College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

School of Humanities and Communication

Faculty Research and Creative Activities

HCOM faculty are active contributors to many scholarly and creative communities. Here are some recent highlights of their work.

Dr. John Berteaux has been appointed Executive Editor of the journal Comparative Civilizations Review.

He has the following new publications: Spring 2020 from Academic Questions A Publication of the National Association of Scholars: Humanistic Inquiry: Reconciling Knowledge Reality and Imagination

Spring 2020 from the journal Comparative Civilizations Review: Applying Wisdom When Civilization Is At A Crossroads

Dr. Patrick Belanger publishes book

Rhetoric and Settler Inertia: Strategies of Canadian Decolonization explores how communication might accelerate decolonial actions in Canada.

Tracing a middle path between essential Indigenous-focused calls for resurgence, and idealistic appeals to settler conscience, Patrick Belanger identifies communication forms that can generate settler support for decolonization.

Accenting the importance of both Indigenous and settler audiences, this book suggests the promise of decolonial rhetoric framed in the language of mutual benefit.

The book was published in 2019.

HCOM Professor Kelly Medina-Lopez and Students Present Research at Conference

HCOM Professor Kelly Medina-López and HCOM majors Ilene Gomez and Sonia Olmos attended the 3rd Biennial Cultural Rhetorics Conference at Michigan State University where they presented their original research on a panel titled, "A Guatemalan, A Salvadoran, And A Chicanx Walk Into A Classroom: Textiles, Myths, and Cultural Rhetorics Mentorship." Their trip was sponsored by CSUMB's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center.

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Kelly and Students at Conference

Professor Patrick Belanger Forthcoming Book

HCOM Professor Patrick Belanger's new co-authored book, Community-Focused Counter-Radicalization and Counter-Terrorism Projects: Experiences and Lessons Learned. will be published by Lexington Books in November, 2018. In the book, Professor Belanger, along with his co-authors Kawser Ahmed and Susan Szmania, focus on the perceptions and experiences of twenty-nine community-based counter-radicalization project leaders in eight western countries: the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Scotland, and France. By highlighting the importance of listening to community members, the book offers a rare chance to directly hear community members’ ideas, frustrations, and hopes.

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Kent Leatham New Poetry

Kent Leatham has three poems forthcoming this fall in the literary journal Angel City Review, three poems forthcoming in the journal Word/For Word, and one poem already released in the journal Softblow. These poems deal with intersecting themes of violence and tragedy (such as the mass shooting in Orlando in 2016), contemporary queer identity, environmental destruction, political unrest, and a continuing exploration of the author's own ambiguous ancestry.

Kent Leatham

Professor Debian Marty on Slavery, Ancestry and Racial Reconciliation

HCOM professor Dr. Debian Marty's essay, "Born Both Innocent and Accountable: A Moral Reckoning" will appear in the forthcoming anthology Slavery's Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation to be published by Rutgers University Press in the spring. The book is a product of the Coming to the Table Writers Group, a national organization that brings together descendants of enslavers and the enslaved for racial reconciliation. Professor Marty's chapter examines the moral choices made by her Quaker ancestors, one of whom was an enslaver and one who was anti-slavery, and the subsequent moral legacies that white people still are reckoning with today.

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Professor Jennifer Fletcher Publishes New Book

In Teaching Literature Rhetorically: Transferable Literacy Skills for 21st Century Student, HCOM Professor Jennifer Fletcher explores rhetorical approaches to novels, short stories, poetry, and drama that empower all students to read and write across the diverse contexts of today and tomorrow. In this resource for secondary school English teachers, Dr. Fletcher shows how teaching literature rhetorically prepares students to be adaptive thinkers and communicators who can transfer their learning to new tasks and settings. The book is available from Stenhouse Publishers.

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Stephanie Spoto Explores Educational Rights, International Students and Pedagogy in Edited Collection

Lecturer Stephanie Spoto has co-edited a collection of essays entitled International Education, Educational Rights and Pedagogy along with Dr. Maja Milatovic (Australian National University) and Dr. Lena Wanggren (University of Edinburgh). The collection is a special issue of International Education: Comparative Perspectives. As Spoto and her co-editors note, "The increased commodification and marketization of higher education complicate the present challenges in ensuring culturally sensitive and competent pedagogies and enabling international students’ educational rights and equal access to opportunities and knowledge. Linking the multifaceted concept of educational rights to international student education and pedagogy, we explore issues related to cultural diversity, safety, vulnerability, welfare, peaceful co-existence in a changing global environment."

