Natalie Hagler

Imagining America Working Group Coordinator

Natalie Hagler is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Florida, College of Education. She currently serves as an Instructional Coach for pre-service teachers enrolled in the SITE program at UF and is the Graduate Student At-Large Board member for FATE (Florida Association of Teacher Educators) . Her current research interests are preservice teacher preparation in culturally relevant pedagogy, the transfer of novice teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge from theory to practice, and the examination of teacher educator behaviors that support difficult dialogues teacher preparation courses. As a K-12 educator for over a decade, Natalie has served as a brick-and-mortar and virtual school teacher, Reading Coach, teacher mentor, and Department Chair.    

Vickie Machado

Humanities and the Sunshine State Coordinator

Vickie Machado is a third generation South Floridian who received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Florida. Upon graduation, she returned to Fort Lauderdale to work as an environmental organizer, where she became the state organizer for a D.C.-based NGO in 2014, primarily focusing her efforts on banning fracking. These interests eventually led her back to UF where she is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Religion, specializing in Religion & Nature and Religion in the Americas. She is particularly interested in Florida’s water issues, the environmental humanities, bioregionalism, environmental justice, and watershed discipleship. 

Lauren Cox

Intersections Public Relations Coordinator

Lauren Cox (Photo: Julian Pinilla)

Lauren Burrell Cox earned her BA in English (summa cum laude) from the University of Florida in 2016 with a concentration in film studies and a minor in Spanish. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of English at the University of Florida specializing in feminist film and media studies. Her research areas include gender, American film, documentary film, archival film, and photography. Lauren’s MA thesis focuses on the representation of women photographers in 1970s American film. She also teaches film in the English department and serves as the Vice President for the UF Graduate Film Studies Group.

Danielle Barrientos

Intersections Program Coordinator

Daniell Barrientos (Photo Credit: Timothy Sofranko)

Danielle Barrientos graduated from the University of Florida with her BA in History in 2017. She is currently a graduate student in the UF Department of History working towards her Masters with a focus on Medieval European history. Barrientos’ general areas of interest include gender and religion, with other research interests in folk history, medical and magical healing practices, archeology and material culture. Barrientos is currently interested in working on a cross disciplinary graduate certificate in Archaeology or Museum studies.

Ken Chitwood

Program Coordinator

Photo Credit: Lyn Larson

Curriculum Vitae

Ken serves as Program Coordinator for the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere.

He is a Ph.D. candidate with UF’s Department of Religion. His current research interests include global Islam, Islam in the Americas, American religion, the Puerto Rican Muslim community, Christian-Muslim relations, Muslim cosmopolitanism, globalizing the study of religion, ethnographic practice in a digital age, and the interplay of religion and popular culture.

 Ken is also a widely published religion newswriter, speaker, and blogger engaging in public and popular representations of the intersection of religion & culture. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Latin American Studies Association, Caribbean Studies Association, Theta Alpha Kappa, serves as Treasurer of the Religion News Association and the Religion News Foundation.

All of his published work — both academic and popular — can be found at and on Twitter at @kchitwood.

Maddie Collins

Program Coordinator

Maddie Collins earned their BA in History from Mount Holyoke College  in 2014 with a focus in Medieval Studies and a minor in English. They are currently a Master’s student in the Department of History at the University of Florida specializing in medieval European history and working towards completing a certificate in museum studies. Their research interests include gender, identity, archaeology, agency and autonomy, museum accessibility, and museums and social justice. Collins’ MA research project focuses on the use of medievalism in American white identity and white nationalism. They currently serve as  Treasurer for the History Graduate Society.

More information about Maddie Collins can be found here.

Sophia Krzys Acord

Associate Director,
Lecturer in Sociology and Criminology & Law
Office: 200C Walker Hall
Office Hours: Drop-in or by appointment

Curriculum Vitae

Sophia Krzys Acord took up the position of Associate Director of the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere in August 2010. Prior to coming to UF, she was a Specialist Researcher at the Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE), University of California, Berkeley, where she worked on the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded Future of Scholarly Communication Project. At CSHE, Dr. Acord conducted qualitative research in scholarly communication and publication behavior, scholarly reward systems, research support services, interdisciplinary collaboration, public engagement, online textbooks and open educational resources, and the meaning and locus of peer review for publication. Dr. Acord has also provided consultancy services in the areas of digital libraries, graduate student training, online learning, and humanities research centers.

Dr. Acord holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Exeter, U.K., from which her dissertation was awarded an “Honorable Mention” from the 2010 American Sociological Association’s Dissertation Award committee. She also holds an M.Res. (Masters of Research Methodology), also from the  University of Exeter, and a B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology (minor in Interpretation Theory) from Swarthmore College. Her research examines the production of knowledge in the arts and humanities, and she has published work in cultural sociology, the sociology of the arts, museum studies, qualitative research methods, and mobile technologies.

Dr. Acord has held research fellowships at Yale University’s Center for Cultural Sociology, Rutgers University’s Center for Mobile Communication Studies, the École des Mines’ Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales’ Group for the SocioAnthropology of the Fine Arts. She also edits the journal Music and Arts in Action (MAiA).

At the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, Dr. Acord works in program development and evaluation to support the Center’s host of activities and increase the profile of humanistic scholarship at UF and in the broader community. She served as Acting Director of the Center between 2015-2016.

Courses Taught:

SYA 4110 – Development of Sociological Thought

SYA4930 – Sociology of the Arts

SYA4930 – Technology (the Self) and Society

SYA 6315 – Qualitative Research Methods

Barbara Mennel

Barbara Mennel

Rothman Chair and Director, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere

Associate Professor of Film Studies and German Studies

Departments of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and English
Office: 200B Walker Hall
Office Hours: Thursdays 2:00-3:00pm 

Curriculum Vitae

Associate Professor Barbara Mennel holds a joint appointment in the German section of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and the Film Studies Program and the Feminisms, Genders, & Sexualities tracks in the English Department. Her research interests include transnational cinematic practices, feminist and queer theory, and the intersection of urban studies and film studies. At UF, she has been awarded the University of Florida Foundation Research Professorship (2018-21) and the Waldo W. Neikirk Professorship (2014-20). She is author of four books: Women at Work in Twenty-first Century European Cinema (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, forthcoming January 2019), Queer Cinema: Schoolgirls, Vampires, and Gay Cowboys (Wallflower and Columbia University Press, 2012, translated into French as Le Cinéma queer with L’Arche, 2013), Cities and Cinema (Routledge, 2008, second and revised edition under contract and manuscript completed), and The Representation of Masochism and Queer Desire in Film and Literature (Palgrave, 2007). With Jaimey Fisher she has co-edited the volume Spatial Turns: Space, Place, and Mobility in German Literature and Visual Culture (Brill, 2010) and with Sabine Hake the collection Turkish German Cinema in the New Millennium: Sites, Sounds, and Screens (Berghahn, 2012). She has published articles in Camera Obscura, Germanic Review, Modern Austrian Literature, New German Critique, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, and Women in German Yearbook. She was the Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. during summer 2013. She spent the academic year 2016-17 as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie FCFP Senior Fellow at FRIAS, the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Study in Freiburg, Germany.