NOV 20: “Authoritarianism 2.0: Dictatorships in the Post-Cold War World” with William Dobson

“Authoritarianism 2.0: Dictatorships in the Post-Cold War World” with William J. Dobson, International Editor of SLATE, in Conversation with Amy Wilentz, introductory remarks by Jeffrey Wasserstrom

Date & Time: 11/20/2014 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Location: HIB 135
*Note new date and location*

The Forum for the Academy and the Public, with support from the Provost’s Office, the History Department, the Literary Journalism Program, and the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies present William J. Dobson, the International Editor of SLATE and author of The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy (Anchor 2013) in conversation with moderator Amy Wilentz, author, most recently, of Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti (Simon and Schuster 2013).

For more information or for disability accommodations, contact

May 27, 2014: “China in the Age of Ambition” with Evan Osnos and Jeff Wasserstrom


Date and Time: May 27, 2014 – 5:30 PM

Event Location: Humanities Gateway 1030

“China in the Age of Ambition”
The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos in conversation with Jeff Wasserstrom

Event Details

Join the Conversations series for a discussion with The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos and UC Irvine’s Jeff Wasserstrom.  Free, open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served.  A book sale and signing with the speakers will follow the event.

For questions or disability accommodations, contact Patricia Pierson at (949) 824-6876 or


Parking location:  Mesa Parking Structure (14A on the map here)
Event location:  Humanities Gateway (Building 611 on the map here)


Evan Osnos joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008. He is a correspondent in Washington, D.C. who writes about politics and foreign affairs. He is the author of “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, May 2014). Based on eight years of living in Beijing, the book traces the rise of the individual in China, and the clash between aspiration and authoritarianism. He was the China Correspondent at The New Yorker magazine from 2008 to 2013. He is a contributor to This American Life on public radio, and Frontline, the PBS series. Prior to The New Yorker, he worked as the Beijing bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune, where he contributed to a series that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He has received the Asia Society’s Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, and a Mirror Award for profile-writing. Before his appointment in China, he worked in the Middle East, reporting mostly from Iraq.


Jeff Wasserstrom is a Chancellor’s Professor of History at UC Irvine specializing in Chinese history.  His research and writing cover a wide range of topics, from the gendered symbolism of revolutions to patterns of student protest, and from the way that globalization affects urban life and popular culture to American images of Asia. He is the author of several books, including Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai (Stanford, 1991); Global Shanghai, 1850-2010 (Routledge, 2009); and China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2010, updated edition 2013).  He contributes to the LA Review of Books, the Huffington Post, and the China Beat.





May 27, 2014: “Chinese Food Around the World: Perspectives from Journalism & Scholarship”

May 27, 3:30-4:30, Humanities Gateway 1030:
“Chinese Food Around the World:
Perspectives from Journalism and Scholarship”

The participants in this roundtable will be Evan Osnos of the New Yorker, Yan Yunxiang (UCLA anthropologist), food writer Christine Chiao, Yong Chen (UCI historian), and, as moderator, Jeffrey Wasserstrom (UCI History).

This roundtable is sponsored by UCI’s Conversations on Writing and Public Life Series, History Department, Literary Journalism Program, and Center for Asian Studies, and is linked to a 5:30-7pm event, in the same room, that will focus on Evan Osnos’s just-published The Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (a Publisher’s Weekly “books of the week” selection, which will be available for purchase and signing). Both events are free and open to the public.

Listen to the podcast here.

April 9, 2014 –“In Retrospect: How Journalists Reconstruct the Past” with Samuel G. Freedman & Miriam Pawel

April 9, 2014
5:30-7 PM
Humanities Gateway 1030

Join the Literary Journalism Program and the Department of History for a discussion on writing in the public sphere, with Samuel G. Freedman (Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism) and Miriam Pawel (author of The Crusades of Cesar Chavez). Moderated by Barry Siegel (UCI Literary Journalism). Co-sponsored by the Department of English, with additional support from the Office of the Provost. Free and open to the public. Book sale and signing to follow the discussion. Light refreshments will be served. For more information or for disability accommodations, contact Patricia Pierson at
(949) 824-6876 or


Samuel G. Freedman is an award-winning author, columnist, and professor. A columnist for The New York Times and a professor at Columbia University, he is the author of the seven acclaimed books, most recently Breaking The Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Game and Changed the Course of Civil Rights (2013). His previous books are Small Victories: The Real World of a Teacher, Her Students and Their High School (1990); Upon This Rock: The Miracles of a Black Church (1993); The Inheritance: How Three Families and America Moved from Roosevelt to Reagan and Beyond (1996); Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry (2000); Who She Was: My Search for My Mother’s Life (2005); and Letters to a Young Journalist (2006).

