A weekly video podcast series from the Critical Theory & Social Justice department at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

The Matrix connects our community with experts, scholars, artists, and activists who are changing our world for the better. 

  • Upcoming Events are Listed Below with their Zoom Registration links

  • All listings are Pacific Time

  • View recordings of past events


Upcoming Events

Season 5 of The Matrix — Spring 2022

Thursday, February 10, 2022
Sexism in Sports Media & Beyond with Mirin Fader '13
New York Times Bestselling Author and Senior Staff Writer at The Ringer

Register Here

Thursday February 17, 2022

#RespectHerGame: Sexism in Coverage of the Winter Olympics

Register Here

Thursday February 24, 2022 at Noon Pacific
MENA Women’s Representation in Media

Sue Obeidi, Director of Muslim Public Affairs Counci'sl The Hollywood Bureau

Prof. Nahed Eltantawy, Professor of Journalism and Women & Gender Studies, and Associate Dean of the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication, at High Point University

Lorraine Ali, television critic of the Los Angeles Times covering culture at large, entertainment and American Muslim issues.

Register Here


Thursday March 3, 2022
How Men Can Become Effective Allies in the Workplace

with Ray Arata, author of Wake Up Man Up, Step Up: Transforming Your Wake Up Call to Emotional Health and Happiness and Showing Up: How Men Can Become Effective Allies in the Workplace

Register Here 


Thursday March 17, 2022
Latine Women’s Representation in Media

Register Here


Thursday March 24, 2022
Hook-Up Culture in the Era of Dating Apps

with Dr. Aditi Paul, professor and researcher based in New York City. Dr. Paul's research has been published in top academic journals and has been featured in prominent media outlets such as NBCNews, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Women’s Health, The Telegraph UK, and Business Insider.

Register Here

Thursday April 7, 2022
Indigenous Voices in Media

with Christine Kunewa Walker, Producer and President of New Globe Films and one of the original founders of Werc Werk Works, a production/finance company based in Minneapolis, Walker is the former CEO and Director of Diversity Initiatives of the Provincetown Film Society and Film Festival. Walker is also an award-winning producer of artist-driven independent film. 

Register Here

Thursday April 14, 2022
The State of Media & Gender Summit

Register Here

Thursday April 21, 2022
Asian Women’s Representation in Media

Register Here



Past Events


Season 4 of the Matrix — Fall 2021 

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 at 12pm Pacific

Why the War in Afghanistan Failed and the Aftermath of the US Withdrawal

with Steve Coll (’80), Author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. Steve Coll is Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a Staff Writer for The New Yorker


Thursday, September 2 2021 at 12pm  Pacific

Prabhleen Kaur Lamba, High School student, Athlete, Advocate, and author of She Plays to Win.

CTJS's the Matrix teams up with the Represenation Project for this series talking to powerful change-makers working on intersectional gender justice issues.



Thursday September 9, 2021 at 12pm Pacific 

"Women's Rights in Afghanistan" - An Expert Panel 

presented by CTSJ’s the Matrix in partnership with Virginia Tech's College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences & Women Living Under Muslim Laws

co-sposored by OXY’s The McKinnon Center for Global Affairs & The Young Initiative on Global Political Economy and The Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Dr. Farida Jalalzai, Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of Global Initiatives and Engagement at the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Mona Tajali, Associate Professor of International Relations & WGSS, Director of Human Rights Program & the Middle East Studies Program at Agnes Scott College in Georgia. 

Dr. Weeda Mehran, of Exeter University, England whose area of expertise is Afghanistan with a focus on warlordism, conflict and peacebuilding.

Thursday September 9th, 2021 at 7PM Pacific - Evening Matrix

TAKE ACTION with the Debt Collective on CTSJ's the Matrix - 

Learn about Joining Campaigns to Cancel Student Debt, Housing Debt and Carceral Debt



Thursday September 16, 2021 at 12pm Pacific

OxyGen & CTSJ's The Matrix present 


Founder and Executive Director of the + ME PROJECT 



PLUS ME Project was launched by former Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) graduate, Richard Reyes, in July of 2013. While earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Critical Theory/Social Justice from Occidental College, he began sharing his journey of becoming the first in his family to attend college with local middle and high school students. After speaking to over 12,500 students from over 70 schools and conducting research in the nonprofit landscape of student-centered motivational speaking programs, the need was clear. A narrative-based outreach program to students could satisfy a great need in Los Angeles.

Richard trained a small group of relatable role models from the community and began visiting schools throughout the city to share their journeys of how they made it to and through college. After many presentations, he realized that although the students were inspired by the stories they heard - something was still missing. The students were lacking tools and resources that taught them how to self-reflect, build their confidence, and articulate their own resilient narratives.

Over seven years, PLUS ME developed a program model that has emerged us as an industry-leading organization known for helping students craft and articulate their own stories for college and career advancement. Since inception, PLUS ME has positively impacted the lives of over 100,000 students from over 300 underserved middle and high schools throughout Southern California.

Wednesday Sept 22, 2021 at 12pm Pacific

The Future of Roe — In Light of the Supreme Court Decision on Texas SB 8

CTSJ Los Angeles, GWSS with The Representation Project present:

A Panel Discussion:

David Donatti, ACLU of Texas, Staff Attorney

John Erickson, City Council Member, West Hollywood

Serita Fontanesi is the Executive Director of Emerge Texas

with Dr. Caroline Heldman, Prof. of Critical Theory and Social Justice and Executive Director of The Representation Project


Thursday September 23, 2021 at 12pm Pacific
Applying to & Navigating Law School and How to Use Law for Social Justice. An Oxy Alumni Panel

Presented by OxyGen and CTSJ

Kristin Brown, Georgetown Law Center. Oxy 2008.
Kaitlin Kelly, Lewis & Clark Law. Oxy 2012.
Sophia von Bergen, Lewis & Clark Law, Oxy 2016.



Thursday, September 30th at 12pm Pacific

Re-Imagining National Security with Muslim Public Affairs Council President, Salam al-Marayati 

CTSJ's the Matrix hosts a conversation with MPAC's President on the abuses of State power that threaten all Americans. 

Salam al-Marayati is President and Co-Founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and is nationally recognized for his commitment to improving the public understanding of Islam and policies impacting American Muslims. He oversees MPAC’s groundbreaking civic engagement, public policy, and advocacy work. He is an expert on Islam in the West, Muslim reform movements, human rights, democracy, national security, and Middle East politics. He has spoken at the White House, Capitol Hill and represented the U.S. at international human rights and religious freedom conferences.His writings have appeared in every major national news publication (including the New York Times, Wall Street JournalWashington Post, and Los Angeles Times).



