Faculty Friday: John Zarobell

Every Friday, the International Studies Department will profile one of our amazing faculty members so you can get to know them better and see all the amazing work our faculty do!

John at a waterfall in Idaho

John Zarobell is Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Director in the International Studies Department at USF. He studied Studio Art at Hampshire College as an undergraduate and received an MA and PhD History of Art from the University of California at Berkeley.

After a couple of years of teaching at Stanford University, Tulane University and Loyola University, New Orleans, he accepted a position as a curator of European Painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art where he worked for six years before moving to San Francisco and taking a similar position in the Painting and Sculpture Department at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. While curating blockbuster and international exhibitions, he published his first book in 2010, Empire of Landscape: Space and Ideology in French Colonial Algeria, 1830-1870. During that period he wrote for academic journals, such as Art History and Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide and also began writing art criticism for San Francisco-based art periodicals Art Practical and the San Francisco Arts Quarterly.

John’s exhibition Postcolonial Contemporary at Incline Gallery, 2016

He began teaching in the undergraduate International Studies program (BAIS) in 2011. This interdisciplinary program required him to reframe his body of knowledge and work in between disciplines rather than focusing on art history. That was a welcome change since he had long pursued interdisciplinary research, focusing on issues such as colonialism, cultural and economic history, and geography. He shortly began a research project, titled Art and the Global Economy, that considers how globalization has affected the art world in the last generation, considering primarily institutions, exhibition platforms and the market for contemporary art. His particular interest is to demonstrate the multiple directions of cultural flows as a result of globalization and to circumscribe a counter-hegemonic dimension of the current art world in which formerly peripheral countries are coming to greater prominence and altering its future dynamics. This research has taken him to art events around the world and will be published by University of California Press in 2017. His next projects will be an exhibition on the art developed in emerging Asian megacities as well as a global study of artist collectives.

John with artist Shahzia Sikander in Lahore, Pakistan, 2014

Since coming to USF five years ago, Professor Zarobell has taught sixteen different classes and worked with undergraduates and graduate students in the International Studies department, and also in Museum Studies, Art History and Urban Studies. His areas of interest are global history and globalization, colonialism and imperialism, modern and contemporary art, migration, urban studies, and European studies. He also teaches an International Studies internship for the undergraduates and advises students on getting internships and professional development more generally. He is on the Jobs and Internships Task Force convened by the Career Services Center and so he follows closely the university’s efforts to prepare students for life after college. In his free time, he attends art openings and performances, curates exhibitions in nonprofit galleries, and hikes in the mountains. He no longer makes art but believes that participating in the global conversation about art through his writing will serve not only artists and arts institutions, but will help to promote a richer and more culturally diverse world.


September in Review

September was a busy month for the International Studies Department! We welcomed 77 new undergraduate majors and 36 grad students to the department as well as hosted socials and academic events.
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We started off the month with a department-wide social on campus and had a huge turn out. Undergrad students and grad students had the opportunity to mingle with faculty and staff over drinks and hors d’oeuvres. It was a great to get know so many of our students in a more relaxed setting!

img_6599The MAIS students had the opportunity to see the Giants beat the Cardinals in a 8-2 victory, and it wouldn’t have been a true SF baseball game social if there wasn’t tons of garlic fries.

photo-sep-23-7-18-40-pm-2The department also gathered at a USF Men’s soccer game and was able to witness our very own undergrad, David Garrett, score the winning goal against Stanford! Go Dons!

153We also hosted our annual BAIS Alumni Reunion at the local brewery, Barrel Head. It was a huge success and was a great networking opportunity for our Seniors to connect with BAIS Alums.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-5-36-52-pmOn the activist side, students from Professor Zartner’s Human Rights and Global Change class stood in solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux #NoDAP.

img_1141In true International Studies fashion, the team help support a day long conference on Eritrea. The conference brought together Eritrean activists, scholars, and community members to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Eritrea’s independence and to discuss the current state of human rights in the country.

img_1236Lastly, we rounded out the month with our fall Colloquia series featuring the fascinating research of Professor Stopnitzky on the correlations between traditional agricultural practices and male-skewed sex ratios in countries around the world.

There’s always something in the International Studies department, so check out our events calendar or stop by the department office to find out more!

Faculty Friday: Annick T.R. Wibben

Every Friday, the International Studies Department will profile one of our amazing faculty members so you can get to know them better and see all the amazing work our faculty do!


