Plenary Session

The Diasporic Solidarities conference’s plenary session invites four notable thinkers into conversation to speak on how we might move, imagine, and struggle across (de)colonial experiences and diasporic intimacies in-and-through solidarities. This public virtual plenary webinar session takes place on Friday, June 10, 2022 from 1:00-2:30pm Eastern Time and will explore the promises and tensions of both diaspora and solidarity.

Meet Our Plenary Speakers

An arched photo of Nadine Attewell with dark chin length hair, light red lipstick, and a dark coral knit sweater

Nadine Attewell is a scholar of empire, intimacy, and Asian and Asian diasporic life. Currently, she directs the undergraduate program in Global Asia at Simon Fraser University, where she is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.

Having published Better Britons: Reproduction, National Identity, and the Afterlife of Empire in 2014, she is completing a second, SSHRC-funded book entitled Archives of Intimacy: Racial Mixing and Asian Lives in the Colonial Port City.

Her work has appeared in Verge: Studies in Global Asia, the Journal of Asian American StudiesInter-Asia Cultural Studies, and Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, and she serves on the editorial board of Trans Asia Photography

[image description: an arched photo of Nadine Attewell with dark chin length hair, light red lipstick, and a dark coral knit sweater]

An arched, grey scale photo of Oonya Kempadoo with long curly hair, triangle earrings, and a geometric mock neck top

Oonya Kempadoo resides in Montreal, Canada, and is a UK, Guyanese, Grenadian citizen. With study in fine art and a 10 year ‘apprenticeship’ in Carnival Arts in Trinidad, Oonya is the author of three novels, two of which were nominated for the Dublin Impac Prize.

Her creative writing, critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, has been long-listed for the Orange Prize, translated into six languages and recommended on Oprah Winfrey’s Summer Reads. Winner of a Casa De Las Americas prize, she was named a “Great Talent for the 21st Century” by Orange Prize judges. Oonya is a Fulbright Scholar alumni, co-founder of the Grenada Community Library and is a creative practitioner, activist and consultant/researcher with an interest in cross-disciplinary dialogue. She is currently the recipient of Canadian public grants for her work in progress, Naniki, a speculative story-based, multimedia, eco-social project.

[image description: an arched, grey scale photo of Oonya Kempadoo with long curly hair, triangle earrings, and a geometric mock neck top]

An arched photo of Ianna Hawkins Owen with brown almost chin length curly hair, long fuchsia geometric earrings, brown-grey lipstick, and grey and black glasses

Ianna Hawkins Owen is an assistant professor of English and African American Studies at Boston University and works in black studies and asexuality studies.

Owen’s current book project, Ordinary Failure: Diaspora’s Limits & Longings, theorizes the keyword “diaspora” through an examination of negative affects in black literary and visual culture.

Owen’s work can also be found in Feminist ReviewRadical TeacherPost 45 ContemporariesAsexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives, and Social Text (forthcoming).

[image description: an arched photo of Ianna Hawkins Owen with brown almost chin length curly hair, long fuchsia geometric earrings, brown-grey lipstick, and grey and black glasses]

An arched grey scale photo of Adrian De Leon with curly hair, large glasses, and a lighter cardigan atop a dark round neck top

Adrian De Leon is a poet and historian at the University of Southern California, where he is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity.

His research explores Philippine indigeneities and diasporas, and the legacies of plantation capitalism across the Pacific.

He is the author and editor of three books, most recently barangay: an offshore poem (Buckrider Books, 2021), and is the co-host and co-writer of the PBS miniseries, A People’s History of Asian America.

[image description: an arched grey scale photo of Adrian De Leon with curly hair, large glasses, and a lighter cardigan atop a dark round neck top]