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Skidmore College
Off-Campus Study & Exchanges


This monthly lecture series will bring together Skidmore campus-based faculty and experts and faculty and experts from our international programs and partners, with the aim of providing truly global, substantive, faculty-led discussions regarding current issues and challenges that we all grapple with. There is an urgent need to hold these conversations and educate each other of our respective realities; yet currently, our students, faculty and staff have limited mobility and restricted ability to engage with the outside world face-to-face. We hope that OCSE's Global Conversations will provide an opportunity for intercultural discourse and debate. 

Our Global Conversations each will include three speakers, one/two from Skidmore and one/two from our overseas partners, will last for one hour, will be virtual over Zoom, and will focus on a current concern or issue facing three different countries or regions. Each speaker will present their local, national, or regional perspective.  The three speakers will provide discussion among themselves, and then there will be time for Q&A. 


The Global Conversation Series kicks off the spring semester with the topic of "Art and Social Resistance". A recording of the program can be accessed here.  

We welcomed the following guest speakers who will discussed their perspectives and work on several unique topics related to how the arts play out in specific movements across the globe.

GCS - Arts Speakers

“Hip Hop and Activism in Senegal”

Babacar Faye (PhD, Interim Academic Director at SIT Senegal) comes to SIT with a strong background in international education and teaching experience in Senegal, France, and the United States. He recently completed his Ph.D at the University Cheikh Anta Diop, after completing two master’s degrees at Bowling Green State University and the University of Lille in France. As a past recipient of the Fulbright and the Erasmus Mundi grants, Babacar studied and conducted research at the University of Babes-Bolyai in Romania and the National Autonomous University in Mexico. His research focuses on new social movements in the post-industrial West and the Decolonial African context with a strong focus on the role of social media and hip-hop as medium to effectuate political change globally.  He also has a strong academic background in intercultural mediation and conflict resolution. Babacar’s research has been published by the Transylvanian Review and The University Press of Pau. 

 “Art and Transformation in Ciudad Juárez”

Lisa Jackson-Schebetta (MFA, PhD - Associate professor and Chair of the Theater Department at Skidmore College).  A scholar, director, and dramaturg, Jackson-Schebetta’s research centers on performance and theatre in the Americas. She is the author of Traveler, There Is No Road: Theatre, the Spanish Civil War, and the Decolonial Imagination in the Americas (Iowa 2017) and numerous articlesHer current book project examines performance and peace-making in Colombia and the U.S. She is the editor of Theatre History Studies, the president of the American Theatre and Drama Society, and a former American Association of University Women fellow.

“Art, activism and social change in contemporary Scandinavia”

Robert Stasinski (Lecturer and Course Leader at DIS Stockholm) is an artist, writer and curator, living and working in Sweden. He is the editor of several books including Felix Gmelin – The Aging Revolution, 2006, The Synthetic Supernatural, 2011, The Board Room, 2016 and Soli Deo Gloria, 2017. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Konstnären[the artist] and Course leader and lecturer in Arts Management at the International Master Program in Curating at Stockholm University. Since 2010, he has been working as an artistic duo together with Alessandra Di Pisa, creating large-scale transdisciplinary art projects, which involve a wide range of disciplines, people and institutions. Their latest project is Being Unthinkable… - an AI-based, interactive robot, co-produced by IBM Sweden in collaboration with KTH Institute of Technology.

“Resisting from the Streets: Creativity and Innovation on Social Protests in Chile”

Victor Tricot (PhD, Director at SIT Spain: Policy, Law & Regional Autonomy in Europe) is a Lecturer of Political Science at the University of Girona, Catalonia, Spain, and Academic Director for SIT Study Abroad, Spain: Policy, Law, and Regional Autonomy in Europe. He holds a PhD in Contemporary Political Processes and a Master in Latin American Studies, both from the University of Salamanca, Spain. His research and writing have been mainly about social movements in Latin America and indigenous movements, particularly the Mapuche movement in Chile and Argentina. His research findings have been published in different academic and non-academic journals.