Thursday, October 7th, 2021 at 12pm Pacfic.

Intersectional Sexism in Hollywood: A Conversation with Sheetal Sheth 

The Matrix from the Department of Critical Theory and Social Justice with The Representation Project host a Converation with Sheetal Sheth about Intersectional Sexism in Hollywood. 

Co-sponosred by the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Program at Oxy.

Sheth is an award winning actress, author, producer, and activist who burst onto the scene with raves in the groundbreaking film, ‘ABCD’, playing the gutsy lead, a risky and memorable role as a young Indian American girl struggling with the ties of family and tradition.She broke out and won hearts in ‘Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World’ opposite Albert Brooks, as the female lead, Maya, winning the role after an extensive international casting search. Raised in a small New Jersey city, she discovered her passion for acting in high school and subsequently enrolled in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. After supplementing her education with a summer in Amsterdam as part of the intensive, International Theatre Workshop studying under renowned acting teachers like Kristin Linklater, she graduated with honors. Sheetal has starred in over 20 feature films and has earned a loyal, international following. 



Thursday October 14th, 2021 at 12pm Pacific.

Re-Imagining Trans and South Asian Identity Through Story-Telling with Mashuq Mushtaq Deen & Prof. Aleem Hossain

The Departments of Critical Theory & Social Justice (CTSJ) and Media Arts and Culture (MAC) collaborate to bring you a panel conversation with Mashuq Mushtaq Deen and Professor Aleem Hossain (Oxy's MAC Dept. and Film Writer/Director) about expanding possibilities & identities through art and story-telling. 

Mashuq Mushtaq Deen is a New Dramatists company member, winner of the Lambda Literary Award, and first runner-up for India's Sulthan Padamsee Playwriting Prize. He has been supported with residencies at MacDowell, Bogliasco, Wurlitzer, Blue Mountain Center, New Harmony and others. He is represented by the Gurman Agency.

From his website: "Rumi has a poem that goes: 'The way of love is not a subtle argument. The door there is devastation. Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall, and falling, they're given wings.' ... I am particularly interested in the heroic journeys of the heart." 

Aleem Hossain is a Professor in Occidental's MAC Department and an award-winning film maker. 

This event was Co-sponosred by Oxy's GWSS Program. 

Thursday, October 21st, 2021 at 12pm Pacific 

Journalism for the Public Good with Reporter Emily Shugerman 

The Department of Critical Theory and Social Justice with the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Program host a coversation with award-winning journalist, Emily Shugerman, about working for social justice in journalism.

Emily Shugerman pioneered the role of gender reporter for The Daily Beast, where she covers the intersection of politics, culture and gender. She previously covered breaking news and U.S. politics for The Independent of London. She is the recipient of the 2019 Front Page Award for Best New Journalist and the 2014 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Washington State Association for Justice.


Thursday, November 4th, 2021 at 12pm Pacific.

Transformational Activism with Executive Director of Emerge Texas, Serita Fontanessi 

The Department of Critical Theory & Social Justice and The Representation Project with the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Program host a conversation with Activist, Organizer and Executive Director of Emerge Texas, the nation's premier organization that recruits, trains and provides a powerful network to Democratic women who want to run for office. Fontanessi previously appeared on the Matrix Future of Roe episode on September 23rd, 2021. You can watch that event and all past events at below under Past Events

Serita Fontanesi, MSW, is an activist for Black women and femmes, by assisting systems, organizations, and individuals in making subtle changes that have big impact, so that the can thrive in a more holistic and culturally competent way. Healing generational wounds caused by centuries of systemic injustices requires change on an individual and macro level in order to create a new, more supportive path forward. Through the use of practical and energetic tools, Serita disrupts old ways of thinking that no longer serve the highest good, creating space for more productive practices.

Serita focused her studies on community organizing and social change at the USC School of Social Work. Her career in advocacy has provided her with a rich understanding of how organizations and systems impact the day to day lives of both the individuals they serve, as well as the people working within them. Additionally, as a certified birth and postpartum douala, as well a trauma-informed yoga instructor, Serita has unique insight into how the personal becomes political and how the political affects a person’s mental, physical, and spiritual well being.

Thursday November 11th, 2021 at 12pm Pacific

Farhoud Meybodi: Art and Story-Telling for Social Change 

The Department of Critical Theory and Social Justice and the MENASA Association at Occidental College host a converation with award-winning writer, director, and executive producer Fahoud Meybodi.

Farhoud Meybodi is an award-winning writer, director, and executive producer focused on storytelling projects that inspire social change. Over the past decade, he has collaborated on a variety of television and digital projects that have been seen over two billion times, raised millions of dollars for terminal illness research, and even helped overturn an unjust Presidential Executive Order. At his core, Farhoud believes in the power of mainstream storytelling to entertain and help heal the political-social divide of the present day.

December 2nd, 2021 at 12pm Pacific

Fighting Sexism in Journalism: Alya Michelson

The Department of Critical Theory & Social Justice and The Representation Project host a conversation with Alya Michelson, an artist, philanthropist, and journalist with a passion for uplifting stories of the immigrant woman’s experience.  

Born in Russia, Alya studied music and dance as a child and never lost her passion for the arts. As a young woman, she pursued a career in journalism, earning a degree from Moscow State University, and worked as a correspondent for Russia’s leading network, Ria Novosti, covering several of the biggest stories of the day, including the Kursk submarine disaster in 2000 and the Beslan school siege in 2004.

Her newest venture is FirstGen, a storytelling platform that celebrates global citizenship by highlighting how the immigrant experience strengthens the American story. Harkening back to Alya’s journalistic roots, FirstGen celebrates the stories of America’s 23 million immigrant women—famous and unknown, artists and entrepreneurs, innovators and trailblazers. 

Through FirstGen, Alya creates communal spaces for women to gather in celebration of their diverse experience and shine a light on all the ways immigrant women positively impact our world today.

