Speakers Bureau

The Transformative Studies Institute (TSI) offers expert progressive speakers and commentators for roundtable and panel discussions, public events, and all media including news, analysis, general interest, and more. Fees depend on the presenter and occasion. However, we do request that speakers be compensated for reasonable expenses such as travel, accommodations, meals, etc.



Senior Speaker:

Dr. John Asimakopoulos is President & Executive Director of TSI and Full Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York. He has a background in Economics, Political Science, Sociology, Philosophy, and History. Dr. Asimakopoulos offers commentary that combines in depth analysis with humor that is accessible to the informed public. He also offers varying styles of presentation according to your needs. To contact Dr. Asimakopoulos email jasimakopoulos@transformativestudies.org. Topics include (but are not limited to):

  • General Social Commentary
  • News Analysis/Current Events
  • Labor, Economics & Business
  • Activism & Social Inequality
  • Political Commentary
  • Education
  • Health Care

More information can be found on his website at: http://www.asimakopoulos.org/


Senior Speaker:

Dr. Steven Best is Associate Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Texas, El Paso. For 25 years, he has researched, taught, lectured, and published in areas such as philosophy, literature, social and political theory, cultural studies, film and mass media, science and technology studies, politics, terrorism and peace/security studies, and ethics. He is author and editor of 10 books and has published over 100 articles and reviews on diverse topics. In addition, he is Executive Director of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies (http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/). In 2007 he was included in the Animal and Society Institute’s Guide to Experts on Animal Issues, and the national vegetarian health magazine, VegNews, voted him as one of the nation’s “25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians.” A noted public figure, he has been interviewed on a wide range of issues by media such as National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, BBC News, the Guardian Independent, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Philosopher’s Magazine, as well as media in Brazil, Barcelona, France, South Africa, and elsewhere. Many of his writings can be viewed at https://drstevebest.wordpress.com/. To contact Dr. Best please email: best@utep.edu.

Topic Areas:

  • Animal Rights
  • Critical Animal Studies
  • Environmentalism/Ecology
  • Veganism (health, ethics, and environmental aspects)
  • Marxism, Anarchism, and Critical Theory
  • Continental Philosophy
  • Postmodernism
  • Ethics
  • Biotechnology
  • Social Movements
  • Alliance politics
  • Globalization
  • Abolitionism
  • Philosophy  of History
  • Concepts of Progress
  • Nonviolence/violence debates
  • Terrorism and Security Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies and Popular Culture


Senior Speaker:

Dr. Jason Del Gandio (rhetoric4radicals@gmail.com) is an Assistant Professor of Public Communication at Temple University. He specializes in rhetoric, the philosophy of communication and language, critical analysis, radical social and political theory, and to a lesser extent, performance studies. He participated in the global justice movement in the early 2000s and went on to fair trade activism, Latin American solidarity, and anti-war activism. These experiences inspired Jason’s first book, “Rhetoric for Radicals: A Handbook for 21st Century Activists” (November, 2008), which received the Gold Award by the Independent Publishers Industry in the social activism category. He also offers workshops for activists on communication and rhetoric. He is now working on his next book, which focuses on the political relationship between communication, desire, and the creation of reality. In general, Jason is an intellectual activist dedicated to social justice. More information can be found at www.jasondelgandio.com.

Topic Areas:

  • Communication for Social Change
  • Rhetoric for Radicals
  • Contemporary Social Movements
  • Italian post-Workerism (post-Operaismo)
  • Immaterial Labor
  • Twentieth Century Continental Philosophy
  • Language and Political Consciousness
  • Globalization and Neoliberalism
  • Social/Political Commentary

Senior Speaker:

Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky is Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Dr. Gilman-Opalsky earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at The New School for Social Research. His MA (The New School for Social Research) and BA (Hofstra University) are in Philosophy. Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s research areas include the history of political philosophy, continental and contemporary political theory, socialist philosophy, critical theory, and post-structuralism. His teaching and research is centered on questions of radical democracy, social movements, revolutionary theory and practice, capitalism, and socialism. Recent research and articles have focused on French theorists Guy Debord and Jean Baudrillard, and also on Jürgen Habermas and theories of the public sphere. Dr. Gilman-Opalsky is the author of Unbounded Publics: Transgressive Public Spheres, Zapatismo, and Political Theory (Lexington Books, 2008), as well as numerous articles. To contact Dr. Gilman-Opalsky please email: rgilm3@uis.edu.

