Gustavo Arellano is the former publisher and editor of Orange County’s alternative weekly OC Weekly, and the author of the nationally syndicated column ¡Ask a Mexican! Arellano has won numerous awards for the column, including the 2006 and 2008 Best Non-Political Column in a large-circulation weekly from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the 2007 Presidents Award from the Los Angeles Press Club, and a 2008 Latino Spirit award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus. The columns were collected in book form in 2008 as ¡Ask a Mexican! Arellano is also the author of Orange County: A Personal History and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.
Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Arewa is a professor at the UC Irvine School of Law. Professor Arewa’s research centers around intellectual property and business, with a primary focus on copyright and music. Her work also focuses on copyright and the entertainment industries, law and technology, law and society, and various business issues. She has worked in legal and business capacities at law firms, startup companies and a venture capital firm, and was an Economic Officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, as well as a Visiting Lecturer at the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan.
Dmitry Bykov is a Russian writer of poetry, fiction, biographies, and criticism, and is a co-founder of the Citizen Poet project, which showcases his satirical political poetry. Bykov’s biography of Boris Pasternak won the 2006 National Bestseller and Big Book awards; he won the National Bestseller again in 2011 for Ostromov, or the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a novel about Freemasons in Leningrad during the 1920s that was also shortlisted for the 2011 Big Book, where it won prizes from the jury and readers. Bykov serves as creative editor of the newspaper Sobesednik and often appears on television and radio.
Craig Calhoun is President of the Berggruen Institute. From 2012-2016, he was Director and President of the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he remains Centennial Professor. Earlier, Calhoun was for thirteen years President of the New York-based Social Science Research Council and University Professor of Social Science at NYU. Calhoun is the author of several books, including The Roots of Radicalism (2012) and Neither Gods nor Emperors (1994). He is also the editor of several books, the author of approximately 100 articles, and the former editor of two scholarly journals, Social Theory and Comparative Social Research. In 2015, Calhoun was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.
Debbie Chachra, a professor at Olin College of Engineering, is committed to improving undergraduate engineering education. In addition to working closely with Olin students, she carries out research in the field, and speaks and writes widely on the topic, including writing a regular column, “Reinvention,” in the American Society for Engineering Education’s Prism magazine. She also collaborates with educators worldwide. Dr. Chachra’s other research interests include gender and engineering, infrastructure, and biological materials (including a type of plastic made by bees). She also works at the intersection of technology and society, and has written commentaries for the Atlantic, the Guardian, the journal Nature, and the comic book Bitch Planet.
Paul Dourish is Chancellor’s Professor of Informatics and Associate Dean for Research in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at UC Irvine. His research focuses primarily on understanding information technology as a site of social and cultural production; his work combines topics in human-computer interaction, social informatics, and science and technology studies. He is the author of several books, most recently The Stuff of Bits: An Essay on the Materialities of Information. He is a a recipient of the AMIA Diana Forsythe Award and the CSCW Lasting Impact Award.
Cristina García is the author of seven novels, including Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, The Lady Matador’s Hotel, King of Cuba, and Here In Berlin. Two works for young readers, The Dog Who Loved the Moon, and I Wanna Be Your Shoebox were published in 2008, and a young adult novel, Dreams of Significant Girls, in 2011. A collection of poetry, The Lesser Tragedy of Death, was published in 2010. García’s work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into fourteen languages. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and an NEA grant.
Annette Gordon-Reed is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and a Professor of History at Harvard University. She has published six books, including The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (2008), which won the Pulitzer Prize in history and the National Book Award for nonfiction. Her most recently published book (with Peter S. Onuf) is “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination. Her honors include the National Humanities Medal, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, a fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and a MacArthur Fellowship.
Hua Hsu began contributing to The New Yorker in 2014, and became a staff writer in 2017. He is the author of “A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure Across the Pacific.” He has also written for Artforum, The Atlantic, Grantland, Slate, and The Wire. His work has been anthologized in “Best Music Writing” and “Best African American Essays,” and his 2012 essay on suburban Chinatowns was a finalist for a James Beard Award for food writing. He also served on the editorial board of “A New Literary History of America” (2009). He is currently an associate professor of English at Vassar College and a fellow at the New America Foundation. He serves on the executive board of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.
