Conversations About Our World

Join University of Oregon faculty, Dr. Arafaat A. Valiani (Associate Professor, History | Sociology | Global Health), Dr. Sangita Gopal (Associate Professor, Cinema Studies), and Dr. Bish Sen (Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication) for a speakers series during spring term 2021. All events will be held virtually and feature conversations between faculty and speakers from the University of Oregon community and beyond. Topics include Indigenous arts, global communications after Covid, and identity in Asian and Asian Studies, and more.

Session recordings are available for viewing in the links below.


The Power of Indigenous Stories and Art
Book cover: Fox Doesn't Wear a Watch

Indigenous storytelling and art have long served as important ways for Indigenous peoples to sustain our cultures and traditions. Join this conversation to learn from contemporary Indigenous artist, Crystal L. Buck (Yakama), and Indigenous author, Michelle M. Jacob (Yakama), as they discuss their collaborations across several projects. Learn about what inspires Indigenous artwork and storytelling, and what messages these Yakama women have for our contemporary times. All are welcome at this gathering that honors the power and inspiration of art and stories.

Friday, April 9
2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. (PST)


  • Michelle M. Jacob (Yakama), Professor of Indigenous Studies, College of Education, University of Oregon
  • Crystal L. Buck (Yakama), Artist

Watch the Recording

Changing Geopolitics of Global Communication in a Post-Covid World
globe with China and India labeled

Countries such as China, Russia, and India have contributed to the transformation of the global media and communication landscape, challenging the analytical frameworks of communication studies, which remain deeply embedded within a Western discourse. In a post-COVID multi-polar world, global communication studies may have to broaden its remit. This is especially true with digital communication at a time when global cyberspace is rapidly changing and digital connectivity brings once marginal populations onto the policy discourse, not as aid receivers but as active consumers and producers.

Wednesday, April 28
6:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. (PST)


  • Bish Sen, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon
  • Daya Thussu, Professor of International Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University

Watch the Recording

Identity, Ambivalence, Homecoming: Travels Between Asian and Asian American Studies

This conversation explores the relationship between Asian studies and Asian American studies, reflecting on both the commonalities as well as distinctions between these endeavors. Each of these fields bears a distinct disciplinary orientation—Asian studies derives from Cold War-era area studies and Asian American studies from activist-inspired ethnic studies. How can these different perspectives be brought together productively? Moreover, in an atmosphere of fear caused by the pandemic, racial hostility often blurs the distinctions between "Asian" and “Asian American." How can this moment of common vulnerability renew dialogues between these two fields in a continued endeavor to articulate global justice?

Thursday, May 13
5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. (PST)


  • Roy Chan, Associate Professor, Chinese, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures
  • Andrew Way Leong, Assistant Professor, Department of English, UC Berkeley

Watch the Recording

Bioethics in the Time of Black Lives Matter: a Black Feminist Perspective
young woman protesting

Last summer saw the convergence of two major threats to public health: the COVID-19 pandemic and the enduring value gap between white and Black lives (referenced in the name of the protest movement Black Lives Matter). On April 8, 2021, the CDC released a statement naming racism as "a serious public health threat." By contrast, six weeks earlier, the Journal of the American Medical Association released a podcast (now withdrawn) in which the very existence of structural racism in medicine (by now a well-proven fact) was called into question. In this conversation, we will discuss how the CDC declaration might be translated into action within this larger social and political context and what Black feminist bioethicists can contribute to the ongoing conversation.

Thursday, May 27
4:30 p.m. - 5:10 p.m. (PST)


  • Camisha Russell, Assistant Professor, UO Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon
  • Yolonda Wilson, Associate Professor, Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, Saint Louis University 

Watch the Recording


Asian Studies Program
Center for Asian and Pacific Studies
Center for the Study of Women in Society
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Anthropology
Department of History
Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies
Department of Sociology
Global Health Program
Global Studies Institute, Division of Global Engagement
Oregon Humanities Center’s Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities


For questions or more information, please contact Program Coordinator, Kylie Yihua Post at