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Past Visitors

COLL 300 experiences join students with people, places, and ideas that lift them out of their familiar surroundings and deepen the way they see themselves in the world. Visitors that come to W&M as part of the COLL 300 on-campus experience aim to "bring the world to W&M." They do this in many ways; through classroom visits, workshops, and small-group gatherings as well as through a large presentation open to the entire W&M community. 

Below you will find links to videos of our visitors' presentations. Additionally, the CLA Fellows have provided keywords and summaries associated with each video.  

Andrew Farnsworth

Andrew Farnsworth discusses how we understand the movement of migratory birds through using radar technology. Through these studies we can also uncover more information about climate change and the impact of light pollution. Finally, he talks about Citizen Science and the impact that individual observations and actions can have on the expansion of our knowledge about birds.

Ana Moore

Ana Moore discusses the inspiration for her scientific work spanning back to her childhood in Argentina. As climate change has dramatically reshaped her homeland, she works to find solutions for sustainable energy through artificial photosynthesis. She also draws connections to the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.

Tamer Farag, Program Officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Daniel Hernandez-Salazar, Artivist: "Guatemala: History in 25 Images"

Daniel Hernandez-Salazar discusses the history of Guatemala's recent civil war through 25 images he has captured over his career as a photographer. He emphasizes the importance of a collective national memory of the genocide, as well as seeking accountability for the government and military.

Nancy L. Frey: "Life is a Camino"

Through a creative and thought-provoking performance, Nancy Frey delves into the relationship between technology and the Camino de Santiago. She raises questions regarding privilege, connectedness, and pilgrimage traditions regarding ways modern technology - primarily social media - has impacted how we experience the world around us.

Michael Gomez, Founder of ASWAD

Gomez discusses the roots of ASWAD - the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora. He details his career path as an Africanist and the importance of producing academic research that is meaningful to everyday life.

Muhammad Baqir: "Spiritual Migration in Indonesia"

Baqir gives a personal reflection on his spiritual journal as a Sufi mystic and discusses Muslim theology. He also provides an overview of the cultural and social transitions Indonesia has undertaken throughout its history.

Standard File
Setsuko Thurlow: "Preserving Memory, Fostering Peace"

Setsuko Thurlow shares about her experiences surviving the nuclear attack on Hiroshima in the Second World War. Since the attack, she has been a staunch advocate for deproliferation of nuclear weapons. Her traditional role as a hibuksha empowers her to travel the world and tell her story while serving an ambassador for peace.

Serena Fox
Selena Fox: "Rites & Rights: Ceremonies for Justice"

Selena Fox shared about her life's work as a spiritual leader and activist. This video includes reflection on her advocacy for religious freedom for veterans and civilians, as well as stories from her time as a William & Mary student in the late 1960s when she confronted the administration on gender inequality.

Drumming & Dancing in the ISC
Candomblé Practitioners: "Plurality in Afro-Brazilian Spirituality"

Candomblé practitioners, spiritual leaders, and political activists shared their knowledge of sacred Afro-Brazilian Candomblé rituals and offered perspectives on the politics of race and gender in Brazil. They addressed the importance of Candomblé as a link to an African past and a means of negotiating the present and future in Brazil.  Combined explanation of religious ritual with performance.

micha cárdenas

cárdenas discusses her path to becoming an activist who combines art and technology in innovative ways. She developed an app to help migrants along the U.S. Mexico Border find water and continued to combine performance art an technology to advocate for protections against sexual violence.

Bernadette Muthien
Bernedette Muthien

Poet and political activist Muthien addresses the intersectionalities of gender, sexuality, and human rights in the United States and South Africa. She denounces the dispossessions and inequalities brought about by European colonialism; she discusses cultural differences in how these two countries understand free speech and hate speech, and insists on the importance of peace education, vigilance, and active citizenship. Ultimately Muthien offers her poetry as an invitation to discover our interconnected humanities: “being creative [...] is a revolutionary act.”

Fredy Peccerelli
Fredy Peccerelli

Fredy Peccerelli directs the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation, a group that carries out exhumations of Guatemala's clandestine graves from its internal armed conflict (1960-1996) and works to identify victims of massacre and return bodies to families and communities for proper reburial. His presentation focused on his life as a young political refugee in NYC in the 1980s, coming to know about his country's armed conflict, and the work of forensic anthropologists in documenting "truth” and contributing to justice initiatives.

