Out of the Echo Chamber: How the Liberal Arts and Sciences Can Help Revitalize Democracy

CLAS MixTape LogoFeaturing Faye Caronan, Wayne Miller, Stephen Hartnett, Esther Sullivan, Jim Walsh, and BIPOC voices videos with Bryan Wee and Marty Otañez, the poetry of Wayne Miller, and special guests.

Thursday, October 12
11:00 am – 12:15 pm
LSC Terrace Room and YouTube Livestream

Join us for this compilation of CLAS's greatest hits.

CLAS MixTape is a dynamic lecture program featuring brief conversational presentations, poetry, and media highlighting CLAS faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Faye Caronen

Faye Caronan is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at and the Associate Dean of Faculty & Staff Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She specializes in Comparative Ethnic Studies and the study of U.S. Imperialism. Her book, Legitimizing Empire: Filipino American and U.S. Puerto Rican Cultural Critique, examines how Filipino American and U.S. Puerto Rican cultures challenge narratives U.S. exceptionalism. Her current research examines the precarious nature of U.S. Territorial Citizenship. Faye Caronan was the Inaugural Chancellor's Fellow on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for which she advanced efforts to create inclusive cultures in academic units and student support offices. She also served as an advisor to the CU Denver Equity Task Force, part of CU Denver's strategic planning team dedicated to setting goals for becoming an equity serving institution and is a member of the AANAPISI Operations Team at CU Denver. With a team from CU Denver, she is completing work on the Stop AAPI Hate Initiatives from the Advancing Asian American Justice Center and Kaiser Permanante. In recognition of her social justice leadership and advocacy, Faye was named a 2018 Asian American Hero of Colorado.

Diddieri (Diddy) Santana

Diddieri (Diddy) Santana is a proud Lynx alumna who majored in Communication and minored in Psychology. Santana is about to begin an MA in Communication in CLAS and hopes to become a professor someday. Santana’s digital work explores the complex intersections of family, heritage, and identity as they mix with immigration and educational systems. Santana graduated with summa cum laude department honors in Communication after writing an honors thesis on first generation students. She also received the COMM Lynx Spirit Award and distinguished herself as an advocate for first generation students and for her support for inclusion and belonging. You can learn more about Santana and her educational journey in a CU Denver news profile. She is part of the Latinx Student Alliance, served as a student representative of the 50th anniversary committee, and was a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the honor society in Communication.

Stephen Hartnett

Stephen Hartnett is Professor Communication and is a past President of the National Communication Association. He has spent more than 34 years working in prison education, having taught in prisons and jails in Colorado, California, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. He has lectured on prisons and/or the death penalty in 28 states, and his commentary on prison education has appeared on MSNBC and in outlets such as Slate, Salon, In These Times, and over 100 different radio stations. He is the editor of Challenging the Prison Industrial Complex and the co-editor of Working for Justice: A Handbook for Prison Educators and Activists, both published by the University of Illinois Press, as well as the award-winning books Democratic Dissent & the Cultural Fictions of Antebellum America and the 2-volume Executing Democracy: Capital Punishment & the Making of America. Hartnett has received the 2013 Kohrs-Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism, the NCA's 2011 Golden Monograph Award, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency's 2011 PASS Award, and the Winans and Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address, among others.

Wayne Miller

Wayne Miller is Professor and Chair of English. He is the author of five poetry collections, including We the Jury (Milkweed, 2021), which won the Colorado Book Award; Post- (Milkweed, 2016), which won the Colorado Book Award and the Rilke Prize; and The City, Our City (2011), which was shortlisted for the Rilke Prize and the William Carlos Williams Award. He has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Society of America, the Poetry Foundation, Poetry magazine, and the US-UK Fulbright Commission. He has co-translated two books by the Albanian writer Moikom Zeqo—most recently Zodiac (Zephyr, 2015), which was shortlisted for the PEN Center USA Award in Translation—and he has co-edited three books, most recently Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century (Milkweed, 2016). He serves as co-director of the Unsung Masters Book Series and editor of Copper Nickel.

Marty Otañez

Marty Otañez is Associate Professor and Chair in the Anthropology Department. Some of his current work includes the creation of digital stories to promote water justice and collective healing among underserved and underrepresented communications and an exploration of psilocybin use among people of color in Colorado. Marty worked with Denver-based Sisters of Color United for Education to create 25 companion videos (short interviews and digital stories) for the Somos Agua (We Are Water) silk mural exhibit created by 111 artists at the El Pueblo History Museum (fall 2023-summer 2024). In fall 2023, he and Dr. Aaraón Díaz Mendiburo of Mexico City are publishing the first volume in a four-volume book series Art-Based Narratives as Resources to End Cannabis Stigmatization in North America. Another project, "Naloxone Champions: Digital Success Stories of Reversing Opioid Overdoses," funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the CDC's "Overdose Data to Action Grant" produced digital stories about opioid reversal with naloxone as a harm reduction strategy.

Esther Sullivan

Esther Sullivan is an urban sociologist and Associate Professor of Sociology with broad expertise related to housing and inequality. Her book Manufactured Insecurity: Mobile Home Parks and Americans' Tenuous Right to Place received the Robert Park Book Award. It draws on two years of ethnographic data collected inside closing manufactured home communities before, during, and after community-wide evictions. Named a Chancellor's Engaged Scholar, her work focuses on how social, legal, geospatial, and market forces intersect to create housing insecurity for low-income residents in the U.S. and appears in venues such as American Sociological Review, Urban Studies, Housing Policy Debate, Qualitative Sociology, Journal of the American Planning Association and elsewhere. She is PI or CO-PI on three NSF funded projects, including the "Mobile Home Hurricane Action Research Project" and the "Mapping Informal and Alternative Housing in the U.S.: A Big Data Approach for Examining Spatial Inequality." Her research has been featured in New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, and more.

James Walsh

James Walsh is Assistant Professor CT in the Political Science Department and has taught classes on our campus for more than twenty-five years. He specializes in labor, working class and immigration history and politics, as well as U.S. social movements, community organizing, and arts-based education. Walsh founded the Romero Theater Troupe in 2005, an all-volunteer "organic" theater troupe that specializes in telling and preserving stories about struggles for human rights and social justice for diverse audiences. He uses theater and community-based learning in his classes. His two decades of work as a project historian for the recently unveiled Leadville Irish Memorial has received widespread media coverage. This project sought to recover the stories of the community whose members lie in unmarked graves in Leadville and the 1880s Silver Boom that brought them to Colorado and beyond.

Bryan Wee

Bryan Wee is a US immigrant and a child of the Chinese Diaspora in Singapore as well as an Associate Professor of Geography & Environmental Sciences. These identities have made him feel perpetually in and out of place. Wee’s research and creative work explore what it means to belong and how we meaningfully represent emotions, nostalgia, and other felt connections to places. In his academic home, Wee uses visual narratives to understand and represent place attachments in areas such as urban planning or environmental conservation, because doing so can nurture empathy, promote justice, and generate hope that leads to change. He is recently returned from a year-long Digital Humanities Fellowship sponsored by the National Library Board in Singapore in which he explored placemaking and food pathways.