Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Narratives of Social Protest: Personal & Political

October 17, 2014 @ 2:10 pm - 4:00 pm

Journalists and social media activists are the first to tell the stories of social protest movements, but every politician knows the power of a personal story to bring attention to a conflict and inspire the wider world to press for change.  While journalists must hew to the straightforward facts of a movement, and bloggers and other online reporters might be seen as unreliable, memoirists can create a narrative of a social movement which is seen as thoughtfully crafted, true to the individual’s experience, and personal enough to inspire empathy and action.

“Narratives of Social Protest” will feature a meeting of academics, journalists, and memoirists and other artists to discuss the process and the effect of writing a personal narrative in the context of a social movement.  With this event, we aim to disentangle the range of demands – from activists and politicians, historians, artists, journalists, and the public – and follow those threads to explore what happens when a personal narrative becomes a political history.  By focusing our examination on personal writing and memoir, we can more deeply examine not only the ways in which personal identities are shaped by place and politics, but also the ways in which a social protest movement is defined and affected by the personal narratives which emerge from it.

Panelists will include:

  • Phil Bennett, Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy and Director, DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy, Duke Sanford School of Public Policy.
  • Matt Bors, cartoonist, journalist, editor, and author (with David Axe) of War Is Boring.
  • James M. Jasper, Professor of Sociology, Graduate Center, CUNY, and author of Contention in Context: Political Opportunities and the Emergence of Protest and The Art of Moral Protest: Culture, Biography, and Creativity in Social Movements.
  • Hisham Matar, Weiss International Fellow in Literature and the Arts and Adjunct Associate Professor of English, Barnard College, and author of In the Country of Men and Anatomy of a Disappearance
  • Joy Stacey, lens-based artist and curator of exhibits including the recent Autonomy of Self.

Moderated by:

  • Joseph Slaughter, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, and author of Human Rights, Inc.: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law.

This event is the first of two related conversations over the course of the day, collectively co-produced by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life; the British Council; and the New York Public Library,

The first conversation, at Columbia University, begins at 2:00pm.  The 2:00pm event at Columbia is free and open to the public.  Email info@ircpl.org with questions.

Marjane Satrapi portrait

The second conversation, part of the LIVE from the NYPL series, will take place at 8:00pm at the New York Public Library: Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian-born illustrator, writer, director, and author of Persepolis, Embroideries, and Chicken with Plums, joins Paul Holdengräber to discuss the unique challenges and rewards inherent in narratives of social protest, and offers a sneak peek of her new film, The Voices.  For more information on the evening event, see nypl.org.  Tickets to see Marjane Satrapi at LIVE from the NYPL are available here.


October 17, 2014
2:10 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Schermerhorn Hall, Room 501
1198 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027 United States
+ Google Map