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Scholars' Symposia

The UT Scholars’ Symposia was created to introduce The University of Tampa community to vibrant researchers and writers from all over the nation. It is an annual event that features good food, great conversation, book signings (when available) and question-and-answer sessions with the scholar. The program welcomes anyone who would like to share his or her scholarship. Those interested in participating should contact Sarah Juliet Lauro, the symposia’s director, at

For more on see UT's English and Writing department.

Spring 2017


Alisha Gaines

Fantasies of Empathy and the Age of Trump

Sept. 22, 2017

Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Crescent Room, 9th floor Vaughn
Sponsored by the Department of English and Writing

About Alisha Gaines

Alisha Gaines is an assistant professor of English at Florida State University. She is the author of Black for a Day: White Fantasies of Race and Empathy (UNC Press 2017). With a doctorate in English and certificate in African American and African Studies from Duke University, a Carter G. Woodson Postdoctoral Fellowship in African and African American Studies from the University of Virginia, and a life-long fandom of Michael Jackson, Gaines teaches courses in queer theory, African American literature and culture, black protest, Shakespeare, black humor, Oprah and the South.

About the Presentation

Title: Fantasies of Empathy and the Age of Trump

We are in seemingly unprecedented times. Alisha Gaines will detail how her unique, genealogical history of cross-racial experiments in empathy can teach us about allyship, intentionality, politics, and race-even today.

Former Guests

View former guests for the Scholars' Symposia...

Spring 2017

Dan Walden

Dan Walden
A Hell of Our Own
Jan. 27, 2017

Fall 2016

Jonathan Beecher Field

Jonathan Beecher Field
Monstrous Births
Sept. 15, 2016

Spring 2016


Professor Emma Rees
Feb. 11, 2016

Fall 2015


Eric Hayot
On Literary Worlds
Sept. 18, 2015

Fall 2014


Erica Williams
Clicks, Likes and Online Social Change
Sept. 26, 2014

Spring 2014

Barry Estabrook and The Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Tomatoland: Modern Day Slavery in Florida
Feb. 25, 2014