circle graphic banner

Humanities Lecture Series

Past Lectures and Discussions

Recordings Available on Select Lectures


Education Saved Me:
One's Journey Despite the Odds—with Laurie Sison 

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023
Lecture & Discussion

Watch video Recording

Meet Laurie SisonAs a Native American scholar/practitioner, throughout my life there have been many trials and struggles. The one thing that I have been able to control is my education. There have been many pivotal moments that have brought me to where I am now.

I am a middle school teacher in Renton, Washington. Renton is a suburb of Seattle. I have been teaching for about 16 years. I live my dream in the classroom. I whispered that dream to the universe when I was 6 years old.  It took me a long time to realize that dream. I am now a doctoral candidate at Antioch University and will earn my doctorate in May 2024.

No There There? Transitory Encounters with History— with Falk Cammin

Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Lecture & Discussion


Watch Recording

About the Lecture

In this lecture, Dr. Cammin explores the intersection of art, history, and cultural identity.  How do we conceptualize the past to inform visions of the future?  Dr. Cammin will discuss examples from film, literature, photography, memorials, and comedy that reflect the stories and ephemeral histories we most want to tell ourselves in order to craft the possibilities of our futures.


Meet Falk Cammin

Falk Cammin received her Ph.D. in German Studies from Stanford University. Her research interests are focused on interdisciplinary and comparative aspects of post-World War II German culture and contemporary German literature and film. Dr. Cammin has taught in a variety of settings, including the Humanities and German Department at Stanford University. At Foothill, she has taught courses for majors, non-majors and Honors students. Since 2017, she has served as the Program Director for the Foothill-De Anza Humanities Mellon Scholars Program.



Culture Wars in Amercia: Current Critical Race Theory Debate in American Education—with Tania Douglas

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022
Lecture & Discussion

Watch video Recording

Meet Tania DouglassTania Douglas is an adjunct professor in the Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. She taught middle and high school for 15 years in Vancouver, BC, and Bellingham, and has taught higher education for the past 6 years. She is a doctoral candidate specializing in Multicultural and Antiracist Education at Antioch University.

Her current focus of research is on the changing landscape of education regarding the censorship and the banning of topics related to race and gender. She is passionate about the art of teaching, social justice, and the impact of social media on our political divide.  Professor Douglas’s talk is about what drew her to education, the complexities of her biracial identity, and the current Critical Race Theory debate in American education. 

A Woman's Voice in the World: Writing Fiction, Discovering Your Voice, and Writing the Stories Only You Can Write—with Jasmin Darznik

Thursday, June 1, 2023
Lecture & Discussion

Watch Video Recording

About Jasmin Darznik

Meet Jasmin DarznikJasmin Darznik is the New York Times bestselling author of three books, The Bohemians, Song of a Captive Bird, and The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life. Her books have been published in eighteen countries and her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, among others. She was born in Iran and came to America when she was five years old. She holds an MFA in fiction from Bennington College, a J.D. from the University of California, and a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University. She is an associate professor and chair of the MFA Program in Writing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.



The Big Lie: American Educational Curriculum's War with Truth & Reconciliation—with Malikeya Khantrece

Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021
Lecture & Discussion

Watch video Recording

A war is waging in American public schools. Since 2020, lawmakers all over the United States have politicized and polarized the teaching of America's foundation - structural racism, some pushing to ban any mention of it at all in K-12 classrooms. Conservative critics argue that teaching on subjects such as British colonization, the 1619 Project, and the institution of slavery is divisive and harmful. The truth is that structural racism is American history; why is America afraid of the truth?  

About Malikeya Khantrece

Meet Malikeya KhantreceMalikeya Khantrece is a Mitigation Specialist/Investigator for the Federal Public Defender in the Capital Habeas Unit. She works on appeals to death penalty sentences for those convicted in capital cases. She has worked as a prisoner’s rights advocate, poverty law advocate, and restorative justice practice in place of carceral and punitive discipline. She serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Dayton School of Law in courses specific to race, racism, and American Law. Her research interests are developing an Anti-Racist educational curriculum, dismantling prison pipelines, human rights, Truth & Reconciliation practices, and death penalty/prison abolition. Finally, she is pursuing an EdD at Antioch University in Multicultural and Anti-Racist Educational Professional Practice.