Spring 2021 — Season 3

The Themes for Season 3 are:

  • The Ballroom Series - co-sponsored with the department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) + the department of Media, Arts and Culture (MAC)
  • The Indigeneity & Settler Colonialism Series
  • Fighting White Supremacy and Global Ethno-Nationalism Series
  • Surveillance, Resistance, and Liberatory Practices in the MENA and Among Muslim People

Thursday April 15th, @ 12pm Pacific - "Combatting Anti-Asian/Anti-AAPI Hate Crimes and Violence" - A Panel Discussion

Co-Sponsored with the Generous Support of Oxy's DEB, CCBL, ICC, SLICE & The Young Initiative
Part of the Fighting White Supremacy and Global Ethno-Nationalism Series



Panelist bios:
Jenn Fang is founder, editor, and  primary blogger of Reappropriate.co. Created in 2001, Reappropriate is one of the web’s oldest and most popular Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) race advocacy and feminism blogs. The blog’s writing focuses on race, gender, identity, Asian American history, and current events. Recent topics include affirmative action, mental health, and criminal justice. As an undergraduate student at Cornell University, Jenn served in several on-campus organizations devoted to Asian American advocacy, including as president of Asian Pacific Americans for Action. In 2003, Jenn graduated from Cornell with a minor in Asian American Studies.  She earned her Ph.D. in 2010.In addition to maintaining Reappropriate, Jenn’s writing has also been featured in: Prism, NBC News, Teen Vogue, Washington Post, Quartz, BlogHer, Good Men Project, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress, Asian Americans for Obama, Angry Asian Man, Northwest Asian Weekly, Blog for Arizona and The Nerds of Color. She also appears monthly as a guest co-host for the Model Majority Podcast, which examines national politics through an Asian American lens. She can also be found on Twitter (@reappropriate) and Facebook (facebook.com/reappropriate.co). For a detailed list of her appearances and guest writing, please visit: http://reappropriate.co/booking-appearances/
Prof. Jane Hong: Jane Hong is an associate professor of history at Occidental and the author of Opening the Gates to Asia: A Transpacific History of How America Repealed Asian Exclusion (UNC Press, 2019). She received her PhD in history from Harvard. Hong is currently writing a book about how post-1965 Asian immigration has changed U.S. evangelical institutions and politics.
Kristina Wong: Kristina Wong was featured in the New York Times’ Off Color series “highlighting artists of color who use humor to make smart social statements about the sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious ways that race plays out in America today.” She is a performance artist, comedian, writer and elected representative who has been presented internationally across North America, the UK, Hong Kong and Africa.  She’s been a guest on late night shows on Comedy Central and FX, and an actor on film and TV. She starred in her own pilot presentation with Lionsgate for truTV. Her commentaries have appeared on American Public Media’s Marketplace, PBS, VICE, Jezebel, Playgirl Magazine, Huffington Post and CNN. She’s been awarded artist residencies from the MacDowell Colony, New York Theater Workshop, the San Diego International Airport and Ojai Playwrights Festival. Her work has been awarded with grants from Creative Capital, The MAP Fund, Center for Cultural Innovation, National Performance Network, a COLA Master Artist Fellowship from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, eight Los Angeles Artist-in-Residence awards, and Center Theatre Group’s 2019 Sherwood Award. She’s created viral web series like How Not to Pick Up Asian Chicks and just launched the second season of the award winning Radical Cram School.  Her rap career in post-conflict Northern Uganda is the subject of her last solo theater show The Wong Street Journal which toured the US, Canada and Lagos, Nigeria (presented by the US Consulate).  Her long running show Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest looked at the high rates of depression and suicide among Asian American women and is now a concert film.  Her newest performance project is “Kristina Wong for Public Office”– a simultaneous real life stint as the elected representative of Wilshire Center Koreatown Sub-district 5 Neighborhood Council and rally campaign show.  That show’s national tour was sidelined by the pandemic and has pivoted to streaming performances.Kristina’s current pandemic project is the Auntie Sewing Squad, a national network of volunteers sewing masks for vulnerable communities.  The experience of erecting this remote factory in ten days at the start of the pandemic is the subject of Kristina’s current performance “Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord” which she is developing as a New York Theater Workshop Artistic Instigator.
Dr. Yanyan Zhou  Recently defended her dissertation in Mass Communication at the Media School, Indiana Unversity Bloomington.  Her research specifically focuses on digital media effects related to racial and gender stereotypes, dehumanization, and aggression. The results of her studies explain how media effects reify societal inequalities by reinforcing social stereotypes towards minorities, but also aim to reduce sexual objectification, control sexual aggression, and contest gender/sexual orientation-based inequality. Her studies frequently test critical theories using quantitative methods. In addition to working as a researcher, Zhou has also taught a variety of media courses. 

Thursday April 8th @ 12pm Pacific - "Future of Ballroom" - Sydney Baloue  

Part of The Ballroom Series - co-sponsored with Oxy's GWSS & MAC



Sydney Baloue is a writer, producer, performer and archivist who conducts oral histories of New York City’s ballroom scene. He currently works as Co-EP/Writer on HBOMax’s ballroom competition reality series, Legendary and his writing has been featured in The New York Times, Vice, and them. He made history as the first transgender man to win a voguing category at The Latex Ball in 2019, he is a proud member of the House of Xtravaganza and he is currently working on a book on the history and evolution of New York City's Ballroom Scene. In 2020 he was listed on Condé Nast’s “Now List” on them.

As a Black and South Asian transgender man with roots in Trinidad and Tobago and Chicago, IL, Sydney is grateful for his global experiences as they have give greater dimension to his worldview. After completing a DAAD Fellowship in Berlin and a dual-degree masters at the Paris Institute for Political Studies and the London School of Economics, Sydney left his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 to work in film and television as a way to share stories and connect people across continents, cultures and time. As someone rooted in diaspora and interested in traversing its intersecting lines, Sydney is excited to find and foster compelling narratives, which give space for the beauty and complexity of different life perspectives. A voracious traveler who is fluent in French and speaks German, writing is the through-line of all his work.

Thursday April 1st @ 12pm Pacific — "China's Persecution of Uyghur Muslims and Ethnic Minorities"

A Panel Discussion

Part of the Surveillance, Resistance, and Liberatory Practices in the MENA and Among Muslim People

This event was co-sponsored by: 

  • The Department of Diplomacy and World Affairs,
  • The Young Initiative on Global Political Economy
  • The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Occidental College

Panelist Bios below video

Dr. Timothy Grose is an associate professor of China Studies at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. His research on expressions of Uyghur ethno-national identities and public performances of Islamic piety has been published in the China Journal, Journal of Contemporary China, Ethnic and Racial Studies, China File, Dissent, and Foreign Policy. 

Timothy’s commentary on ethnic policy in Xinjiang has appeared in Al-Jazeera, The Atlantic, CNN, The Diplomat, Economist, The Guardian, and Vox among others. His first book on boarding schools for Uyghur students, Negotiating Inseparability, was published by Hong Kong University Press in 2019 and awarded the 2020 Central Eurasian Studies Society book prize in social sciences.

