Fall 2017 Lecture Series

Free Admission to All Events

You are invited to join us for intriguing and engaging discussions.

Lecture Series Details

Seating is strictly on a first-arrival basis. Public parking is limited during the day at SMC. Please allow extra time when attending events. See Transporation at SMC for parking options.

Disability Accomodations LogoIf you need an accommodation due to a disability to participate in any of these events, please contact Stephanie Schlatter at schlatter_stephanie@smc.edu or (310) 434-4313,, at least 5 business days in advance.

Art Lecture Series

PDF File of the Art Lecture Series Postcard

Dr. Charlene Villaseñor Black

Sor Juana and the Dangers of Intellectual Desire

Dr. Charlene Villaseñor Black—Professor of Art History and Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, Associate Director of the Chicano Studies Research Center, award-winning author, editor of “Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies,” and 2016 winner of the UCLA Gold Shield Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence—will examine Mexican painter Miguel Cabrera’s 1750 posthumous portrait of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz as a painted vindication of Mexico’s “Tenth Muse,” then position the colonial image in conversation with contemporary Chicana portrayals and ask, “Can the tools of Chicanx studies decolonize art history?” Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC Art Department, SMC History Department, and SMC Adelante Program.

Tue, October 3 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 165

Will Finn

A Conversation with Legendary Disney Animator Will Finn

Will Finn will talk about his 36-year career as an animator, director, character designer, and storyboard artist for a range of studios—including Walt Disney Animation Studios, Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, Reel FX, IMAGI, Filmation, Renegade Animation, and Don Bluth Films—working on titles such as The Secret of NIMH, Over the Hedge, and Pocahontas, among many others. He also co-directed and co-wrote Disney’s Home on the Range and recently worked on The Angry Birds Movie. Sponsored by the SMC Associates.

Tue, October 17 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 165

Nick Bontrager & Adam Fung

Autonomous Art Systems: Opportunities, Pitfalls, & Implications of Drones in Art

Nick Bontrager, currently developing the New Media Art program in the School of Art at Texas Christian University (TCU), is an interdisciplinary artist whose work and research explores the nature of the moving image, game-based interactions and exchanges, and the idea of replicas or facsimiles as tools of preservation. He will be joined by Adam Benjamin Fung—a painter who teaches in the TCU School of Art and has a dynamic range of research interests that touch upon issues such as climate change, landscape, energy, and the make-up of the universe—to talk about autonomous art systems, which offer new visual perspectives, production values, and aesthetics previously unattainable, or associated only with military or other government powers. The artists will also work with audience members on using drones, and showcase some of the systems that they have developed. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC Art Department, and SMC History Department.

Fri, October 20 | 12:45 p.m. | Free | HSS 165

Communication & Media

PDF File of the Communication & Media Postcard

Charlie Chacon

West Los Documentary Screening and Filmmaker Q&A

Filmmaker Charlie Chacon will screen his film “West Los,” which documents the Chicano roots of Santa Monica and Westside Los Angeles, including the lowrider culture that unites them. Chacon hopes to preserve the history of rapidly gentrifying barrios, including the Pico neighborhood around Santa Monica College. Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC Communication & Media Studies Department. Co-sponsored by the Homegirls and Homeboys Scholars of SMC.

Tue, September 26 | 11:15 a.m. & 7 p.m. | Free | HSS 165

Marty Callner

A Conversation with Director, Producer, & Creator Marty Callner

Award-winning director, producer, and creator Marty Callner will talk about his extensive career. Callner helped shape HBO, introduced countless comedians to the world, directed music specials, and created HBO’s popular sports reality franchise “Hard Knocks.” He also directed 200+ videos for MTV. Sponsored by the SMC Communication & Media Studies Department.

Mon, October 23 | 7 p.m. | Free | Art 214

Allan Kartun

Directing Event Television

EMMY-Award-nominated Director Allan Kartun will talk about his work on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,” “Conan on TBS,” “AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor” and “Bob Hope: The First 90 Years.”Sponsored by the SMC Associates.

Thu, October 26 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 165

Michael Grant

Future News

John S. Knight Journalism Fellow and San Francisco Business Times creative director Michael Grant is an Inglewood native who took classes at SMC. Grant will discuss the future of journalism, the skills students need to succeed, how his mom inspired him to care about news, the obstacles he overcame in his own life, and his research on making digital storytelling accessible to minority publishers. Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC Communication & Media Studies Department.

Thu, November 9 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 165

Jeff Wood

So You Think You Can Act? A Talk and On-Camera Workshop with Jeff Wood

Director, actor, screenwriter Jeff Wood—founder of the film production company Puzzle Man focused on original and creative content—presents a talk and on-camera workshop with a focus on acting. He will draw on his extensive career performing on the stage and in commercials and television roles, ranging from the Vivian Beaumont Theater revival of Carousel—which won five Tony Awards—to playing Austin alongside LL Cool J and Debbie Allen in the NBC sitcom “In The House” and making appearances on several other popular TV series. Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC Communication & Media Studies Department.

Wed, November 15 | 3:30 p.m. | Free | Business 111

Denice Frohman

Finding Your Voice with Denice Frohman

Award-winning poet, writer, performer, educator, and speaker Denice Frohman—whose work centers around the nuances of identity, disrupts ideas of power, and seeks to celebrate the parts of ourselves deemed unworthy—will perform a variety of poetic pieces, provide insight about the inspiration behind each one, and spotlight the intersectionality of race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and the “in-betweeness” that exists in us all. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC Social Sciences/ Philosophy Department, SMC English Department, and SMC Communication & Media Studies Department.

