“Conversations With Authors and Artists" and “Stockton Talks” Launch This Spring at Stanislaus State
April 18, 2023

Two new series of talks are being offered on the Stanislaus State campuses: “Conversations with Authors and Artists,” an interview series spotlighting scholarly and creative achievements by faculty in the College of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS), and “Stockton Talks,” a Stockton Campus speaker series featuring faculty and graduate students sharing research, publications and other creative work. 

Both series started this spring and are planned to be ongoing. CAHSS plans to offer two “Conversations with Authors and Artists” each semester, and the Stockton Campus Library, which organizes “Stockton Talks,” plans to offer three events a semester. 

For Professor of English Jesse Wolfe, organizer and interviewer for “Conversations with Authors and Artists,” sharing the work of faculty members in his college has become “a labor of love.”  

“Many CAHSS faculty have done exciting and impressive work,” he said. “By promoting their scholarship and art, the series gives the campus community — including students — a chance to learn about this work and dialogue with its creators.” 

“Stockton Talks” has similar goals from its home on the Stockton Campus.  

“We hope that the series enables a space for creative engagement and a sense of community at the Stockton Campus,” said Isabel Vargas, Stockton Campus and web services librarian. “The talks are open to students, staff, faculty and the Stockton community.” 

The second installment in the “Conversations with Authors and Artists” series is scheduled for noon on Tuesday, April 25, in Room L102 of the J. Burton Vasché Library and on YouTube Live. It will feature: 

  • Keith Nainby (communication studies), who has published a co-edited book on Bob Dylan’s vocal performances with a special focus on how nuanced delivery shapes (and reshapes) the experience of meaning in his songs.  
  • Jim Tuedio (philosophy and CAHSS dean), who has published a co-edited volume of scholarly, transdisciplinary essays on the primal nature and impact of collective improvisation and ambiguously nuanced lyricism as defining features of Grateful Dead concert performances, with attention to the transformative influence of these factors on the personal, cultural and professional attunements of Deadheads. 

The third installment in the “Stockton Talks” series is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, in the Acacia Building on the Stockton Campus. It will feature: 

  • Nancy Brown (Criminal Justice), a restorative justice circle practitioner who will lead a restorative justice workshop. 

A recording is available for the inaugural installment of “Conversations with Authors and Artists,” which featured faculty members Ryan Logan (Anthropology) and Sebastian Sclofsky (Criminal Justice) discussing their research and books. Logan and Sclofsky also spoke at the first two “Stockton Talks” events. 

According to Wolfe, the fall semester’s “Conversations with Authors and Artists” will feature: 

  • Jennifer Beidendorf (communication studies), who has published a book on the development of the International Criminal Court and its role in protecting human rights. 
  • Austin Avwunudiogba (geography), who has co-edited a book on the global phenomenon of human trafficking and the illicit commodification of human bodies; Abu Mboka (criminal justice), who contributed two chapters to Avwunudiogba’s book, will also be interviewed. 
  • Brandon Wolfe-Hunnicutt (history), who has published a book about oil and Arab nationalism in Iraq to reveal the deep roots and dominant motivations shaping American foreign policy, diplomacy, and military intervention in the Middle East. 
  • As'ad Abukalil (political science, public administration and leadership studies), who has written extensively on Middle Eastern politics, including power dynamics influencing the battle for Saudi Arabia and the rise of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the Saudi connection, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Afghanistan, Pakistan and regional implications of America’s “War on Terrorism” in the aftermath of 9-11.  

Vargas said the “Stockton Talks” schedule for the fall is in the works. She is coordinating with faculty and graduate students and expects to finalize and announce the events soon. 

Support for “Conversations with Authors and Artists” comes from CAHSS and the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, the latter of which coordinates logistical support and publicity. The CAHSS Advancement Committee aided in planning. 

Support for “Stockton Talks” comes from the University Library and Stockton Campus.