News and Events

Around the College: Fall 2006


George Christou

George Christou was recently a keynote speaker at the international conference “Frontiers of Quantum Nanoscience” held January 22-26 in Noosa, Queensland, Australia. The conference was co-sponsored by the Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics of Vancouver, the Australian Academy of Science, and the Australian Centre for Quantum Computer Technology.


Victoria Pagán

Victoria Pagán presented the paper "Toward a Definition of Conspiracy Theory in Ancient Rome" at the international conference "Dark Powers: Conspiracies in History and Fiction" at the University of Konstanz, Germany on May 12, 2006. The paper was reviewed in the Süddeutsche Zeitung.


Andrew Gordon, Norman Holland

Andrew Gordon and Norman Holland organized the 23rd International Conference on Literature and Psychology in Helsinki, Finland, June 28-July 3, co-sponsored by the Institute for the Psychological Study of the Arts (UF) and the University of Helsinki Department of Education. The Vice-Rector and the Dean of the Faculty of Behavioral Sciences of the University of Helsinki greeted the conferees. There were 61 papers by speakers from Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Serbia, Greece, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Israel,Taiwan, Malaysia, Canada, and the United States. Andrew Gordon spoke on "Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds and Trauma Culture" and Norman Holland spoke on "Literature as Happiness: The Critic as Mammal." Other participants from the University of Florida were Bertram Wyatt Brown (Emeritus, History) and Anne Wyatt-Brown (Emerita, Linguistics). The next International Conference on Literature and Psychology will take place July 4-9, 2007 at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. For information, contact Andrew Gordon at

Norman Holland

Norman Holland presented Literature and Happiness: The Critic as Mammal at the 23rd International Conference on Literature and Psychology in Helsinki, Finland on June 28, 2006.

Geological Sciences

Joseph G. Meert

Joseph G. Meert presented Snowball Earth at the Florida Association of Science Teachers (FAST) conference in Gainesville, Florida on October 13, 2006.

Germanic and Slavic Studies

Nora Alter

Nora Alter was elected Vice-President of the Women in German, a prestigious national and international academic organization of women scholars in German studies. After serving as Vice-President, Nora Alter is next in line to become the next President of WIG. Women in German provides a "democratic forum for all people interested in feminist approaches to German literature and culture or in the intersection of gender with other categories of analysis such as sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity."

Political Science

Lawrence Dodd

Lawrence Dodd gave the commencement address on May 13th, 2006 at his undergraduate alma mater, Midwestern State University (BA, 1968) in Wichita Falls, Texas. Dodd's speech, "Learning to Learn: Liberal Arts and the Preparation for Life", illustrated the transformative effects of liberal arts education and the preparation for life that it provides, even at (or particularly at) a small community college on the vast, windy, hot high plains of Northwest Texas.


Richard Hiers

Richard Hiers presented a paper in San Francisco on April 10 at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association. The session was captioned, "Individual vs. Institutional Academic Freedom." The paper was entitled: "First Amendment Academic Freedom Rights of Universities: Judicial Fabrication of New Clothes for the Emperor."

Richard Hiers presented the paper "Justice and Compassion in Biblical Law" at the "Compassion and Justice on the Personal and Global Levels" conference held on April 5, 2006 at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Bron Taylor

Bron Taylor recently participated in a workshop in Oslo, Norway within the international discourse on environmental sustainability. He prepared comments for the discussion titled “Religion and Ethics in Models for Sustainability” for “Sustainability and Democracy: A Need for Alternatives,” a preparatory workshop in advance of the 2007 International Conference on the 20th Anniversary of the Brundtland Report.

Taylor also gave a series of lectures. He presented “From the Ground Up: Growing a Green Future for Religion and Ethics” at the Ethics, Values, and the Environment Conference, co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School, and the Center for the Environment, Harvard University in March. Taylor gave a public lecture on “Globalization and Earth-Based Spiritualities” at Hamilton College in March. He also gave “Globalizing Green Religion: Nature Religion from Deep Ecology, to Radical Environmentalism, and the United Nations” at the Universitetet i Bergen in Norway during February.

Romance Languages and Literatures

Luis Alvarez-Castro

Luis Alvarez-Castro presented the paper "The Existential Blackmail as a Meaning-Making Device in Unamuno's Fictions" at the 5th International Conference on Hispanic Literature in Lima, Peru on March 10, 2006. In addition, Dr. Alvarez-Castro chaired a panel on the literary generation of 1898.

Andrés Avellaneda

Dr. Andrés Avellaneda participated in several international academic events during the summer, 2006. He was the keynote speaker at the Sixth Orbis Tertius International Conference on Theory and Literary Criticism (May 10-12), sponsored by the National University of La Plata, the Argentine Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Spanish Government. He read a paper titled “Deseos de la disciplina: viaje etnológico al latinoamericanismo estadounidense”. He was given the title “Distinguished Guest of Honor” (Huésped de Honor Extraordinario) by the President of the University of La Plata.

In late July, Dr. Avellaneda was a special guest participant in a round table on literature and politics organized by the Institute of Literary Studies and the Chair of Introduction to Literature (Universidad de La Plata). In August, he read a paper titled “Escritores, terratenientes, cabecitas: discursos de la alteridad en los cuarenta” at the conference “El peronismo. Políticas culturales (1946-2006)”. The conference, held at the Instituto Superior Octubre in Buenos Aires, was co-sponsored by the University of Southern California, the Universidad Nacional de San Martín, and the Palenque Rugendas Foundation.

Sylvie Blum-Reid

Sylvie Blum-Reid presented "20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium" in Miami on March 30th, 2006. The special session "Situer l'obscurite du dire" was organized by Dr. B. Cailler. Presenting Dr. H. Blondeau "Ecrire le dire, decrire le dire," as well as Dr. A. Sow "La Langue a l'epreuve: 'Johnny Chien mechant' et 'Allah n'est pas oblige.'

Bernadette Cailler

Bernadette Cailler organized and chaired a RLL panel at the 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, University of Miami, Coral Gables, March 30-April 1. Her own paper was entitled: "Chassé-croisé entre Aimé Césaire ( 'Poésie et connaissance', 1945) et Lorand Gaspar (/Approche de la parole/, 1978).

William Calin

William Calin presented the paper “Lecture de Michel Tronc” at the International Association of Occitan Studies meeting in Bordeaux France. He also lectured at the University of Toronto on “The French Tradition and the Literature of Medieval and Renaissance Scotland,” which is the subject of his next book. Calin also gave a talk on “The French Tradition and Dunbar's ‘Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo’” for the Scottish Literature division of the Modern Language Association.

Raymond Gay-Crosier

Raymond Gay-Crosier presented the keynote presentation, "Albert Camus : Our Familiar Stranger" at the International Conference on Albert Camus. The Conference was held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison on September 23.

Charles A. Perrone

While on sabbatical in AY 2005-06, Prof. Perrone accepted a series of invitations to speak around the country and the hemisphere:

Women's Studies and Gender Research

Tace Hedrick

Dr. Hedrick presented "Conserving the Spiritual Body of the World: Spiritualism, Mestizaje, and Sexuality in Gabriela Mistral and Gloria Anzaldúa", at LASA (Latin American Studies Association), held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on March 16-18 2006. Dr. Hedrick presented this paper as part of a session she also organized, "Queering the Cosmic Race: Sexualities and Spiritualisms in Latin American, Latina and Chicana Writers."


Betty Smocovitis

Professor Betty Smocovitis of Zoology and History, gave the opening Plenary Lecture at Botany 2006, "The Lessons of History: A Historian Reflects on 100 Years of American Botany."

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