A conference, an interactive cooking demonstration, a teachers’ workshop and oral histories – focus on 500 years of Hispanic influence.
TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 2, 2013) – Florida’s Hispanic Heritage takes USF’s center stage Oct. 13 – 20 during the Institute for Latin American and the Caribbean’s (ISLAC) week-long series of events commemorating Florida’s Quincentenary in Tampa Bay. This is part of the lead-up to the 500th Anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s historic encounter in 2013 and timed to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month.
The important figures, the food, poetry, art and history spanning five centuries, from Ybor City to Latin America combine to tell a fascinating story about Florida’s deep Hispanic roots.
“USF has so much to offer in the way of research, scholarship and personal stories, plus profound respect and appreciation for the multifaceted nature of the history we plan to explore with everyone that I can’t imagine a better way to get a handle on such an enormous topic,” said ISLAC Director Rachel May associate professor of Latin American studies and international human rights. “We’re surrounded by much that is woven into the fabric and sometimes taken for granted but when you look a little deeper – as our events will help people do – you discover fascinating details that lend a greater depth to our understanding of our community and the state as a whole.”
What better place to start than with “500 Years of Eating in Florida,” an interactive cooking demonstration and lecture by USF St. Petersburg Professor Emeritus Gary Mormino, the Frank E. Duckwall Professor of History in the Florida Studies Program at USF St. Petersburg, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Centro Asturiano.
This event is followed by “A Cuban Poet Sings to Florida: Tertulia with Poetry and Spanish Guitar” by noted Cuban poet, essayist and playwright Orlando Rossardi, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., also at Centro Asturiano.
The following Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Glazer Children’s Museum, the heritage of games, stories and play traditions from Latin American Cultures will fill the day. That evening, “Afro-Cubans and the Civil Rights Movement in Tampa: A Tribute to Francisco A. Rodriguez” features the Honorable E. J. Salcines at La Union Marti-Maceo in Ybor City from 6 to 8 p.m. This event is co-sponsored by ISLAC and the USF Institute on Black Life Center for Africa and the Diaspora. Rodriguez is the late father of USF Professor Cheryl Rodriguez, director of IBL.
The next day, Oct. 17, begins Florida’s Hispanic Heritage Conference which opens with a keynote address by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, the William P. Reynolds Professor of History at Notre Dame University, at 6:30 p.m. at The Cuban Club in Ybor. His topic is the Latin American History of the United States.
On Thursday and Friday, Oct. 18 and 19, the conference sessions begin at 9:30 a.m. and run through 5:15 p.m. at the Tampa Bay History Center. Friday’s luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. features a keynote address by Richard L. Kagan, the Arthur O. Lovejoy Professor of Early Modern European History at Johns Hopkins University. He will speak about the impact of the 400th anniversary of Spain in Florida and how those celebrations affected the art and culture in the United States. There is a charge of $10 for the general public for this event. Advance registration is required.
From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, in the Centro Asturiano Theater, the conference plenary session, “Latin America and Florida: Today and Tomorrow” takes place. It will be in the form of a panel made up of Richard Wainio, fomer Tampa Port director and chief executive officer, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Frank Sanchez and Phil Williams who will lead a discussion about the political and economic ramifications of Florida’s connections to Latin America.
“Our conference really is bringing together the very best international scholars of Florida’s Hispanic history, culture, society and politics,” May said. “New research is being presented around the themes of the Spanish conquest and colonization period into the 19th and 20th centuries as well as trans-Atlantic migration, exile and the diaspora. We’ll also get into the connections between Latin America and Florida now and into the future.”
Throughout the day on both Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19 and 20, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. the public is invited to share their stories related to their Hispanic heritage “Story Corps”-style. Individuals will have a conversation or interview with a family member recorded for posterity. Each oral history will be preserved and shared with others in a collection of stories celebrating Florida’s cultural diversity. Recording sessions are to be up to 45 minutes. Appointments are required and available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be scheduled by calling (813) 247-1434 or (813) 229-2214. The interviews will be recorded at either Ybor City Museum Society or Centro Asturiano.
On the final day of the week-long celebration, Oct. 20, there will be a teacher training workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at USF. More than 100 teachers from Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties are taking part after also participating in the conference.
“What we cover in the workshop will be connected to the conference and will reflect the conference themes,” said USF Social Science Education Professor Barbara Cruz who is organizing the workshop. “The teachers will be provided with lesson plans that make the conference content accessible to K-12 students incorporating Next Generation Sunshine State Standards as well as national curriculum benchmarks.”
The teachers are also being given a special tour of USF’s Special Collections at the library.
“They’re going to see what a vast resource of print and virtual material we have here,” Cruz said. “This is information they can to prepare for teaching and that they can use in their classrooms.”
Supporters of this series of events include the Florida Humanities Council, Viva Florida, USF World, Ybor City Museum, Centro Asturiano, Tampa Bay History Center and Circulo Cubano de Tampa.
Along with the University of Miami and Flagler College, ISLAC received a grant from the Florida Humanities Council to put on a conference to commemorate the Quincentenary. USF’s is the final one of the three conferences.
The State of Florida has set up a calendar under the heading Viva Florida 500, which is part of the Florida Heritage Trail organization. For more information click here or visit http://www.fla500.com/main.php.
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the top tier of research universities, a distinction attained by only 2.2 percent of all universities. It ranks 50th in the nation for federal expenditures in research and total expenditures in research among all U.S. universities, public or private, according to the National Science Foundation. The USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion, an annual economic impact of $3.7 billion, and serves 47,000 students in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland.
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