The Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture: Marina Warner
Strangers in a Strange Land: Displacement, Sanctuary, and the Traveling Tale
Edward Said wrote that he habitually felt “out of place” and in his memoir movingly explores the strategies and theoretical ideas the experience inspired. Marina Warner will return to Said's ideas about estrangement, the traveling tale and contrapuntal reading, through a reading of the Flight into Egypt. The legend spread through stories, cult, and pilgrimage and Memories of Mary/Mariam in Egypt live on in some form in both the Christian and Islamic traditions. In a time of ever greater displacements and tumult, this narrative offers a test case of storytelling's role in living through exile and dislocation, and surviving somewhere that is not home.
Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, cultural history, and criticism. Her study of the Arabian Nights, Stranger Magic (2011) won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism and a Sheikh Zayed Book Award; in 2015, she received the Holberg Prize in the Arts and Humanities. She contributes regularly to the London Review of Books, Raritan, and the New York Review of Books, and is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College and a Distinguished Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Recent books include Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale and Forms of Enchantment: Writings on Art and Artists. Inventory of a Life Mislaid: An Unreliable Memoir, about her childhood in Cairo, appeared in the US earlier this year under the title Esmond and Ilia (NYRB). She is working on a study of the concept of Sanctuary.
The Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture is given once a year in honor of the public intellectual and literary critic, Edward W. Said, who taught in the English & Comparative Literature Department at Columbia from 1963 until 2003. Professor Said was perhaps best known for his books Orientalism, published in 1978, and Culture and Imperialism, published in 1993, both of which made major contributions to the field of cultural and postcolonial studies. The Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture, annually organized by the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, pays tribute to Professor Said by bringing to Columbia speakers who embody his beliefs and the legacy of his work.
There is a limit of one (1) reservation per person. Seating is limited and first come, first served. Priority will be given to those who register in advance. Check-in begins one (1) hour before the event and early arrival is suggested.
All guests entering the building must show proof of vaccination. Visitors 18 and older are also required to show an accompanying ID. Green passes and CUIDs are accepted if you are a Columbia University affiliate. Masks are strongly recommended.
Co-Presented by Columbia University School of the Arts, The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies, and The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.
Photo caption: Marina Warner
Photo credit: Dan Welldon