Upcoming events:

Wednesday, April 17, 2024; Reese Room, Smith House;
4:30pm-5:30pm – Talk / 5:30-6:30 – Reception

Love Letters to Those Who Came Before Me:
Queer Migrations in The Thirty Names of Night
Zeyn Joukhadar

In The Thirty Names of Night, Nadir, a Syrian American trans New Yorker, searches for the connection between his late ornithologist mother and the mysteriously vanished bird artist Laila Z, who both encountered the same rare bird before their deaths. Following his mother’s ghost, Nadir uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community and learns that Laila Z’s secrets are intimately tied to his family’s–and his own–in ways he never could have expected. In this talk, Zeyn Joukhadar will discuss the process of researching and imagining the queer histories in which Nadir finds precedent for his own life, the search for the sacred in artmaking and embodiment, and the novel’s many birds.

Bio: Zeyn Joukhadar is an award winning Syrian American writer. His 2018 debut novel the Map of Salt and Stars won the 2018 Middle East Book Award, was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, and was translated into twenty languages. His second novel The Thirty Names of Night was published in 2020 and won the Lambda Literary and Stonewall Book Award. Joukhadar has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has received fellowships and residencies from the Montalvo Arts Center Lucas Artists Program, the Arab American National Museum, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Camargo Foundation, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, and the Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI).


Past Events:

Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 4:30pm Reese Room, Smith House

“Representation, Language and Literature:
A Queer Arab Experience” by Saleem Haddad

In this lecture, Saleem Haddad will discuss the literary and political dimensions of writing a queer Arab novel, including discussions of language, audience, the pitfalls of representational literature, and the difficulties of articulating ‘a truth’ in an increasingly polarized world.

Saleem Haddad is a write born in Kuwait City to an Iraqi-German mother and a Palestinian-Lebanese father. His first novel, Guapa, was published in 2016, receiving critical acclaim from the New Yorker, The Guardian, and others, and was awarded both a Stonewall Honour and the 2017 Polari First Book Prize. His short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies, including his most recent contribution to This Arab is Queer. He also writes for film and television; his directorial debut, Marco was nominated for the 2019 Iris Prize for ‘Best British Short Film’.

Co-sponsored by HMTS, LACS, INTS, WMGS, TIIS, POLS, DoF, Religious Studies, English Department, the Office of DEI & the Queer Resource Center.