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"What is Activist Literature?" Roundtable

When Feb 27, 2018
from 03:30 PM to 05:00 PM
Where Mann Assembly Room, Paterno Library
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In Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, Sunil Yapa reimagines the chaotic World Trade Organization (WTO) protests that took place in Seattle at the end of the twentieth century. Inspired by the novel’s themes of activism, protest, and community, this roundtable discussion will feature three invited panelists who will use the novel as a touchstone for a broader discussion centered on the question of what makes a piece of literature “activist”? Panelists include: Charles Andrews, Associate Professor of English at Whitworth University (Spokane, WA) and a noted expert on peace activism and the interrelation between literature and public protest. PSU Distinguished Professor of Sociology John McCarthy, a leading scholar on policing of the public order, grass roots community activism, and media coverage of mass protests. Sarah Grossman, a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Center for Humanities and Information (CHI) whose research centers on the environmental humanities, globalization and industrialization, and how activist literature(s) intersects with these concerns. Rose Luqiu, a PhD candidate in the College of Communications who researches censorship, propaganda, and social movements in authoritarian regimes and who experienced first-hand the 1999 WTO protests that provide the backdrop for Yapa’s novel. Following the panelists’ opening statements there will be ample time for question and answer with the audience. Light refreshments will be served.