higher education policy at the state, federal and global levels. During the last fifteen years she has focused on topics such as intellectual property and statutes, commercialization of academic science and technology, and market mechanisms in higher education. Professor Slaughter has served as the President of Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and received the ASHE and AERA lifetime research awards. She has substantial funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and has served as program director of Societal Dimensions of Engineering, Science, and Technology at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Slaughter has also worked with the European Universities Project, Hedda - the European association of research centres, the Salzburg Seminar, and various groups in Mexico and Argentina. Her past publications include over 34 refereed articles, 25 book chapters, 11 edited books or special journal issues, three additional monographs: Academic Capitalism: Politics, Policies and the Entrepreneurial University with Larry Leslie (1997, Johns Hopkins University Press), The Higher Learning and High Technology: The Dynamics of Higher Education Policy Formation (1990, SUNY Press), and Serving Power: The Making of the American Social Science Expert with E.T. Silva (1984, Greenwood).