Salam al-Marayati, is President and co-founder of the Muslim Affairs Council (MPAC)

Nationally recognized for his commitment to improving the public understanding of Islam and policies impacting American Muslims, he oversees MPAC’s groundbreaking civic engagement, public policy, and advocacy work.  He is an expert on Islam in the West, Muslim reform movements, human rights, democracy, national security, and Middle East politics. He has spoken at the White House, Capitol Hill and represented the U.S. at international human rights and religious freedom conferences.

Prof. Lan Chu, is the chair of Oxy’s Diplomacy and World Affairs Dept. &  Affiliated Faculty in Latino/a and Latin American Studies. Chu's research and teaching interests focus on identity and ideology, the political role of religious institutions, namely the Catholic Church’s influence on international relations, faith diplomacy, and inter-religious dialogue.

Prof. Anthony Chase, is also a member of Oxy’s Diplomacy and World Affairs Department. His research and teaching interests focus on human rights, the work of international organizations, and the politics of the Middle East and broader Muslim world.

Thursday March 25th @ 12pm Pacific

The Legendary Sean/Milan™ Garcon 

part of the The Ballroom Series with Departments of GWSS + MAC

Speaker bio below video

The Legendary Sean/Milan™ Garcon is a performance artist, advocate, and one of the pioneering founders of the West Coast House and Ballroom Scene. Sean has constructed programs that bridge artistic creation, HIV education, and wellness development for queer and trans youth of color in Los Angeles. This includes founding and producing the annual Ovahness Ball, the longest-running Ball on the West Coast, for the past 14 years. 

His latest achievement / role is as Founder of the non-profit The House Of AWT, whose mission is to facilitate young people working side-by-side with professional artists to gain free studio training in various art forms including dance and choreography, audio/video production, fashion design, music production, and street art. The organization is based around an individualized artist development model to help each young person create a finished work that they can share with the community and use for future professional opportunities. For more info regarding The House Of AWT, please visit HouseOfAWT.org.

Sean Milan has also served as an artist-in-resident at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, in conjunction with painter Laura Owen’s mid-career retrospective. Through his performance and advocacy work, Sean/Milan has partnered with a variety of institutions including Macy's, 356 S Mission Gallery, The Box Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, City of West Hollywood Arts Commission, USC, UCLA, Occidental College, Cal State Long Beach, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, World of Wonder, LA Pride, and DTLA Proud.


Thursday March 18th @ 12pm Pacific

"Symbiotic Extremisms from Al Qaeda to Atomwaffen: Technology, Transnationalism, & the Crisis of the Nation-State"

Dr. Amanda E. Rogers

Part of the Fighting White Supremacy & Global Ethno-Nationalism Series

Dr. Amanda E. Rogers is a Fellow at The Century Foundation, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Rogers is an activist, artist, academic, and internationally recognized expert on transnational Non-State Armed Groups, political violence and propaganda, from ISIS to Neo Nazis. Her photojournalism, political commentary and analysis has been featured in a number of forums, including Al-Jazeera, the New York Times, the Atlantic Council, The Intercept, London’s Frontline Club, VICE, HBO, CNN, and the BBC, among others. She is currently working on a book project that examines the role of military and law enforcement infiltration within the modern white supremacist movement, 1970 – 2020. 




Thursday March 4th @ 12pm Pacific - The Ballroom Series with Departments of GWSS + MAC

prof. madison moore

Part of The Ballroom Series — co-sponsored with the department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) + the department of Media, Arts and Culture (MAC)

madison moore is a cultural critic, dj and assistant professor of queer studies at virginia commonwealth university in richmond, virginia. trained in performance studies, their research, teaching and critical creative practice converges at the intersections of black queer aesthetics, fashion, queer nightlife, popular music, contemporary art theory and visual culture. raised in ferguson, missouri, he holds a ph.d. in american studies from yale university and has been profiled by the face (UK), the new york times and the new york observer. in june 2019, madison was in conversation with billy porter, star of the FX series pose at the metropolitan museum of art as part of the costume institute’s blockbuster exhibition camp: notes on fashion. 

madison is the author of fabulous: the rise of the beautiful eccentric, published by yale university press in april 2018. here, fabulousness is positioned as a vibrant aesthetic practice and the book takes the reader on a journey through vogue balls, instagram, nightclubs and street fashion, weaving together autobiography and cultural analysis. when it’s all said and done, fabulous is a work of pop queer theory about how marginalized people turn pain and struggle into opulence.



Thursday Feb 25th @ 12pm Pacific - The Ballroom Series with Departments of GWSS + MAC

Michael Roberson

Part of The Ballroom Series — co-sponsored with the department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) + the department of Media, Arts and Culture (MAC)

Michael Roberson is a public health practitioner, advocate, activist and leader within the LGBTQ community, as well as an Adjunct Professor at The New School University/Lang College, NYC. With a focused commitment on the health disparities of Black gay men and Black gay men within the House/ball community Michael created The Federation of Ballroom Houses, co-created the nation's only Black Gay research Group, The National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Group, and the Nationally Diffused CDC Behavioral Change HIV Prevention Intervention “ Many Men, Many Voices.”  

Michael is a father to many men and women within the House/ball community, as well as, Co-instructs a course on the history of the house/ball community at the New School University in New York City. Michael is also a guest lecturer at New York University through “The Black Lives Matters” curriculum created by Adjunct Professor Frank Leon Roberts, PHD.  

He is himself an Adjunct Professor at both The New School University NYC and Union Theological Seminary NYC. He is a consultant with VICE Media global, having co-created a “diversity/respect in the workplace” curriculum to train all of their 800 employees in their NYC, Los Angeles, and Toronto, Canada offices.

Additionally, Michael is also a consultant with Ryan Murphy Productions and Fox Studios, currently working with the writers and casting of a new upcoming television project about 1980’s NYC Ballroom and Club cultures.



February 18th @ 12pm Pacific - The Fighting White Supremacy and Global Etho-Nationalism Series

Talia Lavin - "Into the Abyss: Studying the White Nationalist Movement Online"

Part of the Fighting White Supremacy and Global Ethno-Nationalism Series

Talia Lavin is the author of Culture Warlords: My Journey into the Dark Web of White Supremacy, an in-depth exploration of far-right extremism on and offline. She is a freelance journalist who writes about the far-right and other topics for the Washington Post, the New Republic, GQ, MSNBC Daily and other publications.


