Borderlands Fall 2019 & Spring 2020 Events

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Welcome to the College of Humanities and the Arts' programming theme, "Borderlands:  Immigration and Migration in the 21st Century."  Our programming includes 17 events across design, music, foreign languages, literature, and theatre.  We are featuring events that reconceptualize the idea of the border, with a focus "Blurring Boundaries, Breaking Barriers, and Building Bridges." 

Many of these events listed below are free, and ticket information, even for free events, is available at:   Borderlands Events

The work of our faculty, our Spartan Films, and our students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication also highlight this theme, and can be viewed here:

      TeeterTotters at the                          "Breakfast" film, short story by

      U.S./Mexican border                                      John Steinbeck       TeeterTotterButton     SteinbeckStoryButton

 Beyond Borderlands


Beyond Borders: DSGD 104 Design Student Exhibition

Date: August 16-18 2019 @ 9:00 AM 

         August 21 2019 @ 9 AM

         September 13 @ 9:00 AM

Description : Students from the Graphic Design program present their various design projects, exploring the theme of “Borders: Migrants and Refugees”. Their work will be featured at the Hammer Theatre and in the SJSU Design Gallery.


CLA Presents: Reed 152 Featuring Jonathan Franzen

Date: September 20 @ 7:00 PM

Description : Franzen’s great loves are literature and birds, and The End of the End of the Earth is a passionate argument for both. Where the new media tend to confirm one’s prejudices, he writes, literature “invites you to ask whether you might be somewhat wrong, maybe even entirely wrong, and to imagine why someone else might hate you.” Whatever his subject, Franzen’s essays are always skeptical of received opinion, steeped in irony, and frank about his own failings. He’s frank about birds, too (they kill “everything imaginable”), but his reporting and reflections on them―on seabirds in New Zealand, warblers in East Africa, penguins in Antarctica―are both a moving celebration of their beauty and resilience and a call to action to save what we love.


Shanghai Quartet in concert and residency

Date: October 12 2019 @ 7:30 PM

Description: One of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles, the Shanghai Quartet’s elegant style melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire, allowing it to traverse musical genres including traditional Chinese folk music, masterpieces of Western music, and cutting-edge contemporary works. 


A Conversation with Sonia Nazario

Date: October 23 2019 @ 7 PM

Description: Join us for an interactive talk with Sonia Nazario, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist for The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times. Her stories and articles have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems: hunger, drug addiction, imimigration.


Rakugo (Japanese comical storytelling) Performance and Workshop

Date: October 24, 2019

Description:Experience rakugo, the traditional Japanese performing art of comical storytelling, with rakugo-ka (rakugo performer) Shinoharu Tatekawa and SJSU students. Performances in Japanese and in English. 


A Conversation with Mexican Poet Balam Rodrigo: Bilingual Poetry Reading with SJSU Students and a Writing Workshop with the Author in Spanish

Date: November 14/15 2019, 3 PM

Description: Balam Rodrigo, an acclaimed poet and dynamic speaker from Chiapas, Mexico, joins us in November for a bilingual public event at the Hammer Theatre and a day-long creative writing workshop in Spanish, co-sponsored by the Chicanx/LAtinx Student Success Center.


Dreamer Project: An Undocuplay

Date : November 15/16 2019 @ 7:30 PM

          November 20 2019 @ 11:00 AM

          November 21-23 2019 @ 7:30 PM

          November 24 2019 @ 1 PM

Description: Undocumented students share their story in the Dreamer Project, a verbatim theatre piece created from interviews with SJSU students. Follow these young people on their continuing journeys from Mexico and Central America and learn about the issues surrounding those who seek to find a home in the U.S.


45th Anniversary of the The Aiiieeeee! And the Birth of Asian American Literature, an Evening with the Editors 

Date: November 21 @ 6:30 PM

Description: 2019 marks the 45th anniversary of the publication of Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers, the publication that marked the beginning of the Asian-American literary canon. This November, the editors of the anthology reunite for a panel, hosted by poet and novelist, Mary Chin.


Bang-Bang You're Dead: A STEP Production

Date: December 4-6 2019, 11 AM

         December 7 2019, 1 PM

         December 7 2019, 7:30 PM

Description: The Department of Film and Theatre's School Touring Ensemble Program (STEP) presents its theatrical production of Bang Bang You're Dead! written by William Mastrosimone and directed by Buddy Butler, to help enable and empower students to put an end to the escalating trend of violence and bullying in schools today.


(im)migration Performance and residency by the Imani Winds and Catalyst Quartet

Date: Feb 21-22, 2020 @ 7:30 PM

Description: (im)migration, a new work by Jessie Mongomery, features the Imani Winds and Catalyst Quartet in a program highlighting experiences inspired by the Great African-American Migration from the lens of the composer’s great-grandfather. It brings together spirituals and work songs that reflect his travels from Mississippi to the West, North, then back to Georgia. 

