2022 Bechtel Lecturer: Dr. Sofia Samatar

Thursday, March 10, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST

In the last two years, instructions to "shelter in place" became familiar around the globe as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This lecture considers what it means to shelter in place, not just in terms of emergency management, but as a deliberate practice with ethical and ecological effects. What do poets, walkers, and weather observers teach us about the value of dwelling in place? What does shelter look like for those who are forced to leave their homes? And when prevented from staying in place, how can a person dwell? Is it possible to shelter in time?

Lecture: On Dwelling: Shelters in Place and Time
Thursday, March 10, 7:00 PM (Virtual)
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Sofia Samatar
Dr. Sofia Samatar is the author of the novels A Stranger in Olondria and The Winged Histories, the short story collection, Tender, and Monster Portraits, a collaboration with her brother, the artist Del Samatar. Her works have received several honors, including the Astounding Award for Best New Writer and the World Fantasy Award. A graduate of Goshen College and former Mennonite Central Committee volunteer in Egypt and South Sudan, she now lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she teaches African literature, Arabic literature, and speculative fiction at James Madison University. Her memoir The White Mosque, forthcoming in October 2022, shares what she learned about identity and border-crossing from the history of a Mennonite village in Central Asia.

Bechtel lecture invite