Festivals

International Writers at Brown enrich the literary community through their formal and informal interaction with students and faculty at Program events, readings, festivals and gatherings.  Each year, the International Writers Project sponsors festivals celebrating the cultural heritage of the current Fellow.  IWP Festivals include guest speakers, readings and workshops by the Fellow and other writers and scholars, panels on current international issues, films and theatrical exhibitions, and art exhibits with a shared national or cultural theme.  Over the last few years, the IWP sponsored:

Urgent Witness 2014:  Freedom to Write 
The International Writers Project presents an all-day conference featuring numerous renowed writers titled "Urgent Witness: A Freedom-to-Write," co-sponsored by the Department of Literary Arts. The conference will kick-off with a panel discussion titled "Bringing the News from Around the Globe." Panelists include Gazmend Kapllani, an Albanian-born novelist, journalist, and author of A Short Border Handbook (2009);Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, a novelist, journalist, vice president of PEN International, and author of The Dark Path to the River; George Seremba, playwright, performer, and author of The Grave Will Decide, Come Good Rain, and Napoleon of the Nile; and Larry Siems, writer, human rights activist, and author of The Torture Report: What the Documents Say About America’s Post-9/11 Torture Program. At 7 p.m., Seremba and exile novelist Kapllani will read from their work. The event begins at 11 a.m. in the McCormack Family Theater, 70 Brown St. 

Urgent Witness:
The current situation in the Middle East from the perspectives of leading writers (2013)

 

 Art as Sin:
The Middle East & Freedom of Expression  (2012)
 
Novelists Ron Leshem and Daniel Mueenuddin, along with filmmaker Behram Beyzaie and many other prominent Middle Eastern artists, will headline a multi-day festival at Brown University celebrating the literature and culture of Iran and the Middle East. 

For artist bios, click here.

Khmer Voices Rising:  
An International Freedom-to-Write Literary Festival
(2011)
Presented by IWP and Literary Arts, the festival included readings by Cambodian, Vietnamese and American writers; panels on freedom of expression featuring writers, scholars, and free expression advocates from around the world (including representatives of International PEN and PEN America); and film showings, music, and plays.      

The Rocks Cry Out:
The Nigerian Crisis Through Film and Literature
(2010)
Exploring the artistic response to the political and social upheaval in this troubled country, The Rocks Cry Out, a three-day festival featuring a distinguished group of writers, filmmakers and scholars.

Women Without Men: Iran Through the Lens of Shirin Neshat and the Words of Four Leading Iranian Fiction Writers (2010) 

New Indian Writing: The Rising Generation (2009)
Presented by Literary Arts, the International Writers Project, and The Year of India initiative, to advance understanding of India’s people, culture, economy, and politics, and their growing impact around the world.  Featuring acclaimed Indian writers Jhumpa Lahiri, Rana Dasgupta, and Suketu Mehta.

There Will Still Be Light:  
A Freedom-to-Write Literary Festival (2009)
Readings, discussions, art exhibits, panels, films, featuring acclaimed Burmese novelist and current IWP Fellow, Ma Thida, as well as prize-winning authors Amitav Ghosh, Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, Karen Connelly and Nay Win Myint. 

Under the Tongue:  
A Festival of Literature from Africa
(2008)
This series of readings and discussions featured award-winning African novelists Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria), Nuruddin Farah (Somalia), and IWP fellow Chenjerai Hove (Zimbabwe); poet Jack Mapanje (Malawi); and playwrights Pierre Mumbere Mujomba (Congo) and Charles Mulekwa (Uganda). 

Strange Times, My Dear (2006)
Readings, discussion and other events will take place Nov. 14-17, 2006, and will feature Booker Prize-winning author Salman RushdieOrhan Pamuk, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, as well as acclaimed Iranian novelistsShahrnush Parsipur and Shahryar Mandanipour.  

Africana Film Festival, April 2005
Spring film forum including screenings and talks by prominent filmmakers from the African continent; curated by IWP Fellow Pierre Mujomba. (Co-sponsored by the Departments of Africana Studies and Modern Culture and Media).

The Envelope, December 2004
A reading and discussion of the work of IWP Fellow Pierre Mujomba. (Co-sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies)

Reader’s Night, November 2004
A panel discussion and readings by Ama Ata Aidoo, George Lamming and John Edgar Wideman. (Co-sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies)

Africa Group Reading, October 2004
Event featuring readings and talks by two South African writers, novelist Tony Eprile and poet Kelyn Sole. (Co-sponsored by the Committee for Slavery and Justice)

Iran and the U.S., May 2004 
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi has drawn American attention to both the ongoing civil rights movement in the Islamic Republic and the part women are playing in securing those rights. This afternoon forum, held two days before President Ruth Simmons conferred upon Ms. Ebadi an honorary degree as part of Brown University's Commencement celebrations, focused on the cultural impediments to mutual U.S.-Iranian understanding and the roles that women such as Ms. Ebadi might have in helping to overcome them. 

Michael Ondaatje, April 2004 
Acclaimed novelist and poet Michael Ondaatje (SEE WOL) read from his work and held an afternoon conversation with the university community (click name of writer to hear writer read.) 

Culture Shock, March 2004 
A week-long festival of events to explore the cultural and artistic heritage of Shahrnush Parsipur, the first IWP fellow, with presentations featuring women filmmakers, visual artists and writers from Iran, Palestine, Lebanon and Algeria.