Video / Audio  Literature

Adam Phillips, renowned psychotherapist, literary critic, and essayist, spoke with Andrew H. Miller, Professor of English at Indiana University, about literature, ethics, and lives led and unled.

David Henry Hwang, Tony award-winning playwright of such plays as M. Butterfly, Yellow Face, Golden Child, and Chinglish, visited Columbia to discuss his work with Jean Howard and Gregory Mosher.

Acclaimed authors Justin Torres and Marie Myung-Ok Lee, both of whom write about the American immigrant experience, will discuss their work with the novelist Ellis Avery.

About forty years ago, historians of women began to claim a place for their subject as a distinct scholarly field. This movement emerged particularly powerfully in Britain, its early preoccupations and questions shaped by the feminist movement, the New Left, and especially by Thompsonian social history. Today, that moment of ‘women’s history’ seems both present and a long way off. The field’s founders and pioneers are now retiring. They leave impressive accomplishments – an academic landscape in which ‘women’ as subjects of study and ‘gender’ as a ‘useful category’ are taken for granted; positions, programs and professorial chairs in the UK and US alike; rich scholarship stretching across three generations. How does this field now look to some of its early pioneers? How has mentorship and ‘school-formation’ worked? What have successive generations taken from earlier generations’ work, and how have they transformed it? What happened to those early institution and networks? What has been gained and lost through the process of institutionalization? What has happened both to the ‘place’ of the feminist imperative within history, and to the relatively privileged place of Britain within that scholarship?

This Writing Lives event featured Hisham Matar, author of the Man Booker shortlisted novel In the Country of Men, and more recently, Anatomy of a Disappearance.   In addition to reading from his work, Hisham Matar spoke with Bashir-Abu Manneh of Barnard College on the topic of "Literature, Exile, and the 'Arab Spring."

Preeminent author Ahdaf Soueif, who spent much of the Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square, delivered the annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture on "Notes from the Egyptian Revolution."

12/3/10: Greil Marcus and Christopher Ricks participate in an evening of discussion on Bob Dylan’s work. Professor Marcus spoke on Dylan’s cover of the traditional American folk song “Man of Constant Sorrow,” and Professor Ricks spoke on race in Dylan’s early recordings, including “No More Auction Block” and “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol.”

Renowned author Jamaica Kincaid gave a reading, followed by an interview with Saidiya Hartman, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.