IAS Distinguished Speaker Lectures

The IAS Distinguished Speaker Lecture recognizes the exemplary scholarship, leadership, and mentorship of individuals who cross disciplinary and institutional boundaries in their research, teaching, and service.

Upcoming Events

Autumn 2015

Defending Human Mobility:
Lessons from the North American Migratory Circuit

Alicia Schmidt Camacho
Sarai Ribicoff Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity, Race, and Migration
Yale University

Lecture, Thursday, November 12, 2015
6 pm
North Creek Events Center

Please click here to register for this talk.

Hardening national borders has had far-reaching social and political consequences across North America. Despite the vital importance of migrants to the regional economy and social order, current labor markets and political regimes deprive migrants of basic human rights and deny their social integration.  Camacho examines the efforts of communities and migrants to protect themselves against state and criminal violence, through social movements that deploy alternate languages of belonging and value.

Camacho is one of the foremost scholars of contemporary culture and politics on the U.S.-Mexico border, and is an influential figure in a wide-range of fields, including Chicana/o and Latina/o studies, critical ethnic studies, and gender studies.  Her scholarship concerns the femicide in Ciudad Ju├írez, transnational migration, border governance, and social movements in the Americas. She is the author of Migrant Imaginaries: Latino Cultural Politics in the Mexico–U.S. Borderlands (2008). She is currently at work on a book entitled, The Carceral Border: Social Violence and Governmentality on the Frontiers of Our America which examines state security and social violence along the North American migratory circuit. She serves on the board of Junta for Progressive Action, a community agency serving the Latina/o community of Fair Haven, and is a contributor to local and transnational projects for immigrant and human rights.

Nominated by Yolanda Padilla, with support from Julie Shayne and Dan Berger

Spring 2016

Claudia Rankine
Henry G. Lee Professor of English
Pomona College

Nominated by Amaranth Borsuk and Sarah Dowling

Lecture, Thursday, May 12, 2016
6 pm

These poems do the work of art of the highest order—
teaching, chastening, changing, astounding, and humanizing the reader

The author of five books of poems and a play, Claudia Rankine has been working to document what she calls the “American lyric.” Her books weave together a tapestry of voices, drawing attention to issues of race and class in American identity. Rankine incorporates essay and image into her texts, expanding our notion of the lyric beyond a poem of individual experience to encompass a position of critique and a choral structure.

Rankine’s most recent book, Citizen: An American Lyric, received Poets and Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize and was a 2014 finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

She has also co-edited the anthology American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language; and co-founded The Open Letter Project: Race and the Creative Imagination, a website devoted to poetics statements responding to questions of race in contemporary poetry.

Rankine’s visit is also sponsored by Seattle Arts & Lectures, and the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics.

Previous Lectures

Spring 2015

Danielle Egan
Gender, Sexuality, and Culture
St. Lawrence University

Disgust, Desire and Discomfort: Sexualization and Feminist Discourse 

Thursday, April 30, 2015
6:00 pm
North Creek Events Center

Hosted by Lauren Berliner, Sarah Dowling, Kari Lerum, and Lauren Lichty

In this talk, Danielle Egan explores a trenchant feature of white, second-wave feminist writing on sexuality: the false dichotomy that pits activism around sexual violence against demands for expanded sexual rights and expression in the so-called “sex wars.” Egan argues that these recurring debates mark a core conflict within the feminist family narrative.  To resolve it, feminists must engage more fruitfully with a range of affects and the concept of ambivalence. While feminists have a long history of valorizing anger and love, and have mined feelings of depression, willfulness, and failure in theoretically fertile ways, affects like disgust, aggression, envy, and ambivalence remain suppressed. Egan seeks to reconceptualize disgust, envy and desire as at once a site of confusion, occlusion and misdirection in feminist theory, and also a deeply important sphere for feminist insight and knowledge.

Danielle Egan's research examines the social construction of sexual “problems.” She is author of Dancing for Dollars and Paying for Love: The Relationships Between Exotic Dancers and their Regular Customers (2006), co-author of Theorizing the Sexual Child in Modernity (2010), and, most recently, author of Becoming Sexual: A Critical Appraisal of Girls and Sexualization (2013),  which was named the book of the week by the Times Higher Education Supplement. Her research has also been discussed on BBC Radio 4 and NPRs Good Parenting Radio.  