Vandana Shiva
Vandana Shiva: "Planting the Seed: A Passion for a Sustainable Existence"

Shiva tells her story from a childhood in the Himalayan forest to pursuing a Ph.D. in quantum physics and ultimately, her internationally-recognized work with local farming communities for ecological and social sustainability. In addition to discussing GMOs, science, gender, and food security, she also focuses on leadership, compassion, and cultivation of hope.

Doug Herman
Doug Herman: "In the Canoe: Intersections in Space, Time, and Becoming"

Herman discusses maps, mapping, and personal journeys as a geographer, sailor/ canoe-builder, and spiritual being. He describes his discovery of Buddhism and offers critiques of Western rationalism and of Freudian psychology. He then talks about his digital archives project which documents the knowledge and cultural practices of indigenous communities in the American Pacific. This talk ultimately speaks to the relationship between empirical science, ancestral traditions, religion, and competing discourses of rights.

Zena Howard
Zena Howard: "Sustainability, Our Built Environment, and Our Culture"

Zena Howard discusses nine tenants of cultural design and the ways it strengthens connections between people. Much of her work has revolved around creating spaces of memory and community for African Americans. In particular she shares about her firm's work on the African American Museum of History and Culture.

Sarah Deer
Sarah Deer: "Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America"

Professor Deer, a legal scholar, discusses the terribly high rate of violent crime against Native women and the anomaly that the overwhelming majority of this violence is perpetrated by non-Native people. The unique jurisdictional position of Native people complicates the ability of Native women to pursue prosecution of their attackers.

Ifarinwale Ogundiran
The Araba, Chief Priest of Ifa: "Yoruba Religion at the Crossroads"

The Araba (Ifarinwale Ogundiran) is the Chief Priest of Ifá, a traditional Yoruba religion, of the town of Modakeke, Nigeria. The visit incorporated dance and drum performance of various orisa rhythms, and a discussion of the Yoruba religion's inclusive cosmology and the challenges it faces in the increasingly exclusive religious landscape of contemporary Nigeria. The Araba also spoke of his personal journey in becoming a Babalawo, a priest of Ifa.

Tripathi thumbnail
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi: "Me Hijra, Me Laxmi: Trans Activism and Performance"

Laxmi Tripathi discusses her activist work in India and Pakistan related to the Hijra, or third-gender community. The conversation addresses trans rights, the caste system in India, and Laxmi's experiences as she encountered growing fame and recognition.

Emiko Soltis
Freedom University Students and Emiko Soltis, Executive Director: "Inclusion and the University: Conversations with Students from Freedom University"

Soltis provides a history of the barriers to higher education faced by undocumented students. She then discusses the development of Freedom University in Georgia, founded to help these undocumented students. Soltis outlines the ways that Freedom University promotes social consciousness and commitment to empower students to push for change to higher education policies related to undocumented workers and other groups facing discrimination.

Eric Sawyer
Eric Sawyer: "Resistance, Activism, and Protest: Time for a Rebirth!"

Eric Sawyer is founder of Act Up!, an activist organization that advocates for those affected by HIV and AIDS. Eric shares about his journey as an activist beginning in the 1980's AIDS crisis through today's advocacy for equal rights.

Wilson Wewa
Wilson Wewa: "We Are Created from This Land: Indigenous Views on Place, Spirituality, and Wellness"

Wewa's initial focus is on the ways discussion of well being focus on the voices of providers of services and other corporations rather than listening to local community needs. He emphasizes the importance of physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and environmental health. Much of the focus is on the health of both Native American and rural communities. Wewa discusses his role as a traditional healer including the need to address people's perceptions of impact of the supernatural on their physical well being and the tensions between traditional and modern medicine.

Steven Wise
Steven Wise, President, Nonhuman Rights Project, Animal Rights Lawyer: "Unlocking the Cage: Animal Well-being, Personhood, and the Law"

Wise discusses his work as an attorney to help secure freedom and sancturary for non-human animals, which includes founding the Non-Human Rights Project and litigation on behalf of apes, elephants, dolphins, and whales living in captivity across the US. In his talk, Wise discusses his contributions to the Unlocking the Cage film, public policy and the philosophy of the rights of people versus things.

Robert Davidson, Guud San Glans, Eagle of the Dawn, Haida Artist & Activist: "An Innocent Gesture"

Throughout his talk, Haida artist Robert Davidson expounded on the power of the visual mind— the ability to see in one’s mind that which later becomes material. He spoke of recovering his people’s connection to traditional practice and ceremony through carving and raising the first totem pole on Haida Gwaii in over ninety years. He weaves his personal story with those of his family and elders, forming a tapestry of individual enlightenment and the repossession of ancestral knowledge and tribal community.