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Lecturer Meghan O'Donnell Contributor to Women's History Collection

HCOM Lecturer Meghan O'Donnell was a contributing author in the recently published four volume series, Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection published by ABC-Clio. Her two articles focused on suffrage and abolition activists, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Anna Elizabeth Dickinson. As the publisher notes, "this four-volume set documents the complexity and richness of women's contributions to American history and culture, empowering all students by demonstrating a more populist approach to the past."

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HCOM Professor John Berteaux Presents Paper in China

HCOM Professor John Berteaux presented his paper, ”Contested Courses - Contested Concepts: A Defense of the Humanities,” at the 48th International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations (ISCSC) Conference this past summer. The conference was held at Soochow University located in Suzhou China. Soochow is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China.

  • Recent Publications

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    • Mridula Mascarenhas's article, "Prophetic and Deliberative Responses to the Doctrinal Voice: An Analysis of the Rhetorical Engagement Between Catholic Nuns and the Church Hierarchy" will appear in the Spring 2017 issue of the Journal of Communication and Religion.
    • Ned Huston has published his first novel, QUANTUM TIME THEORY and has authored several short stories available from his web site.
    • Rina Benmayor's 1973 Seattle Sephardic ballad field collection, medieval Spanish romances (ballads) sung in Ladino (the Judeo-Spanish medieval dialect) and preserved over 500 years by the Sephardic Jews of the Ottoman Empire are now archived in the Digital Sephardic Studies collection at the University of Washington.
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    Recent Conference Presentations

    • Rina Benmayor will present a paper, "¿Eres una de mozós?" Las emociones y la nacionalidad española: una reflexión personal. (Are you one of us? A personal reflection through emotions on the Spanish nationality law for Sephardic Jews) at the Genealogies of Sepharad seminar in Zaragoza, Spain, July 3-7, 2017. The paper reflects on the meanings of dual citizenship and nationality as historical, cultural, and emotional constructs.
    • Debian Marty presented at two pre-conference seminars at the Western States Communication Conference in February. in Salt Lake City: The first, “Interdependence: How can the Basic Course support students learning to become ethical and effective communicators in an interdependent world?” at the Basic Course Conference and the second, “Feminist Pedagogy-Rethinking Safety in the Classroom,” at the ORWAC Gender Pre-conference.
    • Stephanie Spoto presented her paper, “Scottish Perceptions of Islam in the Seventeenth Century: William Lithgow’s Travels through the Ottoman Empire and Northern Africa” at the Renaissance Conference of Southern California. in March
    • Ernest Stromberg presented his paper, "Writing and the Rhetorics of Healing" at the Conference on College Composition & Communication in Portland, Oregon this past March.
    • Sam Robinson presented "Status Shield/Status Target: Developing an interdisciplinary framework that exposes media privileging and targeting of people and populations" at Texas Southern University (Houston) in April as part of its Intercultural Communication Conference. The theme this year was Agency, Privilege, and Voice: Communicating in the age of globalization and multiculturalism.
    • Sriya Shrestha presented her paper, "Americanizing Development: Grameen America and the Expansion of Micro-credit to the United States" at the American Studies Association conference in November.

    Cecilia O'Leary Presents at UCLA Conference

    Emerita Professor Cecilia O'Leary presented a talk at a symposium, "Anthem: Remixing Race and Nation,” at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on May 8, 2017. The title of her talk was "Cultural Politics of Nationalism."

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    HCOM Faculty Lisa Watson published Legendary Locals of Carmel-by-the-Sea

    About the Book:

    A place whose history has long been a source of fable and fascination, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a community whose ancestors summered by the sea and ultimately stayed through the seasons. After founders Frank Powers and Frank Devendorf populated the once-barren potato patches with artists and academicians, it became a place defined as much by legends and landscape as by the characters who came to Carmel. Whether it is the clear light that attracted photographers Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Doug Steakley, and Bob Kolbrener; the whisper in the trees, the rhythm of the waves, and the stillness at dawn that seduced writers Mary Austin, Robinson Jeffers, Jack London, Bob Campbell, Rick Masten, and Jane Smiley; or the unbridled beauty in a majestic mountain, surging sea, or verdant valley that drew in artists Mary DeNeale Morgan, William F. Ritschel, E. Charlton Fortune, Mari Kloeppel, Carol Chapman, and Loet Vanderveen, the truth is that Carmel-by-the-Sea gets in one’s soul and makes its home there.

    About the Author:

    A fifth-generation Northern Californian, Lisa Crawford Watson lives with her family in Carmel, where her grandmother once lived and wrote. A writing instructor for California State University Monterey Bay and Monterey Peninsula College, her own writing specializes in art, architecture and automobiles, health and lifestyle, and food and wine, but it always focuses on the people who brought such stories to life.

