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Community Lecture Series

2015 Flagler College Community Lecture Series

This year marks the 450th year of our city’s official founding. As such, it seems an appropriate time to examine what was occurring in our city and world 450 years ago through present day. Perhaps unrealized at the time by the involved societal members, rebirth and new beginnings, innovation, courage, experimentation, ethical questioning and entrepreneurship would all become characteristics of the beginnings of a modern civilization as a result of exploration. This year’s presenters will be lecturers and scholars with particular expertise on these themes who will aid us to focus on Exploration: Passions, Implications and Reflections.

Fall Semester

Dr. Timothy Johnson

September 1, 2015

Dr. Timothy Johnson

"If You Do Not Do This, Florida Will Be Lost: Memory and Martyrdom Two Centuries after Menendez"

A Senior Fulbright Scholar, Timothy J. Johnson is the Craig and Audrey Thorn Distinguished Professor of Religion at Flagler College. He received a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. Twice nominated as the Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year by Flagler College, he has been a visiting professor in Italy, Germany, and Zambia. While his primary area of academic expertise is medieval Christian spirituality and theology, Dr. Johnson enjoys teaching courses as diverse as Religion and Film and Sacred Space. Whenever possible, he leads study abroad tours for Flagler College students to Italy.

Dr. Johnson has authored, edited, or translated seven books and published some sixty journal articles, translations, and book reviews in his field. His work has appeared in French, German, Italian, and Spanish. He is Senior Theology Co-Editor for the journal Franciscan Studies and Chair of the Research Advisory Council of the Franciscan Institute at Saint Bonaventure University. Dr. Johnson is currently editing the proceedings of the 2014 Flagler College International Conference “Franciscan Florida in pan-Borderlands Perspective: Adaptation, Negotiation and Resistance” for the Academy of American Franciscan History and translating a recently discovered 13th century legend of Saint Francis. For further information, see: .

Dr. Kelly Enright

October 13, 2015

Dr. Kelly Enright

"From Dangerous to Endangered: How Explorers Changed Our Image of Tropical Places"

Kelly Enright, PhD, Director of Public History and Assistant Professor of History, holds a PhD in American History with a minor in History of Environment, Technology, and Health from Rutgers University, and a masters in Museum Anthropology from Columbia University. Her MA work focused on the connection between archaeology, museology, and American Indian heritage, while her PhD examined shifting ideas of American representations of wilderness (published as The Maximum of Wilderness: the Jungle in the American Imagination). She has worked with museums, parks, and non-profits on historical interpretation, research, and exhibits, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, American Museum of Natural History, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Her research focuses on environmental history, natural and cultural heritage, tourism, and indigenous/local curation. She has published three books of original scholarship; a guide to natural places; articles for reference books in environmental history; articles in academic journals and mass-market publications, including National Geographic and American Archaeology. She has received grants and awards for her research, including a Kansas Notable Book Award for her biography Osa and Martin: For the Love of Adventure, and was a fellow at the Animals and Society Institute in 2011.

Enright is director of Flagler’s Public History program—one of only a handful of undergraduate programs in the country—and engages her students in community projects on digital archives, oral histories, themed walking tours, virtual exhibits, and visitor surveys. She teaches Introduction to Public History, Museum Studies, Heritage Tourism, and Public History Practicum, and manages the Public History Internship Program.
Suggested reading:  The Maximum of Wilderness: The Jungle in the American Imagination by Kelly Enright

Tracey Eaton

November 10, 2015

Tracey Eaton

"Cuba: A New Dawn?"

Tracey Eaton headed the Dallas Morning News bureaus in Mexico and Cuba from 1994 to 2005. He has filed stories for USA Today, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, the Houston Chronicle and other publications.
In August, Eaton assisted NBC with its coverage of the historic opening of the U.S. embassy in Havana. In June, he began working on a project about Cuban youth with support from the non-profit Pulitzer Center in Washington, D.C.
For the past five years, he has researched Cuba’s democracy movement and the U.S. government’s role in the country’s political transition. In December 2014, he traveled to Havana to present his findings at a conference. He also assisted the South Florida Sun Sentinel with a year-long investigation into Cuban organized crime.
Eaton has a master’s degree in journalism from Temple University and was a Fulbright scholar in Ecuador. He has conducted journalism workshops in Guatemala, Bolivia and Nicaragua, and has been an invited speaker at conferences in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and Cuba. He is an assistant professor at Flagler College, where he teaches writing, reporting and multimedia classes.


