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Photographer, author Mac Stone

The Presidential Events Series is designed to enhance the intellectual and cultural life of the College community by bringing well-known scholars, artists, scientists and distinguished individuals to campus to share their experiences. This spring’s series is part of a campuswide discussion of justice as it extends to people, animals and the environment. Several programs plan to address what justice means in terms of water as a source of life, a sacred tool, a human right and the key to survival. Eckerd College’s president, Don Eastman, encouraged the Class of 2016 in his Baccalaureate address to seek out and aid in justice as a human duty, for “a committed moral life requires that one be actively engaged in the world, providing succor to the helpless, the sick, the poor and the ‘other,’ whoever and wherever they are.” The Presidential Events Series is inspired by the Human Experience, the cornerstone of the first-year academic program at Eckerd College. This introduction to Eckerd’s General Education curriculum provides students with a foundation in the liberal arts and a platform to awaken their scholarly interests. For more information about Eckerd’s Human Experience two-course core sequence, visit The Presidential Events Series also spotlights The Arts at Eckerd College by featuring the talent and creativity of Eckerd’s campus community and artists from around Florida. Underscoring Eckerd’s commitment to environmental stewardship, the 19th Annual Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival, hosted in Miller Auditorium, will present compelling and important films that expose us to new ways of thinking about our connections with the natural world. All the events in this series are offered as a service to the community. Your questions, comments and feedback are always welcome. We look forward to seeing you this spring! Event Information All events at Eckerd College are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Dates, times and locations are subject to change. For more information please call 727.864.7979, email or visit Keep up with news and events through InsideEckerd, an e-newsletter distributed every other week during the academic year. Sign up at Cover image: Digital photo “Day’s End,” of Florida Bay, 2011, by featured speaker Mac Stone


Mac Stone and America’s Wetlands Thursday, February 16 7 p.m., Miller Auditorium Mac Stone

Photographer, Author of Everglades: America’s Wetland A lifetime in Florida and five years of photographing the Everglades gave Mac Stone an appreciation of America’s swamps and wetlands that he aims to share with the world. Through his photography work, Stone, a Gainesville native, has produced an award-winning book and delivered a 2015 TED Talk about Florida’s “River of Grass.” Stone will reflect on his work and the importance of conservation efforts during this evening presentation.

We Are Still Here: In Memoriam— Dr. Elie Wiesel Tuesday, February 21 7:30 p.m., Wireman Chapel The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble

Specters of Hate: Islamophobia and the Conditions of Public Life Thursday, February 23 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall Caleb Elfenbein, Ph.D.

Eckerd president Don Eastman introduces the program with a tribute to Dr. Wiesel. Then the world-renowned a cappella vocal sextet The Western Wind explores the Holocaust through music and remembrance of the late author, teacher and human rights activist Elie Wiesel, a longtime member of the Eckerd College community.

Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies, Grinnell College

Part of the Center for Spiritual Life Burchenal Lecture Series

Part of the Center for Spiritual Life Burchenal Lecture Series

Scholars argue that the rise of Islamophobia in the U.S. and around the world affects the nature of American Muslims’ participation in the public sphere. But what does it mean to freely and voluntarily participate in public life?

Sponsored by the Natural Sciences Collegium

Imagining Water Justice in the 21st Century Monday, March 13 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall Christiana Z. Peppard, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Theology, Science and Ethics, Fordham University

In an era of planetary degradation and economic globalization, water is increasingly viewed as an economic commodity in ways that exclude religious and cultural customs and in ways that unduly burden vulnerable populations. Drawing on examples of activism, art and cultural-religious moral reasoning, Peppard will lead a conversation about the many values of water and expand our social imaginations about what a just water ethic would be. Part of the Center for Spiritual Life Burchenal Lecture Series

More Perfect Than We Imagined: A Physicist’s View of Life Tuesday, February 21 8 p.m., Sheen Science Auditorium William Bialek, Ph.D.

The John Archibald Wheeler/ Battelle Professor in Physics at Princeton University While there are many ways to build a biological system that might work, there are many fewer ways to build one that can approach the physical limits. Perhaps, out of its complexity, life emerges as simpler, and more perfect, than we imagined. Dr. Bialek aims to expose these beautiful phenomena, from microscopic events inside a developing embryo to our own perception and decision making. Sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners Screening and Discussion Thursday, March 9 6:30 p.m. Miller Auditorium Filmmaker and historian Shola Lynch dove deep into the story of activist/educator Angela Davis and her leap from the classrooms of California to the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list. Following the screening of Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, Lynch will discuss the inspiration behind the film. Sponsored by the Eckerd College Feminists student organization

Comparative Peace Processes in the Middle East: Syria and Israel/Occupied Palestine

The Role of the Modern Zoo

Wednesday, March 22 7 p.m., Triton Room

Tony Vecchio

Luis Felipe Mantilla, Ph.D.

In recent years, zoos and aquariums have been subjected to heated criticism. However, zoos play a vital role in education, conservation and animal welfare. Zoo expert Tony Vecchio will discuss the role of the modern zoo, then a panel of local animal caretakers, researchers, conservationists, behaviorists and others will continue the discussion.

Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of South Florida–St. Petersburg

Arturo Jimenez-Bacardi, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of International Relations, University of South Florida– St. Petersburg

Michael C. Burch, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Eckerd College Three local professors gather to tackle the challenges of negotiating lasting peace in Syria and Israeli settlements. The situations share distinct yet overlapping contexts that are formed with a critical understanding of the role of history, ethnicity, religion and geo-politics in a region long marked by state violence and popular resistance.

Sunday, April 9 1 p.m., Triton Room Executive Director of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Sponsored by the Behavioral Sciences Collegium

Sponsored by the Letters and Behavioral Sciences collegiums

IN MEMORIAM: William Burchenal Jr. ’89 (7/13/28– 12/28/16)—husband of Ann, former Eckerd alumnus trustee and dedicated supporter of the Burchenal Lecture Series—will be long remembered for his impact at Eckerd College and beyond.

What Queer, Trans and Kinky Communities Can Teach Us About Consent Wednesday, April 26 7 p.m., Miller Auditorium Jason Laker, Ph.D.

Professor in Counselor Education, San Jose State University

Erica Boas, Ph.D.

Lecturer in the Liberal Studies Program, Santa Clara University Join a research-based conversation about what communities deemed as sexual minorities can teach us about communication, consent and sexual relationships. Sponsored by the Office for Advocacy and Gender Justice

The Story of Skateboarding— From Pastime to Youth Counterculture to Equalizer Tuesday, May 2 7 p.m., Fox Hall Craig Snyder

Executive Board Member, Skateboarding Heritage Foundation; Photographer; Counterculture Historian From counterculture to making its competitive debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, skateboarding has rolled a mighty long way. Craig Snyder, author of A Secret History of the Ollie, has been on the forefront as a skater, photographer, historian and preservationist. Come hear the true story behind the revolutionary move known as “the Ollie”—which was invented in south Florida. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library at Eckerd College

THE ARTS AT ECKERD COLLEGE SPRING 2017 Part of the Presidential Events Series Below are many of the spring arts events at Eckerd College. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Events, dates, times and locations are subject to change. For the latest information and a complete list of events, please visit

ART & CREATIVE WRITING Brian Ransom and Alumni Sound Sculptures and Recent Works by Former Students Jan. 29–March 13, Cobb Gallery

Special Presentation: Ward Shelley ’72 Well-Made World Recent Works and Collaborations Sat., Mar. 11, 6 p.m., Miller Auditorium

Senior Thesis Exhibitions Works by Residential Visual Arts and Interdisciplinary Arts Seniors Mar. 19–Apr. 14, Cobb Gallery

Sophomore Show Visual Arts Major Portfolio Qualifying Exhibition Apr. 16–21, Cobb Gallery Opening Reception: Sun., Apr. 16, 3–5 p.m.

Museum Lab Exhibition Curated by Marshall Rousseau’s Museum Lab Class Apr. 23–May 5, Cobb Gallery

Eckerd Review Visual Art Exhibition May 8–12, Cobb Gallery

Eckerd Review Reading and Art Party Mon., May 8, 6 p.m., Cobb Gallery Cobb Gallery Hours Monday–Friday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

FILM International Cinema Series Select Fridays, Feb. 10–May 5, 7 p.m. Miller Auditorium The International Cinema Series presents critically acclaimed and important films from around the world, including independent and artistic American films. Please visit for the complete list of films and dates.

Eckerd College Film and Video Festival Fri., May 12, 7 p.m., Miller Auditorium A screening of film and video work produced this academic year on campus and beyond.

MUSIC Organ Toccatas of the 17th and 18th Centuries Sun., Mar. 12, 3 p.m., Wireman Chapel Organist Betsy Walch demonstrates this musical technique on the chapel’s fabulous Flentrop organ.

Women’s Music for Mother Earth Mon., Apr. 17, 7:30 p.m., Roberts 104 Eckerd student-singers and studentinstrumentalists present a range of solo and ensemble music composed by women in celebration of Earth Day.

Singing for Freedom Tues., Apr. 25, 7:30 p.m., Wireman Chapel The Eckerd Concert Choir, directed by Professor Brent Douglas, is joined by a professional orchestra in music that affirms or sings out for justice.

EC Tritones Spring Showcase Sat., Apr. 29, 8 p.m., Wireman Chapel The EC Tritones—Eckerd’s only a cappella group—showcases the best of Fall and Spring semesters.

THEATRE Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune— A One-Woman Show Wed., Feb. 22, 7 p.m., Fox Hall The story of prominent African-American educator, humanitarian and Civil Rights pioneer Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (1875–1955) is brought to life in a one-woman show performed by Eckerd graduate Ersula KnoxOdom ’76, who is an author, a legacy writer/ reporter and a member of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. For pricing, if any, visit

Live HD St. Pete 2016–17 The Metropolitan Opera Live On-Screen at Eckerd College Select Saturdays, Feb. 25–May 13, 12:55 p.m. Miller Auditorium Please visit for details. Preferred pricing for OLLI and ASPEC members.

