In the newest episode of Imagine Otherwise, I had a fabulous conversation with activist and scholar Manuela Lavinas Picq about the powerful ways Indigenous Ecuadorian women are forging new models for international politics; the personal, professional, and political stakes of being a scholar in the Global South; why it is so important for academics to work with and for communities, not just write about them; and how Indigenous communities across the globe are imagining worlds beyond the state.
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You can also read the transcript and show notes on the Ideas on Fire website, which have links to Manuela’s work and all the concepts, people, and events we discuss on the show (great for teaching!).
Guest: Manuela Lavinas Picq
Manuela Lavinas Picq is a professor of international relations at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Ecuador, and a Loewenstein Fellow at Amherst College in the United States.
She contributes to international media outlets and has held research positions at Freie Universität, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Manuela’s latest book Vernacular Sovereignties: Indigenous Women Challenging World Politics (University of Arizona Press, 2018) is the fruit of a decade working with Kichwa peoples in the Ecuadorean Andes.
Her work at the intersection of scholarship, journalism, and activism led her to be detained and expelled by the government of Ecuador in 2015, then nominated in a New Generation of Public Intellectuals in 2018.
“The challenge of academics is to be with the communities. Our ideas alone are not enough to stand with the communities; our bodies and our ideas most come together with the communities and in the communities where we work. It’s a challenge because academia is very comfortable and activism is very uncomfortable. It’s a lot of invisible work behind the scenes—and not paid work.”
– Manuela Lavinas Picq on episode 72 of the Imagine Otherwise podcast