Calendar of Events

Unless otherwise noted, all events are open to the public and free of charge.

Fall 2016


Olive Senior
A Reading and Conversation
Monday, 8 February at 4:00 pm in the Judaica Suite (Special Collections, 2nd Floor, Library East)

Olive Senior will read from her poetry and fiction and discuss Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal, her recent prizewinning book which exposes a little-known side of a monumental story.

Author of over 16 books, Olive Senior is one of the most prominent contemporary Caribbean writers, having won prizes for her fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Senior has worked internationally as a creative writing teacher and lecturer on Caribbean literature and culture. She is on the faculty of the Humber School for Writers, Toronto, and has taught in the writing programs at University of Toronto, St. Lawrence University, Barnard College, and Columbia University.

In the 1970s and 1980s, she worked as a journalist for the Jamaican Daily Gleaner and edited two leading journals in the Anglophone Caribbean: the Jamaica Journal and Social and Economic Studies. In the 1980s and 1990s, she published acclaimed works of fiction and poetry, including her short story collection, Summer Lightening (1986), which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and her poetry collection Gardening in the Tropics (1994), which won the F.J. Bressani Literary Prize and is required reading on the regional Anglophone Caribbean syllabus (CXC Cape). Her non-fiction works on Caribbean history and culture include Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal, which won the 2015 OCM Bocas Literary Prize for Non-Fiction and the Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Prize for the best book written about the Caribbean in 2015, as well as influential works such as Working Miracles: Women's Lives in the English-Speaking Caribbean (1991) and The Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage (2003).

Her work in recording and disseminating the cultural heritage of Jamaica was honored in 2003 with the Norman Washington Manley Foundation Award for Excellence and in 2004 with the Gold Medal of the Institute of Jamaica. Her work is represented in numerous anthologies worldwide and has been translated into several languages.


Wind of Change
Wednesday, February 17th @ 4:00 p.m.
Room 100 Smathers East

This screening will be followed by a Q+A with the festival’s curator, Nicole Dreiske, Director of the International Children’s Media Center.

On Wednesday, February 17th, the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature and the Center for Children’s Literature and Culture at the University of Florida will present a special screening of Wind of Change, a program of short films from the Global Girls FilmFest, the first festival featuring female-focused short films juried by formerly homeless young women. The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q+A with Festival Founder, Nicole Dreiske. The Wind of Change program will showcase six diverse and empowering short films from five countries. The Global Girls Film Festival was created by the International Children’s Media Center (ICMC) as a 14-week film immersion program in which formerly homeless and abused young women screen and discuss 40–50 films from around the world. Global Girls is designed to prompt self-reflection and thought-provoking discussions that culminate in a festival curated by residents themselves. This event is free and open to the public. Be sure to spread the word about it to your colleagues, friends, and students. We hope to see you at the screening! For more information please feel free to contact:

Suzan Alteri, Curator, Baldwin Library
John Cech, Director, Center for Children’s Literature and Culture
Leila Estes, Coordinator, CCLC


Imagining Climate Change
University of Florida, February 17–18, 2016

“Imagining Climate Change” will engage authors, scholars, scientists, and the general public in the vital work of imagining our collective climate futures. The Spring 2016 colloquium will bring award-winning and influential French and American science fiction authors and climate scientists to the UF campus to dialogue with UF faculty and researchers in the humanities, climate studies, and water management, and to explore new ways of representing and responding to environmental change.

The colloquium begins on February 17, with a plenary roundtable co-hosted by the UF Water Institute as part of the Institute’s 5th Biennial Symposium. Introduced by UF President W. Kent Fuchs and Cynthia Barnett of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications, the roundtable will feature Tobias Buckell, Jay Famiglietti, Ellen E. Martin, Yann Quero, and Jeff VanderMeer. The colloquium concludes on February 18 with individual talks by Tobias Buckell, Christian Chelebourg, Ellen E. Martin, Yann Quero, and Jeff VanderMeer, and responses by UF faculty from the Center for African Studies and the Departments of English, Entomology and Nematology, Geological Sciences, and Spanish and Portuguese Studies.

