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Coffee & Conversations is a weekly virtual interview series for FIU and the South Florida community at large dedicated to digital storytelling and uplifting marginalized voices or lesser-told stories. Created as a response to COVID-19, Coffee & Conversations hopes to bridge the gap between community members and foster a space to preserve local stories throughout the pandemic. Each week, we are joined by a member of FIU or the Miami community to discuss a wide range of topics, including how cultural institutions are responding to COVID-19, addressing anti-Blackness in museums, promoting global literacy with Miami Book Fair, and telling community stories.

We invite you to watch past Coffee & Conversations' discussions and stay tuned for future seasons!

 

Season 5 Highlight

In our most recent season, the WPHL’s Julio Capó, Jr. interviewed Ada Ferrer about her new book, Cuba: An American History. Check out that conversation and more from our past five seasons!

Past Seasons of Coffee & Conversations

  • Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair (Season 5)

    Season 5 of Coffee & Conversations promoted the incredible work of Miami Book Fair, an annual literary festival realized by Miami Dade College that promotes reading, encourages writing, and heightens awareness of literacy and the literary arts in the Miami's multi-ethnic community.


    Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair 2021 - Say It Loud!

    Melba Pearson speaks with Randall Kennedy, author of Say it Loud!: On Race, Law, History, and Culture, a collection of provocative essays exploring the key social justice issues of our time—from George Floyd to antiracism to inequality and the Supreme Court. Recorded 10/12/2021.

    Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair 2021 - Concepcion

    WPHL Program Manager Enrique Rosell interviews Albert Samaha, author of Concepcion: An Immigrant Family's Fortunes, an honest and at times heartbreaking story of a Filipino immigrant family that explores what it might mean to reckon with the unjust legacy of imperialism. Recorded 10/14/2021.

    Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair 2021 - Hear Us

    FIU Professor Jessica Adler interviews Katie Klarreich from Exchange for Change about Hear Us: Writing from the Inside During the Time of COVID, an anthology of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and artwork from incarcerated writers, family members, and Department of Corrections staff. Presented by Exchange for Change, a nonprofit that offers writing classes in South Florida correctional institutions, it describes how the pandemic and George Floyd’s murder have impacted its contributors’ lives. Recorded 10/19/2021.

    Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair 2021 - As a Woman

    FIU student Jesse Fraga interviews Paula Stone Williams about her new book, As a Woman: What I Learned About Power, Sex, and Patriarchy After I Transitioned. Her writing insightfully reveals aspects of our gender socialization and culture that often go unexamined, but that need to be talked about, challenged, and changed in order to fully understand what it means to be male, female, and simply, human. Recorded 10/21/2021.

    Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair 2021 - The Drop FIU

    PantherNOW Staff Writer & FIU Sports personality David Drucker interviews Thad Ziolkowski about his new book, The Drop: How the Most Addictive Sport Can Help Us Understand Addiction and Recovery. Ziolkowski shows how getting on a board and catching a wave is a unique and deeply instructive means of riding out of the darkness and back into the light. Recorded 10/26/2021.

    Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair 2021 - The Thing About Florida

    WPHL Deputy Director & author Julio Capó, Jr. interviews Tyler Gillespie about his new book, The Thing about Florida: Exploring a Misunderstood State. As he weaves his childhood memories and personal experiences alongside the stories of the individuals he encounters, Gillespie reconciles with his home state. He finds Florida’s humanity, a beautiful mix of hopes, dreams, and second chances. Recorded 10/28/2021.

    Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair 2021 - Voices from the Pandemic

    WPHL’s Enrique Rosell and Andrea Fanta interview Eli Saslow about his new book, Voices from the Pandemic: Americans Tell Their Stories of Crisis, Courage and Resilience. Through Saslow's masterful, empathetic interviewing, we are given a kaleidoscopic picture of a people dealing with the unimaginable. These deeply personal accounts make for cathartic reading, as we see Americans at their worst, and at their resilient best. Recorded 11/04/2021.

    Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair 2021 - Cuba: An American History

    WPHL’s Julio Capó, Jr. interviews Ada Ferrer about her new book, Cuba: An American History. Ferrer explores the sometimes surprising, often troubled intimacy between the two countries, documenting not only the influence of the United States on Cuba but also the many ways the island has been a recurring presence in US affairs. Recorded 11/09/2021.

    Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair 2021 - People Love Dead Jews

    WPHL director & author Rebecca Friedman interviews Dara Horn about her new book, People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present. As Horn explores the (not so) shocking attacks on the American Jewish community in recent years, she reveals the subtler dehumanization built into the public piety that surrounds the Jewish past―making the radical argument that the benign reverence we give to past horrors is itself a profound affront to human dignity. Recorded 11/11/2021.

    Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair 2021 - Latinx Writers and the Literature of Uprootedness

    FIU’s Michael Grafals & Anne Castro interview Anjanette Delgado about her new book, Latinx Writers and the Literature of Uprootedness. Showcasing a variety of voices shaped in and by a place that has been for them a crossroads and a land of contradictions, Home in Florida presents a selection of the best literature of displacement and uprootedness by some of the most talented contemporary Latinx writers who have called Florida home. Recorded 11/16/2021.

    Coffee & Conversations: Miami Book Fair 2021 - Borderline Fortune

    FIU’s Whitney Bauman interviews Teresa K. Miller about her new book, Borderline Fortune, a meditation on intangible family inheritance—of unresolved intergenerational conflicts and traumas in particular—set against the backdrop of our planetary inheritance as humans. Miller asks what we owe one another and what it means to echo one’s ancestors’ grief and fear. Recorded 11/18/2021.

  • Coffee & Conversations: Telling Community Stories (Season 4)

    This season centers on community stories: preserving, sharing, and highlighting marginalized voices. It is an extension of the WPHL’s Mellon Foundation-funded grant, Community Data Curation.


    Coffee & Conversations with Stonewall National Museum & Archives

    Episode 1 finds WPHL’s Rebecca Friedman and Julio Capó, Jr. in conversation with Stonewall National Museum & Archives' Hunter O'Hanian about preserving, sharing, and highlighting stories and experiences of the LGBTQ community. Recorded 02/25/21.

    Coffee & Conversations with Historic Hampton House

    Episode 2 finds WPHL’s Rebecca Friedman and Julio Capó, Jr. in conversation with Historic Hampton House’s Jacqui B. Colyer (Chairwoman of the Board) and Imani L. Warren (Director). Learn how HHH is working to preserve, share, and highlight the stories and experiences of South Florida’s Black community and past. Recorded 03/04/21.

    Coffee & Conversations with Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center

    Episode 3 finds WPHL’s Rebecca Friedman and Julio Capó, Jr. in conversation with Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center's Gepsie M. Metullus, Executive Director, and Leonie Hermantin, Director of Development, Communications & Strategic Planning. Learn how Sant La is working to preserve, share, and highlight the stories and experiences of South Florida’s Haitian community. Recorded 03/11/21.

    Coffee & Conversations with World AIDS Museum and Educational Center

    Episode 4 finds WPHL’s Rebecca Friedman and Julio Capó, Jr. in conversation with Dr. Réquel Lopes, AP, Executive Director, and Andrew Ruffner, Director of Education and Programming, of the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center. Recorded 3/18/21.

    Coffee & Conversations with Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

    Episode 5 finds WPHL’s Rebecca Friedman and Julio Capó, Jr. in conversation with Remko Jansonius (Deputy Director, Collections and Curatorial Affairs) and Wendy Wolf (Deputy Director, Learning and Community Engagement) of Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. Recorded 3/25/21.

    Coffee & Conversations with Museum of Graffiti

    Episode 6 finds WPHL’s Rebecca Friedman and Julio Capó, Jr. in conversation with Allison Freidin, Museum of Graffiti's Co-Founder. Learn about Museum of Graffiti's efforts to preserve and share community stories through the unique art form it celebrates. Recorded 04/01/21.

    Coffee & Conversations with African American Research Library and Cultural Center 04/08/21

    Episode 7 finds WPHL’s Rebecca Friedman and Julio Capó, Jr. in conversation with Makiba Foster (Regional Manager) and Dr. Ramona LaRoche (Assistant Director of Adult Information Services) of Broward County's African American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC). Recorded 04/08/21.

    Coffee & Conversations with Jewish Museum of Florida—FIU

    Episode 8 finds WPHL’s Rebecca Friedman and Julio Capó, Jr. in conversation with Susan Gladstone Pasternack, Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida—FIU. Recorded 04/15/21.

  • Coffee & Conversation: Miami Book Fair (Season 3)

    Season 3 brought six authors to discuss their newly published works as part of the 2020 Miami Book Fair.


    Season 3 of Coffee & Conversations kicked off with WPHL Director Rebecca Friedman and WPHL Deputy Director Julio Capó Jr. interviewing author Candacy Taylor about her work, especially her latest book Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America. Recorded 10/20/20.

    Episode 2 of Discussing Contemporary Issues with Miami Book Fair, the third season of the Coffee & Conversations web series hosted by the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL) at Florida International University. WPHL Director Rebecca Friedman and WPHL Deputy Director Julio Capó Jr. interview Miami Book Fair author Sharon Salberg about her work, especially her latest book Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World (https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250759849). Recorded 10/22/20.

    Episode 3 of Discussing Contemporary Issues with Miami Book Fair, the third season of the Coffee & Conversations web series hosted by the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL) at Florida International University. WPHL Director Rebecca Friedman and WPHL Faculty Fellow Nathanial Cadle interview Miami Book Fair author Deborah Paredez about her work, especially her latest book Year of the Dog. (https://www.boaeditions.org/products/...). Recorded 10/29/20.

    Episode 4 of Discussing Contemporary Issues with Miami Book Fair, the third season of the Coffee & Conversations web series hosted by the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL) at Florida International University. WPHL Director Rebecca Friedman and WPHL Faculty Fellow David Rifkind interview Miami Book Fair author Christian Staebler about his work, especially his co-authored book Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/bo...). Recorded 11/3/20.

    Episode 5 of Discussing Contemporary Issues with Miami Book Fair, the third season of the Coffee & Conversations web series hosted by the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL) at Florida International University. WPHL Director Rebecca Friedman and WPHL faculty member and writer Elisa Silva interviews Miami Book Fair author Peniel E. Joseph about his work, especially his new new book The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. (https://www.basicbooks.com/titles/pen...). Recorded 11/5/20.

    Episode 6 of Discussing Contemporary Issues with Miami Book Fair, the third season of the Coffee & Conversations web series hosted by the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL) at Florida International University. WPHL Director Rebecca Friedman introduces and WPHL faculty member and writer Ana Menéndez interviews Miami Book Fair author John Murillo about his work, especially his new book Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (https://fourwaybooks.com/site/kontemp...). Recorded 11/10/20.

  • Coffee & Conversations: Museums and Histories of Anti-Blackness (Season 2)

    Season 2 titled Museums and Histories of Anti-Blackness took place on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. WPHL faculty hosted a remote, informal chat with directors and leaders of museums and other cultural institutions to discuss how they and their institutions are addressing the challenges of working against institutional powers that have historically erased, marginalized, or whitewashed Black histories. These conversations were free and open to the public over Zoom. Audiences were invited to ask questions and contribute to the discussion after the initial interview.


    Rebecca Friedman, Director of the WPHL, converses with Timothy A. Barber, Executive Director of The Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida, Inc., on the significance of centering Black lives and experiences in museums and cultural institutions, and the challenges of working against the powers at institutions (and the field or society more generally) that seek to erase, marginalize, or whitewash Black histories and experiences. Recorded 7/2/20.

    Julio Capó, Jr., Deputy Director of the WPLH, converses with David Conner (Director of Community Engagement of the Worcester Historical Museum), Debbie Hall (Founder of the Worcester Black History Project), and Al Green (Ministry Director, LGBT Asylum Task Force) on the significance of centering Black lives and experiences in museums and cultural institutions, and the challenges of working against the powers at institutions that seek to erase, marginalize, or whitewash Black histories and experiences. Recorded 7/9/20.

    Rebecca Friedman, Director of the WPLH, converses with Joel Hoffman (Executive Director and CEO of Vizcaya Museum & Gardens) and Wendy Wolf (Deputy Director of Learning and Community Engagement of Vizcaya Museum & Gardens) on the significance of centering Black lives and experiences in museums and cultural institutions, and the challenges of working against the powers at institutions that seek to erase, marginalize, or whitewash Black histories and experiences. Recorded 7/16/20.

    Episode 4 of Museums & Histories of Anti-Blackness, the second season of the Coffee & Conversations series hosted by the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL). Julio Capó, Jr., Deputy Director of the WPHL, converses with Regina Gayle Phillips (Executive Director of the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center, an African-American museum and center in St. Augustine, FL) on the significance of centering Black lives and experiences in museums and cultural institutions, and the challenges of working against the powers at institutions that seek to erase, marginalize, or whitewash Black histories and experiences. To support and learn more about the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center, visit: https://www.lincolnvillemuseum.org/. Recorded 7/23/20.

    Episode 5 of Museums & Histories of Anti-Blackness, the second season of the Coffee & Conversations series hosted by the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL). Rebecca Friedman, Director of the WPHL, converses with Klaudio Rodriguez, Interim Director of The Bronx Museum of the Arts on the significance of centering Black lives and experiences in museums and cultural institutions, and the challenges of working against the powers at institutions--and the field or society more generally--that seek to erase, marginalize, or whitewash Black histories and experiences. Recorded 9/24/20.

