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Identity, Experience, & Storytelling: A Conversation with Roy Scranton

March 7th, 2016
12:00 PM


Banner image: Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984

Monday, March 7, 2016

12:00 - 1:00 pm

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chem 011)

Light lunch served

Join us for a discussion between Roy Scranton and Jennifer Ahern-Dodson about being a writer and reader in contemporary society. We'll talk about how Scranton approaches his own writing and how he assesses the writing of others. Among the questions we'll explore are:

  • What makes a good story?
  • What makes a story authentic?
  • Which kinds of stories are identified as representing a field/an experience/a movement?
  • How do editors make choices when organizing a collection?
  • What role does personal experience play in telling a story?
  • What role should a writer's biography play in a reader's assessment of that writer's "right" to tell a particular story?

We'll ask Scranton to draw on his own experience as a writer of fiction, non-fiction, and literary criticism as we explore these topics.

Roy Scranton

University of Notre Dame

Roy Scranton is the author of Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of Civilization, co-editor of Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. His essays, articles, and reviews have been published in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, The Nation, and elsewhere. He holds an MA in Liberal Studies from the New School for Social Research and a PhD in English from Princeton, was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Science at Rice University, and recently joined the faculty at the University of Notre Dame as assistant professor of English. His current scholarly project is on the politics of trauma in American World War II literature. His Iraq war novel, War Porn, was released in summer 2016 by Soho Press.

Jennifer Ahern-Dodson

Duke University

Image credit: Melissa Eggleston

Jennifer Ahern-Dodson is Associate Director for the Duke Language, Arts and Media Program and the Director of Outreach for the Thompson Writing Program. She consults with faculty across the disciplines on ways to employ and assess writing in their own courses, and she advocates for faculty as writers and teachers. She teaches writing courses on student activism and digital storytelling and researches faculty learning communities by focusing on stories of writing: How we write, why we write, for whom we write, and what brings us joy in our work. Her current research centers on the relationship between our writing stories and our teaching stories.