San José State University is offering a number of opportunities to hear from faculty experts and prominent public figures this semester through two unique speaker series: the Spartan Speaker Series and University Scholar Series.
The Spartan Speaker Series, organized by the Division of Student Affairs, will host five free online events covering topics important to and requested by San José State students, according to Sonja Daniels, associate vice president of campus life.
“The Spartan Speaker Series covers a range of topics or theme areas that we feel are critical to the lives of our students,” she said. “We choose a wide array of speakers from politics to the arts, writers, activists, as well as disability, LGBTQ+, gender and sexual assault advocates.”
Daniels indicated that many speakers are also selected to complement activities related to cultural heritage months, such as Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), Native American Heritage Month (November), Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May), and Pride/LGBTQ+ Heritage Month (June).
The University Scholar Series, hosted by the Office of the Provost, in partnership with the SJSU Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, showcases faculty research and scholarly pursuits.
“The University Scholars Series provides a space for the campus community to engage with faculty whose research, scholarly, and creative activity is insightful, engaging and forward-thinking,” said Provost Vincent Del Casino, Jr. “We get to see the breadth of topics, challenges and issues that faculty consider. It is an amazing opportunity not just to hear each other speak but to also create an intellectual community.”
Spartan Speaker Series Event Schedule
Attendees should register in advance to receive the Zoom link required to attend.
Reframing American History with Nikole Hannah-Jones
Wednesday, Sept. 15, 1 p.m., Zoom
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will discuss The New York Times’s 1619 Project, an ongoing initiative that aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the center of our national narrative.
Exploring Creativity with Gabby Rivera
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m., Zoom
Gabby Rivera, the first Latina to write for Marvel Comics, penned the solo series “America” about America Chavez, a portal-punching queer Latina powerhouse, as well as the critically acclaimed novel, “Juliet Takes a Breath.” Rivera will speak about the importance of prioritizing joy in queer and transgender people of color (QTPOC) communities.
Simu Liu’s Reflections on Family, Career and Persistence
Wednesday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m., Zoom
Join Canadian actor, writer and stuntman Simu Liu for “Journey to Success: Reflections on Family, Career and Persistence.”
Liu is known for his performances as Jung Kim in the award-winning CBC Television sitcom “Kim’s Convenience” and Shang-Chi in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film “Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings,” released in early September.
Green Girl Leah Thomas on Intersectional Environmentalism
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m., Zoom
Join Leah Thomas, founder of eco-lifestyle blog Green Girl Leah and The Intersectional Environmentalist Platform, a resource and media hub that advocates for inclusivity within environmental education, to learn how to dismantle systems of oppression while protecting the planet. This is Associated Students’ Cesar Chavez Community Action Center Legacy Week speaker.
Seeking Voice, Purpose and Place with Janet Mock
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 6 p.m., Zoom
As the first transgender person to sign a production pact with a major studio, Janet Mock is no stranger to breaking barriers. The Emmy-nominated writer, director and executive producer of the FX drama series “Pose” and the Netflix limited series “Hollywood” and “Monster,” Mock is also a New York Times-bestselling author of two memoirs, “Redefining Realness” and “Surpassing Certainty.”
University Scholar Series Events Schedule
All events will be offered in a hybrid (“live” in-person and virtual) format. Please register online to get the most up-to-date event information.
Fascism Versus Fact with Professor Ryan Skinnell
Wednesday, Sept. 22, noon, Zoom and MLK 225
Fascists don’t just come to power — they use rhetoric. One key to understanding fascist rhetoric is to understand fascists’ relationship to truth.
Join Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Ryan Skinnell as he distinguishes between two kinds of truth: factual and fascist. An expert in political rhetoric and public discourse, Skinnell has written, edited or co-edited six books, including “Faking the News: What Rhetoric Can Teach Us About Donald J. Trump and Rhetoric and Guns” (forthcoming).
Disorder to Diversity with Professor Pei-Tzu Tsai
Wednesday, Oct. 20, noon, Zoom and MLK 225
One out of 100 people experience stuttering, a speech disorder that is genetic-neurological in nature. Associate Professor of Communicative Disorders and Sciences Pei-Tzu Tsai will explore the underlying factors of stuttering and stuttering therapy to develop culturally and linguistically responsive services for individuals who stutter.
Recipient of the 2020 SJSU distinguished faculty mentor award, Tsai has worked at a summer camp for kids who stutter and at a gender-affirming voice and communication clinic at the Kay Armstead Center for Communicative Disorders. She has also established a fluency specialty clinic.
Mobile Money and Financial Inclusion with Susanna Khavul
Wednesday, Dec. 1, noon, Zoom and MLK 225
In the United States, 50 million adults and their 15 million children have no access to formal financial services. Mobile money has made low-cost transfers, payments and financial services available to more people.
Join Susanna Khavul, professor in the School of Management for the Lucas College of Graduate School and Business, executive director of the Global Leadership Advancement Center and visiting professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, as she shares how innovative high technology firms compete in a global economy — and how mobile finance could be part of the solution.