Tucson festival

Join us in the SBS Tent to hear diverse voices discuss critical issues of our time at the Tucson Festival of Books.

The 2020 Tucson Festival of Books has been cancelled. Please see the statement from the TFOB website.

Speakers and audience in the SBS tent at the Tucson Festival of Books

About the Festival

The Tucson Festival of Books provides a unique opportunity to gather authors and readers for conversations that transcend ink and paper. That is why the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) is pleased to partner with the festival. In the SBS Tent you'll hear diverse voices discussing the critical issues of our time from capitalism and border crossings to campus assaults and climate change.

Experts at this year's tent include renowned Stanford psychologist and MacArthur Genius Scholar Jennifer Eberhardt, spoken-word poet, performing artist and LGBT rights political activist Staceyann Chin, and SBS faculty from multiple disciplines.


“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” 
– Maya Angelou

Schedule: Saturday, March 14 - All Programming Cancelled

10 A.M.

Capitalism’s Last Hurrah?

The most cited public intellectual of our times, Professor Noam Chomsky, moderates a riveting dialogue with a distinguished University of Arizona geographer about the pains and tribulations of our current economic system. While capitalism may be confronting its darkest hour, building alternatives for a post-capitalist life remains yet our greater challenge of courage and imagination.


Authors: Ian G.R. Shaw & Marv Waterstone (Geography & Development), Wageless Life: A Manifesto For A Future Beyond Capitalism

Moderator: Noam Chomsky (Linguistics)

11:30 A.M.

What Can We Do About College Assaults?

Research has shown that by the time they graduate, as many as one in three women and almost one in six men will have been sexually assaulted. Beyond sensational headlines, why is sexual assault among young people in college so predictable? Columbia University researchers join University of Arizona’s Gender-Based Violence expert to discuss surprising findings from the most comprehensive study on the subject to date.

Authors: Jennifer Hirsch & Shamus Khan, Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus

Moderator: Elise Lopez (Gender-Based Violence)

1 P.M.

The Pain of Migration

Migration takes a great physical toll on the body of the migrant, resulting in lasting trauma or even death. At the U.S.-Mexico Border near Tucson a theater of human suffering unfolds every day. University of Arizona researchers engaged in documenting and alleviating the indignity of our broken immigration policies discuss how the pain of border-crossings touches us all.

Authors: Thomas E. Sheridan and Randall H. McGuire, The Border and Its Bodies

Moderator: Thomas E. Sheridan (Anthropology)

Linda Green (Anthropology)
Robin Reineke (Southwest Center)
Rebecca Crocker

2:30 P.M.

Climate Change, Culture Change

Reducing global warming requires new and bold ways of living our ordinary lives; scary facts alone don’t change human behavior. International participants in the Creative Climate Leadership workshop taking place at Biosphere 2 the week prior to the festival join a renowned University of Arizona climate change expert to explore how culture and art can influence how we respond to this global crisis.

Author: Max Boykoff, Creative (Climate) Communications: Productive Pathways for Science, Policy and Society

Moderator: Diana Liverman (Geography & Development)

Panelist: Alison Tickell

4 P.M.

How Race and Class Impact Elections

America has become a “racial democracy” where patterns of discrimination determine who gets elected and what policies are enacted. A distinguished political scientist delves into sweeping data to reveal the danger of our current political scene. In conversation with a University of Arizona electoral scholar, the two take the temperature on the race-divide that weakens our core values.

Author: Zoltan Hajnal, Dangerously Divided: How Race and Class Shape Winning and Losing in American Politics

Moderator: Barbara Norrander (Government & Public Policy)


Schedule: Sunday, March 15  - All Programming Cancelled

10 A.M.

Tucson: A Drama in Time

From the volcanic eruption that created Sentinel Peak a million years ago to the settlement of human cultures in the Tucson basin through the ages, some ancestral and some as recent as this decade, what major breakthroughs in technology, social, and economic life have shaped this mid-sized American city we call home? Retired University of Arizona English professor John Warnock’s fascinating chronology presented in conversation with a University of Arizona folklorist.

Author: John Warnock (English), Tucson: A Drama in Time

Moderator: Maribel Alvarez (College of Social & Behavioral Sciences Administration)

11:30 A.M.

What Happened to U.S. Diplomacy?

The decline of diplomatic solutions in U.S. relations with the Middle East began well before the current administration. A sobering reflection by a Tucson resident who spent thirty years involved in diplomacy missions in the region. In conversation with a scholar from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, an assessment of the atrophy of one of America’s most important tools for good in the world.

Author: David Dunford, From Sadat to Saddam: The Decline of American Diplomacy in the Middle East

Moderator: Anne Betteridge (Center for Middle Eastern Studies)

1 P.M.

You Don’t Have to be a Racist to be Biased

Renowned Stanford psychologist and MacArthur “Genius” Scholar Jennifer Eberhardt investigates how bias infiltrates every sector of our private and public lives. Refusing to impute racism only to a few “bad apples,” she shows us how ingrained stereotypes feed our hidden bias, and how they can be challenged and changed. Presented in collaboration with the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, moderated by a University of Arizona expert on procedural fairness and bias’ role in punishment decisions.

Author: Jennifer Eberhardt, Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

Moderator: Tammi Walker (James E. Rogers College of Law)

2:30 P.M.

Made you Look! How Graffiti Changed America

A mesmerizing and painful story of young graffiti taggers (“writers”) in Los Angeles, circa late 20th century, told by a participant turned University of Arizona professor. Mixing the genres of autobiography and social science research, this award-winning work makes us re-think the story of urban youth we have been sold through media and 1990s-styled “tough on crime” policies. In conversation with Tucson’s own “DirtyVerbs” street poet, now a University of Arizona grad student in creative writing.

Author: Stefano Bloch (Geography & Development), Going All City

Moderator: Logan Phillips (English)

4 P.M.

Recipe for Surviving the Onslaught: Anger, Humor, Desire

The anticipated first poetry collection from the proudly fierce Caribbean, Black, Asian, Lesbian, Woman, New Yorker who captivated audiences in Def Poetry Jam and through her acclaimed 2010 memoir “The Other Side of Paradise.” Eve Ensler describes Chin’s poetry as “jet fuel from the hot center of the body.” Interviewed by University of Arizona Black Feminist professor Stephanie Troutman.

Author: Staceyann Chin, Crossfire

Moderator: Stephanie Troutman (English)

Directions to SBS Tent

We are located at tent #152 on the University of Arizona Mall (near the Chemistry building).


More Information

For more information on this event, visit the Tucson Festival of Books.