Thu, November 16 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 165

Crimson Apple & Christopher Chen

Behind the Music: Performance & Conversation with Crimson Apple & Christopher Chen

Find out what Universal Music Group (UMG) Director of Consumer Insights & Market Trends Christopher Chen and the members of the pop-alternative band Crimson Apple have to say about their distinct sides of the music industry. The four sisters who make up Crimson Apple—Colby Benson (Lead Vocals/Keys), Shelby Benson (Guitar/Vocals), Carthi Benson (Bass/Vocals), and Faith Benson (Drums)—will also perform a short acoustic set following a Q&A session. Sponsored by the SMC Communication & Media Studies Department.

Fri, November 17 | 10:30 a.m. | Free | HSS 104

Masters of Dance

PDF File of the Masters of Dance Postcard

Yvette Tucker

Commercial Dance and Surviving Auditions

Yvette Tucker has been a principal dancer in operas with LA Opera, and Santa Fe Opera, as well as with renowned artists Tony Bennett, Christina Aguilera, Elton John, and others. Tucker will present a hands-on workshop that focuses on honing the skills you need to book commercial dance jobs—including TV/film work—and includes a mock audition with various real-world scenarios. Bring all types of dance shoes, a resume, and picture (8x10). If participating, wear black on black dancewear.

Tue, September 26 | 12:30 p.m. | Free | CPC 314

Michel Gervais


Canadian Michel Gervais studied with the Ida Sauvé Dance Studios, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, and National Ballet School of Canada, and has danced with Feld Ballet/ NY, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Theatre Ballet of Canada, National Dance Theatre of Bermuda, Ontario Ballet Theatre, Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, and California Riverside Ballet. Gervais will present a blend of all ballet techniques, and concentrate on proper alignment, fluidity, and understanding of basic classical ballet techniques. If participating, wear appropriate attire for classical ballet.

Wed, October 25 | 12:30 p.m. | Free | CPC 304 & 308

Amy Morrow


Note: This master class is not open for observation. Amy Morrow is a choreographer and consultant who teaches at the University of Texas at Austin. Founder of AM Arts, she manages award-winning companies in Israel and the United States. Morrow received the Austin Critics Table 2017 Best Dancer Award, directs The Theorists, and produces Theorist Fest. In 2013, she launched TBX [Toolbox Series] to host 20+ international workshops and collaborations, including professional development in Gaga, CounterTechnique®, Dance Film, Music Improvisation, Dance Technology, and performance development with Deborah Hay. Morrow is a certified Gaga teacher trained directly under Ohad Naharin of Batsheva Dance Company. If participating, wear black on black dance wear.

Thu, November 16 | 10:15 a.m. | Free | CPC 304 & 308

Literary Talks & Readings

PDF File of the Masters of Dance Postcard

Edward J. Larson

A Reading with Edward J. Larson

Renowned author, professor, lawyer, and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson—who participated in the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Writers and Artists Program—is also a panelist on the National Institutes of Health’s Study Section for Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues of the Human Genome Project. Larson is the author of numerous articles and 10 books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion. He will read and comment on excerpts from his writings. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC English Department, SMC Social Sciences Department, SMC History Department, and SMC Global Studies.

Tue, September 12 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 165

Sholeh Wolpé

A Reading by Sholeh Wolpé

Award-winning Iranian-American poet and author Sholeh Wolpé—internationally renowned as a literary translator—will read selections from her works and underscore the importance of global awareness and of crossing language and cultural boundaries for a richer and deeper experience of the world. Wolpé’s works include her critically praised translation of The Conference of the Birds by the 12th-century Iranian mystic poet Attar, and her latest collection of poems, Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC English Department, SMC Department of Modern Languages & Cultures, and SMC Global Studies.

Thu, October 5 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 165

Social Justice Lecture Series

PDF File of the Social Justice Lecture Series Postcard

Frankie Guzman

From Breaking Laws to Making Laws: Insights from a Former ‘Juvenile Delinquent,’ Now a Juvenile Justice Attorney

A juvenile justice attorney at the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland, CA, Frankie Guzman is working to reduce prosecuting and incarcerating children in California’s adult criminal justice system, and advocating for alternative sentencing and local treatment. Guzman, incarcerated as a teen, went on to become a community college transfer student to UC Berkeley and graduate of the UCLA School of Law with a specialization in Public Interest Law and Policy. Today, Guzman is an expert in juvenile law and policy and is a co-author of numerous juvenile justice laws, including California’s Proposition 57 passed in 2016 in partnership with the Office of Governor Jerry Brown. Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC Law Pathways.

Tue, September 5 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 165

Approaches to Alleviating Homelessness

Film Screening, Panel Discussion, & Clothing Drive

Join us for a documentary screening and a panel discussion featuring experts on the topic of homelessness and how to address it in our community and beyond. The program also launches a clothing drive to assist homeless individuals, veterans, and a battered women’s shelter. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC African American Collegiate Center, and SMC English Department.

Thu, September 21 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 165

Bruce Levitt

Human Again Documentary Film Screening and Discussion

The critically praised, award-winning documentary by Cornell University Professor Bruce Levitt, Human Again tells the story of a group of Auburn Correctional Facility inmates who have turned to theater as a way to become “a community of transformation.” A Q&A with the filmmaker, who was the acting group’s facilitator and received Cornell’s first-ever “Engaged Faculty” award, follows the screening. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC English Department, SMC Black Collegians, SMC Adelante Program, and SMC Film Studies Program.

Thu, October 12 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 165

Santa Monica College Associates