Humanities and the Sunshine State is a set of two week-long summer residential programs that introduce high school students and educators to cutting-edge research in the humanities that helps us to understand Florida’s pressing environmental crises and ways to address them by working with classrooms and communities. Since 2015, over 140 high school students and 120 educators from across Florida and other territories have attended our programs and developed presentations and lesson plans that assist their peers, students, and local communities in shaping a better future for all Floridians. Students and educators from all walks of life and disciplinary interests are invited to participate. For more information on upcoming programs, please see the descriptions of upcoming programs below.
Read more about the program at the National Humanities Alliance’s Humanities for All public humanities showcase.
Humanities and the Sunshine is organized by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere and UF Center for Precollegiate Education and Training in partnership with the Florida Humanities Council. Additional support is provided by the Rothman Endowment of the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Hyatt and Cici Brown Endowment for Florida Archaeology, the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, and the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research.
Humanities and the Sunshine State: Florida Water Stories High School Summer Seminar
Floridians have an extensive relationship with water. From the food we eat, to our favorite pastimes, to the industries that flourish here, to our changing and diverse population, Florida’s most significant issues are tied to water. Through an introduction to how various humanities disciplines study water, Humanities and the Sunshine State: Florida Water Stories explores contemporary political topics such as tourism, food justice, aquifer sustainability, industrial growth, and race relations.
Through practicing methods of humanities research — archival study, oral history, digital curation, archaeological excavation, ethical critique, and textual interpretation — students will learn what the humanities do, and how the lessons they generate build an informed citizenry. Through engaging and hands on activities, participants explore how water has shaped the past and present of Florida, and how our interactions with water today will shape the future of our state.
Participants interact with expert faculty, staff, and graduate students from the University of Florida, Santa Fe College, and local cultural organizations to explore how theoretical ideas and methods from the humanities disciplines (history, classics, archaeology, religion, literature, women’s studies, philosophy, and more) shape our practical experiences of Florida’s waters, and vice versa. Students reside in the Hume Hall Honors College dormitory and enjoy an authentic college experience and social events at the University of Florida.
For more information and to apply to Florida’s Water Stories, visit their website.
Humanities and the Sunshine State: Teaching Florida’s Climates Educator Workshop
Recognizing that people in Florida shape their environment, but they are also sensitive to environmental changes, Humanities and the Sunshine State: Teaching Florida’s Climates is a unique, interdisciplinary residential educator seminar that tackles the complex issue of climate change. This program approaches Florida’s environment from multiple disciplines through systems thinking, and by situating contemporary changes in a historical perspective of climatic variations spanning millennia of geological years and thousands of years of human inhabitation of the peninsula. By showing how humans have experienced and responded to environmental changes over this time period, the seminar teaches adaptation as a necessary way of life as Floridians in the context of optimism and hope. In this way, the seminar connects cutting-edge research in the humanities and ecological sciences to Florida environmental policy issues.
This seminar is open to all educators and disciplines, including full‐time, certified K‐12 public or private school teachers of any subject, media specialists, librarians, guidance counselors, school and district administrators, state college professors, museum educators, National Park Service interpreters, and Florida State Park interpreters. Educators work in a well-supported and academically stimulating environment with Master Teachers in language arts/social studies and sciences to develop Florida state standards-based lesson planning components throughout the workshop. Documentation for In-Service credits will be provided.
For more information and to apply to Teaching Florida’s Climates, visit their website.
Program Sponsors Include: