The College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Speaker Series shines a spotlight on scholars, artists and practitioners across disciplines who have made a significant impact on our world.

Blue background with words: Dean's Speaker Series, College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
The Dean’s Speaker Series events are free and open to the public, and most events will be recorded and available on the website.

Upcoming Events

Stay tuned!


As the largest college at UMass Lowell, the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences comprises 12 departments and several undergraduate and graduate interdisciplinary programs. Our college’s research and cultural centers serve as hubs for scholarship and creative activity, while providing ample opportunities for student engagement.

Past Events

Click on the plus signs below to access information about our past speakers.

  • Sir Christopher Greenwood.

    What Is the Point of International Law in the 21st Century?

    Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023
    3:30-5 p.m.
    University Crossing, Moloney Hall, Room 260
    220 Pawtucket St., Lowell, MA

    Join Sir Christopher Greenwood, one of the world’s most distinguished international lawyers, for an enlightening talk about the importance of international law in the 21st century.

    Sir Christopher Greenwood, knighted in 2009, is one of the world's leading international lawyers. He has taught international law at Cambridge University and the London School of Economics. As Queen's Counsel, his clients have included the United Nations, the United Kingdom and Canada. His notable cases range from the Iraq war, the Lockerbie bombing, the Yugoslavia conflict and the Pinochet case to the Palestinian wall. He has served as a judge on the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal and for 10 years on the International Court of Justice (the World Court). He is presently Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

    This event is sponsored by the Legal Studies program, the School of Criminology and Justice Studies and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

    Headshot of Fred Kuwornu.

    Screening of "18 Ius Soli" ("The Strange Case of Citizenship in Italy”) with Director Fred Kudjo Kuwornu

    Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023
    5-7 p.m.
    The Luna Theater
    Mill No. 5, 250 Jackson St., Lowell, MA

    Join us for a screening of "18 Ius Soli" ("The Strange Case of Citizenship in Italy”) with director Fred Kudjo Kuwornu. This powerful documentary examines issues of race, ethnicity and national identity in 21st-century multicultural Italy – told through the stories of 18 young men and women born in Italy to immigrant parents, but who according to current law are not Italian citizens. A Q&A with the director will follow the screening.

    Fred Kudjo Kuwornu is an Italian-Ghanaian filmmaker, educator and civil rights activist. He is the first Italian of African descent to become a director. His work focuses on racism, Afro-Italians and Black diasporic identity, diversity and interracial relations. Kuwornu’s critically acclaimed documentaries include "Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema," "Inside Buffalo" and "18 Ius Soli."

    This event is sponsored by the Department of World Languages and Cultures and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

    Dennis Everett headshot

    From Gang Enforcer to Restorative Justice Advocate: Dennis Everett’s Remarkable Journey

    Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023
    2-3:30 p.m.
    Coburn Hall, Room 255
    850 Broadway St., Lowell MA

    Join us for an inspiring talk featuring Dennis D. Everett Jr., a former gang enforcer-turned-national thought leader in prison reform, youth work and organizational development. He will share his incredible journey of personal transformation, highlighting the power of restorative justice in healing communities and empowering individuals. Discover how Everett’s experiences have shaped his mission to bring about positive change in society.

    Dennis D. Everett Jr. is a passionate advocate, multitalented artist and dedicated agent of change. His journey is a testament to personal transformation, evolving from a former gang enforcer to a nationally recognized thought leader and activist in the fields of prison reform, youth empowerment and organizational development. Everett served in the role of director of reentry for UTEC and currently acts as the director of restorative justice practices and training for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

    This event is sponsored by the Race and Ethnic Studies program, the Gender Studies program, the Labor Studies program, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Wilder Interdisciplinary Studies Hub, the Department of Philosophy and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.

    Headshot of Abiola Farinde-Wu.

    [Re]Building the Teacher Workforce Summit

    Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023
    8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Coburn Hall, Room 255
    850 Broadway St., Lowell, MA

    Are you ready to tackle critical shortages and persistent diversity gaps in the commonwealth’s teacher workforce? Join us for a special summit that will bring together researchers, practitioners, policymakers and community-based partners to discuss challenges, share knowledge, generate ideas and develop new strategies to rebuild and diversify the educator workforce.

    Our keynote speaker will be Abiola Farinde-Wu, an associate professor of urban education and the graduate program director of the Urban Education, Leadership, and Policy Studies Program in the Department of Leadership in Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In this position, she teaches doctoral students pursuing degrees in urban education. Previously, she was a visiting assistant professor in the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh. 

    This event is sponsored by the School of Education, the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, the Great Schools Partnership, the Teachers’ Lounge, the Young People’s Project, Educators for Excellence, MACTE and the He Is Me Institute.

    Sonic Joy: Music as Medicine with Shaw Pong Liu and Balla Kouyaté

    Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023
    7-8 p.m.
    Durgin Recital Hall
    35 Wilder St., Lowell, MA
    Watch the livestream. 

    Recital credit for music majors

    Violinist and erhu player Shaw Pong Liu and balafon virtuoso Balla Kouyaté grew up in very different parts of the world, but they find deep connection and healing through sound and listening. Join us for a joyful performance with two master musicians who will perform traditional music, improvisations and original compositions with their instruments from Mali, China and Europe. 

    Liu-800Shaw Pong Liu is a Chinese American violinist, erhu player and composer. As City of Boston Artist-in-Residence, she created Code Listen, a collaboration with relatives of homicide victims, Boston police officers and teen artists to share stories and create original music for healing and dialogue. Liu has also been recognized as a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow and received the Boston Celtics’ Heroes Among Us award.

    Balla-KouyateBalla Kouyaté was born in Mali and raised in the Djeli tradition of history, storytelling and music. A master balafon player, his family proudly guards the first known balafon, which is more than 1,000 years old and considered a UNESCO Artifact of Oral and Intangible History. Kouyaté was awarded an NEA National Heritage Fellowship in 2019; his music has been featured on over 45 albums.

    This event is organized by the Department of Music and is co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Center for Asian American Studies.

    DJ Taylor headshot

    George Orwell and the Road to “1984”

    Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023
    3:30-5 p.m.
    Coburn Hall, Room 255
    850 Broadway St., Lowell, MA
    Watch the livestream.

    Join renowned George Orwell biographer D.J. Taylor for an enlightening talk that will introduce you to the author and his most famous novel. During the discussion, Taylor will focus on how Orwell’s political thought developed out of American canonical writers of the 19th century. A Q&A will follow the talk.

    D.J. Taylor is an award-winning biographer of George Orwell, William Makepeace Thackeray and other canonical English figures of the 19th and 20th centuries. He is the author of “Orwell: The New Life.” Taylor is also a fiction writer whose work has been longlisted for the Booker Prize. His criticism appears in many major periodicals, especially in England, where he lives.

    This event is sponsored by the Department of English and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

    Screening of “Maka” and Q&A with Geneviève Makaping and Simone Brioni

    Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023
    2-4 p.m.
    Coburn Hall, Room 255
    850 Broadway St., Lowell, MA

    Join us for a screening of “Maka,” an award-winning documentary that explores displacement, identity and belonging. Directed by Elia Moutamid, it presents Geneviève Makaping's experiences from her perilous migration journey to her life in Italy. Following the screening will be a Zoom webinar discussion with Makaping and screenwriter Simone Brioni.

    Geneviève MakapingGeneviève Makaping, Ph.D., is a journalist and anthropologist. Born in Cameroon, she has lived in Italy since 1982. Makaping is also the author of “Reversing the Gaze: What if the Other Were You?”, a foundational text of Black Italian Studies.

    Simone-BrioniSimone Brioni, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of English at Stony Brook University. He has co-authored three documentaries: “Aulò,” “La quarta via” and “Maka.” His publications include “The Somali Within” and “L’Italia, l’altrove.”

    This event is sponsored by the Department of World Languages and Cultures, the Department of English, the Department of History and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

    Steve Kornacki headshot

    How 2024 Looks in 2023

    Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023
    3:30-4:45 p.m.
    O’Leary Library Mezzanine
    61 Wilder St., Lowell, MA

    Join us for a lively and informative talk with Steve Kornacki on what to expect in next year’s elections. Named the “breakout star of MSNBC’s election coverage” in 2020 by the Associated Press, Kornacki is a master of the Big Board, with real-time analysis of voting patterns, exit polls and electoral data.

