Crossroads of writing and human rights - Events October 9-11

The Human Rights Program and Creative Writing Program at the University of Minnesota warmly invite you to join us to a series of events at the crossroads of writing and human rights:

Sunday, October 9, 5:00 PM
Upson Room, 102 Walter Library
117 Pleasant Street SE
University of Minnesota East Bank

This intimate reception will feature appearances by human rights star storytellers Brian Brivati, James Dawes, Nuruddin Farah, Vesna Goldsworthy, Patricia Hampl, Meg Jensen, Annette Kobak, Emin Milli, and Kathryn Sikkink, along with current Scribe, Claire Stanford.

Creative prose can help us understand the effects of incomprehensible human rights atrocities, in a way that news reports simply cannot. With that in mind, the Scribes for Human Rights Fellowship provides a summer stipend for a current creative writing graduate student to produce a narrative work on human rights and engage deeply with the issues of our time.

Our goal is to raise $25,000 to endow the fellowship. We ask that you consider a minimum contribution of $100 to help us reach that goal.

RSVP by September 30 to or 612-626-7947. Donate online at

Monday, October 10
Coffman Memorial Union Theater
300 Washington Ave. S.E.
University of Minnesota East Bank

This 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.

The first panel, featuring Annette Kobak, Nuruddin Farah, Vesna Goldsworthy, and Emin Milli will discuss "The Voice of Human Rights: Teaching Narrative Writing" with chair Patricia Hampl at 9:00 AM.

At 11:15, James Dawes will give the keynote speech, "Bearing Witness to Atrocity: Forms, Motives, Ethics."

Following a break for lunch, the second panel, "Reading Across Borders and Genres: Linking the Humanities and Social Sciences in Human Rights Curricula," will take place at 2:00 PM. Brian Brivati will chair this panel comprised of Kathryn Sikkink, Meg Jensen, Elaine Tyler May, Ana Forcinito, and Charles Sugnet.

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" at 7:30 PM.

This event is free and open to the public. Come for all day, or stay for just one panel. For more information, visit or contact, 612.626.7947

Tuesday, October 11, 4:00 PM
25 Mondale Hall
229 19th Avenue S.
University of Minnesota West Bank

This award-winning documentary follows the story of Thet Sambath, a Cambodian journalist intent on uncovering the secrets of the Khmer Rouge regime whose policies resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979. Among the dead were Sambath's parents and his brother. To learn the highly protected secrets of the Khmer Rouge, Sambath had to earn the trust of Nuon Chea, the highest ranking Khmer Rouge still alive today.

A discussion with director Rob Lemkin will follow the film.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information on the film, visit Direct questions to, 612.626.7947

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