Laila Lalami will read portions of her Pulitzer-finalist novel “The Moor's Account," a historic look at an ill-fated expedition of Spanish conquistadors (recorded officially by Cabeza De Vaca) and their interactions with Native Americans as they traveled from Florida into northern Mexico. Lalami’s novel is an imagined memoir written in the voice of one of four survivors of the expedition, a Moorish slave considered the first black explorer of America. When juxtaposed against De Vaca’s historic record of this journey, Lalami’s novel, as The Huffington Post puts it, “sheds light on all of the possible New World exploration stories that didn’t make history.” Panelists include:
Liz Bohls, Professor, Department of English
Miriam Gershow, novelist & Associate Director of Composition, Department of English
Angela Joya, Assistant Professor, Department of International Studies
Lamia Karim, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
Michael Najjar, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre Arts
Reception starts at 2:30 pm
Panel starts at 3 pm
FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
“The Border and Its Meaning: Forgotten Stories,” featuring Pulitzer-finalist Laila Lalami
“Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States. She is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; Secret Son, which was on the Orange Prize longlist; and The Moor’s Account, which won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was on the Man Booker Prize longlist and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, the Guardian, the New York Times, and in many anthologies. She writes the ‘Between the Lines’ column for The Nation magazine and is a critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times. The recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.”
Post-film discussion led by Portland Meet Portland director Manuel Padilla.
Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. “Human Flow” is an epic film journey that depicts this global crisis through the lens of human experience. Captured over the course of an eventful year in 23 countries, the film follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches across the globe in countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey.
This event is organized by the UO student organization Define American, in partnership with the JSMA, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, Oregon Humanities Center, and the Department of Romance Languages, among others.