Eckerd College is pleased to present lectures and presentations, as well as arts and athletic events, for the enjoyment and enlightenment of our community. All events on campus are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

Presidential Events Fall 2019

The Presidential Events Series is designed to enhance the intellectual and cultural life of the College community. Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated on our website.

Octopus with big eyes

Other Minds: An Evening with Peter Godfrey-Smith

Monday, September 9, 2019 – 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall

Peter Godfrey-Smith, author of Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness and professor in the School of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney, is an Australian philosopher of science specializing in the philosophy of mind and its relationship with the philosophy of biology. He also is an experienced diver. His 2016 bestseller, Other Minds, compares the consciousness in cephalopods, especially the octopus and cuttlefish, with that in mammals and birds. Complex active bodies that perhaps require a measure of intelligence have evolved three times—in arthropods, cephalopods and vertebrates. Godfrey-Smith’s talk will reflect on the nature of cephalopod intelligence in particular, as it is constrained by these creatures’ short lifespan and embodied, in large part, in their partially autonomous arms, which contain more nerve cells than their brains. Sponsored by the Class of 1968 Distinguished Visiting Scholar Endowment in partnership with the Foundations Collegium.

Silhouette of woman falling

Film—Saving Claire: The Story of Denying Gravity

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 – 7 p.m., Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium

Local playwright Linda Goldman founded the Seniors Actors Guild and Education Services (SAGES), a theatre company by and for older adults, and set out to produce a work addressing one of the major public health crises facing our aging population. Thirty million older adults in the United States fall every year, one every second of every day. Seven million are injured—29,000 die each year. Falls disrupt the lives of entire families, herald the end of independence, and cause pain and misery. Most falls are preventable. Education is the key. SAGES mounted a production of the original play Denying Gravity, and then documented its genesis to create a talking point for families and communities about the dangers of a fall. After the documentary premieres at Eckerd College, there will be a panel discussion with Goldman and experts. Sponsored by the Human Development discipline.

The Needs of Community and the Problems of Modern Government

Thursday, October 3, 2019 – 7:30 p.m., Triton Room

John Russon, Ph.D., a professor of philosophy at the University of Guelph in Toronto, knows that government is an essential structure for human communities because it is the institution by which a community determines its own values, goals and ways of accomplishing those goals. That’s why he maintains that four problems in contemporary government actually undermine the communities it should be serving. Sponsored by the Center for Spiritual Life Burchenal Lecture Series.

Majestic elephant

The Boundaries of Elephant Communities: The Limits of a “Live and Let Live” Approach

Sunday, October 6, 2019 – 2 p.m., Sheen Auditorium (ES 100)

Otto Fad, an animal welfare and behavior specialist with world-renowned Precision Behavior Specialists, has worked closely with megavertebrates for more than 30 years. His scholarship focuses on the questions: In what ways can we increase cooperation and ensure the best lives and a future for elephants? And beyond specific strategies and tactics, can we identify basic guiding principles that might help unify the numerous constituents already working on behalf of Earth’s elephants? As humans and elephants come into increasingly frequent and intense conflict, ensuring a future for proboscideans will require a paradigm shift emphasizing collaboration and coexistence. Sponsored by the Animal Studies discipline and Behavioral Sciences Collegium. Photo by Harvey Sapir from Pexels.

Socially Supportive Communities: Communication While Facing Upward and Downward Social Mobility

Thursday, October 10 – 7 p.m., Triton Room

Angela Gist-Mackey, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of the Multicultural Scholars Program at the University of Kansas, will discuss difficult decisions faced by those living in poverty and how the absence and presence of socially supportive communities can change the outcomes of their decisions—promoting either temporary stability or downward mobility. Life transitions such as losing a job, finding a new job, going to college and going to jail can impact people in drastic ways. Belonging to a community can help people become more resilient when they are grappling with challenging decisions and life changes. Socially supportive communication has been found to decrease stress and promote well-being. When social support is absent, though, the effects can be devastating. Sponsored by the Communication discipline and the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society.

Paul Robbins wearing tie and glasses, holding pencil

Coffee, Frogs and Workers: Conservation in the Anthropocene

Thursday, October 17, 2019 – 7 p.m., Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium

As the era of wildlife “enclosures” draws to a close and the frontiers of conservation begin to extend into wholly humanized landscapes, basic questions arise about the survival of people and other species. Paul Robbins, Ph.D., dean of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, investigates biodiversity, plantation export economics and labor dynamics in the booming commodity production landscapes of coffee, rubber and betel nut in southern India. The conclusion: Wild species are thriving in places that are not wilderness at all, but their fates are intertwined with the conditions and aspirations of the rural working poor. Sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Photo: Dinesh Valke from Thane, India [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Not Giving Up: Maintaining Our Commitment to Justice in Unjust Times

Thursday, October 24 – 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall

Tim Wise—a world-renowned anti-racist educator, commentator and author of Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America—will speak on the importance of staying strong in difficult times and committing to the struggle for justice, even when justice seems far away. Weaving social movement history with contemporary analysis, humor and storytelling, Wise will provide practical tools for movement building, self-care, how to build effective coalitions, and how to avoid some of the pitfalls that occasionally befall organizers and activists in every generation. In this talk, Wise also will examine the ups and downs of social media as a tool for movement building; the importance (and potential blind spots) of movement allies; and understanding the difference between systems of oppression and individuals who occasionally act in oppressive ways—how to stay focused principally on the former as a way to lessen the harms of both. Additionally, he will explore the importance of “radical humility” in movement work: recognizing our own mistakes, our own (often slow) process of becoming aware of injustices, and that we still have much to learn from one another. This presentation is a great primer for movement building and effective activism, which will help boost the resilience of those seeking a more just and equitable world but who find themselves frustrated by the slow—often backward—pace of change. Sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Older man surrounded by younger, diverse group

The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 – 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall

Three decades ago, Father Gregory Boyle founded Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles to offer a training ground and support system for people leaving gang life behind and those who were recently released from incarceration. Along the way, he learned that love is the answer, community is the context and tenderness is the connective tissue. Tenderness reflects the foundational notion that there is no “us and them,” only “us.” Homeboy, now a global nonprofit, seeks to be what the world is invited to become. Kinship cannot happen without tenderness. Part of the Center for Spiritual Life Burchenal Lecture Series.

