I am excited to speak at three events in NYC this April: the U.S. book launch of my fiction debut, Technologies of the Self, at McNally Jackson with Sahar Ullah (4/15); The Muslim Protagonist Symposium at Columbia University (4/16); and the New School’s Bureau of Imaginative Proposals conference on poetry and political theory (4/23). If you are in NYC, come through. I’ll sell and sign copies of Technologies at the first two, but not the third, as I will deliver my talk via Skype (although books will be sold at the event). Details and links below:
April 15, 6 – 7:15 PM, McNally Jackson: Book Launch of Technologies of the Self
Link to the official event page on McNally’s site. Link to the Facebook event page. I will talk with academic and fellow storyteller Sahar Ullah (Columbia University, Hijabi Monologues) about Muslims and Latinos in literature, genre fiction, and Technologies of the Self, winner of the 2015 Driftless Novella Prize from Brain Mill Press. There will be Q&A and book signing. Book blurb:
In this timely and instantly notable fiction debut, Haris A. Durrani immerses readers in the life of a young American Muslim struggling to understand himself in the context of his family, classmates, and contemporary urban life. Engineering student Jihad, or “Joe” as he introduces himself in the confusing intersections of post 9/11 New York City, finds himself on a personal quest of possibly a spiritual nature, even if he isn’t sure that’s what it is – after all, it’s hard enough to keep halal in his Dominican-Pakistani-Muslim Washington Heights household. He’s surprised to find himself in the stories his Uncle Tomás tells of his own youth, stories in which Tomás fights both the devil and the weaknesses of the flesh – often at the same time. Culture, nation, religion, family, identity, race, and time fight for dominion over Jihad until he realizes he is facing the same demon his uncle claims to have defeated, and all Jihad has to fight with is himself.
April 16, 9 AM – 8 PM, Columbia University: The Muslim Protagonist Symposium: (Re)writing Home: Shifting Sites of Belonging
Link to the official symposium page. Link to the Facebook event. I will speak at 5:45 – 7:15 PM on the “Future” panel. Technologies will be available for sale, and I will be signing copies throughout the day. This year’s event continues the symposium incredible history of amazing lineups, including brilliant writers and academics such as Mark Gonzales, Tariq Toure, Lena Khan, Zia Haider Rahman, Ayesha Siddiqi, Sharbari Ahmed, Hind Makki, Tasleem Jamila, Abdi Latif Ega, Hisham Aidi, Jordan Alam, and more. Event blurb:
This full day of panels and talks on April 16th is open to people of all backgrounds, ages, faiths, and cultures as a means of facilitating dialogue, networking, and tools for pursuing “literature as an agent of social, intellectual, and spiritual change.” The event is NOT an event exclusively for Muslims, “minorities,” or Columbia students/faculty—everyone is welcome.
This year, The Muslim Protagonist will build on the previous years’ remarkable successes and delve deeper into the issue of marginalized narratives in and outside of Muslim communities in a unique and thoughtful way, bringing together writers from diverse communities in America. This year’s theme, “(Re)writing Home: Shifting Sites of Belonging” will raise questions about the myriad connotations of home. Our speakers will be exploring home as a site of transformation, refuge, trauma, healing, and growth and want to center our event around the themes of belonging, alienation, and migration. We want to examine the notion of home in the context of nation and nationality, and also explore how it is inscribed and reinscribed by borders and frontiers, and boundaries. How does the Muslim Protagonist build their home?
In addition to the symposium, we will be hosting an OPEN MIC, with the same theme of Shifting Sites of Belonging. The Open Mic will be on April 15 at 8:15PM in Held Auditorium(304 Barnard Hall). Doors open at 7:45pm. THE EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO ALL. Due to limited capacity and high demand, we ask that you “purchase” a free ticket here to confirm your attendance.
Facebook page for open mic.
On April 16th, we are also hosting a series of workshops and intimate discussions with Geeta Citygirl Chopra, Jordan Alam, and Tasleem Jamila, among a few others.
Tickets are only required for the full day on April 16th.
April 23, 9 AM – 7 PM, the New School: Poetry & Politics: The Bureau of Imaginative Proposals
Link to the eventbrite page. Link to the Facebook event page. I will present an abridgment of my paper “Literature and Agency in Islamic Discourse,” which was originally published as the lead article in University of Toronto Undergraduate Journal of Islamic Studies (details on the Publications page; read it here). I also partially adapted this paper into my thought piece for altMuslimah, “A Faithful Telling.” Technologies will be sold at the conference. Event blurb:
What is the relationship between lyrical and political formats of articulation? Was Plato right to exclude poets from the polis? How are meter and logic related? What is the future of articulating the language of societal developments? Is there still “an old quarrel” between philosophy and poetry?
This one-day gathering seeks to discuss at length the form that articulation takes when the subject of articulation is the city. Styled as a ‘working group’ in which a plurality of proposals and imaginative suggestions can be accommodated, participants from all academic levels are invited to contribute to a discussion centered around the lyric and the polis.
Students, researchers and teachers from all disciplines and institutions with an interest in this subject are warmly welcomed.