    Steve Kornacki is a national political correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, reporting on the latest political developments across all platforms. Following his success during the election season, he took his talents to NBC Sports’ “Football Night in America” and “Sunday Night Football” to break down the evolving NFL playoff picture. A native of Groton, Massachusetts, Kornacki is the author of “The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism” and host of the podcast “The Revolution,” which looks back at the 1994 Republican “revolution” set in motion by Newt Gingrich. He has also served as host of “Article II: Inside Impeachment,” an NBC News podcast on the impeachment inquiry.

    This event is sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the Office of Alumni Relations and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

  • Régine Michelle Jean-Charles headshot

    An Ethic of Care: Black Feminism and Haitian Fiction

    Wednesday, February 22, 2023

    Join Régine Michelle Jean-Charles for a discussion of her recent book, “Looking for Other Worlds: Black Feminism and Haitian Fiction.” During the talk, she will explore how a Black feminist ethic of care influences the work of three contemporary Haitian authors, Yanick Lahens, Kettly Mars and Évelyne Trouillot.

    Régine Michelle Jean-Charles, Ph.D., is a Black feminist literary scholar and cultural critic who works at the intersection of race, gender and justice. She is currently the director of Africana Studies, Dean’s Professor of Culture and Social Justice and professor of Africana Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Northeastern University. Her scholarship and teaching include expertise on Black France, sub-Saharan Africa, Caribbean literature, Haiti and the diaspora. Prof. Jean-Charles is the author of “Conflict Bodies: The Politics of Rape Representation in the Francophone Imaginary,” “A Trumpet of Conscience for the 21st Century: King’s Call to Justice” and “Looking for Other Worlds: Black Feminism and Haitian Fiction.”

    This event is organized by the Department of World Languages and Cultures and co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Gender Studies program, the English Department and the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Working Group.

    Robert A. Sherman served US Ambassador to Portugal 2014-17

    America’s Security Challenges in 2023: The War in Ukraine, China and Beyond

    Thursday, February 23, 2023

    We are proud to offer a timely talk with Former Ambassador Robert Sherman in partnership with the Brad Morse Speaker Series.

    Robert A. Sherman served as the U.S. ambassador to Portugal from 2014 to 2017, focusing on bilateral economic development and international security issues. From 1991 to 1993, he was the assistant attorney general of Massachusetts and chief of the state’s Consumer Protection Division. More recently, he served on Maura Healey’s campaign steering committee for governor of Massachusetts, as well Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell’s campaign steering committee and post-election transition team. Sherman is a founding member of Greenberg Traurig’s Boston office. He has extensive experience in government investigations and litigation, internal corporate investigations and consumer protection matters.

    This event is sponsored by the Brad Morse Speaker Series, the Department of Political Science, the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Global Studies Ph.D. program.

    Sarah Bob playing the piano. Image by Liz Linder Photography

    Finding Artistry With Community

    Thursday, March 16, 2023

    Throughout her career, acclaimed pianist Sarah Bob has explored the idea of finding an individual artistic voice while engaging with and serving the community. Join us for a special performance and discussion of Bob’s work that brings challenging new music to audiences in diverse and welcoming settings. She will be performing "Junkyard Angel" (2018) by Michael Fiday and "Never Has Been Yet" (2017) for vocalizing pianist by Shaw Pong Liu.

    Pianist Sarah Bob is a Boston-based soloist and chamber musician. Considered by Northeast Performer magazine to be a “trailblazer when it comes to championing the works of modern composers and combining art media in the process,” Bob is founding director of the New Gallery Concert Series, which unites new music and contemporary visual art with their creators. Bob also established The Nasty Cooperative, hosting dialogue-driven artistic events that build community and raise funds for nonprofits supporting social equity.

    This event is organized by the Music Department and is co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

    David Fetterman headshot

    Empowerment Evaluation and Social Justice

    Thursday, March 16, 2023

    First introduced by David M. Fetterman, empowerment evaluation is designed to place evaluation in the hands of community and staff members. During this talk, Fetterman will highlight two contemporary empowerment evaluation examples presented in his forthcoming book, “Empowerment Evaluation and Social Justice: Confronting the Culture of Silence.”

