USF history professors Ray Arsenault and Gary Mormino give a talk titled A Tale of Two Cities: Tampa and St. Petersburg, as part of the USF Library's Florida Conversations lecture series. The program, sponsored by the Resource Center for Florida History and Politics, takes place at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 2, in Davis Hall 130, on the campus of USF-St. Petersburg.
The discussion, for which neither professor needs notes, will focus on the cities' modern, 20th century progress and development — from air-conditioning to interstate construction to sprawl. A prominent issue of the talk is the rivalry between cities over tourism. Heavy promotion of the area after World War II led to infighting over such things as airports and commercial contracts.
Arsenault, professor of Southern History at USF-St. Petersburg, is a specialist in the political, social, and environmental history of the American South. He's the author of two books, The Wild Ass of the Ozarks and St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream, 1888-1950.
Mormino, who's taught at USF since 1977, immerses himself in the history of Florida and has taken part in local projects. He's now completing a book about World War II in Florida.
The colleagues also co-edit the Florida History and Culture book series published by the University Press of Florida.
The Florida Conversations series began in January, with the intent to promote the study of Florida and Tampa Bay. A Tale of Two Cities is the fifth and final event of the spring. There are plans to resume the series in the fall.
USF-St. Petersburg is located at 140 Seventh Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-893-7465.