2019 Distinguished Alumni Lecture: P. Carl


Location: Hesburgh Center for International Studies Auditorium

Pcarl Aa Headshot

Caring for Bodies Not Our Own: Storytelling as a Bridge to Radical Understanding


P. Carl, M.A. ‘90, B.A. '88

Distinguished Artist in Residence at Emerson College, co-founder of HowlRound, dramaturg, and nonfiction author


P. Carl is being honored with the Kroc Institute’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. Now a nonfiction writer and Distinguished Artist in Residence at Emerson College in Boston, Carl has a long career as an artistic director and theater advocate. Carl founded and launched the online journal HowlRound, that eventually evolved into a collaborative public commons for global theatermakers and “amplifies progressive, disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates connections between diverse practitioners.” The platform, now part of Emerson College, includes a journal, a blog, and works to convene conversations and events to spark conversation.


His forthcoming memoir, Becoming a White Man, will be published in Fall 2019 by Simon & Schuster. 


Carl's lecture will focus on both the impossibility and necessity of feeling into bodies that have no connection to our own experiences and culture. What can we learn from stories of what it is like to inhabit black, immigrant, and queer bodies? His remarks are based on a lifetime of work of making stories and thinking about the shortcomings of terms like “empathy”—about how any movements to get us closer to peace and successful collaborations require not only policies and negotiations, but stories that reflect the diversity of who we are and who we can never be. Carl hopes to build understanding of the ways that diverse stories can serve as a bridge toward knowing bodies that we can never inhabit, and may bring a glimmer of hope to the most pressing problems in our world right now.


A reception will follow the lecture at 5:30 in the Hesburgh Center Great Hall.


This event is co-sponsored by the Notre Dame Department Gender Studies Program, the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, and the University Writing Program.