December 20, 2013
This spring, we'll partner with The Arts at CIIS Artist-in-Residence, Jaime Cortez, to offer a course in the graphic novel, In the Line of Fire: Confronting Social Justice Issues Through the Graphic Novel. Jaime is a writer, visual artist, and longtime student of comic books and graphic novels. His art has been exhibited at the Berkeley Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Intersection for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Galería de la Raza, and his short stories have been published in more than a dozen anthologies.
Ginu Kamani is the author of Junglee Girl, which the San Francisco Review of Books described as "a delightfully seditious collection of tales, like some profane kama sutra of contemporary India." She lived for the past six years in the tropical rainforest island of Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean in order to better meditate on the fear culture in graduate school level academia. Gardening with farmers in the rainforests of Dominica, she learned about herbs, fruit and vegetable gardens, and the preparation of herb-infused oils as part of the traditional plant-based medicinal culture. Her aim was to extract remedies from nature to treat fear, anxiety, neurosis, self-loathing, self-doubts, self-censorship and other impediments to creativity. Ginu will be teaching the MFA Writing Workshop this spring.
Luz Mena is a cultural geographer and dance instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her research, geographically focused on Latin America and the Caribbean, focuses on how dance spatially articulates social values and meanings related to gender, race, class, and sexual difference. A dance performer herself, Luz has studied jazz, tap and flamenco and is currently focusing on modern dance, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian folklore. Mena will be offering a course entitled, Dance and the Politics of Space, which explores the production and contestation of social spaces through dance.
The special friendship with Anthropology and Social Change continues in the spring with an MFA course in Screenwriting for Social Change with Anthropology doctoral student and emerging screenwriter, Brandon Maurice Williams. Brandon earned his BFA in Screenwriting/ Directing from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and his MFA in Screenwriting from the University of Miami. He has taught filmmaking to urban youth; written and directed short films, PSAs and videos; and developed feature film projects in both New York and Los Angeles.
Zara Zimbardo is an interdisciplinary studies faculty member in BA Completion programs at CIIS and Sofia University. She brings diverse interests in body-based therapy, media production, activism, and participatory action research to inform socially engaged, integral pedagogy. Zara will be leading this semester's Teaching Practicum, with an interest in connecting life inside the classroom with the many worlds students inhabit, bringing critical consciousness to issues of relevance outside the classroom.