Winter lectures address global social concerns

February 28, 2022 | Web First
Ashitha Mantrawadi | Conrad Grebel University College
Waterloo, Ont.
Sofia Samatar (left) and Regina Shands-Stoltzfus (right) will give lectures at Conrad Grebel University College in March.

Coming in March, Conrad Grebel University College is hosting two distinct winter lectures, offered by Sofia Samatar and Regina Shands-Stoltzfus. The presentations are focused on addressing global social concerns and raising awareness about oppression.

“We are eagerly anticipating the 2022 Bechtel and Sawatsky lectures,” said Troy Osborne, dean at Conrad Grebel. “They will be excellent opportunities to learn from two remarkable scholars. Dr. Samatar’s and Dr. Shands Stoltzfus’s talks address the topical subjects of shelter, justice and anti-oppression, and we look forward to learning more from them.”

Sofia Samatar, associate professor at James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) and an award-winning fantasy author, will deliver the Bechtel Lecture in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies. Samatar's forthcoming memoir, The White Mosque, shares what she learned about identity and border-crossing from the history of a Mennonite village in Central Asia.

Samatar’s upcoming lecture, “On Dwelling: Shelters in Place and Time,” explores the idea of what it means to shelter in place from an ethical point of view. She considers the questions, “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?”

Regina Shands Stoltzfus is this year’s Rodney and Lorna Sawatsky Visiting Scholar. She is a published author and the director of the Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies program at Goshen College (Goshen, Ind.). Her lecture, “Resistance Strategies: Equipping Ourselves and Our Communities for Long Term Justice Work,” addresses the topic of maintaining a just world.

“The work of building a more just world includes acknowledging the world that is, and that was,” Shands Stoltzfus said. “This knowledge can be overwhelming, especially for people with marginalized identities. This talk will reflect on strategies from past and current movements, as well as how my own teaching has changed.”

The public is invited to join the Conrad Grebel community and attend these thought-provoking lectures. Samatar’s lecture will be presented virtually on Thursday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m. EDT, and Shands Stoltzfus’s lecture will be presented virtually on Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

Both lectures are free to attend, but advance registration is required. Visit for details.

Related story:
Common Read continues with ‘Been in the Struggle’

Sofia Samatar (left) and Regina Shands-Stoltzfus (right) will give lectures at Conrad Grebel University College in March.

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