The Impact of Illiteracy in Black America
Repairing Harm from Miseducating Black America—with Tia April Ferguson

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

5:30–6:30 p.m.

Watch Lecture Recording

The foundation of learning is language and how language is conveyed into meaning is the foundation of socialization. So, what happens when a society miseducates its citizens to create a caste system that renders their humanity into capital?  This presentation looks to answer how language and literacy can be used to repair the harm

About Tia April Ferguson

Meet Tia April FergusonTia April Ferguson is a writer, educator, and advocate from Columbus, Ohio, where she serves as the founder of a nonprofit organization. She has worked on national workers' justice campaigns, testified before the U.S. Senates' Ways & Means Committee, and appeared in numerous national news publications. Tia April is a 2004 graduate from Ohio Dominican University, with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature & Philosophy. She is currently working on an Individualized Master of Arts in the Humanities at Antioch University. She lives in Ohio with her three minor children.



South Asians and Racial Justice in the Diaspora by Dr. Shoba Sharad Rajgopal

October 19, 2020
Lecture & Discussion

Lecture Recording

About Dr. Rajgopa

Shoba Rajgopal

Dr. Shoba Sharad Rajgopal is Professor of International Feminist Studies, at Westfield State University in Massachusetts, where she works as Chair of the Dept of Ethnic & Gender Studies, and teaches courses on Gender, Race, and Sexuality.

Her doctorate is in Media Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Prior to her arrival in the United States, she worked for seven years as a broadcast journalist for the Indian TV networks based in Bombay (Mumbai), India, and has also done in-depth news reports for CNN International.

Her journalistic work focused on the struggles of women and indigenous people in the postcolonial nation-state. Her work has been published widely, in academic journals as well as newspapers in the U.S and India. 

Teaching for Equity: Empowering Inmates Through the Arts for Second Chance in Life by Koorosh Ostowari

Feb. 25, 2021
Lecture and Discussion

Lecture Recording

About Koorosh Ostowari

Koorosh Ostowari

Koorosh Ostowari is a Somatic Trauma therapist. From 2009 to 2019 he worked with thousands of incarcerated men and women as a spirituality and communications teacher at a local jail in Marin County.

He offered a combination of tools for men and women during the weekly classes to support them to heal old wounds, traumas, dysfunctional patterns, and habits that often lead to incarceration.

Mr. Ostowari has been officially acknowledged as a “Local leader for change” by the U.S Congress for his work at the Jail.

Dissonant Hu(E)-Manity: Another Way to Be Differently in the Work of Audre Lorde & June Jordan—Lecture and Discussion with Dr. Wendy White

Thursday, June 3, 2021
5:30–6:30 p.m.

Watch Recording

Revisiting My Dissertation

After just finishing Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, which was preceded by the reading of Jennifer Eberhardt’s Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, which was preceded by the reading of Ibram Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Dr. Wendy White thought she would revisit her dissertation. Upon new reflections , she will share excerpts from her dissertation "Dissonant Hu(e)manity: Another Way to be Differently in the Work of Audre Lorde and June Jordan."

About Wendy White

Wendy WhiteDr. Wendy White spent twenty years in the entertainment and broadcasting industry. She has a Doctorate Degree in History of Consciousness from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Dr. White has taught Humanities, History, Philosophy, History of Consciousness and Women’s Studies at SF State University, UC Santa Cruz, Cal State Eastbay, and has been teaching at De Anza College for 17 years. Dr. White is also an ordained Metaphysical Practitioner. She considers herself an activist-Buddhist. She has studied and practiced Tai Chi, Yoga, and Meditation for over forty years.  


“If Not Me, Who? If Not Now, When?” Being a Monolingual Latina at Home and in the Academy by Nicole Gonzalez Howell

November 14, 2018
Lecture & Discussion

About Dr. Nicole Gonzales Howell

Nicole Gonzales HowellNicole Gonzalez Howell earned her Ph.D. from Syracuse University in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric. In 2014, Howell was selected as one of the Ethnic Minority Dissertation Fellows at the University of San Francisco (now the Gerardo Marin Dissertation Fellows). Prior to her time as a dissertation fellow at USF, Nicole taught a variety of writing courses ranging from first-year composition to upper division courses for writing majors.

