Terrible Truths: Confronting History and Memory

Panel Discussion
10 May 2019
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
La Maison Française
New York University
16 Washington Mews
New York, NY 10003

Nations share their official narratives through anthems and textbooks, websites and monuments—but a country’s glorious public story often diverges from the events remembered by its citizens. How do countries shape their evolving histories, and how are the true tales of terrible national tragedies obscured? How can writers and artists use their skills to challenge the erasure of inconvenient histories? Join a distinguished panel of writers, artists, playwrights, and academics as they reflect on significant revelations and obfuscations from our national stories, and examine how present-day memories influence perceptions of the past. Through discussions of global human rights abuses, Holocaust perception, African-American heritage and fashion, and post-war political turbulence in Italy, our illustrious guests will illuminate what happens at the intersection of a nation’s private memories and its public identity. A conversation with Daniel Blaufuks, Catherine Filloux, Tanisha Ford, and Domenico Starnone, moderated by Ulrich Baer.

Since 2012, the PEN World Voices Festival and New York University’s International Houses—including Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, the NYU Creative Writing Program, Deutsches Haus at NYU, Institute of African American Affairs and Center for Black Visual Culture, and La Maison Française of NYU—have collaborated in creating a festival within the festival: “The Literary Mews.” This annual event presents free literary events in and around the cobblestone streets of NYU’s storied Washington Mews. A must attend for any lover of literature.

Daniel Blaufuks
Catherine Filloux
Domenico Starnone
Tanisha C. Ford
Ulrich Baer