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Past Florida Conversations Lecture Series

A series of lectures on various Florida studies subjects, Florida Conversations gives scholars and writers the opportunity to share their work with a general audience. Covering subjects as far-ranging as architecture, literature, the arts, and anthropology, much of the appeal of the lectures is in their diversity. Venues across the Tampa Bay area host these events from September to May. Co-sponsorship with the Tampa Bay History Center makes this series possible.


February 12. Robert J. Austin, Ph.D. “Multidisciplinary Investigations at West Williams, An Archaic Site in Hillsborough County”
March 12. Bill Belleville. “The Rivers of Florida : Nature and Culture in Transition”
April 10. William R. Ferris, Ph.D. “Memory and Sense of Place in the American South”
December 4. Gary R. Mormino, Ph.D. “Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams : A Social History of Modern Florida”

Dr. Bill Ferris


February 21. Vivien L. M. Miller, Ph.D. “Adultery and Murder in 1950s Florida : The Case of Ruby McCollum”
Aprl 4. Daniel L. Schafer, Ph.D. “Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley : African Princess, Florida Slave, Plantation Slaveowner”
May 2. Stuart McIver. “Death in the Everglades : The Murder of Guy Bradley”

Death in the Everglades


January 16. David R. Colburn, Ph.D. “Florida’s Megatrends : Critical Issues Facing Florida in the Twenty-First Century”
March 2. Susan R. Braden, Ph.D. and Cynthia Gandee. “Luxurious Leisure: The Plant and Flagler Railroad Hotels”
May 4. Gordon M. Patterson, Ph.D. & Bruce Stephenson, Ph.D. “Mosquitoes in Paradise : Technology and the Limits of Nature”
November 9. Diane Roberts & Daniel Ruth. “The Politics of Florida : The Rules Are Different Here”

Dr. Gordon Patterso


January 23. Robert J. Kerstein, Ph.D. “From Cigars to Tourism : Politics in Tampa Since the 1880s”
February 15. Robert W. Saunders Sr. “Continuing the Florida NAACP Legacy of Harry T. Moore”
March 18. Pam Iorio. “From Outsiders to Insiders : Women’s Activism in Hillsborough County”
April 25. L. Glenn Wesfall, Ph.D. “State of the Art : A History of Cigar Label Lithography”
June 2, 2002. Mayor Rick Baker and Raymond O. Arsenault, Ph.D. & Mayor Pam Iorio and Gary R. Mormino, Ph.D. “A Tale of Two Cities : Tampa and St. Petersburg”
October 29, 2002. Darryl Paulson, Ph.D. “Politics Would Be Serios Business… If It Wasn’t So Darn Funny”
December 8, 2002. Eugene F. Provenzo Jr., Ph.D., Asterie Baker Provenzo, and Sherry Johnson, Ph.D. “Blown Away : A History of Hurricanes in Florida”

Dr. Darryl Paulson

2009 – 2010

An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century

Jack E. Davis
September 27, 3:00 PM – Sunday

Florida Cowboys: Keepers of the Last Frontier

Carlton Ward, Jr.
October 22, 7:00 PM – Thursday

The Columbia Restaurant: Celebrating a Century of History, Culture, and Cuisine

Andrew Huse & Richard Gonzmart
November 10, 7:00 PM – Tuesday (reception at 6:30)

Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and the Stuggle for Florida’s Future

Steven Noll & David Tegeder
January 31, 3:00 PM – Sunday

The Odyssey of an African Slave, by Sitiki

Patricia C. Griffin
February 21, 3:00 PM – Sunday

Notes from Cross Creek: Majorie Kinnan Rawlings at her Salty Best

Performed by Betty Jean Steinshouer
March 21, 3:00 PM – Sunday

Painter in a Savage Land: The Strange Saga of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, the First European Artist in North America

Miles Harvey
April 25, 3:00 PM – Sunday

Mama Rides Shotgun

Deborah Sharp, author of the Florida-set Mace Bauer mystery series
May 23, 3:00 PM – Sunday

Final Countdown: NASA and the End of the Shuttle Program

Pat Duggins
June 13, 3:00 PM – Sunday


The Survival of Tampa’s Sicilian Dialect

Susan M. Taylor – University of Tampa
February 15, 2009

Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S

Cynthia Barnett
March 15, 2009

Red Sticks, Creek Warriors, and African Slaves during Jackson’s Seminole War

Andrew K. Frank – Florida State University
April 19, 2009

Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators: More Stories about Real Florida

Jeff Klinkenberg – St. Petersburg Times
May 17, 2009

What’s all the fuss about an independent Florida judiciary?

Martin Dyckman
June 21, 2009


January 27. Author Lu Vickers and mermaids Bonnie Georgiadis, Holly Hall, Ginger Stanley Hallowell, Dolly Heltsley, and Genie Westmoreland Young. “Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida’s Oldest Roadside Attractions”

February 24. Michael Jepson and Carlton Ward Jr. “In Their Own Words: Perseverance and Resilience in Two Florida Fishing Communities”

March 30. Chaz Mena. “Charla,” a Chat with José Martí”

May 4. Steve Otto. “The Spirit of the Bay: A Whimsical Look at Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater”

Chaz Mena as José Martí


January 21. Paul Schneider. “Brutal Journey: The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America”

February 17. Raymond Arsenault, Ph.D. “Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice”

March 25. Michael Grunwald. “The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise”

Ray Arsenault speaks before an appreciative audience at the Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library in Tampa.


January 15. Jack E. Fernandez, Ph.D., Frank P. Urso, M.D., and Judge E. J. Salcines. “Immigrant Sons of Ybor City and West Tampa”

March 19. C.J. Monaco. “Moses Levy of Florida: Jewish Utopian and Antebellum Reformer

May 21. Uzi Baram, Ph.D., Canter Brown Jr., Ph.D., Rosalyn Howard, Ph.D., Terry Weik, Ph.D., and Vickie Oldham. “Looking for Angola on Florida’s Southwest Coast, 1812-1821″

September 26. Liana Fernandez Fox, Sam M. Gibbons, Mark I. Greenberg, Ph.D., and Les Miller. “‘The First Fifty Years’:A Roundtable Discussion Celebrating USF History”

October 29. Martin A. Dyckman. “Floridian of His Century: The Courage of Governor LeRoy Collins”

Moses Levy of Florida

2010 – 2011

The 57 Club: My Four Decades in Florida Politics

Frederick B. Karl
September 9, 6:30 PM – Thursday

How Florida Happened: The Political Education of Buddy MacKay

Buddy MacKay, with an introduction by Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio
November 17, 6:30 PM – Wednesday

Soldiers, Seminoles and Slavery: Florida and the Second Seminole War

Frank Laumer
December 28, 6:30 PM – Tuesday

Florida and the Civil War

Robert Taylor
January 30, 3:00 PM – Sunday

400 Years of Florida Maps

Tom Touchton
February 17, 6:30 PM – Thursday

Grander in Her Daughters: Florida’s Women During the Civil War

Tracy Jean Revels
March 27, 3:00 PM – Sunday

Manatee Insanity: The War over Florida’s Most Famous Endangered Species

Craig Pittman
April 17, 3:00 PM – Sunday

Thunder on the River: The Civil War in Northeast Florida

Daniel L. Schafer
May 22, 3:00 PM – Sunday

Florida: A Target-Rich Environment for Writers

Tim Dorsey
June 16, 6:30 PM – Thursday

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