Douglas Kearney is an L.A.-based poet, performer, librettist and teacher. He received an MFA from CalArts, where he currently teaches African American Studies. Kearney’s first full-length collection, Fear, Some is available from Red Hen Press, and his second full-length collection of poems, The Black Automaton, is the Catherine Wagner’s National Poetry Series selection and will be published by Fence Books in fall, 2009. He received a Whiting Writers Award in 2008. He has published six books, most recently, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry and silver medalist for the California Book Award (Poetry).
Laila Lalami is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; Secret Son, which was on the Orange Prize longlist; and The Moor’s Account, which won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, the Guardian, the New York Times, and in many anthologies. She writes the “Between the Lines” column for The Nation magazine and is a critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times. The recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.
Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. She writes about American history, law, literature, and politics. Her essays and reviews have also appeared in The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Journal of American History, Foreign Affairs, the Yale Law Journal, The American Scholar, and the American Quarterly. The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014) was awarded the 2015 American History Book Prize.
Xiao Qiang is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of China Digital Times, a bilingual China news website launched in 2003 to aggregate, organize, and recommend online information from and about China. He is an adjunct professor at the School of Information, University of California at Berkeley, as well as the Director of the school’s Counter-Power Lab, an interdisciplinary faculty-student research group focusing on the intersection of digital media, counter-censorship technology and cyberactivism. Xiao has published numerous articles in the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, the Los Angeles Times, the South China Morning Post, and other publications.
Carlos Rajo currently works as a political analyst for Telemundo, while also writing on his website about themes of interest to the Hispanic community in the U.S. He is a commentator on international issues for radio stations in Los Angeles and Mexico City. Rajo has been a foreign commentator in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East for the news organizations of the U.S., Mexico and Spain. He has worked for Univision as a reporter for the local stations in Los Angeles as well as being an editor and columnist for newspapers in the U.S. For many years he was a professor in the spanish journalism program at the UCLA extension school.
Jonathan Taplin is Director Emeritus of the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California. He was a Professor at the USC Annenberg School from 2003-2016. Taplin’s areas of specialization are in international communication management and the field of digital media entertainment. Taplin began his entertainment career in 1969 as Tour Manager for Bob Dylan and The Band. His films were nominated for Oscar and Golden Globe awards and chosen for The Cannes Film Festival five times.
Junko Terao is an Italian journalist of Japanese origin based in Rome. She is Asia and Pacific Editor at the weekly magazine Internazionale.
Héctor Tobar is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestseller Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle That Set Them Free, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was previously a National and Foreign Correspondent for the L.A. Times. His other books include The Tattooed Soldier, a novel set in the impoverished immigrant neighborhoods of Los Angeles in the weeks before the riots, and The Barbarian Nurseries, a novel that won the 2012 California Book Award gold medal for fiction. He is currently a professor of Chicano/Latino Studies and English at UC Irvine.
Mark Trahant is an independent journalist and the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota. He reports and comments on events and trends on his blog at TrahantReports.com and does a weekly audio commentary for Native Voice One. Trahant has also been a reporter for PBS’ Frontline series and editor-in-residence at the University of Idaho. He was recently elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Jeffrey Wasserstrom is Chancellor’s Professor of History at UC Irvine, where he is also a Professor of Law, by courtesy, and Historical Writing Mentor for the Literary Journalism Program. His most recent books are, as author, China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (2013) and, as editor, The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China (forthcoming 2016). He has written for many magazines (such as Index on Censorship, Slate, and New Left Review) and a wide variety of newspapers, blogs, and journals of opinion. He regularly travels to Asia, is on the editorial board of Dissent magazine, and is the advising editor for China for the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Jon Wiener is host and producer of “Start Making Sense,” The Nation’s weekly podcast, and a long-time contributing editor at The Nation. He is professor emeritus of history at UC Irvine, and his most recent book is How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey across America. His work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times. Wiener also hosts a weekly afternoon interview show on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles.
Sean Wilentz is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University. His book The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln (2005), was awarded the Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent books are The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008 and Bob Dylan in America. He also writes frequently for publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Review of Books. In his spare writing time, he is historian-in-residence at Bob Dylan’s official website.