Humanities and the Sunshine State will not be running a Summer 2022 program.

Please check back here and at the program Facebook page for updates on future years.

Since 2015, Humanities and the Sunshine State has introduced rising high school juniors and seniors to humanities research that explores and explains our experiences of life in Florida. The 2016-19 programs, “Florida Water Stores,” focused on Floridians’ extensive relationship to water. Many contemporary political issues in our state -- such as race relations, tourism, food justice, aquifer sustainability, and industrial growth – relate directly to our historical and future uses of water.

The program combines field trips with academic classes and hands-on activities to give students authentic college-level experiences. These activities include visits to the George A. Smathers Libraries Archives and Special Collections, Sweetwater Wetlands and Boulware Springs, the Santa Fe River and its springs, Field and Fork Farm, Cedar Key Shell Mound, Rosewood, and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art. These diverse experiences show students how studying ancient Roman aqueducts informs urban planning in Florida cities, how the sacred spaces shaped by Native Americans help us combat rising sea levels today, and how science fiction prepares us to address water-related crises in tomorrow’s Florida.

Through practicing methods of humanities research — archival study, oral history, storytelling, archaeological excavation, ethical critique, creative writing, and textual interpretation — students learn how water has shaped the past and present of Florida, and how our interactions with water today will shape the future of our state. In this way, the program empowers students to be hopeful agents of positive change, attuned to the beliefs, values, disparities, and needs of the diverse populations who live in Florida.

Participating students interact with expert faculty, staff, and graduate students from the University of Florida and local cultural organizations to explore how theoretical ideas and methods from the humanities disciplines (history, classics, archaeology, religion, literature, women’s studies, philosophy, and more) shape our practical experiences of Florida’s waters, and vice versa. Students reside in the Hume Hall Honors College dormitory and enjoy social events at the University of Florida.

2019 HSS STudent agenda