Have an “AH-HA!” moment
with the UCF College of Arts and Humanities

In a series of short presentations and Q&A sessions, faculty members share pieces of their research findings and teaching methods to provide session participants with new insights into the arts and humanities. Every session will include at least one “Ah-ha!” moment and one actionable take-away. The presentations will be 30 minutes, with 15 minutes for Q&A.

2020 Schedule

Ken Hanson with inset YouTube image

A Path to More Engaging Educational Video Content

Ken Hanson • Thursday, June 18 at 1 p.m. EDT

Watch on YouTube  https://youtu.be/WseFsBjQb44

Dr. Kenneth L. Hanson, associate professor and director of the UCF Judaic Studies program, had a vision for creating video content that could be more entertaining, engaging, and memorable than a typical lecture-capture experience. Working with UCF’s Center for Distributed Learning’s TV studio, he changed the way his online Judaic Studies courses are delivered and turned traditional classroom lectures into creative television experiences. Armed with the tools to create our own “History Channel,” and with a little editing magic, a brave new world of remote learning can be superior to anything we’ve done in the musty lecture halls of the past. Let’s seize the day as we create the educational future.

Alla Kourova with inset image of Russia study abroad trip

From Orlando to Russia Through Cultural Projects

Alla Kourova • Thursday, June 25 at 1 p.m. EDT

Watch on YouTube  https://youtu.be/rNZwBSmGyxk

Dr. Alla Kourova is an associate professor of Russian and TESOL. She inspires her students to learn Russian by living it. Cultural projects are a highlight of her classes, but that’s only a small part of how she has developed a summer intensive program supported by the National Security Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Defense, to teach a nationally critical foreign language. Tune in to see how you can use cultural projects in the classroom!

Black Lives: Racism and the Struggle for Justice in the American Democracy

A Virtual Teach-in by UCF Faculty • Thursday, July 2, 3–5 p.m. EDT

Watch on YouTube  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVC63WadMRY

Join UCF faculty in a virtual teach-in during this critical moment in our country’s history. Faculty from the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Sciences will lead a series of short presentations on racism in America from a comparative perspective. Positioned as our community’s experts, our faculty will also answer your questions. The teach-in will facilitate a greater understanding and awareness of how racial discrimination and inequalities permeate many different aspects of our country’s history, socio-economic system, and politics. It will exhort participants to take action and address the persistent legacies of racism.

The teach-in will feature opening remarks by Dr. Güneş Murat Tezcür, from the UCF School of Politics, Securities, and International Affairs. UCF History Alumnus Brandon Nightingale, M.A., who serves as the Archival Coordinator at Carl S. Swisher Memorial Library at Bethune-Cookman University, will serve as moderator.

Speakers and their topics include:

  • Dr. Jonathan Cox, Department of Sociology; Color-blindness IS Racism, and White Supremacy
  • Dr. Fon Gordon, Department of History; Dispossession: Racial Disadvantage and Public Policy
  • Dr. Edward Gonzalez-Tennant, Department of Anthropology; Archaeology is Antiracist or It is Nothing: Confronting the Legacies of Anti-Black Pogroms in 2020
  • Dr. Connie Lester, Department of History; The Rhyme of History: Racism in the Florida Narrative
  • Dr. Amelia Lyons, Department of History; Colonialism, Migration, and Universalist Rhetoric: The Historic Roots of State Violence against People of Color in France
  • Dr. Bhoomi Thakore, Department of Sociology; The Maintenance of Racism and Inequality in a Capitalist Society 
  • Dr. Keri Watson, School of Visual Arts and Design; The American Carceral Landscape and the Perpetuation of Slavery
  • Dr. Kenicia Wright, School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs; Representative Bureaucracy, Intersectionality, and Female Health Outcomes in the US

Jonathan Beever and Stephen Kuebler with inset image of cartoon knight with banner 'Do Well. Be Better.'

UCF Center for Ethics

Jonathan Beever & Stephen Kuebler • Thursday, July 9 at 1 p.m. EDT

Watch on YouTube  https://youtu.be/nqiiQL6B8V8

The UCF Center for Ethics aims to cultivate an institutional culture of ethical literacy, including a unified and ongoing conversation about ethics and a habit of practical application around ethics in research, teaching and partnerships. The co-directors, Dr. Jonathan Beever and Dr. Stephen Kuebler, will share details about the faculty-led center’s mission and its recent activities (research, teaching and partnerships) including ongoing research collaborations. They will frame the ways ethical values, like concern for social and environmental justice, shape reasoning and action both in our institution and out in the world.

Connie Lester headshot with inset historical photo

UCF Center for Humanities and Digital Research

Connie Lester • Thursday, July 16 at 1 p.m. EDT

Watch on YouTube  https://youtu.be/vj1dUtW5DVw

Dr. Connie L. Lester is an historian of agriculture in the American South in the period 1870-1940 and the director of RICHES of Central Florida, an interdisciplinary, digital research project that seeks to understand the history of the Central Florida region. The project was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Start-up grant in 2011. RICHES works with the UCF Center for Digital Humanities and Research to accomplish its mission. Lester will be speaking about the collaborative Bending Toward Justice digital exhibit project.

“The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice,” words spoken by Theodore Parker, the abolitionist minister in 1853. Martin Luther King Jr. modified the quote during the Civil Rights Movement when he proclaimed, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” (The Gospel Messenger 1958) The quote in either form can be interpreted to mean that a passive wait for justice will be rewarded. It can also imply that justice is conferred by those of superior moral, political, or social status on those less fortunate. The Bending Toward Justice digital exhibit project builds on a different interpretation. The exhibits planned and presented in this digital space document the ways in which African Americans “bent” the arc toward justice through their everyday lives and under extraordinary conditions.

Sustaining family life, building schools and churches, organizing fraternal associations and charities, accumulating wealth through physical labor and business development, and participating in civic and political life chipped away at the injustices perpetuated by racism, segregation, and disfranchisement. When “justice” arrived, as it did in 1865, 1964, and 1965, it did so through the efforts of ordinary men and women, whose persistent efforts on behalf of justice, and whose daily rebellions against injustice made advancement along the arc possible. Understanding that the work of justice is never finished, these men and women renewed their efforts to “bend the arc” as they addressed the next example of injustice. The digital exhibits in this RICHES project explore and document daily life in Florida’s African American communities in order to understand the “bend toward justice.”

Stella Sung and Rudy McDaniel hold Disney trophy with inset image of young student weaving

CREATE-ing Community Partnerships

Stella Sung • Thursday, July 23 at 1 p.m. EDT

Watch on YouTube  https://youtu.be/NdM8c5jUWog

Dr. Stella Sung, composer, educator, and UCF Pegasus and Trustee Chair Professor, discusses the vital work that the UCF Center for Research and Education in Arts, Technology and Entertainment (UCF-CREATE) does in connecting the university to the community. The center, based at UCF Downtown, works directly with schools and families in the surrounding Parramore neighborhood, providing valuable enrichment opportunities in afterschool programs, summer camps and in senior populations. 

UCF Center for Ethics