New Topics New College

New Topics is a collaboration of the New College Foundation and New College of Florida.

New Topics New College

New Topics is a collaboration of the New College Foundation and New College of Florida. This dynamic community series features national speakers on relevant topics of our time.

All programs are complimentary and will be held in the Mildred Sainer Auditorium, 5313 Bay Shore Road.

For seat reservations and more information, please contact the New College Events Office at 941-487-4888 or go to

The 2017-2018 Lineup

NOVEMBER 6, 2017 | 5:30 p.m.
Sustainability in a Changing World

The Sarasota World Affairs Council presents Alizé Carrère, a world-traveling scientist, writer, and explorer who is researching and documenting how humans are adapting to climate change. She has visited 37 countries as a cultural ecologist, excursion planner, and climate researcher.

Being raised in a tree house in upstate New York primed her for a unique perspective on what it means to innovate and adapt in response to environmental change.

NOVEMBER 14, 2017 | 5:30 p.m.
The Art of War

The New College Public Archaeology Lab presents Brian M. Zepeda, Seminole Tribal Artist and Historian. Brian has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, First American Art Magazine, and has been a consultant for the History Channel, Discovery Channel, Nat Geo Wild, WPBT and WGCU.

His beautiful artwork 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.

JANUARY 16, 2018 | 5:30 p.m.
Rethinking The Jewish Catacombs

The Klingenstein Chair of Judaic Studies and the Jay Rudolph Endowment presents Nicola Denzey Lewis, the Margo L. Goldsmith Professor of Women’s Studies in Religion at Claremont Graduate University, and author of The Bone Gatherers, as well as Introduction to Gnosticism: Ancient Voices, Christian Worlds and Cosmology, and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Under Pitiless Skies. Her research centers on the city of Rome during the Roman Empire and late antiquity.

The lecture is sponsored by New College of Florida, The Klingenstein Chair of Judaic Studies and The Jay Rudolph Endowment, and New Topics New College.

FEBRUARY 15, 2018 | 5:30 p.m.
Scientific, Legal, and Regulatory Challenges in Investigating and Addressing Health Threats From “Unregulated” Drinking Water Contaminants: The Case of Perfluorochemicals

New College graduate ’83 and attorney Robert Bilott 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 will draw upon his more than 17 years of experience handling issues involving perfluorochemical contamination of drinking water supplies across the country 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.

MARCH 1, 2018 | 5:30 p.m.
Art, Math and Orange Peels: The Legacy of Dr. William Thurston on Math & Fashion

Dr. William Thurston 67′ was a world-renowned expert in the mathematical field of topology and a New College of Florida graduate. Join New College President Donal O’Shea and Anne-Marie Russell, executive director of the Sarasota Museum of Art, as they 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 lay at the heart of New College and find out how peeling an orange can lead to revelations about the shape of the universe.

MARCH 13, 2018 | 5:30 p.m.
O Mother, What Art Thou? O Mother, Where Art Thou? Frankenstein at 200

In 1818, 17-year old pregnant Mary Shelley, daughter of the famous Mary Wollstonecraft, who died within days of Mary’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. Marilyn Francus, Professor of English, West Virginia University and 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.