Frontier Forum

Past Speakers

2021

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Anne Applebaum

In this virtual presentation of the Frontier Forum Lecture Series, the College of Arts and Sciences, the USF Institute on Russia, and the Humanities Institute welcomed Anne Applebaum as a featured guest speaker. Applebaum is a prize-winning historian with a particular expertise in the history of communist and post-communist Europe, a staff writer for The Atlantic and a Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, where she co-leads ARENA, a research project on disinformation and 21st century propaganda. Her book, Gulag: A History won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction, and her writing has also won the Cundill, Nonino and Lionel Gelber prizes, among others. 
 
During this event, Applebaum sat down with Dean Eric Eisenberg to discuss her book, Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive lure of Authoritarianism, the fragility of the world’s democracies, and what the future looks like for nations that have seemingly embraced pseudo-dictators. 
 
The focus of the program detailed how democracies, no matter which country they may be functioning in, are tied together by how political information is disseminated to and consumed by the public. In one example, Applebaum detailed how “Brexit”, as it has become commonly known, hinged its argument on the downside of globalization, rallying behind their slogan “take back control”. She continued by stating that, “in many ways, it was a false slogan. I’m in London now, and much of what I see with Brexit is the U.K. having less influence, less control, less trade. It was a lie, but it was an effective lie, because it spoke to something that people genuinely feel quite deeply.” 

WATCH VIRTUAL EVENT RECORDING


 

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

In this third virtual Frontier Forum, the College of Arts and Sciences at USF welcomed Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. Mona Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician, professor, and public health advocate who is now the director of an initiative to mitigate the impact of the Flint crisis and works to bring attention to the bureaucratic indifference that puts all citizens at risk.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s powerful book, "What the Eyes Don’t See", the topic of her lecture offered a first-hand account of the signature environmental disaster of our time and a riveting narrative of personal advocacy. It was our great pleasure to have her speak as part of our premiere lecture series.

Hosted by Dean Eric Eisenberg of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Hanna-Attisha used a portion of the program to share her dramatic story, from how she used science to prove that Flint children were affected by lead to the brutal backlash she faced after courageously going public with her findings. It is through this that she hopes to inspire the audience in attendance to safeguard their own communities by speaking truth to power. She went on the explain that while she faced intense backlash, her persistence eventually paid off. The city of Flint switched the water back to its original source and then-President Barack Obama used her findings and personal experience, as well as that of others, to declare a federal emergency. She has since been called to testify three times before the United States Congress.

2020

IBRAM X. KENDI

IBRAM X. KENDI, PH.D.

Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor. Kendi is the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

He is the author of many books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest ever winner of that award. He also authored three #1 New York Times bestsellers, How to Be an Antiracist; Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and Antiracist Baby, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky. His newest books are Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action; and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, co-edited with Keisha Blain, which will be out in February. In 2020, Time magazine named Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world.


 

Corey Brettschneider event

COREY BRETTSCHNEIDER

The University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences and Phi Beta Kappa will welcome Professor of Political Science at Brown University and Carl F. Cranor Visiting Scholar, Dr. Corey Brettschneider, as a featured speaker in the Frontier Forum lecture series. Brettschneider’s lecture will be available live, in a virtual setting, on Thursday, October 15, 2020 beginning at 7:00 p.m.

During this virtual lecture, Brettschneider will discuss the topic of “Hate Speech and Free Speech”. The current political climate has highlighted the hard choice of either protecting the rights of hate groups and allowing their views to spread, or banning their views and violating citizens' rights to freedoms of expression, association, and religion. Avoiding the familiar yet problematic responses to these issues, Brettschneider proposes a new approach called value democracy.

Brettschneider teaches constitutional law and politics at Brown University and is a visiting professor of law at Fordham Law School. He has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago Law School. His recent writing has appeared in the New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post.

The Frontier Forum lecture series is sponsored by the USF Office of the Provost, USF College of Arts and Sciences, and our generous donors. Brettschneider is visiting as a guest lecturer as part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program. Since 2010, the Frontier Forum lecture series has hosted several notable public intellectuals such as Jane Goodall, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jeffrey Toobin, Rory Kennedy, and Roxane Gay. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the Tampa Bay community have had the wonderful opportunity to learn from these accomplished speakers.

