International Education Week presents keynote speakers Diaz, Alarcón

International Education Week (IEW) takes place Nov. 14-16 and features two award-winning writers as keynote speakers who will bring global perspectives to the uptown campus.

Author, journalist, professor and 2021 MacArthur Fellow Daniel Alarcón will speak at the Bobby Yan Lectureship in Media and Social Change on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 5:30 p.m. in Freeman Auditorium. Alarcón’s work explores the social, cultural and linguistic ties that connect people throughout Latin America and the United States. He teaches journalism at Columbia University and is the author of Lost City Radio (2007), At Night We Walk in Circles (2013) and The King is Always Above the People (2017). Alarcón is also a co-founder of the renowned podcasts “Radio Ambulante” and “El Hilo.”

Although Alarcón considers himself a creative and fictional storyteller, he has been passionate about nonfiction and journalism too. “I enjoy that moment when reporting a piece — whether it be a piece of political journalism or an investigation into some subculture — when you become invisible … The practice of paying close attention, observing human relationships in settings that are perhaps outside your comfort zone — all of this is useful when it comes to writing fiction too.”

The Bobby Yan Lectureship, part of the Tulane Trailblazers initiative, is sponsored by the School of Liberal Arts.

Alarcón’s lecture is also part of the Distinguished Greenleaf Series, sponsored by the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research (CIPR) / Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Alarcón's participation in IEW is sponsored by CIPR / Stone Center for Latin American Studies, A. B. Freeman School of Business, Office of Academic Affairs and Provost, and Fulbright Association (Louisiana Chapter).

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natalie Diaz will lecture and read from her work on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 5:30 p.m. in Freeman Auditorium. A 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, associate English professor at Arizona State University and co-founder of the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands, Diaz authored Postcolonial Love Poem (2021) and When My Brother Was an Aztec (2012).

Diaz believes in the physical power of language: “Putting pressure on language is a very important part of our poetry, deciding what words and what phrases make certain people invisible and certain people visible,” she said.

Diaz has also devoted most of her life to language advocacy work; she has expressed that one of the most important things she’s done is to work with elders to preserve the Mojave language, and in many ways, she admits, “I don’t think that I will ever write anything more important than the stories of theirs that I have written down.”

Born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village, Diaz identifies herself as Indigenous, Latinx and queer.

This event is sponsored by Newcomb Institute, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Altman Program in International Studies and Business, Middle American Research Institute, and the Office of Academic Affairs and Provost.

Learn about these events and others and register to attend at the International Education Week website.