Annick T. R. Wibben is Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, where she also directs the Peace & Justice Studies program. Originally from Hamburg (Germany), Prof. Wibben went to a bilingual French-German High School and got her Vordiplom in Economics from the University of Hamburg, where she also completed a French specialist language program. She then moved to Finland to study International Relations and European Studies at the University of Tampere. After receiving her Masters of Social Science, she moved again – this time to the small seaside town of Aberystwyth, Wales (UK), where she received here Ph.D. from the oldest Department of International Politics in the world. Fortunately, as a scholar of global politics, she continues to have the opportunity travel around the world to present her work or teach specialized courses.

Before joining the USF faculty in 2005 – indeed, even before she finished her Ph.D., she worked as co-Investigator (with James Der Derian) of the Information Technology, War and Peace Project at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. She arrived in Providence, Rhode Island, a few weeks before September 11, 2001 and spent much of the first year at the Watson Institute working on rapid analysis of the events of 9/11 – curating an award-winning website which you should check out: infopeace.org. During her time on the East Coast, she also taught at Brown University and Bryant University as well as at Wellesley College where she was a Visiting Assistant Professor. During the fall 2003 semester she was a Rockefeller Humanities Fellow with the National Council for Research on Women and the Center for the Study of Women and Society at the CUNY Graduate Center in in New York City.

Her research straddles critical security and military studies, international theory, and feminist international relations. She also has a keen interest in questions of methodology, representation, and writing. Her current research reflects these varied interests, though she is most frequently associated with the field of Feminist Security Studies, which is the subject of a (free) special virtual issue of Security Dialogue on “A Decade of Feminist Security Studies Revisited” (with Maria Stern). More recently, she has also become involved in debates about feminist foreign (and security) policy, engaging in some non-academic debates also (e.g. “The Value of Feminist Scholarship on SecurityTurkish Weekly, 8 March 2016). Having been interviewed by Swedish National Radio in December 2014 on her research, she has continued to work in this area, leading a webinar on the same topic for the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (check it out!).


She has published two books: Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach (2011), which uses 9/11 as a case study to lay out how the way in which dominant security narratives frame events limits our imagination and precludes more creative approaches to address violence, and Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics & Politics (2016), an edited collection which showcases the difference that feminist approaches to studying war make in what we can see and how we can move beyond war. Her current research examines the varied experiences of women who have served in the U.S. military during the ‘Global War on Terror’ – here she is interested in connecting servicewomen’s everyday experiences to broader debates about the U.S. military (such as the decision to open all combat positions to women) as well as the deep militarization of U.S. society and its global effects.

As an immigrant, Prof. Wibben is dedicated to learning as much as possible about her adopted home – and to stand in solidarity with its most marginalized communities. This means that she is reading as much as she can about the settler colonial history of the U.S. (and she thinks you should too – you e.g. Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz’ An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States) as well as the native peoples who survived the genocide and still care for the land today (check out the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust initiative here in the Bay Area). She also thinks that #BlackLivesMatter and tries to not only learn more about the continuing impacts of slavery, which find its expression in the unique racialization of U.S. society, but to connect it to the global inequalities that she teaches about.

When she’s not busy with all of the above, Prof. Wibben can be found crossing town with her kids for their various activities, going for walks at Ocean Beach (especially when its foggy & windy, because that reminds her of home), or enjoying a coffee somewhere – preferably in her own back yard so she can check on how things are growing. She is often joined here by her cat, Coco, who loves all things academic (it’s an academicat!).


Alumni Spotlight: Jonathan Fein (MAIS ’15)

On the day Jonathan Fein graduated from the MAIS program last December, he received a job offer from the International Rescue Committee to be a Citizenship and Financial Literacy specialist. In his position, he coordinates, manages and instructs future US citizens in preparation for their naturalization interview. Jonathan had interned with IRC last summer for the MAIS internship requirement, and they were eager to hire him back. While working for IRC, Jonathan has met and attended discussions with the Mayor of LA, Mayor of Glendale, and other leaders on topics of immigration and refugee resettlement in Southern California. Jonathan has recently been promoted to be the Citizenship and Financial Capability Coordinator, and he attributes his success at IRC-LA to the knowledge that he acquired while in the MAIS program, both in the classroom and working as a research assistant.

Over the last 7 months, Jonathan has participated in various refugee events and met SG Ban Ki Moon! He has also participated in the Los Angeles Asylum Collaborative as well as attend the LA Refugee Forum. Being one of two Spanish speakers in the office, Jonathan has been helping with the CAM-AOR program (Central American Minors Affidavit of Relationship program), working to resettle children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, who are fleeing the violence in the region and whose parents are here in the US.

Keep up the great work, Jonathan!

Faculty Friday: Sana Onayeva

Every Friday, the International Studies Department will profile one of our amazing faculty members so you can get to know them better and see all the amazing work our faculty do!