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    Melissa R. Sipin Presents Creative Work at Inaugural Lambda Lit Fest in L.A.

    LAMBDA Lit Fest Flyer

    Melissa R. Sipin will be presenting her creative work and discuss poetics on the queer body during the inaugural Lambda Literary Festival in Los Angeles during the panel, "Poetics of Self [Re/De] Construction: Litanies to My Brown Heavenly Body (honoring Mark Aguhar)." In homage to Pilipinx trans, femme artist, Mark Aguhar, queer writers-of-color in this creative reading and panel will explore how their very bodies become litanies, invocations of existence, and the world-making possibilities as what Parreñas Shimizu calls “sites for imagining alternative realities.”

    Find out more about the event here:

    Melissa R. Sipin Presents Her Work at NAES 45th Annual Conference

    Melissa R. Sipin will be presenting her creative work and community engagement during the roundtable, "Critical Pinayisms: Art and Movement Building through Filipina Feminism," at the upcoming 45th National Association for Ethnic Studies Annual Conference in San Francisco, in March 2017. She shares her work with the following scholars and teaching-artists: Maria Vallarta, a doctoral student in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside; Professor Angela Peñaredondo from La Sierra University; Professor Barbara Jane Reyes from the University of San Francisco; and Professor Karen Marie Maliwat Villa from Palomar College.

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    PW Intergenerational Exchange

    Drs. Porras and Robinson present at the ACP Midwinter National College Journalism Convention

    Drs. Estella Porras and Sam Robinson presented a session at the Associated Collegiate Press Midwinter National College Journalism Convention in San Francisco March 3. Their talk - "From Information to Participation: Fostering community engagement through journalism" reflected the changes being made to the Journalism and Media Studies program at CSUMB. The focus is on the need for community engagement through the power of journalism. The duo shared creative tips on how to do this in the classroom, through publications, and on and off campus with student journalists and student press advisers from across the U.S.

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    New Book from Professor Maria Villaseñor

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    Professor Maria Villaseñor, in collaboration with WLC Professor Donaldo Urioste and Francisco Lomeli have completed a new book, Historical Dictionary of U.S. Latino Literature, published by Rowman & Littlefield. The edited collection "aims to rectify some of those misconceptions by proving that Latinos do fundamentally express American issues, concerns and perspectives with a flair in linguistic cadences, familial themes, distinct world views, and cross-cultural voices." Congratulations!

  • Mridula Mascarenhas to Facilitate Campus Discussion Group: "Understanding the Backlash against Speech Codes on College Campuses"

    Mridula Mascarenhas is facilitating a campus discussion group, over five sessions, on "Understanding the Backlash against Speech Codes on College Campuses." The group consists of faculty and staff who are meeting to share experiences of managing tensions that arise in the classroom and in residence halls around clashes between speech codes and freedom of speech. They will be examining larger social trends that may be influencing these tensions and wading through different positions on balancing calls for civility with respect of freedom of speech.

    The group will try to identify strategies that can be implemented in practice when confronted with the tensions between these social needs.


    Umi Vaughan Authors Chapter, Awarded Grant, & To Offer Summer Arts Course

    Professor Vaughan authored the chapter “Visions of Afro-Latin America” in the book Afro-Latin@s in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americas, (Palgrave Macmillan 2016). His essay includes original photographs from Cuba and Brazil.

    Professor Vaughan was also awarded an Oakland Cultural Arts Funding grant to create a short film of Dimensions Dance Theater based on a new choreography about gentrification in Oakland entitled “The Town, On Notice.” This piece is the start of a longer creative documentary about the company.

    In Summer 2017, Professor Vaughan will be a second-time Coordinator for the CSU Summer Arts Festival course “Drum Talk: Rhythms from Cuba and Brazil” from July 10-23 at CSU Fresno. Drum Talk is a percussion workshop, a “reunion” and conversation between the African derived music traditions of Cuba and Brazil, featuring guest artists John Santos and Mario Pam. (To learn more visit

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    Eric (Nola)
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    Melissa R. Sipin's Creative Works Accepted for Publication

    Melissa R. Sipin's most recent work, “Pacita” (prose poem), was published in the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins. Also, three of her flash fiction pieces, "Saudade," "My Lola, the River," and "Saudade II," have been accepted for publication and will appear in the Black Warrior Review's Spring 2017 Issue: Reclamation. Lastly, her poem, "You Were Born in September," was also recently accepted in Poemeleon's Special APA issue, slated for Spring 2017.

