Syreeta McFadden writes a monthly column for the Guardian US and does freelance writing work. Her work is largely focused on gender, politics, race, culture and the arts, as well as the exploration of overlapping cultural narratives between communities. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, NPR, and others.
McFadden co-curates Poets in Unexpected Places (PUP), a collective of New York-based writers and language arts educators that stages surprise poetry performances in hopes of promoting community and dialogue in public. Previous PUP collaborations include the Juilliard School and Urban Word NYC. She is also the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, which features work from emerging writers in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, as well as photo essays and interviews.
She has appeared on NPR’s Tell Me More, WNYC’s On the Media, and Sirius XM Radio’s Make It Plain. A former urban planner, she holds degrees from Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College, and is an adjunct professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Columnist for the Guardian US and Freelance Writer
Areas of Expertise: Visual Art (Photography/Technology), Literature (Poetry), Study of Feminism/Intersectionality
Laila Lalami is a Moroccan-American novelist and essayist. 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. Lalami’s 2014 book, The Moor’s Account, was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Her work has been translated into ten languages.
Rwany Sibaja (C-Bah-Ha) teaches modern Latin American history at Appalachian State University. The focus of his research centers on the impact and role of fútbol (soccer) on popular culture in mid-twentieth century Argentina, with a focus on the impact of fútbol on the formation and re-imagination of collective identities.
Sibaja is also the director of history at Appalachian State. His work has appeared in the journal Soccer & Society, the four-volume Sports Around the World: History, Culture, and Practice, and on Teachinghistory.org.
Assistant Professor of History and Director of History/Social Studies Education at Appalachian State University
Areas of Expertise: Soccer, 20th-century Argentina, Popular Culture, Social Studies Education
Ellen Oh is co-founder and President of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) a grassroots organization that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. A former attorney and college instructor, Ellen is also the author of the YA fantasy trilogy, The Prophecy Series, by HarperTeen, and the middle grade book The Spirit Hunters, to be released in 2017. She was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Notable People of 2014.
Author and President of We Need Diverse Books campaign
Areas of Expertise: Children’s Fiction, Social Activism through Literature
Daniel José Older is the author of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series and the young adult novel Shadowshaper. Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna.
Older co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. His short stories and essays have appeared in the Guardian, NPR, Tor.com, Salon and BuzzFeed. Aside from writing, Older teaches workshops on storytelling.
Author of Young Adult Literature
Areas of expertise: Fantasy and Young Adult literature, Race and Power in Publishing
Jasmine Garsd is co-host (along with Felix Contreras) of NPR’s Alt.Latino, a program covering Latin alternative music, from electronic and hip-hop to rock and salsa. Garsd says she “grew up on a steady diet of Argentine rock” as a teen in Buenos Aires, and now brings a fresh eye to the constantly changing Latino music scene.
Nilanjana Bhattacharjya is an ethnomusicologist and popular music scholar who focuses on South Asian popular music and film in India, as well as in the South Asian diaspora. She currently teaches interdisciplinary courses on the humanities, Asian Studies, music, and film at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. She has been researching how respective communities use music to define their identities, and how the meaning of that music changes as it travels one location to another since she began her doctoral research in 1999. Her research has focused on topics including the transnational career of the early 20th century dancer Uday Shankar in the United States and Europe, British popular musicians of South Asian descent in London during the mid 1990s through early 2000s, and Hindi film music sequences’ role in popular Hindi films. She is particularly interested in how the song sequence— once the distinctive marker of an Indian popular film— is evolving to respond to developments in the film and music industries, as well as changing tastes.
Her publications appear in the journals Asian Music, South Asian History and Culture, andSouth Asian Popular Culture, and the books Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Music and Dance, and South Asian Transnationalisms: Cultural Exchange in the Twentieth Century.
Most recently, she has been working closely with other scholars who focus on the South Asian diaspora in the United States as a member and current co-chair of the Academic Council of the South Asian American Digital Archive <https://www.saadigitalarchive.org/>, which aims to raise awareness about South Asian American history by preserving historical documents and making them available to the public.
Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University
Areas of Expertise: Ethnomusicology, South Asian popular music, Music and migration, South Asian popular culture, South Asian popular culture in the diaspora, South Asian American history, South Asian immigration
His work examines the present-day experiences of lower-income undergraduates at elite colleges and universities in the context of more expansive race- and class-based affirmative action measures. His dissertation, Same Folks, Different Strokes: Culture, Class, and the “New” Diversity at Elite Colleges and Universities, explores the experiences of lower-income undergraduates who enter college after graduating from boarding, day, and preparatory schools, those who he calls the Privileged Poor, and compares their experiences to their lower-income peers who travel the traditional path from local high schools to college, those who he calls the Doubly Disadvantaged.
Although they share similar origins with respect to family and neighborhoods, he documents how they live ever-more divergent lives before entering college which, then, influences their transition and integration into college. In outlining this overlooked diversity, he sheds new light on how class and culture matter in college. His research also examines how African Americans respond to racism and discrimination in their daily lives. His work appears in the Du Bois Review and Sociological Forum and has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and American RadioWorks. He holds fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and is a 2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow.
PhD Candidate in Sociology and Associate Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy at Harvard University
Areas of expertise: (Higher) education, New diversity at elite colleges, Culture, Cultural capital, Race, Urban poverty, Inequality, Youth
Parminder Bakshi-Hamm is an English and cultural studies professor at Internationale Berufsakademie in Cologne, Germany. She is an expert on migration and labor market issues, as well as gender and culture themes.
Dr. Bakshi-Hamm has over 20 years of teaching, research, and consulting experience. She has largely focused on migrant communities in Europe, highly qualified migrants, social mobility, local governance, and organizational change. She has worked on several comparative projects, some of which were funded by the EU. She is a founding member of a European wide network on migrant/minority women scientists. She has also worked as a consultant to government and private sector organizations in UK and Germany. Since 2009, she has been working as a referee for the European Commission.
Her work on women scientists of migrant backgrounds at German universities helped initiate a debate on the topic in Germany. Bakshi-Hamm’s current research is on barriers for black academics in the German university system.
She was born in India and settled in Germany in 1996 after completing her PhD in the U.K.
Areas of Expertise: Migrant labor, women in science, minority-owned businesses, literature and culture Studies, higher education
Ana Lopez is the Director of the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute, and an Associate Professor of Communication at Tulane University. She has worked extensively with Latino cultural production in the U.S. Her work has been widely published in film and Latin American studies journals.Her scholarship and publications are focused on Latin American film, media, television, and popular culture.
As director of the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute, she oversees the Summer in Cuba program, the Summer in the Dominican Republic program, and academic and cultural programming aimed at promoting a true Cuban and Caribbean presence on Tulane’s campus.
Professor at Tulane Stone Center of Latin American Studies
Areas of Expertise: Latin America, Mass Communication, Latin American Film, Cultural Studies, Popular Culture
Location: New Orleans, LA
Tulane’s PR for Dr. Lopez’s department: Valerie J McGinley, Office (504) 865-5164, Cell (504) 717-9775.