ICC Speakers

Invited guest speakers at ICC events have included internationally-renowned authors, filmmakers, scholars, and climate scientists. UF faculty and researchers from across the humanities and biological, physical, and social sciences have participated as respondents and moderators.


Spring 2017 ICC Speakers

Jack E. Davis. Professor of History and affiliated faculty member of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Florida. Co-editor of Making Waves: Female Activists in Twentieth-Century Florida (2003) and Paradise Lost? The Environmental History of Florida (2005). Author of Race Against Time: Culture and Separation in Natchez Since 1930 (2001), An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century (2009, and The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea (2017).

Terry Harpold. Associate Professor of English, University of Florida. Author of Ex-foliations: Reading Machines and the Upgrade Path (2008) and co-editor of Collectionner l’Extraordinaire, sonder l’Ailleurs. Essais sur Jules Verne en l’honneur de Jean-Michel Margot (2015). He is currently working on a book-length study of intermedial “relays” in Jules Verne’s illustrated fiction, and on several essays on the history and ethics of sustainability in modern science fiction. He is founder of ICC and co-founder of UF’s Science Fiction Working Group.

Bette Loiselle. Director of the Tropical Conservation and Development Program in the Center for Latin American Studies and Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Florida. The author of more than 100 peer-reviewed journal papers in the fields of tropical ecology, conservation biology, and biodiversity, her research focuses on biodiversity in tropical systems, in particular the role of animals as seed dispersers and the potential consequences of global climate change on the distribution of plants and animals.

Stephen Mulkey. Former President (2011–15) of Unity College (Unity, Maine), where he led the College’s adoption of Sustainability Science as a framework for its liberal arts programming. From 2008 to 2011 he was Director of Environmental Science at the University of Idaho. From 1996 to 2008, he was a member of the faculty of the University of Florida Department of Botany and Director of Research and Outreach/Extension for the UF School of Natural Resources and Environment. In 1990 he co-founded in 1990 and later directed the International Center for Tropical Ecology at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

Aaron Thier. American novelist and essayist, author of The Ghost Apple (2014) and Mr. Eternity (2016). Thier has written for the The New Republic and The Buenos Aires Review. He is a regular contributor to The Nation and a columnist for Lucky Peach.


Spring 2016 ICC Speakers

Cynthia Barnett. Environmental journalist and Hearst Visiting Professional, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida. Author of Rain: A Natural and Cultural History (2015, nominated for the National Book Award and the 2016 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award), Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis (2011), and Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. (2008).

Tobias Buckell. Born in the Caribbean, New York Times bestselling science fiction author and futurist. His novels and over 50 short stories have been translated into 17 languages and he has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and Prometheus Awards, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. His Arctic Rising series (now in its third installment) fuses science fiction with espionage thriller, centering on the international jockeying for access to the mineral wealth of the warming Arctic seas and the devastating effects of climate change on island nations.

Christian Chelebourg. Professor of Literature at the Université de Lorraine and Director of the Centre d’Études Littéraires Jean Mourot. A specialist in the literary fantastic and contemporary popular literature, his many publications include Jules Verne, l’œil et ventre (1999), L’Imaginaire littéraire (2000), and Le Surnaturel – Poétique et écriture (2006). His 2012 book Les Écofictions: Mythologies de la fin du monde [Ecofictions: Mythologies of the World’s End] is the first major French-language study of climate fiction.

Jay Famiglietti. Hydrologist, Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine, and the Senior Water Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. He and his team have been researching and communicating about water and climate change – in academics, in business, in government and to the general public – for over 25 years. He has appeared as a featured expert in the water documentary Last Call at the Oasis, on CBS News’ 60 Minutes, and on Real Time with Bill Maher.

W. Kent Fuchs became the 12th President of the University of Florida in January 2015. He came to UF from Cornell University, where he served most recently as Provost, and previously as Dean of the Cornell College of Engineering. Before that, he was the head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University and a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois. President Fuchs is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

M. Elizabeth Ginway. Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Florida. Author of Brazilian Science Fiction: Cultural Myths and Nationhood in the Land of the Future (2004), a collection of essays Visão Alienígena [Alien Vision] (2010), and co-editor of Latin American Science Fiction: Theory and Practice (2012) with J. Andrew Brown. She is currently working on a book-length study of Mexican and Brazilian science fiction. She is co-founder of UF’s Science Fiction Working Group.

Terry Harpold. Associate Professor of English, University of Florida. Author of Ex-foliations: Reading Machines and the Upgrade Path (2008) and co-editor of Collectionner l’Extraordinaire, sonder l’Ailleurs. Essais sur Jules Verne en l’honneur de Jean-Michel Margot (2015). He is currently working on a book-length study of intermedial “relays” in Jules Verne’s illustrated fiction. He is founder of ICC and co-founder of UF’s Science Fiction Working Group.

Wanuri Kahiu. Kenyan filmmaker, screenwriter, and activist. Her films include Reflection (2005), Ama’s Mama (2005), The Spark That Unites (2006), Ras Star (2007), From a Whisper (2008), For Our Land (2009), and Pumzi (2009).

