Save the Date! 22nd Mikhail Memorial Lecture: Oct. 18, 2022

We are delighted to announce that Melissa Chimera and Adele Ne James, an artist-poet mother-daughter creative duo, will deliver this year’s Mikhail Memorial Lecture. The 22nd annual lecture will be held in a hybrid format with the support of the University of Toledo College of Arts and Letters on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern at the McQuade Law Auditorium on the University of Toledo’s Main Campus. The title of their presentation is, “The Lebanese Diaspora, Loss and Recovery: A Personal Retrospective.

Mother-daughter duo and Hawa’ii residents Adele Ne Jame and Melissa Chimera combine their expertise in poetry and visual artistry to represent species extinction, globalization and human migration. Their work has been displayed at the Sharjah, United Arab Emirates International Biennial in 2009 and most recently at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, MI.

Of Adele Ne Jame’s poems, 2004 Mikhail Memorial lecturer and national Youth Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye has said,

“From the jagged landscapes linking hearts and cultures, the rich mix of Middle East heritage transposed to Hawai’i, images flutter, shine and hold fast. There’s a solitude here. You have walked into a forest by yourself and come across the tangled histories of everything you loved.”

Event parking is available in Area 12. A visitor parking permit is required to park on campus at all times. Visit to purchase a parking permit. If you require accessibility information or accommodations related to this event, please contact the UToledo College of Arts and Letters Dean’s Office at 419-530-2164.

For those who are unable to attend this event in-person, the lecture will also be live-streamed and archived on the University’s YouTube channel. Click this link to watch the live-stream.

We sincerely hope you will be able to join us.

Adele Ne James, left, and Melissa Chimera, right

Melissa Chimera is from Honolulu and of Lebanese and Filipino ancestry. She studied natural resources management at the University of Hawai‘i, a world epicenter for plant and animal extinction and worked for two decades as a conservationist. Chimera’s mixed media paintings and installations are research-based investigations into species extinction, globalization and human migration. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout the U.S., Asia and the Middle East, published in anthologies and reviewed by the Washington Post and Hyperallergic art review. She was among a dozen invited artists to join and exhibit in a China-Tibet art collaboration called “Moving Cultures,” and is the 2022 artist in residence at Anchorage Museum. Her solo exhibitions, curatorial projects and collaborations with her mother Adele Ne Jame include “Remittance” (2022), “Migrant” (2019), “The Far Shore” (2018) and “Inheritance: Land and Spirit” for the Sharjah Binniale 9. Chimera is the recipient of theCatherine E. B. Cox Award and finalist for the Duke University Lange-Taylor Prize in documentary studies. Her work resides in the collections of the Arab American National Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, and the Hawai‘i State Foundation of Culture and the Arts.

Adele Ne Jame, Lebanese American, has taught poetry in Hawai’i since 1990 and currently serves as Professor Emeritus at Hawai’i Pacific University. Previously, she served as the Poet-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has published several books of poems, including Field Work and The South Wind. Her honors include a National Endowment for the Arts in Poetry, Eliot Cades Award for Literature, a Pablo Neruda poetry prize and a Robinson Jeffers Poetry Prize. As broadsides, her poems were exhibited along with her daughter’s paintings in the Sharjah, United Arab Emirates International Biennial in 2009, and most recently her work, with her daughter’s, was displayed at the Arab American National Museum, Dearborn Michigan.

About the Lecture Series

The Mikhail Endowment Fund was originally established through a donation from the Mikhail family to honor the work and contributions of Maryse Mikhail and her involvement in educational, philanthropic and interfaith organizations. The main purpose of the fund is to support an annual lecture dealing with Arab culture, history, politics, economics, and other aspects of life in the Middle East including issues of peace and justice.  

Click here for a full list of previous lectures.

Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the fund to help ensure the continuation of the lecture series for years to come. Any amount is welcome, and checks should be made payable to the UT Foundation with a notation of the Maryse and Ramzy Mikhail Endowment Fund (#1301-005). Gifts may be sent to The University of Toledo Foundation, P.O. Box 586, Toledo, OH, 43607-0586. Secure online gifts may be made at Please be sure to designate Fund #1301-005.

Use the sign-up form in the sidebar to receive notices of future lectures. All inquiries may be sent to

Media Coverage

The Toledo Blade

University of Toledo Press Release

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