MESAAS Honors Thesis Presentations, 2015
Thursday, 16th April
Swahili kanga cloth, saying: ‘I have become used to problems’
Writing across Borders and Languages: A conversation with Italian-Algerian author Amara Lakhous
Thursday, January 22
Location: East Gallery, Buell Hall
Author joined by Madeleine Dobie, Elizabeth Leake, and Pier Mattia Tommasino
Born in Algiers in 1970, Amara Lakhous departed for Italy during the violence that ravaged Algeria in the 1990s. His critically acclaimed novels in Arabic and Italian include Clash of Civilizations over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio (2010), Divorce Islamic Style (2012) and Dispute over a Very Italian Piglet (2014). Using humor to explore the encounter of cultures, religions and languages, Lakhous's work explores the experience of exile and the dynamics of migration in the contemporary Mediterranean. His novels have won major literary prizes, including Premio Flaiano per la narrativa in 2006 and Algeria’s most prestigious literary award, the Prix des libraires algériens in 2008. Clash of Civilizations over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio has been adopted by Cornell University as the New Student Reading Project text for 2014.
He will discuss his novels, the practice of bilingual writing and translation, literary culture in Algeria and Italy, and the social and political framework of contemporary migration, with Columbia Professors Madeleine Dobie (French and Comparative Literature), Elizabeth Leake (Italian) and Pier Mattia Tommasino (Italian).
Co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française, Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Institute of African Studies, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, European Institute, Middle East Institute and Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies