Events & Lectures


Past Events

Macarena Gomez-Barris
Thursday, November 22, 2019 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Macarena Gómez-Barris is a cultural critic, author and Chairperson of Social Science and Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute. She is founder and Director of the Global South Center, a hub for critical inquiry, aesthetic praxis, and experimental forms of social living. Macarena works on cultural memory, race, queer and decolonial theory, and rethinking the anthropocene. She is author of The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives, a book that theorizes social life through five extractive scenes of ruinous capitalism upon Indigenous territories (Duke University Press, 2017). She is also author of Beyond the Pink Tide: Art and Politics in the Américas (UC Press, 2018), Where Memory Dwells: Culture and State Violence in Chile (UC Press, 2009), and co-editor with Herman Gray of Towards a Sociology of a Trace (University of Minnesota Press, 2010). Macarena is author of numerous essays in art catalogues, including work on Laura Aguilar, Julie Mehretu, Cecilia Vicuna, and Carolina Caycedo, as well as essays in numerous peer reviewed journals. She is co-editor with Diana Taylor of Dissenting Acts, a Duke University Press series.

Chris Kraus
Thursday, January 24, 2019 6:30pm

Chris Kraus (b. 1955) is a Los Angeles–based writer, art critic, and editor whose novels include I Love Dick (1997), Torpor (2006), and Summer of Hate (2012). Her writing navigates and mediates seamlessly between autobiography, fiction, philosophy, and art criticism. She teaches creative writing and art writing at The European Graduate School / EGS and has been a visiting professor at the Art Center College of Design, the University of California at San Diego, New York University, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Los Angeles Contemporary Archives. Along with Sylvère Lotringer and Hedi El Kholti, Kraus is co-editor of the influential publishing house Semiotext(e), which has introduced much of contemporary French theory to an American audience, and published writers such as: Abdellah Taia, Veronica Gonzalez Pena, Mark Von Schlegell, Robert Gluck, Natasha Stagg, and Dodie Bellamy


Allan deSouza
Friday, October 12, 6pm

Allan deSouza is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art Practice, UC Berkeley and a multimedia artist whose work has been exhibited extensively in the U.S. and internationally. His photography, installation, text and performance works restage historical evidence through counter-strategies of fiction, erase, and (mis)translation. He is the author of How Art Can Be Thought: A Handbook for Change (Duke UP, 2018).


Z. Nicolazzo
Saturday, October 13, 11:45am - 1:15pm

Workshop: “Teaching While Marginalized: What Our Bodies Teach Us About Critical Pedagogy”

Dr. Z Nicolazzo is Assistant Professor of Trans* Studies in Education in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. She has published her scholarship in a variety of inter/national publication venues, and her first book, Trans* in College: Transgender Students’ Strategies for Navigating Campus Life and the Institutional Politics of Inclusion, was awarded the 2017 Publication of the Year from AERA’s Division J.

In this interactive workshop, Z Nicolazzo will discuss the always already embodied nature of critical pedagogy for people with marginalized identities. She will engage participants in self-reflection and group-based activities to explore what it means to "show up" with marginalized identities in classroom spaces, how we are met with student resistance, and the possibilities for meeting such resistance to navigate the academy.

Walidah Imarisha

Walidah Imarisha
Wednesday April 11

Walidah Imarisha 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, 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.


Sarah Schulman
December 3, 4:00-6pm


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

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.


Brian Holmes Critical Studies Lecture
Wednesday October 11, 6-7:30pm

The Critical Studies MA Program welcomes Brian Holmes. Brian Holmes will be speaking about his research. This lecture is part of the Critical Studies MA Program lecture series, which seeks out diverse writers and thinkers to involve the community in critically engaging topics.

Learn More

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



C. Riley Snorton Friday, September 7, 4pm
Co-Presented with PICA

Guest Scholar C. Riley Snorton (Professor of English and Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Chicago) will present a lecture on his current research at the intersection of Black, Africana, trans, queer, and performance studies. A distinguished interdisciplinary scholar and writer, Snorton is the author of Nobody is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low and Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity. Co-presented with PICA as part of the TBA Festival.


Mohanad Elshieky
October 10, 6:30-8:00 pm

Title: Where is the joke in that?

Description: In this workshop will be exploring the art of looking within yourself for comedy. You might not think your life is interesting, but if you dig deep enough, the joke is somewhere there. We will be discussing joke structure, punchlines, but more importantly, how to have fun and be you.

Bio: Mohanad Elshieky is Stand-up comedian and a Writer based in Portland, Oregon. Originally from Libya, he brings a unique perspective to the comedy scene, his act covers a wide range of topics from politics, race and whatever has been bothering him lately. Mohanad has been featured on the Lovett or Leave it Podcast, Put Your Hands Together, Live Wire Radio, NPR & Buzzfeed. He's recently been named by the Portland Mercury as a Genius of Comedy & is one of Thrillist Magazine best 50 comedians in America. You can see Mohanad's comedy on the TV Series "Unprotected Sets" produced by Wanda Sykes on October 5th, on EPIX. He also tweets a lot, so there’s that.

Shawn Fleek

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

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.


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

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.


Roberta Hunte
Wednesday, January 24, 6:30pm

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.

Roundtable with Saul Ostrow, Critical Practices Inc.
Thursday November 2 (By Invitation)


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


Graduate Symposium: Visualizing Resistance
October 6-7


Becca Blackwell In Conversation with Shawna Lipton and bart fitzgerald
PNCA Mediatheque
Tuesday September 12, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM