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My Letter to the World: Narrating Human Rights

Date: 10/10/2011

Time: All Day Event

Location: Theater Coffman Memorial Union

Cost: Free


"My Letter to the World: Narrating Human Rights" is a day-long series of talks and panel discussions on the personal narrative voice and human rights, hosted by the University of Minnesota Human Rights Program and Creative Writing Program. Events are free and open to the public. The capstone event will be the Department of English's Esther Freier Endowed Lecture in Literature featuring author and foreign correspondent Philip Gourevitch, whose talk is entitled: "Salvage: Writing About Aftermaths from Rwanda to Abu Ghraib and Beyond" (information at https://events.umn.edu/013861).


8:15 am     Check in and coffee

8:45 am     Opening welcome: Dean James Parente, College of Liberal Arts

9:00 am     Opening remarks: Barbara Frey, Human Rights Program, and Patricia Hampl, Creative Writing Program

9:20 am     "The Voice of Human Rights: Teaching Narrative Writing," with chair Patricia Hampl (author and Regents Professor of English), Annette Kobak (author and journalist), Nuruddin Farah (author and CLA Winton Chair), Vesna Goldsworthy (author and professor, Kingston University), and Emin Milli (human rights blogger)

11:00 am      Break

11:15 am     Keynote: James Dawes, Macalester College, "Bearing Witness to Atrocity: Forms, Motives, Ethics"

12:15 pm     Break

2:00 pm     "Reading Across Borders and Genres: Linking the Humanities and Social Sciences in Human Rights Curricula" with chair Brian Brivati (John Smith Memorial Trust), Kathryn Sikkink (Regents Professor of Political Science), Meg Jensen (Centre for Life Narratives, Kingston University), Elaine Tyler May (Regents Professor of American Studies), Ana Forcinito (Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese), and Charles Sugnet (Associate Professor of English)

4:00 pm     Closing remarks: Barbara Frey

7:30 pm     Philip Gourevitch gives the Esther Freier Endowed Lecture in Literature, "Salvage: Writing About Aftermaths from Rwanda to Abu Ghraib and Beyond," introduced by Patricia Hampl

This event has been designated by the Office of the Vice President for Research to satisfy the Awareness/Discussion component of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing education requirement.



  • Name: Terri Sutton
  • E-mail: sutt0063@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-626-1528
  • Sponsored by: Human Rights Program, Creative Writing Program, English, Holocaust & Genocide Studies

More information: http://hrp.cla.umn.edu/

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact Terri Sutton, Department of English, at sutt0063@umn.edu or 612-626-1528.

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