College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Humanities and Communication

Fall 2015

HCOM Faculty attend the National Communication Association Conference in Las Vegas

Fall 2015


Fall 2015

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.

NCA Logo
Professors Mascarenhas, Makau, Marty and Belanger at the NCA conference in Las Vegas

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

Professor Wang
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.

Oral History Association

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

Gerald Shenk, David A. Reichard and Rebecca Bales

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.

Kyle Livie gives Talk at South by Southwest in Austin

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.

Kyle Livie at the South by Southwest Conference

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.

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.

Source: 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, 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, 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.

Professor 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's 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 Reciahrd & Kristen LaFollette working with the People's Oral History Project of Monterey County


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 a service learning course--students will be collecting additional oral histories. In Dave’s class, HCOM 363 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 teach summer course in 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."


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."

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


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.