    Meghan O'Donnell Presents on Academic Labor at CSULA Conference

    Meghan O'Donnell will be making a presentation at an upcoming conference at CSULA on Nov. 12th, with her colleague Dr. Tim Sistrunk from CSU Chico, on the history of academic labor in CA higher education, and re-imagining Cal State’s academic labor force, with inspirations from the Vancouver, BC tenure-track model.

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    Patrick Belanger & Mridula Mascarenhas to Present Their Works at National Communication Association Conference

    Patrick Belanger will present three papers this Fall: two at the National Communication Association conference in Philadelphia (counterterrorism communications, and peacebuilding pedagogies), and one at the CSU Symposium on University Teaching in San Jose (classroom dialogues on race).

    Mridula Mascarenhas will be presenting a paper entitled “A Rhetorical Articulation of Catholic Feminism: Prophetic and Deliberative Responses to the Institutional Church” at the upcoming National Communication Association Conference in Philadelphia, in November 2016. Her submission has been selected for the panel featuring Top Papers in the Feminist and Women’s Studies Division.

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    Melissa Sipin on LitCrawl 2016 panel

    Melissa Sipin to Read on Panel at the 2016 LitQuake Festival

    Melissa R. Sipin will be reading on the panel, “The Unsettled Body: Kundiman Fellows,” held during SF LitCrawl, which is the celebratory reading series at the 2016 LitQuake Festival.

    Kristen LaFollette & David Reichard to Present at the Oral History Association meeting

    Kristen La Follette will co-chair a panel with Prof. Juan José Gutierrez at the Oral History Association meeting in October. The panel, “Learning in the Field: Exploring Approaches to Undergraduate Oral History Research” will feature research by HCOM students Karina Ruiz, Luis Cannett and HCOM alum Elizabeth. David Reichard will also present "Promoting Education as a Tool of Liberation: How Gay and Lesbian Students Mobilized on California

    College Campuses in the 1970s,” at the Oral History Association Meeting in October.

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    David Reichard Presents a Paper at Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution Day Conference

    David Reichard is presenting a paper entitled “Help Set Gays Free”: California Gay and Lesbian College Students and Gay Rights Talk in the 1970s” at Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution Day Conference at San Francisco State in September 2016.

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    Patrick Belanger Publishes Article in Canadian Journal

    Patrick Belanger has published an article in the Journal of the Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric. “Rhetoric and Collective Necessity: The Declaration of Independence” traces that document’s rhetorical foundations, and roots in the intellectual climate of the 18th century.

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  • Deb Busman to deliver Keynote Address & serve on Panel Discussion

    Debra Busman will deliver a keynote address at The Gathering for Women: A Refuge for Unsheltered Women in Monterey County on March 5. Busman will also be part of a panel discussion, “Rebel Girls: Pushing Boundaries Across Landscapes, Cultures and Confines” at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference in Los Angeles in April. Her essay "You Gotta Be Ready for Some Serious Truth to be Spoken," is being published in February in Talking Back and Looking Forward: An Educational Revolution in Poetry and Prose, eds. Paul C. Gorski, Rosanna M. Salcedo, Julie Landsman. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

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    Estella Porras produces Podcast in Spanish

    Estella Porras has produced a podcast, "EL Reino de la Nutria" in Spanish, featuring interviews with Latinos/ Latinas and their contributions to the Central Coast region regarding arts, education, culture, science, and economy. You can find the podcast on Soundcloud.

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    Umi Vaughan contributes to the Routledge History of Latin America

    Umi Vaughan's chapter, "The Genesis of Afro-Latin Music," will appear this spring in the The Routledge History of Latin America. He will also do an invited lecture/performance presentation at Stanford University as part of a Dance Studies Colloquium in May.

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    David Reichard Publishes in the Oral History Review

    David A. Reichard's article, "Behind the Scenes at the Gayzette: The Gay Student Union and Queer World Making at UCLA in the 1970s" has just been published by Oral History Review, part of a special issue on LGBT oral history.

    Debian Marty publishes & attends Book Launch

    Debian Marty's article, "A Tribute to an Anti-Slavery Martyr: Rees Perkins Brown (1825-1856)" was published in January by the Leavenworth County (KS) Historical Society. In addition, her chapter, “One More River to Cross: The Crosswhites’ Escape from Slavery," has been published in V. Tucker and K. S. Frost (Eds.), A Fluid Frontier: Freedom, Slavery and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2016). She will be attending the book launch in Detroit timed to coincide with Black History Month.

