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Author + Talks

Author + Talks provide opportunities for lively discussions with local and national authors on a variety of humanities topics and subjects. These programs are free and encourage an environment of learning, reflection, and conversation. Author + Talks can occur anywhere throughout the state but are most often hosted at the Ellis-Shackelford House, home of Arizona Humanities. 


Ellie Hutchison, Programs Manager

602-257-0335 x26 or ehutchison@azhumanities.org.

Upcoming Author + Talks

View Events Calendar

Alan Gómez
We are the Crisis: Between Freedom Dreams and the Re-Birth of a Nation
Thursday, April 6, 2017 (*new date*)

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Small group discussion (Limited to 12 RSVPs)

6:45 – 8:30 p.m. – Presentation and Q&A

Arizona Humanities
1242 N. Central Ave – Phoenix, AZ 85004

Join Dr. Alan Eladio Gómez, Borderlands Scholar/Associate Professor with the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University for a presentation and discussion. More information coming soon.

RSVP through eventbrite at https://authortalkalangomez.eventbrite.com.

Free event! Light refreshments included.

About Alan Eladio Gómez

Alan Eladio Gómez (Ph.D., History, University of Texas at Austin) is a historian and Assistant Professor in the School of Justice and Social Inquiry at ASU. His research has been published in Radical History ReviewLatino Studies, Kalfou, African Identities, and edited volumes Behind Bars: Latino/as and Prison in the United States (Palgrave, 2009), and Challenging Authoritarianism in Mexico: Revolutionary Struggles and the Dirty War, 1964-1982 (Routledge, 2011). Prof. Gómez has completed a book titled, The Revolutionary Imagination of Greater Mexico: Chicana/o Radicalism, Transnational Organizing, and Social Movements in Latin America in the 1970s(forthcoming, University of Texas Press). A second book manuscript, ‘With Dignity Intact’: Rebellion, Justice, and Power in the U.S. Federal Prison System, 1969-1974 (under contract, University of Nebraska Press) is on its way. 

Jerry Garcia
Prisoners Without Chains: The Forced Relocation of Japanese Mexicans, 1942-1945
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Small group discussion (Limited to 12 RSVPs)

6:45 – 8:30 p.m. – Presentation and Q&A

Free event! Light refreshments included.

Arizona Humanities
1242 N. Central Ave – Phoenix, AZ 85004

If you are interested in purchasing Dr. Garcia’s book visit UA Press and use the discount code AZHUM17 for a special offer.


Explore the Japanese Mexican experience during World War II and learn how it was markedly different than the Japanese American experience in the United States. Dr. Jerry Garcia from Northern Arizona University shares how the Japanese negotiated a distinct space within Mexican culture where Japanese identity and ethnicity was maintained and rarely challenged due to a perception that the Japanese displayed markers of whiteness that were associated with western imperialism and power. Examine how the Japanese adjusted during turbulent and transformative periods in Mexican history and the over-arching policies of the U.S. regarding Japanese immigration throughout the Americas.

About Jerry Garcia

Dr. Jerry Garcia was born and raised in Quincy, Washington. Dr. Garcia received his BA and MA at Eastern Washington University and Ph.D. from Washington State University. He has had academic appointments with Iowa State University, Michigan State University, and is the former Director of the Chicano Education Program and the College Assistance Migrant Program at Eastern Washington University. He currently teaches with the Ethnic Studies Program at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Garcia’s research focus is on Chicano History, Latin American History, History of Mexico, Asians in the Americas, immigration, empire, masculinity, and race in the Americas.  Dr. Garcia’s most recent book is Looking Like the Enemy: Japanese Mexicans, the Mexican State, and U.S. Hegemony, 1897-1945 (2014).  His forthcoming book, We Are Aztlan! Chicanx Histories in the Northern Borderlands is due to be released March 2017 by Washington State University Press.

Jana Rivers Norton
Edith Wharton: When Words First Spoke
Thursday, June 8, 2017
jana rivers norton

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Presentation and Q&A

Free event! Light refreshments included.

Arizona Humanities
1242 N. Central Ave – Phoenix, AZ 85004

Explore the life of renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Edith Wharton. Dr. Rivers-Norton will discuss excerpts from “Edith Wharton: When Words First Spoke,” the fourth chapter of her latest book The Demeter-Persephone Myth as Writing Ritual in the Lives of Literary Women. The talk will focus on the novelist Edith Wharton, who experiences loss, illness and confusion as a child and is mystified by the aloofness of her mother. Consequently, she feels insecure and inferior. Although destined to be a writer, Wharton is profoundly shaped by family discord and a war-torn world, and often courts humiliation and consequent exile by voicing what others in her family do not want to acknowledge. Despite these restrictions, Wharton continuously recasts painful experience as fodder for the imagination to forge a lasting literary career.