Topic Areas:

  • Marxist Philosophy: Past, Present, Future
  • Anarchist and Socialist Theories
  • Jürgen Habermas and the Public Sphere
  • The Zapatistas
  • Situationist Theory
  • Critical Theory
  • Neoliberalism and Globalization
  • Classical and Postmodern Theories of Revolution


Senior Speaker:

Dr. Michael Parenti received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and has taught at a number of colleges and universities. His twenty-one books include The Culture Struggle; Superpatriotism; and The Assassination of Julius Caesar (which was selected as Book of the Year, 2004 by Online Review of Books). His most recent books are Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader and the forthcoming God and His Demons. Portions of his writings have been translated into some twenty languages. Many of his books and articles have been used in college courses around the country. He lectures frequently across North America and abroad. Tapes of his various talks and interviews have played widely on community radio stations and public access television. More than 300 articles of his have been published in scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers, books of collected readings, and online publications.  He has won awards from various academic and social activists organizations, and serves on advisory boards for Project Censored, Education Without Borders, the Jasenovic Foundation, and several publications. For further information, visit his website: www.MichaelParenti.org.To contact Dr. Parenti please email: mp@michaelparenti.org. Among the many topics he lectures on are:

  • Democracy and Economic Power
  • The Prosperity Myth
  • Imperialism and U.S. Interventionism
  • Empires, Past and Present
  • Political Perceptions and Deceptions
  • Ethnic-Class Experience
  • Terrorism and Globalization
  • Political Bias in the U.S. News Media
  • Ideology and History
  • Race, Gender, and Class
  • The Overthrow of Communism
  • Fascism: Past and Present


Senior Speaker:

Dr. Joel Nathan Rosen is Associate Professor of Sociology at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses in a wide range of subjects including inequalities, media criticism, and African American culture. His research focuses primarily on the relationship between human activity and stratification as informed by cultural idioms such as music and sport. He is the author of The Erosion of the American Sporting Ethos: Shifting Attitudes toward Competition (McFarland) and From New Lanark to Mound Bayou: Owenism in the Mississippi Delta (Carolina Academic Press), coauthor of Black Baseball, Black Business: Race Enterprise and the Fate of the Segregated Dollar (University Press of Mississippi), and is coeditor of and a contributor to a multidiscipline anthology series that explores the nature of athletic reputations with the titles Reconstructing Fame: Sport, Race, and Evolving Reputations; Fame to Infamy: Race, Sport, and the Fall from GraceA Locker Room of Her Own: Celebrity, Sexuality, and Female Athletes; and the forthcoming More Than Cricket and Football: Sport and the Challenge of International Celebrity (University Press of Mississippi). Published in a wide range of journals and anthologies, Dr. Rosen is also Editor-in-Chief at the TSI Press, the publishing subsidiary of the Transformative Studies Institute, while he also serves as the book review editor of the journal Theory in Action. To contact Dr. Rosen please email: jnrosen@transformativestudies.org. Among the many topics on which he lectures are:

  • Sport
  • American popular music styles (especially the blues and its related genres)
  • Moral panics in the media
  • American and African American culture
  • Celebrity
  • The American South
  • Post Cold War Tensions


Associate Speaker:

Sviatoslav V. Voloshin, Director of Development has a background in International Relations & Diplomacy. To contact Mr. Voloshin please email: svoloshin@transformativestudies.org.

Topic Areas:

The Great American Experiment: Foundation of American Government

  • American System of Federalism
  • Separation of Powers
  • Limited Government

Cultural Differences between the U.S. and the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

  • Understanding Russian mentality.
  • Doing business in Russia: what to expect.
  • Traveling in Russia (visas required).
  • Challenges in getting married abroad.
  • Challenges in bringing your spouse to the U.S.

Freemasonry as a Global Society with Secrets

Hidden Symbolism of Washington, D.C.

Secrets of Body Language

WordPress as Content Management System

Starting a non-profit organization 501 (c) 3 from scratch: what is involved.


Senior Speaker:

Dr. Richard J White is Lecturer of Economic Geography at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. To date, Richard’s main area of research has focused on exploring the geographies of the informal economy in the Minority World/ advanced economies generally, and in particular through understanding community self-help, mutual aid and reciprocity. His research, focused on both affluent and deprived communities, has critically challenged many dominant myths that surround our understanding of contemporary work and exchange in “capitalist” society. In addition to disseminating his research through peer-reviewed journals, Richard has formally participated in conferences and seminars to International and European audiences (ranging from local policy making communities and think-tanks, to high-profile academics, and senior government officials). Richard’s broad teaching and lecturing profile includes: re-thinking the economic in economic geography; philosophical approaches to space and place; alter-globalization groups; the use of direct action within human and animal liberation movements; dissident and moral geographies; and critical pedagogy. Finally, Richard is also currently serving on the Editorial Boards of “The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy” and “The Journal of Critical Animal Studies” and “Theory in Action, The Journal of the Transformative Studies Institute”. To contact Dr. White, please email: Richard.White@shu.ac.uk.

Topic Areas:

  • The Informal Economy
  • Community self-help
  • Mutual aid and reciprocity
  • Alternative economic practices
  • Post-capitalist visions of the future of work
  • Dissident geographies


Senior Speaker:

Dr. Ali Shehzad Zaidi, Director of Publications, has a doctorate in comparative literature and master degrees in Spanish and English literature. Several essays of Dr. Zaidi’s can be read in the Social Justice and Activism section of the TSI website under the heading “Social Justice Papers.” To contact Dr. Zaidi, please email: AZaidi@transformativestudies.org.

Topic Areas:

Social and Political Commentary

Higher Education in New York

The Corporatization of Universities

The Causes of Violence in Pakistan

World Literature, including:

  • Shakespeare and Calderón
  • The fantastic fiction of Mircea Eliade
  • Moon, Memory, and Collective Identity in Latin America