A tenured professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Freedman was named the nation’s outstanding journalism educator in 1997 by the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2012, he received Columbia University’s coveted Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. Freedman’s class in book-writing has developed more than 65 authors, editors, and agents, and it has been featured in Publishers Weekly and the Christian Science Monitor.


Miriam Pawel is an author, journalist and independent scholar who has spent most of the last decade writing about California farmworkers, agriculture, Cesar Chavez, and the United Farm Workers union. Her latest book, The Crusades of Cesar Chavez, has been hailed in starred reviews as the first and definitive biography of this iconic leader. The biography picks up from where her first book left off; The Union of Their Dreams: Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez’s Farm Worker Movement is the story of the heady and life-changing days of the farm worker movement, told through the eyes of eight key participants. Before becoming a full-time author, Pawel worked for 25 years as a reporter and editor at Newsday and the Los Angeles Times. She oversaw coverage of the crash of TWA Flight 800 and the 2003 California wildfires, both of which were awarded Pulitzer prizes. Her recent work was supported by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Crusades of Cesar Chavez Website

In Retrospect


April 1, 2014: “Tales of Two Countries: The Perils and Pleasures of Writing About India and China,” with Mahesh Rangarajan & Jeff Wasserstrom

Tuesday, April 1: 3:00-4:30pm in 126 Krieger Hall

“Tales of Two Countries: The Perils and Pleasures of Writing about India
and China”

Mahesh Rangarajan and Jeff Wasserstrom (Chancellor’s Professor of History,

Co-sponsored by Department of History, Center for Asian Studies,
International Studies Public Forum, Humanities Collective, Conversations
on Writing and Public Life, and Literary Journalism Program.

Mahesh Rangarajan is a leading scholar on the history and politics of the
environment in India and the world. He has published widely in both
scholarly and journalistic venues on themes related to conservation and
indigenous survival, science and nature, environment and political
sovereignty, inventions and uses of “the forest,” and human relationships
to wildlife. Rangarajan is Professor of Modern Indian History at Delhi
University and Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, one of
India’s most important research centers for social science and the
humanities. He is a former Rhodes Scholar and received his doctorate at
Oxford University in 1993.

Prof. Rangarajan’s well-known books include Fencing the Forest:
Conservation and Ecological Change in India’s Central Provinces, 1860-1914
(Oxford, 1999); Battles over Nature: Science and the Politics of
Conservation, (New Delhi, 2006), and India’s Environmental History, 2
vols., (New Delhi, 2012). His journalistic and public service work is
extensive and conducted in multiple languages, including columns for The
Telegraph (English), Asian Age (English), Vaartha (Telugu), and Amar
Ujaala and Hindustan (Hindi). He has served as assistant editor for The
Telegraph, and he was a consulting political analyst for New Delhi
Television, Star News (Hindi), Kolkata TV (Bengali) and Times Now
(English). In 2010, he was chair of the Elephant Task Force for the Union
Ministry of Environment and Forests and has been a member of the
Ministry’s Advisory Committee, since 2012. Select articles written by
Prof. Rangarajan are available at:

March 4, 2014: “The Jesus of History vs the Christ of Literature,” with Reza Azlan & Jack Miles


Join the Literary Journalism Program and the Department of History for a discussion on writing in the public sphere, featuring Reza Aslan (UC Riverside Creative Writing), author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (Random House 2013) and Jack Miles (UCI English), author of the Pulitzer-prize winning book GOD: A Biography, and Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God.

Tuesday, March 4
5:30 PM
Humanities Gateway 1030
UC Irvine School of Humanities

Moderated by Jon Wiener (UCI History). Co-sponsored by the Program in Religious Studies and the Newkirk Center for Science and Society, with additional support from the Office of the Provost.  Book sale and signing to follow at the conclusion of the event.

Free and open to the public; no reservations required. Light refreshments
will be served. For more information or for disability accommodations,
contact Patricia Pierson at or (949) 824-6876.

Follow us on Twitter: @UCILitJ

Humanities Gateway is Building 611 on the campus map.  The Mesa Parking Structure (MPS) is the recommended parking location. Accessible parking is available behind Humanities Gateway, off of West Peltason Drive.

Dr. Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Aslan’s first book is the international bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into seventeen languages, and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in a Globalized Age), as well as editor of two volumes: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalties, Contentions, and Complexities. Aslan is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Cooperating Faculty in the Department of Religion at the University of California, Riverside.

Miles is a Distinguished Professor of English and Religious Studies at the University of California, Irvine and Senior Fellow for Religious Affairs with the Pacific Council on International Policy. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and many other publications. His book GOD: A Biography won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996. His book Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God led to his being named a MacArthur Fellow for the years 2003-2007. He is currently at work as general editor of the forthcoming Norton Anthology of World Religions.