Andrea Lucky. Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida. An entomologist and biodiversity scientist with a focus on the evolution of ants. She is specifically interested in understanding how diversification and dispersal have led to distribution patterns we see today. As a founding director of the School of Ants citizen science project, a major goal of her work is to make science accessible and available to the general public, particularly to make the process of “doing” science accessible to non-scientists.

Ellen E. Martin. Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida. A paleoceanographer and paleoclimatologist, she is interested in the relationship between ocean circulation and climate in the past. She is currently a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor and Co-director of the Florida Climate Institute at UF.

Yann Quero. French journalist, science fiction novelist and anthologist. His novels Le Procès de l’Homme Blanc [The Trial of the White Man, 2005] and L’Avenir ne sera plus ce qu’il était [The Future is not What It Was, 2010] deal with a late twenty-first century Earth in crisis, as climate change has destroyed world political and economic orders and invited genocidal solutions. He is editor of the anthology Le Réchauffment climatique et après [Global Warming and After, 2014], the first collection of short fiction on climate change in French.

Alioune Sow. Associate Professor of French and African Studies, University of Florida; Director of the France-Florida Research Institute. Author of Vestiges et vertiges: Récits d’enfance dans les littératures africaines (2011), his research interests are in Francophone African literature and film and postcolonial African cultural production.

Phillip Wegner. Professor and Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar, Department of English, University of Florida. Author of Imaginary Communities: Utopia, the Nation, and the Spatial Histories of Modernity (2002), Life Between Two Deaths: U.S. Culture, 1989-2001 (2009), Periodizing Jameson: Dialectics, the University, and the Desire for Narrative (2014), and Shockwaves of Possibility: Essays on Science Fiction, Globalization, and Utopia (2014).

Jeff VanderMeer. A speculative fiction writer with an interest in weird biology and the environment. In addition to his best-selling post-human Southern Reach Trilogy, he is the author of several novels tackling ecological and postcolonial issues. Nonfiction regularly appears in the Guardian, Atlantic.com, Washington Post, and New York Times. Winner of the Nebula Award, Shirley Jackson Award, and the World Fantasy Award (4 times). He is currently working on a book-length study of science fiction’s response to “the slow apocalypse.”

Andrew Zimmerman. Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, With over 120 publications, his area of research is carbon cycling in soils, sediments and aquatic systems. In addition to developing and teaching “Climate Change Science and Solutions,” a UF Grand Challenges Core course, he teaches “Introduction to Oceanography,” “Sustainability and the Changing Earth,” and “Organic Geochemistry and Geobiology.”


Fall 2015 ICC Speakers

Andrea Dutton. Assistant Professor of Geology, University of Florida. A geochemist, sedimentologist, paleoclimatologist, and paleoceanographer, Dutton is a co-leader of PALSEA2, an international working group investigating the geological record of changes in sea levels and ice sheet mass, in order to better predict future sea level rise. Dutton’s research currently focuses on sea level reconstruction over glacial-interglacial timescales, with an emphasis on establishing the behavior of sea level and ice sheets during interglacial periods.

Terry Harpold. Associate Professor of English, University of Florida. Author of Ex-foliations: Reading Machines and the Upgrade Path (2008) and co-editor of Collectionner l’Extraordinaire, sonder l’Ailleurs. Essais sur Jules Verne en l’honneur de Jean-Michel Margot (2015). He is currently working on a book-length study of intermedial “relays” in Jules Verne’s illustrated fiction. He is founder of ICC and co-founder of UF’s Science Fiction Working Group.

Jean-Marc Ligny. Author of more than forty science fiction novels, including Aqua™ (2006), about water wars in a near-future Africa, and winner of the Prix Bob-Morane, the Prix Rosny aîné, the Prix Julia-Verlanger, and the Prix Une autre Terre. His 2012 sequel, Exodes [Exodus], winner of the Prix Européens (Utopiales), envisages a future Europe subjected to the most extreme effects of climate change and the resulting political and social upheaval. The third novel in the series, Semences [Seeds], will be published this fall.

Nathaniel Rich. Author of two novels, Odds Against Tomorrow (2013) and The Mayor’s Tongue (2008). He is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and his essays appear regularly in The New York Review of BooksThe Atlantic, and The Daily Beast. He lives in New Orleans. Odds Against Tomorrow has been lauded as the first American climate fiction novel to break into the mainstream.

Alioune Sow. Associate Professor of French and African Studies, University of Florida, Director of the France-Florida Research Institute. Author of Vestiges et vertiges: Récits d’enfance dans les littératures africaines (2011), his research interests are in Francophone African literature and film and postcolonial African cultural production.

Bron Taylor. Professor of Religion, University of Florida, Fellow of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany. Editor in Chief of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (2005), founder of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, and Editor of the affiliated Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. Taylor is editor or author of four books on affirmative action, monitory democracy, ecological resistance movements, and contemporary “green religions.”

Amanda Vincent. Adjunct Lecturer, Dept. of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Florida. Her primary research interest is the creation and representation of designed spaces including parks, gardens, and cities. The author of several articles on twentieth century parks, architecture, and urban design in Paris and the Île-de-France region, she is working on a book on “Constructing Nature, Cultivating the City: Paris Parks, 1977–1995.”