Building the Beloved Community: Racism in American Buddhism

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 – 7 p.m., Fox Hall

On May 14, 2015, a delegation of 125 Buddhists gathered for the first White House–U.S. Buddhist Leadership Conference, during which they delivered a letter titled “Buddhist Statement on Racial Justice.” This letter is part of efforts to challenge racism and white privilege in American Buddhist convert communities spanning more than two decades. For much of this time, such efforts have been either marginalized or ignored. Due to the combination of a committed network of Buddhist Teachers of Color and the impact of #BlackLivesMatter, such work is being increasingly centered. Ann Gleig, Ph.D., an associate professor of religion and cultural studies at the University of Central Florida and author of American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity, will present her research about how current social justice movements have influenced modern Buddhist communities. Sponsored by the Religious Studies discipline.

Agenda view – all events

Arts Events



International Cinema Series
Sep. 6–Nov. 15
Fridays (except Oct. 11), 7 p.m., Miller Auditorium
The International Cinema Series at Eckerd College presents critically acclaimed films from around the world, including independent American films.

Select Screenings at Eckerd College

Academic disciplines and student clubs sponsor film screenings to enhance the understanding of particular topics of interest to the campus community. Screenings are held at 7 p.m. in the Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium on select dates unless otherwise indicated.


Music and Transcendence: An Evening of Rock, Jazz and Art Music
Wed., Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m., Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium
A concert event celebrating some ways that people find spiritual, religious, personal and communal transcendence through music. Students and faculty from Eckerd’s Rock Lab, Jazz Combos and Small Ensembles will present selections from rock, jazz, pop and art music genres. Each selection will be preceded by a short talk by an Eckerd faculty member discussing social and historical context and significance.

Day of the Dead: A Sonic Adventure
Thu., Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m., Wireman Chapel
Sounds both eerie and playful will fill Wireman Chapel on this Halloween night. Edgy electronic works, jazz, classical, rock, vocal numbers and more. Wear your costume! Dozens of student performers.

From an Octopus Garden
Thu., Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
The Eckerd String Orchestra, co-directed by Brent Douglas and Rebecca Zapen, presents a memorable evening of oceanic music, from Mendelssohn to the Beatles, jazz to Charles Ives.

A Trip to the Moon
Thu., Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
Eckerd’s concert band, jazz combo and steel drum orchestra venture into outer space for the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 12 moonwalk. More than 50 students and faculty will perform.


As It Is In Heaven
By Arlene Hutton
Wed., Oct. 30–Fri., Nov. 1, 8 p.m.; and Sat., Nov. 2, 2 p.m, Bininger Theater
Directed by Professor Gavin Hawk
General admission $10, Nonstudent Eckerd community $5, Eckerd students free

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)
An energetic, whimsical look at the works of The Bard.
Plays by William Shakespeare
Wed., Nov. 20–Fri., Nov. 22, 8 p.m; Sat., Nov. 23, 2 p.m., Bininger Theater
Directed by Professor Gavin Hawk
General admission $10, Nonstudent Eckerd community $5, Eckerd students free

Bolshoi Ballet
Enjoy encore (recorded) presentations of the original live performances of the Bolshoi Ballet in the Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium on the Eckerd College campus. Bolshoi Ballet tickets and schedule

Met in HD
Enjoy the entire 2019–20 Metropolitan Opera season simulcast in the Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium on the Eckerd College campus. MetOpera tickets and schedule

National Theatre in HD
Enjoy select National Theatre Encore Series performances shown in HD in the Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium on the Eckerd College campus. NTL tickets and schedule

Visual Arts Shows

Hidden Treasures VII
Highlights from the Last of the Mystery Crates
September 1–November 15
Main Gallery, Nielsen Center for Visual Arts
Gallery Hours: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Thursday Night Live
Figure Drawing at Eckerd: Thirteen Local Artists
Sept. 1–Oct. 11
Elliott Gallery, Nielsen Center for Visual Arts
Gallery Hours: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Eduardo Paolozzi
General Dynamic F. U. N.
September 1 – 27
Cobb Gallery
Gallery Hours: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

The 11th Annual IA Show
Interdisciplinary Arts Junior Portfolio Exhibition
September 29 – October 4
Cobb Gallery
Gallery Hours: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Visual & Interdisciplinary Arts Faculty Exhibition
Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Music, Theatre and Film
October 6 – November 27
Cobb Gallery
Gallery Hours: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Visual Arts Senior Thesis Exhibitions
Hunter Pressley, Margot Levey, and Caterina Nicolau
December 1 – 6
Main Gallery, Nielsen Center for Visual Arts and Cobb Gallery
Gallery Hours: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Nearly-Annual Christmas Show & Sale
Ceramics, Paintings, Calligraphy, Photography and More
December 1 – 6
Elliot Gallery, Nielsen Center for Visual Arts
Gallery Hours: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

View detailed Visual Arts Events.

Athletic Events

Enjoy NCAA Division II sports including baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, golf, indoor volleyball, sailing, soccer, softball and tennis! Full Athletics schedule