2022 Keynote Speakers

Knowledge is Power:
Dismantling Systematic Bias in Educational Institutions

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Dr. Michelle Tovar (she/her/ella) 

The Director of Public Engagement at Holocaust Museum Houston. Dr. Tovar is responsible for expanding the museum’s engagement with new audiences, the public, students, and scholars. In this role, she conceptualizes and implements a broad range of public programs related to the museum’s exhibitions and enhances community partnerships with local and national organizations. Dr. Tovar maintains a genuine and profound commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion; and proactively ensures that the museum is a thought leader in social justice, human rights, genocide, and Holocaust education.

She earned her MLA in History at the University of St. Thomas and her EdD at the University of Houston in Curriculum and Instruction in K-12 Social Education, emphasizing Social Justice Education. She is a Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies alum, a Fulbright-Hays scholar, and currently serves as a Houston Coalition Against Hate board member. In 2020, Dr. Tovar was awarded the American Alliance of Museums Ed Com Award for Excellence in Practice.

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Dr. Christian Uwe (he/him)

Christian Uwe is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His research explores the intersection of aesthetics, semiotics, and politics in Sub-Saharan, Caribbean as well as French literatures and arts. In this context, he engages with literary theory in its entanglements with world literature, de/colonization of minds, and the inequalities generated by neoliberal policies of publishing and of knowledge circulation. Both as a scholar and a teacher, he is sensitive to the role of imagination and aesthetic rationality in shaping the world as we experience it politically (as evidenced, for instance, by colonial school curricula, aesthetics/politics of othering, or apocalyptic experiences).

He is the author of a monograph on Martinican poet and thinker Édouard Glissant (Le Discours choral: essai sur l’oeuvre romanesque d’Édouard Glissant, Peter Lang, 2017), and of a second book on thinking existence in contemporary Sub-Saharan novels (L’archive paradoxale: penser l’existence avec le roman francophone subsaharien, forthcoming with the University of Montreal Press).