The Global Conversation Series continues this October with "Mindfulness in Times of Crisis". A recording of the program can be accessed here. The conversation discussed the neuroscience behind mindfulness, practical applications within the context of a study abroad program and included a guided mindfulness meditation.

We welcomed the following guest speakers who will discussed their work on mindfulness.

Global Conversation Series Presenters

  • Simone Schwank, PhD. Professor at DIS Stockholm. Professor Schwank is a postdoctoral fellow at Karolinska Institute Stockholm and UiT - The Arctic University of Norway in Perinatal Mental Health and is a Fellow at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. She is a Visiting Researcher at Fudan University, Medical School, Shanghai, China. Professor Schwank earned her PhD from Karolinska Institute, M.S. Psychotherapy (New York City University, 2015), M.A. Linguistics, M.S. in Psychology (University of Gothenburg, 2009), B.A. (University of Zurich 2007). She currently works as clinical psychotherapist in Shanghai, New York, Zurich, and Stockholm, and has been teaching with DIS since 2016.
  • Susan Sánchez Casal, PhD, Director of the Skidmore in Spain program. Susan Sánchez Casal holds a PhD from the University of California, Riverside. She is a former tenured faculty member of Hamilton College, a scholar of Antiracist, Feminist Justice in Higher Education, and for the last 11 years, the Director of the Tufts-Skidmore in Spain program. As a Latinx, feminist educator, Susan has committed herself to antiracist intersectional knowledge and practice, and has channeled this understanding of the world into the design and implementation of Tufts-Skidmore in Spain program. She is also a longtime practitioner of mindfulness meditation, with infinite curiosity about the relationship between mindfulness, the body-mind, and human wisdom, compassion and well-being. Susan feels very fortunate to be able to bring all of these areas to her work, and to share what she knows and cares about with generations of students who study abroad in Madrid. Susan is passionate about guiding young hearts and minds to lessen human suffering in the world (beginning with our own), deepen a sense of connection to other people, and understand the opportunity we have to make the world kinder, wiser and safe for all of us.
  • Jennifer Schmid-Fareed, Skidmore Mindfulness Program Coordinator. Jennifer Schmid-Fareed is a Yoga and meditation teacher who spent 10 years in residence at Ananda Ashram, a yoga retreat and spiritual educational center. While there she immersed herself in studying Yoga as a scientific and spiritual path, the Sanskrit language and the ancient scriptures of India. She began working for Skidmore College in 2016 as the program coordinator for Skidmore Mindfulness where she teaches Yoga and Mindfulness practices to students as tools for self-transformation and wellness.


The first topic we  tackled was “Black Lives Matter around the Globe”. A recording of this program can be accessed here. The program was co-sponsored by Black Studies and Skidmore in Spain. 

We welcomed the following guest speakers who will discussed their work on Black Lives Matter.

  • Professor Winston Grady-Willis, PhD. Founding director of Black Studies at Skidmore College. Professor Grady-Willis has supported, in principle, the Black Lives Matter Global Network, and continues to engage in intersectional teaching, research and activism that affirm Black lives globally.
  • Professor Esther (Mayoko) Ortega, PhD. Associate Professor in Skidmore in Spain program. Professor Ortega teaches and researches on Critical Studies on Race, Gender and Sexuality, as well as, researching on Social Studies of Science especially focused on the intersections of gender, race and biomedine. Currently, she is part of the queer-feminist-antiracist movement in Madrid (Spain) in “Espacio Afrofeminista con Conciencia-Afro”.  Beginning in 2020, Professor Ortega will teach a course on Black Lives Matter in Spain for the Skidmore in Spain program.
  • Professor Rachel Cantave, PhD. Assistant Professor of International Affairs at Skidmore College. Professor Cantave’s research explores the relationship between morality, race, religion, and political values within multi-faith Afro-Brazilian communities in Northeastern Brazil. Through her research, she has supported the work of black Brazilian religious activists and scholars.