Thursday February 18th @ 11am Pacific - The Indigeneity and Settler Colonialism Series

Prof. Justin de Leon - “Indigenous Sovereignty: Survival and Resurgence”

Part of The Indigeneity & Settler Colonialism Series

Justin de Leon is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. De Leon’s praxis-based research explores Indigenous engagements of tradition, culture, and storytelling and continued navigations of settler orders. He is currently writing a book Resurgent Visual Sovereignty (under contract with University of Nebraska Press) on Indigenous engagements of storytelling expressed through contemporary modes of film and media. He recently edited the forthcoming special issue of Borderlands on Creative Sovereignty with Matthew Wildcat and has published on Lakota cosmology and ontological security, powwows and warriorhood, Indigenous pedagogy, Indigenous film processes, and Native peacebuilding. As a filmmaker, his 2018 documentary More Than a Word played at over 250 universities in North America and was recently screened multiple times at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian, his upcoming film (in which he is a contributing screenwriter and director of the accompanying Creative Sovereignty Lab for Native community apprentices) recently was awarded development funds from the Canadian Indigenous Screen Office and was the winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Big Pitch screenplay competition. De Leon also hosts a podcast on decolonial and intersectional pedagogies and is involved in multiple Native-based, creative collaborations.



Wednesday February 17th -  (25 min) on the AAPI Community and Hip Hop: "Seeking Liberation, Facing Marginalization: AAPI Conditional Acceptance in Hip Hop Culture" with Dr. Ninochka McTaggart

Dr. McTaggart is a Senior Researcher at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and she holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Riverside. She served as guest curator of the exhibit, “Don’t Believe the Hype”: L.A. Asian Americans in Hip Hop at the Chinese American Museum in 2018. Her latest book is “White Privilege: The Persistence of Racial Hierarchy in a Culture of Denial.” 

Tuesday Feburary 16th @ 12pm Pacific - The Indigeneity and Settler Colonialism Series

Prof. Marlén Rosas - "Unity is like an ear of corn:" The Intergenerational Legacies of Indigenous Political Narratives in Ecuador

Part of The Indigeneity & Settler Colonialism Series

Marlén Rosas is a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation, titled "Recording Resistance: Indigenous Literacy, Archives, and Narrative Power in Twentieth-Century Ecuador," foregrounds the oral histories of Indigenous women and men to investigate the role of education and memory in building Indigenous political consciousness. She has received several grants to fund her research, including the National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. Marlén is co-founder of the Thinking Andean Studies Interdisciplinary Conference, an international, multilingual conference that brings together emerging and established scholars, activists, and artists to share their work across disciplines and collaboratively build the field of Andean Studies.

Thursday February 11th @12pm Pacific - The Indigeneity and Settler Colonialism Series

Prof. Baligh Ben Taleb - "Treaty Rights and Land Fights: A Saga of Two Western Shoshoni Sisters"

Part of The Indigeneity & Settler Colonialism Series

Baligh is a Ph.D. candidate in History and Native American Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). He works on histories of Indigenous American societies, race beyond the black/white paradigm, ethnicity, indigeneity, settler colonialism, and transitional justice. He received his B.A. in English and American Studies from the University of Tunis, and his M.A. in History and Ethnic Studies from UNL. He joined UNL initially as a Fulbright scholar to teach world history, race and ethnicity, among other courses. As a researcher, he has consulted extensive archival materials in various institutions in the United States; conducted several oral history interviews with members of Native American communities; and collaborated on three digital and public history projects. He’s currently working on his book manuscript proposal tentatively entitled, “Reckoning with the Legacy of U.S. Settler Colonialism: Treaty Claims and Western Shoshoni Quest for Justice.” Today, he will share some of his work on the Western Shoshoni sisters, Carrie and Mary Dann, and their long-standing battles for Shoshoni land rights.

Tuesday February 9th @ 12pm Pacific - The Indigeneity and Settler Colonialism Series

Prof. Balraj Kaur Gill - "Indigeneity and Carcerality"

Part of The Indigeneity & Settler Colonialism Series

Balraj Gill is a PhD candidate in American Studies at Harvard University. She works at the intersection of Indigenous studies, settler colonial and imperial histories of the Americas, and carceral studies. Her dissertation project, The Politics of Confinement: Indigenous Homelands, Imperial Duress, and Incarceration in the Deep North, examines how histories of Indigenous confinement and incarceration broaden our understanding of what scholars have called the Age of Mass Incarceration. Her research has been supported by the Newberry Consortium for American Indian Studies, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, and the Canada Program at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She also participated in the Harvard and Slavery Research Project and co-authored an essay on Harvard’s historical relationship with slavery in the edited volume Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019).

Thursday, Feb 4th @ 12pm Pacific - The Ballroom Series with Departments of GWSS + MAC

Prof. Julian Kevon Glover of Virginia Commenwealth University — An Introduction to Ballroom 

Part of The Ballroom Series — co-sponsored with the department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) + the department of Media, Arts and Culture (MAC)

Prof. Julian Kevon Glover is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and the Department of Dance & Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University.They hold degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Indiana University (MPA) and Northwestern University where they earned a PhD in African-American Studies. They were awarded a Franke Fellowship at Northwestern’s Kaplan Institute for the Humanities and their work appears in publications including South Atlantic Quarterly, Harvard Kennedy School's LGBTQ Policy Journal, American Quarterly, Souls and Text & Performance Quarterly. In 2019, she was inducted into the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society at Yale University.



SEASON 1 — Summer 2020

Monday, June 8 @ 12pm

How-To: Protest and Election Legal Rights and Observer Training
Pilar Escontrias, the National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles

Wednesday, June 10 @ 12pm

Political Violence and Pandemics in the Context of American History
Prof. Joanne Freeman, Yale University, Professor of History and American Studies

Wednesday, June 17 @ 12pm

Whiteness Is Not a Privilege It Is a Lie
Prof. Elmer Griffin, Occidental College, Department of Critical Theory and Social Justice
Readings will be emailed to registered participants in advance of the seminar
Registration restricted to Oxy students, faculty and staff

Monday, June 22 @ 12pm

Immigrant Communities and the COVID-19 Crisis: Economic and Legal Dangers
Maritza R. Agundez, Managing Attorney Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

Wednesday, June 24 @ 12pm

Dark Data and COVID-19: Understanding COVID Statistics and Modeling
Anastasios Angelopoulos, Ph.D. Candidate, UC Berkeley, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Wednesday, July 1 @ 12pm

Police Violence, Pandemic and the 2020 Election
Josh Marshall, Ph.D. American History, Political Journalist, Founder and Editor of Talking Points Memo

Wednesday, July 8 @ 12pm

Hacking the Virus - Health, Vitality and Nutrition
Dr. William Li, Physician, Medical Researcher, Leader of the Angiogenesis Foundation

