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Twin Pandemics Forum

October 1-2, 2020

Banner design by Xander Olivero

AN INTERDISCIPLINARY FORUM responding to COVID-19 and racial injustice, held in conjunction with National Arts and Humanities Month



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Co-hosted by the Center for the Arts & Humanities and the Ignatian Center's Bannan Forum at Santa Clara University with co-sponsorship from the Office of the Provost

Video recordings of each panel are available below.


Rhiannon Giddens, Sinatra Artist-in-Residence at SCU's Center for the Arts and Humanities for 2019-21, kicks off the Twin Pandemics Forum with a recorded performance (with Yo-Yo Ma) of "Build a House." Check it out!


Virtual Exhibits & Performances (these are available throughout the Forum)
Navigate here to Colonial Pandemics: Misremembering Disease at Mission Santa Clara

Lee Panich, Anthropology
Amy Lueck, English

Navigate here to Ohio Etowah Iowa: Choreographing White Fragility and Embodying Injustice (dance excerpt)

Kristin Kusanovich, Theatre and Dance, Child Studies

Navigate here to Reading Camus’ The Plague in a Time of Pandemic (recording and commentary)

David DeCosse, Markkula Ethics Center
Philip Boo Riley, Religious Studies
Janet Giddings, Religious Studies
PJ Jedlovec, Math & Computer Science
Michelle Oberman, Law School
Karen Peterson-Iyer, Religious Studies
Rita Madarassy, Economics
Maura Tarnoff, English


Thursday, October 1

Speakers and Events


Panel 1


Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Teaching Strategies


Allia Griffin, Ethnic Studies
Jesica S. Fernández, Ethnic Studies
Sydney Thompson '20, Mechanical Engineering and Ethnic Studies
Khiely Jackson '20, Ethnic Studies
Laura Doyle, Civil Environmental & Sustainable Engineering
Tonya Nilsson, Civil Environmental & Sustainable Engineering

Moderator, Claudia Rodrigues-Mojica, Education (and Bilingual Teacher Education Coordinator)

Watch the video recording

Panel 2


Public Health, Race, and Racism


Michael Santoro, Management and Entrepreneurship
Alma Burrell, Roots Community Health Center
Linda Goler Blount, Black Women's Health Imperative
Westley Clark, Psychology
Sonja Mackenzie, Public Health
Nicole Nelson '21, Public Health and Political Science
Jamie Suki Chang, Public Health
Natalie Kennedy' 19, Public Health and Biology
Rachel Zhang '20, Public Health and Biology

Moderator: Margaret Russell, Law School and Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Watch the video recording

Action Break 2: Support the Roots Community Health Center: Donate and/or Volunteer

Panel 3


Activism, Social Movements, and Change in Pandemic Times


Sharmila Lodhia, Women’s and Gender Studies
Sreela Sarkar, Communication
Sonja Mackenzie, Public Health Sciences
Jesica S. Fernández, Ethnic Studies
Mythri Jegathesan, Anthropology

Moderator: Naomi Andrews, History

Watch the video recording

Panel 4


Intersectional Studies of Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Indigeneity


Sherry C. Wang, Counseling Psychology
Maggie Levantovskaya, English
Anna Sampaio, Ethnic Studies
Angelica Navarro '20, Ethnic Studies and Sociology
Kelci Baughman McDowell, Archives & Special Collections, University Library
Erin M. Louthen, Archives & Special Collections, University Library

Moderator: Amy Randall, History and Center for the Arts and Humanities

Watch the video recording

Keynote Webinar


“Black Death Matters: Medieval Perspectives on a Modern Pandemic”

Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm, Department of English and Drama, University of Toronto

Introduced by Blake de Maria, Art & Art History

Watch the video recording


Friday, October 2

Speakers and Events


Panel 5


Public Goods, Inequality, and Access


Laura Robinson, Sociology
Bill Sundstrom, Economics
Enrique Pumar, Sociology

Moderator: Aaron Willis, Bannan Forum in the Ignatian Center

Watch the video recording

Panel 6


History, Empire, and Pandemics


Blake de Maria, Art History
Alberto Ribas-Casasayas, Modern Languages and Literatures
Lee Panich, Anthropology

Moderator: Rohit Chopra, Communication

Watch the video recording

Panel 7


Representations of Blackness in Media and Art: Stereotypes and Resistance


Lauren Baines, de Saisset Museum
Renee Billingslea, Art & Art History
Joanna Thompson, Office of Multicultural Learning

Moderator: Kathy Aoki, Art & Art History

Watch the video recording

Panel 8


Environmental Justice, Race, Capitalism, and Narrative Ethics


Kal Sundaram, Business
Kristin Kusanovich, Theatre and Dance/Child Studies
Sukhi Singh, Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering
Matthew Gaudet, Engineering

Moderator: Leslie Gray, Environmental Studies and Sciences

Watch the video recording

Panel 9


Short Reading and Discussion of a New Play about Racial Injustice and Environmental Sustainability


Aldo Billingslea, Theatre and Dance
David Popalisky, Theatre and Dance
Tara Tedjarati '21, Theatre Arts and English
Lucas Simone '24, Theatre Arts
Isaac Addai '21, Political Science
Haley Howard '21, Political Science and Ethnic Studies
Luke Yakominich '24, Theatre Arts

Moderator: Jeffrey Bracco, Theatre and Dance

Watch the video recording


Closing Performance and Panel


3:30-3:45 Live Audiovisual Performance: 25x25

Qiuwen Li, Art & Art History
Santa Clara Laptop Orchestra (SCLOrk):
Bruno Ruviaro, Music, director of SCLOrk
Aastha Chawla '22
Ed Howser '21
Josh Mitchell '21
Michael Noonan '21

Introduced by Scot Hanna-Weir, Music and Director of Choral Activities

Watch the video recording

followed by

3:45-4:40 Final Reflections on Twin Pandemics, with members of the Forum Organizing Committee

Rohit Chopra, Communication
Leslie Gray, Environmental Studies and Sciences
Amy Randall, History & CAH
Margaret Russell, Law & ODI
Anna Sampaio, Ethnic Studies
Aaron Willis, Bannan Forum

Moderator: Michelle Burnham, English & CAH

Watch the video recording

Background art, "New Normal," by Qiuwen Li, Art and Art History

For more information, contact

Michelle Burnham
Amy Randall
Aaron Willis