Through the special timbral effects of this mix of winds and strings, it transforms these stories, reflecting them in the music, and continues the storytelling tradition passed through playwright, actor, and teacher, Robbie McCauley.


"Words for Mozart"

Date: TBD

Description: A staged reading of the never-before-seen play Words for Mozart, telling the story of Lorenzo Da Ponte, the librettist, who wrote three of Mozart’s greatest operas. Follow the colorful life of Da Ponte and learn about the man who wrote words for Mozart.


Master Classes for Dance Students by Dance Company Philadanco

Date:  TBD

Description: One of the most vibrant and genre-crossing dance companies in the U.S. today, Philadanco is in high demand all across the country. A company housed in Philadelphia, Philadanco embraces the power of diversity within the traditions and styles of dance that it integrates into its powerful choreography, combining the power of storytelling, the values of social justice, and extraordinary dancing. 

The company will hold master classes for our dance students, as well as allow students from a range of departments, including African-American Studies and Justice Studies, to engage social justice issues through the arts.


Decolonizing Borderlands: Breaking down Borders in Language, Literature, Film, Performance, and Art

Date: TBD

Description: A collaborative effort, the “Decolonizing Borderlands: Breaking Down Borders in Language, Literature, Film, Performance, and Art” project brings together students in Spanish (from three different specialities: Literature, Linguistics, and Film) to develop one interdisciplinary, student-centered event in Spring 2020.

Students will develop projects in their respective classes before coming together for a day-long workshop and exhibit, where they will perform theatre, poetry, and spoken word.


Global Shakespeares: A Non-Anglophone Film Event at the Hammer

Date: March 24, 2020

Description: No single author or body of work transcends borders like the plays of William Shakespeare. Over 400 years after his death his plays are still being read, studied, performed and responded to, in many languages and on every continent on the globe. To celebrate Shakespeare’s versatility, “Global Shakespeares” presents a screening of two foreign-language versions of Shakespearean plays. 

This event encourages students and the general public to consider non-western interpretations of familiar material to enhance their understanding of the ways that art works in both culturally specific ways and more universal ones. Art can transcend time and place by engaging with situations and themes that bring human beings together by reminding us that we are more alike than we are different.


CLA Presents: Reed 152, featuring Naomi Shihab Nye

Date: March 26, 2020

Description: The Center for Literary Arts and Reed Magazine will co-present the launch of Reed Magazine: Issue 152. The event will include a reading by some of the award-winning contributors to the magazine and will culminate in a reading by acclaimed poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, whose work will appear in Reed 152. 

The event begins at 7:00 pm, but guests are encouraged to arrive early (~6:30 pm) to enjoy the vocal stylings of SJSU’s a cappella group, SJSU’s Pitch, Please! After the reading, guests are invited to join us on the Rooftop Terrace of the Hammer Theatre for a special reception and book-signing opportunity with the author.

"How to Tell a Mother Her Child is Dead" produce a short film

Date: TBD

Proposal: Dr. Naomi Rosenberg, MD, an emergency room doctor and professor of medicine at Temple University, wrote a piece in The New York Times  titled, “How to Tell a Mother her Child is Dead”. Professor Harry Mathias, along with his students and local actors, will produce a short film based on Dr. Rosenberg’s piece. 

The project will take place over two semesters, with students working as actors, film crew, and editors.

Producing Coco: A Masterclass in Crosscultural Animated Film, with Coco's Academy-Award-winning producer Darla Anderson and chief cultural consultant Marcela Davison Avilés

Date: TBD

Proposal: SJSU students are invited to participate in a masterclass, produced by the Steinbeck Center, with two of the creators of the Disney/Pixar film, Coco, winner of the 2018 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. 

Steinbeck Center Advisory Board member Marcela Davison Avilés works as a consultant for multiple Hollywood studios, including Disney, where she led a team of Mexican-American artists, who advised Pixar on the cultural content of the film. Cocos lead producer, Darla Anderson, a giant in the world of animated film produce not only Coco, but the blockbusters, A Bug’s Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001), and more.

"The Go Girl Chronicles"

Date: TBD

Proposal: What would happen if everything you drew came true? Lares Lebron seems like any other kid at her new high school in East San José, California.  But Lares isn’t like her new classmates at all. One, she’s a Domincian/Mexican immigrant who came to the U.S. when she was three. Two, the Lebrons entered the country illegally, so now her dad is locked up for conspiracy and her mom was deported. Third, she has superpowers. 

Blending live action with animation, The Go Girl Chronicles is a half-hour science fiction television series—with a realistic twist on the superhero genre, because being an undocumented teen in a Dream Act world puts a whole new spin on adolescent angst.