This presentation examines how comparative methods can be incorporated within experiential learning courses; it accomplishes this by capitalizing on the conceptual frameworks outlined in one of Assia Djebar’s short stories, which takes place in the context of a classroom where students discuss the cultural and political relevance of The One Thousand and One Nights.
Mich Yonah Nyawalo earned his Bachelor’s and Master of Arts degrees in English (with specializations in literature, sociolinguistics and cultural studies) at West University and Gothenburg University (respectively) in Sweden. He completed his second Master’s as well as a Ph.D. in comparative literature with a focus on media and globalization studies at the Pennsylvania State University. He is fluent in French, English, Swedish, Swahili and Luo (one of his identities includes being from the Luo ethnic group in Kenya). His research and teaching intersect with fields such as globalization studies, postcolonial studies, transnational feminist and queer studies, media studies, critical pedagogy and service-learning. The years he has spent living and studying in Kenya, Uganda, France, Sweden and the United States have highly defined his academic projects, which appropriate a mixture of critical tools and scholarly texts derived from the fields of African, African Diaspora and African American Studies (Mich was born in Kenya and was raised in different countries throughout his childhood, adolescent years, and as a young adult). His recently published book, Teaching in Times of Crisis: Applying Comparative Literature in the Classroom, explores how comparative methods that are instrumental in reading and teaching works of literature stemming from different regions around the world also provide us with tools to dissect and engage the moments of crises that permeate our contemporary political realities.