Campus COLL 300: Visitors

Among the criteria adopted for the Campus COLL 300: "bring the world to W&M" through instructional content and significant involvement of students and faculty with COLL 300 campus visitors - a fruitful experience of disorientation that allows students to see their own lives in broader perspective.

In a typical semester the CLA supports campus COLL 300 courses by hosting three campus visitors related to that semester's theme. Each visitor presents a public event and engages smaller groups of students and faculty in ways that support the goals of COLL 300. Visits generally span several or more days.

Each visitor's public event parallels the semester's theme and stems from some aspect of their life other than scholarly expertise. This may take the form of readings, conversations, performances, presentations of general and scholarly interest, or some combination of all of these – or something entirely different. 

Below are descriptions for Campus COLL 300 visitors for the 2018-19 academic year.  If you are a faculty member interested in proposing a visitor for the 2019-20 academic year, please email [[biboon, Ben Boone]], Associate Director of the CLA.

Visitors for Fall 2018: "Bodies that Matter"
  • Fredy Peccerelli is director of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation. FAFG carries out exhumations of Guatemala’s clandestine cemeteries from its civil war (1960 to 1996) and works to identify victims of massacre and return bodies to families and communities for proper reburial. His engagements on campus will focus on his own journey in this work: his life as a young political refugee in NYC in the 1980s, coming to know about his country’s armed conflict, the work of forensic anthropologists in documenting “truth,” and his founding of and work in FAFG. His visit is scheduled for September 17-21. The main event will take place September 19, at 5 pm in Commonwealth Auditorium.

  • Bernedette Muthien is an activist, poet, educator, and government minister. Her life’s work has been directed toward increasing access to basic social institutions that have long excluded women, and in particular women of color, in South Africa. Her visit will focus on her passion and strategies for reversing patterns of victimization through increased representation and access to education, financial institutions, and government services. Her visit is scheduled for October 8-12.  The main event will take place October 10, at 5 pm in Commonwealth Auditorium.

  • micha cárdenas Ph.D., has been using technology for art and social justice for for more than  a decade. Inspired by her Latinx spiritual ancestors Gloria Anzaldúa and Sylvia Rivera, she works to challenge borders of all kinds, including borders between academia and activism, poetry and politics. She combines theory and practice to consider how algorithms are like rituals, recipes, and poems, and can be used for racial and gender justice, including the reduction of violence against trans women of color. Currently she writing a new algorithm for gender, race, and technology. She is Assistant Professor of Art & Design: Games + Playable Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz and has co-authored the books The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities (2012) and Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs (2010). A first-generation Colombian-American, she is the inaugural recipient of the James Tiptree Jr. fellowship in 2014, a fellowship to provide support and recognition for the new voices in science fiction who are making visible the forces that are changing our view of gender. Her artwork has been described as “a seminal milestone for artistic engagement in VR” by Spike art journal in Berlin. Her visit is scheduled for October 17-19.  The main event will take place on October 17, at 5 pm in Commonwealth Auditorium.

Visitors for Spring 2019: "Ceremony"
  • Selena Fox, priestess, co-executive director of Circle Sanctuary. Selena has travelled the globe and made an impressive impact on the worlds of Wiccan faith, transpersonal counseling, women’s religious liberty, and environmental justice. Her work advocating for equality began as a student at William & Mary, when she founded the first women’s activist group on campus, and continues today as she leads Lady Liberty League. Her work as a priestess focuses on the ceremonies of nature and the Nature Spirituality that she has celebrated since 1973.
  • Setsuko Thurlow is a hibakusha — a survivor of the 1945 atom bombs. She was a 13-year-old schoolgirl living in Hiroshima when the bomb dropped. She has spent the seven decades since testifying to the horror of nuclear weapons and campaigning for a world free of them. The hibakusha fulfill the ceremonial role of story-teller in that there is a long-held belief that only those with first-hand experiences have the cultural authority to speak about the event. As the number of hibakusha decline, there is even greater urgency to share that story.

  • Anderson Silva Argolo, Patrick Santos Da Silva, and Urania de Oliveira Rodrigues 

    will share their knowledge of sacred Afro-Brazilian Candomblé rituals and ceremonies, and offer insightful perspectives on the politics of race and gender in Brazil’s changing religious landscape. Each has had unique experiences as Candomblé practitioners, spiritual leaders, and political activists. Complementing each other in their visits to classes and in public lectures/performances, they will address the importance and relevance of ceremony as both a link to an African past and a means of negotiating the present and future in Brazil.

Past Visitors