Wednesday, July 15 @ 12pm

Gender Injustice and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Soraya Chemaly, Cofounder & Director of Women’s Media Center Speech Project

Monday, July 20 @ 12pm

Biopolitics, Prudentialism and the Economization of COVID
Prof. Moazzam Doulat, Critical Theory & Social Justice, Occidental College

Wednesday, July 22 @ 12pm

A Pandemic Politics of Sight: What Animals Tell Us
A Discussion with Prof. Timothy Pachirat (Dept. of Political Science, U Mass. Amherst)

Wednesday, July 29 @ 12pm

Evictions and the Homelessness Crisis: Housing Equity in L.A.
Prof. Ananya Roy, UCLA, Urban Planning, Social Welfare & Geography - Luskin Chair Inequality and Democracy

Friday, July 31 @ 12pm

Portland as Portent: The Black Lives Matter Protests & Police Violence

Wednesday, August 5 @ 12pm

Neo-Colonialism and Global Medicine: Lessons and New Approaches
Dr. Phil Seidenberg, U. of New Mexico, Dept. of Emergency Medicine. Former faculty of The Center for Global Health at Boston University’s School for Public Health

Wednesday, August 12 @ 12pm

Mozambique’s Ecological and Economic Restoration: Gorongosa National Park & Radical Approaches to Environmentalism & Alleviating Poverty 
With Larissa Sousa and Greg Carr of Gorongosa National Park
To support the work of Gorongosa National Park, please see the links below:

Wednesday, August 19 @ 12pm

The Significance of Vice President Kamala Harris - with Professors Caroline Heldman (Oxy), Aiden Smith (Tulane), and Natasha Behl (ASU)
Prof. Heldman is author of Rethinking Madame President: Are We Ready for a Woman in the White House? Prof. Aiden Smith is author of Gender, Heteronormativity, and the American Presidency. Prof. Natasha Behl is author of Gendered Citizenship: Understanding Gendered Violence in Democratic India.

Thursday, August 27 @ 12pm

Barrett Martin / Advocate Musician - Speaking about the Power of Music to Change the World


SEASON 2 — Fall Semester 2020

Thursday September 3  @ 12pm PDT

Prof. Tomás Jiménez - Stanford University
The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants are Changing American Life



Thursday, September 10 @ 12pm - Dr. Nosh McTaggart - Black Women in Hollywood Series 

Dr. Nosh McTaggart/ Ninochka McTaggart, Ph.D. is a Senior Researcher at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and she holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Riverside. She served as guest curator of the exhibit, “Don’t Believe the Hype”: L.A. Asian Americans in Hip Hop at the Chinese American Museum in 2018. Her latest book is “White Privilege: The Persistence of Racial Hierarchy in a Culture of Denial.” 

Thursday, September 17 @ 12pm - Lili Bernard - Black Women in Hollywood Series

Lili Bernard / Visual Artist, Actor and Activist. Lili Bernard has been at the heart of issues of race and gender in Hollywood. Bernard creates narrative artwork that chronicles sexual, racial and domestic violence, in a collision of cruelty against compassion, autobiographical anecdotes of childhood abuse, adult rape and suicide attempts intertwine with sociocultural struggles of her Caribbean immigrant family and ancestors. Her work draws from Afro-Cuban religious iconography and history that tether together survivorship stories of the past and present, and stresses the unconquerable nature of the human spirit reigns over the impact of trauma.


Thursday, September 24 @ 12pm - Britney & Ashley of Black Girl Film Club - Black Women in Hollywood Series

Britney & Ashley, Black Girl Film Club/Black Girl Film Club was created as a place for two black girls, Britney and Ashley, to analyze and discuss movies and the film industry from our unique, and often underrepresented, point of view. 


Wednesday, September 30th @ 4pm Pacific - Overcoming Anti-Muslim Representations in Hollywood: Muslims & Arabs in the Media

Guests: Sue Obeidi, Director of Muslim Public Affairs Council's Hollywood Bureau & Prof. Aleem Hossain of Oxy's MAC Department and Award-Winning Film Maker.  

They will be in conversation with ORSL's Susan Young and CTSJ's Prof. Moazzam-Doulat.

* Co-Sponsored with Oxy's MAC Department and The Office of Religious and Spirtual Life (ORSL)

Sue Obeidi — Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s (MPAC) important Hollywood Bureau.  Obeidi blends her love of her faith with her love of film, television, and digital series & seeks to change and expand the narrative of Islam and Muslims in the entertainment industry.

Aleem Hossain — MAC professor, award-winning filmmaker & VR creator interested in expanding how we tell stories and who gets to tell them. He recently wrote and directed the sci-fi film After We Leave and completed an anti-bullying VR project for Google.

Thursday, October 1 @ 12pm - Whitney Davis (former CBS Executive and Whistleblower) interviewed by Nicole Haggard (CIME) -- Black Women in Hollywood Series

Whitney Davis is an experienced human resources professional and former executive at CBS. She was Director of CBS Entertainment diversity and inclusion where she expanded on the work she did in her previous role. On April 23rd of 2019 Whitney wrote a piece that was published in Variety titled: "CBS Has a White Problem". She outlines a toxic and problematic culture that eventually influenced her decision to leave the company.

Dr. Nicole Haggard is an award-winning instructor, speaker and published researcher with sixteen years of study contextualizing the intersection of race and gender in American culture. She is a faculty member in the Film, Media, and Social Justice program at Mount Saint Mary’s University and the Director of Communications for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. In 2018, Dr. Nicole co-founded the Center for Intersectional Media and Entertainment (CIME/see-me/), an organization dedicated to advancing representation. She is currently completing her forthcoming book “Race, Sex, and Hollywood” due out in 2020.


Thursday, October 8 @ 12pm - Stephanie L. Canizales - California & Immigration Series

Stephanie L. Canizales/Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Merced. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Stephanie is the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants whose migration and integration experiences inspire much of her work. Stephanie earned her PhD from the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California.  Stephanie specializes in migration and immigrant integration, children and youth, inequality, poverty, and mobility, and race and ethnicity. Her first book project, entitled Sin Padres, Ni Papeles, systematically examines why undocumented, unaccompanied Central American and Mexican youth migrate to Los Angeles, California, and how they integrate into school, work, family, and community life as they come of age without parents. In a second project, Stephanie is investigating the social, economic, and health effects of unaccompanied migration, asylum law and application procedures, and social integration in the U.S. on asylum-seeking minors, their caregivers, and their communities in Los Angeles County, California, and Harris County, Texas.


