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Florida: Then and Now Free Lecture Series


The "Florida Then and Now" series of free community lectures continues November 13 at 12 noon the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida in Valparaiso. The museum and Northwest Florida State College were awarded a grant from the Florida Humanities Council to present the series of six lectures by noted historians and humanities scholars which focus on regional culture and heritage.

On November 13, Clay T. McCutchan and Robert B. Kane, PhD. from the Air Armament Center History Office at Eglin Air Force Base will present "Eglin in The Movies" based on Hollywood's long history of making feature films on the Emerald Coast. The Air Armament Center historians will discuss some of the best known film productions like "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo", "Twelve O'Clock High", and "Dr. Strangelove". Enjoy stories about how these feature films were made right here in our own backyard.

University of Florida professor of English and Linguistics Dr. Kevin McCarthy will present "Florida Holidays" on December 3 at 1 p.m. at the Northwest Florida State College Niceville Campus, building K community gallery. McCarthy will discuss the history of Florida holiday celebrations during the past two hundred years as well as comparisons with other holiday celebrations throughout the United States. A professor at UF for 33 years, he has also taught in the Peace Corps in Turkey and in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia as a Fulbright Professor.

Mallory O'Connor, Professor Emeriti of Art History at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, will present "Perceptions of Paradise" on February 13, 2009 at 12 p.m. at the Heritage Museum in Valparaiso. Since the first Europeans arrived in the 16th century, Florida has been viewed as a mythical place, a land of dreams, and an earthly Garden of Eden. O'Connor will discuss how art transmits culture and how our perceptions of "reality" can be shaped by fantasy and imagination. She has taught art history at the University of Florida and Santa Fe College for over twenty years and holds a BFA degree in painting, an MA in American History, and an MFA in art history.

Jeff Klinkenberg will discuss "Pilgrims in the Land of Alligators: Modern Floridians in the Age of Dinosaurs" on March 3, 2009 at 1 p.m. at the Northwest Florida State College Niceville Campus, building K community gallery. Klinkenberg is a St. Petersburg Times staffer who writes about Florida nature and Florida culture. As the first writer-in-residence for the Florida Studies Program at the University of South Florida, he is author of Seasons of Real Florida and Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators: Modern Floridians in the Age of Dinosaurs.

Noted archeologist and president of the University of West Florida Dr. Judy Bense will present "Pensacola Archaeology and History Update" at 1 p.m. on April 7 at the Northwest Florida State College Niceville Campus, building K community gallery to provide an update on archaeological discoveries and research in the greater Pensacola area. Bense most recently served as Executive Director, Division of Anthropology and Archaeology Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology at UWF. Dr. Bense created and designed the statewide Florida Public Archaeology Network in 2004-05.

The Florida Humanities Council (FHC) is an independent, non-profit organization that is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Each year FHC funds hundreds of public programs throughout the state that explore Florida's history, folklore, environment, literature, music, and art.

For more information about the "Florida: Then and Now" lecture series, contact Pam Smith, Project Director, at 678-5484 or at pamsmith2@cox.net. For more information about FHC grants, contact Susan Lockwood, Grants Director at (727) 873-2011 or at slockwood@flahum.org.