Xochitl Alvizo, Ph.D.

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Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies

  • HUM 510: The Sacred: What is it? What Makes Us Seek It?

Alvizo earned a Ph.D. Practical Theology and a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology. In HUMA 510 she takes students through the study of a key way people make meaning, form their worldviews and develop their social practices: their individual and collective understanding of the sacred. It is a study of what humans hold with highest regard. It shapes their lives, both consciously and subconsciously.

Alvizo’s education, research and writings delve into this issue, giving her in-depth expertise about emerging trends in the concept of the sacred. Her research focuses on current embodiments of churches that are re-imagining their organizational, leadership and economic practices. Her recent research projects include a study of current Wesleyan congregations that practice a form of economics that could be considered radical, and a qualitative research study of the ecclesiology practiced by the Emerging Church in the U.S. from a feminist perspective. She is working on a co-authored piece, "The Emerging Church Movement: Possible Futures and Trajectories" to be included in upcoming co-authored volume, The Emerging Church, Millennials, and Religion Volume 2: Curations and Durations, with Rachel Schneider and Terry Shoemaker. She also co-founded Feminism and Religion – an online project that brings together feminist voices from around the world to dialogue about feminism in religion.

Aimee Carrillo Rowe, Ph.D., MFA

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Professor, Department of Communication Studies

  • HUMA 600: Identity, Meaning and Culture
  • HUMA 696: Directed Comprehensive Studies
  • HUMA 697: Comprehensive Exam

Rowe enjoys teaching and connecting with her students to meet them where they are. She brings a critical theoretical lens to their lives that frames everything they see and do, and that reshapes how they think and communicate. She also brings a rich theoretical background to the classroom, which she uses to analyze real-world experiences. She has a background as a writing coach, which is helpful to orient students to the program and for passing their comprehensive exams. With a Ph.D. Communication Studies, a Certificate in Women Studies and an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in memoir, she has years of writing experience that benefits students.

Rowe works across writing genres as a memoirist, feminist theorist and culture critic. She has been widely published in the field. She is currently working on a book titled Queer Xicana: Performing the Sacred, and a memoir about queer single motherhood. She also worked as a writing coach for the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity.

Ranita Chatterjee, Ph.D.

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Professor, Department of English
Director, Liberal Studies Program

  • HUMA 650: Capstone: The Good Life

Chatterjee understands the importance of gaining a sound theoretical explanation and defense for the life one chooses to live. The HUMA 650 capstone course on the good life covers the big questions, such as the role of the citizen versus the state in creating a good life. It increases students self-awareness and reflection about their choices in life.

Chatterjee’s research and scholarship explore theoretical issues of living a good life as depicted in narratives, literature and film. Her particular expertise is in 19th century British literature, especially the work of Mary Shelley. She earned her Ph.D. English from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, and a Master of Arts English from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She has a strong background in this field and understands approaches to the issue of the good life.

James Craine, Ph.D.

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Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, CSUN

Craine’s expertise in geography gives students new ways of thinking about the concept of space and place on cultural understandings of the human condition. He earned his Ph.D. Geography from the San Diego State University/University of California Santa Barbara Joint Doctoral Program. He holds a Master of Arts Geography from CSUN and a Bachelor of General Studies Film Studies from Ohio University. His education, research and writing enable him to expand students’ thinking about the effects of space, place, and use and control of land among societies. He also addresses topics related to the diversity of global culture and the creation of identity through power structures. Craine has published extensively and teaches classes related to cultural geography and spatiality of identity and place. He has taught courses that include Cultural Geography, World Regional Geography, and a Political Ecology graduate seminar.

The Association of Pacific Coast Geographers – an organization that promotes geographical education, research and knowledge – recognized Craine with a Distinguished Service Award in 2016.

In CSUN's online Humanities program, Dr. Craine teaches "Space, Place and Geography: How, Where (We Think) We Are Defines Who We Are" (HUMA 610).

Ronald A. Davidson, Ph.D.

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Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

  • HUMA 640: Norms and Knowledge: How Ideas Define the World

Students critically evaluate everyday social, cultural and political norms, and see how they have evolved in various historical contexts. The aim is to de-center students so they can dispassionately question core beliefs and opinions. They will explore questions essential to their ongoing intellectual and ethical development, such as Who am I? What do I believe? Why do I think, feel and act the way I do? The class is also fun and engages with numerous interesting readings and topics. Davidson earned his Ph.D. Geography from UCLA, giving him a unique perspective on these issues. He has numerous publications and conference presentations on human reactions with physical space, the effects of physical displacement on the individual, and the connection of people with the physical surroundings. He brings fascinating perspectives to the study of humanities.

Tomo Hattori, Ph.D.

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Associate Professor, Asian American Studies, College of Humanities, CSUN

Dr. Hattori teaches undergraduate courses in Asian American literature and cultural studies. His current interests include graphic novels, adolescent fiction and critical theory.

Dr. Hattori is the author of “Song for a Murdered Cousin: Violence in The Woman Warrior” in Critical Insights: Coming of Age (Salem Press 2012) as well as other journal articles and book chapters on Asian American literature and critical theory.

Dr. Hattori earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at the University of Toronto. His Master of Arts degree, as well as his Ph.D., are both in English Literature and from McMaster University.

In CSUN’s online Humanities program, Dr. Hattori teaches “Capstone: The Good Life” (HUMA 650).

