Marguerite Nguyen, associate professor of English at Wesleyan University, will present the Honors Program Spring Lecture, Refugee Ecologies. In this talk, Nguyen offers examples of ecocritical readings of refugee literature, and opens up the question of why it might be useful to do so, both in terms of American cultural history and the present moment.
Nguyen studies 20th- and 21st-century American literature, specializing in Asian American literature, refugee contexts, and literary history. She is author of America’s Vietnam: The Longue Durée of U.S. Literature and Empire (2018) and co-editor of Refugee Cultures: Forty Years after the Vietnam War (2016).
Prior to arriving at Wesleyan, Nguyen spent time in New Orleans researching Vietnamese Americans pre-and post-Hurricane Katrina to understand intersections of race, disaster, and narrative form. Her next project, tentatively titled Refugee Ecologies, is based on this work and argues for ecocritical readings of refugee cultures.
Karen Russell is the author of three story collections, including Vampires in the Lemon Grove and her most recent book, Orange World, as well as the novel Swamplandia! a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her many honors include MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, the “5 Under 35” prize from the National Book Foundation, and the NYPL Young Lions Award.
A former fellow of the Cullman Center and the American Academy in Berlin, she now teaches in Texas State University’s MFA program and lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.
This reading follows a Q&A at 4pm in the New Beard Room (150 Boylston Street).
Please RSVP by February 26.
Join the Emerson Prison Initiative for their spring event, a screening of True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality, followed by a Q&A with Rahsaan Hall and Tanekwah Hinds from the American Civil Liberties Union.
True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality follows public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson’s struggle to create greater fairness in the criminal justice system, and shows how racial injustice emerged, evolved, and continues to threaten the country, challenging viewers to confront it.
For more than three decades, Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has advocated on behalf of the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned, seeking to eradicate racial discrimination in the system. Following the film, Rahsaan Hall and Tanekwah Hinds from the ACLU will lead a Q&A.
Rahsaan Hall is the director of the Racial Justice Program for the ACLU Massachusetts. Through legislative advocacy, litigation and community engagement, the program works on issues that deeply impact communities of color and historically disenfranchised communities.
Tanekwah Hinds is the Racial Justice Community Advocate for the ACLU Massachusetts where she develops relationships and creates advocacy opportunities for organizations, leaders, and activists in communities of color.