About Jana Rivers Norton

Dr. Jana Rivers Norton is a fulltime faculty of English at Cochise College, Santa Cruz Center, Nogales, Arizona.  She holds a Master’s in English and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She has been a college instructor for more than 25 years and has taught courses in Creative Writing, Mythology, Trauma and Gender Studies, Life Study Narratives, and the Psychology of Creativity at several institutions including Humboldt State University and the University of New Mexico, Gallup.  Her research focuses on creativity as an agent of change, mythos, trauma and abuse, gender, society and the literary landscape. Her peer reviewed articles are found in journals such as ReVision: A Journal of Consciousness and Transformation, The International Journal of the Humanities and The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability. Her first book Taming Trauma’s Wake was published in 2009. Her latest book, The Demeter-Persephone Myth as Writing Ritual in the Lives of Literary Women, contextualizes traumatic experiences of early loss and mourning to appreciate more fully, how writing as ritual yielded a deeper understanding of the impact of childhood trauma and adversity on four eminent writers, and how their literary responses not only helped transform mental and emotional debility but shaped modern culture.  She is currently working on a third book which focuses on the classical myth of Medea and the violent expression of grief when a mother’s sense of “righteous rage” remains hidden or unresolved.

Past Author + Talks


Jan Krulick-Belin – November 2

Dr. Rashad Shabazz – October 13

Elsie M. Szecsy – September 15

Anne A. Wilson – August 23

Robert Isenberg – June 7

Meredith Whiteley – May 20

Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr. – January 21

Truth B. Told – December 5

angelina-cover-designThursday, January 19, 2017
Angelina E. Castagno

When whiteness trumps good intentions: Exploring inequity, niceness, and diversity in schools

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Small group discussion (limited to 12 RSVPs)

6:45 – 8:30 p.m. – Presentation and Q&A

Arizona Humanities – 1242 N. Central Ave – Phoenix, AZ 85004

Free event! Light refreshments included.

What is the difference between equality and equity? How might diversity-related policies and practices shape educators’ work in schools? And how do these policies affect students? Take an up-close look at two different middle schools and explore how whiteness operates in our educational system. Examine issues of equity and diversity and begin to imagine possibilities for disrupting inequity and educating against whiteness. Dr. Angelina E. Castagno, an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Foundations at Northern Arizona University was trained as an educational anthropologist and studies institutions, policies, and the ways students and communities engage systems of race and power.

Click here to RSVP through eventbrite.

About Angelina E. Castagno

castagno-headshot-resizedDr. Angelina E. Castagno is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Foundations at Northern Arizona University. Trained as an educational anthropologist, Castagno studies institutions, policies, and the ways students and communities engage systems of race and power.  Her teaching and research center around issues of equity and diversity in U.S. schools, and she is especially interested in issues of whiteness and Indigenous education. Her work draws on Critical Race Theories, including Tribal Critical Race Theory and critical whiteness studies.  Her publications include articles in Anthropology and Education Quarterly, American Journal of Education, Journal of School Choice, Urban Review, Race and Ethnicity in Education, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Review of Research in Education, and Review of Educational Research. Her first monograph, Educated in whiteness: Good intentions and diversity in schools, was published in 2014 with the University of Minnesota Press. She also has a co-authored book through Jossey-Bass with Bryan Brayboy, Amy Fann, and Jessica Solyom titled Postsecondary Education for American Indian and Alaska Natives: Higher Education for Nation Building and Self-Determination.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Marlon M. Bailey

butchqueensButch Queens Up in Pumps

Arizona Humanities
1242 N. Central Ave – Phoenix, AZ 85004

Join us for a presentation and discussion with Marlon M. Bailey, Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation.

About Marlon’s book Butch Queens Up in Pumps:

“Butch Queens Up in Pumps examines Ballroom culture, in which inner-city LGBT individuals dress, dance, and vogue to compete for prizes and trophies. Participants are affiliated with a house, an alternative family structure typically named after haute couture designers and providing support to this diverse community. Marlon M. Bailey’s rich first-person performance ethnography of the Ballroom scene in Detroit examines Ballroom as a queer cultural formation that upsets dominant notions of gender, sexuality, kinship, and community.”

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Small group discussion (limited to 12 RSVPs)

6:45 – 8:30 p.m. – Talk and Q&A

Click here to RSVP through eventbrite.

Free event! Light refreshments included.

About Marlon M. Bailey

marlon_baileyMarlon M. Bailey is an Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies. Marlon’s book, Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit, a performance ethnography of Ballroom culture (UM-Press, 2013), was awarded the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize by the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association. Some of the journals in which Dr. Bailey has published are Feminist Studies, Souls, Gender, Place, and Culture, The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, and AIDS and Patient Care. Dr. Bailey is currently conducting an ethnographic study of the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on Black gay subjectivity.