Friday, April 2, 2010

The Lannan Literary Symposium and Festival

Here's something that sounds too good not to put on First Person Plural.

The Lannan Literary Symposium and Festival

Literacy · Literature · Democracy
Georgetown University 6 and 7 April 2010

Georgetown’s 2010 Lannan Literary Symposium and Festival will explore the most vital and purposeful connections across the themes in its title, Literacy, Literature and Democracy; the Symposium welcomes a rich selection of writers, journalists and activists to the Georgetown campus over the two days following Easter break, Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 April, to discuss and to demonstrate how universal access to literacy, critical attention to the urgency of the creative imagination and the power of the written word, and care for the fragility of authentic democracy must all equally concern citizens working for justice in our contemporary world. Guests to Georgetown include noted writers Dave Eggers, Chris Abani, and Uwem Akpan, SJ journalist, writer and Mother Jones founder Adam Hochschild, social justice activist Mekonnodji Nadingam, poet Thomas Sayers Ellis, and recent Georgetown alums Happy Johnson (’07) and Allison Correll (English MA ’09). Topics across two days of readings, roundtables and performances will include local and national literacy projects like Mr. Eggers’ 826 Valencia, literary, cultural and practical responses to historic challenges like the rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina, and the ongoing global refugee crisis, with special focus on vulnerable populations in central Africa; the Symposium concludes with a special tribute to the poet Lucille Clifton and readings in her honor by Mr. Ellis and Mr. Abani. Participants from the Georgetown Community will include Professors Deborah Tannen, Maureen Corrigan, and Michael Eric Dyson, as well as Professor Carolyn Forché, the Director of Georgetown’s Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. For more information please contact Professor Ricardo Ortíz at


Tue 6 April/7:30PM/Gaston Hall

A Public Reading and Talk Featuring

Dave Eggers In Conversation with Maureen Corrigan and Deborah Tannen

Reception to Follow

Copley Formal Lounge

Wednesday 7 April 2010

9:30 to 11am Riggs Library

“Writing Beyond Catastrophe:

Literatures and Cultures of National Revival in Post-Katrina America”

A Discussion featuring:
Michael Eric Dyson, Dave Eggers, and Happy Johnson
Refreshments Served and Books Available in the Presidents’ Room

Copley Formal Lounge
“Writing (and Working) Beyond Genocide: Literary, Cultural and Social Activisms in a Changing Africa”
Session 1 · 1 to 3pm

readings by
Uwem Akpan, SJ, Adam Hochschild

Session 2 · 3 to 5PM

A Roundtable Featuring Mekkondji Nadingam, Allison Correll (MA ’09), Chris Abani, Uwem Akpan, Adam Hochschild

Books Available and Light Refreshments Served

Copley Formal Lounge

The Fisher Family Colloquium Room

The Rafik Hariri Building

McDonough School of Business

7:30 pm: A Tribute to Lucille Clifton

Featuring Michael S. Glaser and Carolyn Forché

Poetry Readings By
Thomas Sayers Ellis
Chris Abani

Reception and Book Signing to Follow

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