    David M. Fetterman, Ph.D., is president and CEO of Fetterman & Associates, an international evaluation consulting firm. His work has taken him to more than 17 countries, with settings ranging from South African townships and Native American reservations to Google and Hewlett-Packard in Silicon Valley. Currently, he is facilitating a USAID-sponsored empowerment evaluation in India focusing on eliminating tuberculosis. In addition, he is providing empowerment evaluation consultation services to Feeding America, one of the largest networks of food banks in America.

    This event is organized by the School of Education and is co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

    Alina Marazzi headshot

    An Evening with Italian Director Alina Marazzi

    Friday, March 17, 2023

    Join us for a screening of Alina Marazzi’s “Vogliamo anche le rose” (“We Want Roses Too”), an experimental documentary that portrays women during the time of radical feminism and the sexual revolution of the 1970s. Following the screening, Assoc. Teaching Prof. Giulia Po DeLisle will moderate a Q&A with the director.

    Alina Marazzi is one of the most established and experimental directors in the world of cinema. Marazzi has shaped a new way of filmmaking that powerfully combines words and images, and her award-winning films and documentaries bring to life female subjectivities, creativity, motherhood and the history of women. Her works include “For One Hour More With You” (2002), “We Want Roses Too” (2007), “All About You” (2013) starring Charlotte Rampling, “Anna Piaggi – Fashion Visionary” (2016) and “To Cut is To Think” (2020).

    This event is organized by the Department of World Languages and Cultures and co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the History Department and the Gender Studies program.

    Nora Baston headshot

    Alumni Showcase with Boston Police Superintendent Nora Baston ’95, ’00

    Wednesday, April 5, 2023

    Join us for an engaging and insightful Alumni Showcase event featuring Nora Baston ’95,’00, who will share her experiences as a UMass Lowell graduate and former university basketball player. Hear about how her experiences shaped her successful professional journey, spanning from police officer to superintendent in the City of Boston.

    A 27-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, Nora Baston was appointed deputy superintendent of the Safe Street Teams Initiative in 2007, and in 2018, was appointed superintendent, overseeing the inaugural Bureau of Community Engagement. Under her leadership, the Safe Street Teams Initiative was recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police with the Community Policing Award and the Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award. Baston—only the fourth female appointed to the rank of superintendent in the department’s history—is currently chief of the Bureau of Professional Development.

    This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Speaker Series.

    Thomas Holt wearing a suit and tie and looking at the camera.

    Understanding Variations in Cybercrime Activity Based on Actor Motivation

    April 6, 2023

    Join Thomas J. Holt for a revealing talk that will address the importance of non-economic motives in cybercrime. He will examine these issues through a mixed-methods analysis of open and closed data sources. Prof. Holt will also discuss in detail the implications for cybersecurity, law enforcement and social science theory.

    Thomas J. Holt, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. His research focuses on cybercrime, cyberterrorism and the policy response to these offenses. Prof. Holt’s work has been published in a variety of scholarly outlets, including “British Journal of Criminology,” “Crime & Delinquency” and “Terrorism & Political Violence.” His work has been funded by various international agencies, including the Australian Research Council, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation.

    This event is organized by the School of Criminology & Justice Studies and is co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

    Terrence Masson headshot

    From Star Wars to South Park: A Conversation with Computer Graphics Pioneer Terrence Masson '89

    April 14, 2023

    Join us for an animating presentation and conversation with Terrence Masson ’89, a leading expert in computer graphics and visual effects. Moderated by Assoc. Prof. Pouya Afshar, this talk will spotlight Masson’s experience working on an array of film and television, including “Star Wars” and “South Park,” as well as numerous gaming projects.

    Terrence Masson is an educator and computer graphics raconteur with 30 years of production and education leadership experience. His work as an animation and visual effects artist and producer includes live action, animated feature and short animated films, VR/AR, video games and ride films. His book, “CG101: A Computer Graphics Industry Reference” is a standard text worldwide for both studio executives and students. Masson earned a B.F.A. in graphic design from UMass Lowell in 1989.

    This event is organized by the Art & Design Department and is co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Kennedy College of Sciences.

Show Your Support

Make a donation today to support this and additional programming like it.