Tuesday, October 13 @4pm Pacific - Thinking of Law School? CTSJ's Info Session on Getting Into and Thriving in Law School 

CTSJ Prof. and Attorney Marisol Leon and guests Oxy Alumns  Myell Mergaert, JD, Oxy '14 &  Katie Democker, JD, Oxy '10


Wednesday October 14 @ 9:45am - - Martha Gonzalez & Quetzal Flores- California & Immigration Series

Martha Gonzalez & Quetzal Flores/ Martha Gonzalez (lead singer, percussionist, and songwriter) and Chicano rock guitarist, Quetzal Flores are memebers of the group Quetzal - an ensemble of highly talented musicians, joined for the goal of creating good music that tells the social, cultural, political, and musical stories of  people in struggle.  Martha Gonzalez calls it an East LA Chican@ rock group, summing up its rootedness in the complex cultural currents of life in the barrio, its social activism, its strong feminist stance, and its rock and roll musical beginnings.  Besides being a rock band, the group and its members participate in a much larger web of musical, cultural, and political engagement.


Thursday, October 15 @ 12pm - The Legendary Alice Bag - California & Immigration Series

The Legendary Alice Bag / “As an author, educator, lifelong badass and the leader of The Bags, among many other bands, she’s been a prolific and guiding light for Chicana punks, and ... she continues that force-of-nature output with fierce songs of protest and massive shredding.” (Jezebel)


Wednesday, October 21 @12pm - Director-Screenwriter Christine Swanson - Black Women in Hollywood Series

A Detroit native, visionary storyteller and multiple award-winning filmmaker, Christine Swanson earned her MFA in Film from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, one of the nation’s top-ranked graduate film programs. CNN identified Christine as one of the most promising filmmakers to emerge from NYU’s graduate film program since Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Oliver Stone, and Spike Lee (Christine’s NYU directing teacher). Christine also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame, double majoring in Communications and Japanese.

Christine has developed, written and/or directed movie projects for various companies including HBO Films, Magnolia Pictures, State Street Pictures, TV One, and Faith Filmworks, her own independent film company. Christine has written and/or directed numerous award- winning feature films, television episodes, commercials and short films in her career. Some of her award- winning titles include, Two Seasons (winner HBO Short Film Competition, Sundance selection), All About You (winner Audience Choice Award Chicago International Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize Hollywood Black Film Festival, Festival Award at the Pan African Film Festival, and the Film of the Year Award at the Santa Barbara African Heritage Film Series) starring Renee Elise Goldsberry, Terron Brooks, and Debbie Allen; All About Us (invited to the prestigious Heartland Film Festival, The Chicago International Film Festival, and the Cannes Festival du Film Panafricain) starring Boris Kodjoe, Ryan Bathe, and Ruby Dee; and Woman Thou Art Loosed (Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Blockbuster Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the American Black Film Festival) starring Kimberly Elise and Loretta Devine.

In 2015, Christine received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Television Motion Picture for For the Love of Ruth. Christine also directed three original cable movie premieres for TV One entitled, To Hell and Back (starring Ernie Hudson and Vanessa Bell Calloway), For the Love of Ruth (starring Denise Boutte, Loretta Devine, Gary Dourdan, and James Pickens, Jr.) and Love Under New Management, The Miki Howard Story (starring Teyonah Parris, Darius McCrary, and Gary Dourdan) which broke network ratings as the most watched original movie in network history.

Recently, Christine directed episodes of Chicago PD and FBI for Dick Wolf Films. Her episode of Chicago PD was rated the Best Episode of Season 6. Christine also recently directed the award winning, ratings and records breaking Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel for A&E Networks.


Thursday, October 22 @ 12pm - D’Angela Procter - Black Women in Hollywood Series

D’Angela Procter/CEO of Wayfarer Entertainment, D’Angela Proctor describes her title as Chief Elevation Officer, reflecting her passion for scaling companies to have a global impact and for storytelling that moves audiences to positive social change. Proctor is a multi-faceted C-Suite executive who has successfully straddled the creative and business sides of entertainment. While she began her career as an attorney, Proctor most recently served as consultant at Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks, to service its exclusive television pact with Warner Bros. TV, after a strategic leadership role at Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films.  


Thursday, October 29 @ 12pm - Ricardo Dominguez - California & Immigration Series

Prof. Ricardo Dominguez is a co-founder of The Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT), a group who developed virtual sit-in technologies in solidarity with the Zapatistas communities in Chiapas, Mexico, in 1998. His recent Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab project with Brett Stalbaum, Micha Cardenas, Amy Sara Carroll, and Elle Mehrmand, the Transborder Immigrant Tool (a GPS cell phone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/US border) was the winner of “Transnational Communities Award” (2008), an award funded by Cultural Contact, Endowment for Culture Mexico–US and handed out by the US Embassy in Mexico. It also was funded by CALIT2 and the UCSD Center for the Humanities. The Transborder Immigrant Tool has been exhibited at the 2010 California Biennial (OCMA), Toronto Free Gallery, Canada (2011), The Van Abbemuseum, Netherlands (2013), ZKM, Germany (2013), as well as a number of other national and international venues. The project was also under investigation by the US Congress in 2009-2010 and was reviewed by Glenn Beck in 2010 as a gesture that potentially “dissolved” the U.S. border with its poetry. Dominguez is an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego, in the Visual Arts Department, a Hellman Fellow, and Principal/Principle Investigator at CALIT2 and the Performative Nano-Robotics Lab at SME, UCSD. He also is co-founder of *particle group*, with artists Diane Ludin, Nina Waisman, Amy Sara Carroll, whose art project about nano-toxicology entitled *Particles of Interest: Tales of the Matter Market* has been presented at the House of World Cultures, Berlin (2007), the San Diego Museum of Art (2008), Oi Futuro, Brazil (2008), CAL NanoSystems Institute, UCLA (2009), Medialab-Prado, Madrid (2009), E-Poetry Festival, Barcelona, Spain (2009), Nanosférica, NYU (2010), and SOMA, Mexico City, Mexico (2012). 


Monday, November 2 @ 9:45-10:40 - Emir Estrada (ASU) - California & Immigration Series

Prof. Emir Estrada earned her doctorate and master's in sociology from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2012. She received her bachelor's in sociology with a minor in Chicano/a Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and she is also a proud Long Beach City College (LBCC) alumni. Estrada is a qualitative immigration scholar interested in the migration an incorporation aspect of immigrants from Latin America. Her research interests in immigration and gender are influenced in great part by her own immigration experience. She is currently investigating three lines of research that share a common theme centered on Latina/o families and decision making processes. Estrada is also an affiliated faculty member with the School of Transborder Studies (STS) and the School of Social Transformation (SST) in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU.

