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1999 Speaker Biographies

Journey to the West & Prester John

2000 Speaker Biographies

Preventing Deadly Conflict: Toward a World Without War 

2002 Speaker Biographies

Katheryn Twiss is a graduate student in Archaeology at U. C. Berkeley. Her work focuses on the anthropology of food and zooarchaeology in the Neolithic Near East.

2003 Speaker Biographies

As'ad AbuKhalil is a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and a research associate with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley.

2004 Speaker Biographies

Beshara Doumani (Islamic law in the Arab Middle East)

2005 Speaker Biographies

Sener Akturk received his bachelor's degrees in Political Science and International Studies, and his master's degree in International Relations, both from the University of Chicago.

2006 Speaker Biographies

Javier Alvarez-Mon holds degrees in Art History, Near Eastern Archaeology, and Ancient Religions, from the School of the Louvre (Paris), The Jesuit School of Theology, and the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley (California), a

2007 Speaker Biographies

ROBERT ALTER is Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1967.

2008 Speaker Biographies

LAURA W. ALLEN received her Ph.D. in Japanese art history from U.C. Berkeley in 1989.

2009 Speaker Biographies

CINDY AUSEC was born and raised in California.  After graduating from high school, she entered the U.S. Army, where she was trained as a German linguist and spent four years in Germany.  After army service, she earned a B.A.

2010 Speaker Biographies

CATHERINE CENIZA CHOY is an associate professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, where she teaches courses on Asian American history, Filipino American Studies, and contemporary U.S.

2011 Speaker Biographies

TIMOTHY ABDELLAH FUSON completed his Ph.D. in Music at U. C. Berkeley and is both a scholar and performer.

2012 Speaker Biographies

Richard Abrams is a professor emeritus of history at U. C. Berkeley. His expertise is in modern U.S. history, government-business relations, political economy of industrial societies, and the history of deregulation.

2013 Speaker Biographies

Nick Bartel taught two years with the Peace Corps in Micronesia, then worked for 37 years with the San Francisco Unified School District, interspersed with work in Korea, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and a refugee camp in Thailand.

2014 Speaker Biographies

Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific in Stockton California and Director of Food Studies at the San Francisco campus.

2015 Speaker Biographies

Jo Ann Conrad is a folklorist who has researched in the field of narrative, specifically the Fairy Tale.

2016 Speaker Biographies: Pop Culture in World History

Esther Clinton is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University. She received her Ph.D.

2016 Speaker Biographies: Women in World History

Beverly Bossler is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on gender and social history, particularly the Song and Yuan dynasties.

2017 Speaker Biographies: Oceans in World History

Maren Anderson studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a focus in Tropical Marine Ecology at University of Colorado at Boulder.

2018 Speaker Biographies: Architecture

JoAnn Conrad is a professor of Anthropology and Folklore at CSU East Bay. Her research focuses on narrative theory, gender, embodied knowledge, and the relationship between affect and the senses.

2019 Speaker Biographies: Body & Identity

Alex Locust is counselor, community organizer, and champion of disability justice.

2019 Speaker Biographies: The Global Rise of National Populism

Martin Eiermann is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on social movements, populism, and the history privacy in the United States. 

2020 Speaker Biographies: People Power

Elena is a volunteer for Conversations with the Courageous (CwC), a group of HongKongers and allies that raise awareness of and support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement through human interacti

2021 Speaker Biographies: The Little Ice Age

Clark Alejandrino teaches at Trinity College. Clark finished a Ph.D. in East Asian Environmental History at Georgetown University.


The Office of Resources for International and Area Studies (ORIAS) exists to help k-12 and community college teachers improve their understanding of global issues and better incorporate World History and other international topics into their courses. ORIAS is a joint program of the eight Title VI National Resource Centers at UC Berkeley. We work to connect teachers and districts with the rich scholarly resources at UC Berkeley and around the Bay Area.

Absent Voices - Everyday Life in World History

History courses are peopled with the prestigious, the wealthy, the powerful.

Architecture: Space, Power, and Community

Summer Institute for k-12 Teachers

June 25 - 27, 2018

Body & Identity

Summer Institute for k-12 Teachers

June 26 - 28, 2019

Cairo to Jerusalem, Damascus, Medina, and Mecca: 1326

 Cairo to Damascus "From Gaza I travelled to the city of Abraham [He

Calendars of UC Berkeley Events

Curated Calendars of Events for Educators

Professional Development for Educators: Focus on Education and Teaching

Causes and Consequences of Imperialism

Empire building has been a prominent thread in human history since ancient times.


ORIAS helps teachers globalize their course materials.

Please do not hesistate to email with questions or requests for assistance.


Current Books

Our chosen topic, Migrations and Diasporas, seems particularly fitting given the current refugee crisis in the Mediterranean region.

Environmental History

Summer Institute for Community College Educators

June 2 - 3, 2017

Epic of Gilgamesh

Close-up of cuneiform tablet

See images of some of the original tablets. Learn about the history of writing. Hear parts of the epic read in the original Akkadian.



Featured: "Jews & Muslims" 2017 Summer Program in Morocco

November 28, 2016

UNESCO site at MarrakechCalifornia middle and h

Featured: African History Resources

February 2, 2016

 Photograph of mosque at TimbuktuAt time of writ

Featured: In Favor of Podcasts

May 4, 2016

 My love affair with podcasts began while I was teaching.

Featured: The Golden Record

January 4, 2016

Cover of the Golden Record from Voyager spacecraft

Foodways in World History

How has the history of human society been driven by food and agriculture? Watch the full set of lectures from this Summer Institute.

