Literatures of Annihilation, Exile & Resistance: The Aesthetics of Annihilation, a Brief Screening & Conversation


Location: Virtual Event


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Ruth Zylberman was born in 1971 in Paris. She is a writer and documentary filmmaker. Her filmography credentials include: Paris-Fantômes (2002) Dissidents (2009), 209 rue Saint-Maur, Paris Xe (2017), 1939, A Last Summer (2019). Her novel, La Direction de l’Absent (2015, Ed. Christian Bourgois) was translated in English (The Department of Missing People, Arcade Publishing), German and Spanish. She recently published 209 rue Saint-Maur, Paris Xe, Autobiographie d'un immeuble (2020, Le Seuil/Arte-Editions).  She curretly resides in Paris, France.

This conversation will feature the discussant, Olivier Morel, Joint Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Notre Dame, and be moderated by Ernesto Verdeja, Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies.

A French and American scholar and filmmaker, Olivier Morel is the director of several feature-length nonfiction films (documentaries) and the author of essays including one graphic novel with the artist and writer Maël. His academic work, as well as his films, highlight the importance of creation and the arts (music, literature, cinema, photography) in the perception of historical events. He is a joint associate professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Ernesto Verdeja is Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies at Notre Dame. His research focuses on the causes and prevention of genocide and mass atrocities, as well as on political reconciliation and transitional justice. Ernesto also frequently consults on mass atrocities prevention and early warning with governments and human rights organizations.

Literatures of Annihilation, Exile & Resistance: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Global Middle East and North Africa is a bi-annual symposium and lecture series that focuses on the study of literatures that have been shaped by histories of territorial and linguistic politics, colonialism, military domination and gross human rights violations. The initiative grapples with the constructed nature of history; reimagines American and global history from the position of suppressed voices; and examines how minoritized writers and scholars have historically innovated literary production and theory in the process of responding to systemic violence. 

We dedicate this series to all of the people around the world whose lives have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and who have long battled the social, spiritual, physical, and material injustices that the pandemic has further exacerbated. It is our hope that these conversations will be a small source of light and solidarity through the double pandemic of racism and COVID.

Literatures of Annihilation, Exile & Resistance, launched by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, is co-sponsored by the College of Arts & Letters, the Keough School of Global Affairs and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

Kroc Institute faculty members Asher KaufmanEbrahim MoosaAtalia Omer, and Ernesto Verdeja also serve on the advisory board for the series. In addition, the advisory board includes College of Arts and Letters faculty members Alison RicePerin Gürel,  La Donna ForsgrenOlivier MorelErnest Morrell, and Mark Sanders.  This initiative would not have been possible without the contributions of advisory board member Chana Morgenstern, Lecturer in Postcolonial and Middle Eastern Literatures, Faculty of English, Cambridge University.  

Other events in the series will take place on January 15 and February 19.