Négar Djavadi was born in Iran in 1969 to a family of intellectuals opposed to the regimes both of the Shah, then of Khomeini. She arrived in France at the age of eleven, having crossed the mountains of Kurdistan on horseback with her mother and sister. She is a screenwriter and lives in Paris. Disoriental is her first novel. His second novel comes out in France in September 2020.
Salar Abdoh was born in Iran and splits his time between Tehran and New York City. He is the author of the novels Tehran at Twilight, The Poet Game, and Opium, and he is the editor of Tehran Noir. He teaches in the MFA program at the City College of New York. Out of Mesopotamia is his latest novel. He is the recipient of the NYFA Prize and the National Endowment for the Arts award.
This conversation will be moderated by Hana Morgenstern, University Lecturer in Postcolonial and Middle East Literature at Cambridge University and a Fellow at Newnham College, and Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Director of Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Hana Morgenstern is a scholar, writer, and translator. She is University Lecturer in Postcolonial and Middle East Literature at Cambridge University and a Fellow at Newnham College. Dr. Morgenstern is co-director of the Documents of the Arab Left and the Revolutionary Papers projects and co-convener of the Archives of the Disappeared seminar. She is currently at work on a book manuscript titled, Literary Infiltrators: Anticolonial Collaboration in Palestine/Israel.
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is the author of Call Me Zebra, winner of the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award, the John Gardner Fiction Award, and longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award. She is a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and a Whiting Writers Award Winner. Her novel, Savage Tongues, is forthcoming in 2021. She is the Director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Notre Dame and a Fellow of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
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 Kaufman, Ebrahim Moosa, Atalia 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 Rice, Perin Gürel, La Donna Forsgren, Olivier Morel, Ernest 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 April 9.