Global Views of COVID 19

ORIAS created the Global Views of COVID 19 webinar series to help teachers deepen their understanding of the unfolding pandemic.

Hero's Journey Contributors

Between 1998 and 2000, ORIAS held a series of teacher institutes at UC Berkeley on the theme of teaching pre-modern history through literature.

How to Read a Film

Learn to use film more effectively in your classroom.

How To Read an Object

What can material culture tell us about the past?

Image Credits

2016 Community College Summer Institute, Women in World History:

Photo Collage

In Cairo: 1326

"I arrived ... at the city of Cairo, mother of cities ...

Iraq and Persia: 1326 - 1327

Ibn Battuta's journey to Iraq and Persia"When the afternoon prayer

Lands of the Golden Horde & the Chagatai: 1332 - 1333

Ibn Battuta in the Steppe Khanates"At every halt the Turks loose their horses, oxen

Lessons from Morocco

Fulbright-Hays Groups Projects Abroad: Morocco 2017

Literature for Children and Young Adults

Recommended literature from around the world.

Migration & Diaspora

Summer Institute for Community College Teachers

May 31 - June 2, 2018

Mithila Painting: Folk Art of India

Why Study Mithila Painting?

Monomyth: Hero's Journey Project

Joseph Campbell's Monomyth, developed in Hero With A Thousand Faces, describes the common heroic narrative in which a heroic protagonist sets out, has transformative adventures, and returns home.

ORIAS Online World History Cohort

What is the Online WH Cohort?

ORIAS Summer Institutes for Teachers

ORIAS Summer Institutes invite educators to be students again.

Past Books

2019 - 2020 San Francisco and East Bay Books

People Power

Summer Institute for Community College Instructors

4 online sessions: 5/29, 5/30, 6/5, 6/6

Pop Culture in World History

Modern technologies enable young students to observe and - in some ways - participate in pop culture from around the world. What is pop culture and where does it come from?


Summer Institute for k-12 Teachers

June 22 - 26, 2020

5 online sessions, see schedule below

Ramayana Resources

Scene from the epic Ramayana: Kumbhakarna battles the monkeys, 1100-1200 CE, former kingdom of Angkor

Read summaries of the narrative, including one illustrated with art from different regions. See a beautiful digitized version of the tale. Watch a controversial modern film based on the epic.

Ramayana through Dance

Music and dance are core aspects of retellings of the Ramayana. As part of the Hero's Journey Project, ORIAS contributors interviewed dancer and choreographer, Jyoti Rout.

Shadow Theater

ORIAS teachers visit ShadowLight Productions rehearsal for Feathers of Fire

Watch video from ShadowLight Productions about bringing Balinese shadow theater to America. Download lesson plans to use shadow theater with students of all ages.

Sundiata Plot Summary

This plot summary of the Sundiata epic organizes the tale using the Monomyth structure.

Call to Adventure

Teacher Travel


Teaching World Literature

A short selection of resources on the value and challenges of teaching World Literature.

The Global Rise of National Populism

Summer Institute for Community College Instructors

May 31 - June 1, 2019

The Hajj - from Medina to Mecca: 1326

Ibn Battuta's route in Arabia "Our stay at al-Madina ...

The Little Ice Age

Summer Institute for k-12 Teachers

June 21 - 25, 2021

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (PDT) each day via Zoom

The Role of Technology in Shaping Human History

How have societies historically viewed the role of information technology from cuneiform tablets to social media? What conditions fostered innovation in industrial and military technology and what were the social consequences? Why did technologica

The Role of Travelers in World History

Travelers’ tales are older than writing itself and have lost little of their popularity over time. For historians, travelers offer unique insights into cross-cultural exchange, as well as interpretive challenges.

The Shahnameh

Close-up image from Mongol-era version of the Shahnameh showing Alexander and a talking horse.

Read a summary of the epic. Learn about its history and its author. Compare dozens of versions of the same scene in an extensive database. Plus, recommendations for English-language versions of the epic for children.

The Travels of Ibn Battuta: Side Trips

camel image to indicate side tripSide Trips will give you some historical background about

The Travels of Ibn Battuta: Student Activities

This site was created with flexibility in mind. Listed below are a number of options for site-related projects and activities. Each of the possible activities helps students meet one or more of the following goals:

The View from the Sea: Oceans in World History

Summer Institute for k-12 Educators

June 26 – 28, 2017

Travel Updates

Look below for recent news and application deadlines for travel opportunities.

UNFREE: Coerced labor across time and place

Summer Institute for Community College Instructors

June 2 - 4, 2021

9:00 AM to 12:30 PM (PDT) each day via Zoom

Visible Power - Art in National Life

Art production for public display has been a component of every historical era.

Women in World History

How would your curriculum change if your default historical subjects were women, rather than men?

World History Reading Groups

Teachers in ORIAS World History Reading Groups read one book each month within a global studies theme. Participants meet monthly to eat and spend two hours in collegial conversation.

Yamato Bibliography of Sources

Literary Histories

Keene, Donald. Seeds in the Heart: Japanese Literature from Earliest Times to the Late Sixteenth Century, New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1993.

Yamato Plot Summary

This plot summary, by Hero's Journey Project scholar Stephania Burke, outlines the myth of Yamato Takeru within the Monomyth format.

Call to Adventure

Yamato Text Excerpts

These passages come from B.H. Chamberlain's 1882 translation of the Kojiki. The full text is available at