TED2017: The Future You May 1, 2 and 8, 1 p.m., Miller Auditorium You’ve seen TED Talks. Now experience them on-screen at Eckerd, captured live April 24–28 in Vancouver, Canada. Please visit for details.

Almost Maine Written by John Cariani Presented by Senior Theatre Company Wed., May 3–Fri., May 5, 8 p.m.; Sat., May 6, 2 p.m., Bininger Theater A quirky play composed of different vignettes showing a not-so-regular Friday night with a lot of twists and turns involving the townsfolk falling in and out of love. For pricing, if any, visit




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Still from: Ixcanul, courtesy of La Casa de ProducciĂłn

For 19 years, the Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival has brought compelling and important films to the Tampa Bay area and the Eckerd College community to raise awareness and promote discussion of matters relating to nature, place and the environment. Film scholars and filmmakers from around the world engage the audience in a lively dialogue about the environmental perspectives contained in documentary, animated, experimental and feature films. Details about the films and presenters can be found at The Environmental Film Festival is organized by Catherine Griggs, Ph.D., associate professor of American studies and program coordinator of American studies and humanities, and Nathan Andersen, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and film studies. Major support for the festival is provided by the Phoenix Venture Philanthropy Foundation.


DIRECTOR Jayro Bustamante (various languages, 93 min., 2015) Introduced by Elizabeth Weatherford, Founding Director of the Film and Video Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution Along the slopes of an active volcano in Guatemala, a marriage is arranged for 17-year-old Maria by her Kaqchikel parents. This mesmerizing debut film by Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante blends fact and fable to create a dreamlike depiction of the daily lives of contemporary Mayan descendants who work on a coffee plantation.


Auditory Ecosystems: In Pursuit of Silence DIRECTOR Patrick Shen (English, 81 min., 2015) Introduced by Director Patrick Shen, an Award-Winning Filmmaker and Founder of Transcendental Media, and Producer Cassidy Hall A meditative documentary film about our relationship with silence, sound and the impact of noise.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2 P.M. Planting Lives: City of Trees

DIRECTOR Brandon Kramer (English, 90 min., 2015) Introduced by James Deutsch, Ph.D., Program Curator, Smithsonian Institution; Adjunct Professor of American Studies, George Washington University At the height of the recession, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., struggles to implement an ambitious “green jobs” program that hires 150 unemployed residents to plant trees in underserved parks.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 7 P.M. Blood & Oil: Oloibiri

DIRECTOR Curtis Graham (English, 110 min., 2016) Introduced by Director Curtis Graham, Award-Winning Filmmaker and Native of St. Petersburg Oloibiri is a fictional feature film based on true events around Nigeria’s Niger Delta community. Two decades after the last drops of commercial-quantity crude oil were drilled from the town Oloibiri, a new discovery of crude oil leads to a violent standoff between two locals.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 7 P.M. The Lives of Animals: At the Fork

DIRECTOR John Papola (English, 89 min., 2016) Introduced by Nathan Andersen, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy and Film Studies, Eckerd College A meat-loving filmmaker is convinced by his vegetarian wife to investigate conditions surrounding American meat production. The result is a measured yet impactful documentary look at the way animals are treated, raised and ultimately brought to consumers.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 7 P.M. Climate & Culture: The Anthropologist

DIRECTORS Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger (English, 78 min., 2016)

Introduced by Co-Director Jeremy Newberger, CEO of Ironbound Films The fate of the planet is considered from the perspective of an American teenager. Over the course of five years, Katie Crate travels alongside her mother, an anthropologist studying the impact of climate change on indigenous communities. Their journey parallels that of renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead and her daughter Mary Catherine Bateson, who for decades sought to understand how global change affects remote cultures.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 7 P.M. Climate Science: Antarctica: Ice & Sky

DIRECTOR Luc Jacquet (various languages, 89 min., 2015)

Introduced by David Hastings, Ph.D., Professor of Marine Science and Chemistry, Eckerd College Luc Jacquet, the French documentary filmmaker responsible for March of the Penguins, returns to Antarctica for this biographical portrait of Claude Lorius, the pioneering French glaciologist whose groundbreaking research provided the first scientific evidence of man-made global climate change.


Visionary Voices: Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry DIRECTORS Laura Dunn and Jef Sewell (English, 82 min., 2016)

Introduced by Kent Curtis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History, The Ohio State University Look & See is a cinematic portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture, as seen through the mind’s eye of the visionary poet, writer, artist and activist Wendell Berry.


Planting Hope: Seed: The Untold Story DIRECTORS Jon Betz and Taggart Siegel (English, 94 min., 2016)

Introduced by Co-Director Jon Betz, an Award-Winning Independent Documentary Filmmaker and Director of Collective Eye Films Few things on earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds—worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. In the last century, however, many varieties of seed have completely disappeared. This documentary follows the passionate seed keepers who protect a 12,000-year-old food legacy.



To read more about Eckerd’s sustainable practices, visit

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Presidential Event Series - Spring 2017