Schedule

All times are EST.

Friday, November 6, 2020

10 – 10:15 am

Opening Remarks & Land Acknowledgement  VIRTUAL

10:15 – 10:25 am

DIR Conference Team

Welcome by Dean Kyte

 VIRTUAL

10:30 – 11:45 am

DIR 101

The Decolonizing International Relations 101 panel was envisioned to directly support the theme Decolonization(s): From the Ground-Up. The notion of decolonization in the international relations space has often been relegated to a few decades in the 20th century; a historical artefact, instead of a living, breathing project and goal, journey and destination. This panel was created with the aim of first, introducing attendees to the concept of decolonization more broadly and within international relations, and, second, helping attendees understand that decolonization is plural, not singular.

Panelists:

  • Ayesha Jalal, Tufts University
  • Jayita Sarkar, Boston University
  • Kris Manjapra, Tufts University

Moderator:

  • Jeremiah Anthony, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
 VIRTUAL
11:45 – 12:45 am Open Expression VIRTUAL
12:45 – 1:45 pm Lunch (zoom breakout optional)  

1:45 – 3 pm

(option 1 of 2)

Workshop: Protests/Dissent 101

Led by Ahmed Ishmail.

Ahmed Ismail is one of the co-founders of Ames Black Lives Matter. He helped found the organization this year in the wake of the murder of Mr. George Floyd. Ames, Iowa is in a deeply conservative part of a state Donald Trump handily carried in 2016. Since its founding, Ames BLM has attracted hundreds of protestors to its multiple protests a month. Ishmail has recruited and trained medics, safety leaders, and various other positions to ensure that all the protests are fully equipped to confront system injustices. Ismail also runs the podcast “In The Hilla” to bring stories of minority success to underprivileged youth.

 
 

1:45 – 3 pm

(option 2 of 2)

Tech and Decolonization

The use, control and regulation of technology has long been a field that has been dominated by the Western world. This paradigm has led to the exclusion of multiple voices, and the history of technology has simultaneously been a history of hegemony. Technology is far from being an objective, neutral tool – bias is rife in technology,  whether  in facial recognition, surveillance or online searches. Through the Tech for Decolonization panel we hope to bring to light a discussion around how to reduce this bias, narrow the digital divide and decolonize to create a culture of inclusive technology.

Panelists:

  • Anjuan SimmonsTechnology Translator
  • Safiya Noble, University of California Los Angeles
  • Thenmozhi SoundararajanEquality Labs

Moderator:

  • Layan DamanhouriThe Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
 
3 – 3:15 pm 

Break (zoom breakout optional)

VIRTUAL

3:15 – 4:30 pm

(option 1 of 2)

Global Public Health Past; COVID Present

The Global Public Health Past; COVID Present panel is aimed at exploring the origins and trajectory of global public health, the role it has played in reinforcing colonial hegemony and values, and the legacy thereof. Global public health is a topic of great relevance and urgency against the backdrop of a pandemic; but it has always been relevant and urgent. Each panelist will bring a unique perspective to this rich topic that has implications for the entire world.

Panelists:

  • Abraar Karan, Harvard University
  • Aziza Ahmed, Northeastern University
  • Yvette Cozier, Boston University

Moderator

  • Neiha Lasharie, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
VIRTUAL

3:15 – 4:30 pm

(option 2 of 2)

 Gender and Sexuality in the (de)Colonial Gaze

The feminist and queer movements are critical in terms of bringing to light the challenges faced by gender and sexual minorities. True inclusive feminism demands that we scrutinize the coloniality of power in race/gender/sex/class/sexuality. The Gender and Sexuality in the (de)Colonial Gaze panel will attempt to dive deep into the deconstruction of gender and sexuality, its relationship with the global capitalist regime, and the challenges of intersectionality

Panelists:

  • Kareem Khubchandani, Tufts University
  • Storm-Miguel Florez, The Whistle Documentary
  • Grace BanuTrans Rights Now Collective

Moderator:

  • Padmini Baruah, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
VIRTUAL
4:30 – 5 pm Happy Hour/Performance VIRTUAL
     
     

Saturday, November 7, 2020

10 – 10:15 am

Reflections from Day 1  VIRTUAL

10:15 – 11:30 am

(option 1 of 2)

Workshop: From Cultural to Structural Change: The Role of the Arts

Led by Diana Martinez.

The toppling of statues is a key part of decolonial and revolutionary praxis. This issue has seen renewed urgency in light of the Movement for Black Lives, which has inspired an interrogation of oppressive structures worldwide. The targets of this dissent are mired in history – a history that many marginalized people are working to reclaim and cast in a more nuanced light. 

Tufts University Professor Diana Martinez will be working with workshop participants to explore how we shift from the cultural and symbolic change that is represented by (a) the removal and destruction of monuments that depict and reinforce racial oppression, and (b) the erection of memorials depicting the endurance of oppressed groups; to structural, transformative and reparative change as represented by (for example) the call to defund/abolish the police and to invest in community based infrastructures of care. Workshop participants will leave with an appreciation for the intersection of aesthetics and justice, and the role played by the former in helping or hindering the latter.