Wednesday November 4th - The Election and What Comes After - Prof. Caroline Heldman (CTSJ @ Oxy) & Friends 

The Panel:

Professor Claire Crawford (DWA) is a native of Lithonia, GA. She is a third-year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Southern California in Political Science and International Relations. She received her BA in International Affairs and Africana Studies from George Washington University and her MA in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University. While in DC, Claire interned with the State Department, in the Office of U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan and the Office of Consular Affairs, and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Dr. Sherice J. Nelson (CTSJ Spring '21) is an expert in Black political leadership, Black women as political agents, and the Black experience throughout the Diaspora. She is a proud alumnus of the distinguished Howard University, where she received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Political Science.

Dr. John Fitch 
John Fitch III has worked in the communication field as a scholar and a professional since 1990, specializing in film and video production, television, sound design, screenwriting, and film history. He received a PhD in Educational Policy Studies in Higher Education from the University of Kentucky and an MFA in Film from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Dr. Lori Han is Professor of Political Science at Chapman University in Orange, California. With research and teaching interests in the presidency, media and politics, women and politics, and political leadership.

Dr. Pilar Hernández Escontrías (CTSJ Fall '20) is an anthropologist and social scientist by training, having completed her A.B. at Princeton University (2008), her M.Phil at Cambridge University (2010), and her M.A. (2013) and Ph.D. (2016) degrees at Northwestern University.

Dr. David Adler is President of The Alturas Institute, a non-profit organization created to promote the Constitution, gender equality, and civic education.


Thursday November 5th @12pm Pacific - The Armenia-Azerbaijan War & the Crisis in Artsakh - An Expert Panel Discusison

Dr. Shushan Karapetian
Deputy Director, USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies: 
Shushan Karapetian leads the Institute’s research and scholarship initiatives, deepening the integration with entities both on and off campus and expanding the scope of academic programming. She received a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA in 2014, where she taught Armenian Studies courses for ten years. Her dissertation, “‘How Do I Teach My Kids My Broken Armenian?: A Study of Eastern Armenian Heritage Language Speakers in Los Angeles,” received the Society for Armenian Studies Distinguished Dissertation Award in 2015. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Russ Campbell Young Scholar Award in recognition of outstanding scholarship in heritage language research. She also serves as associate director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA. Shushan researches, teaches, and writes about the Armenian experience, particularly focusing on competing ideologies at the intersection of language and the construction of transnational identity.

Syuzanna Petrosyan
Associate Director, USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies: 
Syuzanna Petrosyan manages programs related to the Republic of Armenia and administers the Institute’s communication efforts. Her previous work includes Executive Producer at Annenberg Digital News site Neon Tommy, Senior Editor for the Public Diplomacy Magazine, Contributing Editor for the Journal of Public and International Affairs, and Communications Manager at the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife in Armenia. Syuzanna is co-founder of the Turkey-Armenia branch of the Olive Tree Initiative at University of California, Irvine (UCI), an experiential education program that takes students on trips to conflict regions. She has Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and International Studies from UCI, and a Master’s Degree in Public Diplomacy from USC. Syuzanna is a California certified mediator.


Friday, November 6 @ 9:45-10:40 - Prof. Oliver Wang (CSULB) - “We Like Chow Mein Sandwich”: A Tale of Culinary and Cultural Hybridity (On a Bun)- California & Immigration Series

Prof. Oliver Wang (CSULB) - Oliver Wang a professor of sociology at CSU Long Beach. He is a culture writer, scholar, and DJ based in Los Angeles. He's the author of Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews of the San Francisco Bay Area. He's the creator of the audioblog soul-sides.com and co-host of the album appreciation podcast, Heat Rocks.


Thursday, November 12 @ 12pm - Poderosa: Conversations with Extraordinary Ordinary Women with Dr. Lisette Garcia

Co-sponsored with Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies
Lisette Garcia holds a PhD in experimental psychology from Tufts University with an expertise in the impact of culture and identity on individual decision-making. She has taught at Harvard and Columbia University and she later became a Post-Doc and Professor at John Jay College Of Criminal Justice. She is founder of the World Migration Fund that is dedicated to restoring dignity to the immigrant and migrant experience through education, advocacy and legal support services. 
As a native of El Paso, Texas and the daughter of Mexican immigrants, her experience as a Mexican American women and human rights advocate has taken her to many different words: as a civil rights activist who worked directly with Maya Angelou and Coretta Scott King; as a psychologist for child soldiers in Liberia; as a prisoner’s advocate for the India prison system; and as a scholar of Buddhist and Yogic texts with over 20 years of practice and 4 years of silent meditation retreat.
Lisette is also a voting member of the Latin Grammy’s for her contributions on musical projects in in Peru, Brazil, and the United States. Most notably for her production work with the Indigenous Shipibo tribe in the Peruvian Amazon, and, playing various percussion instruments on world music albums by Barrett Martin, Joy Harjo, and Nando Reis.
Lisette's first book is due out in November of 2020 and is titled Poderosa: Conversations with Extraordinary Ordinary Women.


Thursday, November 19th 8 @ 12pm - Maria G. Rendon - "Stagnant Dreamers: How the Inner City Shapes the Integration of Second Generation Latinos" - Part of the California and Immigration Series

Professor María G. Rendón is a sociologist who examines the integration process of Latino immigrants and their children in the United States. She pays close attention to role of spatial inequality and examines how urban neighborhoods shape life trajectories, particularly educational attainment and social mobility. She is the author of Stagnant Dreamers: How the Inner City Shapes the Integration of Second Generation Latinos, a longitudinal study that follows a group of Latino young men as they transition to adulthood. Based on in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations with them and their immigrant parents, Stagnant Dreamers describes the challenges they face coming of age in the inner city and accessing higher education and good jobs and demonstrates how family-based social ties and community institutions can serve as buffers against neighborhood violence, chronic poverty, incarceration, and other negative outcomes. Stagnant Dreamers has received several awards by the American Sociological Association, including the Robert E. Park Award,(Community and Urban Sociology section); Distinguished Contribution to Research Book Award (Latina/o Sociology);  Honorable Mention for the Thomas and Znaniecki Best Book Award (International Migration); and was a finalist for the Pierre Bourdieu Book Award(Sociology of Education) . Stagnant Dreamers is also a finalist for an International Latino Book Award under the category Victor Villaseñor Latino Focused Nonfiction Book Award.

Contact Critical Theory & Social Justice
Weingart Hall 102