In addition to teaching, Howell has also been a writing center consultant and graduate editor for Syracuse University. Much of Nicole’s research has focused on the importance of considering social location (race, gender, class, ability, and sexuality) of both students and teachers and how it relates to many aspects of writing instruction, teacher affect, program administration, and in particular writing assessment. Nicole’s current projects are focused on creating accessible teaching practices from k-12 to graduate study.

Finding the Vikings:  The North American Search by Elisabeth Ward

February 26, 2019
Lecture and Discussion

About Dr. Elisabeth Ward

Elisabeth WardIn this illustrated lecture. Dr. Elisabeth Ward will recount the evidence for Viking activity in North America as it has come down to us through literary sources, historic documents, folklore, experimental engineering, environmental science, and archaeology.

Dr. Ward is the former Assistant Curator for the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibition Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga. She has taught in the Scandinavian Department at U.C. Berkeley and at Pacific Lutheran University. She is currently the Executive Director of the Los Altos History Museum. 

Internet Addiction: Is It a Thing? by Tony Kashani

May 30, 2019
Lecture and Discussion

About Dr. Tony Kashani

Tony KashaniTony Kashani, Ph.D. is an American author, educator, philosopher of technology, and a cultural critic. Dr. Kashani is the author of five books in Humanities, including Lost in Media: Ethics of Everyday Life and Movies Change Lives: A Pedagogy of Humanistic Transformation.

He teaches Humanities at Foothill College. Presently, he is completing his latest book on the Art of Being Human in the Digital Era. 


How to be Human in the Digital Age: Exploration of Humanities and Technology by Tony Kashani

November 7, 2017
Lecture & Discussion

About Dr. Tony Kashani

Tony KashaniTony Kashani, Ph.D. is an American author, educator, philosopher of technology, and a cultural critic. Dr. Kashani is the author of five books in Humanities, including Lost in Media: Ethics of Everyday Life and Movies Change Lives: A Pedagogy of Humanistic Transformation.

He is a subject matter expert and faculty for a number of universities and colleges in the United States, focusing his interdisciplinary scholarship and pedagogy on the intersection of humanities and technology.He teaches Humanities at Foothill College. Presently, he is completing his latest book on the Art of Being Human in the Digital Era. 

Nicodemus, Kansas: Where do we go from here? by Ashley Adams

December 5, 2017
Lecture and Discussion


About Dr. Ashley Adams

Ashley AdamsAshley Adams, Ph.D. is a descendent of Nicodemus, Kansas, an African American town founded by former slaves in 1877.  In 1996, the National Park Service (NPS) designated 5 Nicodemus buildings as a National Historic Site. 

This lecture will include a short history of Nicodemus and the current preservation status of the Nicodemus story, as it relates to the African American and human experience.

Cultivating Curiosity in K-12 Classrooms by Wendy Ostroff

February 15, 2018
Lecture and Discussion

About Dr. Wendy Ostroff

Wendy OstroffWendy Ostroff, Ph.D. is an applied developmental and cognitive psychologist and a professor in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University, a seminar-based program that prepares prospective teachers and emphasizes critical reading, writing, and thinking.

The author of the books Understanding How Young Children Learn: Bringing the Science of Child Development to the Classroom (2012, ASCD), and Cultivating Curiosity in K-12 Classrooms (2016, ASCD), Ostroff has been designing and teaching interdisciplinary courses on child development, learning, and education for more than 15 years.

Meditation for the Age of Technology: Finding Order in Chaos by Mona Rawal

February 24, 2018
Lecture and Discussion

About Dr. Mona Rawal

Mona RawalMona Rawal, Ph.D. is a faculty member of the philosophy department at the Foothill College. She has a PhD in Philosophy of Mind and cognitive science with a major focus on the theory of Consciousness.

Her major interest is in Neurophilosophy and is presently researching cognitive science, as it intersects with philosophy. Dr. Rawal heads the Philosophy club at Foothill College and also conducts workshops in the STEM center.

Attend Our Next Lecture

About the Lecture Series


Aida Dargahi


Aida Dargahi, M.A. Humanities Lecture Series Director