View the full lecture recording


 

Naomi Oreskes

DR. NAOMI ORESKES

Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University

“WHY TRUST SCIENCE?”

Do doctors know what they are talking about when they tell us vaccines are safe? Should we take climate experts at their word when they warn us about the perils of global warming? Why should we trust science when our own politicians don’t?

In this talk, Naomi Oreskes offers a bold and compelling defense of science, but not for the reasons you might think. Professor Oreskes shows how consensus is a crucial indicator of when a scientific matter has been settled, and when the knowledge produced is likely to be trustworthy.

2019

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Dr. Matthew Desmond

POVERTY AND PROFIT IN AMERICA

Princeton University Professor of Sociology and 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner Matthew Desmond will discuss poverty in American cities, related housing issues, and his ideas for solving economic exploitation – one of 21st century America’s most devastating problems.


Paul Freedman Frontier Forum

PAUL FREEDMAN

WHAT IS AMERICAN CUISINE?

Yale Historian and food scholar, Paul Freedman, will be discussing the evolution of the American food industry, how it reflects cultural and historical trends, as well as current shifts in American tastes and preferences. “Foreign observers often say there is no such thing as American cuisine, only fast food, or (more favorably) a miscellaneous collection of international, immigrant cuisines,” Freedman says. Using examples from regional traditions, Freedman will outline the history of American food and the current revival of the movement towards seasonal, local, and sustainable cuisine. 

2018

John Douglas

JOHN DOUGLAS

The University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences and Office of the Provost will welcome retired special agent and unit chief in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) John Douglas as a featured speaker in the Frontier Forum lecture series. Douglas will speak in the Oval Theater at the Marshall Student Center on Thursday, November 8, 2018 beginning at 7:30 p.m. A book signing will follow. This event is free and open to the public. 

After serving time in the United States Air Force, Douglas began his career as an FBI special agent in the Detroit and Milwaukee field offices in the early 1970s. Some of his earliest work with the FBI was teaching hostage negotiation and applied criminal psychology at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. After teaching, he focused his efforts on criminal psychology, leading him to participate in criminal interviews of active investigations. It was during those interviews that he would learn patterns about criminal motivations, histories, and mindsets. Douglas’ ability to make connections between patterns of behavior became critical elements of ongoing investigations. By helping investigators get into the mind of criminals, specifically the minds of serial killers, Douglas’ innovative techniques have helped advance investigations and narrow suspect pools.

Now, having spent more than 40 years revolutionizing criminal profiling, Douglas lends his expertise to Netflix’s hit series, “Mindhunter”. The series, which is based on Douglas’s personal work and his 1995 book “Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit”, follows two fictional FBI agents who work tirelessly to expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder.
 
The Frontier Forum lecture series is sponsored by the USF Office of the Provost and the USF College of Arts and Sciences. Since 2010, the series has hosted several notable public intellectuals such as Jane Goodall, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jeffrey Toobin and Martha Nussbaum. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the Tampa Bay community have had the wonderful opportunity to learn from these accomplished speakers.


 

Roxane Gay

ROXANE GAY

The University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences and the Humanities Institute will welcome scholar and internationally renowned author Roxane Gay as a featured speaker in the Frontier Forum lecture series. Gay will speak in Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz Center on Thursday, September 27, 2018 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Gay is a best-selling author and cultural critic known for her reflective, no-holds-barred exploration of feminism, exploring the intersection of cultural identifiers including gender, race, and sexuality. Her collection of essays, "Bad Feminist", is a New York Times bestseller and is considered the quintessential exploration of modern feminism. Her newest book, "Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body" explores the shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. Gay recently became the first black woman to write for Marvel, producing a comic series in the Black Panther universe titled "World of Wakanda".

The Frontier Forum lecture series is sponsored by the USF Office of the Provost and the USF College of Arts and Sciences. Since 2010, the series has hosted several notable public intellectuals such as Jane Goodall, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jeffrey Toobin and Martha Nussbaum. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the Tampa Bay community have had the wonderful opportunity to learn from these accomplished speakers.