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    Book Cover

    Josina Makau to facilitate and present at Conferences in D.C. & San Diego

    Emerita faculty Josina M. Makau is the co-facilitator and a panelist on the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics Conference Program titled "'Human Nature and its Implications for Ethics and Education." The conference is scheduled February 18-21 in Washington D. C.

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    Josina M. Makau is also serving as facilitator and presenter on the Organization for Research on Women and Communication Gender Conference Program titled "New Questions" to be held in San Diego on February 27th.

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    Meghan O'Donnell to give a Lecture at the First Mayors House

    Meghan O'Donnell will be giving a lecture on "Manifest Destiny, Westward Expansion, and Race in America" at a Learning Through Local History event at the First Mayors House in Salinas, on Feb. 11th, 2016. She will also facilitate a workshop for local 5th grade teachers on incorporating local history in their lessons.

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    Professor Cecilia O'Leary to present at Public Symposium

    Recently retired, but still teaching for HCOM part-time, Professor Cecilia O'Leary has been invited to give a talk and participate in a Public Symposium Exploring Slavery, Emancipation, and Reconstruction. “Memories of a Massacre: Memphis, 1866” is a partnership between the University of Memphis in partnership and the National Parks Service and is the centerpiece of a semester-long series of events designed to bring public attention to one of the largest acts of racial violence to rattle the nation in the wake of emancipation.

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    Cecilia O'Leary to be Guest Speaker on the National Museum of African American History and Culture

    The graduate Center, New York

    Professor O'Leary has also been invited to be a guest speaker on the National Museum of African American History and Culture at a two-week NEH Summer Institute for college and university teachers organized by the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at the City University of New York Graduate Center. The focus will be on "Visual Culture of the American Civil War and its Aftermath." Professor O'Leary is a Senior Advisor to the Director of the new museum which is scheduled to open on September 24, 2016.

    Rina Benmayor contributes Field Collection of Sephardic Ballads to Digital Library

    HCOM faculty emerita Rina Benmayor has been busy in retirement! Her field collection of Sephardic (Judeo-Spanish) ballads (romances) gathered in Los Angeles and Seattle in 1972-73, will soon be available online through the Sephardic Studies Digital Library and Museum at the University of Washington. These medieval Spanish ballads, passed down in oral tradition for over 500 years in exile from Spain, were sung in the home and in community gatherings. They were brought to the United States by immigrants from Greece and Turkey throughout the first half of the XXth century and sung from memory. This folk tradition is now virtually extinct as a cultural practice among Sephardic Jews. Benmayor's singers reflect the last generation of singers to have grown up hearing these ballads.

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    Rina Benmayor et al. publish Memories, Subjectivities, and Representation

    Rina Benmayor, María Eugenia Cardenal de la Nuez, and Pilar Domínguez, have just published (2016) the first volume in the Palgrave Studies in Oral History series devoted to oral history research in translation. Memory, Subjectivities, and Representation: Approaches to Oral History in Latin America, Portugal, and Spain, consists of 11 original essays written in or translated into English, aimed at bringing oral history research in Spanish and Portuguese to Anglophone audiences. The essays explore a variety of themes: Portuguese veterans of the African colonial war, trade union activists in Spain during the Franco regime, women militants in the anti-dictatorship struggles in the Southern Cone, gender identity and nationalism in the Basque Country, women migrants and labor, career

    struggles during the recession in Spain, tattoos as auto-bio-graphical inscriptions, anti-racist pedagogies in Brazil, memories of the 1968 student massacre of Tlatelolco, Mexico, and memory and performance vis the 1975 "Carnation Revolution" in Portugal. The CSUMB Library has copies available.

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    Rina Benmayor and Kristen LaFollette organize latest Oral History Project

    The CSUMB Founding Faculty Oral History Project is proceeding, with 10 interviews completed to date. The interviews are being conducted by a group of founding faculty themselves, and will focus on faculty who were present in the first three years of the university's establishment. Rina Benmayor and Kristen LaFollette are the organizers.

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    Kent Leatham publishes Poetry

    One of Kent Leatham's poems was just published in Poetry Quarterly in January, he has one forthcoming in Ploughshares, and three Scots-language poetry translations of Robert Henryson (1425-1500) forthcoming in InTranslation in March.

