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Featured Stories and Courses

New: Alumni Newsletter!

The Spring 2015 Humanities and Cultural Studies Alumni Newsletter is available here. Inside you'll find a spotlight on recent alum David Beeler as well as stories covering faculty and student activities. If you want to contribute a story to a future newsletter please contact Megan Orendorf.

Spring Break in Florence 2014

March 1 - 8, 2015: The Florentine Renaissance, HUM 4938 (3 credits, repeatable with change in content). Graduate credit also available.

During Spring Break, 2015, Dr. Silvio Gaggi will teach a course in Florence, Italy, where the European Renaissance began. Although visual arts will be emphasized, selected writings will present an overview of the diversity of ideas and concerns among Renaissance thinkers. Major issues treated will include Humanism and the accelerated study of classical art and writing; Neoplatonism and Christianity; science, realism, and the study of nature; and the idea of the “Renaissance Man.” Included will be a discussion of the Medici, their rise to wealth and power, and their support of the arts and humanistic education. Works and ideas will be introduced in a traditional class setting, followed by visits to museums, churches, and other architectural works, providing students with a firsthand experience of the most important works of the early Renaissance.

Faculty Contact: Dr. Silvio Gaggi. (813), HCS, (813) 495-4088;
Administrative Contact: Mr. James Pulos, Education Abroad, (813) 974-4043;

Our Spring 2014 Newsletter is here.

Three of our spring interns have won a prestigious fellowship: USF Community Scholars Fellowship. The Fellowship supports undergraduate students conducting research that benefits, and is carried out in partnership with community organizations. Each Fellowship recipient is expected to spend at least 150 hours during the term conducting the research under the guidance of a faculty mentor (me). The winners receive $750 as a stipend and can receive an additional $250 to help defray research costs. The community partners will receive a $250 stipend, and all partners have already submitted a letter of support for the research.

All Fellowship winners are expected to present their research at the Undergraduate Research Colloquium in the spring.

Dr. Brook Sadler Joins HCS

Dr. Brook Sadler joined the Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies in Spring 2013. She received her PhD in philosophy from Duke University. Her specializations include ethics, the history of moral philosophy, issues pertaining to sexuality and identity, and feminist theory. Dr. Sadler is also interested in film, literature, and poetry. She has published philosophical articles focused on marriage and same-sex marriage. A sample of her poetry can be found in The Cortland Review. She has been awarded the USF Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching award for her exemplary teaching. Her non-academic hobbies and interests include spending time with her family, yoga, and avoiding cooking. Dr. Sadler has been at USF for 12 years and is very happy to be a part of the Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies

HCS is now offering a Certificate in Food Studies!

The Certificate in Food Studies is designed for majors in any field who wish to gain an interdisciplinary knowledge of the social, cultural, anthropological, historical, and philosophical study of the production, consumption, and representations of food.  Food Studies is a growing field that offers students the opportunity to be genuinely interdisciplinary in their methodological approach, while studying a subject that is of tremendous social, personal, ethical, environmental and global significance. The certificate requires a total of 12 credit hours.  Please visit or contact our Undergraduate Advisor, Dr. Christie Rinck, to learn more.

New Books in Popular Music

Visit New Books in Popular Music to listen to Prof. Andrew Berish talk with Matt Smith-Lahrman about his recent book, Lonesome Roads and Streets of Dreams: Place, Mobility, and Race in Jazz of the 1930s and '40s. New Books in Popular Music is part of the New Books Network, a consortium of podcasts dedicated to raising the level of public discourse by introducing serious authors to serious audiences.

Dr. William Cummings Joins HCS

William Cummings joins the department in Fall 2012. He received his PhD from the University of Hawai'i and specializes in Southeast Asian history and culture, about which he has published three books and numerous articles. His first book won the Harry J. Benda Prize from the Association for Asian Studies for its exploration of how the advent of literacy changed perceptions of the past in seventeenth-century Indonesia. His research and teaching interests focus on cross-cultural encounters, translation, non-Western conceptions of history, and the use of film to represent the past. Dr. Cummings is married to Sharon, an abstract artist, and when not on campus is most likely either playing with his great danes or riding his motorcycle.

Stampede of Culture

A recap of the event by current HCSO President, Barbara Helfrick:

"Stampede of Culture aims to promote diverse student organizations at USF. During Stampede, we also hope to highlight the many diverse activities that students engage in. In past years, we've had contributions or displays from pottery clubs, painters, photographers, and contributers to Thread magazine. Stampede of Culture usually includes live music, because HCSO feels that music draws people in and helps everyone connect better.

For this semester, Stampede of Culture had a few hurdles to overcome. The biggest disappointment was that our live band, The Dead Poets, were unable to make it because their car broke down. Despite this set back, I think Stampede went well. About 300 students came over to check out the event. I talked to International students, local students, members of the community, and USF faculty and staff. I love participating in Stampede because it allows me the chance to interact with so many interesting people. It also provides me the opportunity to promote HCSO in a fun and entertaining environment."

Yosemite Adventure Rocks

America Wilderness Return

Students in Dr. Sara Dykins Callahan's "American Wilderness" course return from their 2011 Study-on-Location trip to Yosemite National Park.

For more HCS news, click here.