Florida Lecture Series begins 2008-2009 season
LAKELAND, Fla. (Sept. 1, 2008) — Florida Southern College’s Center for Florida History presents its 2008-2009 Florida Lecture Series with six guest speakers, beginning Sept. 18 and concluding March 12. The lectures will take place at 7 p.m. in the William M. Hollis Seminar Room on the FSC campus. The schedule of events is listed below. All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, please call 863-680-3001.
“Once again, we are extremely pleased to bring the Florida Lecture Series to our students, faculty, and friends in Lakeland and the greater Tampa Bay area,” noted James M. Denham, director of the Center for Florida History and FSC history professor. “This year marks the thirteenth year that our series has brought the ‘Florida Experience’ to life for our community and region. This season promises to be one of our finest!”
Schedule of Lectures
Oct. 16 – Paul Schneider, author, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. and Bradenton, Fla. “Brutal Journey: The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America.” Paul Schneider attended Brown University and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. After working with refugees in Thailand, students in Switzerland, and a brief career as a wire-service stringer in Kenya, Schneider settled into magazine journalism in New York City. He has written about environmental issues for Esquire, Vanity Fair, and the National Audubon Magazine. That work led to two books: “The Adirondacks: A History of America’s First Wilderness” (1998) and “The Enduring Shore: A History of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket” (2001). The subject of Schneider’s third book, “Brutal Journey: The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America,” is the incredible story of Cabeza de Vaca’s 1528 journey across the southeastern portion of what is now the United States. A tale of adventure and survival filled with gripping scenes of battle, disease, starvation, and abject poverty, Schneider has weaved together a story the New York Times called “hard to believe, and impossible to forget.”
Nov. 13 – Bill Belleville, author, Sanford, Fla. “Losing it All to Sprawl: How Progress Ate My Cracker Landscape.” Bill Belleville is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker specializing in nature, environmental issues, and “sense of place.” The author of four books and over 1,000 articles in such publications as Newsweek, Audubon, the New York Times, Sports Afield and Oxford American, he has worked overseas as a writer on Discovery Channel expeditions in the Galapagos Islands and Cuba. Belleville has scripted and co-produced five PBS documentaries, including the recent “In Marjorie’s Wake: Rediscovering Rawlings, a River and Time,” and winning an Emmy for the production and scripting of “Wekiva: A Legacy or Loss?” “Losing it all to Sprawl” (2006) focuses on Belleville’s personal battle to save his “Cracker” farmhouse and his beloved rural landscape in the face of urban sprawl that engulfed his Seminole County community. The book laments not only the consumption of Florida’s natural landscape, but the loss of Old Florida neighborhoods and their history. He has lectured widely on environmental literature and was named Environmental Writer of the Year by the Florida Audubon Society and Florida Wildlife Federation.
Sponsored by Historic Lakeland, Inc. – Promoting awareness, understanding and an appreciation of Lakeland’s history and assuring the preservation of those things which represent the character of our city and are significant to its history.
Jan. 22 – Risdon N. Slate, Florida Southern College; W. Wesley Johnson, University of Southern Mississippi. “The Criminalization of Mental Illness in Florida: Crisis and Opportunity for the Justice System.” Arguing that the criminal justice system has become the de facto mental health system of America, Risdon Slate and Wesley Johnson contend that the system has failed the mentally ill and the public at large. Their work illuminates the history and anatomy of the problem and offers real solutions based on careful scholarship and empathy for all involved. Both authors bring a lifetime of close study and research to bear on the subject. Annual Stahl Lecture in Criminal Justice*
Risdon Slate earned his Ph.D. in criminal justice from the Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, Calif. and serves on the faculty at Florida Southern College. He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on mental health and the criminal justice system. He has trained law enforcement and correctional officers to improve their interactions with the mentally ill. Slate worked in the criminal justice system as a warden’s assistant and as a federal probation officer, and he has published extensively on the stress levels of criminal justice practitioners.
W. Wesley Johnson earned his Ph.D. from Florida State University. His articles have appeared in Justice Quarterly, the American Journal of Crime and Justice, Crime and Delinquency, the Prison Journal and the Journal of Drug Issues. He is the President of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and is Doctoral Program Director in the School of Criminal Justice at The University of Southern Mississippi.
*The Robert and Rose Stahl Criminal Justice Lecture honors the memory of Robert and Rose Stahl. Mr. Stahl served more than thirty years as a police officer, including his years as Chief of Police in North Miami Beach, Fla. The family of Robert and Rose Stahl has generously made these lectures available to Florida Southern College.
Feb. 5 – Paul Ortiz, associate professor of history and director, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, University of Florida. “Emancipation Betrayed.” Paul Ortiz examines the struggle of Black Floridians to create the first statewide civil rights movement against Jim Crow in America. Ortiz vividly illustrates how Black Floridians created new social movements, successfully challenging the white power structure in Florida from Reconstruction to 1920. An award-winning author and oral historian, Ortíz holds degrees from Evergreen State College and Duke University, where he earned his Ph.D. Before joining the UF faculty in August 2008, Ortiz taught at the University of California-Santa Cruz. His book, “Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920” (2005) received the Florida Historical Society’s Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Book Prize. While at Duke, Ortiz was research coordinator for “Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South,” a National Endowment for the Humanities sponsored project that received the Oral History Association’s Outstanding Award in 1996. He was co-editor with William H. Chafe, of “Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Jim Crow South” (2001), which received the Southern Regional Council’s 2002 Lillian Smith Book Prize.
March 12 – Rody Johnson, author, Vero Beach, Fla. “The Rise and Fall of Dodgertown: 60 Years of Baseball in Vero Beach.” A graduate of the University of Virginia with engineering and MBA degrees, Rody Johnson worked for the Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Fla., managing engineering development programs for the Department of Defense. After retirement, Johnson began his writing career when he became publisher of the Sebastian Sun. Johnson’s three books include “Different Battles” (1999), the story of a World War II U-boat attack on a tanker off the Florida coast; “In Their Footsteps” (2005), a
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