    Kyle Livie to Present at Conferences

    Kylie Livie will give two conference presentations this spring. He will present his paper, "America 'at the Junction': Place, Modernity, and Memory in Paul Henning's "Ruralcoms," 1962-1971" at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Meeting in Seattle in March. He will also present his paper "Cultivating Community: Parades, Pageants, and Power in Kylie Livie will give two conference presentations this spring. He will present his paper, "America 'at the Junction': Place, Modernity, and Memory in Paul Henning's "Ruralcoms," 1962-1971" at the

    Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Meeting in Seattle in March. He will also present his paper "Cultivating Community: Parades, Pageants, and Power in

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    Emerita Professor's Exhibit to Open

    HCOM Emerita Professor Frances Payne Adler's exhibition, "Dare I Call You Cousin," opens March 3, 2016. Including photos, poems, and videos, it explore the struggle of Israelis and Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line and is a collaboration with two Israeli artists, photographer Michal Fattal and videographer Yossi Yacov. The opening is being funded, in part, by Portland's Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and is hosted by Havurah Shalom and co-sponsored by J Street Education Fund. Professor Adler will do a reading of her poetry on March 8, 2016.

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    Stephanie Spoto & Sriya Shrestha to host Series at Old Capitol Books

    HCOM Lecturer Stephanie Spoto has organized a series of seminars on critical theory this Spring at Old Capitol Books in Monterey--all starting at 7:00 PM. Sriya Shrestha, also teaching in HCOM, will be facilitating two of these. The series includes Black Feminism on March 4th with Sriya Shrestha; Situationalism on March 11th with CSUMB alum Ben Wilson; Post-Colonial Theory on March 18th with Sriya Shrestha and Social Perceptions of Disability on March 35th with Ali Elfaki a student at Monterey Peninsula College. More on the series here.

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    Deb Busman reads novel, Like a Woman in Seattle

    Debra Busman had a busy fall 2015 sabbatical. She kicked it off in summer with a reading at Elliott Bay Bookstore in Seattle, with other recent authors from Dzanc Books, the publisher of her novel, like a woman. In the fall, she was a Visiting Writer at Mills College in Oakland, where Creative Writing Director Elmaz Abinader redesigned her MFA Fiction course around "Rebel Girl Narrators." Students studied Busman's novel along with works by June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Daisy Hernandez, Mari Naomi, and more. She also found time to do a reading and visit with Professor Maria Villasenor's First Year Seminar class. Other readings during the semester included a keynote address for Central Coast Writers Group, a reading at Lit Crawl 2015 in Portland, including a Literary Salon Dinner hosted by Emerita Professor and Founder of the Creative Writing and Social Action Program in HCOM, Frances Payne Adler. Her novel is continuing to garner strong reviews including in The Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Lambda Literary Review.

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    Dzanc Books authors Jen Grow, Patrick O'Neil, Shya Scanlon, and Deb Busman after their reading at Elliott Bay Books, Seattle.
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  • HCOM Faculty attend the National Communication Association Conference in Las Vegas

    HCOM faculty Josina Makau, Debian Marty, Patrick Belanger, and Mridula Mascarenhas attended the National Communication Association Conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada, this year. Josina, Debian, and Mridula attended a workshop conducted by the newly formed Dialogue and Deliberation division, a group of Communication scholars who are committed to researching and teaching communication practices that can help individuals, groups, and organizations move beyond gridlocks that occur when we remain entrenched in debating those we disagree with. Dialogue is a communication practice that helps us understand others with opposing points of view, while deliberation is a communication practice that facilitates decision-making among people with competing perspectives on an issue. The workshop covered historical perspectives on the practice and study of deliberation, approaches to teaching dialogue and deliberation in college classrooms, and opportunities for conducting scholarship on dialogue and deliberation by partnering with various national agencies. Josina and Debian have written a well-known textbook on the topic, which was featured in the reading list distributed at the event.

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    Patrick also presented his scholarship at a panel entitled "Embracing Opportunities: Building and Strengthening Entrepreneurial Partnerships between Academia and Outside Organizations in the Realm of Peace and Conflict Communication." His position paper "Restorative Justice Partners, Inc. and Peacebuilding Theory" addressed the challenges and benefits of academic – NGO collaborations, and explored ways to strengthen partnerships between academia and peace-focused organizations.

    Qun Wang delivers lectures at Shanghai International Studies University & Shanghai Second Polytechnic University

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    Professor Wang lecturing at Shanghai International Studies University, November 2015

    Dr. Qun Wang delivered a lecture entitled “Necessitating the Theoretical Research in Literary Criticism” at Shanghai International Studies University on November 23, 2015. The lecture was attended by upper division English majors, master’s students and doctoral students, as well as English professors. He also gave a talk on “(Re)presenting Contemporary American Culture in Literature and Film” to film and literary studies students at Shanghai Second Polytechnic University, one of CSUMB's prospective sister schools, on November 24, 2015.