Tracy Upchurch

December 1, 2015

Tracy Upchurch

"Reunion: St. Augustine After the Civil War"

The American Civil War was arguably the transformative event in our nation’s history. With the end of the war in spring of 1865, the nation, and particularly the South, was faced with the task of rebuilding after four years of staggering loss of life and property. Generally known as the “Reconstruction” period, the term is woefully inadequate to describe what happened on a human, social, and cultural level. This presentation describes a number of events that occurred in St. Augustine during this period and offers some ideas about how people in St. Augustine came back together after the Civil War.


Tickets and Event Information

Tickets are $5 per person for a single lecture, or $15 for four lectures. Active military personnel may attend at no charge. Lectures begin at 10 a.m. in the Ponce Hall Solarium at Flagler College, 74 King St. Reservations are not required, but space is limited. The lecture will last approximately one hour and will be followed by a coffee and pastry reception.

Call (904) 826-8617 for reservations or more information.

About the Community Lecture Series

The Flagler College Community Lecture Series was established in 2007 to expose the St. Augustine community to select topics from local experts and Flagler faculty. Previous topics covered:

  • Examining Religion and Culture
  • Environment
  • Global Perspectives
  • Intriguing Careers
  • Music
  • The Hotel Ponce de Leon: From Architectural Marvel to Higher Education

Previous Community Lecture Series:

  • Lori Lee

    Lori Lee

    April 14, 2015

    "The Steel Crown: Indigenous Responses to Exploration"

    Exploration involves the investigation of unknown regions. Unknown, that is, to explorers. Yet most of these regions were both known and inhabited by indigenous peoples. Exploration resulted in various scales of interaction between Western and indigenous peoples. This lecture will examine indigenous responses to exploration at varying scales by drawing on case studies from North America, Africa, and South America.               

    Recommended Readings:
  • Dr. Edward McGinley

    Dr. Edward McGinley

    March 17, 2015

    "Fishing and the New World: An examination of how fish helped the exploration, colonization, and growth of America"

    As Europeans were exploring new lands during the 1500s and onward, new fishing grounds served not only as a resource to be exploited, but also allowed for the development of outposts and colonies in the New World. Indeed, the ocean resources were so vast at this time, they seemed inexhaustible to early Americans, often in direct contrast to what they were familiar with in their home countries. The practice of fishing became ingrained in early Americans and helped this country to develop. This talk will look at how specific species of fish helped to build this country, as well as the current status of these iconic fish.          

    Recommended Readings:

    Fishing Down the Food Web: A Case Study from St. Augustine, Florida, USA by Elizabeth J. Reitz

  • Dr. Art Vanden Houten

    Dr. Art Vanden Houten

    February 17, 2015

    “In the beginning, all the world was America . . . . “         

    For thousands of years, Europeans had thought and written about human nature, the origin of societies, and the nature of just political and social institutions.  These reflections had always been rooted in the experience of particular thinkers, their own cultural landscape and what little they knew about other societies.  When Europeans first encountered what they called, “the New World,” the foundations of much of their political philosophy were deeply shaken and unsettled.  What followed was an effort lasting more than two centuries that strove to make sense of and often draw profound and revolutionary implications from this discovery.  This talk attempts to chronicle and explain the ways different Europeans tried to integrate the encounter with the indigenous peoples and their societies into their own theoretical reflections on social and political life.

  • Dr. Brenda Kauffman

    Dr. Brenda Kauffman

    January 20, 2015

    “The Outbound Voyage: Sailing Ships to Commercial Spaceflight”

    From the age of massive state sponsored naval expeditions like China’s Zheng He or the Spanish Crown’s Columbian voyages to America’s capsules capable of carrying humans to the moon breakthroughs in technology and a spirit of exploration have spread humans to all points of the planet and beyond. Much can be learned from exploring the history of discovery including the desire for adventure and the remarkable courage it takes as well as the costs and consequences. The great human journey is exciting and captivating as well as tragic and challenging. This lecture will explore the political economic history of the seafarers and imagine the future of the starfarers.

    Recommended Readings:

    Space Chronicles Facing the Ultimate Frontier by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

    “The Tricky Ethics of Intergalactic Colonization” by Charles Mann

    “The Theory of Interstellar Trade” Paul Krugman

    Christopher Columbus, Letter to the Sovereigns, 4 March 1493

    “China has an Ancient Mariner to Tell You About” by Joseph Kahn


Watch Past Community Lecture Series

Community Lecture Series Playlist