Roger Smith, Ph.D. will deliver his talk, “The 14th Colony: Florida and the American Revolution,” on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Flagler Room at Flagler College.
Smith is the second speaker of the 2019-2020 SAHS Speaker Series. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first -served basis. Like all of our Speaker Series lectures, Smith’s event is part of Flagler College’s co-curricular activities.
We had the opportunity to learn a bit more about Dr. Roger Smith’s work and research process.
What drew you to your discipline?I spent 23 years in sales and marketing with Disney Development Company and Marriott International. I was able to retire at a very early age (42) and hated every minute! In 2004 I went back to school – I had always loved history and thought “This is my chance for a do-over!” I received my BA in 2006, my MA in 2008, and my Ph.D. in 2011.
What is your research process like?I’m an archive rat. I love getting into the primary documents to look for missing or forgotten gems. While I may have a premise that leads me to the archives, I always let the primary documents determine my direction. Sometimes I find that I’m on the right track, while other times I realize that things are much different that what I imagined. That’s the beauty of it – like finding missing pieces of a jig-saw puzzle that will now clarify the picture. I always warn folks, “Sure, I’ll be happy to look for your ‘smoking gun,’ but be prepared – you may not like what I find!” Fact is so much more interesting than fiction.
Why this topic?I’m from Oklahoma, so Florida history and the American Revolution were not part of my chemistry. While volunteering at the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History and Special Collections I made an interesting discovery that completely altered my career path. I’ll share this with the group during my talk because I want my audience to understand exactly where the information I will be sharing comes from.
What is the best part about your field?
The best part is two-fold: sharing new information on some of our oldest, greatest history and teaching people how to fall in love with history. My audience should be prepared to hear about things they’ve never heard and to have a good time – if I haven’t made you laugh, I probably haven’t taught you anything! History wasn’t boring when it happened so if we’re making it boring in the classroom then we’re doing something wrong. Seeing one of my students take an interest in a topic that has never piqued their interest before is the best!