University of North Dakota

UND Writers Conference Panel: Art & Politics

Join us at the 49th Annual UND Writers Conference, "Truth & Lies," for a panel discussion featuring Nicholas Galanin, Marlon James, Lauren Markham, Ocean Vuong, and moderated by Cari Campbell (UND Department of History). Focused on "Art & Politics," the panelists will answer questions from the audience regarding how (or if) they think that their art is political or has an impact on US culture, society, and, yes, politics.

All events are free and open to the public! Free parking available!

About the participants:

Nicholas Galanin:

Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Unangax̂) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work offers perspective rooted in connection to land and an intentionally broad engagement with contemporary culture. For over a decade, Galanin has been embedding incisive observation into his work, investigating and expanding intersections of culture and concept in form, image and sound. Galanin's works embody critical thought. They are vessels of knowledge, culture and technology - inherently political, generous, unflinching, and poetic.

Galanin’s concepts determine his materials and processes. His practice is expansive and includes numerous collaborations with visual and recording artists, including an ongoing collaboration with his brother and fellow artist Jerrod Galanin, under the moniker Leonard Getinthecar. He is a member of two artist collectives: Black Constellation and Winter Count.

The substance and execution of his work engages past, present and future. Through two- and three-dimensional works, and time-based media, Galanin encourages reflection on cultural amnesia that actively obscures collective memory and acquisition of knowledge. Galanin creates sounds moving in time and animals fixed in space. Splintering apart replica carvings, he destroys the outputs of commodified culture, rearranging the pieces to reflect its nefarious effects. He creates petroglyphs in sidewalks and coastal rock, masks cut from books, ceramic arrows in flight, and repurposes handcuffs, which he engraves, formerly used to remove Indigenous children from their families, naming them children’s bracelets.

Galanin has apprenticed with master carvers and jewelers. He earned his BFA at London Guildhall University in Jewelry Design, and his MFA in Indigenous Visual Arts at Massey University in New Zealand. Nicholas Galanin lives and works in Sitka, Alaska.

To learn more about Galanin and view work, visit his website http://galan.in/

Marlon James:

Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for A Brief History of Seven Killings, making him the first Jamaican author to take home the U.K.’s most prestigious literary award. In the work, James combines masterful storytelling with brilliant skill at characterization and an eye for detail to forge a bold novel of dazzling ambition and scope. He explores Jamaican history through the perspectives of multiple narrators and genres: the political thriller, the oral biography, and the classic whodunit confront the untold history of Jamaica in the 1970's, with excursions to the assassination attempt on reggae musician Bob Marley, as well as the country's own clandestine battles during the cold war. James cites influences as diverse as Greek tragedy, William Faulkner, the LA crime novelist James Ellroy, Shakespeare, Batman and the X-Men. Writing for The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani said of A Brief History of Seven Killings, “It’s epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting—a testament to Mr. James’s vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.” In addition to the Man Booker Prize, A Brief History of Seven Killings won the American Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. James is in the process of adapting the work into an HBO television series.

Marlon James’ first novel, John Crow's Devil, tells the story of a biblical struggle in a remote Jamaican village in the 1950s. Though rejected 70 times before being accepted for publication, John Crow's Devil went on to become a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, as well as a New York Times Editor's Choice. His second novel, The Book of Night Women, is about a slave women's revolt on a Jamaican plantation in the early 19th century. The work won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction, as well as an NAACP Image Award. James’ short fiction and nonfiction have been anthologized in Bronx NoirThe Book of Men: Eighty Writers on How to Be a Man and elsewhere, and have appeared in EsquireGrantaHarper’sThe Caribbean Review of Books and other publications. His widely read essay, “From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself,” appeared in the New York Times Magazine. In early 2016 his viral video Are you racist? ‘No’ isn’t a good enough answer received millions of hits. He is currently working on the Dark Star Trilogy a fantasy series set in African legend (Riverhead, 2018).

Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1970. He graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1991 with a degree in Language and Literature, and from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania in 2006 with a Masters in creative writing. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and teaches English and creative writing at Macalester College. 

Lauren Markham:

Lauren Markham is the author of The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life. A fifth generation Californian based in Berkeley, her work has appeared in outlets such as The Guardian, VICE, Orion, California Sunday, The New York Times, and VQR, where she is a contributing editor. She is a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts' MFA in Writing program and has been awarded fellowships from the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism, the 11th Hour Food & Farming Journalism Fellowship, the Rotary Foundation, The Mesa Refuge, and the French American Foundation. In addition to writing, she works at a school for immigrant youth in Oakland, California.

To learn more about Markham, visit her website laurenmarkham.info.

Ocean Vuong: 

Poet and essayist Ocean Vuong is the author of the best-selling, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, winner of the Whiting Award and Thom Gunn Award, finalist for Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Lamda Literary Prize, and was named by the New York Times as a Top 10 Book of 2016. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, his honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize.

Vuong's writings have been featured in The Atlantic, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as a 2016 100 Leading Global Thinker, alongside Hillary Clinton, Ban Ki-Moon and Warsan Shire, Ocean was also named by BuzzFeed Books as one of “32 Essential Asian American Writers” and has been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PBS NewsHour, Teen Vogue, VICE, The Fantastic Man, and The New Yorker. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he now lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he serves as an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at Umass-Amherst. He is currently at work on his first novel.

To learn more about Vuong, visit his website http://www.oceanvuong.com/.

Thursday, March 22 at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Memorial Union, Ballroom
2901 University Ave, Grand Forks, ND 58202

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Events by Audience

Undergraduate Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public, Graduate Students

Events by Topic

Arts & Culture, Diversity & Inclusion, Academic

Website

http://www.undwritersconference.org

Cost

Free

Hashtag

#UNDWC18

Is a Student ID required?

No

Contact Name

Crystal Alberts

Contact Email

crystal.alberts@und.edu

Contact Phone

7017772393

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