    HCOM Faculty attend Oral History Association annual meeting

    HCOM emerita Professor Rina Benmayor, Professor David A. Reichard and Lecturer Kristen La Follette recently attended the 2015 Oral History Association annual meeting in Tampa, Florida. Professors Benmayor and La Follette presentation, “Selfie” Oral History: Pushing the Boundaries of Tradition?" focused on a new oral history project documenting the founding faculty of CSUMB. Professor Reichard participated in a round table discussion, "Coming out on Campus and in the Community: Collecting LGBTQ+ Oral Histories," in which he shared his experience collecting oral histories about early LGBT campus organizing in California during the 1960s and 1970s, his current research project.

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    David Reichard et al. attend the Bay Area History Tuning workshop

    Professors David A. Reichard (HCOM), Gerald Shenk and Rebecca Bales ( Social, Behavioral and Global Studies) attended a meeting and workshop on the Tuning Project from the American Historical Association held at CSU East Bay. The Bay Area History Tuning Workshop provided an amazing opportunity for these CSUMB historians to share ideas and learn from colleagues at other CSU and community college campuses in California about best practices in the teaching and learning of history.

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    Kyle Livie gives Talk at South by Southwest in Austin

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    Kyle Livie at the South by Southwest Conference

    This spring, HCOM faculty member Kyle Livie gave a talk at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin as part of a panel titled “Social Teaching for Social Learning." Dr. Livie’s talk, titled “How to Get the ‘Golden Get-Together’: Teaching Historical Thinking and Research Strategies Using Collaborative New Media," explored the ways that new media and digital collaborative tools can be used to teach research and writing in the humanities. Livie developed an activity that used digitized materials from his own research on rural communities in California to teach analytical strategies with collaborative tools like Google Apps. This talk has inspired a larger project to develop a centralized platform to aid public historians in compiling community histories, using new media tools to mobilize community involvement in local historical research and collective memory.

    Jennifer Fletcher presents for a Webinar in Michigan

    Professor Jennifer Fletcher was a featured presenter for a webinar sponsored by Oakland Schools and the Oakland Writing project in Michigan. Her talk, "Revising Rhetorically: Re-Seeing Writing Through the Lens of Audience, Purpose and Context," draws on her current book, Teaching Arguments: Rhetorical Comprehension, Critique, and Response.

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    HCOM Lecturer J.C. Ross Awarded First Prize

    Congratulations to HCOM Lecturer J.C. Ross. An excerpt from her work in progress, entitled “Already We Are in Idaho,” was awarded First Prize in the novel category at the Mendocino Coast Writer's Conference.

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    Mendocino Coast Writer's Conference

    Meghan O'Donnell gives talk to Phi Alpha Theta Historical Honors alumni

    Meghan O’Donnell, faculty since 2011, gave a talk over the summer at a gathering of Phi Alpha Theta Historical Honors alumni on her developing research on the history of terrorism (research which will hopefully translate into an upcoming course in Spring 2017). She also collaborated with fellow HCOM lecturer, Dr. Sriya Shrestha, to create a new version of GS 326: US Foreign Policy & Empire - US Foreign Policy & Empire, as a co-taught course this semester. Meghan also continues to serve as CSUMB’s Surf Club Advisor, and will assist CSUMB’s advanced surfers compete in the National Scholastic Surfing Association this year.

    Meghan O'Donnell

    Gayle McCallum chairs the Japan Sister Cities Committee

    Gayle McCallum

    Gayle McCallum, faculty member in HCOM since 1999, is the new Chair of the Santa Cruz Shingu, Japan Sister Cities Committee. This long-standing program arranges exchanges between local teenagers and teenagers in Japan, featuring home stays with families and educational and recreational events in both Santa Cruz and its Japanese sister city, Shingu, in Wakayama prefecture. Gayle, whose daughters both went to Shingu as exchange students, now takes a group to Japan each spring, and coordinates the group that visits California. The friendship and cultural exchange continue to foster good will and transformation for young people both here and abroad. Read more about the sister cities program in Santa Cruz on the city's website.

    Diana Garcia reads her Poetry at the National Portrait Gallery at the Library of Congress

    Professor Diana Garcia has been invited to write ekphrastic poems in response to the One Life: Dolores Huerta exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery at the Library of Congress. The gallery chooses one American historical figure each year and highlights their lives in paintings, photos, and mementos. While she was in Washington, D.C. to preview the exhibit, Robert Casper, director of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress, invited Professor Garcia to record some of her poems for the Library of Congress's archive as part of the growing body of Hispanic literature. To cap it all off, in January, 2016, along with U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and Arlene Biala, a Bay Area poet, she will give a reading at the National Portrait Gallery.

