UCLA Extension

Beyond the Headlines

The Beyond the Headlines speaker series features eight speakers per quarter, each presenting an in-depth lecture about the most significant contemporary, and often controversial, issues in the news. Pulled from today’s major headlines, our topics cover foreign policy, state and national politics, education, the economy, social justice issues, and more!

Enrollment for winter quarter opens on Friday, November 2, 2018.

Online enrollment begins at 12am: Click here to enroll online (add the course to your cart & check out).

Phone enrollment begins at 8am: Call Registration at 310-825-9971 (press 1 at the first menu, 2 at the second menu).

Winter 2019

Date Topic Lecture Speaker Speaker Bio
Jan 22
US-China Trade and Investment Relations
Rafiq Doassani, PhD, MBA
Director, RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy; Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Jan 29
We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights
Adam Winkler, JD, MA
Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law. Author of We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights (2018).
Feb 5
California’s Air Quality TBD
Meredith Hankins, JD
Shapiro Fellow in Environmental Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law
Feb 12
After Brexit: Brexit and its implications for the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States
Troy Smith, PhD
Associate Economist, RAND Corporation; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Feb 19
Reconstructing the Administrative State
Emerson Blake, PhD
Assistant Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law
Feb 26
Mar 5
Region in Turmoil: The Middle East and its Unending Civil Wars
Shahin Berenji, PhD
Lecturer, UCLA
Mar 12
Campaign Finance TBD
Abby Wood, JD, PhD
Professor of Law; USC, Law consultant for USAID, World Bank, and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs


Fall 2018

Date Topic Lecture Speaker Speaker Bio
Oct 2
What’s Behind the Trump Phenomenon?
John Snibbe, PhD
Countywide Resource Management Program Head, Special Projects; former program head of Psychiatric Mobile Responses Team Operations, L.A. County Department of Mental Health.
Oct 9
Climate Change in California’s Sierra Nevada
Alex Hall, PhD
Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Director of the Center for Climate Science at UCLA. His research is focused on reducing climate change uncertainty at both regional and global scales.
Oct 16
It’s October, so it must be the Start of a New Supreme Court Term
Bill Blum, JD
Los Angeles lawyer and former State of California Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). In addition, he is an award-winning writer and legal journalist of considerable notoriety. He is currently a columnist with Truthdig.com.


Oct 23
The Latin American Diaspora
Miguel Tinker Salas, PhD
Professor of Latin American History and Chicano/a Latino/a Studies at Pomona College in Claremont, California. Author of several books and articles, he frequently serves as a political analyst and his comments can be seen on television, radio, and print media.
Oct 30
An Update on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Cancellation
Nader Bagherzadeh, PhD
Professor of Computer Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UCI.
Nov 6
No class. Election Day.
Nov 13
 Conservatism in the U.S. Electorate
Joel Aberbach, PhD
Distinguished Professor, Director of the Center for American Politics and Public Policy, UCLA
Nov 20
The 2018 Midterms and the New Political Landscape
Mark Peterson, PhD
Professor of Public Policy and Political Science in the Department of Public Policy’s Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law.
Nov 27
Promise vs. Hype of Artificial Intelligence
Vwani Roychowdhury, PhD
Professor, UCLA in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the School of Engineering at UCLA