Professor of History
Interim Director, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, 2005-2008
Bob Hatch was Interim Director of the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere from 2005-2008. During the earliest years, he served as Chair of the Executive Board, and was an ongoing member of the Humanities Working Group (University Faculty Senate) and the Humanities Task Force (Humanities Council). Conceived by John Leavey, then Chair of the Department of English, the Nascent Center received visionary and unwavering support from Dean Neil Sullivan of the College of the Liberal Arts and Sciences beginning in 1999. Financial pressures in the University and CLAS raised early concerns about funding. Yet, scattered humanities accounts around the College—decidedly modest and hard-won—were pooled together to fund dozens of conferences. Drawing noted scholars from around the world, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere symbolized a new day at the University of Florida.
Professor Hatch received his Ph.D. in 1978 in History of Science from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He came to the Humanities Department at the University of Florida in 1978, and the following year joined Department of History. Professor Hatch specializes in the Scientific Revolution (Copernicus to Newton) and, more generally, Early Modern European Intellectual and Cultural history. Professor Hatch has published articles and chapters (particularly on Boulliau, Gassendi, and Peiresc) and some 75 reviews in three dozen scholarly journals. He has lectured in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and the Netherlands, and was History of Science Editor of the Eighteenth Century Current Bibliographyfor two decades. He has received major grants from NEH, NSF, and the American Philosophical Society among others. As sequel to his first book, The Collection Boulliau (APS, 1982), he completed Part II of the trilogy, The Boulliau Correspondence, and continues with Part III, Boulliau’s Europe: Science & Learning in 17th-Century France.
Professor Hatch has twice received both the Mahon Undergraduate Teaching Award and the Wilensky Graduate Teaching Award, as well as three CLAS Teacher of the Year Awards. In 2002 he was named University of Florida Teacher of the Year and received the Joseph H. Hazen Prize from the History of Science Society (2003) for international contributions to the profession. He was named CLAS International Educator of the Year (2009).