All events are presented in English or simultaneous English translation and are free and open to the public. See for a schedule of event locations and times, interviews with the authors, and excerpts of their work in climate science and fiction. For additional information, contact Terry Harpold or Alioune Sow.


The Marxist Reading Group will hold its 18th Annual Conference.


Peter Logan (Temple University) Talk
Dauer Hall, 5–7pm

Peter Logan will present “Eccentric Dickens,” a talk on characterization and Victorian medical psychology.

“Eccentric Dickens”
Peter M. Logan, Temple University


What does “eccentricity” mean? Dickens is routinely called “the novelists of eccentricity” by scholars of that quality, and they point to the same qualities that led E. M. Forster to use Dickens’s character as his primary example of “flat” rather than “round” characters. But ideas about eccentricity in Victorian Britain were nothing like they are today or during Forster’s day. Dickens’s life as a writer corresponded with the dominance of a uniquely Victorian form of eccentricity, known as "Moral Insanity." This was the established medical term for eccentricity, and it famously pathologized social non-conformity. By analyzing the logical structure of moral insanity and the psychological assumptions it rested on, I show that Victorian psychology gave eccentricity considerable complexity as a psychological condition. But it also created a conundrum at the center of the condition: eccentricity’s principle symptom was an apparent psychological flatness, in which actions lacked the clear motivation provided by psychological depth. In the world of Moral Insanity, the reductive psychology of eccentricity actually signified psychological depth, rather than its absence. This talk uses eccentricity in Dickens to look at the implications for psychological realism that follow from studying fiction in the context of the time-bound nature of beliefs about universal human psychology. 

Dr. Logan is the Academic Director of the Digital Scholarship Center at Temple University and the former Director of the Center for the Humanities at Temple. A professor of English, he teaches courses in Victorian literature, the history of the novel, and digital humanities. He is the author of two books on Victorian literature as well as Editor of the Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Novel.


Peter Logan (Temple University) Workshop
Nygren Studio, Library West, 2–3pm

Peter Logan will lead a works-in-progress workshop on using computational textual analysis to analyze changes in the nature of knowledge across time in C19, a DH project analyzing historical editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Encyclopedic Time Workshop
Peter M. Logan, Temple University

What can encyclopedias tell us about the changing nature of knowledge in the nineteenth century? This workshop looks at the pilot stage of a large research project designed to track changes in key cultural concepts by applying textual analysis tools to historic editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica, from 1797-1911. This project seeks to identify broad patterns in the changing shape of knowledge over time by looking at the language used to explain major scientific and cultural concepts. Does the complexity of language increase as the century progresses? Are there generic distinctions between changes in the humanities and sciences or do they follow overlapping paths? Answers to these questions lie in the future, but this workshop will explore the design of the pilot study and any preliminary results from it. We will also talk about the history of the Encyclopedia Britannica and the advantages of working with continuously-revised documents instead of primary sources. We will also touch briefly on the different types of textual analysis being used, including dynamic topic modeling, an algorithm specifically designed to analyze topics that change over time.

Recommended Reading

  1. Moretti, “Style, Inc.” from Distant Reading.
  2. Andrew Piper and M. Algee-Hewitt, “The Werther Effect I: Goethe, Objecthood, and the Handling of Knowledge,” in Distant Readings : Topologies of German Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century, ed. Erlin and Tatlock (2014).
  3. A. Goldstone and T. Underwood, “What Can Topic Models of PMLA Teach Us About the History of Literary Scholarship?” Jrnl of Digital Humanities 2.1 (2012).

Dr. Logan is the Academic Director of the Digital Scholarship Center at Temple University and the former Director of the Center for the Humanities at Temple. A professor of English, he teaches courses in Victorian literature, the history of the novel, and digital humanities. He is the author of two books on Victorian literature as well as Editor of the Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Novel.


13th Annual UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels
The 13th Annual UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels on the theme of Transnational Comics will be held from April 8–10th, 2016.