 VIRTUAL

10:15 – 11:30 am

(option 2 of 2)

Climate (In)Justice

The Climate (In)Justice panel is aimed at situating the discourse around climate change squarely among the communities that are likely to be disproportionately affected by the crisis. We know the worst human effects of climate change will be gendered, brown, poor, indigenous, and stateless. A conversation about climate justice cannot take place without identifying the injustices presently at play – and solutions to climate change must center the very people most at risk.

Panelists:

  • Kyle Whyte, University of Michigan
  • Marinel Ubaldo, youth activist
  • Conrado Oliveira, Red Uniendo Manos Peru

Moderator:

  • Sabrina Andrews, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
 VIRTUAL
11:30 am – 12 pm Break (zoom breakout optional) VIRTUAL

12 – 1:15 pm

(option 1 of 2)

Meta Reflections – From Theory to Practice 

How far has the decolonization movement come? Through the Meta Reflections panel, we aim to provide a space for reflection on the decolonization journey in academia, policy, activism and practice. We invite panelists to share their thoughts on the hegemonies predominant in their field, their own experiences with decolonization, and their thoughts on the state of the field today.

Panelists:

  • Dipali Mukhopadhyay, University of Minnesota
  • Okey Ukah, prison abolitionist
  • Khadija Mohamud, US State Department

Moderator:

  • Meaghan Waff, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
VIRTUAL

12 – 1:15 pm

(option 2 of 2)

Alternative Resistance

Non-violent protests are tactics to garner sympathy from privileged groups, so what should people do when the privileged have none? At what point does the violence committed against a community necessitate the immediacy of violent reaction? When is civil disobedience not enough? Can violent tactics be a form of decolonization? The Alternative Resistance will explore the complicated discourse around the answers to these questions.

Panelists:

  • Darryl Li, University of Chicago
  • Jowan Safadi, Palestinian musician
  • Lee Pao Xiong, Concordia University

Moderator:

  • Amaia Arregi, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
 
 

1:15 – 2 pm

Lunch/Happy Hour

 

2 – 3:15 pm

(option 1 of 2) 

Workshop: Allyship

Led by Jake Oster.

Jake Oster is a proud Objibwe. He is a DC-based teacher who has been a lion for multiple communities. For the past decade he has helped lead protests for Native American and LGBTQ+ rights, voices, and justice across the USA. He also recognizes the importance of intersectionality and allyship, which is why he became one of the heroes of the DC BLM protests during the summer of 2020. This panel will explore how one can be an effective ally in enacting change.

VIRTUAL

2 – 3:15 pm

(option 2 of 2)

Workshop: Fieldnotes from Decolonization

Led by Maria Teresa Nagel

How do we conduct research that can provide valuable insight and promote voices from the ground while avoiding the trap of being extractive? How do we navigate our careers on the field and confront the dual challenge of preserving the integrity of our findings as well as respecting autonomy? Join seasoned researcher Maria Teresa Nagel, the assistant director of the Leir Institute for Human Security, as she walks us through the ethics of conducting fieldwork. Decolonizing research entails decolonizing our methodology , and we hope that this interactive workshop can provide a starting place to begin the conversation. Suitable for students and practitioners with a focus on evidence based research.

VIRTUAL

3:15 – 3:30 pm

Break VIRTUAL

3:30 – 4:45 pm

(option 1 of 2)

Native Peoples Talk

The Fletcher DIR Conference operates on colonized land. Fletcher itself is built on Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) tribe land, stolen from them four centuries ago. But across the world, indigenous people are silenced, hurt, and are fighting for change. The Native Peoples Talk panel is intended to serve as a platform for indigenous people from around the world to talk about their experiences and the importance of listening to the voices of native peoples.

Panelists:

  • Charlie Scott, Diné scholar
  • Maia Waikaira, Tumuaki Whakarae
  • Dolkun Isa, human rights activist

Moderator:

  • CJ Aragon, US Department of State
VIRTUAL

3:30 – 4:45 pm

(option 2 of 2)

Election Reflection

The Fletcher Decolonizing International Relations Conference will be conducted on the first weekend after the United States Presidential Election, and near the end of a year full of elections from around the world. The Election Reflection Panel will primarily mull over what the US election means for the broader decolonization project, as well as what elections from around the world mean for the future.

Panelists:

  • Musa Al-Gharbi, Columbia University
  • Jorge Guajardo, McLarty Associates
  • Sheryl Lightfoot, University of British Columbia

Moderator:

  • Lesley Brock, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
VIRTUAL

4:45 – 4:55 pm

Break

 
4:55 – 5:45 pm
Keynote Address: Dr. Robbie Shilliam, Johns Hopkins University
5:45 – 6:15
Closing remarks (Professor Katrina Burgess)