Faculty Profile: Sana Onayeva

Sana Onayeva is an Adjunct Professor in the International Studies Department at the University of San Francisco. Professor Onayeva grew up in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where she received her law degree from the University of Kazakhstan. After completing her studies, Professor Onayeva came to the United States to pursue an LL.M degree in International and Comparative Law at George Washington University. Once she received her LL.M she started her international career as a Legal Consultant with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) at the World Bank.


While with the World Bank, Professor Onayeva worked on various political risk insurance guarantees projects in Latin American, Africa, South-East Asia, Central Asia, Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe. One of these projects was working on the first cross-border mortgage-backed securitization in Kazakhstan. Her work on this project contributed to its being awarded a Deal of the Year award from the International Securitization Report. In addition, she represented a MIGA client in an investor-state dispute and participated in the settlement agreement to resolve a complex investment expropriation case between the government of the Kyrgyz Republic and a private investor. Additionally, Professor Onayeva prepared investment risk assessments for more than 100 countries and negotiated and drafted Contracts of Guarantees for MIGA projects.

After fours years as a Legal Consultant, Professor Onayeva decided to return to academia and received her SJD (Doctor of Juridical Science) degree from Washington College of Law, American University. Her thesis research was focused on the harmonization of cross-border insolvency proceedings worldwide and the necessity of the enactment of the UNICTRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency in domestic legal systems. In her dissertation she analyzed risks of cross-border investments and the lack of adequate national regulations relating to transnational bankruptcy. After examining the best practices of debt restructuring around the world and conducting a comparative analysis of the UNCITRAL Model Law’s application in various jurisdictions, Professor Onayeva concluded that the enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law in domestic jurisdictions will secure stability in international cross-border transactions, and also would allow developing countries to offer foreign investors not only a beneficial entry but also a favorable exit.

During her SJD studies, Professor Onayeva was a Dean’s Fellow for the Center on International Commercial Arbitration (CICA) where she worked closely with an international practicing arbitrator, Horacio Grigera Naon. While working in the CICA, Professor Onayeva developed a strong passion for international arbitration. She was a coach for the American University arbitration team that participated in the 4th Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court Competition in March of 2011. The AU team was placed fifth among 27 teams in the competition. In addition she worked for two leading international arbitration firms in Frankfurt, Germany.

She also had a summer traineeship with K&L Gates where her main focus was investment arbitration and where she worked as a Foreign Attorney in the dispute resolution team of Feshfields Brookhaus Deringer, LLP. While at Freshfields, Professor Onayeva mostly worked on commercial and sports arbitration cases. In addition to her main responsibilities, she served as an Assistant to the Arbitrator of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland where she traveled for sport arbitration hearings.

In her spare time Professor Onayeva plays piano and her favorite composers are Chopin and Beethoven. She enjoys reading history books, Russian, French classical literature and poetry. Professor Onayeva enjoys making desserts and shares her culinary adventures with family and friends. Since she moved from Washington DC, she fell in love with San Francisco and thinks it is one of the most beautiful and vibrant places in the world. She is still discovering for herself the city’s great history, cozy hidden alleys, and amazing restaurants. She is also fond of Argentinean tango and traveling, she just wished she had more time for her free time!


Faculty Friday: Christopher Loperena

Every Friday, the International Studies Department will profile one of our amazing faculty members so you can get to know them better and see all the amazing work our faculty do!

Faculty Friday Profile: Christopher Loperena


Christopher Loperena is an assistant professor in the International Studies Department and the academic director for the Master of Arts in International Studies program. He received his bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Chicago, with an emphasis on human rights in the Southern Cone of Latin America. After completing college, he co-founded a non-profit organization that provided computer technology training to grassroots organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean. He worked in Honduras and Jamaica before returning to school to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin. He completed his Ph.D. in Social Anthropology in August 2012.

Professor Loperena’s research looks at the socio-spatial politics of development in Latin America. He’s interested in how neoliberal and extractivist development paradigms affect the territorial rights of black and indigenous peoples. His research has appeared or is forthcoming in Current Anthropology, Geoforum, The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology and Journal of Sustainable Tourism. His most recent publication highlights how neoliberal tourism policies are advanced under the guise of ecotourism and sustainable development, creating the conditions for extractivism to take hold in black and indigenous territories. He challenges the tendency to position tourism, in particular ecotourism, as an alternative to traditional extractive industries.

Currently he is working on two book projects. The first is a single-authored manuscript titled, “A Fragmented Paradise: Race, Territory and Black Autonomy on the Caribbean Coast of Honduras.” Based on over two years of continuous ethnographic research, A Fragmented Paradise examines how struggles over lands that are targeted for tourism development shape the ethics of autonomy in a Garifuna village situated on the white-sand beaches of Tela Bay, Honduras. The second project is an edited volume (with Aída Hernandez Castillo and Mariana Mora) on the use of anthropological knowledge in the adjudication of indigenous and afrodescendant rights.


