‘New Topics’ Discussion Series To Open With Explorer Alizé Carrère

The 2017-2018 season of the New Topics discussion series begins with scientist and National Geographic Young Explorer Alizé Carrère on Monday, Nov. 6, at 5:30 p.m., in New College of Florida’s Sainer Pavilion. The series continues with five more events through March.

Carrère will speak on “Sustainability in a Changing World,” based on her research on how communities worldwide are trying to adapt to climate change. In 2012, with support from National Geographic, Carrère spent several months in Madagascar and learned how farmers were turning erosion gullies into pockets of farmland, an unlikely agricultural adaptation in response to severe deforestation.

At McGill University, Carrère received a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and international development, and a master’s degree in bioresource engineering. She has visited 37 countries as a cultural ecologist, climate researcher and excursion planner, and says that being raised in a tree house in upstate New York primed her in understanding how to innovate and adapt in response to environmental change.

Her recent projects include working with a film team on web series on human resilience, and designing and leading tours with National Geographic Expeditions aboard the ship Orion.

Her talk is presented by the Sarasota World Affairs Council.

All New Topics programs are held in New College’s Mildred Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road, immediately south of the Ringling Museum. The programs are complimentary (free admission) but reservations are recommended. Please contact the New College Events Office at 941-487-4000 or go to donate.ncf.edu/events.


The 2017-18 New Topics New College Discussion Series


Alizé Carrère, scientist and National Geographic Young Explorer

“Sustainability in a Changing World”

Presented by the Sarasota World Affairs Council
Monday, November 6, at 5:30 p.m.
Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road
Admission is free; for reservations, call 487-4888 or visit donate.ncf.edu/events

(detailed description above)


Brian Zepeda, Seminole tribal artist and historian

“The Art of War”

Presented by the New College Public Archaeology Lab
Tuesday, November 14, at 5:30 p.m.
Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road
Admission is free; for reservations, call 487-4888 or visit donate.ncf.edu/events

Brian Zepeda is returning to New College. His Fall 2012 presentation, part of the Voices from Native Florida series, focused on Seminole heritage across Florida. In this year’s event, he will present his impressive artwork.

Zepeda has been a consultant for the History Channel, Discovery Channel, Nat Geo Wild, WPBT and WGCU, and has been featured in National Geographic magazine, First American Art magazine and Florida World magazine.

He was a featured artist in “Just Above the Water, Florida Folk Art” and “Beadwork Storytellers,” an exhibit at the Cherokee Nation Museum of Oklahoma. His art work can be seen in the collections of the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Museum of Florida History, and in numerous private collections.

Zepeda has served on the Florida Governors council of Indian Affairs, American Indian Alaskan Native Tourism Board, the Friends of the Collier County Museum and currently serves as the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Naples Liaison Representative.


Nicola Denzey Lewis, professor of women’s studies in religion

“Rethinking the Jewish Catacombs”

Presented by the Klingenstein Chair of Judaic Studies at New College of Florida
Tuesday, January 16 at 5:30 p.m.
Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road
Admission is free; for reservations, call 487-4888 or visit donate.ncf.edu/events

Nicola Denzey Lewis is the Margot L. Goldsmith Chair in Women’s Studies in Religion at Claremont Graduate University in California. Previously, Denzey Lewis held positions at Brown University and Harvard University.

A specialist in the social, cultural, and religious history of Rome, Denzey Lewis’s particular expertise lies in the burial practices of Roman citizens in the city’s many catacombs, and what they can reveal about ordinary people in the past. In this lecture, Denzey Lewis will re-examine what we can know— and not know—about the Jews of Rome in the late Roman Empire from the material and anthropological evidence of the city’s Jewish catacombs.

Her fourth book, “The Early Modern Invention of Late Antique Rome,” is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.


Robert Bilott, attorney, partner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister

“Scientific, Legal and Regulatory Challenges in Investigating and Addressing Health Threats from Unregulated Drinking Water Contaminants: The Case of Perfluorochemicals”

Thursday, February 15, at 5:30 p.m.
Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road
Admission is free; for reservations, call 487-4888 or visit donate.ncf.edu/events

Robert Bilott, an attorney and 1983 graduate of New College, will provide insights into the various scientific, legal, and regulatory challenges facing communities exposed to “emerging” or currently “unregulated” contaminants in their drinking water.

Bilott’s work on a landmark class-action case on such contaminants was the subject of a feature story in the New York Times Magazine in January 2016.

In his talk, Bilott will draw upon his more than 17 years of experience handling issues involving perfluorochemical contamination of drinking water supplies across the country, including PFOA and PFOS contamination, to highlight and explain the ways in which these various challenges impact our ability to fully understand the nature of the chemicals we are exposed to in our water, and our ability to address any health risks associated with those exposures.


Dr. Donal O’Shea, president, New College of Florida, and

Anne-Marie Russell, executive director, Sarasota Museum of Art

“Art, Math and Orange Peels: The Legacy of Dr. William Thurston on Math and Fashion”

Thursday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m.
Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road
Admission is free; for reservations, call 487-4888 or visit donate.ncf.edu/events

Dr. William Thurston, a 1967 graduate of New College, was a world-renowned expert in the mathematical field of topology and a 1982 winner of the Fields Medal, often described as the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

Dr. Donal O’Shea and Anne-Marie Russell will tease out the beauty and complexity of math and fashion using Dr. Thurston’s collaboration with the House of Miyake as a point of departure. Celebrate the interdisciplinary thinking that lies at the heart of New College and find out how peeling an orange can lead to revelations about the shape of the universe!

Marilyn Francus, professor of English, West Virginia University

“O Mother What Art Thou? O Mother Where Art Thou? Frankenstein at 200”

Tuesday, March 13, at 5:30 p.m.
Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road
Admission is free; for reservations, call 487-4888 or visit donate.ncf.edu/events

In 1818, a pregnant Mary Shelley, daughter of the famous writer Mary Wollstonecraft, who died within days of Shelley’s birth, fashioned a motherless monster in her novel “Frankenstein.” This maternal absence let Shelley sidestep one of the era’s conventions—the monstrous mother—only to settle into the era’s alternative: the idealized, dead mother.

Professor Francus, author of “Monstrous Motherhood,” will discuss how “Frankenstein” and the conventions of motherhood that shaped Shelley’s novel endure, and continue to shape our notions of motherhood today.


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