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NMSU collective hosts series to imagine a ‘borderlands pluriversity’

The New Mexico State University Borderlands and Ethnic Studies, Chicano Programs and the Dean’s Fellows of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at the College of Arts and Sciences are hosting a dialogue series titled, "Imagining and Shaping Pluriversities: Land-based Indigenous Knowledges and Pedagogies of Resistance."


Group of women
(Clockwise from left) Pluriversity Imagination Collective members, Judith Flores Carmona, interim director of Chicano Programs, associate professor and faculty fellow in the Honors College; Manal Hamzeh, professor of gender and sexuality studies; Georgina Badoni, assistant professor of anthropology; and Dulcinea Lara, associate professor and director of Borderlands and Ethnic Studies program. (Courtesy Photo)
Poster of two women
(From left) Lisa Grayshield and Jennie Luna kicked off the series with their talk titled, “Intersecting Momentum: A discussion about the History of Colonization and the Now of Healing Land and People.” (Courtesy Photo)
Two men
(Clockwise from left) "Imagining and Shaping Pluriversities: Land-based Indigenous Knowledges and Pedagogies of Resistance,” lecture series presenters Antonio Duran, Rabab Abdulhadi and Timothy E. Nelson. (Courtesy Photo)

A pluriversity rethinks the relationship between knowledge and power, offering new perspectives on how a university imparts knowledge using diverse methodologies to broaden university thought and practices that range from feminist approaches to scientific research to ways of knowing expressed through Native American, African and other traditions. These approaches seek creative solutions for expanding learning in traditional universities so they may evolve into pluriversities.

Organized by a group of NMSU faculty collaborating as the Pluriversity Imagination Collective, the series was spearheaded by Manal Hamzeh, professor of gender and sexuality studies; Dulcinea Lara, associate professor and director of the Borderlands and Ethnic Studies program; Judith Flores Carmona, associate professor and faculty fellow in the Honors College and interim director of Chicano Programs; and Georgina Badoni, assistant professor of Native American visual culture in the department of anthropology.

Lara said the series’ conversations will integrate communities and voices that have been left out of traditional academic spaces. “We imagine that a Borderlands Pluriversity is decolonizing, healing, and innovative in solving the most pressing issues in our midst.”

The series kicked off Feb. 10 via YouTube with a talk by Jennie Luna and Lisa Grayshield on Intersecting Momentums: A Discussion about the History of Colonization and the Now of healing Land and People. Watch it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jS1kRYJsb4. Three more of these events are planned for Spring 2021. The remaining speakers will address the significance of the “Afro-frontier,” Palestine and ethnic studies and supporting queer students of color.

Pluviersities are the intended outcome of decolonizing university institutions and opening spaces and processes of knowledge production that honor epistemic diversity. The NMSU collective intends to organize and facilitate this dialogue series to begin imagining a pluriversity in the borderlands.

“This is an exciting and timely collective that allows all of us to cross borders and imagine pluriversity at NMSU and beyond.” Flores Carmona said.

Each professor in the collective serves as affiliate faculty of the Borderlands and Ethnic Studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences, which provides students a multidisciplinary graduate certification that aims to educate graduate students, including local teachers, to build their capacity to help students understand and navigate issues that are dividing the nation.

“The collective was borne out of years of academic and public intellectual work that we engage in the name of plurality - to disrupt the idea that there is just "one" or "uni" way of knowing, teaching, learning or being.” Lara said. “We want to be inventive, expansive, and engaging of voices that have been marginalized for centuries in academia and beyond.”

The series focuses on concepts of justice, equity, historical and contemporary realities of settler colonialism, scholars’ experiences of colonialism in higher education, reflections on NMSU’s mission as a land grant university and more.

“We hope for dialogues that may open the possibilities to cultivate conviviality, resistance and coexistence/re-existence in dignity beyond the singularity and linearity we expect in traditional university systems.” Hamzeh said.

Upcoming presenters in the series include: Timothy E. Nelson at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 10; Rabab Abdulhadi at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 31; and Antonio Duran at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 14. To join the lecturers, visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPItnsss1GPKiNmcChmfK2Q.

The events are co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Fellows, Chicano Programs, Borderlands and Ethnic Studies, and the Southwest and Border Cultures Institute.

To learn more about upcoming events details visit, https://chicano.nmsu.edu/.