Faculty News Roundup: Exploring Belonging With Walter Thompson-Hernández

December 16, 2019
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Walter Thompson and Soka students discuss his work

Verónica Quezada, assistant professor of Spanish language & culture, and Ian Read, associate professor of Latin American studies

Prof. Ian Read in International Studies and Prof. Verónica Quezada in the Language and Culture Program co-sponsored and co-organized the presentation, “Compton Cowboys, Remezcla and Japanese Lowriders: Celebrating the Work of Walter Thompson-Hernández” by the New York Times journalist and NPR commentator on November 19. In a candid, but informative, atmosphere, Thompson-Hernández discussed his work focusing on the exploration of belonging. His talk was followed by an interaction with a panel composed of three SUA students and Prof. Tomas Crowder-Taraborelli. The panel addressed and questioned important and current issues related to culture appropriation, the concept of belonging in subcultures, questioning of stereotypes, and the act of healing.

Robert Allinson, professor of philosophy

In honor of World Philosophy Day, for the 12th year, Professor Allinson hosted a historic civil rights documentary, “I Shall Not be Silent: Jaochim Prinz.” Philosophy is the only academic discipline UN/UNESCO honors for its critical, rational training that provides conceptual bases of principles and values on which world peace depends: democracy, human rights, respect, equality, and justice for all. The discussion afterward focused on “can we ever really understand the ‘Other’?” 

Professor Allinson’s students in the Good, Evil, and the Holocaust course attended the play, “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” at the Laguna Playhouse. The play tells the story of Theresienstadt Concentration Camp where of 15,000 children only 141 survived. Raja (a Czech teenager and others) smuggled out of the camp many poems and art work so that the lives of the murdered children continue to inspire the world today.

Kristi Wilson, associate professor of rhetoric and composition

Prof. Kristi M. Wilson presented her recently published chapter from A Trail of Fire for Political Cinema (University of Chicago, 2019) at the third annual “Pluralities” conference at San Francisco State University. The theme of the conference was “Media, Migrations, Movement,” and the keynote address was offered by post-colonial theorist and professor of cultural studies, Hamid Nacify. 

Sandrine Siméon, assistant professor of French language and culture

Prof. Sandrine Siméon had two articles published. Film-théâtre, intermédialité et nouveaux enjeux esthétiques explores the ways in which intermedial analysis highlights the interactions occurring between media when live performances are recorded. The article also considers how film rhetoric influences theatrical staging and, in turn, how scenographic devices affect the innovative aesthetic of film-theatre.

Enregistrer et diffuser le répertoire théâtral. Retour sur les relations d’interdépendance entre la Comédie-Française et les écrans takes the Comédie-Française as a case study to survey the relationship of the theater with French television in the past hundred years. Revue d’Histoire du Théâtre.

Shane Barter, associate professor of comparative politics

Prof. Shane Barter (INTS), currently on sabbatical, spent November as a visiting scholar at the Australian National University’s Indonesia Project and Department of Political and Social Change. While conducting research, Professor Barter participated in the Indonesia Council Open Conference and has worked with ANU graduate students studying Southeast Asian politics. As a visiting scholar, he has presented two seminar papers: “Rethinking Territorial Autonomy” on November 13 and “Territorial Autonomy in Southeast Asia (and Beyond)” on November 27.

Tetsushi Ogata, visiting assistant professor of peace and conflict studies

Prof. Ogata joined a workshop organized by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, at the invitation of its Simon Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, held in Washington, DC, on November 1. The workshop was on “Lessons Learned in Preventing and Responding to Atrocities: Organizing, Expanding, and Encouraging the Use of Policy-relevant Knowledge.” Among the topics discussed with the former and current US government officials were policy options for the US government to implement atrocity prevention strategies. He was also invited by the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to participate in its International Conference on the Bangladesh Genocide and Justice on the Rohingya Persecution, held in Dhaka November 14-16. He presented a paper on “Entrenched Narrative Space of Denialism and Counter-Denialism: From Turkey to Japan to Myanmar.”