    Diana Garcia
    Professor Diana Garcia at the Library of Congress, August 2015

    Deb Busman invited to speak on novel, Like a Woman

    Professor Debra Busman novel, like a woman, continues to earn rave reviews. The Los Angeles Times called it "gritty but tender: charming in its immodesty and sinewy as a junkyard dog." She has been invited to be a visiting writer at Mills College this fall, and to present at the upcoming AWP Conference on "Rebel Girls: Pushing Boundaries Across Landscapes, Cultures and Confines."

    David Reichard & Kristen LaFollette working with the People's Oral History Project of Monterey County

    Oral History Project

    Professors David Reichard and Kristen La Follette are working with the People’s Oral History Project of Monterey County this semester in their respective classes. That project--created by three long time local activists--has already collected 60 oral histories. In Kristen’s class, HCOM 350S: Oral Hist/Comm Mem SL a service learning course--students will be collecting additional oral histories. In Dave’s class, []( 363: Topics in Social History students will be starting from the oral histories already collected to conduct further research in local archives and libraries. The plan is to create an online exhibit showcasing highlights from the students' research.

    John Berteaux teaches summer course in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

    Professor John Berteaux spent six weeks this summer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at the Institute for Social Work and Sociology teaching "The Philosophy of Human Nature." He plans to return next year to teach "A Critical Theory of Society."

    John Berteaux

    Jennifer Fletcher invited to speak on her new book

    Jennifer Fletcher

    Jennifer Fletcher has been invited to speak about her new book, Teaching Arguments: Rhetorical Comprehension, Critique, and Response, at two professional development events for K12 teachers this fall. The first is the Oakland (Michigan) Schools Literacy Webinar Series and the second is the U.C. Irvine Writing Project’s December Conference. Teaching Arguments has also been selected by The National Writing Project (NWP) as a key professional resources for its Investing in Innovation (i3) grant. In a live radio program broadcast on June 25, Tom Fox, NWP Associate Director, identifies Teaching Arguments as one of "four books that have played an important role in our program."

    Patrick to present at an international scholarly colloquium

    Professor Patrick Belanger has been invited to present at an international scholarly colloquium to examine and evaluate Canada’s response to the domestic and international challenges posed by Islamic extremism. To be convened at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, the event is a collaboration of The Center for the Study of Canada at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, the Center for International Development at Ball State University, and Fulbright Canada. Building upon his work in the area of restorative justice, Belanger will address Canada’s recent characterization and application of deradicalization initiatives

    Patrick Belanger

    Umi to  present at Clemson University

    Umi Vaughan

    Professor Umi Vaughan's will be giving a talk this fall about the significance of the drum in Latin American cultures at Clemson University in South Carolina. And, he was recently awarded an Oakland Cultural Arts grant to create a concert video of Dimensions Dance Theater.

  • Recently HCOM students in Oral History and Community Memory, under the direction of HCOM faculty member Rina Benmayor, completed interviews with members of Seaside, California's African American community.

    View the video produced about the project.

    Recently retired faculty member Cecilia O’Leary is an advisor to the Director of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Scheduled to open in 2016, the museum is under construction on the National Mall in Washington D.C. on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument. On behalf of the museum, she met with 21 Scholars, Directors and Senior Curators of museums in Europe over the summer of 2015. Some examples include, International Slavery Museum (Liverpool), Rijks Museum (Amsterdam) and the Musée du quai Branly (Paris). She also has been invited to give a talk at the Plenary Session of the American Society for Theatre Research Conference on what was involved in creating the exhibition "Taking the Stage" at the NMAAHC.

    Debra Busman

    HCOM faculty member Debra Busman's book, like a woman, will be published by Dzanc Books. Described as a "vivid coming-of-age story, revealing the lives of teenage girls on the streets of Los Angeles, trying to hold onto their sense of humanity against a backdrop of racism, poverty, sexism, and violence," Busman co-directs the Creative Writing and Social Action concentration in the HCOM major. Read more about the book at the publisher's site, and a write-up about the book in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

    Congratulations to HCOM Professor Jennifer Fletcher. Her new book, Teaching Arguments: Rhetorical Comprehension, Critique and Response will be published by Stenhouse Publishers in early February 2015.

    Several HCOM faculty members will participate in a CSU Symposium on University Teaching in March 2015. Their presentations include Patrick Belanger and Ajit Abraham on Motivation, Resilience and Concrete Student Experience and Jennifer Fletcher, Natasha Oehlman (UROC), and Olga Blomgren (HCOM and the University Writing Program) on Fostering Resilience, Persistence and Self-Reflection in Today’s Students. Read more at the conference's website.