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Flagler professors to take sabbatical leave for 2013-14

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Michael Butler

Associate professor of history, Michael Butler.

Elizabeth Robbins

Associate professor of English, Elizabeth Robbins.

Feb. 28, 2013

Flagler College professors Michael Butler and Elizabeth Robbins have been granted sabbatical leaves for the upcoming 2013-14 year.

Butler, an associate professor of history, will take his sabbatical during the fall semester to complete his book titled, “Beyond Integration: Race & Justice in Pensacola, Florida, 1950-2000.” The manuscript, which Butler has been working on for eight years, discusses the intricacies of the civil rights movement and its effects on integration in Pensacola. In particular, Butler spends a large portion evaluating the activity of the area during the 1970’s.

“I work to expose the realities of living in a newly integrated society,” Butler said. “I want readers to see the struggle for racial justice didn’t end in the 1960’s. It still affects us today.”

Butler said his sabbatical would give him much-needed time to focus solely on his research. He hopes to complete his manuscript by November and looks forward to publication in 2015.

During the spring semester, associate professor of English Elizabeth Robbins will take her sabbatical leave to work on two collections of poetry tentatively titled “Tributaries” and “Nets Full of Breath.” The majority of “Tributaries” will be tributes to a range of Robbins’ own personal interests, including the works of Latin American poet Nicanor Parra and photographer Diane Arbus, as well as 12 poems examining astrological symbols and eight written from Chuck Shepherd’s “News of the Weird” columns.

“I like to go looking in offbeat and whimsical subjects for serious lessons,” Robbins said. “I hope readers get enjoyment and challenge from the Shepherd pieces especially.”

“Nets Full of Breath,” while still in its drafting stage, deals with Grimm’s fairy tales; the results of Robbins’ recent collaboration with artist and Flagler professor Sara Pedigo; and riffs on mathematical theories.

“I’m grateful to have been awarded a sabbatical,” Robbins said. “I’ll miss my students, but trust my investigations will produce insight I can bring back to them.”