Keynote and Guest Speakers
Rina Benmayor is Professor of Oral History, Literature and Latina/o Studies at California State University Monterey Bay, where she directs the CSUMB Oral History and Community Memory Archive. She has a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley. Her books include Romances judeo-españoles de Oriente (Madrid: Gredos, 1987); Benmayor and Skotnes, Migration and Identity (Oxford U. Press, 1994; 2nd ed., Transaction Press: 2005);Flores and Benmayor, Latino Cultural Citizenship: Identity, Space and Rights (Beacon Press, 1997); Latina Feminist Group, Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios (Duke University Press, 2001); and is currently co-editing a volume for the Palgrave Oral History Series on oral history research in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. Benmayor teaches digital life storytelling and has written on digital storytelling as a signature pedagogy for Latino Studies. She has published in oral history journals and anthologies on oral history and Puerto Rican women, testimonio, first generation college students, Holocaust narratives, and is currently directing a multiyear oral history project on pan-Asian memories of Salinas Chinatown. Part of this project involves design and production of an augmented reality oral history walking tour of Chinatown. From 2004 to 2006 she served as President of the International Oral History Association, and from 2010-11 as President of the Oral History Association.
Robert Keith Collins, PhD, an anthropologist, is Associate Professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University. He holds a BA in Anthropology and a BA in Native American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Collins also holds an MA and PhD in Anthropology from UCLA. Using a person-centered ethnographic approach, his research explores American Indian cultural changes and African and Native American interactions in North, Central, and South America. His recent academic efforts include being a co-curator on the Smithsonian's traveling banner exhibit "IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas", currently hosted by The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, a special edition edited volume for the American Indian Culture and Research Journal at UCLA on "Reducing Barriers to Native American Student Success", and two books in final preparation: "African-Native Americans: Racial Expectations and Red-Black Lived Realities" (University of Minnesota Press) and "Memoirs of Kin that Race Can't Erase: Kinship, Memory, and Self Among African-Choctaw Mixed Bloods" (University of North Carolina Press).
Isabel Jenkins Ziegler earned a B.S. in Anthropology from Santa Clara University and an M.A. in Anthropology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. She began her career with the National Park Service in 2002 as associate curator at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, PA. Isabel served as the Co-chair of the Curators and Collections Care Committee (2003-2008) of the Museum Council of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley as well as Vice President for Networking (2008-2010). In January of 2010 Isabel took her current position as supervisory museum curator for four National Park Service units in the east San Francisco bay area including Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home front NHP, John Muir NHS, Eugene O'Neill NHS, and Port Chicago Naval Magazine NM. Responsible for museum program management, Isabel serves as the National Park Service liaison for the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front Oral History Project in collaboration with the Regional Oral History Office at the University of California, Berkeley.
Mimi Lok is the founding executive director and executive editor of Voice of Witness, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that uses oral history to illuminate contemporary human rights crises in the U.S. and around the world. Voice of Witness publishes an acclaimed book series which depicts these injustices through the stories of the men and women who experience them, and provides oral history-based curricula and holistic educator support through its innovative education program. Mimi has over fifteen years' experience working in education and the literary arts in the U.K., China, and the U.S. She has contributed to various outlets and publications including the Washington Post, USA Today, Lucky Peach, and Hyphen, and has taught Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco and in schools throughout Hong Kong and China. She received the 2013 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Social Progress with Voice of Witness co-founder Dave Eggers.
Robin Nagle teaches anthropology and urban studies at New York University, where she also directs the Draper Interdisciplinary Master's Program. She is anthropologist-in-residence for the city's Department of Sanitation, author of the book Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City, and founded the DSNY Oral History Archive. Her research focuses on the category of material culture known variously as garbage, rubbish, refuse, trash, or waste. She explores the many reasons that labors or waster and logistical necessities of successful large-scale solid waste management are accorded a form of invisibility, despite their essential role in political, economic, environmental, and cultural debate. Nagle earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University and has been Director of the Draper Program since 1996.
Louise Pubols is Senior Curator of History at the Oakland Museum of California. At the Oakland Museum, her projects included a major reinstallation of the museum's history galleries and a major exhibition on the environmental history of the San Francisco Bay, entitled Above and Below: Stories from Our Changing Bay. Her recent book, The Father of All: The de la Guerra Family, Power, and Patriarchy in Mexican California (Huntington Library Press and University of California Press, 2009), explores how patriarchy informed the economic and political systems of Mexican-era California. It has won both the William P. Clements Prize for best non-fiction book on the Southwest from the Clements Center at SMU, and the Ray Allen Billington prize from the Organization of American Historians.