For over two decades, Julián Esteban Torres López has spoken with and to audiences as an educator, storyteller, tour guide, event host, topic expert, moderator, workshop leader, activist, journalist, and podcaster.

For example, he’s been a

university lecturer on comparative politics and political issues in Latin America at the University of British Columbia;

guest on podcasts (such as Lit Mag Love and a forthcoming episode of NPR’s Code Switch) and international news (such as Al Jazeera);

history museum tour guide;

public workshops panelist on issues ranging from student activism to armed conflict resolution to how memoir can be a political act;

keynote speaker on events ranging from immigration and border crossing to the role of creative nonfiction in today’s divisive world;

and has presented original research at conferences, such as the International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association.

He’s also been invited to speak at war protests; Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations; a Kwanza Ball; university courses to discuss indigenous civilizations before European colonialism; festivals celebrating multiculturalism and renewable energy; a lecture on diversity and poetry at the New Hampshire Seacoast African American Cultural Center; public radio; and has moderated numerous public discussions and debates, such the Abortion Debate event at the University of New Hampshire.

Below is a sample of speaking engagements.

Lit Mag Love Podcast

Mechanics’ Institute Library, San Francisco

  • Speaker at literary event “Memoir as a Political Act,” where Julián discussed how when living under oppressive systems, the simple act of standing up and sharing personal stories that go against the mainstream is a political act. San Francisco, September 2019

  • Keynote Speaker at End of the Year Literary Event and Book Bazaar. Julián’s speech dealt with the role of creative nonfiction in today’s divisive world and how sharing personal stories can help build bridges between strangers. San Francisco, December 2018

Academy of Art, San Francisco

  • Speaker to Narrative Storytelling students. The discussion was centered around writing what you know, and the storytelling and the narrative elements of character, plot, and setting, May 2019, April 2020


  • Guest Speaker at “Cruzando Fronteras (Crossing Borders)”—an event on immigration and border crossing, hosted by Central Americans for Empowerment. Julián’s speech tackled the role of storytelling as a tool of empowerment that can disrupt the status quo, confront caricatures, change politics by first changing culture, and help shape new paradigms, March 2019

Julián with Central Americans for Empowerment (C.A.F.E.) at California State University, Chico, 8 March 2019.

History Museum, Wells Fargo, San Francisco

  • As the manager of the company’s flagship history museum, Julián gave dozens of public and private group tours and talks to high school and university students, Wells Fargo team members, business professionals, interns, and the local community on the California Gold Rush, San Francisco history, stagecoach travel in early California, the evolution of banking, and Western expansion in the US, 2015 – 2017

Al Jazeera

  • On-Air Interview where Julián discussed the likelihood of the end of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) after the death of Colombian guerrilla leader Alfonso Cano and whether the FARC had completely divorced itself from its foundational ideology, 2011

29th International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association in Toronto, Canada

  • Panelist/Paper Presenter, “The Insecurity of Security Policies in the Andes: An analysis of the U.S.-Colombian fight against narco-terrorism and its impact on Colombia’s neighbors,” 2010

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

  • Panelist/Paper Presenter at the “Colombia, the Conflicts and Beyond: Perspectives on a Canadian Ally,” a public workshop, 2009

University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, Canada

  • Speaker, “The Other Colombia,” presented to a Cultural Images of Latin America course, 2011
  • Speaker, Global Fest, 2011
  • Speaker, International Student Day, 2010
  • Speaker, “Pre-Columbian Colombia: The Indigenous Before Conquest,” presented to an Introduction to an Indigenous Peoples of Contemporary Latin America course and an Indigenous, Traditional, Local, Ecological Knowledge course, 2010
  • Panelist/Paper Presenter, “The Colombian Centaur: A Gramscian approach to hegemony and transformation during Simón Bolívar’s Colombia,” Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies & Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, “Borders and Border Crossings: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on Liminality, Hybridity, Mediation, Exchange, and Everything In-Between,” 2009

University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA

  • Interview on creative writing and building community through the arts, WSCA Portsmouth Community Radio, 2006
  • Moderator/Organizer, Abortion Debate, 2005
  • Paper Presenter, “Curious vs. Certain Dispositions in Dialogue: Roadblocks and Pathways Toward Understanding and Clarity,” University of New Hampshire Philosophy Conference, 2004
  • Paper Presenter, “Historical, Political, and Social Influences on the Poetry of Gil Scott-Heron and Saul Williams,” McNair Opportunity Program Fellowship Conference, 2002
  • Interview on creative writing, SCAN-TV, 2002
  • Speaker:
    • Student Activism Workshop (2005)
    • Diversity and Poetry Lecture at Seacoast African American Cultural Center (2004)
    • Solarfest (2003, 2005)
    • Take Back the Night (2003)
    • MLK Jr. Celebration (2002, 2003, 2004)
    • Power Perceptions (2002)
    • Iraq War Protest (2002)