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Scholars on Campus
Talia Mae Bettcher is a philosopher, community activist, and performance artist. Her writings cover an array of current social issues concerning the trans community including access to public health, sexual abuse and transphobic violence. Some of the courses she teaches at CSULA include "Philosophy, Gender, and Culture" and "Introduction to Trans/Feminism." She has also taught several courses at UCLA including "Introduction to Trans Studies." Her unique philosophical approach has translated into dynamic performances exploring the intersections of theory and theatre at venues such as Highways Performance Space, the ONE Institute, and Stages in New York. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the East Los Angeles Women's Center and is the incoming Director of the Center for Study of Genders and Sexualities at CSULA. She has been actively involved in Los Angeles transgender community and grass-roots organizing for many years.
Dionne Espinoza holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor in Chicano Studies and Liberal Studies. In these departments, she teaches courses such as "Gender and Race in the United States," "Theories and Methods in Women's and Gender Studies," "Latin American Women's Movements," and "Chicana Feminisms." She has published essays on Chicana/o youth culture, feminism, and the women's participation in the Chicano movement (el movimiento) of the 1960s & 1970s. Her current and ongoing research interests include documenting and analyzing 1) the role of women activists and gender discourses in the contemporary immigrant rights movement in Los Angeles; 2) transnational antiviolence organizing and women's movements in Latin America, and 3) the history/theory/practice of Chicana, women of color, and U.S. Third World feminisms and solidarities. She is the past Director of the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities (2004-2008). She Chairs the Advisory Committee on Women's and Gender Studies as well as advises and coordinates the Minor and Certificate Programs. She is faculty advisor to the student organization, Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) de CSULA.
For over three decades, Ann Garry has written and taught in feminist philosophy. One of the trail-blazers in the field, she was one of the founders of SWIP (Society for Women in Philosophy) and of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy (the leading journal of feminist philosophy). Along with helping to reshape the profession of philosophy in the US, she has been an active force at CSULA, building one of the most feminist departments in the nation. She has also served as founding director of the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities. While she has written influentially on wide-ranging topics such as pornography, abortion, and sexuality, her major long-standing research interest is feminist epistemology and philosophical methodology. She co-edited Women, Knowledge, and Reality: Explorations in Feminist Philosophy (2nd ed., Routledge, 1996) with Marilyn Pearsall and she is currently editing a special issue of Hypatia (Transgender Studies and Feminism: Theory, Politics, and Gendered Realities) with Talia Bettcher.
Visiting Community Scholar
Claudia RodrÃguez is a community scholar, educator, creative writer and performer. As the humanities expert, she will provide the curriculum and facilitate the workshops at Roosevelt High School. She received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the California Institute for the Arts and a B.A. in Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her past work with youth includes teaching middle and high school students from the South Central area in subjects such as Spanish, English, and World History and elementary computer skills. She has facilitated a number of writing workshops, which incorporated the literature of Chicana/o African-American and Asian American as a means of filling in historical, social and cultural information not included in many public school’s history books. Ms. Rodriguez was also involved in an educational campaign developed by Tongues (a project of Viva) that involved creatively addressing the issue of homophobia through verbal, written and/or illustrated responses. Each of the workshop discussions yielded a product, such as dialogue transcripts, audio and/or visual recordings, photographic images, visual art pieces or personal texts by the participants, which is being used to create the multimedia campaign messages. She has led numerous creative writing workshops and is also a founder of Tongues Magazine for Queer women of color. She has used digital media in her workshops and in her creative work and has conducted a key oral history interview with a community elder.
Claudia is also a member of Butchlalis de Panochtitlan, a queer performance group, that has recently been workshopping The Barber of East LA with Luis Alfaro (MacArthur winner).
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