Literature and Surveillance:
A Reading and Conversation with Sinan Antoon
Friday, 6 November, 2020
Sinan Antoon is a poet, novelist, scholar, and translator. He was born in Baghdad and left Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War. He holds degrees from Baghdad, Georgetown, and Harvard where he earned his doctorate in Arabic Literature in 2006. He has published two collections of poetry and four novels. His works have been translated into thirteen languages. His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s last prose book In the Presence of Absence won the 2012 American Literary Translators’ Award. His translation of his own novel, The Corpse Washer, won the 2014 Saif Ghobash Prize for Literary Translation and was longlisted for the International Prize for Foreign Fiction. Two of his novels were shortlisted for the Arabic Booker. His scholarly works include The Poetics of the Obscene: Ibn al-Hajjaj and Sukhf (Palgrave, 2014) and articles on Mahmoud Darwish, Sargon Boulus, and Saadi Youssef. He returned to his native hometown in 2003 to co-direct About Baghdad, a documentary about Baghdad after dictatorship and under occupation. He has published op-eds in The Guardian, The New York Times, The Nation and various pan-Arab publications. His latest novel, The Book of Collateral Damage was published by Yale University Press in 2019. He is an Associate Professor of Arabic Literature at New York University and co-founder and the editor of the Arabic section of Jadaliyya.
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 Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Director of Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame. Event page can be found here.
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.
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.
This series is dedicated 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.