Autumn 2014

Jodi Melamed - November 20 & 21
(Hosted by Dan Berger)

Lecture: "What are the Stakes of What Diversity Means? Capitalism, Collective Existence, the University, and Beyond" 
Thursday, November 20, 2014, 6:00 pm, Northcreek Events Center

In this talk, Jodi Melamed argues that today’s discussions of diversity bear within them two conflicting tendencies, one inclining towards hyperindividualism and deeper economic and political inequality, the other inclining towards more care for collective existence and social justice.

“Universities have a crucial role to play in separating out these tendencies. Yet the realization of a better diversity is beyond the university.”

Jodi Melamed is associate professor of English and Africana Studies at Marquette University. She is the author of Represent and Destroy: Rationalizing Violence in the New Racial Capitalism (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and a contributor to Strange Affinities: The Sexual and Gender Politics of Comparative Racialization (Duke University Press, 2011) and Keywords for American Cultural Studies (NYU Press, forthcoming). Her areas of interest include critical race and ethnic studies, woman of color feminism and queer of color critique, political economy, and culture and globalization.

Spring 2014

Curtis Marez - April 24 & 25
(Hosted by Yolanda Padilla)

Lecture: Schooling Debt: Critical University Studies Today
Thursday, April 24, 2014, 6 pm, The Commons (UW2)

What are the effects of higher education’s growing reliance on student debt as a revenue source? The trend has contributed to the privatization of contemporary universities and catalyzed cultural, social, and political struggles over their future.  Students often lead those struggles, shaping local and global cultures of debt and dissent.

In "Schooling Debt," Curtis Marez discusses creative and collective actions against higher tuition and regimes of debt, including public protests, the organization of mass debt refusal or default, conferences, websites, and journals.  He links activism targeting the institutional activities debt finances and calls for institutional divestment from companies complicit in human rights abuses and exploitation.

Curtis Marez is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies at University of California, San Diego.  His research and teaching focus is on race and political economy in popular culture and media, with a particular emphasis on U.S. Latinos. His first book, Drug Wars: The Political Economy of Narcotics (University of Minnesota Press, 2004) compares official uses of the media to represent drug use and traffic among immigrants and minorities with popular media produced by and for such communities. More recently Dr. Marez has focused on the historical role of technology, especially media technology, in the lives of Mexican migrants in the United States. He is currently completing a new book called Speculative Technologies: Farm Workers and the Secret Histories of New Media, which will be published by Duke University Press. He has also been the editor of American Quarterly (2006-10), the journal of the American Studies Association, and ex officio member of the Association's Executive Committee. He is the 2013-2014 President of the American Studies Association.

Autumn 2013

Roopali Phadke - November 18 & 19
(Hosted by Gwen Ottinger)

Lecture: Landscapes of Power: Modeling Community Deliberations about Wind Energy Development
November 18 - 6pm-7:30pm in North Creek Events Center
November 19 - Luncheon Seminar on community-based participatory research

Growing concerns about national energy independence, global climate change, and local economic development have put wind energy on the agenda of many communities.  But local reaction to proposed developments has been mixed. Some welcome wind energy for the potential economic benefits and the possibility of low-carbon electricity production. Others strongly oppose these developments, especially the building of wind turbines, citing impacts on local landscapes, community identity and character, wildlife, and health. .

What is driving the opposition to wind energy? Is it simply another case of NIMBYism — the “not in my backyard” syndrome? Or are there other factors at play?

In order to better understand these land use debates, Roopali Phadke's research group designed and led intensive workshops in four diverse communities across the United States. In this talk, Professor Phadke shares their findings and the model they have created that can be used by other communities.

Roopali Phadke (Environmental Studies, Macalester College) works at the environmental studies, international development, and science and technology studies. Her current research focuses on private and public development of water and energy resources, and asks how science and technology decision-making processes can be democratized and informed by both technical expertise and local knowledge.

Spring 2013

Daniel HoSang - April 25 & 26
(Co-hosted by Camille Walsh and Dan Berger)

Lecture: Strange Brew:The Making (and Unmaking?) of Contemporary Nativism.
April 25 - 6pm in UW2-005.
April 26 - Luncheon Seminar.

Daniel Martinez HoSang is an associate professor of Ethnic Studies and Political Science and an affiliate in the Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management and the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon. He received his PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity from USC and his book “Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California (UC Press, 2010) won the James A. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians for the best book on the history of U.S. race relations in 2011. He has published on racial formation, white racial innocence and colorblindness as a language of racial politics, and his research interests include 20th Century US history, racial politics, cultural studies and political identity.


Attending a Lecture

These events are free and open to the public. Directions to the UW Bothell campus and parking information are available online.