    Episode 6 of Museums & Histories of Anti-Blackness, the second season of the Coffee & Conversations series hosted by the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL). Julio Capó, Jr., Deputy Director of the WPHL, converses with Dr. Réquel Lopes, Executive Director of the World AIDS Museum & Educational Center, on the significance of centering Black lives and experiences in museums and cultural institutions, and the challenges of working against the powers at institutions--and the field or society more generally--that seek to erase, marginalize, or whitewash Black histories and experiences. Recorded 10/1/20.

    Episode 7 of Museums & Histories of Anti-Blackness, the second season of the Coffee & Conversations series hosted by the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL). Rebecca Friedman, Director of the WPHL, converses with Dr. Brad Massey, the Saunders Foundation Curator of Public History at Tampa Bay History Center, on the significance of centering Black lives and experiences in museums and cultural institutions, and the challenges of working against the powers at institutions--and the field or society more generally--that seek to erase, marginalize, or whitewash Black histories and experiences. Recorded 10/8/20.

    Episode 8 of Museums & Histories of Anti-Blackness, the second season of the Coffee & Conversations series hosted by the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab (WPHL). Julio Capó, Jr., Deputy Director of the WPHL, converses with Patricia Zeiler of the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, on the significance of centering Black lives and experiences in museums and cultural institutions, and the challenges of working against the powers at institutions--and the field or society more generally--that seek to erase, marginalize, or whitewash Black histories and experiences. Recorded 10/1/20.

  • Coffee & Conversations: Cultural Institutions in Times of Crisis (Season 1)

    Season 1 addressed how leaders of cultural institutions began to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. You can view the recorded episodes below.


    Jordana Pomeroy, Frost Art Museum
    WPHL Director Rebecca Friedman converses with Jordana Pomeroy, Director of the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at FIU, on responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the ways the museum continues to serve the community. Recorded 4/9/20.

    Hunter O'Hanian, Stonewall National Museum & Archives
    WPHL Deputy Director Julio Capó, Jr. converses with Hunter O'Hanian, Executive Director of the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, on responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the ways the institution continues to serve the community. Recorded 4/16/20.

    Susan Gladstone, Jewish Museum of Florida
    WPHL Director Rebecca Friedman converses with Susan Gladstone, Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, on responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the ways the museum continues to serve the community. Recorded 4/23/20.

    Helmut Schuster and Melissa Blundell, Wilzig Erotic Art Museum
    WPHL Director Rebecca Friedman and WPHL Deputy Director Julio Capó, Jr. converse with Helmut Schuster (Director of the Wilzig Museum Building in Miami Beach) & Melissa Blundell-Osorio (Director of Education at the Wilzig Erotic Art Museum and the Wilzig Museum Building) on responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the ways the museum continues to serve the community. Recorded 4/30/20.

    Mitchell Kaplan, Books & Books

    WPHL faculty and writer Ana Menéndez converses with Mitchell Kaplan, President of Books & Books, on responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the ways the cultural space continues to serve the community. Recorded 5/7/20.

    Alan Ket, Museum of Graffiti

    WPHL Director Rebecca Friedman converses with Alan Ket, Co-Founder of the Museum of Graffiti in Wynwood, on responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the ways the museum continues to serve the community. Recorded 5/14/20.

     Sandy Dorsainvil, Little Haiti Cultural Center/Caribbean Marketplace

    Chantalle F. Verna, Associate Professor of History and International Relations at FIU and author of Haiti and the Uses of America and co-editor of The Haiti Reader, converses with Sandy Dorsainvil, Manager of Little Haiti Cultural Center and Caribbean Marketplace, on responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the ways the cultural center continues to serve the community. Recorded 5/21/20.

    Casey Steadman, The Wolfsonian-FIU

    WPHL Director Rebecca Friedman converses with Casey Steadman, Acting Director of The Wolfsonian-FIU, on responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the ways the institution continues to serve the community. Recorded 5/28/20.

    Matteo Fochessati, Wolfsoniana Study Center in Genoa

    WPHL Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Architecture David Rifkind converses with Matteo Fochessati, Curator at The Wolfsoniana Study Center in Genoa, on responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the ways the institution continues to serve the community. Recorded 6/4/20.

    Lissette Mendez, Miami Book Fair at Miami Dade College

    Ana Menéndez, Director of the FIU Humanities Edge Program, converses with Lissette Mendez, Director of Programs at Miami Book Fair at Miami Dade College, on responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the ways the institution continues to serve the community. Recorded 6/11/20.