Jon Wiener is a Professor of History at UC Irvine, specializing in recent American history and Cold War culture.

January 28, 2014: “The Los Angeles Review of Books — Celebrating the First Three Years”

LARB 1.28.14

The Conversations on Writing and Public Life Series Presents

“The Los Angeles Review of Books: Celebrating the First Three Years”

a panel discussion featuring:

Tom Lutz,
Editor, Los Angeles Review of Books

Jonathan Alexander
UC Irvine English & Women’s Studies, Contributor to the LA Review of Books

and Julia Lupton
UC Irvine English, Contributor to the LA Review of Books

Moderated by Amy Wilentz
UC Irvine Literary Journalism & English

Tuesday, January 28
5 PM
Humanities Gateway 1030
UC Irvine School of Humanities

Directions and Parking:
Humanities Gateway is Building 611 on the campus map.  The Mesa Parking Structure (MPS) is the recommended parking location. Accessible parking is available behind Humanities Gateway, off of West Peltason Drive.

Free and open to the public; no reservations required. Light refreshments
will be served. For more information or for disability accommodations,
contact Patricia Pierson at or (949) 824-6876.

Sponsored by the Literary Journalism Program, the Department of History, and the Office of the Provost.

Follow us on Twitter: @UCILitJ

The Los Angeles Review of Books is a nonprofit, multimedia literary and cultural arts magazine that combines the great American tradition of the serious book review with the evolving technologies of the Web. We are a community of writers, critics, journalists, artists, filmmakers, and scholars dedicated to promoting and disseminating the best that is thought and written, with an enduring commitment to the intellectual rigor, the incisiveness, and the power of the written word.

LARB was created in part as a direct response to the disappearance of the traditional newspaper book review supplement, and with it the great tradition of the comprehensive American book review, dedicated to full-range, long-form coverage of everything from architecture to young adult fiction, academic monographs to genre fiction, from the latest publications to classic texts. In our new, swiftly transforming world of books and publishing, the Los Angeles Review of Books stands for curated, edited, expert, smart and fun opinion written by the best writers and thinkers of our time. We seek to revive, and reinvent, the book review for a new generation.

LARB was created as both a literary and cultural arts magazine, publishing not only traditional long-form essays on books and literature, but also reviews of art, music, theater, and film; exclusive journalism and commentary on key issues of the day; on-location reporting from political hotspots around the nation and worldwide; editorials and commentary on politics, culture and society; audio and video interviews of artists, writers, philosophers and politicians, and much more.

November 12, 2013: “Commentaries and Controversies — The Art of the Hot Topic Op-Ed”

Hot Topic Op-Ed

Is there an art to the writing of the hot topic op-ed?  How should writers, editors, and the reading public negotiate difficult conversations on politics, the Middle East, the Supreme Court, or controversial elections?  Join the Department of History and the Literary Journalism Program for a conversation on writing in the public sphere with Saree Makdisi (UCLA Comparative Literature) and Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UCI School of Law), moderated by Nicholas Goldberg (Editor of the LA Times’s editorial page).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 5 PM in Humanities Gateway 1010.

Free and open to the public.  Parking is available at the UCI Student Center or on Mesa Drive.  For more information or for disability accommodations, contact Patricia Pierson at or (949) 824-6876.  Presented with support from the Office of the Provost.

About the Speakers:

Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, with a joint appointment in Political Science.  His areas of expertise are constitutional law, federal practice, civil rights and civil liberties, and appellate litigation. He is the author of seven books, most recently, The Conservative Assault on the Constitution (October 2010, Simon & Schuster), and nearly 200 articles in top law reviews. He frequently argues cases before the nation’s highest courts, and also serves as a commentator on legal issues for national and local media.

Saree Makdisi received his PhD from the Program in Literature at Duke University in 1993. He is the author of Romantic Imperialism: Universal Empire and the Culture of Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 1998), William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s (University of Chicago Press, 2003) and Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation (WW Norton, 2008, updated and with a new foreword by Alice Walker, 2010), and the co-editor, with Felicity Nussbaum, of The Arabian Nights in Historical Context: Between East and West (Oxford University Press, 2008).  He is also the Editor of Nineteenth-Century Literature. His primary area of research is the culture of modernity, especially as it was consolidated in Britain during the Romantic period, and as it developed in relation to the changing dynamics of British imperialism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

In addition to his work on British literature and imperial culture, Professor Makdisi has also written extensively on the twentieth and twenty-first century consequences of eighteenth and nineteenth century imperialism. He has been especially interested in the cultural politics of the contemporary Arab world, about which he has written a number of articles for such scholarly journals as boundary 2 and Critical Inquiry, as well as edited volumes. In the spirit of speaking not only to a relatively narrow circle of scholars sharing a common expertise but to a broader public as well, he has written a number of articles on contemporary events which have appeared in such venues as The Los Angeles Times, The Nation and the London Review of Books, and have been widely translated into other languages.

