MA Critical Studies


  Lecture Series Booklet

Shawn Fleek

Environmental Justice Workshop with Shawn Fleek of OPAL A collaboration between Critical Studies and Art+Ecology

April 19, 6:30-8:00 pm, Room 413
Free and Open to the Public.

As OPAL’s Development and Communications Coordinator, Shawn Fleek is highly engaged in campaigns for economic, racial and social justice in housing, transportation, land use and climate action.Shawn is a descendant of the Northern Arapaho tribe, a transit-dependent renter, and a resident of Cully, a neighborhood that is highly vulnerable to gentrification. Shawn came to Portland in 2007, drawn by renowned public transportation, the region’s large Native community, and the city’s progressive ethic. Connecting with Indigenous values inspired Shawn to see himself as part of the movement for Environmental Justice. “Native people have always taken a balanced approach to living in harmony with the environment. But in colonized Portland, we see imbalance everywhere...This imbalance is a direct result of our communities not being involved in decision-making that affects us. Unless we organize, these problems will only get worse, and we will end up with a city that doesn’t work for us.” This interactive workshop will help community members engage with Environmental Justice issues in Portland and beyond.

Past Events

Walidah Imarisha

Walidah Imarisha

Wednesday April 11, 6:00pm Mediatheque

Walidah Imarisha will be lecturing about her writing and research. This event will include a reception and book signing

Walidah Imarisha is an educator, writer, public scholar and spoken word artist.

She edited two anthologies, Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements and Another World is Possible. Imarisha’s nonfiction book Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption won a 2017 Oregon Book Award. She is also the author of the poetry collection Scars/Stars. She is currently working on an Oregon Black history book, forthcoming from AK Press. Imarisha has taught in Stanford University’s Program of Writing and Rhetoric, Portland State University's Black Studies Department, Oregon State University's Women Gender Sexuality Studies Department, and Southern New Hampshire University's English Department.

Maggie Nelson

Friday March 16, 6:30pm, Mediatheque

Maggie Nelson is a writer forging a new mode of nonfiction that transcends the divide between the personal and the intellectual and renders pressing issues of our time into portraits of day-to-day lived experience. Nelson’s five book-length works of nonfiction are grounded in experiences and topics with which she is struggling. She invites the reader into her process of thinking through and making sense of her unique concerns with the help of feminist and queer theory, cultural and art criticism, philosophy and psychology.

Shayla Lawson

Wednesday Mar 21, 2018 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Mediatheque

Shayla Lawson will be leading a discussion/workshop on Maggie Nelson’s Bluets (2009).

Shayla Lawson’s work has appeared in print & online at Tin House, GRAMMA, ESPN, Salon, The Offing, Guernica, Colorado Review, Barrelhouse, & MiPOesias. She is the author of: A Speed Education in Human Being, PANTONE, & the forthcoming I Think I’m Ready to See Frank Ocean. She is a 2017 Oregon Literary & MacDowell Colony Fellow, & a member of The Affrilachian Poets.

Sarah Schulman

December 3, 4:00-6pm, Mediatheque

Roberta Hunte

Wednesday, January 24, 6:30pm Mediatheque

Roberta Hunte will discuss her work and screen her film Sista in the Brotherhood

Dr. Roberta Hunte is an educator, facilitator, consultant, and cultural worker. She is an Assistant Professor in Black Studies and Women Gender and Sexuality Studies at Portland State University where she teaches courses on reproductive justice, inequality, feminism, and the African American experience. She facilitates trainings on equity, diversity and inclusion. She is a collaborator and producer of the play My Walk Has Never Been Average, and a short film Sista in the Brotherhood both informed by her research on black tradeswomen. She is co-chair of the board for OPAL, Environmental Justice and the co-chair of Trimet's Transit Equity Advisory Committee.

Jerry McGill

Jerry McGill

Tuesday, February 27, 6-9pm, Room 413

In his book Dear Marcus, Jerry McGill addresses the man who shot him and the result is an inspiring narrative about the moments in life that shape us—those that catch us by surprise, that blindside us, but that present us with opportunities for growth, reflection, compassion, and forgiveness. He has traveled the globe mentoring disabled children and sharing the experiences in his life that evolved from his transformative encounter with Marcus. Jerry McGill holds a B.A. in English literature from Fordham University and a MFA in education from Pacific University in Oregon.

Hear Jerry McGill interviewed on OPB's Think Out Loud.


Roundtable with Saul Ostrow, Critical Practices Inc.

Thursday November 2 (By Invitation)

Brian Holmes

Wednesday October 11, 6-7:30pm, Mediatheque

Craig Smith

Tuesday October 10, 5:00-6:15pm, Room 413

Luz Maria Gordillo

Wednesday September 27, 
6-7:30 pm, Room 601

becca blackwell In Conversation with Shawna Lipton and bart fitzgerald

Tuesday September 12,
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, PNCA Mediatheque