The 2017-2018 Wittenberg Series will welcome Dunya Mikhail, acclaimed Iraqi poet and Arab American Book Award winner, as the keynote speaker for the Allen J. Koppenhaver Literary Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, in Bayley Auditorium of the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center.
Mikhail, born in Iraq in 1965, was forced to flee in the wake of the first Gulf War when her writings attracted the attention of Saddam Hussein’s government. Her book The War Works Hard (New Directions, 2005) was shortlisted for the Griffin Prize and named one of “Twenty-Five Books to Remember from 2005” by the New York Public Library. She is the author of The Iraqi Nights (New Directions, 2014) and Diary of A Wave Outside the Sea (New Directions, 2009), which won the 2010 Arab American Book Award.
Renowned for her subversive, innovative and satirical poetry, Mikhail was honored with the United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing in 2001 and a Kresge Artist Fellowship in 2013, among other distinctions.
Mikhail speaks about her experiences growing up in a war-torn country, sleeping on the roof of her family’s home during the sweltering summers until the air raid sirens sounded, and losing her father, not to violence but to the lack of adequate medical care.
Mikhail currently lives in Michigan and works as an Arabic lecturer for Oakland University.
While on Wittenberg's campus, Mikhail will participate in a colloquium with faculty and students at 4:30 p.m. at Bayley Auditorium.
Now in its 35th year, the Wittenberg Series brings distinguished lecturers and performing artists of national and international prominence to the Wittenberg campus and Springfield community. To make special arrangements, request a Series poster, or become a friend of the Wittenberg Series, contact Lisa Watson at WatsonL4@wittenberg.edu. All Wittenberg Series events are free and open to the public.
Additional 2017-2018 Wittenberg Series Events:
Friday, Dec. 8: Lessons and Carols, 7:30 p.m. (Pre-service music at 7 p.m.), Weaver Chapel.
Monday, Jan. 15, 2018: Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation, 11:15 a.m., Weaver Chapel, featuring Bernadette Evans '89, community activist and author. Q & A, 3:30 p.m., 105 Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning.
Monday & Tuesday, Feb. 5-6, 2018: Visual Arts Residency, 7:30 p.m., Springfield City School District's John Legend Theater at The Dome with documentary filmmaker, Elisabeth Haviland James. In celebration of Black History Month, there will be screenings of the films Althea (Monday) and The Loving Story (Tuesday).
Wednesday, March 21, 2018: IBM Endowed Lecture in the Sciences, 7:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium featuring evolutionary biologist Dr. Sean B. Carroll. Colloquium, 4 p.m., Bayley Auditorium.
Monday, March 26, 2018: William A. Kinnison Endowed Lecture in History, 7:30 p.m., Weaver Chapel, featuring Annette Gordon-Reed, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard University and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.
For more information on the Wittenberg Series, click here.