Krystal Howard, Ph.D.

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Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies Program, College of Humanities, CSUN

HUMA 530 examines the nature and place of family and the lifecycle in a human’s sense of self, identity, values and understanding of life’s purpose. Howard’s education, research, teaching and publications address these areas, giving students new perspectives about the family and life cycle in cultures. She earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from Western Michigan University, where she also received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Writing, Women’s Studies, and Religion from Drake University. Her expertise takes students beyond the academic and empowers them to consider their own experiences in reference to experiences depicted by artists, authors and scholars about the family, gender roles and life cycle changes. Howard also teaches children’s and adolescent literature, and childhood studies and comics. Her interests include poetry for young readers, comics studies and multicultural children’s literature. Her works have appeared in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, The Lion and the Unicorn (where she also is the Poetry Award editor), Graphic Novels for Children and Young Adults, and The Artistry of Neil Gaiman: Finding Light in the Shadows.

In CSUN’s online Humanities program, Dr. Howard teaches “Family and Life Cycle” (HUMA 530).

Edward L. Jackiewicz, Ph.D.

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Professor and Chair, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, CSUN

Jackiewicz expands the ability of students to understand the modern nation-state. He brings an international focus to HUMA 630, covering areas related to the international economy and culture from a contemporary and historical view. He earned his Ph.D. Geography from Indiana University, his Master of Arts Geography and Urban studies from Temple University, and his Bachelor of Science Business Management from Arizona State University. His education and experience give him the expertise to teach students how to critically evaluate the influence of the modern nation-state on other societies, and about precursors, successors and alternatives to the nation-state. As co-editor of Placing Latin America: Contemporary Themes in Geography, Jackiewicz addresses issues such as globalization, urbanization, and social and cultural themes. He broadens the way students think about these issues in a global way: “My research has always had an international focus, with emphasis on ‘First/Third World’ dimensions.”

In CSUN’s online Humanities program, Dr. Jackiewicz teaches “Nation, Empire, Law and Government” (HUMA 630).

Sheena Malhotra, Ph.D.

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Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, Director, Queer Studies, Academic Lead, M.A. Humanities, CSUN

Malhotra’s expertise in communication studies gives students new ways of thinking. The emphasis in her doctoral work on intercultural communication provides the framework for HUMA 600. The course covers how cultures produce ideas, and how ideas are the foundation of power, purpose and struggle for control. Malhotra received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies with an emphasis on gender, media and intercultural communication, from the University of New Mexico. She earned her Master of Arts Communication Studies from Pepperdine University, and Bachelor of Arts Communication Studies from DePauw University.

With more than 20 years of academic research in this field, Malhotra gives students a foundation to understand cultural identity and meaning. A published author and expert in this field, Malhotra’s research and writings focus on the intersections of gender, media, technology and global culture. She gives students new perspectives to examine the creation of meaning through the lens of the identities and frameworks that shape culture.

In CSUN’s online Humanities program, Dr. Malhotra teaches “Identity, Meaning and Culture” (HUMA 600).

Weimin Sun, Ph.D.

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Professor, Department of Philosophy, CSUN

What is the nature of human existence? Who are you? How do you know? Sun brings an international education in philosophy and 20 years of studying and teaching experience to answering these questions, posed in HUMA 520. Sun earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Connecticut, and his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Beijing University. He has a broad interest in research, including the philosophy and history of science, philosophy and history of mind, philosophy of biology, philosophy of language, Chinese philosophy and early modern philosophy. The expertise he brings to HUMA 520 enables students to better understand key issues concerning the human person, including body, mind and self. He provides expanded perspectives to think through these issues.

In CSUN’s online Humanities program, Dr. Sun teaches “Self: Body and Mind: Who Are You? How Do You Know?” (HUMA 520).

Christina von Mayrhauser, Ph.D.

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Professor, Department of Anthropology, CSUN

Von Mayrhauser brings two decades of teaching experience in social sciences and humanities to this program. She received her Ph.D. Anthropology and Master of Arts Anthropology from UCLA, and her Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) Anthropology from Harvard University. As an anthropology expert, she provides students with an entry point into meaningful conversations occurring in the humanities today. She equips students with the foundation to connect the study of humanities with humane behavior. Von Mayrhauser teaches courses in the Department of Anthropology that include Culture, Health and Healing; Language and Culture; and Economic Anthropology. Her background and education give new paths to students exploring the humanities field.

In CSUN’s online Humanities program, Dr. von Mayrhauser teaches “Gateway to the Humanities” (HUMA 501).

Claire White, Ph.D.

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Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, CSUN

White’s expertise in the cognitive science of religion – a new field of research – gives students expanded approaches to questions such as: Why are religion and magic so common around the world? Is religion a product of nature, nurture or a combination of both? Why do religious practices and beliefs take on similar features in different cultures? Can science prove or disprove religion? White earned her Ph.D. in Cognition and Culture from Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. She also holds a Bachelor of Science Psychology and Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching from Queen’s University. White wrote the first-ever introductory textbook to the field of cognitive science and religion. Her training in both psychology and anthropology, and her current research, focus on investigating the natural cognitive foundations of religious ideas and practices. Students will get the benefit of her multidisciplinary approach to this field. She provides students with many avenues to address fundamental questions about religion, science and magic.

In CSUN’s online Humanities program, Dr. White teaches “Science and Magic: The Varied Modes of Knowing and Believing” (HUMA 620).