College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Experience UWF Downtown Lecture Series

The University of West Florida College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities presents the Experience UWF Downtown Lecture Series showcasing scholars of outstanding prominence who promote the value and role of the Liberal Arts in building and sustaining contemporary culture.

Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Photo by © Matika Wilbur

November 19 - An Evening with Joy Harjo (Virtual Event)

Join us for an evening with United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo as she performs a reading from her latest collection of poetry, "An American Sunrise". In this stunning volume, Joy Harjo returns to her family’s lands 200 years after the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed and opens a dialogue with history. Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice.

This program is part of the NEA Big Read: Pensacola, an initiative that broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. For the month of November, we’re asking our community to read Joy Harjo’s An American Sunrise and come together through a series of programming that explores poetry, the art of storytelling, and Native American history and culture. A limited number of free copies of An American Sunrise will be available for pick up at the Pensacola Museum of Art and West Florida Public Library branches starting October 28th. For a full calendar of programming, please visit

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Hosted by the Pensacola Museum of Art and the West Florida Public Library, this program is being held in partnership with UWF’s College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities’ Experience UWF Downtown Lecture Series; UWF Office of Equity and Diversity; and funded, in part by the John C. Pace Symposium Series. Special thanks to support by the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club.

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To best comply with state and institutional social distancing guidelines, Fall 2020 installments will be conducted virtually. Virtual events will require advance registration to participate on the virtual platform.  
Date: Thursday, November 19
Time: 6 - 7 p.m. CST
The event is free and open to the public. This series is presented by the UWF College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, sponsored by the UWF Office of Equity and Diversity and is funded, in part, by the John C. Pace Symposium Series. We are pleased to partner with the Pensacola Museum of Art during the 2020-2021 season.

2020-2021 Installments

  • September 17, 2020

  • "Navigating Creativity in Times of Change: The Artist’s Perspective”
  • via Zoom (Registration required)
  • Program has been rescheduled to the October 14th installment. 

October 14, 2020


Installment Sponsors and Partners

The Experience UWF Downtown Lecture Series is presented and sponsored by the UWF College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities and UWF Equity & Diversity. It is also funded in part, by the John C. Pace Symposium Series.

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