Lectures

I have had the pleasure to be invited to give lectures either for MA courses or PhD workshops:

“Post- and Decolonial Studies.” Critical Approaches (MA course), University of Lausanne, (upcoming), 3 December 2020.
This lecture introduces MA students to past and ongoing developments in post- and decolonial studies within a compulsory MA class which aims to introduce influential theories in literary studies. After briefly survey the contemporary legacies of colonialism and contemporary realities of settler colonialism by defining notions such as white privilege and racial capitalism, I summarize the contributions of scholars such as Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Chantra Talpade Mohanty, Homi Bhabha, N’gugi Wa Thiong’o, Audre Lorde, Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Winter, Eve Tuck, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, and Daniel Heath Justice. Finally, I always try to make these concepts relevant to our students by offering instances of Swiss involvement in colonialism, colonial discourses, and highlighting local decolonial and anti-racist movements. This year, we will pay special attention to the global and local Black Lives Matter movements. The lecture is followed by a class discussion on readings of excerpts from works by Edward Said’s Orientalism, Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, Daniel Heath Justice’s Why Indigenous Literatures Matter, and Tiffany Lethabo King’s The Black Shoals.

“Introduction to Indigenous Studies.” Introduction to American Studies (MA course), University of Lausanne, 26 October 2020.
This 90-minute class aims to introduce MA students to Indigenous studies and issues in the territory we now call the United States. This year, I was asked to connect the class to the presidential elections. The first third of the class was dedicated to students’ reactions to a short PBS documentary on the Tohono O’odham nation and the Border Wall they had watched before class. This discussion allowed me to present the demographics of contemporary Indigenous nations and elaborate on the relation between the land and Indigenous people as well as touch upon contemporary land- and water-protection movements led by Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island. The second third was dedicated to discussing a debate organized by Democracy Now where Tara Houska (Anishinaabe), Mark Trahant (Shoshone), and Gyasi Ross (Blackfeet) respond to Trump and Warren’s feud over Warren’s Native American heritage and her DNA test results. From there, we explored Indigenous sovereignty, cultural appropriation, resistance to white stereotypes of Indigenous peoples, and the vast array of contemporary Indigenous authors, artists, and journalists who expand Indigenous self-representation. Finally, we exchanged thoughts on a short interview by Democracy Now with Deb Haaland (Laguna) which prompted me to discuss the various strategies employed by Indigenous peoples to resist settler colonialism and enhance Indigenous sovereignty and violence against Indigenous women, which is an important topic in Haaland’s political actions. We closed the class by considering why Indigenous studies and people are important.

“Post- and Decolonial Studies.” Critical Approaches (MA course), University of Lausanne, 5 December 2019.
This lecture introduces MA students to past and ongoing developments in post- and decolonial studies within a compulsory MA class which aims to introduce influential theories in literary studies. After briefly survey the contemporary legacies of colonialism and contemporary realities of settler colonialism by defining notions such as white privilege and racial capitalism, I summarize the contributions of scholars such as Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Chantra Talpade Mohanty, Homi Bhabha, N’gugi Wa Thiong’o, Audre Lorde, Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Winter, Eve Tuck, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, and Daniel Heath Justice. Finally, I always try to make these concepts relevant to our students by offering instances of Swiss involvement in colonialism, colonial discourses, and highlighting local decolonial and anti-racist movements. The lecture is followed by a class discussion on readings of excerpts from works by Edward Said’s Orientalism and Daniel Heath Justice’s Why Indigenous Literatures Matter.

“Funding Opportunities.” CUSO PhD Day (PhD Workshop), University of Neuchâtel, 23 November 2019.
This 2-hour workshop was split in a 60-minute presentation where I offered an overview of funding possibilities for PhD and post-doctoral candidates in Switzerland and Europe. The following hour was dedicated to a Q&A session on this topic where Emma Depledge (UniNE) and I responded to participants’ questions.

“Introduction to Native American Studies.” Introduction to American Studies (MA course), University of Lausanne, 21 October 2019.
In this 90-minute lecture, I spent the first 45 minutes introducing students to the history of Indigenous-settler relations in the United States, contemporary Indigenous existence, defining settler colonialism, and offering an overview of Native American literature. We then discussed excerpts from Leslie Marmon Silko’s (Laguna) Ceremony and Louise Erdrich’s (Ojibwe) The Plague of Doves which students had read in preparation for this class.

“Introduction to Native American Studies.” Introduction to American Studies (MA course), University of Lausanne, 17 October 2017.
In this 90-minute lecture, I spent the first 45 minutes introducing students to the history of Indigenous-settler relations in the United States, contemporary Indigenous existence, defining settler colonialism, and offering an overview of Native American literature. We then discussed the movie Smoke Signals which they had previously watched.

“Introduction to Native American Studies.” Introduction to American Studies (MA course), University of Lausanne, 25 October 2016.
In this 90-minute lecture, I spent the first 45 minutes introducing students to the history of Indigenous-settler relations in the United States, contemporary Indigenous existence, defining settler colonialism, and offering an overview of Native American literature. We then discussed the movie Smoke Signals which they had previously watched.

“Early Chinese Dynasties.” World Civilizations (BA course), State University of New York at Buffalo, 3 March 2014.
This 45-minutes lecture presented students with the history Chinese dynasties from 221 B.C. to the end of the Ming Dynasty in 1644. Emphasis was put on the contemporary legacies of these dynasties such as the Silk Road, military developments and strategies, bureaucracy, agricultural advancement, and paper to mention only a few examples.

“Pre-Columbian Civilizations of South and Central America.” World Civilizations (BA course), State University of New York at Buffalo, 15 November 2013.
This 45-minute lecture offered an overview of the Olmec, Aztecan, Mayan, and Incan empires over a time span reaching from 1500 B.C. to 1500 A.D. I especially underlined the complex socio-political organizations, advanced scientific knowledges, and highly-developed economic networks as well as on the contemporary existence of Indigenous peoples in Central and South America.