Editor of the Editorial Pages, Los Angeles Times.  Nicholas Goldberg joined the Los Angeles Times in 2002 as editor of the op-ed page and the Sunday Opinion section. He became deputy editor of the editorial pages in 2008 and a year later was named editor of the editorial pages, a position that gives him overall responsibility for The Times’ daily report.

He is a former reporter and editor at Newsday in New York, where he worked as Middle East bureau chief from 1995 to 1998. In that job, he covered the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; presidential elections in Iran; arms monitoring in Iraq; famine in Sudan; civil war in Algeria; war in Lebanon and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Saudi Arabia.

Goldberg also covered the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton, and as statehouse bureau chief in New York, the administrations of Governors Mario Cuomo and George Pataki. He also served as Sunday business editor for Newsday, which he joined in 1983.

Goldberg’s writing has been widely published including in the Los Angeles Times, New Republic, New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Nation, Sunday Times of London, Washington Monthly, American Lawyer and Conde Nast Traveler, among others.

October 22, 2013: “Writing Zoobiquity” with Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers

Zoobiquity Poster

5:30 PM, Humanities Gateway Building 1030, UC Irvine School of Humanities

Join the Department of History and the Literary Journalism Program for a discussion on
writing in the public sphere featuring New York Times bestselling authors Barbara
Natterson Horowitz (UCLA School of Medicine) and science journalist Kathryn Bowers,
moderated by Kavita Philip (UCI History) and with an introduction by UC Irvine Dean of Humanities George van Den Abbeele. Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served and a book sale and signing will follow the talk. For more information or for disability accommodations, contact Patricia Pierson at or (949) 824-6876.

Do Pandas suffer from eating disorders? Can Beluga whales develop breast
cancer? Do koalas suffer from STDs?

These questions, situated in the nexus between veterinary science, human medicine,
and evolutionary & molecular biology, are explored in the New York Times bestseller
Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection between Human and Animal Health,
written by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers. In a compellingly narrated
series of stories, Natterson-Horowitz, a cardiologist and psychiatrist who consults at the
L.A. Zoo, and Bowers, a science journalist, investigate the surprising connections
between humans and animals and the ways that some human behaviors may be
reinterpreted through the lens of evolutionary biology. The result is what they call 
, or the ever-present connection between the animal and human worlds.


“Full of fascinating stories…” —Atul Gawande, M.D.
“Fascinating reading…” —Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
“Provocative…” —Carl Zimmer, author and science writer
“After finishing, you’re guaranteed to never look at your dog, cat, or any other animal the
same way again.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Los Angeles Times BESTSELLER
International BESTSELLER
A Discover Magazine BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
AAAS/Science Book Award Finalist
An O., The Oprah Magazine, Summer Reading Pick

We may think our problems are uniquely human. But animals and humans get the same
diseases. How might we better understand human health and illness if we harnessed
knowledge from veterinarians, the doctors that take care of other animals? Zoobiquity
explores how jaguar breast cancer, dolphin diabetes, flamingo heart attacks, canine
PTSD—and more—are transforming human medicine.


For over twenty years, cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz has treated human
patients at the UCLA Medical Center, developed imaging techniques and lectured to
thousands of medical students, residents, fellows, colleagues, and community
members. Currently, she is a cardiac consultant for the Los Angeles Zoo and a member
of the Zoo’s Medical Advisory Board as well as Director of Imaging at the UCLA Cardiac
Arrhythmia Center. Her outstanding rapport with students has won her numerous
teaching awards and made her a popular professor at the David Geffen School of
Medicine at UCLA where she lectures about cardiovascular physiology, cardiovascular
pharmacology, echocardiography, and bioengineering. Her writing has appeared in
many scientific and medical publications.

Barbara is a member of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) Working
Group entitled, “Infusing Evolutionary Thinking into Medical Education.” With Daniel
Blumstein, Chair of the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, she
created and curated Evolutionary Medicine Month at UCLA (summary here, in the
Evolution and Medicine Review).

Barbara earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University and
received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children and two dogs.


Kathryn Bowers has written and edited fiction and nonfiction books and articles and
taught writing at UCLA. She began her career in journalism as a staff editor of the
Atlantic Monthly and worked for James Fallows, the Washington Editor of the Atlantic,
and for CNN-International in London. Kathryn later served as an assistant press attaché
at the United States Embassy in Moscow, where she received a State Department
Meritorious Honor Award for her service.

Kathryn holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and lives in Los Angeles
with her husband, Andy Bowers, their daughter, and the family dog. She tweets as
@kathrynsbowers and @zoobiquity.