Interdisciplinary Teaching Series

OFIT Seminar on Fertility and the Great Recession

Mission Statement

The UC Berkeley Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Teaching (OFIT) program prepares visiting scholars, postdcos, and graduate students for teaching. It is dedicated to supporting members of our community who strive for improving their effectiveness in class and to serve humanity through education. Please see below for any upcoming events. We are committed to:

  • Social progress through educational opportunity and equity;
  • Collaboration with partner institutes we serve; and
  • Inquiry, interdisciplinarity, and reflective practice.

In order to accomplish this and honor the passion, idealism, and commitment that scholars bring to OFIT, the OFIT series:

  • Provides learning opportunities that build upon our scholars’ subject area expertise and develop their theoretical and professional knowledge base using research of effective practices and accepted standards within the profession;
  • Requires that scholars demonstrate and defend the application of their acquired knowledge and skills in the classroom;
  • Collaborates with the Graduate Division for Professional Development and external partners to create and maintain a professional network that support our scholars learning and benefit our community;
  • Assists scholars in improving their pedagogic skills by helping them offering support in their early stage course design, providing them opportunities for test-teaching and arranging for them to teach actual classes on campus.
  • Develops scholars who demonstrate subject matter knowledge, understanding of learning and teaching, and instructional proficiency as identified by relevant professional standards.
  • Individualizes learning experiences, encourages reflection, and provides mentoring to support the variety of ways in which its scholars seek to apply the skills and attributes acquired while in the Teaching Opportunity Program.
  • Provides quality outreach that benefit adult learners and enhances the professional growth of its visiting scholars and postdocs.
  • Works with other leaders in the field of professional development (education), the Visiting Scholar Program, the Humanities and Social Science Association, and the Berkeley Postdoc Association to engage in and strengthen networks that advance professional practice.
  • Collects data and administers course evaluations that support scholars’ growth and to ensure that it meets or exceeds relevant standards and expectations while adhering to its specific goals and mission.

Get a Teaching Opportunity

Do you aspire to teach? Do you want to add your talents to the enormously important responsibility of educating older and younger generations? Or, are you interested to bring your professional teaching experience and expertise to a career in humanities and social sciences, medicine, law, business, or higher education? OFIT offers UC Berkeley graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scholars, an opportunity for individual professional training along with the professional development focus on teacher training of the Graduate Division at UC Berkeley. Current scholars of this series can obtain a teaching confirmation from the VSPA office.

OFIT is small, flexible, and personalized, so that you can fulfill program requirements along with those of your department (if your mandate is for instance that of research). In a given year, approximately 3 classes of up to 15 teaching scholars (teams of up to five) are admitted in the series. Its organizers work with you to individualize coursework to fit your academic interests and schedule. We want you to leave this Series well prepared for performing in the classroom in academia and beyond.

You can join the program when you reply to our call for applications—once or twice a year sent out in the VSPA and BPA newsletter and as a separate call. This call will also be posted on the HSSA website:

Eligibility is based on (a) teacher’s availability to attend a general pedagogic training session, perform a practice-teaching and hold the actual class, and (b) teaching proposal alignment with themes as specified in each call. Currently OFIT is designed to offer team-teaching classes only to serve the high number of interested scholars. Team-teaching has become common practice in many top institutions nowadays. More information you will find in the call.

Upcoming Events

Dry Runs of Seminars
September 7
Location: 309 Sproul
Dry run of all teaching teams

Law and Nonviolence over Antipathy and Violence
September 14
Location: 41B University Hall
OFIT seminar: Democracy

Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Globalization   Currently recruiting
September 21
Location: 41B University Hall

Technology and Human Interactions   Currently recruiting
September 28
Location: 41B University Hall


Previous OFIT Seminars

Workshop on Active Learning
August 31 
Location 309 Sproul
Teachers: Dr. Doris Hanappi and Dr. Marta Vuckovic

 Workshop on Active Learning session image

Workshop on Active Learning session image

Seminar: The future is now: how entrepeneurship is shaping nanotechnology applications
June 6, 2017
41B University Hall
Co-teachers: Mateo Follmar Diaz and Edmond Huang


Seminar:  How is Big Data changing the way we learn today and educate future generations tomorrow?
June 13, 2017
41B University Hall
Co-teachers: Sabarinath Subramaniam, Moez Ben Hajmida, Sara Soltanizadeh, and Yueting Shi

 May 26, 2017

The Invisible Lines that Divide Us: Stratification and "Identity" and Their Role in Shaping Human Cultures and Behavior
9-11am in 309 Sproul Hall
This seminar was team-taught by four teachers who were visiting scholars from UC Berkeley's Language Center, Graduate School of Education, Law School, and the Department of Philosophy. They presented on how culture, language, and media are forces that shape who we are and how we see ourselves and others. 

Co-teachers: Beatrice Sasha Kobow, Behnoosh Payvar, Zehlia Babaci-Wilhite and Arnaud Richard.

OFIT Seminar on The Invisble Lines that Divide Us

September 21, 2016
Societal Views of Birth and Death
10am-2pm in 309 Sproul Hall
This seminar was team-taught by three teachers who were visiting scholars from UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Design Research, Department of History, and Department of Philosophy. They presented how the topics of birth and death have been treated historically in the context of different disciplines and cultures. They explored how and why sacred and secular spaces of birth and death have been actively hidden or removed from the public imagination in the Modern Age, while also revealing contemporary resistance to their cloaking or disappearing.

OFIT Seminar on Societal Views of Birth and Death

February 21, 2017
The Politics of Difference: Marginalized Ethnic Groups in Asia
12pm-3pm in 309 Sproul Hall
This seminar was team-taught by a postdoc from the Center for Chinese Studies and a visiting scholar from the Institute of South Asian Studies. It presented the cultural politics of marginalized places and populations through respective case studies in China and India. These case studies shed light on indigenous culture and history beyond Asia, by making connections between humanistic and social scientific approaches and engaging students in rethinking cultural diversity and social disparity around the world. 

March 13, 2017
Fertility and the Great Recession: Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries of Theory and Data
12:30pm-2:30pm in 309 Sproul Hall
This seminar was team-taught by two scholars from UC Berkeley’s Prevention Research Center & School of Public Health, and Department of Demography. They familiarized students with fertility trends during and after economic downturns in Western Advanced Societies, in particular in the United States and Europe, provide an interdisciplinary perspective on this topic, and engage students in a discussion of the latest fertility trends associated with the Great Recession.