Professor Loperena is committed to making sure his research has a scholarly impact beyond the academy. Most recently, he provided expert testimony for a Garifuna land rights case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. He has written affidavits for asylum cases, and he sits on the Board of Directors for Refugee Transitions—a local community-based nonprofit agency serving high-need, low-income refugee, asylee, and immigrant newcomers.

In his free time, Professor Loperena enjoys walking aimlessly through San Francisco’s colorful streets, sampling the city’s many wonderful restaurants, and long runs in Golden Gate Park. He’s also fond of 90s hip hop, salsa, merengue and any music that inspires him to dance!

Alumni Spotlight: Erika Myszynski (BAIS ’12)

Erika Myszynski (’12) at work

Working with Woods Bagot Architects has been an incredible experience. I crafted my own position as the Design Intelligence Coordinator to support our Global Design Director. My international studies education and experiences abroad have been paramount within a global firm, where I am expected to catch a pulse on our globally significant projects on any given day. Having an international knowledge-base has empowered me to drive a global firm forward and apply uncompromising design on an international scale. Each day I work with architects and design leads that contribute to cutting-edge development in five regions and that is stimulating!

Faculty Friday: Bill Goldman

Every Friday, the International Studies Department will profile one of our amazing faculty members so you can get to know them better and see all the amazing work our faculty do!

Faculty Friday Profile: Bill Goldman


Bill Goldman is an Assistant Professor of International Studies at USF and the coordinator of the European Studies Program. He grew up in Washington, DC, where no one in his extended family ever worked for the government, and received a BA in History from Yale. After living in Boston for a little while and trying his hand as a sports photographer, Professor Goldman made the smart decision to move to California and work on a PhD from UC Berkeley in early modern European History, which he completed in 2009. His specialty is Spanish foreign policy in the reign of Philip III (r. 1598-1621, for those who don’t know their Spanish Habsburgs), specifically the role of new forms of political thought on political action in the Spanish Empire. His book, Rational Empire, is under consideration at Cambridge University Press.

Professor Goldman has also done significant work on Protestant anti-Spanish rhetoric in the seventeenth century (the Black Legend), and on Spain and the founding of the Jamestown colony. His 2011 article in the William and Mary Quarterly on the topic published the first English map of Jamestown, which was stolen by Spanish spies only months after the colony was founded in 1607. The article also conclusively proves that Philip III, the king of Spain, planned to attack and destroy the Jamestown colony – but was dissuaded by the evident failure of the colony due to disease and mismanagement. By 1612, after English colonists survived their “starving time,” Spain decided not to attack because it did not want to risk a war with England. Professor Goldman loves history that shows how small decisions can sometimes have such outsized effects: if Spain had destroyed Jamestown and colonized North America, it would certainly have altered the history of the entire hemisphere!

Professor Goldman’s current work focuses on one of the main issues of his earlier articles and book: the development of various forms of state sovereignty before and after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. The goal of this work is to explore what types of sovereignty existed before Westphalia enshrined inviolate state sovereignty in Europe and, through imperial diffusion, the rest of the world. Understanding these alternative forms of sovereignty can help lead to a better understanding of where the concept of sovereignty is headed in a world of non-state actors, the Right to Protect doctrine, failed states, global corporations, and multipolar foreign relations.

In non-academic but related work, Professor Goldman serves on the International Board of the New Israel Fund, a non-profit working for a more just and democratic Israel. NIF funds much of the human rights and civil society infrastructure in Israel, and plays a key role in standing up for minority groups throughout the country. NIF’s mission is in keeping with the social justice focus at USF and with the goals of the International Studies Department, especially the defense of human, women’s, LGBT and refugee rights.

Bill in wig photo

This past summer Professor Goldman was excited to try on a Barrister’s wig in the Inner Temple in London, and to introduce his children, George and Marie, to all the things he and his wife, Serra, love about Spain: the food, flamenco dancing, the unique architecture of Barcelona, and shrimp with their heads still on. George and Marie attend an Italian immersion school in San Francisco, and often wonder why Professor Goldman doesn’t speak Italian as well as they do. He was glad to finally prove to them that he might not speak great Italian, but he does indeed speak Spanish, even with the “crazy accent” of Spaniards. In his spare time, Professor Goldman enjoys choral music, playing catch with George and Marie, and flying airplanes, especially missions for Angel Flight West, a charitable organization that provides transportation for critically ill patients and their families. This fall you can find him obsessively immersed in the presidential election and all forms of politics, and very much looking for November 8th to come as quickly as possible.

Bill and George