MIHS welcomes Florida humanities speaker

B. Elaine Michaelis
Special to the Eagle

The Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) welcomes Dr. J. Michael Francis, a Florida humanities speaker, to Rose History Auditorium at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 7.

Dr. Francis’s lecture will examine European efforts to settle 16th century Florida, a remarkable tale of colonial violence, lies, and propaganda as both Spain and France struggled for power in the American frontier.

Dr. Francis is one of the country’s leading experts on the history of the Spanish colonial experience in Florida. From 1997 to 2012, he was a professor and chairman of the History Department at the University of North Florida. In 2012, he was named the Hough Family chair of Florida studies at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg (USFSP), and in 2016, he was appointed the chair of the University’s Department of History and Politics.

Dr. J. Michael Francis

A distinguished scholar, Dr. Francis has been awarded more than two dozen national and international honors, including a four-year appointment as a research fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Jay I. Kislak Fellowship at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. He has written and edited several books, book chapters and articles. His most recent book, published in 2015, is entitled St. Augustine: America’s First City.

The Speaker Series program is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council, an independent, nonprofit organization with funding from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs. The program is dedicated to building strong communities and informed Floridians by exposing them to the stories, heritage and traditions of the state and its place in the world.

The lecture is free to members of the Society and $10 for nonmembers; all are invited to attend. Rose History Auditorium is located at 180 S. Heathwood Drive across from the library. For more information, contact MIHS at 239-389-6447 or visit

Next lecture

April 27: “Florida Environmental History” -- Master lecturer and award-winning author Dr. Steve Noll examines the relationship of people to the land throughout Florida, starting with Native American settlements. He concentrates on how Floridians have worked to turn water into land and land into water; how Floridians have gone from concerns of too much water to too little in less than a century; and how hurricanes have played a role in shaping Florida as both a state and a society.